With friends like these……..
The 5 other characters all feature their own unique gameplay elements divorced from the traditional Sonic formula with the exception of Tails. These diversions were added to lengthen the gameplay but ultimately fail. Each character arc is shorter than the previous and full of repetitive game elements. Fishing as Big the Cat is boring and feels like it belongs in a different game. I can appreciate the sentiment but if you’re not going to put the time to make these added elements up to the same standard as the main game don’t bother. There is some incentive to play through all of them however, which I won’t spoil. This is where the meme of “Sonic and his shitty friends” was born, a trend that would continue in subsequent games.
Upon its US release Sonic Adventure was one of the most visually stunning games in the industry, let alone the genre. Texture quality, special effects, art direction, you name it Sonic Adventure has it in spades. Although the frame rate chugs every now and then it doesn’t detract from the visual bliss on display. After 5 years of PlayStation and N64 games that barely managed a stable 20 frames per second seeing Sonic Adventure was a virtual revelation. Not so hot is the voice acting: it’s terrible. The lack of emotion is evident and the casting is mismatched. And the lip flaps don’t match up! Come on, no one noticed this? On the other hand the music is exceptional but that is par for the course when it comes to Sonic games.
That see saw in terms of the game’s overall quality is what will determine whether you can overlook its flaws. For every element that Sega got right something else is broken. But when taken as a whole Sonic Adventure’s high points definitely outweigh its bad. At the end of the day it succeeded in making Sonic relevant again and provided the Dreamcast with a killer app at launch, something the Saturn never had.
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