It's been a long time. After a hugely successful carrer on the Mega Drive, Sonic mysteriously dissapeared. He never properly showed up on Saturn, only turning up in a racing game, a few Mega Drive conversions and a dodgy 3D platformer which creator Yuji Naka ordered to be scrapped.
Now, with the arrival to Dreamcast, Sonic the Hedgehog finally makes his big comeback, and rest assured Sonic fans will not be dissapointed with his new game.
Sonic Team have tried to do something different with the Sonic gameplay. There are now six playable characters, some you'll recognise (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy), others you won't (Big the Cat and E-102). All characters now play in a distinctly different style, with a unique plot to each of them. Sonic contains the classic "peg it as fast as you can" levels, Tails plays a racing mode where he has to reach the goal before Sonic/Robotnik. Knuckles has to explore his surroundings for broken Emerald shards. Amy has to escape from a rampaging robot. Big has to fish for his froggy friend, and E-102 blasts his way through whatever mission he is given.
Unlike pervious Sonics this new game is now heavily story driven, showed out via story scenes. Dr.Robotnik has unearthed a creature called Chaos, who absorbs the power of the Chaos Emeralds to grow bigger and stronger. If Robotnik finds all 7 emeralds, he can use chaos to take over the world.
Also new are the inclusion of "hub stages", areas where you can freely explore to find the entrance to the action stages, or unearth cool secrets. Sonic Adventure also includes A-Life, brought in the form of the lovable Chao, cute little virtual pets that you care and look after, as well as taking it into your VM to play the cool Chao mini-game.
Graphically this shows what 128-bit games are going to give us, fantastically detailed environments with awesome speed. Sure, the camera can at times be an idiot, but it doesn't distract from the main game.
Plus the hundreds of extras are well recieved. Mini-games galore, 130 Sonic Emblems to find, and some really cool downloads from the internet are all here.
Sonic Adventure is a classic. It may be a bit too short, but thi is pure class. Sonic, welcome back my blue, spiky friend. It's been a long time!