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After several years in video game retirement, Sonic the Hedgehog
returns as the star of a graphically stunning 3-D adventure game
that blows away every other game in the genre. Sonic is joined by
five of his friends in a massive quest that spans over 50 game
levels filled with remarkable visuals and a pulsating soundtrack.
Taking full advantage of the unprecedented processing power of
the Dreamcast, Sega's development crew, Sonic Team, has designed
several gravity-defying game levels that will keep gamers hooked.
Our favorite level is Windy Valley, which requires you to
survive the stormy perils of a tremendous tornado. This tyrant of
nature chases you relentlessly before ultimately sucking you into
the air and up through its eye. During the chase, the tornado
manages to tear up just about everything on the screen. This
dizzying visual spectacle moves so fast that you will literally
hold on to the game controller for dear life.
Assuming you survive the tornado, there are several more
challenging areas to conquer, including a level that requires you
to snowboard directly in the path of a fast-approaching
avalanche. During the Emerald Coast level, you will race across a
precarious dock as a killer whale attacks from below, destroying
the wood planks underneath your feet while you attempt to outrun
the crazed creature.
We also liked the numerous mini-games scattered throughout this
title. When you least expect it, Sonic Adventure tosses in some
old-fashioned arcade action, such as pinball or bumper car
racing. In between, you can raise virtual pets, known in the game
as "Chao." These characters, which are saved using the optional
Visual Memory Unit (VMU), can be combined with other Chao
characters exchanged between friends or downloaded via the
Gamers looking to show off the strong processing power of the
128-bit Dreamcast will definitely want to pick up this title.
Simply put, Sonic Adventure's graphics surpass those of any other
game currently available on any home video game system. Let the
Sonic assault begin. --Brett Atwood
* Strong replay value
* Stunning graphics
* Bonus virtual pet game
* Six different game characters
* May be too fast-moving for some players
* Awkward camera angles can inhibit gameplay in some areas