The curious case of Sonic Adventure

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Laughingcow, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. Laughingcow

    Laughingcow

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    Sonic Adventure for the Dreamcast: 86.51 from GameRankings
    Sonic Adventure DX for the Gamecube: 57 from Metacritic
    Sonic Adventure DX for the PS3: 50 from Metacritic
    Sonic Adventure DX for the Xbox: 48 from Metacritic
    Sonic Adventure DX on Steam: Very Positive 86 via Steam User Reviews

    I always find it odd when people use the term "Dated" to say a piece of media is bad. The idea that by simply being a product of its time means it will be considered bad in the future. Sonic Adventure at first sight seems to be a victim of this mindset but there is a little more to it than that. To be succinct, the lower scores of later versions come from lackluster porting with the Steam version (which nobody bothered to review for some reason) only garnering the high marks it has due to community modding fixing what bad porting broke (more on that later).

    Sonic Adventure has problems. Its camera gets caught in the geometry sometimes, people don't like being forced to play as other characters for the true ending (emphasis on FORCED), and the RPG elements slow down the pacing (particularly when one doesn't know what to do). These are valid complaints that have existed since the original Dreamcast release but I don't see it as something that just became worse as the game got older.

    Sonic Adventure DX despite its name, isn't an improved version of the original Dreamcast release. Sure it runs at 60fps and texture quality has improved but for something that is supposed to be a deluxe version, it fails. Instead of further refining the camera, they just added a "Free Camera" option which is useless in a fast moving game. God of War and Devil May Cry don't have camera options because the gameplay is too fast for the player to have time to adjust. Thus static or semi-static angles are used with the level being designed in a way so as to allow the player to see while not letting the camera get caught in anything. Later games (i.e. Super Mario Sunshine) would later incorporate transparency (walls becoming transparent when the camera clips through them) to prevent such problems. The graphics have also been "upgraded" to make them more in line with Sonic Adventure 2.....Bad move Sega. Lastly, there are reports of the later versions being buggier that the Dreamcast version but from my experience, the only problem I had was the steam version crashing on me once. To those curious, there is a whole site dedicated to talking about how bad the DX version is so I'll leave this link.
    http://dreamcastify....liable.network/
    On the positive side of things, you get Game Gear games and Metal Sonic for collecting Emblems which in the original Dreamcast version got you nothin. There's also Mission Mode if you like puzzles and the tiny chao garden connectivity with the GBA is fun.

    Sonic Adventure DX for Xbox/PS3/Steam had gotten worse in that they removed the Game Gear games (that's several points removed right there) meaning Emblems and Mission Mode have less rewards, still haven't addressed the camera, Tiny chao garden is gone, and we can see that nothing of this era of Sonic gameplay gets addressed in later games thus retroactively making things worse. This mindset is an odd one but it is founded on the idea of that problems in a game series get fixed in the sequels thus the player/critics looks back on such things as "growing pains" if you will. When that isn't the case, you end up with what the Modern era now has after Sonic Forces with people questioning whether or not the style had any merit to begin with. No joke, I watched a review that stated that Sonic Generations becomes a bad game in retrospect thanks to Forces, lovely. For Sonic Adventure, it ends at either Shadow the Hedgehog or Sonic 06 depending on who you ask and that retroactive taint won't go away.

    Fortunately for the Steam version, there are mods to fix the graphics, re-add the Game Gear games, improve the camera, improve the controls, added widescreen, basically everything Sega should have done short of remaking the game. Critics were disappointed with the DX version and rightly so. We've got a whole website full of evidence supporting this.

    I was initially thinking about going through the games of the Adventure era (in that I have access to SA, SA2, Heroes, and Shadow) but the more I look into it, the original Sonic Adventure had specific circumstances that differ greatly from what I could honestly call the "Shadow Trilogy". There's also a clear comparison to be made here between Sonic Adventure and Sonic Forces but maybe another time for that.

    Edit: I have been informed that the Emblems in the original Dreamcast version were actually used as currency for the online Black Market to buy rare chao. Okay, today I learned.
     
  2. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

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    Unlike your other posts, I'm not sure what the takeaway is here. Is your argument that people retrospectively bash SA (among other titles) simply because gaming has evolved with pop culture and they shouldn't bash it just because of that?

    That said, I 100% completed Sonic Adventure: Limited Edition as part of the Hollywood Video rental thing (HUGE DOWN DEPOSIT LIKE $500 or something ridiculous, but you got it all back) and loved it even more when it actually came out. When Sonic Adventure DX came out, I was still miffed that Sega was putting their mascot on their long-term rival's console, and I've never gotten that bitter taste out of my mouth (but it has simmered down). The additional modes and challenges seemed forced and out of place. It was as if they wanted to backport mission segments from SA2 into SA1 somehow and involve Sonic X as a commercial tie-in. Regardless, I remember it doing fairly well and broadening the Hedgehog's dominance in the living rooms for a while before fading out as Sega began to go full throttle as a 3rd party publisher.
     
  3. Laughingcow

    Laughingcow

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    I call it a curious case for a reason. There's a lot to unpack in the handling of just this game compared to the others with notable changes between versions and I think opinions vary based on what version you play. Such failures only exacerbate problems that already existed (thus making the game worse) with the lack of improvement in later entries only serving to enforce that completely justified negativity. It's complex and unlike the "Sonic was never good" jackasses who just sucked at the game, there's a systemic fault in Sega's handling. Compared to SA2 which was faithfully ported, Heroes which best version is its semi-readily available PC version, and Shadow which is just trash, it alone makes for some interesting conversation on the subject.
     
  4. biggestsonicfan

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    One thing I failed to touch on were the controls. Playing Sonic Adventure on a Sega designed controller gave you certain sensitivity to the triggers and button muscle memory. I always will associate the controller with the cute little Chao mimicking actions on my controller as having a Sega feel, whereas with Sonic Adventure DX... well... the sensitivity was different and the overall feel of the controls felt like "Nintendo" to me, interpret that as you will. If the SA:DX experience was on the PC, well, I really don't know how those players would feel about the keyboard because truth be told I only touched it a bit for fun and not to play. I can imagine different types of gamers raised on different platforms to have their own unique views on Sonic Adventure, but Sega's handling of the port is slightly strange considering the proto release of SA:DX with many debugging features revealed an interesting amount of cut content.

    Also, I'm genuinely curious about what made DX a "Director's Cut" anyway? In our analysis of all the Dreamcast SA protos, have we found any evidence that anything was truly restored in SA:DX, or were all the Chao features for the Advance series shades of what the VMU wanted to be?
     
  5. Retroman

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    The way I see it, it's a revision of the original game that the 'director' wanted to change in certain areas.

    There's the dragon that's kind-of cut and that was meant to appear in the Sky Level, though that hasn't been restored for the DX version.

    Apart from that, that's all from my memory.
     
  6. Turbohog

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    DX isn't a true director's cut in anyway (unless the director wanted a worse game). The truth is that "director's cut" was added to the name because they thought it sounded cool.
     
  7. MainMemory

    MainMemory

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  8. Traversal

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    I can't tell which name is less fitting. I guess "Director's Cut" implies something was cut at least, while "Deluxe" is just a flat-out lie.
     
  9. Chibisteven

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    They should have called it "Sonic Adventure: We Don't Give A Shit Anymore Edition".
     
  10. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

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    I can't believe I never knew this! Well put as usual MainMemory!
     
  11. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

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    I will say this: even though some of the technical details of that blog are over my head, after reading a few pages, I went on eBay and grabbed a copy of Sonic Adventure DC. This'll be a fun nostalgia trip when it gets here. Thanks for that.
     
  12. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    Wait... Did people think that "DX" meant "Director's Cut"?
     
  13. Beltway

    Beltway

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    Sonic Adventure Director's Cut: Director's Cut! :v:

    (Although I admit, I thought that's what the DX stood for too)
     
  14. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

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    I blindly accepted that a DX was stuck on the end of it to make it "COOL SWEET AND CATCHY". For reals, I thought it was just a term to differentiate between the previous Dreamcast version, nothing more.
     
  15. SF94

    SF94

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    Some misconceptions:

    • The Steam version is not the one getting modded. Period. The "fix" for the Steam version isn't a fix for the Steam version, it's pirating the original 2004 PC release and replacing the Steam version with it. The original 2004 release is the one that is being modded.
    • The 360/PS3 versions are the same shitty port-port-port-port-port-port- as the real Steam version.
    • DX did nothing even remotely close to increasing texture quality. It did the exact opposite, which is addressed on the site you linked as your citation.
     
  16. Kail

    Kail

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    As a 13 year old I knew it was wrong but I still questioned it, like when Japanese marketing geniuses think "X" means "crossover" when two companies collaborate.

    As for the topic at hand, I feel like Sonic Adventure is one of those pieces of media that has aged horribly, not because its a bad game but because its flaws were forgivable when there wasn't anything to compare it to. Sonic Adventure 2 resolved a lot of the flaws, tightened up the gameplay slightly, still had issues of its own but feels more polished than the first game. Don't get me wrong, I still play both Adventure games once a year or so, but I don't think any kid today is gonna pick up Sonic Adventure and be as blown away as we were when it launched.
     
  17. Diablohead

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    SA DX is an example of taking changes too far for no real reason, and cutting corners while they were at it.
     
  18. I think SA2 fixed a lot of the technical aspects of the game and slightly improves sonic's high speed gameplay, as well as the multiplayer and bonus features, but it is outright worse in almost every other way. The alternative gameplay options Forced gameplay was even more Forced upon you (2/3 of the gameplay is alternative gameplay???! Compared to SA1 in which sonic had the most levels by far, and tails gameplay although broken is the same fundamentally); the aesthetic went from bright and a bit fantastical (even with the semi-realism) to bland and drab; the music went from a diverse collection of atmospheric themes to oversaturated butt rock; the story went from your standard monster of the week tied into the basic sonic emerald lore, to a weird government conspiracy that had little to do with sonic at all except him being mistaken for shadow.

    SA2 I think positively on for the bonus features and the slight improvement on sonic's primary gameplay, but it really is worse in almost every other way. If I were going to do an adventure remake, or pull ideas from one of these games to build a new template for a 3ad sonic game it would undoubtedly be SA1. It's a better game conceptually.
     
  19. E-122-Psi

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    Actually I think it's more the opposite. It doesn't actually bother to make many changes (effortful ones anyway), and most of it's departures from the original game are more half assed programming that they likely didn't mean but didn't care.

    If we abide by Taxman's claims, SEGA do have a tight leach on what new features and glosses rereleases of their old games can have, but even then I think they could have done more to make it up to date. They did alter the Chao Gardens, add a few more animations, switch sound and music here and there, and fix a few glitches suggesting there were SOME liberties they could take. Even just fine tuning the cutscenes even shrewdly would make the game feel less in-your-face dated in many regards, but if anything they just made them worse.


    I mean there's five extra Twinkle Circuit tracks ALREADY in the games' code in complete form, would it really be hard to just add a menu so players could try them? Then it would at least be SOMETHING of a Director's Cut.

    I also always wondered why they didn't add in variants of levels for certain characters (which I suppose technically aren't full new levels which SEGA aren't big on adding). Like Big and Knuckles could technically be led into any level without much story segregation so long as emeralds and Froggy are there or Amy's first level could have been Casinopolis to justify her going there to find Sonic.
     
  20. Blastfrog

    Blastfrog

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    Speaking of curious cases and SA1, why was Oshima's credit removed from DX? I mean that's probably a good thing not to have his name attached to such hot garbage, but still. Did he leave on bad terms with the company?