The first foray into 3D for Sonic actually happened on the Dreamcast, but as I never owned a Dreamcast and only
played a brief demo of this game on my cousin's, I can only really judge this version of the game, which, while it provides
an okay blast for Sonic fans, isn't the most amazing of the 3D titles.
The story is, basically, Eggman has released
a water spirit from within the Master Emerald, which shatters, causing Knuckles to go on a quest to restore it. Meantime,
the water spirit known as Chaos (the God of Destruction) attacks the city known as Station Square, causing Sonic to leap in
to stop him. The plot later unfolds as Eggman builds a new ship called the Egg Carrier, and uses Chaos to try and conquer
the world. Sonic and his friends won't let him.
You get to play as one of six characters, though when you start the
game you only can pick Sonic. As you progress through his story, you can unlock the other five characters – Tails, Knuckles,
Amy Rose, E-102 Gamma and Big the Cat. Each of them play in different ways.
Sonic, as you can expect of him, speeds
through the levels, bouncing on springs, looping, spin dashing, and doing everything the fans know and love him for. Sonic's
gameplay is easily the best, but unfortunately, very glitch-filled. I have many a time tried to speed through Emerald Coast
only to fall through the floor out of nowhere and die, so Sonic's gameplay is not perfect because of this.
has a sense of speed in his gameplay, if only because he's trying to race against Sonic (or in one case Eggman). He has the
ability to fly for a very short period of time and can use shortcuts to get to the end of the level before his opponent. This
is easily the best Tails gameplay in 3D, in my honest opinion. A lot better than him being stuck in a mech in the Sonic Adventure
sequel, and way better than him being awfully slow in Sonic Next-Gen. Knuckles' gameplay consists of treasure-hunting, and
will likely appeal to those who like going around looking for things. I personally found Knuckles' gameplay to be boring and
dull, so his gameplay certainly isn't perfect because of this. Thankfully though, you don't have to find the emerald shards
in a certain order like you have to in the second Adventure game.
Amy is, while awfully slow, easily adaptable and
offers a mild thrill because you cannot allow yourself to get caught by Eggman's robot Zero. She's not the best character
to play as in this game, but she definitely isn't the worst. Gamma's gameplay consists of targeting enemies and shooting them,
his goal being to reach the robot at the end and destroy it. It's fairly decent. Big's gameplay is certainly not for those
that want action, as his gameplay consists of fishing for his friend Froggy. Those that want action will hate Big's levels,
as they're certainly not very action-packed and sometimes require patience. I personally liked them, if only because they
offered something completely new and different to the table. There's also a little Chao Garden you can visit, where you can
raise cute little creatures, and is actually a lot more fun than what it sounds like.
Outside of the story mode, there's
a mission mode where you can complete various little missions such as popping a certain amount of balloons or finding something.
They're not really that fascinating and won't hold your attention for long unless you like completing things one hundred percent.
Of course, there's also a trial mode where you can go back and do the level again, with extra requirements to improve on your
grade, like finishing the level in a set amount of time, or having 50 rings when you reach the goal.
You can also unlock
some old titles which came out on Game Gear by collecting emblems, and while some of them may grab your interest, like Sonic
Chaos or Sonic Triple Trouble, a lot of them (like Sonic Drift and Sonic Labyrinth) aren't
that good and won't hold your attention for long.
The graphics look a lot like Dreamcast graphics, considering it's
pretty much a port of the Dreamcast original with some modifications, but I have seen some of the graphics on the original
version of this game, and know that the characters did not have shiny bodies like they do in this game – the shininess,
in my opinion, does not make the characters look better. I also find it amusing how the characters open their mouths to talk
in this game, it's downright funny because it doesn't look right. However, the graphics aren't that bad.
is really good however, and seems to fit the environments well, so I have no complaints there. The voice-acting isn't perfect
here though – while Sonic's voice fits him extremely well some lines could have been delivered better. Tails' voice
sounds just a tad too old for him, though it isn't too bad. Amy's voice wasn't too bad at all. Knuckles sounded bland and
the voice did not suit him at all, despite it sounding like a sixteen year old male which is what Knuckles is. Gamma and Big
had good voices in my opinion, and Deem Bristow had done an excellent job on Eggman.
This game isn't perfect. I've
heard people say the Dreamcast version is better, and while I cannot back that up because I've never played that version myself;
it seems like a safe bet. This game is glitchy and you'll sometimes die because of it, the camera can prove to be annoying
a lot of the time and the game itself is just too easy. Despite that, if Sonic fans are looking for an okay blast with Sonic,
you can't really go wrong with this game. It's not the best 3D Sonic game (again, I'm judging this port, not the Dreamcast
original), but it is okay for those looking for a fun time with Sonic.