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SummaryThe game that introduced me to the Sonic world
The GoodSonic Adventure, released in 1999, was the blue blur's first foray into a fully three-dimensional world. It introduced a style that was decidedly different from the series' days on the Genesis, with a much bigger world and a plotline of a much grander scale. For longtime fans, this was likely fresh and unexpected, but for me it was my first experience of the hyper-fast 'hog and his friends' exploits against the nefarious Dr. Eggman, solidifying me as a huge fan of the series for years to come.
The gameplay is broken up into multiple playstyles involving six characters: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and Big the Cat and E-102 γ, both newcomers to the series at this point. Sonic's campaign features the standard, high-speed action the series is renowned for, giving him new abilities such as the homing attack, which has played an integral part in the gameplay of subsequent Sonic titles. Tails' game revolves around racing against his speedy buddy (and later, the Doctor) to prove his own strength and independence. Knuckles, after a scuffle with the game's major antagonist, has to search for pieces of the master emerald. Amy finds herself playing both the role of bodyguard and damsel in distress as she and a bird friend must escape the clutches of one of "Eggman's clunkers" (to quote an in-game line spoken by Sonic :p). Finally, Big is on a mission to rescue his always-escaping amphibian pal, Froggy, and E-102 provides an interesting story (and fun shooting gameplay) on whether or not a robot should obey the demands of his master, or embrace free-will.
Each of the characters' stories play out in a unique way, in which their actions are all happening at once, though we are seeing from one individual perspective (i.e. whichever character is played). They ultimately combine to lead to Sonic's faceoff against a brand new enemy, known as Chaos.
The graphics, though definitely showing their age nowadays, look great for the time period the game was released in. At this time, the level of detail found in Sonic Adventure's world was unprecedented, and surely wowed gamers at the time; ditto for the CGI intro in the game.
Much like high-speed action being the core part of the series, it wouldn't be a Sonic title without having an AWESOME soundtrack, and this one surely brings the sonic (pardon the pun) goods! From rock, to jazz and hip-hop, Sonic Adventure features a much more diverse soundtrack compared to the classic techno beats of the original games.
The BadThe game can be rather glitchy at times, likely owing to its nature as a launch title for the SEGA Dreamcast; characters can fall through stages and some mechanics can be clunky.
Being an early 3D platformer, it has the typical issues with the game camera- it can be uncooperative, unintuitive at times and causing many cheap deaths.
Whilst the plot is great, the voice acting can be a bit cheesy at times, not helped by the rather exaggerated movements of the characters' mouths and bodies, though again, this was at a time when such features in a game were unheard of (or, at least, new) and thus hadn't hit the stride of being high-quality yet.
Finally, the game is quite short and easy, with each of the non-Sonic characters having very brief campaigns (Sonic's has 10 total stages, whereas the others only have around 3-4), and bosses being easily taken down due to simple battle patterns (some of their A.I. can even be glitched, allowing you to beat them in a matter of seconds).