Sonic Adventure is, or rather was, the first huge departure for the Sonic series with a fully 3D Hedgehog to control. Mario had pulled off the transition with ease back on the N64, now it's up to the blue speedster. Did manage it as effortlessly as the Italian plumber? No, not by a long shot.
I can't believe there was a time I actually enjoyed watching Sonic simply just fall through water as if it wasn't there and then scream "Noooo!" Still, I was young, as were you (well some of you, the rest should be ashamed!). And besides, I shouldn't be so harsh; there's still some fun to have here... remembering the first level of the game.
Once you get past the introduction and reintroduce yourself to the bold new 3D world that Sonic resides in, you have to get into the meat and potatoes of the game. That's where the headaches start. First off there's no sense of direction bar vague instructions, making it way too easy to get lost time and time again.
When the game's at its best you'll be doing nothing but holding forward and maybe pressing A to jump, it simply can't handle anything more than that. There's a broken camera and sloppy controls to boot, and the terrible voice acting quickly descends from hilarity into embarrassing. Even navigating around Station Square can often be a bit of a pain.
Sometimes you'll have to stop running and start fighting and I don't just mean with the camera. Sonic's got a basic set of moves that can see off low level enemies with relative ease (thanks to the handy homing feature of your air attack). These are introduced in the first encounter with the antagonist, Chaos, but you'll encounter a range of bosses too, which although, fun in design, encourage dull trial and error gameplay that quickly tires.
At least it attempts variety; some missions will involve hitting a casino for a spot of pinball (which is very popular in casinos, apparently) and there's a bunch of characters with their own campaigns to unlock. And hey, they still call him Dr. Robotnik over the uber-lame Dr. Eggman! There are also some side-missions here, such as Chao breeding and the arrival of the beloved Big the Cat, who enjoys a nice spot of fishing.
Plus you can upgrade Sonic with new abilities that help keep things at least a little fresh. There's plenty of neat ideas like this to be found in Adventure but they mostly fall flat; either under developed or underused.
You may well have fond memories of Sonic Adventure , so keep them that way and don't buy this port. Sure, I had a big smile on my face as huge whales leapt out of the water, gobbling down the bridge that Sonic sped down, but as soon as the first level was over the fun stopped and the pain started.