Review by Turbo Speed

"Sonic Zeroes"

Sonic Zeroes! Sonic Zeroes! What you can't find, you can find in a better game!

Everyone who's into video games has to have heard of Sonic at least once before. If you haven't, shame on you.

It all began around 1990 and 1991 when Mario and his friends had complete control of the video game universe. Sega had their Sega Master System, but they didn't want to go on ignored. Sega was going to surrender and be a second rate company until a man came along in the company: a man who went by the name of Yuji Naka. Naka had studied Mario for a long tine and created a character who rivaled Mario in gameplay elements from the information he gathered. After a long time at work, Naka's creation was finally complete and made it to the market and his name was Sonic the Hedgehog.

What made Sonic different from Mario? That was the fact that he was more appealing to teens and some adults at the time of his premiere while Mario was most appealing to younger children. Sonic was probably the only reason the Genesis was noticed instead of ignored. Mario no longer had complete control of the video game universe, but partial control.

Over the years, Sonic starred in more games, but started to fade in the background and lose his ground to Mario. The biggest period of this is when he appeared in Sega Saturn titles. Sonic lost the most ground on the cancellation of Sonic X-Treme, the game for the Saturn that was bragged by Sega to be "their answer to Shigeru Miyamoto's Super Mario 64." The cancellation was actually Traveler's Tales' fault, the company that developed all the Sonic games on Saturn while Naka and Sonic Team was too preoccupied with the NiGHTS series (and the somewhat decent Burning Rangers) at the time to perform their gaming magic on Sonic.

When the Saturn died, it seemed that Sonic was dead and never coming back. Those who thought that were proven wrong when the Sega Dreamcast was released with the most popular title being Sonic Adventure, which was developed by Sonic Team after they finally set themselves straight and dumped Traveler's Tales. Sonic made a huge comeback and won his rightful support again and appeared in his first 3D platformer at the same time. You might also wonder how Sonic Adventure was. Let me sum it all up for you.

It was okay, but could have been much, much, much better. The game would deserve a 7/10 at the most from even a hardcore Sonic fan. The reason it wasn't the best was because it strayed away from traditional Sonic gameplay with the Adventure Fields and picking up certain, yet insignificant, items, such as the "wind stone" and "ice stone," to open only two stages in the game.

For about two years, Sonic Team started to develop Sonic Adventure 2 and analyzed any mistakes and glitches that plagued the first game. In 2001, Sonic's 10th birthday (the game tells you that a thousand times in the credits), Sonic Team finally released their Sonic Adventure 2 game upon the world.

Sonic Adventure 2 was an okay game and a little bit better than the first adventure, but still could have been better. Besides the introduction of Soap Shoes, the look of Sonic Team heading in the correct direction was the only thing good about the game.

After the release of Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Team got lazy and started releasing remakes and ports, such as Sonic Adventure 2: Battle (basically the same as Sonic Adventure 2 with a colon and "battle" stuck in front of it), Sonic Adventure: Director's Cut (basically the first Sonic Adventure with a colon and "director's cut" put in front of it), and Sonic Mega Collection (with Sonic Complication and Sonic Jam released in the past, it's deja vu all over again). It seemed for a little bit that Sonic Team was dry and out of ideas until they announced that they were developing a new Sonic game. That game was Sonic Heroes.

When I first heard of the game, I automatically thought that Sonic Team was finally straightened out and heading back in the right direction faster than ever before. Well, were they?

WRONG! So very, very, very wrong. With the release of this game, Sonic Team practically shot themselves in the foot with an 8mm rifle. My expectations were much higher and I was left very unsatisfied. What went wrong? Did Yuji Naka snap under the pressure and go willy-nilly with his designing? Did Sonic Team get drunk one day when they were finishing the game? Did someone threaten to kill Sonic Team if they didn't make a 3D Sonic game that really sucked? We may never know (unless you know Naka himself).

In the long run, how did the game sum up?

Graphics 6/10

The environments are nice and well designed. The first levels WILL remind Sonic veterans of the old-school titles (especially if they're using Team Sonic) and the colors were used well. The environments were all designed well and that's basically it on the good points of the graphics.

There are some bad points about the graphics and they're the reason this game got a 6/10 in graphics; that was the overall character design. Sure, Sonic and his friends looked normal except for one really annoying thing: the characters looked shiny. I hated seeing the characters look shiny. It looked like all the characters were wrapped up in very tight plastic they were somehow able to breath through. There were some characters that didn't suffer the plastic shine, such as Tails, that were rendered normally.

The enemies? Most of the enemies suffered the same plastic covering problem. Especially all the common foot soldier robots that were orange and some other enemies you will encounter.
Graphics 6/10
What was the deal with that plastic thing? If Yuji Naka or some other graphics designer thought it would look nicer, he was so wrong. If Naka didn't think of it, someone sure got fired.


Sound and Music 6/10

Most of the songs were okay, but some were just plain terrible. I was okay listening to the Team Chatotix Theme and the Team Dark Theme, but the Team Sonic and Team Rose Themes sucked beyond recognition. Because I hated the Team Sonic Theme so much, I never wanted to see the beginning FMV of Team Sonic again (it plays in the background). They were terrible. The Sonic Heroes Main Theme was an okay theme, but got annoying after hearing it for the hundreth time and looping in your head infinitely.
Sound and Music 6/10
Sonic Heroes! (Sonic Heroes!) Bind you; confin.......AAAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHH!!!! GET THAT SONG OUT OF MY HEAD!


Story 4/10

The stories are actually okay. Team Sonic is trying to stop Eggman's latest plan; Team Rose is after Sonic, Froggy (Big's pet frog and only friend), and Chocola (Cheese's twin brother); Team Dark is also after Eggman; and Team Chaotix are helping a mystery client who only wants to communicate with their organization through walkie-talkie. These stories are all very original and good, but there was only one problem: THEY ALL WENT THROUGH THE SAME STAGES IN THE SAME PATTERN. Naka didn't want to waste his time designing new stages, so he made them go through different versions of the same stages with difficulty varying on the team of your choice. Team Rose's stages were easiest and Team Dark's were hardest.
Story 4/10
"Wait, wasn't that the stage I was in just now with another team? What a coincidence."


Gameplay 2/10

If you're a gamer, you would always know that the bulk of the game is always measured by the gameplay, and, unfortunately, it falls apart in this category. It falls apart and the body parts get eaten by voracious dogs in the street.

If you read what I said in the story, I mentioned the stages in everyone's teams all being exactly the same. This was so annoying and just made me think that Sonic Team was being lazy or had a low budget on the game for the stage designers. The only differences in the stages were the difficulty. The Team Rose stages were easiest and the Team Dark were hardest. Why didn't they just use the successful formula on stages in Sonic Adventure 2? The stages in Sonic Adventure 2 were never the same as before. I guess they had to sacrifice something to include the Team gameplay.

Speaking of the Team gameplay, it's pathetically horrible. It was only a sales tool to sell more copies of the game that actually worked. The Team gameplay wasn't even good. When you played with a different team, you would know the controls are exactly the same with the other teams. No special abilities to differentiate the teams other than the Team Blast.

Wait, would you like to know what the Team Blast is? It's a move where you press the Z Button and every enemy dies. This move is extremely predictable and depending on what Team you're using will have some extra effects. If you use Team Blast with Team Dark, you freeze the entire stage and all the enemies you didn't hit. If you use Team Chaotix, all the enemies give you rings of a certain value per enemy killed. The Team Blast moves don't effect most bosses, either, which is bad, because that's the only time you would want to use it.

The controls weren't very friendly, either. I found myself countless times leaping over from a lower platform to a higher one in Flight Mode and couldn't stop when I wanted to. I pressed the stick in a different direction and I didn't get a response quick enough. For that, I fell off the higher platform and died.

The team modes weren't that good either. When you used your speed character, you would line-up your characters and run. When you used your power character, you would line up side-by-side in a horizontal row. When you used your flight character, your teammates would grab on to your ankles and get you to take them in the air. They were okay, but I just expected more from this.
Gameplay 2/10
Yuji Naka has betrayed us, Sonic fans.


Replay Value 0/10

When you figure out how to beat the game perfectly and beat it, that's it. The only thing that'll be left is the Super Hard Mode to unlock. Trust me, you won't want to play anymore after you beat the game the first time.

Buy Or Rent?
I can see countless other reviewers loved this game, so you should probably just rent it. If you somehow like it, go ahead and buy it. If you're a gamer like me, you would not want to buy or even rent this game. To me, the only purpose this game still serves is using the game case to smack stupid people in the face with.

My Grand Total 3/10
Why, Naka, why? What did we do to you?


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 11/21/04


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