GCN GBA Cable (various Sonic games)
After the amazing success of Sonic Adventure 2 Battle on
GameCube, Sega decided to release the true first installment of the
series, Sonic Adventure, on the Cube as well. But like with
2B, some little extras were added onto the Dreamcast hit. The
result? Sonic Adventure DX Directorís Cut. So does Sonicís
first adventure on the Dreamcast match his first on the GameCube?
Will it also be a Playerís Choice hit? Letís take a look.
Sonic the Hedgehog
was a side-scrolling, quick action game. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
was a side-scrolling, quick action game. Heck, even Sonic
Adventure 2 Battle, when not in a story scene, was pretty fast
paced. But, as soon as you get into Sonicís story, youíll discover
something unheard of in Sonic games- an actual world?! Yes, when not
in an action stage, Sonic and pals will run around the Adventure
Field. There are three fields in all, including Sonicís home, Station
Square, and a mysterious place called the Mystic Ruins. Each field
has rooms to enter, people to talk to, and sub-areas that add a whole
new dimension to Sonicís quest. The designers tried to even add the
RPG element of event chains, but they are pretty weak and almost
pointless sometimes. Nevertheless, although it takes away from the
speed aspect, itís a very cool twist that adds a feeling of
connectivity between stages. Also, it gives a place for certain
emblems to hide that arenít prizes for beating the action stages.
The stages. To discuss these, the division of the story must be
looked at. Unlike SA2Bís two sub-story game, SADX has its plot
divided amongst six different characters, each with their own unique
types of level. The heroes are Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, E-102
Gamma, and Big the Cat. Somehow or another, these six individuals all
get thrown into Eggmanís latest plan. And what is that exactly? In
this adventure, Dr. Eggman has broken the seal on a mysterious aquatic
creature named Chaos. He needs to gather the 7 Chaos emeralds in
order to bring Chaos to his full power, which will allow Eggman to
take over Station SquareÖand maybe even more. So naturally, Sonic
jumps in to try to save the day! Sound familiar? Eh, the basic Sonic
plot. SADX DOES have a few twists, but nothing will throw you off
But the characters are what make it all worth it. Sonic, in his
adventure path, meets up with Tails, which unlocks him as a playable
character. Tails and Sonic, in turn, find Knuckles, unlocking him.
Basically, as one character meets another, they become playable. And
as this happens, their stories and levels unfoldÖ
Sonic owns the fast paced action stages, as usual. The point of his
levels is too get to the end to reach some goal, depending on whatís
going on in the plot. Sonic will receive an upgrade that enables him
to perform the Light Speed Dash. But unlike in SA2B, he now needs to
charge before using this move. Oh, and Tails follows him around.
Tails, who is NOT in a giant walker, naturally follows his hero
around. Tailsís stages are usually the same as Sonicís, but his goal
is to reach the end before the hedgehog does. In a way, all of his
levels are like races. And since heís free of the giant piece of
metal, Tails is free to fly around now! This can enable him to find
shortcuts when up against Sonic. And with one of his upgrades, a
speed boost, the advantage is with the Fox.
Knuckles is thrown into the story after the Master Emerald shatters,
so his levels STILL consist of him trying to find the pieces. But,
things are a little different this time. The levels are considerably
smaller, and the radar will detect all 3 pieces at once instead of
just one, making things a little easier. Knuckles will eventually
gain a special move that allows him to send off rays of energy.
Useful? Not at all.
Amy Rose, Sonicís girlfriend, stumbles upon a lost bird and is
determined to help it out. But one of Eggmanís robot also wants the
poor creature, so Amy spends her adventure and levels trying to evade
the robot, Zero. Like Sonic, Amy is trying to get to the end of the
levels. The only differences are that her goal is always an escape
balloon; she can fight with a massive hammer that she pulls from
somewhere, and that Zero is always on her tail. Sure you can hit him
to slow him down, but heíll never be completely beaten even with Amyís
acquired spin attack.
E-102 Gamma is a new face in town. He is one of Eggmanís E series
robots, and his mission is to recover a frog that stole Chaosís tail.
But while on his mission, certain circumstances force him to override
his purposeÖhmm. Gammaís controls and feel are like that of Eggmanís
walker in SA2B; he has a laser that he can lock on with, and he will
gain the ability to hover. Gamma, being a robot, has a finite
battery, so when trying to beat his levels, a timer will count down on
the top of the screen. Only by locking on to targets can you recover
Big the Cat is the sixth character. Now, I honestly donít know what
possessed the designers to throw him in this game. Heís slow, dumb,
and adds NOTHING to the plot but a little comic relief, and I stress
little. Poor Bigís frog, Froggy, acquires Chaosís tail and goes
running off. Big, oblivious to Eggmanís plan, goes on a quest to find
his pal. All of Bigís levels are fishing games. Yes fishing. Fish
in the pool for Froggy. An upgrade will be a belt that lets him float
on water (useful), and fishing lures. Loads of fun. Luckily, he
doesnít have that many stages.
With the six characters, youíd think that the game is pretty long and
involved. Well, it isnít really. The stages are not equally
distributed to the characters. For example, Sonic has 10 while Big
only has 4, and poor Amy has 3. Of course, this is because of how
late some of the characters come into the plot, but it really makes
some people (coughBIGcough) feel like pointless cameos.
Yet, despite the little flaws, the adventures are fun. Itís
interesting to see the story in six different perspectives, but it
also gets very repetitive after awhile. For example, because Sonic
and Tails are usually together, youíll end up seeing the same cinemas
and levels for both of them. This gets oldÖquickly.
Speaking of cinemas, letís talk SADXís visuals. The graphics
themselves blow SA2Bís away. SADX gives us smooth characters,
including NPCs, more things to look it, as in buildings and trees, and
suburb lighting effects. In the level called Casinopolis, Sonic,
Tails, and Knuckles just look beautiful. In one level, Sonic even
looks a little cel shaded. Itís not Starfox Adventures, but
itís no Super Mario 64 either.
But every good gamer knows that pure graphics donít mean anything if
they arenít executed correctly, and this is where we see a part of
SADX that makes it embarrassing. First of all, the camera is AWFUL.
I mean, this thing is sickening. It likes to not follow you, stay
stuck behind walls, and just go wherever it feels like sometimes. You
would think and HOPE that something that glaringly bad would be fixed
for a port, but alas, we hope too much. But still, seeing the inside
of a wall instead of Knuckles in a ported game on such a powerful
system just makes it feel sloppy.
Oh, and add the massive use of invisible walls to the list of sloppy
things. I havenít seen invisible barriers used as much since the
early N64 days. Walk towards the water, and a wall stops you. Walk
near the edge of a cliff, and oops! Youíre saved from falling off by
a wall! And they tend to be places very far away from their targets
too, so it again feels sloppy. For example, the wall blocking you
from the ocean is actually on the end of the beach. Give me a break.
Is it really that hard to make the character swim, fall off, or make
them say something cute that means, ďI canít go this far?Ē Also, in
the Mystic Ruins, you CAN get around an invisible wall and fall to
your doom. If youíre going to block us off, do it properly. Geez.
But the gameís music makes up for the sloppy presentationÖsorta. As
usual, itís of A quality. SADX brings us rock, hip-hop, jazz, pop -
you name it. But there seems to be an absence of singing in this
soundtrack. In fact, I donít recall any song having singing, sans the
character theme songs and Follow Your Heart, the main theme.
But, the music is cancelled out by the voice acting. Itís SO slow and
off. Itís bad enough looking like a poorly dubbed Japanese movie, but
taking a 2 second break in-between sentences is a little pathetic.
Sometimes, a character will take his or her sweet time to respond to
someone else. And believe me, a potential emotional scene is
completely ruined by this awful lag. Are their reaction times THAT
slow, or was some programmer just lazy? The voices are completely the
opposite of SA2Bís quick responses. Oh, and Eggmanís mouth never
moves for the whole game! Whatís going on here?!
Well, can we find some refuge in SADXís other features? Aside from
Adventure Mode, SADX has 3 more. First we have Trial Mode. Here, you
can view emblem results, play sub games that are included in the
adventure, and replay stages that have been beaten. Normally, you
play the simple C Level of each stage in the adventure- get to the
end; collect the emerald pieces, etc. But through Trial, you can
complete the A and B levels. These are equivalent to SA2Bís missions,
but there is no letter ranking. For Amy, Sonic, Tails, and Gamma, the
Bs consists of beating the stage with 50 rings or more. Amy and Sonic
must beat the stage under a specific time limit for A, while Tails has
to beat an even faster Sonic. Knucklesís As and Bs are quite simple,
with having to find all emerald pieces under a time limit and finding
them all without using any hints, respectively. Gammaís A is to beat
the stage under a time limit, and Bigís As and Bs are to catch large
fish for Froggy. More diverse than SA2B, but simpler as well.
The 2nd mode is a true Mission mode. This feature is
unlocked after beating a characterís story. In it, you wander the
Adventure Field searching for Mission cards. After finding one,
youíll get a hint of what to do to complete the mission. For example,
with Tails, one may tell you to stop some growing weeds. You then
have to find the area and complete the task. Some missions may take
place in the Field, but others may actually be in a level. These are
fun, although finding the cards can get tedious after awhile.
The 3rd mode is one of the coolest, which is the Mini-game
Collection. By completing missions and gaining emblems, old Sonic
Game Gear games are unlocked! True Sonic nostalgia!
Oh, and of course, Chao raising exists in the game. But donít expect
to take them to Kindergarten or to do karate; there is none. The Chao
in SADX have 3 gardens, a Black Market, the races, and animals.
Obviously, SA2B is the TRUE home of Chao raising. However, you can
still send your SADX Chao to SA2B, via the Tiny Chao Garden in
Sonic Advance, Sonic Advance 2, or Sonic Pinball Party.
As for difficulty? Sadly, SADX isnít much of a challenge. The levels
arenít very complicated, the bosses, including the final one, are too
easy, and the Trial Mode provides replay but no I-need-an-A-rank
frustration. The hardest part for me was being able to stand Bigís
levels! But donít get me wrong! Itís a VERY fun game that will be
sure to keep you going hours after the adventure ends.
SA2B had so much multiplayer that the ď2BĒ was added to the original
title. SADX and multiplayer, on the other hand, donít get along well
at all. Why? There practically is none. Two players can only play
in a few Game Gear games and in Sonicís action stages as Tails. But
donít get too excited; the Tails thing is a joke. Normally, the
computer controls Tails as Sonic runs around. A second controller can
move him, but the camera wonít follow the flying fox. His only use is
to get rings and defeat enemies, but itís more of a pain than help to
On a final note, SADX has 130 emblems. Most are rewarded after
beating the levels of the action stages, but some have hidden
themselves away in the Adventure Fields, and others are rewards for
the Chao races. However, just like in SA2B, a prize awaits those who
have found all 130. What is it? Youíll have to see yourself.
next-generation game on the 'Cube! Woo!
Excellent music, as
Six characters, providing six different points of
view, making the presentation of the story pretty unique
An Adventure Field - unique and brings things
Loads of after-adventure extras
Fun fun fun!
camera, walls, and voice acting.
sloppy for a port!
Sonic plot, and pretty short at that
Cat...and his levels
As soon as you get over the sloppiness, Sonic Adventure DX is a
very fun game. Is it better than Sonic Adventure 2: Battle?
Thatís entirely up to your own personal preference, although I think
that its sequel is an overall better game. Yet, no fan of Sonic
should go without playing this! And since it has so much extra to do,
renting isnít an option!