Sonic Adventure
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8  |  Great Game that Could've Been Better (Sonic Adventure review, Dreamcast)
bam13950 , 3/28/2007 5:18:53 PM

Sonic The Hedgehog is one of the better series of all time with the majority of the games being superb, and with some of the recent parts being completely broken. Sonic Adventure is one of the better ones but you can definitely see that some of the problems that have made some of the newer ones below average have originated out of this game. But before I discuss its problems, lets look at the story.

The game opens up to the first boss fight with Chaos (who happens to be one of the two main enemies, but you don’t know that yet)- you defeat him and chase after him into a manhole. You then see Dr. Robotnik on a rooftop who explains exactly what you just defeated, and laughs by himself. Then the game cuts to Sonic lounging around a pool in Station Square, and you see Tails going down in his plane and crashing on Emerald Coast, so you depart onto your first objective which is to rescue Tails. After you rescue Tails you are told to go to his workshop to see his new project which is where you confront Robotnik for the first time and are clued in on his new plan; thus beginning the main quest to stop Robotnik before he can destroy Station Square.

Overall the story is developed very well it doesn’t ever seem to go off course, and the little information you are given through the six playable characters does a very good job at keeping the player interested in the entire game, which is a great motivation when you hit the more glitchy areas of the game. When you finish the entire game you will also feel like you did something worthwhile and that you haven’t just wasted twelve hours playing a pointless game; but if you choose the slacker route and just decide to beat the game with Sonic you will be very disappointed as the Sonic portion of the story only takes about five hours and the story is not wrapped up at all. Luckily Sonic Team included five more playable players so you have much more to do, and after all of those characters you unlock Super Sonic, for the final boss.

With all the extra characters it sometimes seems to drag a little, since for one go-through you are a slow robot named E-102; another one you are a cat named Big that just fishes; and another which seemed to drag was Tails since for the most part you are just trying to beat Sonic in the levels and a big portion of his levels overlap with Sonic's. But I really liked how the secondary characters all gave away one or two important details to the story by their flashbacks, which really makes you want to go and see what the next character has to offer.

Game play-wise this game has quite a bit of variety with the different characters and the pinball games found while playing as Sonic, but what brings down the game play a lot is the uncooperative camera. You’ll find yourself looking at the other side of walls every once in a while, zoomed in on Sonic’s body, and at some points looking at an aerial view of Sonic. I know that for the most part this is just hardware limitations but it doesn’t even feel like they tried. Another thing that drags down the game play is that there seems to be a tremendous amount of glitches in some of the boss fights. For example in the last fight with normal Sonic when you have to do a homing attack on a certain platform or on Robotnik, there will be times that you will just go through Robotnik and the platforms. The second very noticeable instance is when you are fighting the last boss with Knuckles, and there are points where you cannot jump over a ledge that just seams to be about an inch or so tall which is very frustrating because while you're being chased by Chaos you will hit this ledge, try to jump, but you will have to stop take a few steps back and take a longer jump. The last boss that is frustrating is the very last boss of the game. In this case you have to run through a small obstacle course while gaining speed and as many coins as possible and there will be points where you go under some of the platforms that the coins will be on, and other points where you will be out in the middle and Sonic will suddenly stop, and you will proceed to be pelted with fireballs which can be very frustrating.

Graphics-wise this game is very good- I have not played a Dreamcast game since the 360 launch besides this one, but if I can remember correctly this game looked fairly well compared to what I last played. The short cut scenes with the Egg Carrier are where the graphics really stand out, but overall in-game graphics looks very good too. The sound is decent and each level has its own track which is a big plus, but the songs in the three different adventure fields can get annoying since whenever you go to a new area in the field the song restarts so for the most of the time you’re just getting the first few notes, and it gets annoying fast.

Overall this is a great game which didn’t stand the test of time too well because of the broken camera, but it is a definite must-have for any Dreamcast owner. Although I wouldn’t buy a Dreamcast just for this game, since the game only takes about twelve to thirteen hours to finish, but it can definitely help in convincing yourself if you’re thinking about getting one. In the end you will mostly feel satisfied, but you will also most likely feel that this could have been so much more.

The Good: Very good graphics with some nice looking cut scenes. The story keeps you playing and interested. A large variety of characters whose stories you can also play through.

The Bad: The camera is just awful. Some of the levels that you play get repeated with minor differences.

The So-so: Boss fights can be iffy. The sound can be annoying at some points.

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