Once upon a time, a bunch of Japanese businessmen were sitting a around a boardroom somewhere, trying to come up with ideas for their company's newest sure-to-bit hit game.
"You know what would be a great idea?" asked Japanese Businessman 1 as he washed down six more hits of acid with some delicious MD20/20.
"A home port of Daytona USA 2?" replied Japanese businessman 2 as he snorted some delicious amphetemines bought with the profits of their newest arcade racing game.
"NO! WE GIVE OUR MOST POPULAR MASCOT A BUNCH OF SHITTY FRIENDS AND FORCE THEM TO NOT ONLY PLAY AS ALL OF THEM TO GET THE TRUE ENDING OF THE GAME, BUT ALSO WE'LL MAKE THEM RUN AROUND EXPANSIVE HUB ENVIRONMENTS TO ARTIFICIALLY INFLATE THE AMOUNT OF TIME THEY SPEND PLAYING THE GAME!" yelled Japanese Businessman 1 to Sean Connery, who was laying on the ceiling wearing a Hawaian shirt and metal boots.
This boardroom meeting begat Sonic Adventure 1. At least, this is what I tell myself at night in an attempt to justify the existence of Big the Cat. Seriously, whoever thought it would be a cool idea for gamers to waddle around as a obese, mentally handicapped purple cat who has to go fishing for his best friend (who just so happens to be a mutated frog) in every level needs to be shot. If you don't agree, reread the last sentence, then ask yourself, "hmm... would I want to spend actual real world money on this game?". If you answer Yes, you're either 4 years old or one of those rabid Sonic fanboys who came of age during the last console generation and never got to experience the times when Sonic games actually didn't suck.
Big the Cat's not the only thing shitty about this game though. How would you like to explore huge levels in search of hard-to-see emeralds with nothing but an approximation of the old game "Hot or Cold" to guide you to their location? Well, you get to do that. Do you like dying cheap deaths because of a camera system that manages to be so totally broken it renders sections of the game nigh unplayable? You get to do that too. Do you like your protagonists to be so full of bad 90's 'tude you could totally see him chugging Mountain Dew and jamming Limp Bizkit while complaining about how his mother won't let him stay out past 12 AM on a school night? Because that's who you're playing as for a good majority of the game. What about horrible stealth gameplay with a stereotypical preteen girl-type as your protagonist? Guess what? If that's your cup of tea, Sonic Adventure's got you covered.
I used to like this game when I was 12. This says more horrible things about me then you could imagine. I give it 3 stars for nostalgia value, but, really, go play Sonic Adventure 2 instead. The pacing's a lot better and it just feels more polished, plus you get to see Big the Cat kind of get hit by a truck.