Jump to content
LOO LOO LOO LOO NYAH NYAH

Is Sonic Adventure's legacy underrated? (In terms of gameplay)

Recommended Posts

A lot of people these days praise Sonic Adventure as being one of their top Sonic games. However, one common criticism of the game is that under today's standards, it hasn't aged very well. The purpose of this post is not to convince you that Sonic Adventure is the best game ever, it's far from it, but rather present you my views on the reasons why I think it is at least mildly undeserving of being an Old'Hog, ready for the Green Hill Retirement Home.

 

Firstly I will say I do not really care for any of the stages besides the Sonic and Tails stages. I would say why but that is really a question of subjective quality rather than how well the game has aged, and I will argue the point that Sonic has the main chunk of the gameplay, and unlike the sequel, players aren't really forced to play as the other characters. You may be thinking, "but to get your money's worth and see how the story ends/play the final boss you have to play as all the characters!" I hear you, I cannot refute that. I will say however that in my opinion at least you've already experienced the best of what the game has to offer after playing Sonic's stages alone. 

 

Now, let's talk about Sonic's gameplay. To me it was really the closest we've had to the classic games in 3D. The 3 main components were there: Platforming, roller coaster "thrill sections" and exploration. Now, obviously it didn't -feel- exactly like the classic games did, but that's a given seeing as some changes had to be made to account for the Z Axis. Firstly, Sonic's jump had to be more precise for 3D platforming. In the 2D games even if you aren't moving quickly, your jump still has a lot of horizontal hang time, giving that pleasurable "fighting against the momentum" feel when you change direction mid air. That feels natural for that sort of game. But can you imagine how that would feel in 3D? It would make simple jumps pretty awkward, so having Sonic stop fairly quickly at low speed makes sense.

 

Now, the high speed action sequences. Some might say the automated loops are "lazy", and I can sort of agree there. But try to remember that it is a lot easier to leave it non automated in 2D seeing as the loop is actually an illusion and there is no depth, you pass a trigger and collisions are ignored for one "half" of the loop and allowed for the other.

 

And finally, exploration. Sonic Adventure replicates the height tiered level design of the classics pretty well, along with secret nooks and crannies for you to find. Play through a stage like Twinkle Park or even Speed Highway slowly and you will see the comparisons. There are lots of hidden areas/shortcuts to find, and shock horror, it feels like a -3D- game, not a game with behind the back sections where you just hold forward. It's also especially pleasurable to master the use of the Spin Dash to navigate through the stages, which brings me to the physics. Sonic Adventure is one of the few 3D Sonic games that allowed you to pick up speed when moving downhill, it gave you a -reason- to use the Spin Dash (Either to speed up down hill or aid in going up hill) instead of today's Sonic games where you "just wanna go fast" for the most part. I think Sonic Team removing the Spin Dash for the period that they did removed a lot of the fun, but that's another topic. Also I really liked how the wall running mechanic was tied to the game's physics, and not something you can do willy nilly like a certain Sonic game on the horizon.

 

Sonic Adventure isn't a bug free game by any means, nor is it a highly glitchy one. You can get through all of Sonic's stages just fine without any game breaking glitches -most- of the time. The way the game handles Sonic colliding with a wall at speed is a bit strange, and you will see Sonic spaz quite a bit if you aren't very good at controlling him, but for example in some sections like Windy Valley, I actually quite like that you have to be good at controlling Sonic (even during areas where the camera appears to be cinematic) to avoid losing momentum by bumping into a wall. Finally I don't understand how the glitches (which I won't deny- forgot to mention the crappy camera system) are what give the game the status of not aging well. I would call tired mechanics an example of a game not ageing well, but I guess that's subjective.

 

So in summary, I think to this day Sonic Adventure is still a great game, not the best, but great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not that the game is by any means terrible.  It's just that there used to be a time where I could immediately recommend it to everyone.  But times have changed and fewer and fewer people are going to tolerate the bugs and glitches as years go by.  As is, the only people I would immediately recommend it to are hardcore Sonic fans, then I cautiously recommend it to more casual Sonic fans, and then it's purely circumstantial as to rather or not I'd recommend even a passing glance to anyone else.

 

But gosh, though, that soundtrack.  That's something that hasn't aged a day.  It's still incredible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sonic Adventure is a game with some good ideas, some bad; and its aged like a fine wine.. that someone pissed in.

It has its heavy amount of charm to it, and the gameplay at its core for at least 4/6 characters was pretty solid. Its just that while the game's music, art, and general story were pretty great, the bugginess of the game itself (mostly related to physics and collision), the awfully aged dialogue/cut-scenes, and the shakier decisions like Big's fishing gameplay just bogs it down to the point where the game isn't really easy to get people into anymore.

But since the game had such solid, decent ideas for a Sonic game, I almost feel like its the Sonic game that most deserves a remake. To see everything that game offered given at it's best would be wonderful.. as long as they don't change the soundtrack.

Edited by Aspoopkara

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this game was not only enjoyable, but it is still enjoyable to me! I enjoy playing through the stories ( I am one of the only ones who enjoys the emerald collection levels with Knuckles!) The story is still lovable, I can view it over and over and never bore of it. It had amazing graphics for it's time, despite the humorous mouth movements in the first one. the characters were so individual and unique, especially the way the story changed for each character's  point of view.

  And the music was a huge success!

 So, now to game play, (which is what the topic called for) It was great for it's time, and I (not being the best game player) could finish the levels with challenge, and enjoyed every minute of it :D

  I think the game was awesome and that if some newer Sonic games would take a few principles from these two games (not so much all of them, but some o f it..) it may feel more like a traditional Sonic game!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The things that haven't aged well about Sonic Adventure have little to nothing to do with the gameplay.

 

Voice Acting is subpar, Eggman has way too many overused voice clips, the story is garbage, the character animations are unexcusable terrible (seriously there are PS1 games with better animation).

 

The only thing gameplay-wise I could actually say hasn't aged well is the fucking lifeless hub world that no one asked for. In fact I'd say that wasn't even good when it came out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Firstly I will say I do not really care for any of the stages besides the Sonic and Tails stages.

And that's enough of a reason to retire it on its own. It spends too much time not being a Sonic game.

and I will argue the point that Sonic has the main chunk of the gameplay

Sonic and Tails together get 15, everyone else together gets 17. That's not really a good split.

and unlike the sequel, players aren't really forced to play as the other characters. You may be thinking, "but to get your money's worth and see how the story ends/play the final boss you have to play as all the characters!" I hear you, I cannot refute that. I will say however that in my opinion at least you've already experienced the best of what the game has to offer after playing Sonic's stages alone.

This doesn't excuse it in the slightest. If you bought SA solely to play Sonic's story, you'd be paying full price for half a game.

Now, let's talk about Sonic's gameplay. To me it was really the closest we've had to the classic games in 3D.

That's not really that praiseworthy when it's largely because they've never really tried otherwise. SA just doesn't make good on the concept of classic Sonic gameplay in 3D due to both programming and design issues. On the programming side, the collision detection is sketchy, and running into a wall is basically the end of any kind of fluid movement. On the design side, there's very little opportunity to use Sonic's classic abilities properly; levels are often too flat for rolling and wall running and there's too many dash pads and springs tossing you around rather than keeping movement the player's responsibility.

Now, the high speed action sequences. Some might say the automated loops are "lazy", and I can sort of agree there. But try to remember that it is a lot easier to leave it non automated in 2D seeing as the loop is actually an illusion and there is no depth, you pass a trigger and collisions are ignored for one "half" of the loop and allowed for the other.

That doesn't really make automation a good idea. A lot of things are easier in 2D than in 3D, but if you're going to make a 3D game, you need to do it right.

Also I really liked how the wall running mechanic was tied to the game's physics, and not something you can do willy nilly like a certain Sonic game on the horizon.

I like how SLoW actually uses wall running as a major mechanic rather than having it only be relevant maybe twice in the entire game.

Sonic Adventure isn't a bug free game by any means, nor is it a highly glitchy one.

It's pretty goddamn glitchy, actually. Out of the main series, I'd say it's second only to '06.

The way the game handles Sonic colliding with a wall at speed is a bit strange, and you will see Sonic spaz quite a bit if you aren't very good at controlling him, but for example in some sections like Windy Valley, I actually quite like that you have to be good at controlling Sonic (even during areas where the camera appears to be cinematic) to avoid losing momentum by bumping into a wall.

Nah-ah. Nope. You aren't going to get away with defending shitty programming by making it out to be a challenge. Not on my watch.

Overall, I like SA, and it's definitely a significant point in Sonic's history. But it's a game that's rough to play and made some pretty questionable decisions. It simply doesn't hold up that well, not compared to modern games, not compared to some of its contemporaries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And that's enough of a reason to retire it on its own. It spends too much time not being a Sonic game.

Sonic and Tails together get 15, everyone else together gets 17. That's not really a good split.

This doesn't excuse it in the slightest. If you bought SA solely to play Sonic's story, you'd be paying full price for half a game.

That's not really that praiseworthy when it's largely because they've never really tried otherwise. SA just doesn't make good on the concept of classic Sonic gameplay in 3D due to both programming and design issues. On the programming side, the collision detection is sketchy, and running into a wall is basically the end of any kind of fluid movement. On the design side, there's very little opportunity to use Sonic's classic abilities properly; levels are often too flat for rolling and wall running and there's too many dash pads and springs tossing you around rather than keeping movement the player's responsibility.

That doesn't really make automation a good idea. A lot of things are easier in 2D than in 3D, but if you're going to make a 3D game, you need to do it right.

I like how SLoW actually uses wall running as a major mechanic rather than having it only be relevant maybe twice in the entire game.

It's pretty goddamn glitchy, actually. Out of the main series, I'd say it's second only to '06.

Nah-ah. Nope. You aren't going to get away with defending shitty programming by making it out to be a challenge. Not on my watch.

Overall, I like SA, and it's definitely a significant point in Sonic's history. But it's a game that's rough to play and made some pretty questionable decisions. It simply doesn't hold up that well, not compared to modern games, not compared to some of its contemporaries.

Stopping while bumping into a wall isn't a glitch, it's only when Sonic's rotation keeps changing rapidly. But my point stands, having to control Sonic around twists and turns beats holding X while a spline path guides you like a little bitch. Sections like the end of Windy Valley and Speed Highway's wall run shortcut actually require you to pay attention.

Edited by BeachHog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stopping while bumping into a wall isn't a glitch, it's only when Sonic's rotation keeps changing rapidly. But my point stands, having to control Sonic around twists and turns beats holding X while a spline path guides you like a little bitch. Sections like the end of Windy Valley and Speed Highway's wall run shortcut actually require you to pay attention.

I would agree if not for the fact that the game is prone to just throwing you off the wall because you bumped into those air molecules too quickly.  If I had a choice, I'd improve wall running by sort of going with Shadow the Hedgehog's idea.  In that I mean, you can do it, but you'll fall off if you don't pass to the other side quick enough.  I don't know how it works in Lost World, so I can't say if that's an improvement or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sonic Adventure was the very first Sonic game I had the pleasure of being exposed to. It may have been a demo sampler disk, but either way, Emerald Coast had such a huge impact on me as a child, and I played it on an actual Dreamcast.

 

I finally bought this game on Xbox Live Arcade after getting a ton of Microsoft points to spend last Christmas after playing the demo over and over. Knuckles' treasure hunting stages felt like a chore to play through, and I still haven't got past Big's story yet, I enjoyed playing as everyone else, and I do like the game's structure of selecting whatever character you want to play as from the game's main menu in a story exclusive to them. The control is great, as each character has weight to them but feels fluid, and I was totally fine with the hub worlds here. The music will also always stay with me, from Emerald Coast to the amazing intro theme, Open Your Heart.

 

I felt like the story had a lot of potential, but the cutscenes that look awful by today's standards and six exclusive stories that mostly tied into one plot point cluttered it a bit. Plus, the voice acting is really bad. Deem Bristow is the only actor whose performance feels salvageable to me, everyone else delivers a fitting voice but the acting comes off as forced and awkward. Oh, and the camera does feel finicky in gameplay, mainly in Sonic's stages.

 

In spite of presentation and camera flaws, and not enjoying Big or Knuckles, Sonic Adventure still holds a special place in my heart, and I think the gameplay has aged alright, better the Adventure 2 IMHO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In terms of Sonic and Tails, yeah, I'd say so. I don't care what anyone says, SA1 has probably the best control out of every other 3D Sonic game before Generations and maybe Colors in some parts. When I wanted Sonic to turn, he turned. He didn't jerk to the right of left like he was being pulled or just start running in every direction. Similarly, when I wanted him to stop, he stopped. Almost instantly. There was no sliding nonsense (thank you Unleashes and SA2). He stopped in under a second.

 

I also loved cheesing the stages as Tails. It was fun, darn it. More fun than those asinine mech stages in SA2.

 

Hell, even Knuckles wasn't that bad. His stages were somewhat enjoyable, especially when compared to SA2's tedious snorefests.

 

Actually, you know what? Even Amy was decent in SA1. She is not as slow as everyone says. That would be Big. Besides, at least the goal was still to get from point A to point B. It's not even like you're in any danger or anything.

 

Also, the voice acting is not that bad. Mediocre at worst. You want really bad Sonic voice acting? Look at Sonic Shuffle.

 

While the cutscenes haven't aged well at all, I think the gameplay holds up pretty well. Which is more than I can say for SA2.

 

Also, I only ever encountered, like, one glitch in the game, and it wasn't even major. And this was before I broke my Dreamcast.

Edited by Deathzcrybe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I wanted Sonic to turn, he turned. He didn't jerk to the right of left like he was being pulled or just start running in every direction. Similarly, when I wanted him to stop, he stopped. Almost instantly. There was no sliding nonsense (thank you Unleashes and SA2). He stopped in under a second.

This is something I definitely miss when playing the newer Sonic games.  Colors and Generations improved it by a ton, but the SD versions of Unleashed... god, it's like they turned Sonic R into a platformer and upped the graphics.  I mean, you can get used to it eventually, but it's still terribly programmed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In terms of gameplay? No, because there are times where what was good 10 years ago can age badly, and what was tolerable back then is simply no excuse as of now. Now despite it's poor aging, the Adventures hold fond memories to many people in and out of the fandom who played it before things like "Sonic's Shitty Friends" or "Sonic doesn't work in 3D" began to plague the internet to the point that dissing them tends to incite rage even among a number of gamers who left the franchise at its worst.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just honestly surprised that so many people constantly say the game hasn't aged well. I still enjoy the game and can pull it off my shelf now and give it another play through whenever I want. I have the game in three different places already, Dreamcast, GC, and the 360 sega compilation disk that has other dreamcast games on it.

 

I know the game has glitches. Should they have been fixed before making the DX version? Yes, they should have. Does it prevent me from enjoying the game? Not in the slightest. I love the exploration of the hub world, something I would love all sonic games to have. The level to level system is just so bleh these days. I just want the world to feel more whole and alive. While there was of things going on in the world, that was likely due to limitations in the system. The unleashed hub world is so much better it isn't funny.

 

Some people always want to say I have nostalgia goggles on and I am not picky enough with the game. I don't see why I have to be that picky with a game that I consider quite good. It has its flaws, but many games have flaws. I just don't like putting the game down is all. I praise it and would always recommend it to people I know. If the person is so picky to start picking it apart because of graphics and little gameplay glitches, they seem to be falling prey to the little kid syndrome that is going around these days. These people that just whine about every little thing and don't ever try and enjoy a game. The same people are then so obsessed with graphics that they fail to notice other things or totally write off a game just because of it. It irritates me so much.

 

I know people won't agree with me, but I could pick this game up any day and enjoy it. While I agree, Big's gameplay maybe should have been an optional minigame instead of required for the storyline, everything else seems fine to me. As I've said before, if people are going to whine this much over other characters, just make them all unlockable after the fact. Have the people only be required to play as Sonic and Super Sonic and they can play the other characters later if they wish to know more about what has been going on, but you don't have to do it. I just think people have become too picky these days to enjoy what I consider one of the better games in the series.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, Sonic's stages are are so fun to play through although I can't say the same about the rest of the game. Even with glitches and camera problems I can honestly say Sonic is fun in this game, I also like the sense of freedom this game gives you unlike most other 3D sonic games,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*cough cough*

 

*coughHACKPHLEGHMBURUACKK*

 

I, uh...I agree.

 

I still think Adventure is fantastic, its flaws notwithstanding. I wouldn't say it's aged entirely well, but not to the point that it's not still...well...great fun.

the story is garbage

Hey, no D:

 

 

 

The only thing gameplay-wise I could actually say hasn't aged well is the fucking lifeless hub world that no one asked for. In fact I'd say that wasn't even good when it came out.

 

HEY

 

duDUH...GUH...NO! D8<

 

*ahem*

 

But in all seriousness, I think that while the story has its flaws, in a genre where the most plot development you usually get is "MISTER BADAMAGOO IS MEAN AND YOU HAVE TO BEAT HIM" (at the time, at least), it kinda meant something that Sonic went out of its way to attempt one, and the characterization was (and still is) awesome. I still think it's a decent little story for what it is, and I really love the differing character perspectives.

 

And honestly, as more time passes, I think the ungodly cheesiness of the voice acting and animation just makes it that much more fun. It's sort of like Mega Man 8 or X4 in that way for me, if not to the same extent. Sonic Adventure 2, I think, executed most of this stuff better, though, even if it's still not quite up to par.

 

And I think the hub worlds were fun to screw around in, if nothing else. That, and I wouldn't trade the awesomely bizarre NPC writing for anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No.  I think it's overrated.  It's buggy as fuck.  It's like the platformer version of Fallout 3.

 

You need to look past the bugs and enjoy the game for what it is as well though. Try not to dwell on the negative and look to the positive in the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You need to look past the bugs and enjoy the game for what it is as well though. Try not to dwell on the negative and look to the positive in the game.

No, actually you don't look past the bugs. Doing that only encourages developers not to polish it further, which lead to shit like Sonic 06 being the mess it was.

 

I mean, give credit where it's due and note the good, positive, and fun parts of the game, but never look past the bad and the negative aspects when you know they could have done better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, actually you don't look past the bugs. Doing that only encourages developers not to polish it further, which lead to shit like Sonic 06 being the mess it was.

 

I mean, give credit where it's due and note the good, positive, and fun parts of the game, but never look past the bad and the negative aspects when you know they could have done better.

 

Well I know dont ignore them, but don't let the bugs define your play experience with the game. Yes it has bugs, but dont let a few bugs make you say, oh this game sucks because there are some bugs in the game. That's rather shallow to turn down a rather fun game just because it isn't perfect. I just see so many people always focus so much on the negative of games and almost totally ignore the positive completely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, accentuating the negative can be a pain in the ass if for the sake of bashing and exaggerating faults out of proportion.

 

However, it also goes without saying we have standards that are a decade ahead of what the Adventures originally gave. The things that we gave it a free pass for aren't all gonna slide by today's standards for some people.

Edited by CreepySpiritSonic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, accentuating the negative can be a pain in the ass if for the sake of bashing and exaggerating faults out of proportion.

 

However, it also goes without saying we have standards that are a decade ahead of what the Adventures originally gave. The things that we gave it a free pass for aren't all gonna slide by today's standards for some people.

 People holding older games to newer standards honestly isn't right usually. The game and creators couldn't help it back then that what may not fly now could have easily been gotten away with back then. They didn't know that kind of stuff and holding games to newer standards that aren't relevant to them honestly is a bit unfair to game. You are judging it based on things it can't help when compared with the newest games of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 People holding older games to newer standards honestly isn't right usually. The game and creators couldn't help it back then that what may not fly now could have easily been gotten away with back then. They didn't know that kind of stuff and holding games to newer standards that aren't relevant to them honestly is a bit unfair to game. You are judging it based on things it can't help when compared with the newest games of course.

But that's the thing.  As the years go by, tolerance levels for the glaring flaws of previous generations of gaming become increasingly low.  That's what it means when something hasn't aged well.  When it fails to capture the same charm to modern audiences as it did the past generations' audience.  Similarly, I may have been able to stand low video/audio quality on YouTube in 2005, but now I feel like I'd rather do without than even attempt to watch something that isn't at least 480p.  Sure, the videos uploaded from that timespan may be relics of a different time, but that doesn't mean they're going to be enjoyed just because you take technical limitations into account.

 

I love SA1, glitches and all, but I was raised on glitchy messes and poor quality.  My tolerance level is built up over years of playing it. Many of today's fans don't have that luxury because they were raised on today's standards.  I think the AVGN said it best.  There's a difference between "retro" and "outdated."  "Retro" is something meaningful from the past.  "Outdated" is something that was never desired to begin with.  The bugs in SA1 were never desired, but they were put up with because that was all we had.  Now we have vastly superior products, and those who were raised on them are justifiably not going to want to play a game that feels broken down based on what they're used to.

 

Even if you manage to look past the bugs, though, you have to remember that the bugs and glitches aren't just blemishes on otherwise good gameplay.  The bugs and glitches are the gameplay.  Trying to look past it is still a miserable experience if you're not used to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.