While the Dreamcast had proven to be a much better success than the Saturn, it still wasn't enough to keep Sega in the hardware game. Towards the end of the DC's life, Sonic Adventure 2 was released. It was a giant leap from the original Sonic Adventure released at the system's launch, both in terms of gameplay and graphics. SA2 also introduced the fan-favorite characters Shadow the Hedgehog and Rouge the Bat, who even had a solid storylines (at least in terms of a Sonic game). More original gameplay elements were also added, such as the ability to grind on rails, which has since become another staple of the Sonic series, and the ability to play on the side of 'evil,'. even as Eggman.
It was indeed an improvement over the first Adventure, but it still wasn't perfect. Knuckles and his new counterpart Rouge had extremely annoying search missions reminiscent of the original SA. Tails was no longer a free roaming character, but wasnow stuck inside a slow moving mecha. The idea of playing Eggman is intriguing except for the fact that he is also mobile only by means of a mech.
The Emblems also made another appearance, only this time, there was actually a reqard for collecting them all: a complete collection of 180 emblems unlocks a 3D version of Green Hill Zone, making for ultimate nostalgia among those who remember playing it years ago. Gaining all the emblems comes at a hefty price, as many missions require hours of practice to get A ranks, which are required for all emblems.
With the release of Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic was officially ten years old. Despite his recent lackluster games, Sega was determined to make a big deal of their mascot's birthday. For two days in June, a special edition of Sonic Adventure 2 was sold, dubbed the Birthday Pack. It consisted of a booklet detail Sonic's history, a golden CD of selected classic game music, and a commemorative coin. A few months later, Sonic Adventure 2 became the first Sega title to appear on their long-time rival Nintendo's platform, the Gamecube, with some small additions and improvements. The Dreamcast died not long after, being the last Sega home console.
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