Sonic Adventure (1998) Review

Sonic Adventure is a 3D action platformer set in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. It stands in history as the first proper 3D sonic game and one of the first games on the Sega Dreamcast.

The game was also re-released onto the Nintendo GameCube as a director’s cut before being released digitally on most major platforms.

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The plot revolves around an ancient being named Chaos, a thousand years ago Chaos was the protector of the Chao and the master emerald but one day a tribe of echidnas tried to steal the emerald and in retaliation Chaos used the emeralds power to turn into perfect Chaos killing them all instantly, now in a vow to defeat sonic , Dr Robotnik has revived chaos from his rest and is using the power of the chaos emeralds to bring him back to full power.

 

The game has six playable characters and each of them has a different game play style and involvement with the main plot, eventually all of these stories combine to create the story of the game.

Sonic’s game play is the fast paced action platforming that is to be expected from the series, Sonic’s play-through is the longest in the game with 10 stages.

Tails gameplay is built around flight and using that ability to beat sonic in races, it’s fun to find short cuts in these levels and Tails is actually my favourite campaign.

As Knuckles players must climb walls and dig underground to find pieces of the master emerald, these sections are fairly easy but can be challenging at times.

As Amy players will wield the piku piku hammer which they can use to smack enemies, in Amy’s stages she must finish the level while also avoiding capture by one of Eggman’s robots.

Big the Cats game play is really quite awful, it’s fishing which already should not be in a sonic game but the terrible camera while the rod is the water and the janky controls makes this campaign almost unbearable

The final campaign before the true final boss is E-102 Gamma one of Eggman’s robots that’s ends up going rouge and helping the main heroes by destroying his robot bretherin, the campaign is really fun and using the gun is a nice change of pace from the rest of game.

Aside from the main story players could also visit a special garden where they could raise baby Chao’s and enter them into competitions, I never enjoyed this section but many people have fond memories of it and because it is only a bonus it can be skipped.

The presentation of the game was fine it had really great graphics for the time but you could tell the developers had not quite nailed hiring the correct voice actors or creating great dialogue as a lot of it is very cringy although I would argue that this does add to the entertainment value of the game, it’s great for a laugh with some friends.

Easily one of the best Sonic soundtracks to this day, with Sonic’s fresh new look and 3D game play it needed a rocking sound track to boost the atmosphere of the game and it does this superbly with a mixture of punk rock, techno and orchestral tracks to help make the game play and the player feel awesome, the music of the franchise would take inspiration from this game for future entries but not many can match the impact this soundtrack had.

Sonic Adventure is at best a Mediocre title, the game is very buggy and glitches out a lot, another issue I have with the game is its speed, characters are either too slow or too fast there is no in-between and a lot of my deaths in the game were caused by this, the Big the Cat campaign doesn’t help but what I will say is that the game is still fun and you can get a laugh out of cut scenes and dialogue not to mention how fantastic the soundtrack is but overall Sonic Adventure is a game that I would only recommend if you are a hard core fan of the series. 4.0/10

Thank you for reading my review of Sonic Adventure for the Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC

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Sonic 3 and Knuckles (1994) Review

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Sonic 3 and Knuckles is actually a combination of two halves of one game that were sold separately.

Let me try and explain

in February 1994 Sonic the Hedgehog  3 was released for Sega Mega Drive (Genesis in USA) while the game sold well and was genuinely a really fun game  it only had six zones and the ending of the game felt lacking and a little forced, the reason for this is that the game was intended to be longer and due to time restraints it was rushed to consumers, around six months after this a new Sonic game was released called Sonic and Knuckles.

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Sonic and Knuckles was first advertised as a brand new Sonic game and it definitely felt like one, it lacked in Tails but players could now control Knuckles who was an antagonist in Sonic 3, of course this felt odd and the plot of the game stated that this was a direct follow up to Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and was later confirmed to be the second half that was originally missing.

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Another odd thing about Sonic and Knuckles was the cartridge, it had two connecting ports one that went into the Mega Drive and another that would connect to the Sonic 3 game cartridge and if they put both these into the system at the same time the full finished version of the game would play.

Sonic 3 and Knuckles is the definitive version of Sonic 3 and is the intended fully finished game which combines both halves, this also allowed players to use Knuckles in the original Sonic 3 Levels, Sonic 3 and Knuckles is the superior version of the game and is the version that is often included in sonic video game collections.

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After the events of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Dr Robotnik’s death egg crash landed on Angel Island where he meets Knuckles the Echidna, Knuckles is the Guardian of the Master Emerald, this emerald allows the island to levitate so it is very important, Robotonik tricks Knuckles into believing that Sonic and Tails are trying to steal the Master Emerald causing him to try and defeat Sonic while Robotnik repairs the Death Egg.

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The game-play is the regular Sonic style where players will need to get through each act as quickly and strategically as possible while making sure to try and avoid damage from enemies, you can play with either Sonic or Tails and similar to the second game Sonic is faster but Tails is able to hover momentarily.

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With the game originally split into two parts, in the second part players could control Knuckles who had the ability to climb walls and discover secret areas of course in Sonic 3 and Knuckles, Knuckles was available in both parts.

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There are four shields in the game, they are each based on elements and are useful in different situations, the insta-shield will defend against enemy attacks, the fire shield against heat, the water shield allows the characters to breath under water and the lightning shield would attract rings and deflect enemy projectiles.

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The special stages are back and to be honest I really dislike these stages, the idea is that you need to move over a 2.5 D space and collect all of the blue balls but the controls on the Mega Drive are a little clunky here and it makes it quite difficult to get through.

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Unlike previous games when you get the seven chaos emeralds here you actually unlock super transformations for all three characters, Super Sonic is invincible, Knuckles can move and climb faster but the best one is Tails who can call upon and army of Flicky birds to very quickly hurt enemies, this is really useful for winning boss fights.

Sonic 3 has the best soundtrack out of the original trilogy, while I do prefer the second games soundtrack for nostalgic reasons this one is more memorable for its upbeat music and the use of different sounds to help match with the necessary environments.

Sonic 3 and knuckles is probably the best Sonic game ever made, I wish that it wasn’t so complicated of a release and if I was too just review Sonic 3 alone I would argue that it was one of my least favourites but when in its final state it was one of the most innovative and creative video games of its time. It added a save system which made the game much easier to pick up and play from where you left off, with three playable characters and each with a super transformation it added many reason to play over and over again, the only downside for me was the special stages which I still think are not  very well designed but they are playable and with practice can be completed, overall a fairly flawless game which easily earns a 9.8/10 even with its ridiculous release history.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Sonic 3 and Knuckles for the Mega Drive/ Genesis

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Sonic Heroes (2003) (GC, PC, PS2, XBOX) Review

Happy New Year and to kick of 2016 we are going to be looking at another controversial 3D Sonic game

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Sonic Heroes released in 2003 and was Sega and Sonic Teams attempt at making a next generation Sonic game that uses Team based mechanics, just like Shadow the Hedgehog this game also has a reputation of either being a piece of crap or a pretty fun experience.

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Sonic Heroes is split into four main campaigns Team Sonic, Team Rose, Team Dark and Team Chaotix, each of these teams have unique story and for the most part a different objective which ties into the games main plot.

Team Sonic receive a threat from Dr Robotnik about some new scheme he is creating and so Sonic, Tails and Knuckles run off to find and defeat Robotnik.

Team Rose are on the hunt for Big the Cat’s Missing Frog and Cream the Rabbit’s Chao Chocola.

Team Chaotix work for a detective agency and they hunt down a new client who offers them a lot of money if they rescue them from where they are being kept prisoner.

Team Darks story begins with Rouge the Bat searching for a hidden treasure when she accidentally comes across Shadow the Hedgehog and Omega (a security bot built by Robotnik),  Omega is angry because Robotnik locked him away for so long and Shadow has forgotten everything about himself and his past, all three of them seek out Robotnik for revenge and answers to why Omega and Shadow were locked away.

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How you play the game is that you control three characters for each team one Speed Character, one Power Character and one Flight Character, In teams Sonic, Dark and Rose you will need to use all three characters to pass obstacles and defeat enemies while trying to get to the goal ring as fast as possible.

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Team Chaotix are personally my favorite team to play as they are the only team that offer new gameplay, while playing as Team Chaotix you will need to play through all the same stages as the other teams but each with a new objective for example in one stage you need to find and rescue a lot of Chao and in another you need to find and blow out a bunch of flames that are hidden through out the level.

A big problem with beating the game with all four teams is that you will literally be playing through the same stages over and over again, yes each team does use slightly different paths but most of the time its the exact same stage and its gets really boring and repetitive, this is why I enjoy Team Chaotix the most they offer a more unique gameplay and its a nice break from the action style gameplay of the other teams.

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While playing through each stage you will find small golden keys that you will lose if you take damage, these keys are very important because if you manage to survive a stage with a key you will be sent to a bonus level which will either allow you to earn lives or you can try and catch one of the seven Chaos Emeralds.

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The controls are some of the worst I have ever used in a Sonic game, the characters move way too fast which often causes players to hit unforeseen enemies, some areas in the game require rail grinding and these controls make these sections a lot more difficult than they need to be, far too often did I try to quickly switch rails and the game decided to fling me far into the distance making me fall to my death, the awful controls make the special stages almost impossible to play which is extremely annoying because you need to play these to get the Chaos Emeralds and just getting to the special stages isn’t that easy of task to complete in the first place.

Glitches are not uncommon in this game so be wary if you ever to pick this one up, my advice is to mostly use the power characters as they are strong enough to take out a lot of enemies as well as moving at a reasonable pace, flying characters are by far the most useful this is due to a glitch allowing you too quickly build up your Team Blast bar by quickly throwing  your team mates using the flying character, the speed characters move far too quickly and I recommend you never play as the speed characters unless you get to section where they are needed.

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Team Blasts are a new type of special attack where all three characters in your team will work together to destroy every enemy on screen.

The music in the game isn’t really anything special, I love the vocal tracks but the level themes are just basic and not very catchy which is a shame because for me the music is what I look forward to the most when I play Sonic games and especially when I play the 3D games as they have a reputation of not being some of the best games out there.

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The visuals are amazing in this game, Sonic Heroes looks like one of the old 2D sonic games brought into the 3D world, the level designs are perfect rail sections are only implemented when they need to be, surprisingly their isn’t too many loops, every area is unique and offers a new gameplay style for example in the jungle levels you will find frogs that can make platforms appear and disappear and the Casino levels offer pinball and bingo sections to help you earn a whole load of rings to help you on your adventure and its not too often that you will die due to bad game design.

 

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The game has three types of Boss battles within the four campaigns you will either fight Dr Robotnik in one of his aircraft’s, another Team you meet while on your adventure or a barrage of Robotniks robots, for the aircraft’s just use the speed character because you can glitch the game by spamming homing attacks on the boss killing it almost instantly and for the other two I recommend a fully powered flight character as you hover in the air avoiding enemy attacks and due to the flight character being very over powered by using this character you will beat the level very quickly.

If you collect all seven Chaos Emeralds and manage to beat each Team’s campaign you will unlock Final Story which is the games real final boss and its eventual conclusion.

I wont go into too much detail here due to spoilers but I will say that this boss is a blast to fight, if 3D sonic games have one good thing about them it is almost always the final boss, the real enemy of the game is not Dr Robotnik but is a returning villain from past Sonic games that long time fans will surely enjoy fighting once again.

In conclusion Sonic Heroes is a really fun game with a lot of really big problems, it looks amazing but it plays and feels horrible, the soundtrack is not very interesting and the whole game feels rather repetitive, its not quite as bad as Shadow the Hedgehog but that doesn’t mean it’s a good experience.

Sonic Heroes is ok at best, its a shame because if all of these issues didn’t exist it would of been a classic 4.0/10

I still want a sequel though, come on Sonic Team its been almost 13 years and we want a Sonic Heroes 2 just make this one not so broken please.

I hope you enjoyed this review of  Sonic Heroes

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com