Sonic Adventure is a no-frills re-release on Xbox Live Arcade from Sega
- This faithful port of the original Dreamcast release might please the most hardcore Sonic fans, the soundtrack is still remarkably catchy.
- The graphics look blocky and washed-out, no widescreen option or any gameplay improvements, horrible camera work, offensively awkward controls, terrible voice acting
Often regarded as one of the system's best games, Sega's Sonic Adventure led a strong library of Dreamcast launch titles back in 1999. But even with all the rave reviews, it was still marred by awkward controls and a spotty camera. Eleven years later, those nagging issues greatly hinder this bare-bones, no-frills re-release on Xbox Live Arcade from Sega. It's almost not Sonic's fault -- 3D games just don't age well -- but this lazy port makes the Blue Blur look slower than ever.
When it comes to video games, regret and hindsight are two of the most frequent feelings we have when it comes to old technology. If only we had known how hard they would be to find in 2010, most of us would have kept our Super Nintendo systems and Sega Saturns in mint condition. Given a second chance, how many of us would have held onto those yesteryear games that would later become precious, highly priced relics?
Luckily, we live in an age where nostalgia equals cash, and Sega's playing that game like a champ. Case in point: Sonic Adventure -- one of the most fondly remembered titles of the Dreamcast era -- is the first of several games that will find their way back into our living rooms by way of downloadable content. It's an all-time classic, and personally, one of my most fondly remembered gaming experiences.
But now that I've played the re-release on Xbox 360, I wish that Sonic Adventure had stayed where it belonged -- in my memories. Sure, there are several games that age well over time, but writing this review has shown me that Sonic Adventure is a sobering exception to that statement. In fact it's only now that I realise the Sonic games are still battling the same problems that they did back when Sega was playing with the big boys: bad controls, an awkward camera, terrible voice acting, frustrating level design, and way too many sidekicks.
Sonic Adventure on Xbox Live is exactly the same as the Dreamcast version, and that's a bad thing. Aside from some minor touch-ups on the graphics, absolutely nothing has been done to improve or refine the original game. Every gameplay quirk that I ignored 11 years ago sticks out hideously, which is especially sobering since I'm revisiting a video game that I once considered cutting edge. Sonic runs like his shoes are lined with butter and the entire world is made of glass; Knuckles flies like a brick on a string; Tails will occasionally pass right through solid objects and platforms; Big the Cat's levels are so plodding that they're downright tedious; and even Amy's controls are as broken as the rest, although her mission mode is still the most varied of the seven.
It's really too bad, because every character has huge and colourful levels gracing each of their individual mission modes, and even though the mechanics at hand leave a lot to be desired, they're still fun in small doses. Moreover, it's interesting to see the story of Sonic Adventure through the eyes of all the different characters, since they all play a small role in taking down Eggman and Chaos. But by the time you play through the entire game, all the rough edges on this title really cut down on the fun factor. It's particularly bad with platforming sequences, since the control and camera will always work together to ensure that you either plummet to your death or wind up not being able to see anything. When your camera gets wedged into a wall for the tenth time in one level, it becomes clear that little to nothing was done to tune up this re-release whatsoever.
In fact, there's even problems with the auto-save mechanic: during my play-through of Sonic Adventure, I unlocked a ton of achievements as I progressed through the game. But even though I let the auto-save do its thing, when I rebooted my Xbox 360, my file only showed an hour of gameplay with 20 percent completion on the Sonic missions. Hopefully this was an isolated incident and not a glitch, but given the lack of improvements on the source code, I'm not optimistic.
No matter how you look at it, Sonic Adventure feels like a rushed port. There's no widescreen option, so the game's bordered at a 4:3 ratio with an ugly blue background. The "DX" content from the director's cut is also sequestered in a separate purchase package, giving the base purchase no extra value. Sure, there's surround sound and Achievements, but that's literally every extra flourish you'll find in this repackaging. Seeing how this port turned out, it seems like a bad precedent for how the rest of the Dreamcast Returns line-up is going to fare (and Crazy Taxi is already undergoing editing due to music and product licensing).
Looking back on it, even in 1999 Sonic Adventure was criticised for its poor controls and awkward camera. But while these problems were minor and commonplace then, they're flinchingly noticeable now. Seeing Sonic Adventure repackaged and shipped out to the current console generation like this just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and no matter how I want to look at it, nostalgia goggles don't compensate for a game that's so fundamentally flawed by today's standards. Sega's asking price may be $10, but you can buy the original Dreamcast game for less via online stores like Amazon. Do that, because it'll put you in the right mindset to properly enjoy the game -- by today's standards, even Sonic's glory days aren't looking so good.
Join the newsletter!
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
cloudandco Smart Cane
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Toys for Boys
Lego Mindstorms EV3
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Bose SoundLink Micro
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Google Daydream View VR Headset
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Xbox One X
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Australian Destroyer joins in World of Warships
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
- Nintendo Switch software update: What does 4.0.0 feature and how to install it?
- Robot House announce vacuum-bot adventure game ahead of PAX Australia
- Wargaming launches ANZ servers for World of Tanks
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCData ArchitectACT
- TPIT OfficerVIC
- FTChange ManagerOther
- CCProject Manager (Junior-Mid Level)QLD
- FTITSM Senior Business AnalystOther
- TPSenior Project Manager | LIS Program | IntegrationQLD
- FTSoftware EngineerSA
- CCLead Pega Systems ArchitectACT
- FTSolution DesignerOther
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTJunior CRM Support AnalystOther
- FTSolutions ArchitectsOther
- TPSenior Business Analyst - ieMR - Digital Health ProgramQLD
- FTSenior Sales Executive ? Technology ConsultingQLD
- FTTest ManagerOther
- FTSystems SpecialistSA
- FTApplication Support Analyst (Healthcare)Other
- FTCyber Security Program ManagerACT
- FTSenior Data Warehouse Developer, Power BIOther
- FTBusiness AnalystACT
- CCLead Technical Specialist ? SQL Lead -DBAVIC
- CCSenior Project Manager - Office 365QLD
- FTTechnical Integration LeadOther
- CCTechnical Specialist - Government OrganisationVIC
- FTBusiness Analysts Wanted!Other