Review by Zylo the wolf
"If this game sucks, then how come I have so much fun playing it?"
Once what seems like a long time ago, there where two game characters that mattered much more than all the others. These two characters were mascot for the two biggest game companies at that time, Nintendo had Super Mario and Sega had Sonic the Hedgehog. Then during the 32/64 bit era we didn't see any major Sonic game, but Sonic came back with the Dreamcast to be the main character in two more major Sonic games.
Then Sega decided that it was time for them to no longer do their own systems and became a third support company. Since the Sonic series is by far their biggest series, it was pretty obvious that just become the Sega systems started to get released wouldn't mean the death of the coolest Hedgehog there is. So of course Sonic had to appear on Sega's previous big rival's systems, as well on the Playstation 2 and the Xbox. Sonic Heroes was the game that would show that Sonic wasn't dead, but more alive then ever since this is the first game in the series that went multi-format.
Compared to Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2, the story isn't half as deep in this game, not that the story was deep in any Sonic game. Sonic is running somewhere when Tails and Knuckles all of a sudden shows up in the Tornado and Tails shows Sonic a letter he got from Dr Eggman. Dr Eggman have developed a new secret weapon and he just wanted to tell the Sonic Heroes that they can't stop him. Of course Sonic just thinks that this sounds like an invitation to a party, so of course our three heroes sets out on a new adventure to once again stop Dr Eggman.
The thing that separates this game from all the others in the series, is just what the title of the games says, Sonic Heroes. For example the challenges Sonic faces in this game is impossible for him to face all alone, so his two best buddies Miles "Tails" Prower and Knuckles the Echidna are in this game always by his side. The whole main thing about this game is to use the three characters do work together, as everyone of them have different skills that you have to use in order to get through all stages. You can at any time change the leader of the group, which is the character you play as.
Sonic, which obviously is the fastest in this group, main focus is that he's fast. He can kill enemies by either using his homing attack, or by using his famous spin dash. In other words you use Sonic as you would in any other Sonic game. He can also use his Flash Dash where he flies in the air as long as there are any rings nearby. Finally Sonic can perform a tornado move, where he uses his speed to create a tornado that makes the party spin around huge poles that makes the be able to reach new places.
Tails on the other hand is the slowest guy in the group, but he got a few other advantages. Fans might remember that in Sonic 3 Tails could pick up Sonic while he was flying in the air to make Sonic reach new places. In this game Tails is not only able to carry Sonic, but also Knuckles as well, making him the perfect leader went you want to travel as far in the air as possible. Tails can also throw either Sonic or Knuckles at enemies, making a weak attack called Thunder Shoot, but this attack also paralyzes some enemies at a short time.
The last guy in the Sonic Heroes team is Knuckles the Echidna, who is actually the most important one in this game. While he's not as fast as Sonic, he can use his Knuckles to do even more damage to the enemies than Sonic homing attack, and he can even pick up either Sonic or Tails and throw them at enemies, which also does much damage on most of the enemies. Knuckles can't use his Knuckles to climb in this game, but in almost every stage there are a bunch of big fans, where Knuckles can use a move called Triangle jump to make the whole team fly with the wind.
But Team Sonic is not the only team you can play as, there's also Team Dark, Team Rose and Team Chaotix. Every play on the same 14 stages, but there's something unique with each team and every team also got their own story in the game.
Team Dark is just about the same cast as Dark Story in Sonic Adventure 2. Rouge is in a secret Eggman hideout where she finds Shadow and then suddenly a robot begins to fire at them. This robot is Omega who is actually the only character that hasn't been in a Sonic game before. It turns out that all three of them got a grudge against Eggman, so they join forces to fight against him. The big difference between Team Sonic and Team Dark is that the difficulty is a little higher with Team Dark, but aside from that there are no differences.
Team Rose contains as you might expect Amy Rose and her two friends Big the Cat and Cream the Rabbit. It turns out that Cream's chao Cheese's best friend Chocola has gone missing and Cream is searching for this chao, while Big continues to search for his frog Froggy. Finally Amy is as always searching for the Hedgehog that she loves, Sonic the Hedgehog. Team Rose is the team for those who that the game was to difficult with Team Sonic or Team Dark, since the stages with this team is ridiculously short and easy to get through.
The last team is team Chaotix, a group of three characters from the 32X game Knuckles's Chaotix. To bad that the coolest character in the game, Mighty the Armadillo, isn't here. Anyway Vector the Crocodile, Charmy the Bee and Espio the Chameleon are working as detecitives, and they just got a new suspicious customer who got a few missions for them.
Playing with Team Chaotix is much different from the other teams, since instead of just reaching the goal there instead a mission that you have to do in each stage. But it never gets as annoying as some of the stages with Knuckles/Rouge in Sonic Adventure 2.
Sonic Heroes was meant to remind fans of the old classic Sonic games, and while the stages reminds us a lot of the Genesis days, there's another thing that is back that wasn't in the Sonic Adventure games, bonus stages. To get to these stages you have to find a bonus key on the stage, and then avoid to get hit by an enemy. If you finish the bonus stage on an odd numbered stage, you get some 1-ups, if you finish it on an even numbered stage, you get a chaos emerald.
Sonic Heroes is considered by many as the game where the Sonic series started to decline, but if you ask me this game is still better than Sonic Adventure 2. For one thing you are never forced to shoot enemies down with a mecha to get to fun stages. There are a lot of things that could be done better, such as the camera angles and the control, but I still found this game very fun to play. It's actually a pretty good game, but far from amazing.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 10/16/08
Game Release: Sonic Heroes (EU, 02/06/04)
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