Review by Unleashed Vortex

Reviewed: 10/10/05

Rusty fun.

DX takes the original Dreamcast title Sonic Adventure, mixes it with some basic graphical brush ups, some old Game Gear games and a new mission mode to help ensnare gamers who missed out on the original adventure in 2000. Those who finished it back then will be disappointed, unless you really enjoyed it.
(Emphasis on the “really.”) Truth be told, it does take the original game and adds on a heap of extra playtime by throwing all of these missions and Game Gear. It just sucks that nothing added is actually any good.

Dr. Robotnik (I absolutely refuse to call him Dr. Eggman.) is an egg-man (whoops) on a mission. He’s just revived a mythical water beast known as Chaos, a monster that uses the power of the Chaos Emeralds to evolve. Legend has it that once Chaos has consumed all seven Emeralds, he will transform into a god-like being and have the world under his watery thumb. Of course, Sonic and his chums aren’t going to take this lying down, they’re going to crack that guy wide open, they’re going to scramble that egg once and for all. Egg-cellent! (I’m sorry!)

Sonic Adventure has six characters for you to play, each of them have their own style and story which incorporates itself into the big picture, sooner or later. Sonic’s stages are fast paced levels that vaguely capture that charm that the 2-D titles brought forward. You’ll run, do a loop-the loop, jump on badniks again but in a whole three-dimensional world. Sonic’s level goals are rather simple, get to the end and pop the animal capsule (you remember those, right?) Tail’s levels are pretty similar except that you have race Sonic and get to the capsule or goal before the blue blur reaches it, a challenging and fun task that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Knuckles the Echidna is on the lookout for pieces of his shattered Master Emerald, which was broken by the arrival of Chaos. He’ll use his gliding, climbing and digging skills to find three pieces per level and with the help of a mysterious detecting system; he’ll find those gems with no problems. Knuckles’ levels require a bit more skill than the previous two, as you have to keep your eyes peeled for any clues that lead you to the emerald pieces.

Amy Rose’s story also offers some thrills as Zero, an evil robot from Robotnik’s army, is currently hunting her. It slows down the normal Sonic style but boosts it by creating a daunting and thrilling experience. Imagine the thrill as you run down a corridor being pursued by an invincible foe! Your Piko Piko Hammer is the only thing to protect you from Zero and a quick smack on the noggin will knock him down for about…one second. You better get your skates on because this bastard is resilient as hell. This segment is probably the most difficult of the bunch because you’ll be panicky about Zero coming out and kicking your ass. You can’t kill him so don’t even try. Just run like the wind and smack him if he gets too close. Go on, RUN!

The last two characters are both newcomers to the Sonic series, Big the Cat and E-102 Gamma. E-102 is a robot, part of Robotnik’s E-100 series. These five robotic powerhouses are the cream of the crop in the Doctor’s army. After becoming one of Robotniks top minions (much to the dislike of Gamma’s rival, E-101 Beta), Gamma begins to learn about the nicer side of life and starts a small revolution against Robotnik, attempting to “set free” the other E-100 robots by blowing them to smithereens. His missions are very easy and simply require constant hammering on the B button to automatically lock on to targets and blast them to bits. (That’s all, really!)

Big the Cat is the least interesting character of the bunch. His friend Froggy has unusually transformed and his behaviour has become somewhat erratic. When Froggy runs away from home, Big runs after him with a fishing rod in tow. His missions always involve him using his rod to fish out Froggy from a pond, usually filled with other fish. It’s not exactly difficult and it’s not amazingly hard either, it simply requires patience and getting used to the controls. When you hook a fish, a meter will indicate how much pressure you are putting on the line. If it goes to far up, you will die so better use gentle touches to lure Froggy out of the water.

Throughout these adventures, you will be given emblems for every time a stage is completed. Collecting these objects will allow you to unlock those aforementioned Game Gear titles. These include some rather decent titles like the first few Sonics but they easily dip into the mediocre pool by throwing us some poor shows like Sonic Drift and Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. Not only do the 8-bit games look horribly panned out on the screen, they also seem to do little except give us a blast from the past, which we can all achieve through emulation. It may please some hardcore fanatics but the general gist of gamers either won’t be interested or would have already played the games at some other point.

We also have a rather pointless and unfriendly mission mode, which is basically about completing fifty tasks with the playable characters. You can take your pick between some dull and easy tasks or some hard and frustrating ones. Some include either catching a huge fish in a small pool with Big or simply ripping some weeds up with Tails. Each mission has a colour code that lets you know what character needs to do the specific challenge. Chances are that you’ll play this mode once to check it out and then jump on the train to Bored-ville.

Don’t be fooled by the lush graphics on the box or the sexy animation on the introduction screen. Sonic DX isn’t exactly the visual ride that we were expecting, the graphics are slightly updated in some areas, the shiny streaks along Sonic’s quills really stand out but everything else seems rather rusty. Some sprites are even prone to handful of glitches. In the FMV sequences, some characters will slide along the ground when they walk or jog on the spot for a few seconds before actually moving off. The dubbing is pretty bad too, with some characters flapping their beaks with nothing coming out or occasionally, saying nothing when they are meant too. Dr Robotnik is the worst offender; all he does is grin all of the time, even when he’s angry. The actual in-game visuals are great; you can see some small brush-ups but the awful FMV scenes can really get rather frustrating.

Man, this game has got some serious corny moments. Do you remember the awesome songs featured in Sonic CD? They were awesome but were very cheesy. This game has a ton of cheesy songs but without the cool factor, which leaves you with some of the most annoying and whining songs I’ve heard for years. Every character has his/her own theme song that plays repeatedly whenever the character walks in. Some are okay, like the peaceful and dramatic tune for E-102 or the funny song for Big the Cat but the high pitched droning lyrics for Sonic and Tails will reduce you to tears. Yeah, it’s that bad.

Sonic Adventure DX brings an old game out, dusts it off a bit and gives it a second chance. The minor touch ups are welcomed but the disappointing amount of poor extras is barely enough to compensate for “Directors Cut” version of Sonic Adventure. SA is a bit dated and does suffer from some minor flaws, which differ from what character you play. However, those who missed out on the Dreamcast game will enjoy this rehash. If you liked Sonic Heroes (Baha!) then you’ll think that this is a pure godsend but for those who have already played this title on the Dreamcast, I recommend you look elsewhere for your platform desires.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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