|Sonic's back, and he's as fast as ever. Sonic Adventure
has been a huge hit on the Dreamcast, and fans of the world's fastest blue hedgehog have
not been disappointed. Sonic Adventure is a huge game, encompassing dozens of levels, six
(seven if you're good) playable characters, and mini-games galore. With the online
expandability and Chao trading in full effect, Sonic has proved he still has a few tricks
up his sleeve. Because of the sheer breadth of Sonic Adventure, BradyGames' Official
Strategy Guide is definitely a good idea.
Sonic Adventure is really pretty well documented. Part of what makes it such a good game is the nice, finished feel. Also, it's really a game for all ages, and as any Sonic fan knows, it's not too cerebral. But it's big. Really big. And for that reason, the maps and walkthrough in the strategy guide are pretty handy sometimes. Since you play through the game with six different characters, it can be confusing sometimes. Each character follows his/her own storyline, but they interact in the same world, so it's nice to know where to go next without putzing around for ten minutes. You must also collect Sonic Emblems with each character, and these are hidden in odd places sometimes. All of them are necessary to beat the game, so unless you're extremely lucky, you're going to need to consult a guide of some kind to get them.
Unfortunately, that's the most unique information the guide presents. There are some cheats and hints that are truly valuable at the end, but for the most part the information isn't very helpful. Each character is given and in-depth bio, and each baddie, boss, supporting character, item and stone is listed. While this might be good for huge fans of the characters, most people would be happy to learn about them when they bump into them.
The coverage of the secret stones and Chao tips are essential, because the Sonic Adventure manual is suspiciously lacking in these areas. The instructions for raising Chao in your VMU and racing them are completely vague and hard to understand in the manual, so the strategy guide really clears up some things. The Chao aspect of Sonic Adventure is one of the biggest things going for it, so it's nice to be able to get a good start on Chao raising. Unfortunately, even in the strategy guide we aren't told which animals will increase which stats. I also wanted to know which Chao race courses require which skills, so I could pick my best Chao to compete on them. These things are tough to figure out, even after many hours spent, and I had hoped to get a good answer in the strategy guide.
Overall, the Sonic Adventure Official Strategy Guide is a little disappointing. While the maps and locations of Sonic Emblems are great, there is a lot more information that could have gone into the book. The online aspect of Sonic Adventure is completely ignored in the strategy guide, too, which is really unfortunate, although I'm not sure what more could have been added to the instruction manual. This guide will aid especially younger gamers, but probably not the wider audience.