Review by Shin Gallon

"Great game, with one flaw..."

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a new Sonic game, and this one was worth the wait. The sense of speed, the new twist on the game play, the luscious visuals and the stellar music all combine to form a wonderful gaming experience. If you’re like me, you’ll find it odd playing a Sonic game on a Nintendo system, but I’m finding that the two companies are like chocolate and peanut butter: Two good things that go well together.

Graphics 9/10
The game is visually very pretty, with long draw distances, consistent frame rates and nice textures. What impresses me most are the character models. Sonic and co. have never looked better in 3-D than they have in this game.

Gameplay 8/10
The team based game mechanics are a nice twist, and I found that Sonic Team implemented them very well here. The controls are responsive, like in the Adventure games, but sometimes the lock-on acts up a bit. The camera can be a bit iffy, but then that’s true of every 3-D game I’ve ever played, it’s just part of the territory. I like the different routs that each team has, it keeps the game surprisingly fresh.

Sound (US version) 4/10 (Japanese version) 9/10
Here comes the flaw, but only if you’re playing the US release of the game. The music is typical Sonic stuff, no surprise there. That’s the only reason for the 4 out of 10, because if I based it on the voices alone, it’d get a –10/10. Why, oh WHY did Sega not have the option to have the Japanese voices, like they did with the Adventure games? I’ve ordered a Japanese copy of the game, which I will definitely use to replace the US copy I bought. I really recommend importing this one (no worries, the import version has English text available) because the Japanese voices are all wonderful, while the English ones made my ears bleed.

Replay Value 8/10
I don’t see the game getting old right away, which is a nice change of pace for modern video games. While I miss the story-intensiveness of the Adventure games, I certainly don’t miss the Big and Amy games, and Heroes is another deserving game in the Sonic line.

Rent or Buy
This is a little conditional. I’d say rent the US version, see if you like the game, then buy a Freeloader and the Japanese version. It’s very import friendly, and your ears will thank you for sparing them the horrid dubbed voices. As soon as my import copy arrives it’s adios US version.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/10/04


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