By Mitch W. Sequeira III
DISCLAIMER: This review contains spoilers, and one gameplay element will not be talked about in this review.
The Sonic movie is currently on its way. Although the movie is trash, it is going to be a big moment for the Blue Blur. But since that isn’t out at the time of this review, why not review one of Sonic the Hedgehog’s other big moments. The game that give him his true jump to the 3rd Dimension. That game is Sonic Adventure, and this is my thoughts on it, and whether or not I recommend it.
The six playable characters all have their own stories that sometimes cross paths. Sonic’s story is your standard “Eggman does bad things, go stop him.” However, this time around Sega spiced things up with the addition a new villain/minion to Eggman. The water creature named, Chaos, considered a God of Destruction. As well as the discovery of a lost echidna tribe, more on that later.
Tails’ story involves the two tailed fox trying to stop Eggman alongside Sonic; however, the two temporarily go their separate ways. During the times when Tails is on his own, he slowly realizes he needs to fight his battles and not run away from them when Sonic is not there. In Knuckles’ story, an ancient power source known as the Master Emerald, is SHATTERED! During his search for the emerald shards, it is revealed he is a decedent and the last of an ancient echidna tribe who were all wiped out. More on that later.
Amy Rose’s story is about her finding a young bird who lost his family and how she helps him find it. Her story is also very similar to Tails’ story. Big’s story is about him trying to retrieve his pet frog, named Froggy, who had swallowed a piece of Chaos. The final of the main six stories is E-102 Gamma. Gamma is a robot created by Dr. Eggman. His story is about him realizing he was created for malicious intent. He realizes this due to some convincing by Amy Rose, and when he finds out his power source, a mother bird, he then goes on a quest to destroy the other E-100 units, including himself. All of the stories lead to a Final Story when Sonic has a 1 on 1 with Chaos at full power.
Each character has their own gameplay style. Sonic’s is just his days on the Sega Genesis, standard platforming with a bit of fast action thrown in there. All of Sonic’s stages are either complete or mostly complete versions of the stages, not mere segments like most of the characters. He also has the highest stage count, 10 out of 11. Tails’ gameplay is similar to Sonic’s. However instead of simply reaching the goal, you race either Sonic or Eggman in a segment of a longer stage.
Knuckles’ gameplay involves “treasure” hunting. All of his levels, like most of the characters, are segments of longer stages. The goal of these levels is hunting for three shards of the Master Emerald, which is somewhat easy to do. You have an emerald detector, you can track any shard in any order, and the range of the detector is pretty massive. Whether they are on land, in the air, or even underground, the radar WILL be useful.
Amy is similar to Sonic, her levels are in segments, but gets at least one segment and pathway exclusive to her. She is also one of three characters who goes through the stage, Hot Shelter, which Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, do not go through. Big’s gameplay is easily the WORST. His stages always have a pool or lake. What you do in the body of water, is fish for his dear friend, Froggy. But be careful, if your fishing line breaks, you lose a life. E-102 Gamma is a shoot em up. Blow up badniks to extended your timer. All but two of his stages end with a boss battle (said boss is a fellow E-100 unit).
The soundtrack for Sonic Adventure is filled with all sorts of genres. Rock n’ roll, jazz, funk, metal, hip hop hard rock, tribal, synth, and sometimes the genres collide with each other. Some of my personal favorites are, “Blue Azure World”, “Dilapidated Way”, “Theme of Dr. Eggman”, “Skydeck a Go! Go!”, “Red Hot Skull”, “Tricky Maze”, ”It Doesn’t Matter.” I could go on, but I recommend giving the entire soundtrack a listen. If you are interested, there are a few versions of the OST you can buy. Digi Log Conversion, 20th Anniversary Edition, as well as the iTunes version. If you want just the vocal tracks, get Songs with Attitude.
Now to actually rate the game. Disclaimer: the way I rate, is the way rate things in my scrapped review series on YouTube. I rate the story, gameplay, and music, each out of 10. Then I add it all up to make a total rating of x amount of points/30 The story when told as one, is a mess. The stories when told individually aren’t that bad, but not good enough to warrant a good rating. The story gets a 5/10. The gameplay, although a little too segmented, is MOSTLY good. It’s fun to roll around at the speed of sound as Sonic and Tails. Finding Master Emerald shards as Knuckles is mostly fun. Amy may be slow but still a good time. Big is just bad. Gamma was surprisingly fun for me, as someone who doesn’t like shooters or shoot’em ups. The gameplay gets a 7/10. The music is simply awesome in every meaning of the word. It fits in every single level, boss, hub world, and though the character themes may be cheesy, they fit with them. The music gets 8/10. So in total, the full game gets a 20/30.
It may not be the best Sonic game out there, but I cannot deny the impact it has had on the franchise. But now, which version do I recommend? There is the Dreamcast version, DX for GameCube, DX for PC, and DX for Xbox 360, PS3, and Steam. Well, I recommend you get the Steam version and equip the BetterSADX mod. It is the easiest way you can get the better visuals from the Dreamcast version, as well as some bug fixes AND the ability to play it in HD with widescreen. Now then, if you got the money to spare, why don’t you go have yourself a Sonic Adventure? Who knows, you might want to play it more than once.