GRAPHICS: See a hedgehog in 3-D!
ADDICTIVENESS: Say goodbye to summer.
PROXIMITY TO THE REAL THING: Do you know anyone named Dr. Eggman?
ANTI-SOCIAL FACTOR: Friends are overrated.
a decade after the first instal-ment, Sega's Sonic The Hedgehog returns as a full-fledged franchise led by Sonic Adventure 2, several years behind schedule but still eagerly anticipated by fans of the blue rodent.It has a ridiculous storyline about evil doctors and a vague plan to take over the world, but that means little here.
Like the original Sonic games, this instalment moves at a blistering, seizure-inducing speed, as Sonic runs down walls, slides down railings and flies through outer space trying to beat the clock and find secret icons.
The sequel introduces a series of different characters, including Sonic's evil twin, Shadow, and each successive world the characters are plunged into gets more bizarre.
The game looks fantastic -- this is reportedly one of the last for the soon-to-be-extinct Dreamcast machine, and the Sega folks clearly want to go out with a bang.
Don't expect to see any of the really interesting levels and characters unless you put in some serious time in front of the TV, though. Like the earlier Sonic games, Sonic Adventure 2 rewards repetition and constant play. Some of the levels are incredibly difficult to get through and will demand all your attention and then some.
Unplug the phone, pull down the blinds and put on a pot of coffee. You could be here for a while.
SONIC ADVENTURE 2 for Sega Dreamcast. $70. Rating: NNNN