Developer: Sonic Team
Released: September 1999 (Launch Title)
Capabilities: VMU Compatible, Internet/Modem Compatible
Sonic is back in his first full adventure game since the little known Sonic 3D Blast a few years ago. Just about everyone from the Sonic world is here to join in on the fun for this launch title, so will it be as breathtaking and exciting as past Sonic games? Lets get onto the review and find out.
Well, Dr. Robotnick (now known in North America as his Japanese name, Egg Man, I believe this is one of his last games to go by Dr. Robotnick) and a host of other famous bosses are up to their usual antics, and you must stop them, and beat various levels in a real time 3-D world. Your objective is to collect all the emblems before a brand new boss gets a hold of them.
Well, Sonic is finally in gorgeous 3-D environments, which look way better than the stuff I saw from Sonic 3-D Blast and Sonic R on the Saturn. Everything looks great, the opening movie really got me into this game. The environments look just marvelous, and you can tell the smallest things apart like skyscrapers, and the shadows of people in them. The palm trees, lakes, docks, highways and everything look really darn close to the real thing. All the Sonic character are beautifully updated in 3-D models, Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and the rest of the gang look great, and just like the did before, but more realistic and polished off. The game moves at a really fast rate, and I believe I didnt even run into any slowdown at all in the game. The only thing I believe I had a problem with was the camera angles, on occasion they got in the way of game play and it lead me to a few missed jumps and spins, but this wasnt major, and the visuals are really impressive for a first generation Dreamcast game.
All the main characters talk throughout the game and you have the option of having a text box and voice, or voice only which makes the cinematic give off a feel for the Sonic cartoon show! And yes, Tails is annoying as ever as he keeps on shouting for Sonic to be with him all the time. The background music is excellent, maybe a little bit on the kiddy side, but fits the theme for this game well, but theres this one tune that is tedious where it repeats the lyric, ''I wanna fly high!'' with some tune youd find off an episode of Reading Rainbow, which combined, is the most annoying tune I ever heard. Plus in some of the racing tracks if your racing as Tails, Sonic gets annoying when he keeps on saying, ''Alright Tails'' whenever you pass him. But for the most part, the audio is really impressive for this game.
The game controls fairly well, and reminiscent of past sonic games. The control stick allows you to move in true 3-D, which I prefer a lot more than the past Sonic games. The four main buttons allow you to do the basic Sonic Stuff like spin and jump. The game plays just like the rest of the Sonic games where you collect rings which act as your life bar, and lose them when you make contact with an enemy. You explore a 3-D world, and in certain parts you go into stages where you race through a stage and try to beat as fast as possible, some of these might be your basic stages where you try to make it to the end, or in some cases, a race where you try to beat your opponent first (like in one fun part of the game you go snow boarding).
You start off only playable as Sonic, and you have to beat action stages with certain goals to complete the stage, after doing so you'll unlock Tails, and after beating a couple of stages with him, you'll unlock Knuckles, and the rest of the crew, including some new characters. The action stages are fun to play, and it's amazing how they manage to pull off so much animation at once, there's also some cool racing stages you can do where you have to beat Sonic by either in a running competition or on snow boards! I dont know about you, but Im pretty good at adventure games without using strategy guides, and I found myself getting lost multiple times and taking forever to find the next part in the game, which makes it a little frustrating. All your progress is saved on a VMU, so you can continue where you left off at anytime.
If you save a Chao (a new character to the Sonic world, similar to a Tamigoutchi or Pokémon) to your VMU after harvesting it from the Chao garden, you can play the mini game, Chao Adventure, on your VMU, it's much like Tamagotchi or Pocket Pikachu, where you raise your Chao, building up his strength and so on. You can upload your Chao in the game and take part in Chao competitions like races! You can also go to the official Sonic Adventure web site where you can post high scores. And Im sure youll be playing forever trying to beat this game and find everything, so Sonic Team managed to stuff lots of stuff to keep your hands tied.
+: Superb visuals, Nice Voice Acting, the whole Chao raising side quest is pretty neat
-: Awkward camera angles causes some bad game play, game can get a bit frustrating at moments
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 7.1
Replay Value: 8.2
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 8
A really great first Sonic game on the Dreamcast, which is flawed a little bit, but still fun to play. Most Sonic fans should buy this game because it will most likely live up to their expectations, if youre not a Sonic nut, I recommend renting first. Oh, and Im sorry if I missed some elements of this game in this review, because its been several months since I played because I sold it to Roadkill (hey, I needed the $20), but when I consulted him to borrow the game for this review, I found it he too was a bit frustrated about the game play and really didnt like the game, so he sold the game for a measly $8 to Premier Video. But I believe I got everything about this game down accurately, just make sure you got a strategy guide while playing.