Sega brought 1999's Sega Dreamcast hit Sonic Adventure back for an encore in 2003's Nintendo GameCube adaptation Sonic Adventure DX (aka Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut). The main plot of the game is the same: Dr. Robotnik has raised the ancient evil Chaos and plans to use it to destroy the peaceful city of Station Square. It's up to Sonic and his friends to stop the madness and save the day. Sonic Team has added some new features and extras, however, that make this game a must-own for both 3D and 2D platformer fans alike.

The core of the game is the Adventure mode. This is the main game that follows six playable characters across a massive story. While playing as each character, a new piece of the overall plot is revealed. While Sonic is the main character, there's plenty to do when playing as Tails, Knuckles the Echidna, Amy Rose, Big the Cat, and E-102 Gamma. The action spans across three main "hub" worlds - Station Square, Mystic Ruins, and Egg Carrier - as well as a number of "action" stages, the main objective of which is to reach the end of the level. Repeated play establishes new collection-based and time-based objectives. A number of sub-games also pop up from time to time and each is available for practice in Trial mode.

Mission mode is a new addition to the Nintendo GameCube edition of the game. Sonic Team has added sixty cryptic mission cards that each establish a special objective. There are ten missions per character, some of which are easy ("weed the lawn") while some are more difficult ("find the dark place"). Specific missions are not active until a character finds a mission card, and even then the cards are hidden away in the three hub worlds. Luckily a subscreen keeps track of missions, both completed and pending.

Sonic creator Yuji Naka once said that he was tempted to call Sonic Adventure DX "Sonic Mega Collection 2" because of the next major part of the game. After completing a set number of objectives in both Adventure and Mission modes, various Sonic games from the Sega Game Gear are unlocked for play. Each game includes on-screen instructions, plays full screen, and even supports two players on a single television. The twelve hidden games are...

Wrapping up the fun is the Chao Garden, a place to raise little Chao creatures. Gamers can race them, feed them, play with them, and do a number of other activities. For a complete experience gamers can connect a Game Boy Advance with Sonic Advance, Sonic Advance 2, or Sonic Pinball Party to the Nintendo GameCube to transfer Chao data. The Chao Garden is available from Adventure mode, although it isn't a required part of the game.

Sonic Adventure DX is an addictive experience. Intertwining stories and Sega Game Gear extras make this a difficult game to put down, not the mention the lush graphics and catchy music that pulls players into the world of Station Square. The game should be easy to find as it has just been released, and I heartily recommend it. The original Sonic Adventure spawned a sequel, Sonic Adventure 2, which was ported and released to the Nintendo GameCube as 2002's Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. No matter how you do it, be sure to get your hedgehog fix.

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