Sonic Adventure is an action-adventure video game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. It was originally released for the Dreamcast as a launch title in Japan in 1998, and worldwide in 1999. It was later re-released as Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut for the Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft Windows.
Why It Opens Its Heart
- Six playable characters, each with their own stories, scenes, and levels. The stories also overlap with each other, which keeps the main story connected. Each player has a different gameplay mechanic:
- Sonic the Hedgehog: High-speed platforming;
- Miles "Tails" Prower: Similar to Sonic, but has the ability to fly, can use shortcuts and has to race another character (like Sonic or Eggman);
- Knuckles the Echidna: Find 3 Master Emerald pieces with a radar;
- Amy Rose: Find an escape balloon while avoiding getting captured by E-100α ZERO;
- E-102 "γ" Gamma: Shooting at Badniks to score more time;
- Big the Cat: Fishing for Froggy.
- The homing attack move is introduced in this game which makes enemies easier to hit at high speed in a 3D environment.
- The main cast of the series are given new designs, but still, mostly look the same as before with few exceptions such as Amy.
- Cool soundtrack, with some musical scores featuring vocals.
- Two of the songs are nice remixes of songs from the Genesis version of Sonic 3D Blast (Windy Hill's final section, and Twinkle Park's cart section).
- In addition to the six main playstyles, each character has occasional different game modes.
- The story is pretty entertaining and we get to see the characters going through some satisfying development, especially Tails and Amy.
- If you can't find a Master Emerald piece, Tikal can help you out by highlighting the location of the nearest Master Emerald piece.
- Many huge and varied boss battles like the Chaos and the Eggman fights.
- The final battle against Perfect Chaos is epic.
- It introduces the Chao Garden, where you can take care of the cute Chao creatures and accompany their growth a la Tamagotchi. The Chao would also appear in Sonic X' season 2.
- The DX version includes a Mission Mode, which is unlocked by completing one of the characters' stories.
- The DX version also includes unlockable Sonic titles for the Game Gear, which are unlocked by collecting Emblems and completing missions in Mission Mode.
- It translated the gameplay, level design, and physics from the Genesis games very well into 3D along with very smooth controls.
- Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles all have similar movesets to the 2D games, along with a few new moves, such as the Homing Attack for Sonic, melee attacks for Knuckles and tailspin move for Tails.
- All of the characters have upgrades that can be found by progressing through their respective stories, such as the Shovel Claws for Knuckles and the Jet Anklets for Tails.
- The NPC's have new dialogue every time you advance the story and even have subplots about their lives. This adds to the setting of the game and even explains some plot holes like giving the reason why no one in the city touches the statue.
- The voice providing in the Japanese version is pretty good. Jun'ichi Kanemaru also tends to use English phrases, which is pretty funny. This would later be a trait applied in later Sonic media.
- While the English providing is not as favorable as the Japanese, some providers do pretty good:
- Ryan Drummond pushes Sonic's coolness factor to 11.
- Jennifer Douliard and Corey Bringas's provided voices for Amy and Tails respectively matches their personalities.
- Deem Bristow is fantastic with Dr. Eggman, who makes him sound like the sadistic madman he is.
- Jon St. John's performance as Big the Cat is pretty funny (notably, this is the guy who voiced Duke Nukem).
- Steve Broadie excels at painting Gamma off as a melancholic robot, on par with the character's story.
- The NPC voices are pretty funny as well.
- Although they have somewhat aged significantly by today's standards, the graphics were very impressive and even revolutionary at the time the game was released back in the late 90s.
- Furthermore, the art style that the game goes for is very clean and smooth, as it takes the cartoony aesthetic of the classic games and combines it with a more anime-esque look that suits the game very well, especially the new designs for the characters.
- After a while of being spinoff material, Amy finally makes it into Sonic Adventure as a playable character and a part of the main cast.
- Big the Cat was strongly disliked both as a character and as a playstyle. The character is often mocked over the fact that him and Duke Nukem are voiced by the same actor (Jon St. John, of all people).
- Likewise, Amy's playstyle is also disliked by some people, as she has the slowest walking speed of all the characters (so slow that even Big the Cat walks faster than her), although this can be solved by exploiting a glitch in the Dreamcast version, where jumping sideways makes her build up speed very fast.
- Tails' playstyle, while his mechanics and moveset is mastered, same can't be said for his levels, they're just about beating Sonic to the end and if not Sonic, Tails races Eggman to the missle, Tails' mechanics don't work with the level design and against it
- While the characters' power ups are well integrated in the gameplay, Sonic got the low end: his power ups feel useless and (apart from the forced segments) one can complete his story without using them once. The same thing can be said with Amy and her hammer spin.
- Speaking of moves, Sonic is a bit sloppy to control sometimes. When running very fast the controls feel extremely sensitive and the homing attack sometimes can either hit a random target from a mile away and miss the one you wanted to hit. His Light Speed Attack can also cause him to start spinning in circles around his targets.
- The camera is clunky, usually ending up getting stuck on walls and other times struggling to keep up with the characters. This was later fixed in the DX version, which added a "Free Camera" mode.
- The large amount of playable characters somewhat takes the spotlight from Sonic. His campaign is the longest, sure, but he never gets to Hot Shelter, a level only accessible by Gamma, Amy, and Big.
- The different characters also travel through the same levels with little differences, making their campaigns rather repetitive.
- Choppy frame rate that looks barely any better than a PlayStation or Nintendo 64 game. The frame rate issue was fixed in the DX version.
- As mentioned in #19 in the WIA section, the graphics have aged rather poorly when compared to most Sonic games today, as the game looks rather poorly rendered and the character animations are a bit uncanny and awkward as mentioned below in the Bad Qualities section.
- The English voice providing and translation aren't too bad, but are still poor. Some lines sound very weird, like "That's Eggman! I wonder what happened to Sonic?" from Tails' story, and Knuckles’ English voice is so bad it almost sounds like text-to-speech, Speaking of which, Big the Cat's voice is one of the most annoying voices you'll hear in the game, It sounds like Duke Nukem if he took drugs (once again due to Big being voiced by John St. John.). And the soldiers in station square don't seem a scared of Chaos by a bit
- While the multiple bosses are fun to fight, you'll have to fight some bosses multiple times if more than one character encounters them during the story, like Chaos 4. There are only two characters that don't fight Chaos: Amy and Gamma.
- On that note, the fights against another character, like Knuckles or Gamma, are ridiculously easy.
- Navigating the hub world can be confusing and tedious, especially in the jungle section of Mystic Ruins, where, due to the low quality of the leaves and the fact that invisible walls are everywhere, makes it a maze to navigate. Thankfully, Tikal can help you if you get lost.
- The collision detection is very broken: it's possible to glitch through the floor and fall out of bounds, in the town hub world it's very easy to get stuck on a door or a street lamp and colliding with some vertical surfaces at a high speed will stop you dead in your tracks.
- Some cutscenes have poor audio mixing (like the music being a tad louder than it should), lip-syncing is terrible because it isn't synchronized with the English dialogue and the character animations in the cutscenes are baffling, with the Sonic and Knuckles' facial expressions and Eggman moonwalking in some scenes being the highlights. Thankfully the animations were improved in the sequel, though the lip-sync is just as problematic.
- While the game has one of the best soundtracks in the Sonic series, some of the music doesn't sound very good, like "My Sweet Passion" (Amy's theme).
- The DX port (Also the Xbox Live Arcade/PSN/Steam ports which are based on DX) suffers from poor lighting, different textures, mono audio for some sound effects, lower-pitched ring collect sound, and having some glitches not in Dreamcast game due to the porting (though to be fair, it did fix some glitches too). This is very noticeable in the original PC version of the port which would be the basis for every future port. The DX version also lead to many misconceptions by detractors and created the false narrative of Sonic Adventure being a terrible game.
Sonic Adventure received generally favorable reviews from critics. The current GameRankings average ranking is 86.51%. It became one of the few Sega All-Stars games. The Japanese video game magazine Famitsu gave the game a score of 38/40. This became the 1# top seller Dreamcast worldwide.
Over the years, however, opinions on this game and its sequel have become very polarized among the fanbase. Some still consider it as one of the best Sonic games ever while a few people consider it flawed or outright bad due to the game being aged badly.
- From this game onwards, Dr. Robotnik is officially renamed to Dr. Eggman (his original Japanese name), even though he still calls himself Dr. Robotnik in this game.
- This was the first Sonic game to feature songs from the band Crush 40.
- This game has spawned a few memes, such as "Get a load of this!" from Dr. Eggman, "Something bugging you?" from Sonic, and most notably, "OH NO!" from Knuckles.
- Knuckles was originally going to have a Jamaican accent.
- To catch Froggy with Big The Cat, press down on your controller so it'll be easier than waiting for Froggy to bite the lure.
- If you're planning on getting the emblems in Sonic Adventure DX, use a guide or watch it on youtube so you'll be able to find out how to get all of the emblems.