2022/01/23 update: After a period of inactivity due to lack of motivation, I found a new person to take over Dreamcastify. The site has a new editor, KGL, who is going to rewrite the posts in a less critical tone along with updates to page layout. The goal is to make Dreamcastify a more general comparison between different versions of SA1 and SADX. Some changes to the text have already been made. I support the intention of the new editor, but as the author of the original blog, I would like to make it clear that the updated site is no longer me speaking, and all mentions in the first person or my nickname under page titles are simply leftovers from the previous version of the site that will be changed at some point in the future. The leftovers from the previous version that are present on pages currently do not necessarily mean that I agree with all of the updates. I am no longer involved in writing or editing text on the site. – PkR
Dreamcastify is a blog comparing Sonic Adventure DX differences across 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 Sonic Adventure DX with the original Dreamcast version. Although Sonic Adventure DX is commonly referred to as an “enhanced port”, it has some objective 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. Many redesigns and texture changes within stages are abundant, some stages having an entirely different feel because of it. The Gamecube version is very different to the original game in many ways, but is still subjective whether the design changes make the game better or worse. On the other hand, 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 that 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.
We aren’t here 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 aesthetical changes and design choices from the Gamecube version are truly subjective for each person when it comes to asking 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 inarguable issues brought in both the Gamecube and later PC/nextgen versions cannot be ignored.
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. We want to spread the word about the mass differences that have somewhat plagued the game with many misconceptions for years. 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. Before reading the comparison articles, make sure you’ve visited the How we did it section, as it may answer some questions and dispel some of the doubts you might have about the comparisons.
Feel free to share your opinions and feedback in the “Your feedback” section!