It was a few years ago that Dreamcast was given its first experience at Sonic the Hedgehog in full 3D. The game wasn’t overly impressive (in my eyes) and therefore when I heard they were going to port it to the Cube I wasn’t overly excited. The game would need a serious upgrade from the Dreamcast version to really be anything worthwhile to purchase now, especially with all the solid platforming titles being released. So can Sonic Adventures DX: Directors make the Dreamcast title work on the Cube or was it just one big failure. Read on to find out.
To be quite honest before I get started with the review, when sonic first got into the 3D world (mostly on the Dreamcast versions) I have just slowly lost interest in the title. Sure when you hear sonic you are going to be interested to see if it does well or not but with all these killer platform titles already out there, that Sega can’t just rely on the name to get them very far, and they would actually have to make a sincere effort to create a worthwhile purchase for Sonic Adventures DX: Director Cut. And sadly I found that they could have totally done without trying to port this one.
When I sat down to play Sonic Adventures DX for the first time I wasn’t really sure really what to think or expect. Having had poor opinions on the Dreamcast port of the game I wasn’t overly sure the Sonic Team could fix up the game enough to make people interested in this title. Sonic Adventures DX story starts right about where you would expect them to with you trying to stop another one of Dr. Robotnik’s evil plans. The story is played out through several cut scenes but never really becomes very important to the game.
The one thing different to the Sonic Adventures series is a central starting point, instead of the normal just continuation of levels you will now have one place where you will go to access new levels. Through the beginning of the game you are exclusively playing with Sonic and it’s not until later in the game that you have access to other characters.
The one thing that really bothers me about the game is the lack of consistency. We all remember all the fun we had playing the simplistic yet fun and entertaining titles of the Sonic series on the Genesis but times have changed and according to Sonic Team this platformer needs to go with it. There are a lot of levels which feature the great fun filled high flying platforming action that you had come to expect in the series and then there are also these extremely boring, irritating, and rather useless levels that get in the way. When in Sonic have you ever had to look around for things, and when was the last time the game moved at a slow pace? Those two things combine to make quite a few of the games levels which will have you wishing they would have taken them out.
With a lot of slow, boring, and uninspired levels also comes a just plain awful camera that is probably one of the worst in the genre. Not only does it get in the way, it very rarely gets things looking right. Instead of being able to take a look at where you’re going, you get a nice inside look of Sonic’s head or the inside of the wall.
With all that being said there has been quite a few gameplay additions to the GameCube version of the game. But to get to most of these extra missions you are required to beat the main mode, and that is not something most people are going to have neither the patience nor the willingness to do.
Controlling Sonic is not overly bad and would have been a lot better had the camera not been a problem. The one positive notable feature about the controls are that they are really easy to pick up and play like a platformer should be.
When we talk about Sonic Adventures DX you are talking about a game that was made about four years ago. So obviously if Sonic Team totally neglected the graphics department it would be a pretty ugly title for our standards these days. Luckily Sonic team has done some upgrades to the title but is it enough to meet today’s standards? Well, not quite.
When I started the game I was pretty impressed with all of the minor upgrades that the game had from its Dreamcast counterpart. But as I went through the game I found that the game really lacked detail and any sort of interesting attributes cannot be found in Sonic DX. For the most part the graphics are pretty straight forward and get the job done. The character models are pretty good with Sonic being the most highly detailed along with the other five in which you can play with. The environments are really where you find a lot of repetitiveness and it shows after only a few levels.
Overall Sonic Adventures DX is not a bad looking game but is held back by its poor framerate, which really can become a problem when a lot of things start popping up on the screen. For a game that is four years old Sonic Team did not do a half bad job of trying to update it.
Pretty early on in the review I mentioned that there were a lot of fun levels that went along with the normal Sonic formula and then there were the other times where the only thing that comes to mind is boredom. When you mix the two together you have one big rollercoaster of feelings that ends up doing a straight drop to the bottom in the end. With the camera being a huge annoyance, and a lot of other little problems that plague the game you are better off going back to the first few Sonic titles on the Genesis because there is a lot more fun to be had with those then there is with Sonic DX.
When you hear the name Sonic you are normally going to expect to find a pretty solid gaming experience. Well unfortunately the game ends up being quite disappointing and it is one I really can’t recommend. There are too many problems plaguing the game right from the get go and then more problems to follow. If you are looking for a good Sonic title to play either wait for the coming ones on the Cube or dust off that Genesis and throw in Sonic 1-3.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.