Review by radred2004

Reviewed: 03/31/08

A Sonic Classic that Deserves more Credibility

So, it's 2008. Some modern Sonic games like Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 and Shadow the Hedgehog are known to be failures. The new Sonic game, Sonic Unleashed, is looking as if it is going to be another bust in my opinion with its complex story containing werewolf Sonic and a dragon. While I'm not in agreement that any of these games are failures, Sonic has shined in one game that he has been greatly overlooked in. I'll get right to the point: Sonic Heroes was a great game. Sure, it didn't necessarily only give Sonic the spotlight, but it starred a bunch of characters and made them work together to stop Eggman. This is the next best game next to the Adventure series and it may hold that role for years to come if Sonic Team does not clean up its act. This game deserves the recognition it has not yet received.

Story: 9/10
The story is simple. Depending on what story you choose, it is still a similar game. For Team Sonic (Sonic, Knuckles, Tails) and Team Dark (Shadow, Rouge, Omega), they must stop Eggman (the usual role). Team Rose contains Amy Rose, Cream, and Big who are all searching for their friends Sonic, Chocola the chao, and Froggy. Team Chaotix contains the characters Mighty, Charmy, and Espio for the first time since Knuckles Chaotix who are trying to get riches and stop Eggman as well. Each story is a bit different. Team Sonic is the basic story to stop Eggman, while Team Shadow is known to be a bit harder. Team Rose is the easiest story. Anyway, the good thing I like about this game is the story isn’t complex with several bosses. It’s just Eggman and Metal Sonic that need to be stopped. No Devil Doom, Mephiles, Solaris, or any other creature. Just Eggman and Metal Sonic. I would give the story for this game a 10/10 if it weren’t for one cheesy line in the story: the resurrection of Shadow. He was known to be dead, but Rouge finds him alive in Eggman’s lab. Eggman know claims a game later that he saved Shadow when he fell from space in SA2 in his ship after the last battle. It’s not cheesy that they brought back Shadow, they needed to for the fan-base, but the way that Sonic Team did with such a bad story expanded between two games is why I give the story a 9/10 and not a 10/10. Nonetheless, this game has 4 great similar stories that may seem a bit repetitive, but are fun. And all 4 stories may be repetitive, but they are better than any 3D Sonic story in a game after Heroes. Once you get all the emeralds and beat all 4 stories, there is a final story containing all the teams against a final boss.

Gameplay: 8/10
I don’t know why people say this game plays bad, because it doesn’t. It’s way easier than playing any game with the Wiimote. All you have to do is push the buttons and you get the immediate reaction on the game. I do admit that at times it feels slippery when you are running, and you can fall and lose a cheap life, but so what? It’s a fun game, that part should not matter so much. It’s not nearly as bad as other Sonic games either because you can switch formations to a flight or power character that may be slower. Speaking of switching characters, each character has their own power on the team (that’s what makes a team, right?). So if someone were to argue the point that a single character could play through several parts of Heroes, they’d be right, but the point is, the teams were made so different formations work to pull them all together. Power is best to destroy enemies and in large numbers. Flight gets characters to places high or that are hard to reach. And speed, probably the most useless (no offense) is for pure speed to get through the level, but has no other effect. That was a bit disappointing that speed did not have more attributes to it. The team formation could have been more widely used throughout the game, but nonetheless, it is a smart formula and it deserves to be credited for. There are also level-ups for each character to specialize in their ability even more. Truly a unique yet smart idea by Sonic Team to create this unique way to play. If they just added a bit more in the use of each formation, then it would have been even better. However, the gameplay brought a new idea to gaming and should be recognized. Sonic Team alkso brought back the traditional, yet frustrating way to collect the emeralds, much like special zones in Sonic 2. This added a bit more challenge to the game as the emeralds are needed to unlock the last story. The bosses are just awesome in this game. They are large, powerful and require all three characters. The bosses were great battles.

Graphics: 9/10
The graphics in this game are fine to me, nothing much to say. There are some pretty lush environments throughout the game and the characters look fine. Maybe the graphics aren’t spectacular compared to other games, but I can tell you, I enjoyed tem good enough and they don’t harm the fun of the game.

Music: 8/10
Sonic games usually have some of the best music of any videogame, so it’s not much of a bad thing here. I gave it an 8 though because there are not a large variety of recognizable tunes in comparison to other Sonic games. However, the music is still good and does not harm the gameplay. It’s hard to pay attention to the music when the game is playing, but nonetheless, it’s fine.

Replayability: 5/10
This is the one bust about the game. Once you beat it, the fun is over. If you haven’t gotten all the emeralds and unlocked the last story, you can do that (and good luck, the emeralds are hard to get). But other than that, there are other emeralds you can try to unlock with mediocre interest. If you want this to be your goal, go ahead, however, I haven’t found it to be much fun. The adventure really ends once the stories end.

Overall: 7.8/10 which rounds to an 8/10
I have to admit I’ve heard some criticism about this game, but it deserves more credit. It brings back the old roots of Sonic in the form of four teams to stop Dr. Eggman. It isn’t too complex with the Mario-copying saving princess stories, Mephiles, Solaris, a separate world, or the werewolf act. It’s just a simple, yet fun game much like the older Sonic games in 3D. This is why it should get more credibility. It is like the classic games. I would recommend buying this game if you have not already, especially because it will be cheap now that the Gamecube is not in stock anymore. This game disappointed many, but I’m failing to see why. People wanted the old lore of Sonic back, well here it is. This game also brings an original, smart, new way to play with teams. Now if only there were a sequel (and yes I got ranted at before for mentioning a sequel should be made). This is the best Sonic game since Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. Give it more credit.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: Sonic Heroes (US, 01/05/04)

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