Putting lipstick on a hog.
Joining the ranks of Star Wars
and Apocalypse Now
Sonic the Hedgehog
gets the Director's Cut treatment. And exactly what
is a Director's Cut? It's the power of revisionism that turns
guns into walkie-talkies
Greedo shoot first.
a Director's Cut makes a good thing better, but usually it's just about selfish
perfectionism and squeezing every last red cent out of memorable product. And
so it goes with Sonic Adventure DX, the Director's Cut of the now nearly
4 year old Dreamcast original, Sonic
Adventure. Have any of us been clamoring for this? I mean, it's great to
have an almost complete canon of Sonic on the Gamecube, but not when
itÂ¹s a poorly executed port like DX.
The story remains untouched. Sonic and all his pals must rescue the world
from an imminent attack by Chaos, a water creature hell bent on destroying things.
You play as a variety of Sonic characters through missions that reflect each
character's perspective of the crisis. The "select a player" concept works out
much better than the force-fed alternating characters of Sonic
The DX edition changes the look of the character's with what seems
like brand new shader routines (unlike a texture map, which is an image file,
a shader is defined through coding). The characters look a little more rounded
and much shinier, but not necessarily better. They stand out from the stages
because originally they didn't have that glossy sheen. It's a little distracting.
However, the environmental texture maps throughout the stages also received
some polish. Compared to other Dreamcast port jobs like Skies
of Arcadia, DX seems much sharper and more solid.
But apparently when you fix one thing, you break another.
If I had to choose between better textures or a steady framerate, I'd go with
framerate time and time again, especially when you consider that the star of
the game is known for his speed. Unfortunately, I'm alone in this, because the
framerate in Sonic Adventure DX is not steady. A solid framerate is the
most basic demand of the series; the choppiness of DX stabs a sharp blue
quill right into the heart of the game.
somehow these frame skips make the already annoying camera even more temperamental.
The camera works on the principle that it should point out where it thinks you
are supposed to go, but objects can sometimes completely block out the camera
or it will whip unnaturally into place, causing disorientation and painful headaches.
Shouldn't the point of a Director's Cut be to fix the problems?
Instead of fixing the important issues, DX offers a new 'Missions'
mode where you must undertake silly, meaningless fetch jobs throughout the hub
areas of the game. The Chao creatures also make a comeback with GBA to Gamecube
connectivity through three GBA games: Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure
2 and Sonic Pinball Party. Having any of these GBA games means you
can save one of your Chaos onto the cart and take him with you for some virtual
DX also offers emulation of no less than 12 Game Gear games, which
are earned by collecting emblems throughout the main game. The emulation is
mostly solid and features a nifty adjustable screen. It's great getting a chance
to play the original Game Gear Sonic again; it stands up well with the
classic music and hidden Chaos emeralds. The rest of the Game Gear games aren't
quite as special, but at least they included the ability to split the screen
and play two-player Game Gear games.
The audio is identical except for Dolby Digital II audio processing. I'm among
the scant few that actually like Sonic Adventure's weird, kitschy J-pop
tunes. There are several theme songs assigned per character, each filled with
odd bits of Engrish and 80's
I enjoyed this game on the Dreamcast and wanted this port to bring it back
in full glory, but it didn't happen. More time should have been spent on fine-tuning
the port instead of rushing to release it in time for the Sega Happy Meal promo.
The Game Gear titles are a welcome bonus, but having to play through the broken
game just to get them is a hassle. This might be what the 'Director' intended,
but it doesn't make my cut.