YMMV / Sonic Adventure

  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • The bosses with playable characters and the first few E-Series battles have particularly slow AI and can be defeated before they even so much as make a proper attack.
    • Amy's only boss fight against ZERO is pretty easy. All you have to do is hit the robot into the electric fence surrounding the arena and hit the button that is revealed by doing so, which can be done in under a minute.
    • Big's only boss encounter can be beaten in under 30 second, as the only thing you're required to do is literally fish Froggy out from Chaos 6.
  • Ass Pull: The concept of the Chaos Emeralds having both positive and negative energy isn't brought up until just before the final battle of the game and wasn't even foreshadowed before that. It just serves as a convenient way of letting Sonic become Super Sonic and get the edge over Perfect Chaos.
  • Awesome Music: A majority of the music qualifies. Vote on your favorite here. It's a long list. It's part of the reason that even detractors think the game's atmosphere has held up even today.
  • Best Level Ever: Consensus seems to be Speed Highway, the fastest-paced Sonic level in the game. Sega appears to be part of the consensus, as they practically brought it back in Sonic Adventure 2 (under the name "Radical Highway") and chose it as the representative stage of this game in Sonic Generations.
  • Broken Base: The alternate gameplay, which is either a superior or inferior way of handling multiple playable characters compared to the previous Sonic 3 & Knuckles. There's also a camp who believes that the alternate gameplay in this game is better handled than in the succeeding games.
  • Cliché Storm:
    • The entire story is a mashup of many standard fantasy, anime and video game cliches. Band of heroes out searching for magical trinkets to save the world? Check. Evil mad scientist trying to get the trinkets himself to take over the world while putting up with them? Check. Evil monster is also giving them trouble along the way, eventually becoming the main villain and having a One-Winged Angel showdown with the main hero at the end? Check. Hero defeating the villain by literally using The Power of Love? Check, check, and check.
    • E-102 Gamma's own story was deliberately left unfinished in favor of a different character in the Archie Comic adaptation, specifically because the writers quipped that his story was "something you've seen a hundred times if you're a devotie to samurai movies".
  • Contested Sequel: This game started the trend of creating the series' notoriously Broken Base due to the leap to 3D, Gameplay Roulette, and cast expansion.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: E-102 Gamma is among the first and few supporting playable cast since the 3D era that rarely brings up bile, despite him being in only two games.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: At the end of Super Sonic's story, Tails says "all's well that ends well," even though all of Station Square had just been demolished and flooded by Perfect Chaos's rampage, and unless the buildings were conveniently empty, at least half of the population had to have been killed, or at the very least injured.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • This game was the start of many habits of future Sonic games, including of Sonic using the Chaos Emeralds as an Eleventh Hour Superpower instead of an optional unlockable, Eggman being upstaged by a Monster of the Week that goes out of his control, and the presence of alternate gameplay styles.
    • Fan Reaction to E 102 Gamma and Big the Cat in this game also started the trend of "Sonic's New Friends" being the targets of a Broken Base.
  • Game Breaker: Tails' flying speed upgrade makes Tails faster than 'Sonic' when he flies! The upgrade makes Windy Valley a joke and makes the rest of the game noticeably easier (when you're not wrestling with the camera, anyways). It's also one of the only upgrades you can get as soon as the intro ends, as there is literally nothing stopping you from getting it.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Using glitches will let you finish Casinopolis seven seconds?
    • Some glitches in the game allow characters to enter usually inaccessible areas or play around with unused content in the game. For example, there is a glitch method for nearly every character to get into Emerald Coast. Do be warned some of them have the potential of screwing up gameplay or save data.
    • Possibly not a bug, but if you use the Light Speed Attack (as Sonic) or Maximum Heat (as Knuckles) when fighting Chaos 6, it'll do double the damage and you can beat the boss in under a minute.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The intro depicts Perfect Chaos crashing through a skyscraper, and then 9/11 happened almost exactly two years after the game's release,
    • Perfect Chaos floods all of Station Square. Since then, we've had catastrophic floods from the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the Japan Tsunami, Hurricane Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan, and numerous other storms.
    • Also the fact that after you finish E-102 Gamma's storyline, he dies shortly afterward. This becomes worse when you realize that his English voice actor died shortly after this game was finished, and Sonic Adventure 2 had just been released. To worsen it, the same actor also voiced Pachacamac, who similarly was killed off in the game's story.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: This game has a level named Lost World. Then 15 years later, we got Sonic: Lost World. Not only that, but the first section of the Windy Valley level is called Windy Hill, which is the first level of Lost World.
    • The first four Chao Races are the Pearl, Amethyst, Sapphire and Ruby Courses. Steven Universe fans will get a chuckle out of it, since these four gems are three of the main characters. Also, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire.
  • Inferred Holocaust: Station Square is completely destroyed in the final battle.
  • It's Easy, so It Sucks: A recurring complaint towards some of the alternate character missions is that a lot of their levels are just truncated versions of Sonic's and are patronisingly simple to get through for the large part. Tails and Gamma suffer most frequently from this. As mentioned above many of the bosses don't have particularly intelligent AI either and can be defeated in a matter of seconds.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: Sonic Adventure reviewed quite positively during its initial release on the Dreamcast, as did its sequel, and the Updated Re Release of said sequel for the Gamecube. Sega went ahead and similarly re-released Sonic Adventure as Sonic Adventure DX. Despite being a faithful port that significantly touched up the graphics, fixed a lot of the glitches, and added a whole new gameplay mode and bonus character, DX received middling-to-negative reviews from most gaming publications, often times scoring several points lower than the reviews of the Dreamcast version of the game by the same publication. It got even worse when the HD port was released- some reviewers ended up rating it lower than Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). Part of this can be attributed to the fact that DX was released in 2003 (over four years after the original) and platform games in general had experienced many new advancements in the interim, making the game look somewhat dated despite the graphical enhancements.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Chaos is a Tragic Monster, has been using Eggman to get the Emeralds, and wants to destroy the world.
    • Gamma has a Heel–Face Turn and dies at the end of his story and stays dead.
  • Memetic Mutation: The game has spawned several memes in and out of the Sonic fan base, including:
    • ↑ & ↓ & ↻ ("Up and down and all around"), thanks to the sampling in Speed Highway.
    • "You're gonna crash, ah!" note 
    • "Oh no", delivered in monotone by Sonic or Knuckles during their character fight scenes.
    • GET A LOAD OF THIS! note 
    • The first verse of "Unknown From M.E.", particularly the lyric "Unlike Sonic, I don't chuckle".
    • "Aw yeah! This is happening!"
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Echidnas trampling and killing the poor Chao standing in their way just to get to the Chaos Emeralds and the Master Emerald. They didn't have qualms about taking down Tikal either (she wasn't killed though); even her FATHER Pachacamac didn't care, just as long as they seized the emeralds. This wasn't a very good idea.
  • Most Annoying Sound: "Get a load of- Get a load of- Get a load of this!"
    • "No way, I can't believe this!"
    • The Mayan chanting in the background music of the Mystic Ruins Adventure Field. Which you'll have to hear a lot of. (Fun trivia: one of the Swahili singers on this field, Maxine Waters, was also a Swahili singer for "The Circle of Life" from The Lion King, which was released between Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles.)
    • Anytime Amy's theme plays in the game.
  • Narm: The English voicework in this game can get pretty cheesy. Years after the game's release, Ryan Drummond (Sonic) revealed in an interview that the game's voice direction wasn't ideal. None of the actors worked together, the voice director's (Lani Minella) instructions amounted to little more than "sound excited" or "sound angry", etc., and on top of that, the actors were only given scripts with their respective characters lines, with absolutely no story context for them, even if they were talking to another character.
    • Amusingly, despite the backlash by fans against the 4kids Sonic voice actors replacing the Sonic Adventure cast circa Shadow the Hedgehog, both critics and fans alike were actually outraged at how bad the dubbing was when Sonic Adventure was initially released and wanted better or different actors in their place.
    • The facial expressions and mouth movement are fairly bad, making it impossible to take some scenes seriously.
    • Similarly, the drowning audio. Special mention goes to the audio used for Knuckles- not only does he end up sounding like he's been possessed by Goofy, but it's used as part of a (mostly) serious cutscene (Occurs at about 0:17) near the end of his game. Above water.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Despite all the goofy qualities listed on this page, most fans will admit it has one of the best stories in the series. The acting may be a bit wooden and stiff, but generally the cast pulls things together enough when the moment requires it. Particularly Tikal's flashbacks, which still possess a haunting charm.
    • The stiff robotic animation, for obvious reasons, has positive effect on E-102 Gamma's storyline. It helps that, due to his intentionally emotionless acting and design, his dialogue is the least hindered by corny execution.
  • Nausea Fuel: Failing to exit either pinball game in Casinopolis with more than 100 rings lands you in a sewer. Eww! And Tails has to race through it in his storyline.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Chaos, in general. Especially when Knuckles is alone on the soon-to-crash Egg Carrier with Chaos 6.
    • Will you continue?
    • If you exploit a glitch that allows Knuckles to reach Sky Deck through the Egg Carrier's swimming pool, you'll enter his flackback with Tikal as normal, but there will be no dialog whatsoever. Even when you reach the area where the emerald shrine is on fire and Tikal and the Chao are laying on the ground, no cutscene plays, making it seem as though they're all dead. The kicker? You're stuck here forever. If you quit the game and return to Knuckles' adventure, he'll still be there with nothing to do but watch the shrine burn endlessly. The only way to fix it is to start a completely new file.
    • Eggman's chilling mental breakdown at the end of Tails's story. What is the first thing Eggman does after losing the Egg Carrier and crashing into the middle of Station Square? Launch a fucking MISSILE into the middle of the city! And then his Tranquil Fury after Tails disables the missile. It's one of the few times in the game, and possibly the series, that he's genuinely intimidating.
    Eggman: You fool, away! Before I make mincemeat out of you.
    • E-102 Gamma accidentally walking into the room with his "brother" E-101 Beta being rebuilt into his Mk II form. The scene is implied to be very traumatic and scarring for Gamma to see, especially since what is happening to Beta is implied to be the robot's equivalent of being horrifically mutilated and dissected as a science experiment. No wonder why it plays a role in Gamma's eventual Heel–Face Turn against his master.
  • Padding: The bulk of Tails' storyline is just simplified rehashes of Sonic's stages.
    • Big the Cat's stages don't rehash the other levels' layouts or gameplay styles, but at the same time his gameplay is completely unorthodox, and his storyline has almost no bearing on the events of the rest of the game, giving the impression he was added to artificially lengthen the game.
  • Porting Disaster: The 2004 Windows port, though maintaining the extras of the Gamecube "DX" port, is marred with problems. It suffers from grainy-lookings visuals, poorly re-sized HUD/UI elements, bad horizontal stretching, the game being prune to crashing when switching out to another window in fullscreen, keyboard controls can't be reconfigured, poor implementation of mouse controls (thankfully they're optional), and poor optimization (at most it will run at 30 FPS). The game was re-released in 2010 on Steam, based on the Xbox 360 port but introduced new problems such as the game's launcher not saving your settings, game running a locked resolution, poor frame-rate despite the Xbox 360 version being capable of running the game at 60 FPS, and the game is presented in a pillar-boxed 4:3 aspect-ratio. A patch was released in 2014 that fixes the issues with the game's launcher not saving settings, fixed the controls (keys are rebindable), better support for higher resolutions, V-Sync, and FXAA. However the issue with the game's frame-rate remains unaddressed, it still runs in a pillar-boxed display, and despite supporting controllers, the triggers and D-Pad of an Xbox 360 controller does not work at all despite being based on the Xbox 360 version.
  • Polished Port: The GameCube release of Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut received a graphical overhaul, a boosted Chao system, new bonus missions, twelve unlockable Game Gear games, and the ability to play as Metal Sonic. It suffers from a few added glitches however, and some minor special effects and sounds from the original Dreamcast version are absent.
  • The Scrappy: Big the Cat for a great many people, and not just because of his levels.
    • Base Breaker: Of course he has garnered a plausible fanbase over the years to balance it, especially following his cameos in the latter title below.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: While all of the 3D games have bits of this, SA1 has one of the most loathed in the form of Big the Cat's fishing stages. If you jiggle the control stick even slightly the wrong way, you don't get the fish on the hook, you move the line the wrong way, and you have to reel it in exactly right or it will just magically get off the hook, at minimum stress, when it's right next to you. What's worse is if your line breaks, you lose a life!
    • Hunting for Emerald shards is also well-hated. Some fans will admit this game's handling them is less tedious than that of SA2 however.
    • For anybody who's raised a Chao, they'll probably have fond memories of waiting for nuts to ripen. Sure, there may be one extra fruit for each garden than the sequel, but they also take a hell of a lot longer to grow. Have fun grinding rings for the Black Market fruits and listening to the constant complaining of your Chao's stomachs!
    • Speaking of Chao, they also have a hidden life points stat in the original SA1. Hurt them, on purpose or on accident (which happens to be very easy to do) and they'll lose life, which will trigger death if it runs out. Losing a fight in the VMU's Chao Adventure app can also prove to be fatal as well at times. Hope you've got a ton lf spare nuts lying around.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: As noted above in Franchise Original Sin, this game introduced a lot of things that would become cliches in the series like Robotnik getting upstaged or the Chaos Emeralds being used as an eleventh hour power-up. Thing was, at the time this was all fairly revolutionary for the games (Robotnik had never been eclipsed as a threat by another villain), and a Sonic game containing Character Development and a serious storyline was a very ambitious move for the series.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: The Chao Gardens.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Casinopolis' main theme sounds very similar to "Changing Keys", the Wheel of Fortune theme song.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: This is the game that introduced the Chao: adorable little virtual pets that you can feed and give small animals to play with.
  • That One Side Quest: Try the Ski Slope Snowboarding missions (53 and 54) in the DX version's mission mode and you'll find it very hard to not go crazy trying to beat them. To add insult to injury, you risk running into a bug that crashes the game if you save mission 53 as your last one.
    • Mission 58 has you running from the boulder in the lost world. The catch? You have to collect twenty something flags in the process. Not bad on its own, but the camera makes it impossible to get the flags on the first shot because it's looking at the boulder instead of in front of you, and if you go too slow and get hit by the boulder, you'll miss two to three patches of flags for your trouble. Did I mention you had to get every single one? Made an absolute joke if you can manage to spin dash under the boulder after triggering it.
  • That One Level: Hot Shelter as Amy. It's not especially difficult, but it's like the level equivalent of Goddamned Bats: very long and full of annoying mechanics like doors you have to open by twizzling the analogue stick (which, if you have the PC version of SADX, means mashing the arrow keys in the correct order) and key hunts. Meanwhile the robot Zero is chasing you and putting you under constant pressure the whole time. No wonder the developers gave it an A-Rank time of 6 minutes 30 seconds...
    • Most of this is because Sonic generally visits the majority of any given stage, but Sonic never goes to Hot Shelter, so Amy gets the job of showing the level off instead. Amy's playstyle deals with slower gameplay than Sonic's does.
    • For Sonic's game, Lost World is very long and arduous and can be especially difficult on a first play since much of the level consists of a series of puzzle-solving mazes that can be quite hard to figure out if you don't know what you're doing.
    • The first two sections of Sky Deck are also notorious for their very large number of Bottomless Pits and collapsing platforms, not to mention all the guns shooting at you at the same time. It is arguably even harder than the final level of the game. That it suffers from arguably the largest number of glitches and collision issues out of all the levels doesn't help either.
    • Some of Sonic's A-Rank levels are horrendous, and the first level (Emerald Coast) is a prime example. It's a fairly straightforward level to run through on the C and B levels (finish the level and finish with 50 rings, respectively). For the A-Rank, though, you have only two minutes, forcing one to spindash almost nonstop through the entire level while taking all of the stage's normal shortcuts (as in the ones the developers wanted you to take, not Game Breaker shortcuts found by speedrunners). It gets worse with levels like Red Mountain and Lost World, to name a few.
    • Big's A missions. Catch a 2000g fish and then catch Froggy. It doesn't sound hard, but there's pretty much only one fish in each level that has this, and the fish you catch respawn. Doesn't help that the fishing mechanics can be buggy (see Scrappy Mechanic).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: For those that don't consider the alternate characters Scrappy Mechanics, many complain their story modes are too small and undeveloped compared to Sonic's. None of the five extra characters gets more than five levels (only half of Sonic's ten). Some even believe they should have been allowed onto Sonic's levels instead of being given their own goals and sections of levels.
    • Amy get's hit by this harder then any other character due to the fact she has the least amount of levels totaling in at only 3.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: Some of the side character's quests are very barely connected to the main story. This makes Tikal teleporting them to her timeline seem a questionable resort:
    • Amy's in particular barely relates to Chaos' arc outside the emerald Birdie is holding in it's locket for half the story. It does drive a large chunk of Sonic's story.
    • Big's story involves Froggy similarly limited connection, also holding an emerald and for some reason possessed to carry Chaos' "tail". While he at least fights Chaos in his finale, his contribution to defeating him is far more insignificant than that of Sonic and Knuckles.
    • E-102 Gamma, despite serving Eggman is only involved through collecting the two aforementioned emeralds and a short obligatory fight with Sonic, otherwise outshone by Chaos as his top mook and spending the rest of the game in a mission "saving" his brethren who are even more disconnected from the main story.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Many NPCs have some pretty strange and low-polygon models, with the most blatant of their weird features being their squarish and disjointed limbs. While the main characters had their models retouched for DX, they didn't, leaving the contrast even more jarring.
    • As mentioned above in Narm, whenever a character speaks you can expect their facial features, especially their mouths and eyebrows to gyrate erratically. Again, DX did nothing to fix this despite the obvious improvement visible in the sequel and its remake, both of which precede DX.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • Though it looks rather dated now, Sonic Adventure was designed to showcase the power of the Dreamcast in comparison to the Playstation and Nintendo 64 at the time, and it shows. Vast, highly detailed environments, advanced level architecture and other fancy effects for the time had multiple review publications saying that even PC games of the era didn't look as good as Sonic Adventure. This was most obvious with Chaos, who featured numerous transparency and morphing effects which were impossible to accomplish on other systems.
    • The FMVs for the game still look pretty impressive to this day, especially the opening and the cutscene of Perfect Chaos invading Station Square. Keeping in mind this was CGI from the nineties.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Adventure was made as this to pull the Sonic series, and by proxy Sega themselves, out of the bad rut they had fallen into during the Sega Saturn years.
  • The Woobie: Tikal.
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