I find it easier to rack up higher scores in Action mode, surprisingly. The burning tiles acting in real time, independent of word submissions, means you can better coordinate getting rid of them on your terms. Very fun arcade puzzler, very fucked up that the way EA wants you playing it nowadays is a nightmarishly-animated remaster on a costly subscription-based website. Track down a cheap physical copy if you can--shockingly, the DS version may be the most content complete in its gameplay.
Pretty fun game, prefer it over Dead by Daylight, maybe because of bias. It captures the charm and feel of the franchise really well and is pretty fun to play with friends. Some minor issues with the combat mechanics not being too polished or complex, but that isn't a big deal if you're having fun.
An entire generation of children, now in their 20s, have gaslit themselves into believing that one of the worst platformers ever made is a classic. Imagine a Sonic game where the momentum and inertia are completely fucked, but it's in 3D and introduced Shadow the Hedgehog so everyone loves it
A note to aspiring developers: when making a 3D platformer, the player's movement acceleration should probably not make walking around feel like ice skating on frozen butter
Navigating Sonic Adventure’s legacy is difficult; it’s simultaneously a landmark title within console gaming and unquestionably the Dreamcast’s killer app while also featuring a wealth of discordant gameplay elements and many difficult-to-stomach aspects. As one of the first true AAA games, its legacy looms as large as contemporaries Ocarina of Time and Metal Gear Solid while struggling to achieve the same average quality throughout. Its inconsistencies have good merit thanks to being rooted in first-of-its-kind 3D traversal elements and a sense of locomotive freedom that few games would manage to touch in its wake. Weighing both its content in the absolute sense versus the context it arrived in is paramount to understanding its importance.
Sonic Adventure itself started in tech demos on Saturn hardware under the direction of the series' veteran programmer Yuji Naka. To my amusement, I must say that Naka's infamously abrasive personality rears its head often during this time period. Who else could start a development group called Sonic Team that not only refused to make a Sonic game for years in favor of new IPs but also sabotaged the actual American Sonic development team until their dissolution at the end of the Saturn years? Regardless, Naka and his team finally got to work on an initial NiGHTS-derivative engine that became a part of the Sonic Jam compilation, and afterwards they transitioned to a higher-tech engine developed in tandem with the burgeoning Dural/Katana project that eventually became the Dreamcast. While not a launch title for the system in Japan – which is unfortunate considering how tepid their starting lineup was – the game did make a holiday release date for 1998 in a slightly less-than-finished state, and it would arrive stateside a year later during the legendary 9/9/99 western Dreamcast launch. It still stands as the best-selling Dreamcast game at 2.5 million copies sold; not bad at all for a system that only sold a little over 9 million units to begin with.
It would be negligent to say that Sega had a difficult time adjusting to 3D gaming; in fact, Sega's arcade output at the start of the 3D era is without question the most impressive of any developer at the time. The company had developed important early works in the racing genre (Daytona USA, Sega Rally Championship), the first 3D fighter (Virtua Fighter), and a multitude of smooth polygonal experiences in other genres (Virtual-On, House of the Dead, Dynamite Cop). However, adjusting to the conventions of console 3D gaming was a different issue altogether. The Genesis and Saturn were both arcade-port powerhouses in their own right, and much of their console-exclusive output up to that point had not strayed far from those design elements. While Sega was perfecting spectacle platformers such as Shinobi, Sonic, and Castle of Illusion, Nintendo was laying the groundwork for their exploration-focused 3D work with games like Super Mario World, Yoshi’s Island, Link to the Past, and Super Metroid. The latter style proved to have better staying power with the growing trend towards longer experiences and more approachable gameplay; a reality that hit Sega hard when their arcade-focused Saturn bombed in America. Sega truly had some of the best game developers in the world working for them, but how could they translate their frenetic, short-and-sweet design to a more fully-fleshed game? Sonic Adventure at its core is an answer to this question, and viewing it through this lens makes some of its more unwieldy design choices seem rational in a trail-blazing era for 3D gameplay.
Sonic Adventure is a lean 11 platforming levels, all tightly choreographed for breakneck speed and glamorous setpieces. On first boot you start as Sonic, firstly in a brief fight against primordial antagonist Chaos and then in the first true stage Emerald Coast. Without question this strongly sets the tone and design language of the rest of the game: heavily-scripted events such as the whale chase, dashes across sweeping pathways that swirl around the screen, creative use of verticality, and a wide variety of obstacles. The graphical fidelity can also not go unmentioned; at the time this would've been possibly the best looking game you could play outside of the arcades. Even playing the game today hooked up with VGA cables it still looks incredibly crisp. No more blurry N64 textures or twitchy PSX polygons: this was the future of console graphics.
Of course, little imperfections in the engine pop out quickly. The physics and collision are obviously patchy and struggle to keep Sonic in check when actions the game doesn’t expect occur, such as holding incorrect directions during some tight turns or spin dashing in the middle of loop-de-loops. Later stages with more varied terrain make Sonic’s character judder and certain edges will catch him, stopping him in his tracks. Indeed, the optimization model of 3D Sonic is an odd one: memorization of specific physics interactions on given terrain features serves as the major hurdle when shaving off seconds from best times. Rather than explicit obstacles in the environment being the main hurdle, knowing how to work within the limitations and quirks of the engine yields the best results. This may be one of the particular reasons a lot of players dislike these games, and to be fair it bucks convention on how games provide challenge within story-driven works such as this. Generally obstacles to the player are driven by the scenario, such as engaging enemies explained through the narrative or avoiding setting-specific hazards such as sand pits or missile turrets. Sonic Adventure features all of these and more of course, but the nature of the high speed and often unintuitive character-environment interactions destroys the immersion. In essence it’s the difference between “I need to jump over this enemy and then run to the left around the spikes” and “I need to hold the left stick at this specific angle to avoid flying through a wall or getting stuck in a spot on the ground.” If you derive more enjoyment from the play optimization than the immersion, this may not matter much to you. It’s difficult for me to put a valuation on this conceptually given that so many people will react to this style of play differently; for me it feels fucking sweet when it works and frustrating as hell when it doesn’t.
In this entry in particular I can excuse some of the bugginess for simply being a little messy on the first outing. Sonic himself handles remarkably well in this iteration compared to even SA2 or Heroes; he has the exact right amount of twitchiness without being unable to make precise movements, and he stops on a dime unlike some of his slippier later outings. His spin dash from the original games can now be fired off instantly, allowing the player to maintain or regain speed with little effort. This alone makes his handling here my favorite in the pre-boost era precisely because it’s a straight-up free boost, and it frankly feels more organic with the light charging it has rather than just utilizing a limited resource. The biggest addition to his arsenal is unquestionably the homing attack, which gives Sonic the ability to dash forward in midair towards an enemy or object when the jump button is pressed. This particular tool truly actualized this series thanks to the flexibility it offers in the trickier platforming sections, as well as keeping combat from killing Sonic's momentum. Without the extra layer of control the homing attack offers in how it tightly couples Sonic to interactables and allows for reaction-based aerial maneuvering, I’m not sure how any of these level designs would have been feasible.
No single level takes much longer than five minutes to complete, so to increase the runtime of Sonic's slice of the game you spend a significant amount of time navigating hub worlds to open up each level. For new players this is likely the first truly noxious part of the game, and for experienced players this is likely trivially tedious. The story is fully linear and requires you to navigate to the right location to trigger the next event, thought occasionally it necessitates locating a particular power-up or plot key. I found this endlessly confusing as a child, though thankfully the developers included a hint system with no penalties that does an okay job of pointing you in the right direction.
Every actual level is pure gold. The zone system from the originals quietly reemerges here as both a transition point for your Dreamcast to loudly load the next area and a shift in theme, music, and visuals. Consider Windy Valley, where a tornado terrorizes an idyllic countryside scene Sonic is moving through before he is eventually sucked up into it. Forced to ascend the storm to escape, he finally breaks the vortex to rush through a dreamy, calm sky. Each of these levels varies its environments and narrates Sonic’s journey in their own subtle way, from Speed Highway’s nighttime police chase giving way to a yawning sunbreak, or Red Mountain’s craggy exterior descending into an active volcano. Compared to its collectathon contemporaries, which mainly preferred to compartmentalize different modes of play in different regions, this game instead chooses to thrust you into new events every few minutes with very little repetition, giving the levels an organic flow that heightens the sense of speed. There are snowboarding sections, switch puzzles, bumper car races, haunted ruins, and so many more spectacular moments in store. I would go as far as to say this is probably my favorite 3D Sonic experience in the whole series.
Connecting all of this is the story, which never moves forward in any meaningful way beyond Dr. Eggman repeatedly powering up Chaos with the Chaos Emeralds from previous games. Every one you collect as a goal for a level inevitably gets taken from you during a cutscene with no player input. Sonic and Tails get soundly trumped over and over again by anticlimatically taking a thud across the head or tripping and letting the emerald fly from their hands, often after supposedly defeating a form of Chaos or another boss. Even defeating Eggman takes two attempts of flying up to his gigantic Egg Carrier fortress to do it right (both of these flight sequences feature a neat Panzer Dragoon-esque rail shooter segment as a distraction). They are without a doubt some of the most useless protagonists in a game of this time.
Finally, after a climatic battle with Eggman, Sonic succeeds in stopping Chaos from being unleashed onto the world and returns to the main hub, Station Square, for some well-deserved R&R. At this point, if you have been playing as Sonic exclusively, you have probably clocked around 2 hours on the game. Credits roll. This is for all intents and purposes the end of the game, or at least the “novel” content contained within it. Thus begs the question: how did Sonic Team fill out the rest of the game? I have already extensively covered how Sonic Team successfully translated spectacle platformer concepts to 3D, but how did they synthesize this with the dominant content-stuffed design strategies of the time?
Over the course of the game you unlock a total of six playable characters as you encounter them in story sequences. Each character has a Rashomon-style perspective on the story with a unique playstyle and progression through the levels you have already played. The ultimate key to stretching out this rather short game that Sonic Team settled on was repurposing elements of Sonic’s stages to create new campaigns staring each of his companions. Frankly, I find this a perfectly adequate solution that strategically reuses assets to give the game a fresh veneer each time you play through it. However, the execution leaves so much to be desired that it unfortunately hinders the quality of the overall product. Sonic Adventure has an excellent Sonic game enclosed within the bloat of a much more middling product.
The Tails and Knuckles campaigns tend to be most peoples' runner-up favorite behind Sonic due to their more conventional gameplay. Tails' campaign thematically focuses on an arc that sees his independence blossom and his self-conception flourish as more than just Sonic's partner (or at least this is gestured towards in his unique cutscenes). His gameplay focuses on racing opponents through Sonic's levels (usually against Sonic himself) while taking advantage of his flight abilities. Knuckles, on the other hand, seeks to find pieces from the shattered Master Emerald throughout open-roam segments of each level. This “collect all X items” design was smartly cribbed from the successful 3D platformers before it, though to speed things up the developers included a nifty radar that gives a warm-cold measurement of your distance from each of the three shards in each stage.
Tails’ campaign is passable at best but overall lacks much of the panache and originality of Sonic’s levels. The level designers rather conspicuously leave giant flight boost contraptions littered throughout carbon copies of segments from Sonic's levels, which feels telegraphed to the point of boredom. The segment played tends to be just a single zone, meaning that an overall Tails level can take less than 90 seconds to beat, and the paucity of alternate paths within these sections compared to their original versions unfortunately increases their linearity. To make matters worse, Tails spends much of the story alongside Sonic, which means that you must rewatch many of the same cutscenes and fight multiple identical bosses. Even the aforementioned rail shooter sections must be played again with absolutely no modification. The only truly unique segments are one of the snowboarding segments and a forgettable final boss in a game already chock-full of forgettable bosses. These factors combine to make Tails' campaign seem like a lesser retread of Sonic' campaign.
The Knuckles campaign is the most well-realized of all of the non-Sonic campaigns thanks to the aforementioned ease of the item-search concept. He retains his unique moves from his earlier appearances such as the ability to climb any wall and glide endlessly, both of which do an excellent job letting the player explore in all directions with significant verticality. These bear the weight of allowing the player to meander through and recontextualize areas they had previously traversed at the blink of an eye. However, it's hard not to compare the design of his levels here to his later Sonic Adventure 2 environments, which featured much more intricate and memorable locales (though with plenty of issues of their own). His levels here simply expand upon Sonic’s segments, and even with randomized shard locations no one should have trouble finding each piece within a few minutes time for each stage. Thankfully he does have a significant amount of bespoke rooms that give his areas some individuality. He has a single unique boss (the bouncy Chaos 2), yet he also has to fight two bosses that you have already fought in other campaigns. One of these bosses, Chaos 4, is present in Tails' campaign as well, meaning you fight it three times overall with absolutely no change in difficulty or strategy. Overall, I've found his campaign never fully capitalizes on its potential while still potentially being the best of the non-Sonic bunch.
The other three campaigns make up the more experimental side of the game, though with results just as mixed as the previously mentioned characters. Amy reappears from Sonic CD, effectively cementing her as a main cast member for many games afterwards. Her gameplay focuses on light puzzle and stalker elements as she attempts to escape from Eggman's robot ZERO. E-102 Gamma appears initially as one of Eggman's robot henchmen and later a defector, with a shoot-em-up gameplay style that would later reappear in Sonic Adventure 2. Finally, and most infamously, Big the Cat debuts for a brief fishing campaign focused on rescuing his emerald-mutated friend Froggy. These three are all interesting attempts at trying to spice up gameplay for the preexisting levels, stretching the variety to a point where no other 3D Sonic would try to go.
Out of all six main stories, Amy's three-level long story seems the slightest even with the interesting ideas it contains. While the ZERO chase mechanic consistently drives the action forward, the gameplay in this section feels rather plodding thanks to Amy’s poor acceleration. She feels sluggish when running from a stop and especially when walking up slopes. Her saving grace is her Piko Piko Hammer, which not only serves as her weapon of choice but gives her a nifty bit of momentum when used in the air, as well as allowing her to vault when running at her top speed. This meandering pace may have been a deliberate design choice to keep Amy from having too much of a leg up on the robot trailing her, as ZERO isn't remotely hard to escape from due to the scripted nature of its appearances and its heavily-telegraphed attacks. In a few places barrels that you can hide in are available, but using them is frankly a waste of time and comes across as an afterthought. Each level has a puzzle or two to solve while playing keep away with ZERO as well, which fit the nice adventure game niches such as “use the funhouse mirrors to detect where ground exists” or “put each cube in its color-coded slot.” With just some touch-ups to the controls, this campaign could have felt more playable, if still not enthralling. It would also significantly help if her iteration of Hot Shelter wasn’t three times longer than either of her other stages. Her story leaves very little to speak about as well, with Amy attempting to escort a Flicky carrying a Chaos Emerald back to its parents.
Gamma draws the aforementioned lock-on gun feature from Panzer Dragoon and attaches it to a steadily-dropping timer that you can only boost by killing enemies. An upgrade later in the game adds a hover as well, making his movement surprisingly versatile combined with his smooth gliding speed. While this is a great concept, the actual levels are extremely short with generous timers that render the whole time attack mechanic pointless. However, Gamma's final level Hot Shelter shines through as a premier moment for the game as a whole. This level has an actual threat of failure from time-over due to a length on par with one of Sonic's levels, and shows off a great sequence where Gamma hops between two parallel trains blasting shooting galleries of robots. Constant targets appear in view from badniks to bombs to door latches, and various small environment puzzles such as changing the rotation of a large gear to use as a staircase pepper the hectic proceedings. Even though the shooting is simplistic, there's a real sense of carnage with the sheer volume of enemies and destructible environments. A full game in this style could have been a great turn-of-the-millennium new IP for Sega (Gunvalkyrie is vaguely similar), and it's a shame that it only reappeared in Sonic Adventure 2 with longer, duller stages. Gamma's story also has the most depth to it out of any of the non-Sonic stories, with many unique cutscenes detailing Gamma's training and eventual decision to destroy each robot in its line to free the animal inside. With some more meat on its bones, this could have been easily the second-best portion of the game other than the main Sonic story.
It's worth bringing up the usual Sonic Adventure cutscene criticisms at this point. This game has the pretense of having a serious story but suffers from the usual late-'90s laughable acting and stiff translation you'll find in lesser games of the era, leading the actual plot to become muddled. There's no real cinematic quality to the cutscenes thanks to the lack of camera movement and lifeless framing, and the staid dialogue makes watching each one a chore. The Dreamcast original offers no skip feature as well, and since multiple cutscenes must be watched repeatedly between the separate stories, waiting for them to end becomes a strain. At the very least the over-expressive character animation is pretty funny to watch for a few minutes.
This leaves us with Big's story. The brunt of the game here is fishing directly cribbed from Sega Bass Fishing, where one must cast their rod, manually reel in their lure, successfully hook a fish, and then play the line while reeling it in without exerting too much tension. In each level the only objective is to catch Froggy, Big's mutated companion, and with a little practice you can complete each in under a minute, though other fish can be caught as well to contribute to an overall weight total. The core elements are here, and thanks to a smattering of secret fishing holes and no timer this can become a relaxing diversion to the main game. Unfortunately the game relays much less information about its mechanics than its source material, and it is unfortunately unintuitive without the on-screen prompts and frequent fisher vocalizations of SBF. I'm not sure that this campaign really warrants the intense negativity it receives on its core gameplay alone. However, outside of these mechanics the campaign amplifies all of the issues mentioned up to this point: irrelevant cutscenes, extremely short stages, and a heavy focus on hub exploration. On repeat plays I’ve found this story in particular more enjoyable when tuning out these extraneous elements, but I’m reluctant to pretend like a fresh player wouldn’t encounter significant roadblocks to thriving in this fishing engine until they learn the ropes.
All of these stories are wrapped up in sequences where each story member inexplicably travels to the past and witnesses scenes from an Aztec-inspired Echidna kingdom where Chaos hails from. The game’s hint and info system (represented by a floating orange ball floating through the hub and levels) is actually the spirit of the chieftain's daughter, who befriends Chaos because he protects these creatures named Chao that reside with the Chaos Emeralds. Each character gets a unique slice of these past events to witness and their events are completely out of order, with Sonic witnessing the final destruction of the village with no context given. The ambition is certainly there and piecing together the plot from these gives a little more weight to playing each of the separate stories, but the way they are woven into each cast members’ personal story feels patchwork and often not reflected upon in any meaningful way by the characters.
Speaking of the Chao, these creatures are included as an optional virtual pet feature via a “Chao Garden” placed in each hub area. These draw from the A-Life system the dream inhabitants used in NiGHTS, a background mechanic so unintrusive it would not be surprising if you missed it completely. Each Chao you raise can be given small animals found in each level to boost their stats for races against computer-controlled Chao, and they can also be transferred to the Dreamcast's VMU memory cards as a Tamogatchi-style pet. This is a rather feature-rich part of the game if you're into that sort of thing. Having spent dozens of hours as a child in Sonic Adventure 2 Battle's further-developed Chao Gardens, I really have never spent any time raising Chao in this game, but my exposure to it indicates it has many identical features and a similar incentive to grind for stat boosts by playing and replaying levels.
I've levied plenty of criticism over the course of the review so far, but playing this on a Dreamcast over the last couple years after many years on the inferior Gamecube port has given me a bittersweet appreciation for just how ambitious Sonic Team went with this title. Regardless of all of the padding I've brought up, the main campaign is easily in the 10-hour range, which is no small feat for a game of this era. Each character has three separate goals for each stage as well, encouraging at least three playthroughs of every level with each character in the game. The strict targets in the time attack missions in particular provide a skill objective for dedicated players. Big's missions specifically flesh out his stages into a full-fledged fishing game with weight goals to hit and a variety of fish to catch. Completing each goal scores you one of 130 emblems in the game’s gesture towards the trappings of a collectathon, and further emblems can be found throughout the game’s world and for small side tasks. Unfortunately, there’s no bonus to be received for collecting all of these besides self-satisfaction.
Along with the impressive amount of content, the graphics are rendered particularly gorgeously. The hub environments and varied levels showcase what the Dreamcast could do with first-party hands on the wheel, particularly with the tasteful lighting engine unique to only the original release. Chaos itself has a translucent, amorphous quality to its body that mutates constantly in each fight as a superb effect. Many settings in the game also feature plenty of little touches, such as NPC storylines in the hub worlds that progress along with the player and a scripted day-night cycle that alters the ambiance. Eggman's Egg Carrier is rendered in impressive detail even though you barely spend any time in it outside of Gamma's story. There's even a small Angel Island from Sonic 3 for you to visit with a broken Master Emerald. These continuity nods also appear with many of the enemies, whom draw from actual Genesis-era Sonic baddies in some cases. It’s evident that Sonic Team aimed to make Sonic Adventure a visual showpiece for the console and exert what true AAA graphics could look like in the shift to the sixth generation.
This small point on the Genesis-era callbacks indicates to me that Sonic Adventure was really a transitional game from the mischievously fantastical style of the originals to the tween-culture-focused sequel and beyond. More often than Sonic Adventure 2 does this game feel like it tries to summon the cheery emotional range and tightly-wound level design of its forebears. The only thing preventing the team from concocting a full extension of the classics is the need to provide what a consumer expected in terms of late-90s game length. What you're left with is a tightly-designed core game that was inflated to be a sprawling introduction to the Dreamcast in all of its sloppy aims, visionary design choices, and awkward attempts to extrapolate Sega’s arcade-centric design philosophy to the home. Even the final battle against Perfect Chaos, unlocked only after every other characters' story has been completed, throws a new angle into the mix with a controllable Super Sonic. This battle feels unfortunately undercooked as Sonic responds poorly to precise movements and requires a specific velocity in order to actually damage Chaos, which causes precious time to be wasted repeating certain sections. In many ways this fight is the microcosm of the experience as a whole: visually stunning, immaculate in the wide variety of moods it summons for its child audience, but compromised in key areas that make actually attempting to engage with the game difficult.
The amount of features in this game are staggering compared to many games of that era, and it would be hard for me to cover any more of them without making this review way too long to read. This game even had some of the earliest DLC through Sega's internet service, with seasonal events changing the hub worlds and adding small missions with extra content. In many ways, Sonic Adventure provides an expansive sampler to the many flavors of Sega. Their flamboyant blue-sky visual stylings, eclectic mix of design chops, and furious attempts to center jolts of pure gameplay excellence over long-form sagas all are exhibited here. Open references to their other IPs and winking nods to their extensive legacy abound. Perhaps more than solely existing as the Dreamcast’s calling card, this game crystallizes the Sega aesthetic as it existed before their dying days. The question of flash-in-the-pan gameplay versus extended content funnel serves as the dichotomy hindering their success all the way back to this point. It is only fitting, then, that Yakuza would eventually usurp the blue hedgehog as Sega’s tour de force property, as it welds the melting pot of different engines and wild array of moods into the decades-long epic the company needed to draw dedicated fans into.
I must also touch upon the music from this game, as it is possibly the best soundtrack in the whole franchise. Legendary Sega composer Jun Senoue really broke out with this game, and his playfully melodic guitar leads define much of the feeling and attitude of this era of Sonic games. Unlike some of his later soundtracks, this game features a broad range of instrumentation that blend nicely with the FM synth sound of the original classics. Orchestral, industrial, lounge, jungle, and hip-hop all collide with Senoue's guitar to create the most consistently interesting soundtrack in the series. As mentioned prior, each level features multiple internal acts that change the backing track while maintaining the motif, a feat that modern Sonic games should take note of. Some characters even get unique themes for stages, including the yawning slide guitar for Big's version of emerald coast. I love his Fish Caught! theme that leans into angular sputtering synths reminiscent of Takenobu Mitsuyoshi's work on Virtua Fighter. Elsewhere the sounds presage dance-punk, such as the much-loved Speed Highway theme, which veers into jungle without missing a beat. Venture into the Mystic Ruins and experience tumbling and jilted rhythms overlayed with washy pan flute and indecipherable praises, or drop into Casinopolis and its Latin Jazz-tinged Vegas revue. I could continue on and on like this (the soundtrack is insanely long) but rest assured that every new concept, every stage transition, every mood, vibe, and affect are all captured here in their full glory, showcasing the genius of a studio already well-acquainted with CD-quality audio and lovingly orchestrated soundtracks.
Much like the game itself, there’s many discordant threads running through this piece, so I’ll try to summarize my main design takeaways from Sonic Adventure into some key points.
First: Sonic Adventure benefits greatly from its permissive yet simple toolkits per character. Each character has a well-defined set of ways to traverse space and deal with obstacles that overlap in key ways without becoming samey.
Second: Sonic Adventure thrives when it is presenting new content and shocking the player visually. Its design patterns reward delighting the average player and delivering totally new obstacles instead of iterating on older ones. I would argue that it requires this for success even more than its peers, which featured slower paced levels, frequent backtracking, incentives for exploration, and toolkits based around these facets. Sonic Adventure’s toolkits are not built for this outside of Knuckles, who most closely resembles the playstyle of the game’s contemporaries.
Third: Sonic Adventure struggles to stretch out its systems in meaningful ways beyond simply switching the script up entirely. This creates a highly uneven experience exacerbated by the game’s rough physics/collision and unequal attention to each member of its cast.
Fourth: Sonic Adventure attempts to create new experiences across its many playable characters but suffers from the choice to repeat parts of the game without alteration (or with small edits) across its campaigns. These repeated sections are often the weakest parts of the game: cutscenes, hub exploration, and bosses. The overabundance of these elements have caused me personally to dislike this game quite a bit in the past. Replaying stages from the Trial menu absent of these external factors has given me a greater appreciation for the game’s particular gameplay stylings; the extra padding around these levels is unfortunately a detractor from the experience.
Fifth: Despite these criticisms, Sonic Adventure encapsulates much of Sega’s charm and design at a time when they were making a last stand in industry based on the talent of their creators alone. Its ambition and scope took the company in very different directions than similar studios; emphasizing the head-rush of exhilarating spectacle rather than more inquisitive exploration-based outings in the collectathon subgenre. Finally, their emphasis on speed and player expression in 3D environments cemented the Sonic series as providing satisfying tactile experiences unavailable in virtually any other series.
"Do cool ninja shit faster to do more damage" is a simple gameplay concept, but boy is it a good one.
Probably the most PS2 game of all time. It literally screams PS2. The camera sucks, the main character is a futuristic ninja, it's arcadey enough that it could be on an cabinet, it's consoley(?) enough that you can play it without caring about the high score, it's going to kick your ass, you're going to call it a piece of shit when you die, and the soundtrack sounds like my Bandcamp recommendations. That's the PS2 babey....
Played this last August at BitSummit and laughed like an idiot at the showfloor over and over til the Nintendo booth employee just let me stay past my time limit. I doubt this will ever be localized but it's one of the funniest game experiences I've ever had. Hope more people check this one out
Okay I got addicted to this. I am so happy to playing all these different types of games, there are so many fresh ideas around in these smaller titles. The art style and music really invokes CastleVania but the simple gameplay really shines. A fun light version of bullet hell and roguelike. Really fun. A finished all the cycles but I want to play more for fun.
A short but beautifully crafted voyage through a deserted landscape. The maritime industrial aesthetics of this game really struck a chord with me. I was in awe the whole time traversing these lands.
There is not much story here, nor are there many obstacles, there is only a journey all on your own.
one of the best stories and experiences in the horror genre all around to this day.
the amount of layers in the story here is actually insane you could spend a long ass time analyzing some of the scenes here.
And not to mention the total bizarre atmosphere this game has all around, amplified even more with the voice acting that just gives you the feeling something is off. its really just one of the best, team silent were truly a master of their craft.
the amount of layers in the story here is actually insane you could spend a long ass time analyzing some of the scenes here.
And not to mention the total bizarre atmosphere this game has all around, amplified even more with the voice acting that just gives you the feeling something is off. its really just one of the best, team silent were truly a master of their craft.
I honestly can't really finish this. Not a fan of the story or the gameplay, it's just very uninteresting to me unfortunately. RPG styled games have kinda run their course for me in any case, a genre I don't look forward to that much anymore. Very repetitive play styles I just really can't power myself through.
All things considered though, at least the PS4 port is somewhat playable if that's worth anything.
This review contains spoilers
the areas, colors, and music are all gorgeous. the gameplay was very smooth, albeit a bit clunky at times but not enough to cause frustration. collectibles seem pretty easy to find, which is nice as the areas can be quite massive.
the story was interesting but the conversations between Rei and Echo after every Remnant boss felt like each party was talking to a brick wall. but it did feel very enlightening towards the very end when all of the pieces fell together and I realized why things were the way they were. and as for the ending where you destroy the starseed, that was an incredible ending. I was pretty much mesmerized. definitely recommend and might go for the platinum trophy later down the line.
First read I laughed at Kinzo in that iconic opening
This time I felt like Kinzo
Quite simply, not only one of the greatest RPGs but a clear contender for one of the best games ever made.
I will never forget this one & in a way I’m bizarrely thankful it took a remake 30 years later to get to play it, it would have almost ruined other games in the genre for me.
A fantastic and sprawling story, a wonderful battle system and fight mechanics, and some great characters only slightly let down by the rigid job system put in place. It really scratched that itch left by Final Fantasy Tactics, allowing me to put hours into battle strategies and upgrades whilst telling a compelling story which can be very different between playthroughs.
For any sequel (please), it would be nice to have some freedom of job switching, as very quickly you settle on a set of core characters who have the best jobs (Anna, Medina) and quickly forget about those who barely offer anything (Groma, Lionel). A fantastic game worth the time of any strategy fan.