Having been disappointed and frustrated by my experiences of the 2D Sonic games, I was still keen to play the available 3D games. This included a trial of Sonic Adventure (a remake of the Dreamcast game which to my surprise wasn’t in my Dreamcast collection).
The controls and camera were a bit clunky but I enjoyed the limited gameplay that was on offer in the trial. The game was nice and pacey with the player constantly on the move. There was a bit of variety in the level, including flat out sprinting, jumping and a few foes to kill. If I wasn’t so crummy at the game, it would have been quite slick.
Unfortunately though I did struggle to get through the level in a smooth manner. I found the controls a little bit awkward and cumbersome. On the couple of run throughs of the level in the trial I found myself sort of circling in on where I wanted to be. It felt a little bit like when you are playing a mobile game that uses tilt controls where nothing is that exact and you’re taking a “left a bit, right a bit, straighten her up” approach. This is all good and well if you have plenty time but Sonic Adventure has you whizzing through the level. Being out of position just means you’re a bit buggered.
Perhaps this was due to the port thought? I can’t recall if I really played the game on its Dreamcast release as my sister had a copy and given I’ve kept my existing games collection and it doesn’t contain Sonic Adventure.
One thing that kind of annoyed me was that the game didn’t seem to always have the ideal timing to speed through traps. I suspect that they needed to be taken carefully one at a time (although it may have been because I was doing rubbish and I was out of synch). This isn’t quite as much fun and loss of momentum can be a little disappointing.
The highlight was definitely the famous scene with the whale, which you can see in the below video. Obviously it has lost some of its shine in the years but you can see what they were looking to achieve with 3D Sonic games. This sequence is very much on rails and is purely about wow factor. The whale chasing you, smashing the path behind you, is thrilling and running at a very fast speed gives that extra buzz with the added satisfaction of picking up rings along the way.
It ain’t all that clever and it isn’t hard to play but it is fun and I can see why Sonic Adventure attracted attention back in its day.