Review: Sonic Adventure (PS3)

Title: Sonic Adventure
Format: PlayStation Network Download
Release Date: September 21, 2010
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Sonic Team
Price: $9.99 / $4.99 Director’s Cut Add-On

Sonic Adventure was the flagship title for the Dreamcast releasing alongside the console in September 1999.  You control one of six different characters (seven with the DLC) through a series of 3D action adventure platforming, exploration and mini games (including fishing?!?) .  As such, the gameplay is a mixed bag of sorts.  You’ll start off as Sonic and slowly unlock the other characters as you play through the levels.  With Sonic and Tails, you’ll be doing a lot of familiar platforming within a 3D environment.   Amy’s sections are a slower paced affair which have her fighting and running from enemies.  Knuckles has some of the better gameplay as you get to climb, glide and explore levels looking for shards of a Chaos Emerald while fighting enemies.  E102 has an overpowered weapon to blast away at enemies in a kind of third person shooter and Big the Cat… well, he goes fishing.  The DLC gives you sixty new levels and access to Metal Sonic, but to use them, you have to unlock all the other characters in the game first so that’s something to consider before buying this content.

When the game is good, it can be a lot of fun but when it’s bad, it can be downright awful.  The mini games are hit or miss but the Casino area in particular has some really fun stuff, especially the pinball games which, when played well, can go on for a half hour or more.  The camera is still a mess at times even working against you in some instances.  I did find the game much easier to control with the DualShock than the original Dreamcast controller as I was able to fly through most levels with Sonic picking up many more rings than I could in the original.

If you’ve played the game before, you won’t be surprised by anything here as it’s a direct port with no real changes beyond the visuals.

For its time, Sonic Adventure was a showcase for the power of the Dreamcast and it actually holds up quite well.  For this port, the graphics have been bumped up to 720p while retaining the original 4:3 aspect ratio.  Everything is much smoother than the original Dreamcast release and the colors are brighter and more vibrant.  I didn’t experience any slow down in the game compared to places that did chug along in the original.  Overall, it’s a good representation of the original game with a nice little bump in textures.

The audio sounds great for the most part.  All the sounds you’d expect in a Sonic title from the jumping to the rings and so on are all perfectly recreated in this port.  Each character gets their own style of music during play and they all fit quite nicely but it can get repetitive in some places so if you don’t like it, it’s really going to get on your nerves.  The voice acting was a novelty at the time but it’s just flat out awful.  It’s easily some of the worst voice acting you’ll ever hear in a game.  The one saving grace is that’s it’s so bad that it gets to be laugh out loud funny in some places.

Is this game worth it?  It really depends how you felt about the original.  If you enjoyed it then, you may still enjoy it now.  The addition of trophies and leaderboards along with the better graphics just might be enough to draw you in.  If you’ve never played it, that’s a bit tougher.  This certainly isn’t the best Sonic game ever released and while the original received very high review scores, with the passage of time, this port has been getting thrashed in the gaming press.  While it can get pretty bad in some places, the game is definitely a new experience for any casual Sonic fan unfamiliar with the original Dreamcast version and probably worth a look.  Just don’t expect greatness.  If this was the original game with no upgrades whatsoever I’d probably give it a C but with the trophies, leaderboards and graphics bump, I think it deserves a little more.


Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 26 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation.

Josh is currently the US PR & Marketing Manager for Fountain Digital Labs and has recused himself from any involvement on PS Nation arising from posting or editing any news or reviews stemming from FDL.

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