Good graphics, decent gameplay, and two stories make Sonic Adventure 2: Battle worth picking up for any Sonic fan.
In this installment to the series, Eggman is trying to take over the world, as usual. To do this, Eggman teams up with two new characters, Shadow and Rouge, to collect the chaos emeralds so that he can activate a space station and the monsterous gun on it. Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, and Amy all set out to stop his plan and save the world.
The graphics for this game are quite good, considering it was released in 2002. The characters have a solid look to them, and are a major step up from Sonic Adventure 1. Main characters, such as Sonic, have an exeptional amount of detail put into them to create unique look and the feeling that this is a Sonic game. Enemies don't share the same amount of detail though. They look a bit blocky in some places, or just have dull textures.
Like in the first Sonic Adventure, this one has voice acting. However, like the first one, the character's mouth doesn't match what he or she is saying. This may not be entirely noticable at some points in the game, but you can easily see that the voice and lips don't match up.
Gameplay varies from character to character.
Sonic and Shadow have missions that are based more on speed than anything else. Although is is the main focus for their missions, you'll have to give up running for a moment to kill a sequence of enemies, find a key, or jump over a wall. This cuts away some of the high-speed sonic feel.
Tails and Eggman have missions where they are placed inside of a mech, and have to go through a stage; everso slowly. You'll walk and shoot your way through enemies; all of this done with no relation to what the franchise is about.
Knuckles and Rouge have treasure hunting missions. Because the Master Emerald is broken again, Knuckles will go through missions trying to find pieces of it. Rouge competes with Knuckles by doing the same; hoping to keep the Master Emerald for herself. You must collect three pieces of the emerald to pass the mission; and you're character has an emerald detecting ability to help you find them. These missions take advantage of Knuckles and Rouge's main abilities, but don't have much to do with speed.
Even if you're playing in a mission that's supposed to be designed for speed, you'll find that none of the levels are put together very well. You'll be stopping time and again to go out of the way and do something in order to continue. The camera doesn't help either; as it will get in your way a lot, and there's no way to control it.
The music and sound effects are fantastic. Each character has his or her own music for the missions. For example; Sonic has fast-paced tracks, and Knuckels has steady tracks. Voice acting is done well for each personality within the game, and match the setting perfectly. Sound effects, however, don't stand up quite as well. Explosions and gunfire sound dull, and more like something that drops off the counter.
This game gives a variety of options to keep it from getting old too fast. After going through a mission once, there are several versions of it with different enemy placement and objectives. There's also a minigame called Chao Garden to raise your own virtual pet. This has some replay value in it, since you can get emblems from finishing objectives within Chao Garden and make different colored Chaos.
Multiplayer isn't much, but is a nice addition regardless. You are given several modes to play with. There's a variety from all the characters. You can play as Tails or Eggman and combat a friend, race as Sonic or Shadow, or treasurehunt as Knuckles or Rouge. These are all available for multiplayer use, and there's also a racing minigame where you pick a character and race head to head in mini race cars.
Despite the flaws in Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, its a great game that any fan of the Sonic franchise can pick up and play. There's a good variety of mission types, but fans may be disappointed that some of it has nothing to do with Sonic himself. This is probably the best 3D sonic game you'll find for the Gamecube, and I highly suggest picking this up if you have the spare cash.