Dreamcastify is an attempt to document the differences between Sonic Adventure ports, focusing primarily on downgrades introduced in Gamecube and PC versions.
Sonic Adventure is a game originally released for SEGA Dreamcast back in 1998-1999. In 2003-2004 the game was ported to Nintendo Gamecube and PC, where it’s known as Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut. In 2010-2011 it was also ported to Sony Playstation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 as part of a bundle called Dreamcast Collection. There is also another PC version of Sonic Adventure DX, which is based on the Dreamcast Collection port. The second PC port is available through Steam and is the most accessible version of the game at the moment.
This blog is dedicated to comparing various ports of Sonic Adventure DX with the original Dreamcast version. Although Sonic Adventure DX is commonly referred to as an “enhanced port”, it has some downgrades from the original game in terms of lighting, special effects and texture quality, as well as bugs that didn’t exist in the Dreamcast version. The Gamecube version is different to the original game in many ways, with some changes difficult to judge as better or worse. The 2004 PC port has more serious issues, with more bugs and even worse lighting, texture and sound quality. The nextgen console ports and the Steam version have even more issues than the original 2004 PC port they are based on.
Because these versions are the most accessible, people often judge the original game by the ports and think Sonic Adventure “hasn’t aged well”. This might be true if we’re talking about gameplay, but graphically the game hasn’t aged as badly as a lot of people might think. The Dreamcast version certainly has some style and aesthetic appeal to it, and this is the area where the ports are lacking. While the original and the ports have the same story and core gameplay, the differences in graphics and overall presentation almost make them feel like different games.
This website isn’t trying to blindly defend the Dreamcast version. The ports clearly have some advantages over the original, such as higher framerate (which isn’t consistent on the Gamecube, but still), ability to skip cutscenes, underwater distortion effects (Gamecube only), Game Gear minigames (Gamecube/PC2004 only) and support for higher resolutions on PC. The visual changes and design choices from the Gamecube version are somewhat subjective when it comes to what version is “better”. Some might prefer the lush, colorful tone of the Dreamcast version, while others might prefer the more realistic and less colorful tone of the Gamecube version, but the technical issues introduced in the Gamecube and later PC/nextgen versions should also be discussed.
The purpose of this blog is to clear some common misconceptions about the ports and to prove that they are doing a massive disservice to the original game. Many people are playing the newer ports of the game thinking it’s the same as the Dreamcast version, or even better. It isn’t. The original game holds together much stronger and provides a much richer experience than any of the ports.
To learn more about SA1 vs SADX differences, use the top menu to browse Action Stages, Adventure Fields and other aspects of the game. You can also read about mods for the PC port that restore Dreamcast assets. When recording footage from all versions, we had to follow certain rules and make certain choices – check out the How we did it section for details on the comparisons.