Shin Force | Sega Dreamcast Review

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Shin Force ~ Dreamcast ~
Sonic Adventure
Sega Force Vault
Sonic Team
1x GD
Import / Domestic
Dec. 23, 1998 (Japan)
Sep. 9, 1999 (USA)
1st / 3rd Person
Action / Adventure
Backup 10+
Jump Pack
     > The amazing Burning Rangers on Sega Saturn was a precursor to the greatness of Sonic Adventure.  After 2 years in development, which began on the Sega Saturn, Sonic Team has finally unveiled their masterpiece action/adventure title for the Dreamcast.  Work began right after the release of NiGHTS for Sega Saturn, then Yuji Naka came to the conclusion that the Uberconsole would be a wise move for the project.  Sonic Team even traveled to distant locations to get the feel of the locales they would create for this monumental title.  The story rings a familiar sound...

     > There are 7 precious Chaos Emeralds that bring immense power to those who posses them.  Sonic must prevent the Chaos creature and Dr. Eggman (a.k.a. Dr. Robotnik) from getting these stones and destroying everything with their powers.  There are six playable characters in the game and they are: Sonic, Knuckles, Amy Rose, Big the Cat, Tails and E-102 Ganma (robot).  Each character has his/her own strengths and weaknesses which you'll have to exploit in order to complete each level.  Some of the objectives and the difficulty level will change based on who you choose too. 

     > As for the import, the menus are in Japanese, which may take some trial and error to discover their functions.  However, the game screens are in English.  Importing isn't a problem, though, as some puzzle solving will be the only real hump to overcome.  At any rate, this will be a launch title in the U.S..

     > The pictures just can't do the game justice since the fluid motion, high color and lightning quick action must be seen in order to be fully appreciated.  For starters, the CG intro is totally amazing to watch and complete with razor sharp clarity.  Then, there are the cut-scenes throughout that keep you in touch with the underlying story which are done in real-time 3D (same as the game).  Sonic Adventure shows off every graphic effect in the book including transparency, light-source shading, reflections and (of course) seamless polygon beauty.  Other things to note are that the time of day changes and the action is presented in non-stop 60 fps perfection.  If you thought Zelda (on N64) looked great, you were right.  For Sonic Adventure, you can at least double everything in Zelda and you'll have some idea of how grand it really is. 

     > Don't forget about the bad guys because they're here in full force.  Chaos is a see-through endoskeleton monster controlled by the evil Dr. Robotnik. You'll encounter Chaos right from the start and the Doc won't be too far behind.  For instance, Dr. Robotnik's first incarnation puts him in a hovercraft that fires homing missiles and turns into a massive drill in an attempt to collide with you!

     > Naturally, Sonic Adventure's control scheme is simple, familiar and effective.  For the most part everything you do is easy -- mainly run, jump, special attack and rotate view.  The camera occasionally gets hung up in a weird position, but the rotate view will take care of that quickly.  I'm sure a lot of people will complain about the camera, but even though it's not perfect, it's worthy and very playable.  The hardest part is running down the middle of the "tracks" and figuring out just where to go next. 

     > In case you were wondering, you attack by jumping and landing on an enemy.  Each character also has a special attack, like Sonic's spin dash and Tails' tail whip.  Once you've defeated an enemy, don't forget to pick up the Flickies.  As stated before, the gameplay is slightly different for of the six selectable characters.  Various mini-games are strewn throughtout as well.

     > Sonic Adventure makes good use of Qsound™ technology.  I'll tell you, the more I listen to the Dreamcast, the more impressed with its sound capabilities I become!  The music is rockin' with hard rock, jazz and even some jungle rhythm.  You know I'll be purchasing the OST.  The sound effects are clear and in some cases, familiar.  Just about everything makes a sound, from water flowing to explosions to the famous Sonic skid.  Lastly, the voice effects are in English, but the conversations are in Japanese.
     > Aside from the standard game, there's a Sound Test and Time Attack Modes to choose from.  As for fun-factor, this game is just as fun to watch as it is to play.  There's instant action and it doesn't ever slow down for long.  Sonic Adventure is everything I had hoped for in the transition to 3D.  The secret power-ups and areas will keep you coming back for more as well.  With a game of this caliber, you can tell Sonic Team put a lot of effort into its success.
Bottom Line
     > Whether you get the Japanese import or wait for the North American version, don't miss the most amazing action/adventure ever!!!  Sonic the Hedgehog Fans will be pleased and Sega nay-sayers will be envious.  What can I say?  Sonic 3D bliss!  With titles like this in the first round, there will be no excuse not to own the Uberconsole.
Overall: 9.7 | Graphics: 9.8 | Control: 9.6 | Sound: 10 | Fun: 9.5
~ Shinobi ~

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