Revisiting Sonic Adventure 2

I didn’t grow up with the Genesis sonic games, or with platformers like Super Mario 64. Rather, my introduction to Sonic and 3D platforming was playing Sonic Adventure 2 at a friend’s house. I was immediately hooked, and ended up getting my own copy which I played obsessively. Having not touched the game for years and hearing all manner of opinions about it, I decided to revisit it and see if it still held any of the magic I once felt for it.

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The Unnecessary Failure State

For as long as I can remember, people have naturally accepted that games must always have some kind of failure state.

If you take a fireball to the face in Mario, you die. If you get bit by a dog in Contra, you die. Run out of lives and it’s game over. You have to restart the level, or world, or sometimes the entire game.. The punishment for not doing well in a game is dying, and many people will measure a game’s worth by how often it made them die and go back to a checkpoint. For as long as there have been games, there have been deaths, game overs, and fail states.

So why is this?

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