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    Sonic Adventure
    Review by: BlackSun
      Publisher:
    Sega

    Developer:
    Sega Team

    Genre:
    3D Action/Adventure

    Price:
    $60 (Est.)

    Support:
    VMS

    Ship Date:
    9.9.99
     

    Click to enlargeChances are that when you buy yourself a Dreamcast the first game you will consider getting will be Sonic Adventure. In all honesty Iím not a huge fan of platform games. Maybe I have a problem with the almost juvenile aspects of those games, thinking Iím far to mature for a cute and cuddly title like that. Jam-packed with rainbows, flowers and all manner of child attracting devises. Well, Iím also willing to admit that Iíve been with video games since the beginning and recognize Sonic as being far more than an adorable little rodent. He is a staple of everything that Sega has come to represent in the gaming world. He has earned a place in our popular culture along with other famous game characters like Mario, Link and maybe even the likes of newcomers like Crash Bandicoot.

    Regardless of everything I have stated, I think Sonic Adventure is one of those games that canít be ignored. It is leaps and bounds above anything you have ever played. I had seen many pictures of this game before I first played it, and didnít think it looked much better than Mario64 and a lot of other Nintendo games. Boy was I wrong! I put the game into my Dreamcast and I could feel how excited I was getting. Honestly, I was almost giddy. The Dreamcast logo came and went, and Sonic Adventure began. My senses were invaded immediately, the incredibly crystal clear sights, the awesome sound and music. I was hooked, and this was only the games CG opening sequence, I hadnít even started playing it yet!

    Click to enlargeAs far as Sonic Adventure goes, the plot is fairly simple. Get the 7 Chaos Emeralds before EggHead does, otherwise his plan to turn the aquatic Creature named Chaos into the ultimate weapon will be realized. With the help of 6 playable characters, including old friends like Tails and Knuckles you work your way through the games many awe-inspiring levels. The game has a lot of what you have come to love about the Sonic titles. Lighting fast speed, loop de loops and rings of plenty. Where the similarities begin, the differences flourish. Sonic Adventure also includes a lot of other twists and mini-games. There is a high altitude attack on a huge air ship, while flying a biplane with Tails. There are bumper cars. There is also a tense, high speed run down a hill on a snowboard, with an avalanche giving chase. With all these little extras Sonic Adventure keeps you entertained and wondering what will be next. Another nice touch is that the game is not simply one level after another. There is a story that is played out, people to talk to, and places to visit. This game simply redefines the genre.

    In the graphics department I wasnít expecting too much. As I mentioned above, I didnít think they looked much better than the N64. Well, I changed my mind pretty quickly there. On the first stage I was being chased by a killer whale that was destroying a bridge as I was crossing it. Stage 2, I was sucked into, then was fighting my way though the eye of a tornado. These were 2 scenes in the game that grab the attention of anyone watching. They are simply amazing, and that is only the beginning! All the graphics are clear, crisp, and pixel free. Expect for minor pop-ups, it a sight to behold. I think to myself that games which have a more realistic theme are gonna be breath taking if something like Sonic can be so impressive. I can hardly wait to see the improvement once I get an S-Video cable.

    Click to enlargeSound is a factor in games that I find to be very important. Itís sets the mood and atmosphere as well as anything you see on screen. I think it goes without saying that a title like Sonic Adventure isnít gonna be a musical masterpiece. Still, the music serves itís purpose and gets the job done. The music is neither repetitive nor annoying. In fact the opening CG intro contained some rather heavy guitars licks, complete with lyric I found enjoyable and captivating. If there is any way you can hook your DC into a stereo I recommend you do it. Gaming sound and music used to be nothing more than beeps and blips, well times have changed, now itís another part of the gaming experience.

    Sonic Adventures gameplay is just great. With the mini-games and other variation itís a title that keeps you from boredom pretty well. Aside for the fact that I havenít gotten used to the controller yet it controls wonderfully. I think all the bad press the controller has received is a little unjustified. Admittedly it will take me some time to adjust to not holding the PSX Dual Shock.

    Click to enlargeWell in the end Iím very happy with not only the Dreamcast, but with Sonic Adventure as well. They have both met and exceeded all my expectations. I wish I could say I wasnít totally ignorant to the horrid camera problems and graphical glitches that plagued the Japanese version, but in the North American version I noticed nothing that really warranted any heavy complaints. I know Sega has a lot of people worried considering their rather disappointing past, but I truly believe that Sega has their act together for what is essentially a do or die situation. More power to them.

    My bottom line, Sonic Adventure deserves a...

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