In response to the release of Sonic Adventure on XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3, the Retro Bear looks back at the original on the much maligned Sega Dreamcast and asks “Was it really worth it?”

Originally Posted to on September 26th 2010

Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast)

Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast)

I have made it clear before that I am not a massive fan of older games being updated for the next generation of gamers. Quite frankly, if something ain’t broke, why the hell would you try to fix it? I understand we are now in an age where the likes of After Burner can be given that treatment, but they end up look like a Next-Gen game more than the original game they were based on. Then again, you might play the original and try to understand what all the fuss was about in the first place.


We therefore come to Sonic Adventure, now available to download from XBOX 360 Live and the PlayStation Network and reviewed by our very own editor on this humble site a few days ago. He actually dropped me an email to find out what I remembered about the game. I’ll be honest – although I own Sonic Adventure in it’s original form on the Dreamcast I hadn’t actually played it (you know when you collect stuff and don’t actually get round to doing anything with it? Well, welcome to my world)

It was only fair to give it a spin in light of this, though I am far too stingy (and principled) to actually fork out extra spondoolicks for the updated version of the game. Reading the Ed’s review though it is totally apparent that the faults with the update are faults of the original game as follows :

Poor camera – Honestly for a game which moves as fast as this one does (and it does crack on at a fair lick) you would have thought better camera control to prevent unnecessary deaths would have been implemented. Not so. Rack up those extra lives RetroManiacs, because you will most definitely need them.

Poor voice acting – I think Resident Evil holds the record for Most Ludicrous Voice Acting In A Video Game, but this would run it a pretty close second. Sonic was very much like Tom & Jerry – characters like that shouldn’t talk. When Mario talks, it works because Mario looks Italian and therefore has to sound Italian. What accent do hedgehogs have ? Welsh ? Somerset ? Geordie ? Surely not the whiny, teeny tone they have given the Blue Blur in this game.

All that running around – What, no map ? No guidance ? No helpful arrows pointing the way ? Well you do get a red orb which gives you a brief idea of what you need to do but that’s it. You can spend precious time running around like a headless hedgehog getting nowhere fast, which then leads to….

Boredom – I played it for about 3 hours the other night, got about 4 levels in and gradually found myself getting a bit tired of it. Especially the casino bit, where you can play Sonic Pinball and a special Nights Into Dreams Pinball as well. This enables you to build up your ring collection and every 100 rings you collect gives you an extra life.


The Sega Dreamcast

I entered the casino (eventually – that was a chore and a half) with 4 lives and left the casino with 11 lives. Hmmmmmm.


I’m not saying it’s a bad game. On the plus side it has fab graphics (the bit with killer whale early on is still impressive as Sonic runs towards the screen), good music (as with all Sonic games) and it keeps the thing that sets Sonic apart from Mario – the speed of the original games. Sometimes that’s great, other times it moves too fast and Sonic therefore becomes totally uncontrollable. However, it’s no more than a score of either *** out of ***** or a percentage score of 70-75% at best and therefore well over-hyped when it came out in 2000.

There you go – in it’s original form or the new update (and I am taking the Editor’s word here), Sonic Adventure is a good game, but originally flawed – which makes you wonder why they didn’t try a little harder with the update. Unless of course Sega are smelling “cash cow”, in which case this could be the start of some rather inferior Next-Gen “updates”.