Sonic Adventure was the first game I bought for my Sega Dreamcast (may it rest in peace) and in my opinion is the best of Sonic's 3D outings.Story
Doctor Robotnik is an evil genius and Sonic the Hedgehog's arch nemesis.
He has discovered a prophecy engraved into some stone tablets which tells of an aqueous creature, known as "Chaos", who was sealed inside the Master Emerald of Angel Island long ago. Chaos grows in strength when it consumes a Chaos Emerald and ultimately becomes the perfect monster when it has consumed all seven. So, like any other evil genius would, Doctor Robotnik shatters the Master Emerald, releasing Chaos from his prison and causing Angel Island to fall into the ocean which in turn causes a massive tidal wave.
In short, a lot of bad stuff is about to happen and it's up to Sonic and five of his friends to stop it.The Game
You play as one of six characters: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy Rose, Big the Cat, and E-102 Gamma. At the start, only Sonic is available to play as but as progress through the story you will unlock the other characters.
The characters' stories will often intertwine as you progress through them so you will get a lot of "I know what happens next!" moments. People who suffer from or can't stand deja vu will probably not appreciate that.
The universe of Sonic Adventure is comprised of three "Adventure Fields" and 11 different mission levels. You will be visiting the Adventure Fields a lot as you run around looking for where the next mission or boss fight starts. If you get stuck find a floating pink wisp thing and it will guild you to where you need to go next.
At several points during the game the adventure fields switch from daytime to dusk and eventually to night-time and the adventure fields take on a new ambience as a result. Some areas are only open during certain times of the day. This day/night cycle is not dependant on your locality or console clock and occur as you progress through the story.
The mission levels differ depending on which character you choose:Sonic's Missions
Sonic is a speed freak and adrenaline junkie.
In the spirit of traditional Sonic games, Sonic's levels simply have you bombing from one end of a mission field to the other in the shortest time possible, collecting golden rings and defeating the local baddies on the way.Tails' Missions
Tails is an orange fox with two tails which allow him to fly for short distances. He is Sonic's closest friend and most trusted ally.
Tails' missions are very similar to Sonic's except you race against Sonic to reach the end first. This can be tricky but fortunately for you there are plenty of "speed rings" for you to run (or fly!) through for a much needed speed increase.Knuckles' Missions
Knuckles is a red echidna with bad-ass dreadlocks and a chip on his shoulder. He is the guardian of Angel Island and protects the Master Emerald at all costs.
But the Master Emerald gets shattered into pieces while Knuckles is taking a quick nap and therefore Knuckles' missions have you searching for the scattered fragments. You use a meter at the bottom of the screen which pings when you get close. The harder and faster the ping, the closer you are to the fragment.Amy's Missions
Amy Rose is a pink hedgehog who loves Sonic more than anything else. Sadly for her, Sonic does not return her affections.
During the game Amy befriends a blue bird who is being chased by a nasty robot named Zero. Amy's missions have you running away from Zero while trying to reach the balloon at the end. She has a large "piko piko" hammer which she uses to smash up baddies and stun Zero for a time.Big's Missions
Big is an incredibly rotund purple cat who seems to have a short attention span. His best friend is a frog who has swallowed one of the seven Chaos Emeralds and has gone insane as a result. Big isn't much of a fighter but is a master fisherman and his missions will have you fishing this frog out of various bodies of water.E-102's Missions
E-102 Gamma is a prototype robot built by Doctor Robotnik. He specialises in shooting stuff from far away by locking onto targets and releasing a volley of bullets. His missions will have you shoot as much stuff as possible before you reach the end.Other Comments
The game has suffered somewhat during the transition from Dreamcast to XBLA and a lot of the sound can seem muffled, especially the voice of the pink wisps you see around the adventure fields. Hopefully this can be solved in a title update.
The Chao Gardens are back! Chao are cute little creatures which hatch from large white eggs and live in special gardens. Each adventure field has one garden hidden away somewhere. You can feed and look after the Chao and they'll eventually "evolve" into a different type, similar to the Tamagotchi of old. The Chao grow differently depending on which fruit you feed it and which animals you let it play with. Animals are gained in missions and burst out of a baddie when you defeat it. Sadly though, the Chao Gardens are designed on the Sonic Adventure DX gardens which are nowhere near as nice as the gardens from the original Dreamcast release.
Sonic Adventure has 12 achievements totalling 200 GamerScore without DLC. If you download the Director's Cut
add-on you can earn 3 extra achievements worth a bonus 50 GamerScore. Earning all of the achievements will take a lot of time as you will need to complete every character's story, every Chao race and finding every hidden Emblem scattered around the adventure fields.
The game is an absolute bargain at 800MSP and highly recommended for completionists, Sonic fans and fans of the adventure genre in general.