Review by irrewonderful
One of the best 3D Sonic games
On January 5th, 2004, a new 3D Sonic game came out for the Nintendo Gamecube, and was later released for the XBox and PS2. The game was Sonic Heroes, and it was the first original 3D game for the Gamecube, as the previous ones were ports. I remember buying this game for the Gamecube the very day it came out. In this review, I wish to share my personal experience and opinion of this game.
The graphics in this game look very good for their time. The surroundings look pretty detailed, and combined with very realistic backgrounds, you feel like you are actually in the environments. It still does not fail to give the cartoon-like feeling that you will usually get from a Sonic game, so the Sonic atmosphere is still present. It seems like very little part of the levels was well-designed in looks, as though Sonic Team wanted to make sure they looked as best as they could. The character models are also very good, being able to move in ways that are fitting to the looks of their model. This game has quite good graphics overall.
In this game, Dr. Eggman is apparently plotting to take over the Earth with a new weapon, and 4 teams can get involved with the story. Team Sonic is Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, who are battling to save the planet. Team Dark consists of returning characters Shadow the Hedgehog and Rouge the Bat, as well as a new character, E-123 Omega, who are searching for Eggman to obtain things to satisfy their own desires. Team Rose consists of Amy, Cream the Rabbit, and Big the Cat, who are searching for Cheese the Chao's brother and Froggy who have disappeared. Also surprisingly involved is Team Chaotix, consisting of Espio the Chameleon, Charmy Bee, and Vector from Knuckles Chaotix. They have gotten a message from a new client to complete certain objectives in stopping Eggman's plan. I like all of these stories, as they are fitting to the teams, and it does not need to be shown through a huge number of cutscenes. Sometimes cutscenes could interrupt the gameplay and take a while to finish. While I like cutscenes, they do not need to be as present as they were before, so it is good that this game does not show that many, yet still has a good plot.
The gameplay involves playing through the game as one of the four teams, having to switch between characters to get past certain parts of the level. Your speed character will be used to run through areas like loops and get through areas that require a lot of speed. Your fly character can get you over gaps, and you power character can break obstacles in your path. I find this gameplay to be very fun, as it provides creative ways of getting through levels, while still being fast like the Sonic we know. It also provides you with the opportunity to explore the levels, as the levels do not feel as enclosed as they did in Sonic Adventure 2. Each level offers unique gimmicks. There are the beautiful beaches in Seaside Hill and Ocean Palace, and then there are high-speed roads that propel you forward in Grand Metropolis and Power Plant. It will then be time for more Pinball action in Casino Park and BINGO Highway, and then your rail grinding skills are put to the test in Rail Canyon and Bullet Station. Then you will be dealing with frogs that can cause rain to bring plants to life or kill them in Frog Forest and Lost Jungle. Next up will be the creepy haunted levels filled with ghostly obstacles, Hang Castle and Mystic Mansion, and finally it will be time to travel across the battleships of Egg Fleet and Final Fortress. I love the fact that each level has a very fun gimmick, and you will be doing something completely different for every 2 levels. One problem is that every team plays through the same levels, which can be a bit repetitive, though it is not a huge deal, as I do enjoy revisiting the levels again.
Also returning in this game are Special Stages, where you must get all the Chaos Emeralds to get the true ending of the game. In this game, you must find a key within a level, and get to the end of it without being hit to access the stage. Not too difficult, but it is challenging enough. The stages themselves are pretty cool, as you must collect spheres and boost to reach the Emerald before it reaches the end of the stage. I enjoy this, as it is fast-paced, and was a new type of stage that I hadn't seen before. The stages are not too hard once you know what to do, which is good, because you will not have to go through the frustration of having to go to them too many times over and over again.
The soundtrack for this game is one of the beast in Sonic history. Almost every song in the game is catchy, fitting to the scenario, and memorable. It is about as good as Sonic Adventure's soundtrack or the Japanese version of Sonic CD's. Overall, this is an amazing game in the Sonic series that I love. I would recommend it to everyone, and I rate it a 9/10.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Sonic Heroes (US, 01/05/04)
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