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Sonic Adventure 3: East Coast Minute
Developer(s)
Sonic Team
Traveller's Tales
Publisher(s)
Sega
Series
Sonic the Hedgehog series
Engine
Hedgehog Engine (Graphics)
Havok Physics Engine (Physics)
Genre(s)
Action-adventure, open world, platform, third-person shooter
Mode(s)
Single player
Rating(s)
ESRB: E10+

PEGI: 12
CERO: B

ACB: PG
Platform(s)
Xbox One

PlayStation 4
Nintendo Switch
PC (via download)

Mac (via download)
Media
Blu-Ray Player

Switch Cartridge

Digital Download
Input
Controller
Mouse and Keyboard
Preceded by
N/A
Followed by

Sonic Adventure 3: East Coast Minute, also abbreviated as SA3, is an open-world action/adventure video game for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac.

Gameplay

Gameplay is split into many different varieties; speed platforming (Sonic), flight platforming (Tails), treasure hunting (Knuckles), precision platforming (Amy), shooter-like mission-based levels (Shadow), on-rails shooting levels (Omega), and strategy platforming mixed with puzzle-solving (Silver).

Playable Characters

Sonic

Sonic’s gameplay involves a lot of fast movement and occasional platforming in order to get to the goal ring. Sonic has the abilities of the Homing Attack, Light Dash, Boost, and Sidestepping. Very similar to Sonic Generations' Act 2 stages.

SA3 Cast

The Playable Characters

Tails

Tails’ gameplay includes platforming while dealing with air mechanics, flight strategy, and light combat. Virtually the same as his stages in the original Sonic Adventure.

Knuckles

Knuckles’ stages involve finding three pieces of the Master Emerald in each stage, with a radar telling the player when close to one. The player can also collect the pieces in and order they lease. Identical to Knuckles' stages in the first Sonic Adventure.

Amy

Amy’s levels involve platforming with more precision and movement, but with some occasional speed. Amy has the abilities of Homing Attack, Spindash, using her Piko-Piko hammer, and Tornado jump. Almost exactly like her speed gameplay in Sonic Heroes, only replacing the Rocket Accel with the Spindash.

Shadow

Shadow revolves around a mixture of gunplay, clue searching, occasional platforming, and light puzzle solving. The player has seven different weapon categories (melee, sidearm, sub-machine, shotgun, assault, throwable, and launcher) and can carry one weapon in each category, or they will have to swap out one weapon with another in a certain category. Is similar to Grand Theft Auto IV mixed with Shadow the Hedgehog with a little bit of influence from L.A. Noire and the Uncharted series.

Silver

Silver’s gameplay involves using his psychokinesis and platforming to fight enemies, solve puzzles, and complete levels. Similar to his gameplay in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), but with more emphasis on combat.

E-123 Omega

Omega’s stages include missile launching, boosting, and light gunplay. Identical to Tails’ stages from Sonic Adventure 2.

Other Gameplay Systems

Health System

The health system for all the characters is the same; collect rings to survive, get hit and you lose ten rings a piece until you lose all of them, and if you get hit with no rings, you lose a life. You earn points by destroying robots, setting animals free, and collecting rings, and at the end of the level, your overall score is tallied up and added to the international leaderboards. To keep scores fair involving rings, every ring lost subtracts 1,000 points from the board, but if picked back up, the score goes up 1,000 for every ring collected.

Map

Open hub worlds from the first title return, with a day/night mechanic and a much more involved open world, similar to that of Grand Theft Auto or Saints Row. There is a map showing the specific general area of where to go, along with side quests or side activities, with the option to go to your destination by foot via using the current character’s abilities, by hailing a taxi to your destination; you can also choose to skip to your destination if you please, using the train, each character’s specific vehicles or get in a random pedestrian’s car. You can place markers, which give you a GPS route where you want to go, as well as listen to radio stations in vehicles, even in taxis. All characters have their own "safehouse," where the player can manually save their game, advance time, get more health, and play some games on their television.

Collectables

The emblems from the previous Sonic Adventure games and Sonic Heroes make a return, with seventy hidden in the open world for each story, collected for completing levels, and one in the final boss, totaling up to 126 emblems in the whole game, and for every five collected, rewards such as artwork, behind the scenes videos, music sound tests, and digital models of all the game’s different characters.

In addition, 86 album covers are found scattered throughout the state's hub world. They feature an album cover from one of the artists licensed for the in-game radio stations.

Boss Fights

Seven of the fourteen missions are all boss fights, which can completely vary depending on that character’s gameplay style. The remaining number of missions are all story stages. These contain absolutely no emblem collecting involved.

Side Quests/Activities

There are unique side quests for each separate character, which can completely vary depending on area or time.

There are also many games and side activities around the map: darts, pool, bowling, car racing, air hockey, hoop shooting, batting cages, robot hunting, boardwalk games, and dancing. They are based on either score or position at the finish line. You can also hang out with others to do these, or just do them with the current character. Eating with others is exclusive to hanging out. Up to three other characters can hang out with your current character.

Vehicles

In addition to each character having their own unique vehicles, the player has the opportunity to take any car, plane, boat, motorcycle, helicopter, or jet ski they find, or they can just go on foot if they please. The player can also roll their vehicle over if it flips.

Each character also has a garage that holds their small fleet of vehicles. Each vehicle can be moderately customized (colors, wheels, etc.) and some other cars are unlocked as the story progresses.

Businesses

Various businesses exist all over Empire State, from restaurants, vending machines, food stands/vehicles, and the places mentioned in the side activities. These all contain special interiors and act as alternatives for filling up on rings when the player cannot find any in the open world.

Synopsis

Setting

The game takes place across Empire State, which include Empire City along with its five boroughs of Malstephen, Brokluce, Monarchs, The Breax, and Static Island, along with its Lincoln Island, Buscemi’s Island, Penn Island and the famous Independence Island. In addition, rural outskirts, farmlands, some beaches, occasional forests, and other cities such as Bonkers in upstate Empire are available to explore.

Like the original Sonic Adventure and its successor, Sonic Adventure 2, there are multiple stories, and you can swap between characters on the fly to do their missions at will. There is also a last story with Super Sonic and two other super characters after completing all the main stories.

Premise

Seven different characters, all in the same place for different reasons, but their stories intertwine with one another, all leading up to an epic finale. Sonic, the world's fastest hedgehog arrives in Empire City after receiving a threatening message from his longtime enemy, Dr. Robotnik, that he is doing something in the city. Miles "Tails" Prower, a genius young fox, arrives on the east coast to brush up on his flying skills after a nearly decade-long hiatus. Knuckles, a rough echidna with severe gullibility, is searching for the Master Emerald across Empire State before it falls into the wrong hands. Amy Rose, a pink hedgehog with an obsession with Sonic, is in Empire City to rescue a friend from the clutches of Metal Sonic. Shadow, a genetically created hedgehog with a tragic backstory, is in the city to help the ECPD uncover a crime conspiracy discovered by his former employers, G.U.N. E-123 Omega, a clunky robot created by Dr. Robotnik, is in the city to prevent the east coast from arming robots for its alternate police force after seeing a disturbing image. Silver, a psychokinetic hedgehog originally from around 200 years into the future, is in Empire State to assist the dramatically dwindling Empire State Police fight its growing crime issues. Little do they know, their individual missions will all intertwine for one epic story.

- Game Writer's Description

Plot

SA3 features a long but comprehensible story, with seven small stories intertwining to lead up the last story.

Sonic's Story

Sonic is shown running through Blinding Point in Malstephen, Empire City on his own, until he stops at the Boulevard Hotel, looking to relax for a while. But before he can check in, a concierge hands him a letter from Dr. Robotnik, claiming he is working on a new scheme to conquer the world, and that it starts with Empire City. The letter claims that Sonic better listen carefully and follow his clues to have a chance of stopping him. Sonic checks in to the hotel (which is now his safehouse for the rest of the game) and heads out to stop the evil doctor.

The first clue leads him to Stage 1: Outer Odyssey, which takes him from the top of Monarchs to Kroney Island in Brokluce, where he fights Boss 1: The Egg Cone to prevent it from hurting the citizens on the beach and its surrounding areas. Afterwards, the doctor calls him from a nearby payphone to head to the Breax in northern Empire City to find something that will help him on his mission. Sonic heads over to the Breax immediately.

After comepleting Stage 2: Breax Breakout, which takes him from the Breax through rural northern Empire State to Bonkers. There Sonic finds a large crowd surrounding a downed airplane, which he inspects and realizes it belongs to Tails, when Tails himself emerges from the wreckage, claiming he was shot down by something he didn't notice as a result of no radar. Immediately, two large robots emerge, which are clones of Metal Sonic, prompting Boss 2: Metal Mech Alpha for Sonic, while Tails deals with Metal Mech Bravo. After both are defeated, Dr. Robotnik teases them with a message from the metal, saying to meet him in Spagoniatown in south Malstephen to continue Sonic's attempts to stop him. Sonic and Tails then briefly split up for their own reasons.

Once arriving in Spagoniatown, a robot bursts out of a restaurant, proceeding to attack Sonic, managing to outmatch his own speed. When left defenseless, E-123 Omega launches a few missiles to damage it, leaving the robot prone to Sonic's attacks, starting Boss 3: Rogue ECPD Battle Droid. After said robot is defeated, before taking off Omega warns Sonic that the robots the ECPD have been using have a dark side, and can easily be used for wrongdoing if they fell into the wrong hands. However, right afterwards, a large amount of ECPD officers surround Sonic and arrest him for damaging ECPD property, taking him "downtown" to the Breax station.

While being interrogated by Police Commissioner Marcus Oum, E-123 Omega arrive in the station, who followed Sonic and shows video evidence of Sonic attacking the rogue robot. As a result, Oum drops the charges, but asks Sonic if he can help a fellow detective out with an investigation in Static Island. Sonic agrees, and is later shocked to discover the officer Oum was talking about was his former rival, Shadow the Hedgehog, who is investigating a huge crime conspiracy. Sonic still agrees to help out, and begins Stage 3: Malstephen Mayhem.

Tails' Story

Knuckles' Story

Amy's Story

Shadow's Story

E-123 Omega's Story

Silver's Story

Timeframe

The game is confirmed to take place in 2013, two years following the events of Sonic Generations.

Specific Time

The game never explicitly shows at what point in 2013 the game takes place. However, the following evidence implies the timeframe to be from early November - mid December:

  • Shadow's story starts with an announcement of Empire City's new mayor, Raul del Rio. In the real world, New York City's current mayor, Bill de Blasio, was announced as the new mayor on November 5, 2013.
  • Near the beginning of Silver's story, he mentions all the trees losing their leaves and getting frosted up. This is known to happen in the New York area as a symbol of upcoming snow.
  • The weather fluctuates throughout the story, with snow and rain becoming increasingly frequent near the end of the game.
  • Midway through the story, all the characters are seen interacting with each other during a large meal buffet made by Vanilla and Amy, which is implied to be Thanksgiving dinner.
    • During the same cutscene, Knuckles mentions how the next day, the malls across America will be like "Westopolis in the early '90s", referencing both Black Friday and the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.
  • During a cutscene, Tails is seen changing a calendar from November to December.
    • During the same cutscene, he also mentions that he "better get ready for Hanukkah" and pulls out a menorah from a nearby drawer.
  • Near the end of the story, several houses can be seen with Christmas decorations and Christmas trees inside.
  • During the final boss fight, Silver claims that Robotnik "better not ruin the last week of Christmas shopping.".

Characters

Playable

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Miles "Tails" Prower
  • Knuckles the Echidna
  • Amy Rose
  • Shadow the Hedgehog
  • Silver the Hedgehog
  • E-123 Omega

Allies

  • Silas the Thylacine
  • Empire State Police Captain Marcus Oum
  • ECPD Commissioner Anthony "Tony" Rubini
  • Vanilla the Rabbit

Supporting Characters

  • Omochao
  • Cream the Rabbit
  • Cheese the Chao
  • Chao
  • The Crowd of Empire City

Enemies

  • Dr. Julian "Eggman" Robotnik
  • Metal Sonic

Items

Cast

Role Voice Actor
Sonic the Hedgehog Roger Craig Smith
Metal Sonic
Miles "Tails" Prower Colleen Villard
Knuckles the Echidna Travis Willingham
Amy Rose Lisa Ortiz
Shadow the Hedgehog Jason Griffith
Silver the Hedgehog Pete Capella
E-123 Omega Vic Mignogna
Dr. Julian "Eggman" Robotnik Mike Pollock
Silas the Thylacine Anna Kendrick
Commisioner Anthony "Tony" Rubini Rick Pasqualone
Captain Marcus Oum James Sie
Vanilla the Rabbit Rebecca Honig
Cream the Rabbit Michelle Ruff
Sidequest Characters André Sogliuzzo

Aubrey Plaza

Charles Martinet

Chris Cox

Corey Burton

Eliza Dushku

Fred Tatasciore

Freddie Prinze, Jr.

Jen Taylor

Kate Higgins

Keith David

Kristen Bell

Lloyd Floyd

Michael Hollick

Nolan North

Ray Narvaez, Jr.

Rebecca Sanabria

Rick Pasqualone

Robin Atkin Dowes

Sasha Grey

Sora Connor

Steve Blum

Will Sierra

Yuri Lowenthal

Angela, E.C.'s Beatz DJ Laura Bailey
E.C.'s Beatz Imaging Voice Eric Edwards
Clay Harris, Carnegie FM DJ Ron Perlman
Carnegie FM Imaging Voice Quinton Flynn
Jimmy Hymen, E.C.P.R. DJ Keith Silverstein
E.C.P.R. Imaging Voice Steve Blum
Bailey McFadden, The Cub Hall DJ Elizabeth Banks
The Club Hall Imaging Voice Anthony Aroya
Geoffrey "Geoff" McKenzie, Contemporary Brokluce Radio DJ Lane Compton
Contemporary Brokluce Radio Imaging Voice Neil Patrick Harris
Joel "The Love Negus" Neita, Rasta Gong Soundsystem DJ Seeborn
Rasta Gong Soundsystem Imaging Voice Carl Bradshaw
DJ Swiss, Empire City's Classics DJ Method Man
Empire City's Classic's Imaging Voice Rakim
Rachel "The Rocktologist" Mitchell, The East Dust DJ Amy Palant
The East Dust Imaging Voice Conor Hall
Leslie Grace, Caribe Canciones DJ Herself
Caribe Canciones Imaging Voice André Sogliuzzo
Lizzy "The Shadow Lady", Blue-Pop Tunes DJ Elizabeth Dwyer
Blue-Pop Tunes Imaging Voice Brian West
The Crowd of Empire City Alex Karpovsky

Allison Fraser

André Sogliuzzo

Angela Tsai

April Yvette Thompson

Bridget Hall

Caitlin Greer

Carol Ann Susi

Carol Cardenas

Chris Cox

Corey Burton

Cristina Pucelli

Danielle Nicolet

Danny Mastrogiorgio

Dorian Missick

Fred Tatasciore

G.K. Bowes

Harry Chase

Jeannie Elias

Katie Semine

Kenn Michael

Kirk Thorton

Laura Bailey

Lloyd Floyd

Neil Patrick Harris

Nika Futterman

Nolan North

Rakim

Rebecca Sanabria

Tara Platt

Will Janowitz

Yul Vasque

Soundtrack

The music director for Sonic Adventure 3 is Jim Lang, who is most known for scoring the Nickelodeon series Hey Arnold! He also composed the main theme, Welcome to the Empire State.

In addition, the open world features ten licensed music radio stations, similar to Grand Theft Auto or Saints Row. A wide variety of genres are featured, including artists such as Queen, Kanye West, Michael Jackson, the Ramones, Bob Marley, John Legend, and Genesis.

The official soundtrack for the game, The Music of Sonic Adventure 3, was released on CD, vinyl, and digitally. It contains the original score from the game, as well as some licensed songs, ranging from genres such as hip-hop, disco, rock, pop, and reggae.

Achievements/Trophies

TBA

Reception

Sonic Adventure 3: East Coast Minute received generally positive ratings. Although most critics have noted the striking similarities in gameplay that it shares with releases from the Grand Theft Auto series, they have also praised the game for the inclusion of new features and its improvement of existing ones from GTASonic Adventure 3 has received ratings of 85/100 from GamePro, 7.5/10 from Game Informer, 80/100 from Official Xbox Magazine, 7.5/10 from IGN, 8.4/10 from GamerNode, and 7.0/10 from GameSpot. Sonic Adventure 3 has received an average critic score of 80% on Game Rankings and 77% on Metacritic.

Most critics have praised the side activities and the more family-friendly appeal, with GamePro calling the game "the greatest alternative for kids compared to the ultra-graphic and adult GTA", while IGN noted, "It's not as involved or in-depth, but it is probably the closest thing we'll get to a family-friendly Grand Theft Auto.". Common complaints about the game are over graphical problems, as well as forced, hit-or-miss humor. Several gaming publications also complained about the lack of customization of the playable characters.

Sonic Adventure 3 made back its budget on pre-orders alone, selling more than 4 million copies within its first month of release. The game's success led to the creation of the newly-dubbed Sonic the Hedgehog Open World series.

Controversy/Criticisms

Sonic Adventure 3 was also met with some criticisms among its announcement. Some fans were quick to dub the game as an attempt to reach out to the "older crowd" and act "cool" to get people involved in the Sonic the Hedgehog series.

Like the Grand Theft Auto series, controversy arose regarding mimicking the irresponsible and dangerous activities portrayed in the game, and whether the family-friendly appeal was true.

Trivia

  • The box art parodies the Grand Theft Auto games, with the separate tiles showing either a character or some action occurring.
  • This is the first time since Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) that both real-life celebrities and licensed music are used in a Sonic the Hedgehog game.
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