When asked to remember Sonic‘s greatest moments, very few of them will feature a 3D version of gamings most iconic hedgehog. In fact, the only 3D entry in the long running series any fan would even consider mentioning is Dreamcast best-seller Sonic Adventure. Seen as a technical marvel back in the late 90s, can the game achieve the same accolade 12 years later?
Not a true port of the original game, Sonic Adventure for the Playstation Network or Xbox Live Arcade is instead a remake of the Gamecube version, retaining the additional gameplay tweaks found in this Nintendo version of the game. Though this may seem like a good thing, once you get started, you notice just how broken the mechanics of Adventure have become over the past 12 years, the overriding factor in the score you see below. In short, Sonic Adventure is near unplayable on the HD consoles.
That’s not to say the game here isn’t the same vibrant and colourful SEGA world that fans have spent years loving, when it works, Adventure still features the best 3D gameplay the hedghog has ever seen. As is customary with the series, when Sonic moves fast, the game improves, and when you traverse the complicated loops and highways that make up a standard stage you can have a lot of fun. That said, the ‘adventure’ side of the experience is once again hampered by control issues, You find yourself fighting to get out of corners, and making sonic run around in the now dated city environments the game includes.
It’s a shame too that the game’s visuals haven’t been updated too as while back on Dreamcast the sunny beaches and city skylines looked impressive, in HD on your PS3 it can look much much older than it actually is-the ugly blue bars either side of the 4:3 window only adding to the problem. And therein lies the game’s main issue. If you are a Sonic fan looking for the purest 3D sonic experience possible, looking past these graphics is least of your issues. The port is just as, if not more broken than the more recent titles in the series, namely Sonic Unleashed, and so picking between the two is much easier than it should be.
There is very little reason to play Sonic Adventure on your PS3 or Xbox 360, a real shame given the pedigree of the original release. wait for Sonic 4 Part 1 instead.