Review by HeoandReo
"A change for the worse..."
Sonic Heroes is a subpar attempt at capturing 'Sonic speed!' with an element of difference involving teamwork. It even fails at that. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not one of the many people who say that I like the series and violently attack a game like there's no tomorrow. If you're looking for that, this isn't the review to read for you. This is a review coming from a person who has played this game, and others from the series before, has enjoyed every single one of them, and has had months, even years to play this among others. And overall, this entry is not very good at all. Trust me on this.
OK, so first of all, you turn on your Gamecube, and after some drum beats, you are assaulted by one of the many problems of the game. The music. But we'll get to that later. So let's say you start the game, and all those other things, like go through training mode. So you start the game, and you think to yourself, 'Hey, this doesn't look half-bad. The music's ambient, the looks are okay,' and heaven forbid, 'Tails sounds good in this game!' OK, that's what I thought the first time around. Except for the Tails part, as I played Team Rose first. They're apparently the easiest and I'm a big wimpy wimp who always has to play the easiest mode first. But let's say you're not a wimpy wimp like myself, and use Team Dark because they look cool or Team Sonic because that's what you're expected to play as. Prepare to suffer, though, as this game is not user-friendly. At all. If you still want to use Team Dark or Sonic, good luck, you'll need it. You'll really need it if you use Team Chaotix. Some of their missions are nearly impossible for first-timers.
Before I spoil anything else for you, I should give you a brief rundown of the story. Of course, you can still figure it out by watching the cutscenes at the game's beginning.
Team Sonic has Sonic running around, somewhere, like California or the Grand Canyon or somewhere like that, when Tails and Knuckles fly towards him and give him a letter from Eggman. Eggman, in a fit of utter stupidity from a mad scientist like him, brags to Sonic about a doomsday weapon he has, and that he'll make the world go boom in 3 days. Sonic and pals go after him.
I'm sorry to stop this so suddenly, but I really have to explain this to you. What kind of evil villian would so unknowingly tell the hero about a secret doomsday device that is clearly ready already? If you were an evil villian, and you had a doomsday device handy, would you use it now? Or would you wait for the hero to inevitably stop it?
I'm sorry, everyone, that part bothers me so much.
So anyway, the other teams have more rushed, less interesting stories. I'm not gonna bother telling them with as much detail as Sonic's because there's nothing much to really point out in them.
Team Dark consists of Rouge, Shadow and a weird robot. They meet when Rouge breaks into a factory and Shadow is still alive. The weird robot shoots at them.
Team Rose consists of Amy, Cream, and Big the Cat. (Their parents are letting them run around with an 18 year old alone?) Amy wants to look for Sonic, Cream is missing her Chao's friend, Chocola (Guess what colour he is.) and Big is missing Froggy.
And Team Chaotix has Espio the Chameleon, Vector the Crocodile, and Charmy the Bee. Veterans of Sonic games will recognize the trio from the Sega 32X game 'Knuckles Chaotix', but they left out Mighty the Armidillo, the best out of the five. Anyway, they run a detective agency now.
OK, so let's get on with other things. The first problem you'll notice is the sloppy control and random factor of the game. You'll find yourself falling down a variety of floors, holes, and other things to your doom very often. Control is also very inconsistant, too. Like when you try to Homing-Attack enemies to cross a gap, you'll sometimes miss, get hit, and die. And that's only is Speed Mode.
In Flying mode, it's just as bad. You'll slip around and get hit all the time, and you'll often find yourself not being able to fly high enough, and fall down. Certainly a flying character doesn't have limits in the air, right?
And this is why you stick to using Power Mode, as they're the best controlling of the lot. And this is a stretch. Power characters still fly around like Luigi Mario sliding on wax-covered ice. Not as bad the Speed characters, though. Chances are, that either way, you'll inevitably die unfairly in the game.
What should I talk about next? Ah yes, the design of this obstacles. Sure, you might think that the newer looking enemies are 'okay-looking', but when you start seeing too many of them, you know Sonic Team ran out of imagination here. They're like Metools from the Mega Man games, except EVERY enemy you face is roughly designed from the same thing. This is lazy and inexcusable.
The bosses, they're a mixed bag of fluctuating difficulties. It roughly goes in a pattern of easy-hard-easy-hard-easy-hard. The boss concepts are reused every 3 stages or so, as well, like the enemies. Again, this is lazy and inexcusable.
The camera is still an issue with the game, as in every 3-D Sonic ever made. I know this is a recurring problem, and to be fair, you can generally see where you're going and what you're doing, but some parts have extraordinarily inconvient angles to add on the 'action!'.
Bah, enough of my drabble. Let's see how this game ranks up.
Graphics: 8/10. Nice, pretty colours. The only real problem you'll find is the outlandish shiny-ness of the characters. It almost makes it like that they're actually very-well designed robots. And that's just creepy.
Music: 3/10. Most of the music and sound will make you put Mute on the TV. I guarantee it. The casino zones have annoying 'plinkity-plonk' music, and the voice samples are bad, too.
To add onto that, note that the game lacks a language change. (If you do decide to buy it, and if you do, I feel sorry for you.) This is a part that really bugged me. The Sonic Adventures both had language change, and I took full advantage of that, making the various jumping sounds of Rouge, Tails and Sonic, I must admit 'turn me on.' But not in this game. No longer can I make Rouge have the dee-lectable Russian flair to her beautiful words, I have to deal with a butt-ugly localization.
Control: 4/10. As I said earlier, you'll find yourself slipping and sliding everywhere, leading to you to curse at the TV repeatedly, and shut off the game. It annoyed me, it will annoy you, too.
Gameplay: 5/10. Again, like the bosses, a mixed bag. Team Chaotix has mostly mission-based gameplay, which can be hard for a Sonic newbie to enjoy. Everyone else just runs through the stages. Some of the physics in this game are horrible, too. Like Team Chaotix, again. There's a special default technique in the game where your character makes a tornado. With Team Chaotix, this attack is IMPOSSIBLE to connect without getting damaged.
Yes, I had to put that in capitals. It's that implausible.
Difficulty: 8/10. (HARD!) Team Rose is easiest, Team Sonic and Dark are both bad, but Team Chaotix is nearly impossible. Specific things are also very hard to do no matter what team you select.
8+3+4+5+4 (8 divided by 2) = 24 divided by 5 = 4.8 = 5/10.
Buy? Rent? Burn?: Rent, please.
In closing: Don't play Team Chaotix unless you're really confident, control is crippled, music is worst of the series, this comes from a fan of Sonic games, but not a 'true' fan.
But! Before you hardcore fans start throwing full wine bottles at your computer screen, consider this. Sonic rocked in 2-D, his 3-D translations weren't quite up to par. Many Sonic players would generally say that, too.
So, don't buy this. Rent it first, see what it can do, and then see if you want to buy this. I'm not saying this is a bad game, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 11/14/06
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