Sonic Adventure was originally released on Sega’s ill-fated Dreamcast way back in 1998 for Japan and 1999 everywhere else. Later in 2004, the game was ported to the Nintendo Gamecube until in 2010, it has now made its way onto the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and PlayStation Network. It is one of the many Dreamcast games that will be ported for download in the near future.
Sonic Adventure was praised by gaming critics shortly after its Dreamcast release, but can it still be a great game now in 2010? Is the game too outdated to be enjoyed by gamers of today’s day and age. Let’s answer these questions and more as we take a look at the HOTs and NOTs of Sonic Adventure.
The gameplay is what truly stands out in this game as there are varied levels for you to undertake. You will also get to control up to 6 different characters. The charcters here on offer include: Sonic, Tails, Amy, Knuckles, Big the Cat and E-102 Gamma the robot. You will get to play classic Sonic-style platform gaming such as running really fast and collecting rings, but you’ll also get to play other gaming disciplines too. In one level you’ll get to pilot a plane shooting at Dr Robotinik’s enemies while on another you can get to ride on a snowboard trying to avoid an incoming avalanche!. You’ll never be playing the same style of gameplay all the time unlike many other platform games out there which just comprises of jumping and/or bashing many baddies.
The graphics are bright and vibrant with visuals that will rival any PS2 game. It’s a nice change after playing the pixelated polygonal look that are on offer in most of the PSOne Classics range. It’s also noteworthy that the game is only a 1.49GB download. Bear in mind, the game is presented on a 4:3 screen ratio so it’s best that you play on a standard definition screen for the best results. I was playing the game on an HDTV screen and the colors weren’t so bright. Not to mention the screen was filled up by an ugly blue border. Nevertheless, it’s still a visually alluring game even by looking at it today. It’s just too bad the game is not HDTV friendly.
As I mentioned before, the game lets you play up to six different charcters which will account to a pretty decent length of gameplay. Sonic’s adventure is probably the longest one in the game, and you can even revisit some of the levels so you can earn a higher score.
There are a lot of great tracks on here that long-term Sonic fans will enjoy. There are fast generic rock music that plays during the main menu that some people may think is cool, while some of the tunes that accommodate you during exploration levels are nice and melodic.
It seems like some of the levels Sonic will be visiting cannot handle the speed in which he is running at. Several times I would go though several objects and the fall off and die. In another incident, a bridge did not even load for me and I had to restart from the last checkpoint for it to be even animated. The camera is also a burden as it too will go into the scenery and focus elsewhere instead of on the character. The glitches are very noticeable and you would think the developer would have rectified such problems since this is a port on a 12-year-old game.
The voice acting is one of the worst I’ve ever heard in a video game. Sure, it’s an old game but it’s almost laughable how bad it is. Tails sounds like a little 13 year old kid who has yet to break his voice yet. Knuckles has no personality to his voice (just a monotonous groan), while Sonic sounds only okay at best. Dr Robotnik (or Dr Eggman as some may call him) probably has the best sounding voice in the entire game.
What do I do?
There are often times where you’ll be asking yourself “What I do I do now?” The game has a map but it does not highlight where you have to go next. It’s frustrating at times as there are moments where you’ll have to find a key located somewhere in the city and it’s up to you to try and figure out where it is. Not that this is always a bad thing, it’s just that in this game the people you talk to don’t give you much clues.
I enjoyed playing Sonic Adventures despite all its flaws, but I’m not sure all players will be as forgiving as I am. The game may be too outdated for some as not everyone still has an old 21 inch standard screen to enjoy how the game was originally meant to be played. True Sonic fans will still enjoy themselves while playing this game as it is lengthy and houses many gameplay variations. Just be sure you’re willing to bypass some of the awkward controls and horrendous voice-acting and you’ve got yourself a half decent game to play.
[Editor’s Note: Sonic Adventure was reviewed on a Xbox 360 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher.]