A turd of supersonic proportions.
Format: Sega Dreamcast, now available for several other platforms
Original Release Date: December 23, 1998
Synopsis: Sonic the Hedgehog makes his big jump into the world of 3D games, starring in a story-driven adventure which sees him fight (alongside an ever-growing crew of friends) against the evil Doctor Robotnik (now rechristened Eggman) and a mysterious being named Chaos.
Each character has their own separate campaign with their own specific tasks. Sonic, in traditional Sonic form, is made for blasting through levels at speed. Other characters, such as Knuckles or Big the Cat, have specific tasks such as finding chaos emerald fragments or fishing.
In between the main levels there’s a bit of exploration, random minigames and lots of other stuff to see and do. Is it really worth doing? Read on for more…
Interestingly enough, Sonic Adventure was critically acclaimed when first released, with many praising its scope, gameplay and graphics.
Unfortunately, playing said game in 2016 isn’t quite the same. Sonic Adventure is a gloriously buggy mish-mash of a game with sub-par voice acting, a confusing, convoluted plot and may be single-handedly responsible for starting the decline of Sonic as he wandered into full 3D games.
One of the most frustrating things about Sonic Adventure is it could have been great. There are moments of glory; particular highlights include blasting through levels at breakneck speed as Sonic. Unfortunately, the controls are so fiddly, and the camera is so rubbish, that any input from the player when moving at speed may mean instantaneous death. At least fifteen times during this game I died through no fault of my own; the game simply couldn’t keep up with its mechanics and thought it was better to kill me rather than own up to its mistakes.
It may be a result of the era it was made in, but Sonic Adventure’s voice acting is among the worst I’ve ever heard. Characters speak with all the emotion of a braindead spoon with weird, stilted pauses at weird moments. There’s even a section where Robotnik is literally running on the spot for about two minutes trying to get to an elevator that’s two feet in front of him.
Adventure really suffers because it feels like more than one game squashed together to make a whole. The story makes no sense unless you play through as every character, but it would be much better if the game switched between characters for you and kept the plot in chronological order. Instead you’re meant to pick up the pieces yourself and it quickly becomes tiresome. On top of that, there’s no direction in Sonic Adventure; in between the Action Stages, you’re tasked with wandering a sort-of hub world to find obscure items to open obscure areas and it’s utterly, totally pointless.
There’s not a lot great here to be salvaged, but the core ideas are decent at times. Sonic’s level of speed is impressive for the time, while the overall scope of the game is equally impressive. Unfortunately the execution isn’t the best, and Sonic Adventure just isn’t a good time.
- Some fun to be had blasting through stages as Sonic
- Half-decent soundtrack
- Really, really buggy
- Instant death due to glitches
- Terrible voice acting
- Disjointed storyline
- Frustrating gameplay
- Annoying, directionless hub world exploration
A painful Sonic game. It may even be worse than Sonic 06 (and that, my friends, is a gloriously massive turd of a videogame).
I can’t recommend you play this one at all.
- WHERE’S FROGGY?
- Why on earth is it possible to pick up a man outside the burger joint and carry him around?
- Please don’t make me ever play this again