Review by bumpygrimes

"Three is more than one... or is it?"

The Sonic Adventure series was an excellent leap from the two dimensional world of Sonic into the three dimensional world. Both games had many strengths, including humungous levels, a plethora of playable characters, and deeply involved storylines. However, each Sonic Adventure had its share of weaknesses as well, including easy and uncreative bosses, horrific voice acting, and those boring treasure hunting levels. When I heard that a third chapter to the Sonic Adventure series was being created, I couldn't help but get excited. But when I learned more about ''Sonic Adventure 3'', I didn't know what to think. A Sonic game where you control three characters at once? I just figured it was a cheap gimmick created by Sonic Team to sell more copies. But then I heard even more information, and what got me excited was the fact that all the levels were based on speed. No idiotic treasure hunting or shooting levels. This got me me excited for Sonic Heroes, and I purchased it as soon as it came out. Does it live up to the hype? Does it surpass its brothers Sonic Adventure 1 and 2? This review will answer all of your questions.

Presentation (9/10):
Both Sonic Adventure games presented themselves pretty well. Each opened up with a visually spectacular openining video to wet your appetite. They also had easy-to-navigate screens and menus. How does Sonic Heroes compare? Well, its opening video will definately excite you before you start the actual game. The video shows Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and the rest of the Heroes cast racing through the humungous levels, while the Sonic Heroes theme song rocks and rolls. The menus are easy to navigate, as well. Yourgreat adventure begins before it even starts.

Gameplay (8/10):
Like I mentioned in the introduction, both Sonic Adventure games had great gameplay for the most part. The treasure hunting and shooting levels, as well as the over-simplistic bosses kept the gameplay from being perfect. Since all of Sonic Heroes' levels focus on speed, then the Gameplay has to perfect, right? Well, not quite. There's four teams that you can control: Team Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles ''Tails'' Prower, Knuckles the Echidna), Team Dark (Shadow the Hedgehog, Rouge the Bat, Omega the Robot), Team Rose (Amy Rose, Cream the Rabbit, Big the Cat), and Team Chaotix (Espio the Chameleon, Vector the Alligator, Charmy the Bee). Each team has one character for each ''formation'', as the game calls it. For example, Team Sonic uses Sonic for Speed Formation, Tails is used for Flying Formation, and Knuckles is used for Power Formation. While playing through the gigantic envioronments, you must constantly switch characters by pressing the X and Y buttons. It doesn't sound difficult, but at first, it is. It takes around 30 minutes to an hour to get used to the cycling between characters. But on the plus side, the game's levels are humungous. Each level takes anywhere from 6-10 minutes to complete. That's a huge improvement over Sonic Adventure 1 and 2's levels. There are fourteen of those monstrous levels, but each level is different for each team, making it an exciting run each time with a different team. The last question you may ask is, ''How do the bosses of Sonic Heroes compare to the horrendous bosses of the Sonic Adventure games?'' While the bosses of Heroes are a slight improvement over the adventure series' bosses, they definately don't reach my expectations. They are still short and require repetitive attacks to defeat. All in all, Sonic Heroes' gameplay is excellent. A lengthy adventure combined with a decent storyline make it better than the gameplay of Sonic Adventure 1 and 2.

Graphics (8/10):
Graphics were never really a problem in any Sonic game to date, including the 2D ones. This holds true with Sonic Heroes. The graphics are a pleasure to look at. Everything from the twelve character models to the environments around Sonic and his friends, you won't find much to complain about. Then why did I give graphics an 8/10, you ask? Well, compared to other GameCube titles, Sonic Heroes' graphics are inferior. While they may still look pretty, they could've been better.

Sound/Music (6/10):
Who can forget the cheezy music from Sonic Adventure 1 and 2? Don't worry, Sonic Heroes hasn't left those lame 80's rock riffs. While the level music is spectacular, the theme song of each team, as well as Sonic Heroes' main theme, contains weak lyrics singing to repetitive instrumental music. In addition to our ''favorite'' music from the adventure series, the terrible voice acting has been added in. The only characters I can bear to listen to are Sonic, Knuckles, Shadow, Rouge, and Espio. The rest of the characters have annoying voices that will make you want to mute your television.

Lasting Appeal (9/10):
This game's lengthy adventure will keep you playing for a while. But I suggest that you don't play it for five hours in one sitting. If you want the game to last, then pace yourself and play about 2-3 levels with each team per day. You can also try to collect all of 141 Sonic Heroes emblems to unlock new multiplayer settings.

Replay Value (7/10):
After you beat Story Mode and collect all 141 emblems, there's really no need to play this game again (unless you absolutely want to). The multiplayer mode is fun if you have someone to play it with.

Presentation: 9/10
Gameplay: 8/10
Graphics: 8/10
Sound/Music: 6/10
Lasting Appeal: 9/10
Replay Value: 7/10

Final Score: 8/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 01/11/04

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