Sonic Adventure for the Xbox Live Arcade reminds us how far Sonic games have come. This game was released over a decade ago on the Sega Dreamcast and they wowed everyone with the first full 3D experience with our blue speedy hero. However, it did come with it’s share of problems though. Does Sonic Adventure retains the same experience as it did over 10 years ago?
Sonic Adventure on Xbox Live Arcade is a port from the Dreamcast version. It does have a bump in HD visuals, shiny textures, smoother character models and solid framerate (with a few slow moments). This might be as far as it goes however. Everything else seems to remain the same and does not age well. The story is forgettable and the voice work for some people is either tolerable or downright annoying. We knew they weren’t good then but didn’t know how bad.
The one good thing that Sonic Adventure does have is its nostalgic tunes and sounds. Sega did a good job on its soundtracks. The game has some rock, jazz, and cute chao music (That’s not a genre but that’s best way to describe it). Familar ring chimes, enemy sounds, and other familiar sounds are aplenty here. Now I am a true Sonic fan so my enjoyment for the music maybe a bit to enthusiastic but one can appreciate its humbling beginnings into the 3D realm.
Gameplay can vary since you play as more then just Sonic in this game. Sonic himself is high speed action, Tails is similar but utilizes his flying capabilities, Amy is a slowed down version of the three. Knuckles has a treasure hunting focus but can glide, Big and E-102 offer a unique experience themselves. The most common problem amongst most of them is the camera system. It had seemed very experimental then but should have had some correction for this port. Controlling Sonic while in high speed was more of a burden at times then a pleasure. Each character gameplay is flawed but magined to get the job done then. Although all these problems still persists the gameplay is enjoyable. Many elements will bring back fond memories like entering a hub world where your character interacts with the locales, offering intel or irrelevant info for the story.
Sega also added a emblem system to offer more depth. Complete certain chalenges(some character specific), and earn emblems. Since this game is on the Xbox Live Arcade, emblem collecting means more gamer points. There is also a leadership board where players can compete for the best time trials. Another addition to the Sonic Adveture experience is Chao raising. Collect and nuture the Chao and have them compete in racers in all their cuteness. Dreamcast had what was known as a VMU (Visual Memory Unit) which allowed you to take a specific Chao for pet raising similar to a Tamagotchi, unfortunately that will not translate on the XBLA.
To concluded, Sonic Adventure for the xbox live Arcade is a game for Sonic Fans but are not sure how much time you’ll want to put on this. Its not a spectacular game by far, however for only 800 ms points ($10) and those who love Sonic will appreciate the game. Sonic has never really had the 3D platform space down and probably never will but he has come a ways since this rendition.
We also want to point out that some DLC had made its way to Xbox Live dubbing it a directors cut package, allowing you to play with a new character and new missions. Had this been included would have made the game a steal with new content that all can enjoy but for an extra 400 ms points making the total $15 for a game that has such issues, would have to be left for the purchaser to decide if its worth the buy.