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Sonic Adventure - Sega Dreamcast

by Sega
Sega Dreamcast
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (307 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B00000K3X9
  • Item Weight: 5 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: September 9, 1999
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (307 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,367 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)

Product Description

After several years in video game retirement, Sonic the Hedgehog returns as the star of a graphically stunning 3-D adventure game that blows away every other game in the genre. Sonic is joined by five of his friends in a massive quest that spans over 50 game levels filled with remarkable visuals and a pulsating soundtrack. Taking full advantage of the unprecedented processing power of the Dreamcast, Sega's development crew, Sonic Team, has designed several gravity-defying game levels that will keep gamers hooked.

Our favorite level is Windy Valley, which requires you to survive the stormy perils of a tremendous tornado. This tyrant of nature chases you relentlessly before ultimately sucking you into the air and up through its eye. During the chase, the tornado manages to tear up just about everything on the screen. This dizzying visual spectacle moves so fast that you will literally hold on to the game controller for dear life.

Assuming you survive the tornado, there are several more challenging areas to conquer, including a level that requires you to snowboard directly in the path of a fast-approaching avalanche. During the Emerald Coast level, you will race across a precarious dock as a killer whale attacks from below, destroying the wood planks underneath your feet while you attempt to outrun the crazed creature.

We also liked the numerous mini-games scattered throughout this title. When you least expect it, Sonic Adventure tosses in some old-fashioned arcade action, such as pinball or bumper car racing. In between, you can raise virtual pets, known in the game as "Chao." These characters, which are saved using the optional Visual Memory Unit (VMU), can be combined with other Chao characters exchanged between friends or downloaded via the Internet.

Gamers looking to show off the strong processing power of the 128-bit Dreamcast will definitely want to pick up this title. Simply put, Sonic Adventure's graphics surpass those of any other game currently available on any home video game system. Let the Sonic assault begin. --Brett Atwood


  • Strong replay value
  • Stunning graphics
  • Bonus virtual pet game
  • Six different game characters


  • May be too fast-moving for some players
  • Awkward camera angles can inhibit gameplay in some areas


Every once in a while, a game comes along that redefines a genre and sends the gaming scene in a new direction for years to come. Sonic Adventure simultaneously is and is not one of these games. It keeps the linearity and structure of a 2D game and brings, for the first time, real speed to a 3D platformer. Yes - Sonic is back in classic form after an all-too-long hiatus.

Having been failed time and time again by technology, Dr. Robotnik began to look elsewhere for world-conquering gear. In his journeys he stumbled on Chaos, the water-based God of Destruction. To reach his full destructive potential, Chaos must absorb the seven Chaos Emeralds. Robotnik begins scouring the world for the elusive gems, sparking the interest of Sonic. Five additional characters also become caught up in the fight against Robotnik and Chaos, and each character has his own agenda. Tails seeks to become more than Sonic's sidekick; Knuckles searches for shards of the shattered Master Emerald; Amy protects a small bird; Big chases his amphibious friend; and Robotnik's E-102 Gamma sets out to relieve the world of his robotic kindred. Several flashbacks are interspersed throughout each of the characters' adventures to explain the back story, but the whole picture is not revealed to the player until the game has been completed with all six characters.

Sonic Adventure's levels come in two flavors - action stages and adventure fields. The action stages are, as the name implies, action oriented. Each action stage is entirely self-contained, with play mechanics varying from character to character. Sonic's levels play exactly as they did in the 2D Sonic games, but a 3D element has been added. Knuckles' levels, on the other hand, center around Knuckles' search through various levels for shards of the Master Emerald. The large adventure fields are more exploratory in nature and tie together the action stages. The field areas are inhabited by various people to talk to, and they contain no enemies other than the game's bosses. Finally, hidden throughout the field areas are items that enhance the characters' abilities, allowing them to access new areas.

While Sonic's game is roughly twice as long and a far more thrilling ride, each character's game is fun in its own way. Even with the characters' respective play differences, Sonic Adventure's design is very straightforward and linear, so the game is always fast and fun. Yes, fast - Sonic is easily the fastest 3D platformer to date, setting the game apart from the largely collection- and exploration-based games that fill the market. The game's few bosses are well done and inventive, but they only seem to whet the player's appetite for more - or at least more difficult ones.

As is fashionable these days, Sonic Adventure is also chock-full of minigames. From the game's impressive snowboarding sequence in the Icecap Zone to the bumper car race in Twinkle Park, Sonic Adventure is constantly putting new spins on its speed fixation. However, the most interesting minigames center on the slow process of raising Chao. Taking a cue from the NiGHTS's Nightopian A-Life simulation, the game lets players hatch these adorable, tear-headed creatures from eggs in three breeding areas scattered throughout the game. The Chao learn from Sonic and his friends, grow, lay new eggs, and genetically diversify. Each Chao is rated in swimming, flying, running, and strength - numbers that come into play in the Chao racing game in the Station Square breeding area. You can work on your Chao's stats by downloading them into a VMU and helping them though a mini-adventure of their own. You can even mate them by linking two VMUs together. While really just a diversion, the Chao simulation is surprisingly interesting and fun to play around with, especially if you trade and compete with friends. New to the US version of Sonic Adventure is an Internet-based Chao trading system, which lets people trade Chao over the phone lines.

While its level design almost never ceases to amuse, Sonic does have a few signs of rushed production that directly affect gameplay. The game's camera is the most notable issue, but collision problems occasionally show up, as well. Most of the time, the camera doesn't get in the way of play, but it's annoyingly spastic in tight areas, and it can get caught under floors and behind walls, sometimes resulting in unnecessary deaths. Collision problems can also result in Sonic's untimely demise, sometimes causing Sonic to careen straight through a normally solid wall. Some of the worst instances of bad camerawork have been fixed for the US release, but some problems still remain. Either way, these problems don't ruin the game - they only add an occasional element of unwelcome frustration. Sometimes, Sonic will get stuck on an incline, and while this is usually remedied with just a jump, it can sap valuable seconds away from a winning run for that final emblem. But these problems are minor irritations at most.

Sonic Adventure's graphics are easily the best in a 3D platformer, surpassed only by Soul Calibur's graphics. Under the high-resolution, mip-mapping, and other graphical buzzwords lies a genuinely attractive game. The game's huge, detailed environments exude the visual style that made the Sonic games some of the best-looking on the Genesis. The textures are crisp and varied, and the midlevel load times are short and sweet. Most of the game runs at a nice frame rate, but slowdown does show up in some areas, and it is usually concentrated in a few of the game's levels. Pop-up is noticeable in many areas, as well, but usually it's far away from the player, so it doesn't affect gameplay in the least. A vast majority of the game's cinemas are done with the game engine itself, and they are nicely choreographed. The FMV-based scenes are excellent, as well, but sometimes one has to wonder why they had to be prerendered. The game's music is top-notch Sonic-style rock, sporting crystal-clear playback and nicely understated vocals. Most of the sound effects are the standard Sonic sound effects, which still work well. The game's voices, overall, are surprisingly well done, with only a few lines delving into the depths of translation mediocrity that players have come to expect from ports of this nature. While the voices are good, Sega completely ignored the lip-syncing - it looked weird enough in the Japanese version and it looks much weirder now.

Sonic Adventure is a must-have game for the Dreamcast, and it's a blast for the entire twenty-odd hours of gameplay. With the Chao-breeding simulation and the minigames, Sonic offers much more beyond the completion of its story. Fans of the Sonic series will definitely be pleased with Sonic Adventure - it truly carries and builds on the style of the original games. Even with its flaws, Sonic Team has produced a 3D experience unlike any to date. --Peter Bartholow
--Copyright ©1999 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. GameSpot and the GameSpot logo are trademarks of GameSpot Inc. -- GameSpot Review

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yep, I like it! December 28, 1999
By A Customer
Durability: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Educational: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
First off, I really like this game. I have to say I wasn't the hugest fan of Sonic in the past, but this one I absolutely love. The "adventure" aspect really makes it work for me.
It is very playable, quite challenging and it really makes you want to come back for more. The story has been well thought-out, the graphics are excellent, the music is pretty cool and the level designs are nicely done and fun to explore.
Having said that, it can be hard to find your way around the game at some points, but there are plenty of characters to talk to which give hints, which usually point you in the right direction. Bear in mind, I said "usually." Sometimes I've spent around 20 minutes zooming around all the wrong areas of a level because of an obscure or misleading clue. For instance, "Wasn't there something shiny in the caves?" could mean almost anything. (This shouldn't give anything away, by the way!)
There are a lot of video sequences. Some seem gratuitous and add nothing to the game apart from an extra video sequence. It would have been nice to skip them if you'd seen them before. In fact, it would have been nice to be able to turn them off completely. The game is big and sophisticated enough to live without many of them and still make sense.
I found one or two of the levels to have traps which were extremely irritating, where you'd fall through something and die or get stuck without it being clear what had happened (particularly the Egg Carrier level). Generally they were extremely well-planned and very enjoyable to work through.
Almost everyone comments on the camera angles. They are a bit dodgy, to say the least. It isn't just a problem when you've died. Frequently the camera will get "stuck" behind a scenery item.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonic, a great game! November 19, 1999
By A Customer
Durability: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Educational: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
Sonic, like all Dreamcast games, has incredible graphics. The first time I played at part when you are flying I felt weightless. To all the people who brag about beating it in two days, this game is great no matter how you look at it and I still want to play it over and over again.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Blue's Back November 19, 1999
By A Customer
Durability: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Educational: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
It's been years since Sonic & Knuckles, the last true Sonic game. The series has been plagued with terrible titles such as Sonic R and Sonic 3D Blast. Luckily, Sonic Adventure makes up for lost time, and that was a lot of time to make up. Yuji Naka's latest title is among the best 3D platformers I've played in a while and really helped the Sonic series get back on its feet. Basically a Mario 64 pumped on steroids, the first thing you'll notice are the breathtaking graphics. From the killer whale escape in Emerald Coast to the tornado ride in Windy Valley, you would want to play the level all over again just because of how smooth and crisp the graphics are. A traditional pop soundtrack and fast, action-based gameplay all also add to a classic Sonic game.
I just couldn't leave out the minor problems to the game, though. I would have given Sonic five stars but some quirks here and there left the hedgehog not as hip and urban he should have been. First of all, the annoying camera can leave you frustrated some times. Also, pop-up occurs at times even if it doesn't affect gameplay. The cinemas contain too much talking and dialogue when all you want to do is get to playing. The overall appearance of the game also suffers from lame music that somewhat don't fit the mood for a few of the stages.
Despite such problems, Sonic Adventure is still destined to be the best Sonic game to date. It will definitely entertain 3D action/adventure fans and most of all, Sonic fans. After waiting for such a long time to play a worth while Sonic game, the fans deserve it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sonic Adventure is one of the best games out ! November 18, 1999
By A Customer
Durability: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Educational: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
Yes Sonic is back with all new adventures in Sonic Adventure! Sonic Adventure has the best graphics I have ever seen on a home console and its just unbelievable how realistic it looks. When you first play Sonic Adventure your like wow is this real are what? At least that's what I thought when I first play Sonic Adventure. I just can't believable how great the graphics are and there still more to come! Sonic Team really did a great job bringing Sonic and all his friends home to the Sega Dreamcast. Yeah I know some of you are saying stop talking about the graphics and tell me more information about the game. Ok Sonic Adventure is a great game for Sonic fans and there so many ways to play the game that it will take a long to get tried of this game. At first you have to get use to the different camera angles but after that the game is all good. The game is about Sonic and all his old friends like Tails, Knuckles and Amy plus some new ones like Big The Cat and E-102 a.k.a Gamma come together to fight against the evil Dr. Robotnik a.k.a Eggman from d station sqaual. One of the big difference between Sonic The Hedgehog and Sonic Adventure other then the great graphics is the plot. Instead of fighting Dr. Robotnik on Sonic home planet you get to fight Eggman on planet earth which is kind of cool. Plus there are 50 difference levels and add the minigames you can play with your VMU ( Visual Memory Unit ) which include snowboarding,  sandboarding levels, aerial shooting segments, pinball games, racing, and even fishing. Your going to have a great time playing with each and ever charter to see how the story come together. 
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars they had pressing problems and a good bunch of these CD's don't work...
Beware, when these were released back in the Dreamcast era, they had pressing problems and a good bunch of these CD's don't work on Dreamcasts. Read more
Published 10 hours ago by Miles
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonic Adventure: The best adventure you'll ever take with the "...
Sonic Adventure was my first Dreamcast game, and to this day it's still in my top-ten of all time favorite games ( on any system ) ever! Read more
Published 2 months ago by mark B Allred
5.0 out of 5 stars Great game
Game is great and a fun one to play. No doubt would buy again if I somehow lost it. Great quality. Must buy!
Published 3 months ago by KamaruAshamae
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonic Adventure Is All That
I've been loving all the Sonic The Hedgehog games since I was 11 yrs. old. I love the Sonic Adventure game. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Rhonda Goodman
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
I really like this product. It has a good looking. And also it has a pretty good size. I really like this product.
Published 6 months ago by adilene
2.0 out of 5 stars One sixth of the game is okay.
Sonic Adventure is a game that tries to do way too much. There are six characters and only one (sonic) is decent. Read more
Published 6 months ago by steven
5.0 out of 5 stars Gotta go fast!
I am a very big fan of sonic. Even if I own a sonic game, if it has another version I will get that version too. I got this game because I wanted some games for my dreamcast. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ethan Tucker
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the must have Sonic Game
There are so many things to say about this game I'd probably go into it for another 30 minutes if I weren't short on time. This game is a winner through and through. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Julien Medrek
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreamcast nostalgia!
I love this game! Easy to pick up and play with my son. Just reminds. Me of my younger days when games were just simple fun.
Published 7 months ago by Nirm
4.0 out of 5 stars Sonic Adventure and the Camera
Sonic Adventure is one of the most important game's of Sonic's History, being it was the first 3D Sonic the Hedgehog game. Read more
Published 7 months ago by DbzRpg
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