I guess I'll start with the good news; when I bought this game, it used Starforce activation, but now it's DRM free, and upon redownloading and reinstalling it, I no longer had to activate it. In spite of the problematic nature of this port, I'm overjoyed at Sega's decision to make their Dreamcast Classics DRM-free, just as their collection of Genesis/Megadrive Classics were before them.
Unfortunately, this was the ONLY thing they changed since I last downloaded it. A few months before this review, I bought this, despite having the Dreamcast and GameCube versions, as I was curious about some of the mods and possible improvements. I uninstalled it the very same day.
Recently, I was able to find a fix that allows me to use a gamepad perfectly. I use a blue twin-usb adapter for PlayStation 2 controllers. A popular problem with few solutions, I encountered the issue where the camera spins around and looks up after defeating Chaos 0 in the intro. The external configuration tool, for some reason, refused to map some buttons, has no options for configuring the right analog stick despite utilizing it whether you want to or not, and annoyingly plays the Sonic Adventure theme for some reason.
Despite not mapping the R1 button, it became pause instead of the button I assigned. Yeah... that's not the sign of a good port, now is it? Just recently, I tried installing it again, and used x360ce to configure my controller to appear as an Xbox 360 controller. I took care to disable controller 2 (I use a twin adapter, though only one controller was connected) and set compatibility mode, and only by doing both was I able to get this game to actually work right.
Now my camera is fine, I have analog controls, but this game could really use some anti-aliasing. I don't know why the screenshots look so good, but while I normally don't notice this sort of thing, Sonic Adventure DX has horribly jagged and pixelated edges on every surface. It's incredibly noticeable, and I don't think there's a thing you can do to fix it. In addition, the highest resolution I can play at is 1024x768. There's an option for 1280x720, but it doesn't look very good on a 1280x1024 monitor.
It's the same Sonic Adventure you know and love, for better or worse, but a hopelessly effortless port that also lacks the Gamegear games of the GameCube version for some reason. Given the quality of the port, you're better off just playing them elsewhere, but it gives you a lot less incentive to play through the missions. If you've never played the missions, some of them are actually rather interesting, but for the most part it was a throw-away feature that exists more to extend playtime than any real entertainment value.
On another note, back when I got this game, I sent a message to GamersGate asking for a refund. I got it on sale, and it's DRM Free now, so I'm not bitter about it anymore, and I'm actually a little glad they didn't respond, but I have send several messages over the course of my joining a year ago and have never heard back. If anybody has the keys to the offices of GamersGate, I recommend wearing a clothespin on your nose, as I suspect you'll find skeletons sitting long-dead at their keyboards in cobweb-ravaged cubicles.
Sonic Adventure DX is a pretty decent game, at least when you get it working right. However, the recent (as of this review, anyway) release of Sonic Generations is not only a much better port, I personally find it to be a much better game as well. Unfortunately, it's Steamworks, it's more expensive than this game, and the system requirements are far higher than those of Sonic Adventure, but if you've already played Sonic Adventure, or you've played the originals to death and want more, Sonic Generations is an excellent tribute to twenty years of Sonic, and an easier recommendation as well.