February 12, 1999

Sonic Adventure (Japan) - Review

Release Date Publisher Developer Additional Information
23/12/1998SegaSonic TeamJap Reviews Avg : 92.8%

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Click here to see images of all the playable Sonic Adventure characters.
Click here to read an interview with the creators of Sonic Adventure.

Click To Enlarge Image After all the hype leading up to the launch of this game, including Sega's excellent launch party on the 22nd of August in Japan, I was expecting a lot from Sonic Adventure. Sega are also hoping for a strong showing from their blue mascot to boost the reputation of their new console.

Click To Enlarge Image Sonic has been a great asset to Sega in the past. The Megadrive was slowly dying with a string of mediocre titles before Sonic came along and redefined the platform genere. Many people, myself included, believed that Sonic was a better game then Mario on the Nintendo systems. Sonic was a much faster and better looking game then anything else available at the time. However the Sega Saturn failed to deliver a Sonic game worthy of any mention and as a result Sonic has been missing from store shelves for several years now. Have Sega resurrected their mascot from the dead? Well yes, they have.

Click To Enlarge Image As you can see from the screenshots around this review Sonic Adventure is absolutely beautiful to look. What can't be seen from these pictures is the fluidity of the game. Running in 640 x 480 resolution and at 60fps the game shows off the true power of the Dreamcast system. This is by far the most graphically intense game on the Dreamcast to date. However, it's not without it's (very minor) faults. The main problem is the camera angles used in some sections of the game. At times they make it very hard to see what you are doing or where you are going. Sega have promised that this minor fault will be fixed in time for the English release of the game, so for most people you will never see this problem anyway.

Click To Enlarge Image Sonic Adventure is no slouch in the sound department either. Sega have given up on the techno style music found in so many Japanese games and gone for a more guitar sound. Don't get me wrong I'm a techno music freak, but the grungier type music suits the game well. The sound effects are also very ... well ... Sonic. Another interesting thing to note is that the characters in the game now talk, and although I can't understand Japanese, they sound very professional, unlike the very cheesy Resident Evil voices found in the english Playstation game.

Click To Enlarge Image Sega have also managed to use the VMS and modem in the game. The VMS is used to grow little Chao's. Via the VMS's small LCD screen you can breed the creatures and nurture them as they grow up. An interesting addition to the main game. It will help when I can understand what's going on a bit more though as the Japanese makes it very hard with the menus. The modem can also be used with Sonic Adventure. Although I didn't try it myself, apparently you can upload and download the Chao creatures for the VMS.

Click To Enlarge Image This has got to be the most impressive Dreamcast title to date, and I think it will be the number 1 game for some time. If you own a Dreamcast, then this is a must have title. If you don't have a Dreamcast, then go and buy one. Just remember that if you don't understand Japanese you may miss out on some of the storyline and may be better off waiting for the English release.