We all know and love both the Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog franchises. Some of us especially love the classics from the 80s and 90s. So, naturally for franchises around in the 90s, they had to try 3D as that was what the market was moving towards. Both Sonic and Mario happened to both try out 3D around the same period of time, from 1996-1998. While Sonic may have had a rocky transition to 3D with games such as Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic Jam, and Sonic R, Sonic finally got his first mainline 3D game in 1998 for Japan and 1999 for America. As for Mario, he made an easy way from 2D to 3D in one game. But the question is; who started 3D better?
Some may think that music isn’t very important to the overall greatness of a game, but to that I say they are wrong. I dare you to playthrough all of Sonic Mania with only sound effects. Both Sonic Adventure and Super Mario 64 were known for their memorable tunes. However, I feel like the Super Mario 64 tunes were very overused and nothing special compared to other Mario games. Meanwhile for Sonic Adventure, every single stage and hub world has a different track, most of which are excellent. Sonic Adventure also tried out many genres such as rock so each track felt fresh. For music, I have to give the point to Sonic Adventure.
Gameplay is the most important part of a game. So which game has the better gameplay? Well, let’s look at the camera first. The camera in Super Mario 64 is easily adjustable and easy to fix in most situations. However, the camera can certainly be stubborn at times and not convenient at times. In Sonic Adventure the camera is not adjustable, but you never would really need to adjust it too much anyway. So in terms of camera, it’s a tie as none ruin the experience for either game.
The controls come next in the gameplay category, and I have to say Sonic Adventure feels very smooth and responsive. Meanwhile in Super Mario 64, the controls can be a bit too slippery at times you don’t want it to be. However, the controls don’t hurt Mario 64 too much as most of the level design fits will with them. Overall, I think Sonic Adventure wins controls.
The last part of gameplay I want to discuss is if it still holds up. While most say the original Sonic Adventure lacks many of the glitches found in DX, all of my experience with the game comes from DX which means I can’t fairly compare bugs and glitches. However, I can still compare the base gameplay, and I have to say that Mario 64 wins slightly over Sonic Adventure here. Big the Cat and a few other characters really bring the Sonic Adventure experience down for many. Meanwhile in Super Mario 64, there is just one character which keeps the gameplay consistently fun. So for gameplay as a whole, I give Super Mario 64 the win.
A story is certainly not needed to make a game good, but it can motivate you to complete the gameplay. Super Mario 64 has literally the same story as every single other Mario game; save the princess from Bowser. Meanwhile Sonic Adventure provides an RPG like story with many complexities but not too difficult to understand in general. While the cutscenes haven’t aged well, at least the game actually has a story. Overall, Sonic Adventure obviously wins in story.
Overall, both Sonic Adventure and Super Mario 64 are great games. I also wanted to mention that I didn’t discuss the graphics as I think it is an unfair advantage for Adventure. However, I will have to say Super Mario 64 barely wins even though I personally like Sonic Adventure more. Things like Big the Cat and the poorly aged cutscenes can really bring Adventure down. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you soon!