Tech problems! YAY! So, the last few days, we’ve been experiencing some weird tech problems. A mix of user error and some oddities with Amazon’s system. Because of this, we missed a couple of days. Sorry, about that. I really try and keep missed days to an absolute minimum but things happen beyond our control some times and due to the way Alexa’s system works, episodes can take a while to be updated so it’s difficult to test and make sure they’re up when I have a full-time job I have to be doing.

All this is to say, for those of you who stick with me through the missed days, I’m extremely grateful to you! I’m not doing this to accrue a big following or make money or anything like that. I just enjoy making these episodes. But if I were sending them into a void, it may be hard to get myself to record sometimes. Everyone wants some level of feedback and hearing from you or just seeing the listener stats increase really helps.

You all rock. Thank you!

5/8 – Sonic Adventure

Hello and welcome. My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

The late 90’s were a sort of awkward teenage phase for many game series as everyone tried transitioning to 3D gaming. Some franchises, like Mario and Zelda, flourished in the new 3D environment. New franchises, such as Tomb Raider or Metal Gear Solid, were born. Some franchises floundered with the new dimension though. Sonic the Hedgehog was one of these characters who struggled to find a place in the 3D gaming landscape. Developers tried to get Sonic to work on their first 3D platform, the Sega Saturn, but wound up having to cancel their attempts to focus on the Sega Dreamcast. Thus, Sonic’s first 3D outing came in 1998. Today, let’s talk about Sonic Adventure.

Sonic Adventure did a lot to take advantage of the new hardware. Along with sprawling 3D levels with unique environments and obstacles, Sonic Adventure also added a hub world for players to explore between levels. Sometimes the hub world will feature puzzles to solve in order to unlock the next level or mini-games which offer a break from the levels.

Sonic Adventure also features six playable characters, including Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy as well as newcomers, E-102 Gamma, one of Eggman’s robots who goes rogue after befriending Amy, and Big the Cat, a large, purple cat who fishes to find his friend, Froggy. Each character has their own, individual story which often overlaps with the others. They also all play differently, even when going to the same levels. For example, Sonic levels play like a 3D version of past Sonic games but Knuckles will find himself in large, open areas, where he must find hidden gems and Big the Cat needs to play a fishing game to find Froggy.

The story sees Eggman trying to find the Chaos Emeralds to bring back a monster known as Perfect Chaos. Chaos starts out relatively unassuming but grows more powerful as Eggman gathers more Chaos Emeralds. By beating the storylines for each of the six playable characters, players can fight a final battle against Chaos and Eggman.

Along with the main game, Sonic Adventure features a tomogachi style minigame where players can raise pets known as Chao. Players can raise a number of Chao in the various gardens around the hub worlds. Chao respond to the animals they are given by raising their stats in different ways and changing their appearance. Chao can then participate in races against other Chao or be transferred to a mini-game played on the VMU, the Dreamcast’s memory card which featured a screen and buttons.

Sonic Adventure received glowing reviews at the time, with many calling it revolutionary and a graphical powerhouse. While the voice overs and music were often criticised, the gameplay and the Chao minigame received high praise. The game sold extremely well and remains the best-selling game on the Sega Dreamcast. Retrospective reviews have been more critical, however, with many complaining the game has a number of bugs and the 3D camera needs work. Big the Cat’s story, in particular, is often seen as simply unnecessary by many players. So while age may not have been kind to the game, in some player’s eyes, Sonic Adventure remains a highlight in Sonic’s 3D gameography.

Thanks so much for listening to the show. If you want a super special bonus episode, I’m going to be taking over The Gaming Observer on the 10th so enable that fantastic Flash Briefing to hear that exclusive episode! Again, I’ll be on The Gaming Observer and also follow me on Twitter @vg_oftheday for updates and polls and random thoughts about whatever I happen to be playing or watching. Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day.

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