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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sonic Adventure

Sonic Adventure

It's hard to believe that Sega ever got away with a cheap "mascot" imitation like Sonic. OK, calm down Sega freaks, but just in case you don't remember, Sonic was created for one purpose only, to combat Mario. Don't argue with me, it's the truth. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's standard procedure for corporations to try and one-up their competitiors with stolen ideas. One can see that Crash Bandicoot (escpecially the latest racing title) is an obvious attempt by Sony to create their own "mascot" for fans to identify their product with. Mario has never felt much of a threat from Sony and Sega's equally admirable attempts into the genre. There is no shame in being bested by a game genius like Shigeru Miyamato time and time again. One cannot deny, however, that Sonic Adventure is a masterpiece amongst platform games and a solid threat to the afforementioned plumber.

I must first say that I can't understand why Sonic Adventure hasn't been held in a more adoring light over the past six months. I'll come right out of the gate and tell you that this title just rocks. The opening sequence is an obvious attempt by Sega to showcase the abilities of their latest console. Man does it shine. What you'll find when you finally begin the games is a massive adventure that shines heads and Tails (sorry, bad pun) above all other platform games currently available.

If there is a graphical era in this game then somebody tell me about it quick, because I just can't seem to find anything wrong with it at all. Sonic's world is, in a word, huge. Every environment is painstakingly detailed. Sega has left nothing to the imagination and spared no memory in providing us with a non-linear adventure like no other. And did I mention that the game is faster than anything you've ever seen. The scenery blazes by at an incredible rate. This could be somewhat intimidating, but just like any game, practice makes perfect.

All of your favorite Sonic characters are here in full 128-bit glory. Each character has their own unique abilities and each must be used to their fullest to get the whole experience out of this title. It could very well take you weeks to finish this game. The challenge is at an all time high. The balance between the action and adventure stages seems slighltly off-balance at first glance. It may take you awhile to figure out exactly where you need to be. It's frustrating as can be, but I promise you it's worth it. No matter how many times you fall to your death for no apparent reason, you'll just keep coming back for more.

What this game could have used is a better soundtrack. The tunes sound like late eighties American hair-metal, if that tells you anything. I'm not sure what went wrong with the developers, but these tunes just suck. What's worse is that they're grossly repetitive. Sometimes, you'll almost want to stay in a level with decent music, just so you won't have to return to the awful mess of noise that you came from. This is a matter of taste though, and the music takes a backseat to the killer gameplay. Voice actors must cost out the wazooo cause Sonic is severely lacking in this department. Sonic sounds alright I guess, but something went horribly wrong with a few of the other characters. It's downright scary sometimes, people. And don't even bother leaving the text dialog on. You'll be reading it before you actually hear it thanks to a slight delay in the voices.

As with all platform games, there is the ocassional messy camera glitch. One would hope that this problem could be remedied by now. It's obvious that this is a problem that will continue to exist as long as 3-D platformers are the norm. I've seen no sign in any console game of a 100% reliable camera. This is a problem we just have to get used to and move along. How bad can it be, really? Well, it's not overly terrible in Sonic Adventure, but you will find it to be an annoyance from time to time. As fast as this game is, it just doesn't sit well when your speeding along and you come to a sudden hault only to find that you have no idea where you are because the camera won't seem to let you in on the joke.

In essence, this is nothing more than a platform game with a high emphasis on graphichs and speed. If you like platformers then Sonic should be at the top of your list for must own titles. Sega has bet the farm that this game will give Dreamcast owners what they didn't get on the Saturn. Given the chance, Sonic Adventure will provide you with an unforgettable experience that will competely erase any memories of the ill-fated Saturn.

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