|Posted by Kelsy on July 9, 2019 at 4:15 PM|
"Sonic Adventure" - Dreamcast - 1999 - Review by Kelsy "SuperGirlKels" Medeiros
Do you remember the days when Sonic was king of the world? I'm not talking about only for video games, but there was a time where Sonic was literally on the top of every chart and every brand wanted to work with him. He was even more recognizable to children than Mickey Mouse. This was the good old days, the 90's. Sonic's true blue look and his spikey attitude offered something to everyone from kids to adults around the world, my parents included. Sonic had a way of touching people through his games with nearly perfect controls and fluid motion of speed, but as the mid 90's approached and new technology developped, SEGA made quick decisons without thinking about their main hero and his future. After canceling Sonic's promised best adventure yet in 1996, "Sonic Xtreme" Sonic was just... gone. No games, and when there were games, they were medeocre at best and not apart of the canon series. Sonic was suddenly missing from the gaming universe, but no one forgot him. Fast forward to 1998 where the SEGA Saturn has crash landed and a new ship was to take it's place for the new console generation. Nintendo had the Nintendo 64 where Mario was making his 1st 3D debut , while Sony was working on the highly anticipated Playstation 2 with Crash Bandicoot. Everyone was asking the same question, where is SEGA? Are they gone? and What happened to Sonic? Little did they know, SEGA was hard at work on their best system yet woth Sonic taking the lead and showing off what the system was capable of in terms of power, and gameplay. Sonic Adventure released in America on 9.9.99 and was sold out everywhere immediately, Sonic was completely changed to a more "modern" and "teenage" look with more details to show the 3D technology and introduced Sonic in a whole new world. Okay, so what? Sonic has a new game after 5 years and it sold out everywhere... but that doesn't mean it's good, right? I'll be the judge of that.
This is the first time where a massic Sonic story has been done, Sonic is living his best life exploring the city of Station Square where suddenly a mob of cops are chasing down a certain creature. Sonic of course, runs to the rescue and out of curiosity. Once Sonic arrived at the scene, he notices this creature was a blob that formed into a liquid monster who is refered to as "Chaos". Sonic defeats him, but Chaos escapes and later finds out that this Chaos may be more dangerous than he may seem. Later finding out that Chaos is working with Dr. Robotnik (now known as Eggman) Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Big (new character), and E-102 (new character) learn that Chaos will eventually become the ultimate creature to destroy the world. The team works together to hunting down the 7 Chaos emeralds, while stopping Eggman's plans and calling it a day!
Graphics / Music
Sonic Adventure introduces a new Sonic, which also introduces a new theme for Sonic: Sonic ditches the pop styled, Micheal Jackson bops to Rock and Roll and to be honest, it really suits him. To this day, everyone appreciates the theme "Open your heart" and many of the soundtrack that really emphasizes the levels. A great example would be the Ice Cap zone or Red Mountain where in the Ice Cap it's cool, chilly so the music reflects that while Red Mountain's laval flow makes a heavy metal track that you can't help but run along to. The music in the main hub world isn't annoying like most games and doesn't want to make me get out of exploring as quick as possible. The only thing that wasn't so impressive to me were the sound effects themselves, hitting enemies make this weird "squishy" sound that I just can't get over... If Sonic is hitting robots why does it sound like squishy sounds? It's weird, and this continues to be the case when it comes to opening doors, activating items and such. I feel that the effects could have been done better including his jump sound which sounds like it hasn't gone through puberty yet in comparison to the old classic Sonic jump. Luckily, hitting item capsules, and springs which were the traditional items in the 90's still sound iconic and present which make the levels overwhelmingly fun to play just to hear those sounds.
The Graphics are over the top for 1999. First off, there's CGI cutscenes at certain times which make you feel like you're watching a movie instead of playing a video game. Even in today's standards when I'm comparing PS2, Nintendo 64's Mario 64 and look at Sonic Adventure I truly feel Sonic Adventure has the best graphics. The way the sky looks, the ground and details on the trees. You can see the fur on Sonic and the rest of the gang. The way everyone's mouth moves (not well I might add haha) but it's moving, while other companies were still trying to figure out how to even do that for gaming. When Sonic jumps, you see him rotating in his spinball , the enemies look alive and the world is colorful and massively lalrge including 3 hub worlds to explore with secrets, items and more. Sonic's shadow can also be seen and other characters, and enemies as well. The graphics in Sonic Adventure have always impressed me, and I still think to this day that it's much better than the DX remake. You can even see the wind effect the characters and the position their standing in on slants, etc, effect Sonic's quils and the other characters features. Chaos himself is a good character to bring out, technology never allowed something transparent in the past so using Chaos as Sonic's 1st 3D adventure enemy was such a bold move by SEGA showing the detail inside of him with liquid, and his brain which looked so realistic at the time.
If there's one thing that Sonic hasn't been consistent about as of late, it's level design. Either lack of originality, too predictable, holding straight to win, or the level is just plain boring. Sonic Adventure's level design is on the basic side where Sonic runs, attacks enemies and collects rings... BUT it does it in a way that revamps the franchise. It basically took those loops and rings with slopes and hills from the original Sonic 1-3 to a 3D perspective and it's so satisfying. The worlds are all new from running in cities to ancient paradises and beaches. Platforming is a big deal in Sonic Adventure, crossing paths and obsticles to make it to the next area which is always rewarded with speed, of course. Almost every level is so fun to just replay over and over again. Of course there are a few moments like bugs or levels with wind gimics and such that just make it miserable but this was Sonic's 1st 3D outing and experiences and mistakes will for sure be learned from.
There are 6 playable characters in Sonic Adventure with 3 different modes that you can play in.
For characters: Sonic who does everything the same with new tricks: running fast, jumping, and spinning. His new trick that would become staple to the 3D Sonic games "the Homing Attack "which allows Sonic to jump while locking onto enemies and dashing at them without missing. This makes it easy for the player to jump onto enemies' heads in a 3D perspective without messing up the angle. Tails of course Sonic's best friend, follows Sonic on his adventure who has nearly the same cutscenes as Sonic but for gameplay, he has to instead RACE Sonic in the levels. They aren't as easy as it may seem since you're racing the fastest thing alive but it changes up the pace and makes the levels feel new. Knuckles the Echidna is on a hunt to finding the pieces of the master emerald in which Chaos shattered on Angel Island sending Knuckles on his quest. 3 Pieces in every stage and as you get close to one, you have a meter that blinks green. From green, it turns yellow which means you are close, and Red meaning you are in the spot of the emerald. The emerald shards can be hidden well so keep your eyes open! As for Amy, she's showing her independence this time around with not only a new look but new style with her Piko Piko hammer as she escapes from an Eggman robot in levels. Her mission is to escape while keeping her new friend birdy safe. Big the Cat changes the entire pace of the game and is the worst part of the game... You fish. for a frog. his frog. that keeps running away from him because he's sick and ate a part of Chaos' tail. Ya. The controls are horrendous and unresponsive. The spawning is inconsistent, Big is SO big he can't fit through certain doors and areas that you only want to throw him out your window. Finally, E-102 is a fan request to SEGA to have a Sonic game with guns. E-102 is a shooter and platformer in a 3D style where taking out enemies build time, as the robot has to find his brothers and save them from Eggman's control.
If I'm to compare Sonic Adventure's controls to the other Sonic games I have to say that Sonic Adventure is my FAVOURITE kind of controls. Sonic runs fluidly, everyone feels fast (minus BIG) the camera is the best in any of the Sonic games (3D) and I feel SEGA should look back on this game. They literally took 2D Classic 90's Sonic and just put him in a beautiful 3D world. He starts up the same, his distance of jump and height is the exact same, he feels great. Running around loops, and hitting enemies are satisfying. OF course, it is far from perfect and no Sonic game is a Sonic game without it's glitches! The camera at times completely spins out and even loses sight of the character and world. I've had moments where I had to restart the level entirely because the camera couldn't fix... Sonic and friends will sometimes get stuck and clipped through walls, or will fall off loops. In the DX version, this has been improved and fixed in titles in the future which we can see that they learned from.
In this game, levels don't start automatically, for the first time you have to find every level. You are in a massive world of Sonic that include a city, ruins, and Eggman's ship where you have to explore, find powerups to make your characters stronger, and find the levels to advance in the story. There is also a Chao Garden, which is a step away from the main game where you take control of your character and raise a baby Chao by feeding him, making him powerful and putting him into schools, races, karate and more! It's a lot of fun and I remember as a kid spending years on this just trying to create the perfect Sonic Chao. The more time a Chao spends with a certain character or eats certain foods, they will act a certain way and look a certain way which opens up a load of possibilities that make you want to just have thousands of cute chao running around! Finally, there is Trial mode which are missions that you can complete with each individual character. They aren't apart of the main story and can be done at any point onec completed the game. It can include kart racing, snowboarding, sandboarding O_O, racing to the goal, finding a certain item, and more!
Road to 100%
- Complete the Main story with all characters
- Complete the Extra Story
- Collect hub world Emblems
- Find every Power Upgrade for all Characters
- Complete Trial Mode
- Collect all Chao Emblems
- Collect 130 Emblems through the entire game
Time: 20 Hours
Sonic Adventure is inspiring. It inspired many companies in the platforming genre and Sonic fans around the world about what a great game looks like. Of course it's not perfect: Big the cat was nothing but torture and bugs won't pay for the lives I've lost.... BUT Sonic Adventure is huge and we haven't had such a big impactive Sonic game in a long time that I just wish can happen again someday. The controls make Sonic so realistic and the gang as well! Everything feels so full of life and the extra content to do is something for everyone. Anyone can pick up a controller and just love the Chao, running fast, or hunting down emeralds. Sonic Adventure is SO great and is so underrated that I hope SEGA looks back on someday, can be inspired and can somehow recreate in today's modern technology world with their own individual and creative ideas the way SEGA did when they saved Sonic with this game. Thank you Sonic Team!
+ Controls feel LOVELY
+ Great story
+ Extra Content
+ Individual Stories/ Gameplay for every Character
+ Graphics blow me away til this day
- BIG THE CAT