Growing up, I was one of those kids that had both a Sega Genesis and a Super Nintendo in the early to mid 90s. The SNES I got back on Christmas of 1992, while I won my Genesis, complete with Sonic 2, in a raffle back when I was in 6th grade, sometime in 1994. Ever since then, I’ve always enjoyed the classic 2D style Sonic the Hedgehog games. Sonic 3 and Knuckles(Sketch Turner: oh yeeeaaaah..) is just so awesome that I can’t get enough of it. Until recently, however, I had never even played a modern style Sonic game. I never did get a Dreamcast growing up, so I missed out on Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 back when they were new. I also didn’t play either of them on Gamecube, although I have briefly played Sonic Heroes, and I completely missed out on later entries in the 2000s decade like Sonic 06 and Sonic Unleashed. From what I hear, I’m not missing too much with those two.
With the advent of Sonic Generations, which is one of the best Sonic games since the Genesis era, it seems Sega finally got back on the right track by blending classic and modern style Sonics, even if it took about a decade for that to happen. There were still the Sonic Advance games for GBA(haven’t beaten all three of them), and the Sonic Rush games for DS(never played either one yet), which got mostly overlooked, but nevertheless look like solid 2D goodness. So for my personal foray into the pure modern style games I thought, “Why don’t I start by playing through Sonic Adventure?” After downloading it on PSN and playing through most of it, I can say that I am thoroughly impressed, having looked at it with a fresh perspective and an open mind. Let’s look at some reasons why:
Sega took a big risk making Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast about 15 years ago, especially since the Saturn didn’t do so well in the U.S., and Sonic 3D Blast was met with mixed reviews, although I actually enjoyed that one. Thankfully, Sonic makes the transition to 3D platforming quite well in his debut adventure on the Dreamcast. The controls are nice and smooth, the soundtrack is great, and most of all, gameplay is fun.
In addition to the main adventure mode, there are plenty of challenges and side missions to do, in which you earn emblems. These include beating the action stages again under certain conditions, finding hidden items in the adventure field, and raising Chao in the Chao garden. I have not done all of these yet, although I have already played through all character’s adventures. All the characters except for Big the Cat are cool and fun to play as, but Big does add quite a bit of humor with his ridiculous speech and so-bad-it’s-funny voice. Of course there is Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, but even the self-proclaimed girlfriend of Sonic, Amy, bashes her way through badniks with her trusty hammer. Finally, E-102 Gamma adds a nice touch to rounding out the characters, as well.
I also thoroughly enjoyed getting to see the story play out through each character, and fighting different forms of Eggman and Chaos(not to be confused with Garland/Chaos from the first Final Fantasy) were nice touches, too. I’ll be playing through Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes before too long, but I’m glad I kept an open mind about some of the newer, modern style Sonic games, even though a lot of them are not new at all anymore. And for the record, and this should really go without saying, but the Sega Genesis and Sega CD Sonic the Hedgehog games have always been, and will always be, the best ever in the series. Sonic 1, 2, 3 & Knuckles, and CD are pretty much perfection. The classics have rightfully earned their place in video gaming hall of fame.
So, I look forward to trying some more Sonic games that I missed out on for so many years. Let me know what you think, and mostly which games in the series I should avoid. I won’t do a retrospective on the entire series, since there are way too many games to cover, but at least a few of them for sure.