Right before his debut in the long awaited Sonic 4, the blue hedgehog is returning in a big bad way (emphasis on bad) in the recently re-released Sonic Adventure for the XBLA and PSN.
So is this the game you should play to get in the mood for Sonic 4? Hell no, and you can read our review to find out why you should stay far, far away from this title. The Baby Factor: If Sonic got together with huge amounts of smelly, unplayable poo, Sonic Adventure would be their brainless, mentally handicapped offspring.
Adam: Sonic Adventure is a difficult game to review because it’s obvious this game is targeting a specific audience, specifically old school Sonic fans that might be willing to forgive some of the issues I have with this game. While I enjoyed the first couple titles I never went past Sonic’s foray into the 3D world because at around that time I was discovering survival horror; so games like Resident Evil and Clock Tower 2 were taking up most of my time. I also never owned a Dreamcast, which might’ve played a role as well.
TJ: As much of a huge Sonic fan I was back when I was younger, I’d hate to say it, but this was the Sonic game that put a large nail in that speedy coffin. For whatever reason when you (Adam The Sex Dodd) said “hey lets co-op review this” I thought it was for Sonic 4, and once I started the game up and saw that it was Sonic Adventure I thought, shit.
Adam: I’ll admit I may have said “let’s review that new Sonic game” so I could make sure you would think I was talking about Sonic 4 and unsuspectingly fall into my trap so I’d have someone to share my pain with. Had I been experiencing Sonic Adventures for the first time when it came out over a decade ago I’m sure I would’ve been dazzled by its visuals and frenetic action. Instead as I find myself playing the game in between sessions of Halo: Reach and a handful of other new arcade titles, which might be souring the experience a bit.
TJ: Don’t worry, nothing could really sour the game experience more than the game itself. I recall trying my damnedest to stick with this game when it was out on the Dreamcast. I disliked the game itself so much I focused only on collecting as many Chao eggs as I could find.
Adam: Had Sega decided to throw a fresh coat of paint on the game before rereleasing it there’s a very good chance I would’ve enjoyed the game more than I did. Obviously, visuals aren’t everything but plenty of old school games have been ported to the PSN and XBLA with upgraded graphics. As it is, let’s just say Sonic Adventures hasn’t aged well. At all.
TJ: It truely hasn’t. And I had realized when I picked up Resident Evil 4 again that a lot of games don’t age well. Back when these games came out, the graphics litterally blew my face off. But when you get used to these next gen systems, it’s extremely hard to go backwards. And a lot of games i.e. Resident Evil 4 don’t look well on an HDTV. And the voice acting for Sonic Adventure, terrifying. This was really when voice acting started becoming bigger in games, but a lot of those older games just sound ridiculous.
Adam: Yeah, Resident Evil 4 hasn’t aged very well either, but the visuals aren’t the only issue, in fact they’re down the list a ways. I’d say my biggest issue with the game are the horribly awkward controls, a problem that’s plagued practically every Sonic game since he went 3D. What makes the controls worse is the frisky bastard the game calls a camera who went on the become my biggest adversary in the game. I’d constantly find myself falling off roads, missing important items and buttons that were (mostly) the fault of the dreadful camera.
TJ: The camera was most likely created by an intern over at Sega back in the day. The LEAST they could have done was fix that. You can’t even rotate the camera 360 degrees around you, and it by no means rotates smoothly. They needed to back the camera up a bit as well. You SHOULDN’T re-release a game like that without fixing obvious issues. It makes me mad they are charging 10 bucks for the game exactly as it was on the Dreamcast. However, I consider it worse because I don’t have a next gen VMU I can play with my little Chao pets on. It’s terribly hard to navigate the levels, the constantly rotating camera is a pain in my balls.
Adam: I’m surprised Sega would do something like this, with the fourth installment in the (still good!) Sonic side-scrolling series you would think they’d be worried giving gamers such a dreadful game might keep some people from buying Sonic 4. If you’re a hardcore fan of the Sonic series you should know two things: the first is you might very well enjoy this game if only for its nostalgic feeling, and the second is you’re a member of a dying race of human beings. The former means you should try the demo and see if those long lost fuzzy feelings return and the latter means you need to start reproducing quickly so you can instill in your kids how amazing Sonic is.
Adam’s Final Word: I wanted to like this game, I really did, but there’s essentially nothing worthwhile here even for the blue hedgehog’s dozen remaining friends.
TJ’s Final Word: I don’t really have anything good to say about this game. I used to love Sonic a long time ago. I have since been let down. I have not yet played, but I am excited for Sonic 4. Don’t buy this game.
This review is based on the Xbox 360 version of Sonic Adventure.