PS3 Reviews: Sonic Adventure Review

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Sonic Adventure Review

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Graphics:

 

6.3

Gameplay:

 

6.0

Sound:

 

5.5

Control:

 

5.7

Replay Value:

 

6.1

Overall Rating:       6.0

 

 

Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

Publisher:

Sega

Developer:

Sonic Team

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Platformer

Release Date:

September 21, 2010

A few games are instant classics and are almost immune to the cruel passage of time. Others are great and although not elite, they have certain traits that, at the very least, hold up well over time. And there’s a whole other group: the games that were considered pretty darn good at the time but within only a few years (or in this case, 11 years), the flaws are greatly enhanced and the rosy nostalgia nearly disappears. Sadly, Sonic Adventure falls into the latter category. In short, there’s good and bad news: the good news is that this is a faithful high-definition port of the quality Dreamcast title…the bad news it’s just a port of a DC title that hasn’t aged well. That being said, due to the large number of failures associated with the blue spiky streak since 1999, Sonic Adventure might be a relative breath of fresh air. It really isn’t bad at all (just look at old review scores for the game) but by today’s standards, well…

The fresh high-def visuals are a bonus, but in all honesty, they didn’t really do it for me. We often forget how far we’ve come in the realm of graphics; this game was one of the best-looking of that generation, and I understand that. But for some reason, I had expected the new overhaul to be a bit sharper, with all that beautiful color brought to the forefront. It’s still kinda pretty and I still like some of the effects, but the overall result might not satisfy anyone but hardcore Sonic followers. Maybe it’s because the environment and animations were never designed for HD, and all HD does is make the old-fashioned drawbacks even more prominent. Some of the later levels seem to benefit more from the visual facelift but that may not be enough incentive to keep playing. At the bare minimum, though, you will remember the good ol’ days of the Dreamcast.

As for the sound, we again have to make allowances. We have to understand that laughable voiceovers, a serious lack of balance between music and effects, and a lack of professional clarity were common in those days. The voices weren’t “laughable;” it was awesome that they even existed; we almost never noticed any lack of “sound balance” because it was more than electronic ditties, and the term “professional clarity” was almost entirely alien. I recognize all that. Even so, the sound was difficult to deal with in Sonic Adventure, as too much of it is cringe-worthy, and I only found solace in the standard effects that are highlights of most any Sonic quest. Besides, there are some music tracks that are really cool, despite the somewhat annoying level of repetitiveness.

If you really don’t know what to expect from a Sonic game by now, you’re either too young or you’ve avoided many of the subpar 3D efforts. But even then, it shouldn’t be hard to imagine: a pure platformer in just about every sense, Sonic Adventure has you zipping about, collecting golden rings, bouncing off enemies, and exploring everything from simple jungle environments to mysterious caves and dungeons. This DC title also introduced a central hub, where you could get your bearings after any given level, as well as a variety of different characters. Of course, there’s always the speed factor, which is crucial for any game with “Sonic” in the title, and the game doesn’t usually stutter despite the mind-bending loop-the-loops or bouncy launch platforms. On the surface, one could only expect a fun, fulfilling platformer of AAA quality.

And some will argue it was indeed a AAA game when it released. Now, though, as I mentioned earlier, the downfalls basically smack you upside the head. Yeah, we’re spoiled; what of it? Doesn’t really help the situation. Too many of the levels fail to impress, the hub world is bland and seemingly pointless at times, the Friends levels just get boring, and what the hell is with Big the Cat? The camera goes all sorts of crazy far too often – a flaw we basically expected and accepted a decade ago – and the control is only a little better than average. Because of the latter and despite the emphasis on speed, this re-release actually feels clunky and awkward. We’re just too used to the likes of Ratchet and Clank and Super Mario Galaxy, and although some of the areas in Sonic Adventure are still appealing and appropriately challenging, time hasn’t been kind.

Also, let’s not forget there are only about 10 levels, and the differences between each of the available characters are marginal. Way back when, it was considered a great addition and opened up the gameplay; the characters with slightly different skill sets really added a huge amount of longevity. So one day, you can go through a particular level with Amy, and then the next, you can try a completely different level with Knuckles or Tails. And yes, the game does play a little differently when playing as Big the Cat (although God only knows why you would use him). And yes, you might want to replay levels in order to achieve better scores and times. But the core gameplay and mechanics just don’t hold up to scrutiny in this day and age and really, this will only appeal to the die-hard Sonic fans. Then again, if you’ve always regretted getting rid of Sega’s last piece of hardware and want to relive one of the first 128-bit experiences, than I suppose this will fit the bill.

Sonic Adventure was one of the reasons to own a Dreamcast when it first came out. The veterans still said Sonic needed to remain 2D but those were the same people who complained about Mario going 3D on the N64. Sonic Team really did do a good job with what they had at their disposal and this new release still maintains its charm. It really does. But that charm just isn’t enough for us to ignore the negatives that rear their ugly heads from the get-go, and it’s tough to recommend it with so many great PSN originals and PS1 classics. But hey, there are other DC classics that are yet to come; who wants Shenmue and Skies of Arcadia?

9/23/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (52 posts)

Scarecrow
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 9:42:23 PM
Reply

Ben...did we really need a review?

Capcom re-release their games on PSN/XBL but they don't really need a new review...

It'd be like reviewing ps1 classics all over again.

I also don't think it's fair to judge the graphics/AI too much since that was THEN.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

LimitedVertigo
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 9:48:41 PM

Well you have to understand that while this content may not be new to you or I it's new to many people on the PSN. The Dreamcast was almost a fad and due to it's early demise there weren't too many people enjoying its games.

That being said I think Sonic Adventure is a short and fun game so why not give it a playthrough and throw out a review. I was interested to see how well it held up after 11 years.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 11:08:38 PM

I was given a download code. I did my job...please don't complain.

Agree with this comment 8 up, 5 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 12:27:00 AM

It's true what LV said. DC was a fad that didn't last any longer than it took to make copies of every game on the market. I missed out on it completely, in fact. (Until a friend brought one to university in third year!)

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

LimitedVertigo
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 2:01:00 AM

Oh and I like the new pic Scarecrow. Gotta admit I didn't realize it was you at first, I generally look at the pictures to tell who is who (maybe it's a bad habit).

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Akuma07
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 4:03:19 AM

The problem is, this review doesn't do Sonic Adventure justice.

It was reviewed based on current standards.

SA is one of the best sonic games there is.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 10:21:46 AM

It has to be based on the competition on the PSN; on what consumers have the option to buy from the same location. Some games stand up well over time, as I mentioned in the intro. Others don't.

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Scarecrow
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 1:00:35 PM

Should we start reviewing ps1 games as well? Just because 14 year olds didn't have a chance to play them back in the day?

These Dreamcast games have reviews from those days. Just like ps1 games have reviews from those days.

It's nothing personal or anything, I just disagree with reviewing past games at this day and age. Should we be reviewing Capcom's SNES re-releases like Final Fight as well?

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sawao_yamanaka
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 1:17:52 PM

A lot of publications where asked to review the game and they all feel the same as Ben here. The fact that they added trophies and HD visuals gives reason enough to review. The ps1 games have nothing new added to them at all so they are straight ports unlike this game which came out on the dreamcast and not ps3. They also release the arcade ports from capcom. Final fight and I forget the other one but they were reviewed and received a better score than this game and are a heckuva lot older than this.

Last edited by sawao_yamanaka on 9/24/2010 1:24:37 PM

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Temjin001
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 9:52:28 PM
Reply

I wonder if this game has Trophy support.

Anyhow, I'm glad Ben did a review. I was half-tempted to download it because I did really enjoy this game and it's sequel on the DC back then. But like most older games that I have fond memories of, I get an unpleasant reminder about how far gaming has evolved in some ways.

Anyhow, I would like to see Shenmue and VF3tb come across to PSN.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

LimitedVertigo
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:02:05 PM

A true test of a game is playing it decade/s later and seeing if you still enjoy it. Games like SuperMarioBrothers3, FFIV, and Streets of Rage2 and Half Life still offer me as much enjoyment as any 100million dollar game from today. Then you have games like MasterBlaster, Jet Moto, and DarkSeed that are laughably bad now.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:16:51 PM

Wow man, Master Blaster. Old school. That's old school.

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sawao_yamanaka
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:22:05 PM

Lol blaster master. I actually still like it. Sonic adventure and crazy taxi umm not so much anymore. I bought crazy taxi for the psp and boy did it get repetitive as hell! Worst purchase ever!

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

LimitedVertigo
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:24:40 PM

Ya, my bad on that sawao. You're right it's Blaster Master. But hey, it was in my negatives list so it's okay! :)

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Temjin001
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:29:29 PM

Back then I, like I'm sure most people, did game cover shopping. I'd stand at the counter looking at the cover art, reading the back of the case pondering if it's worth my time. Usually the coolest art design got my money.. The Ninja Gaiden's and Castlevania's always had the best covers.

Man, times have changed.

So how many of you got duped into buying Broderbund's "The Deadly Towers"? Great cover, crap game.

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Deleted User
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:34:12 PM

@ Temjon001

Yes, it has trophy support. Both the core game and the $4.99 Sonic DX DLC.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

sawao_yamanaka
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:34:43 PM

No biggie on that LV. Oh yea I remember that game and I wished I didn't! I remember passing up megaman cos of the cover!

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Deleted User
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:46:47 PM

I rented Deadly Towers back in 1987. Good thing I did so. Horrible game that never was any good. At least Sonic Adventure was a very good game back in 1999.

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Temjin001
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:49:26 PM

Thanks, Brighat.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 11:18:39 PM

Blaster Master seemed like the sweetest game of all time back then. I mean, you could GET OUT of the vehicle! Surely that lead to the GTA franchise ;)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 9:58:47 PM
Reply

Well I hung onto my DC cuz it is a great arcade-at-home machine and I've got two copies of Sonic so I won't be buying this on PSN. I can sympathize a lot with this review, the game just doesn't withstand the test of time but I still like it. Mario 64 was by far the better 3D transition, and Sonic 2 is still the best Sonic of all time, but I maintaint Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 are at least the best 3D Sonics.

Now, Skies of Arcadia I can get into fo sho. BUT, I don't think Shenmue can stand up either. At the time it was a great leap forward in immersion, and was a kind of precursor to some great games like Indigo Prophecy but playing it now is cringe-worthy. There are lots of voice overs and they are all bad, the controls are super clunky, and everything is generally slow which won't play well in a twitchy generation. I think it will show up though. I'd like to see a Shenmue 3 personally.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:21:10 PM

Yes, the DC was very much the bridge between arcade and home gaming entertainment. For the first time gamers saw games that looked better than most of the games at the arcades during that time (Soul Calibur was one). For so many years it was the other way around with arcades always having the edge.

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:21:10 PM

When I plugged in my DC to the internet via the 56k modem I thought I was the coolest kid on the block. I agree with you on Sonic Adventure, it's the best 3D Sonic but unfortunately that isn't saying much.

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Temjin001
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:25:23 PM

Yeah, I'm sorry, but Sega just sucks. They do. They had so many awesome properties go down the tubes because of major quality control problems. Why couldn't they have Nintendo's quality assurance?

While I'm not really into most things Nintendo, most of their games I've played are usually very well made. With Sega, it's a shot in the dark. Can't they at least get performance issues under control with so many of their games?

I'm upset with them because I liked their image and audience a lot back in the day, now they're pitiful with most everything they touch.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 9/23/2010 10:25:50 PM

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sawao_yamanaka
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:32:50 PM

That is so true temjin. I remember playing both sonic adventure and mario 64 when I was younger. The camera problems on sonic adventure were horrid. Never had problems like that on mario. I remember if you got stuck behind a wall they would do this sort of shadow image of you so you knew where you were at, sonic adventure just well you get the picture.

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:38:26 PM

Sega was a one hit wonder. The Genesis IMO offered me the greatest gaming of my jr high(middle school) life. Then they go and launch the 32x and the Saturn which are piss poor hardware and the trend continues via software. Hell the Saturn version of Tomb Raider is almost unplayable.

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Temjin001
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:48:45 PM

One of the greatest gaming experiences in my life was with Phantasy Star Online. I simply never played a game like it. I stayed up many, late, late nights on that one.

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Sancho
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 1:09:22 AM

Sonic 2 really? I mean I liked it, but I LOVED Sonic 3 combined with Sonic and Knuckles. Being able to go to Hyper Sonic, Knuckles or Tails was too awesome to me. I have to agree about the Sonic Adventure series being the best 3d versions. I think for not having two analog sticks the camera works fairly well. Its similar to the way the original Spyro played which I also still enjoy playing. I bought the new Sonic Adventure on PSN since my DC is a first run and its hard to find a working copy of Sonic Adventure for it. I had a copy from a local store but it wouldn't work. I had that problem when I first got my DC for Christmas the year it came out. Took 3 exchanges and a letter to Sega to get a working copy and then being young I foolishly traded it in when I wanted some money. I will find a working DC version though because I loved playing with the Chao on the VMU's. I guess I'm one of those die hard Sonic fans.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:33:19 PM
Reply

MY my, how my Sonic has withered away from age these days.

He must be something like 89 & 1/2 now in human years since his early Genesis childhood.

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hadouken
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:49:45 PM
Reply

Sonic, I hope one day you at least get one more decent run. You're part of everybody's child hood.

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Hezzron
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 10:58:35 PM
Reply

Is Sonic still alive?! I could swear I was at his funeral.

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 11:00:16 PM

No, no that was Duke Nukem. But it turns out the casket was empty.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Lotusflow3r
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 7:28:40 AM

He's alive and about to make a grand comeback. The true sequel to Sonic 3 is coming this fall, Sonic 4 and will be his return to form.....LOOK OUT!

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Hezzron
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 9:59:54 AM

Pffft....Sonic will always be the poor man's Mario.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 12:05:11 AM
Reply

Eh, I'd prefer Sonic Adventure 2 to the first one, so...hopefully they'll release that one soon.

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Underdog15
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 12:29:45 AM
Reply

I remember reading a Sonic NOVEL in grade school.

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alfie
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 1:05:52 AM
Reply

damn! i never had PS3,PS2, or even PS1 in my Pathetic life:-(
sucks live'n here in the Philippines.

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A2K78
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 1:48:24 AM
Reply

For the really hardcore(like myself) Sonic Adventure and even Shenmue was never a real reason to own a DC, but rather the sheer amount of Model 3 and NAOMI conversions which was destined for the console

In the end its a shame sega gave up on the dreamcast because like the Saturn, it was really the console of choice for the hardcore.

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LimitedVertigo
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 2:08:35 AM

Um the Saturn was a terrible piece of hardware that doomed a majority of the software on it. How can you honestly claim it was a console for the hardcore? It could barely crank out 3D graphics and yet Sega billed it as a 3D machine.

It's right up there with the 32x for worst idea for a console EVER.

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Temjin001
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 9:43:22 AM

Yeah, Sega was the poor ginny pig who got to taste the sting that most add-on peripheral upgrades just don't sell well.

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A2K78
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 1:53:03 AM
Reply

" I bought crazy taxi for the psp and boy did it get repetitive as hell! Worst purchase ever!"

As with fighting games, Crazy Taxi is a title really meant to be played at and enjoyed at an arcade.

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sawao_yamanaka
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 11:11:23 AM

A bad game is a bad game no matter what.

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___________
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 3:34:48 AM
Reply

really wanting to download this, but the influx of demos lately have almost put me over my limit.
ill probably download it early next month to tide me over till sonic 4 comes out.

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Vivi_Gamer
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 4:23:16 AM
Reply

I loved this game on the Dreamcast, if my student loan comes in today im sold.

Though i do admit some levels are dodge like Big the cat's fishing levels. i was not tthat found of Amy's either, but the rest were great.

Is the Chao minigame still in this BTW?

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Kangasfwa
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 5:01:04 AM
Reply

I actually played through the whole game with the fishing cat. Fishing your little frog buddy out of a giant monster was laughably surreal when I was a kid. I finished the game with every other character too, by the way.

The final boss battle with Sonic vs Doctor Robotnik remains one of the best moments in gaming I've experienced. It was Epic--back in the day. ;)

Last edited by Kangasfwa on 9/24/2010 5:01:11 AM

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slimey
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 6:11:08 AM
Reply

Some of the best DC games were published by Capcom rather than Sega - ResiEvil Code Veronica, Power Stone, Street Fighter III 3rd Strike . Is there any chance will be released as dlc? We already have the awsome MvC II. so I remain hopefull.

I would like to see Jet Set Radio and Metropolis Street Racer, still my favourite driving game. Shenmue I'm not fussed over. The gameplay mechanic's will have aged horribly

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sawao_yamanaka
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 11:14:15 AM

They're releasing Street Fighter 3rd Strike on psn and xbla. Not sure when though. Capcom announced it already.

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A2K78
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 6:41:03 AM
Reply

"m the Saturn was a terrible piece of hardware that doomed a majority of the software on it. How can you honestly claim it was a console for the hardcore? It could barely crank out 3D graphics and yet Sega billed it as a 3D machine."

Who care about whether the Saturn could do 3D or not? Anyhow the point is when it came to the essential games that gamers really want to play then Saturn had e.g. PD:Saga, Radiant Silvegun, Guardian Heroes, etc.

Now if we're talking technical capabilitis, being the 2D powerhouse it was, ports of certain arcade games were far better than than the playstation version. If anything it make you wonder why Capcom cancelled the playstation version of D&D:Tower of Doom.

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LimitedVertigo
Friday, September 24, 2010 @ 12:31:31 PM

It's called a reply button for a reason.

Saturn sucks.

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Sancho
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 1:10:52 AM

Actually the Saturn I believe was similar to the PS3 in design in using multiple processors to split the work load and developers had a hard time developing for it. And they released it right after the failed Sega CD which was mostly terrible minus a few good games.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 2:42:29 PM
Reply

Panzer Dragoon Saga.

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GreyGhost
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 10:40:59 PM
Reply

Name a 2D fighter that was better on PS instead of Saturn ...
When one had the 4Meg expansion cart, 2D games like X-Men VS Street Fighter were arcade perfect and not hackneyed messes ...

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