Review by: Scott Steinberg
Published: November 10, 1999
Mario may have nabbed the honor of being the most well-known video game mascot from the past decade, but there’s no one who could fault short, blue and spiky’s contribution to the successful reign of the Sega Genesis. Sonic was no streetwise, pudgy plumber, but this sultan of speed ran laps around his competition when it came to sheer, fast-paced enjoyment, as several million gamers around the world agreed. Considering that our slapdash little friend’s one-time appearance on the Saturn system went largely unnoticed, Sega decided to pull out all the stops the next time around, creating an entirely new 3D adventure for Sonic’s first Dreamcast offering. The end result of several years of hard labor and intense development is Sonic Adventure, a hefty little title that would, at first glance, appear to weigh in as the top contender for the first Dreamcast game of the year.
Surprise, surprise, the old chrome dome’s up to his old tricks again, as Dr. Robotnik has hatched yet another evil plot for world domination. Having become a bit disgusted by the fact that he’s tried to defeat Sonic more than fifteen times, counting the handheld adventures, Robotnik began to search the world over for new machines that would finally achieve his megalomaniacal dreams. While on one of these journeys, Doc R chances upon a somewhat dormant chap named Chaos, God of Destruction, whose power is enormous and can be brought to a full operative state by consuming the energy of the Chaos Emeralds. Deciding to partner up with Chaos, for better or worse, Robotnik has begun to scour the globe in search of the gems; luckily, our hero’s caught wind of his activities.
Though we can count on Sonic to save the day, he’s also got a number of associates along for the journey who are fully playable as well. Being a faithful sidekick, Tails is, of course, in for the long haul with his pal Sonic, although he’s got more of an active role in the game than a Boy Wonder type usually aspires to. Another old standby, Knuckles the Echidna, makes an appearance as well, as he’s currently searching for the three fragments of the Master Emerald he was supposed to have been protecting. In a rather politically correct nod to the female fans, the gang at Sega has also thrown in Amy Rose, a spunky little gal who is Sonic’s self-appointed girlfriend.
E-102 Gamma is a robot created by Dr. Robotnik that is attempting to pass a test of sorts (call it a trial by fire, if you will) in order to become part of an elite robot unit in Robotnik’s service, although his destiny proves to lie elsewhere. Last, but certainly not least, we’re introduced to Big The Cat, a mellow kind of guy who is busy minding his own business and enjoying a little fishing until something odd happens to his pal Froggy. Rather than give anything away by explaining how everyone’s fate is tied together, you’ll have to wait to pick up juicy tidbits of the plot as you play through the game itself.