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Sonic Adventure (XBLA)

When SEGA first announced their plans to re-relase some of the Dreamcast's great catalogue of games, they really had to start here, with the original Sonic Adventure. But have SEGA got the port right, and is it even worth playing the original 3D Sonic? CapnCloudchaser reveals all in this review.

When Sega announced that Dreamcast games would finally be making their way to Xbox Live and Playstation Network, a wave of excitement flooded the Internet. The number of possible classic games that would soon be available wetted our appetites as the first two ports were announced; Crazy Taxi and Sonic Adventure, the first 3D outing of a speedy blue hedgehog that has experienced numerous 3D iterations since. What was promised was a faithful port of these Dreamcast originals with some updated visuals and support for achievements, trophies and leaderboards. In that respect, Sonic Adventure delivers exactly what was promised. As well as remaining true to the eleven year old original, leaderboards and achievements are now available for your own pleasure, and a few other things have changed as well.

Those expecting a complete overhaul may well be disappointed, as the game itself is more or less the same Sonic Adventure that we have come to love, or hate, over the years, depending on your previous experience with the game. Gameplay is split between the six characters of Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Big the Cat and E102 Gamma, each character representing a different style of gameplay, whether it’s racing against Sonic, hunting for pieces of the master emerald, or, ahem, fishing, there is plenty of variety as well as sub games and virtual pet raising. Whilst I feel like I can’t defend poor old Big, the levels within Sonic Adventure are fun and not drawn out. I remember hating Knuckle’s treasure hunting from the sequel, yet in the original each stage is small enough to be completed within a few minutes, resulting in less frustration.

The adventure fields which can be explored are small enough not to become tedious, with exception to the maze-like jungle area of Mystic Ruins. Despite some complaints that it is difficult to work out where to go next in order to advance the story, there are monitors and glowing orbs which give obvious hints and tips, plus a summary of the main story is available should you quit and continue. Other tweaks have been added to the game in order to make it more user friendly, such as extra character help and tutorials within the options menu which are accessible at any time within the main menu.

Other additions to the Xbox Live Arcade port is the ability to choose between the auto and free camera as introduced within Sonic DX, although the camera can still remain a problem at times, and story cut-scenes can also be skipped. The Chao raising sub-game of Sonic Adventure has also received some upgrades, such as additional graphics within the gardens and race areas; the ability to name Chao’s and view their stats, and also the addition of the Chao Black Market from Sonic Adventure 2, which gives extra life to the Chao rearing.

The obvious noticeable differences lie within the graphics. It’s easy to see that the game has been polished somewhat, the character models themselves seem to have been given special attention and are de-blockified. However, it’s not until you compare the port with the Dreamcast version that you realise just how much of a HD facelift the game has received. It may not have the graphics that games created today have, but it is pleasing enough on the eye to be enjoyed. Sadly the port is bound by the evils of irremovable borders, which effectively stops the game from being displayed in widescreen, but this isn’t a massive problem.

But now comes the question.. Is this updated version of Sonic Adventure worth buying? Especially if you’re lucky enough to own the Dreamcast original?

I think so. Sega have delivered a port which covers all that was promised. A whole decade has passed since Sonic Adventure was first released; most of us grew up alongside Sega’s last console. The expectations of gamers has changed a lot since then and if it was to be judged alongside those games of today, I feel that it would obviously fall short. I had real fun playing through the game again though, and it wasn’t just nostalgia that powered that enjoyment. I remember how hard this game used to be when I was younger, and how easier it felt now. If you run with Sonic, he’ll give you a smooth ride, if you go against the path which the game sets you, then glitches will see you put back.

None of the gameplay itself has changed, warts and all. But honestly, those expecting a remake have missed the point of re-releasing classic Dreamcast games entirely. If you really didn’t like the original, then obviously, this is not for you. But if you missed out on Sonic’s first 3D adventure, then it is well worth trying.

For 800 points there is a lot of content here, from the six characters to medal collecting and also download content which upgrades the game even further to the DX version, Sonic Adventure on XBLA is good value. And let’s face it.. Your Dreamcast copy may not last forever.

Final Verdict: 4/5

20th March, 2012 - 13:12 GMT Tru Article viewed 1181 times 0 Comments

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