REVIEW: Sonic Adventure


The Saturn had went its entire lifecyclesa without a Sonic the Hedgehog title, a fact most people consider a large contributing factor to the system’s failure. Sega was not about to let that happen again with the Dreamcast. In 1998 the Sonic team released Sonic Adventure, a full 3D title that has the player controlling not only Sonic, but several other characters in the universe. Sonic Adventure saw fantastic sales but conflicting review scores. The game spawned a direct sequel Sonic Adventure 2 in 2001.

Oh boy, of all the games I’ve reviewed so far Sonic Adventure may be the one that proves to be the worst offender of rose-colored glasses. Nostalgia is the only thing this game really has going for it. Sonic Adventure is a totally free reign 3D game, a bold step for a Sonic game and one that I think is a bad idea. The combination of high speed and free reign over movements is too much for an overhead camera to cover properly, even on today’s consoles. Sonic Adventure‘s camera is atrocious. It constantly got stuck in corners, walls and behind enemies, making some sections almost unplayable. Its full of bugs, mainly characters sliding around without walking and at times clipping into the environment and getting stuck. The graphics were unimpressive, especially coming back to them now. The voice acting was awful, unbearable even at times and is a problem that would actually continue to plague Sonic games for quite a while afterwards in my opinion. 

Having multiple characters in the game, each with their own side of the story and own objectives to do is a really cool idea and was a great way to get players interested in new characters within the Sonic universe, but in practice was not done well because most of their stories are either very short or incredibly boring (Big the Cat I’m lookin’ at you buddy). Look don’t get me wrong, Sonic Adventure is a slight step up over Sonic 3D Blast, but its in essence a game full of decent ideas that were poorly executed. Though this 3D outing turned out bad, it did show us the potential Sonic has in a 3D or semi-3D environment and ended up being refined in its sequel Sonic Adventure 2 and in the more recent Sonic Generations.

Sonic Adventure‘s only saving grace, the ONLY thing it has going for it, is of course the soundtrack. What would a Sonic game be without a top notch soundtrack? The scores do a great job of modifying their sound to come off as more believable orchestral instruments, while still maintaining that classic and fun old school sound we loved on the Genesis’ Sonic games.

Sonic Adventure is not a good game to go back and play. If you loved the game as a kid like I did, do yourself a favor, keep those rose-tinted glasses on.



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