Review by n FaCtOr

Reviewed: 01/11/04

What goes up, must come down.....

''Okay, who screwed it up?''

I find myself asking this again and again as I play through the newest 'Sonic' game, Sonic Heroes.

Sonic Heroes is a new direction for the series. For example: Sonic Adventure was a good game. Sonic Heroes is a bad game.

Gameplay: I don't know whose idea it was to have people control three characters, but suffice to say that person doesn't have a job anymore. In order to make it so each character has abilities that make them useful, other abilities had to be taken out. Hey, remember when Sonic could spindash? Well forget about ever seeing that again. It has gone to the Gauntlet, and I'm afraid Road Rules walked away with this victory, effectively sending the spindash back home.

The game also features 4 ''Teams'', which is really a stretch since every team is basically a clone of the others. Why not take out Team Dark and Team Rose and focus and refine Team Sonic? Team Dark and Team Rose are nothing but alternate difficulty levels anyway, and you could have cut these teams and just put it a difficultly option. Team Chaotix on the other hand is just all collection levels. Which is bad, unless you're into mind numbingly boring levels.

Each Team has a flying member (for example Tails), a power member (for example Knuckles), and a speed member (for example Sonic). It works okay most of the time. There are signs everywhere to tell you which team member to use. You have to wonder if they had given Tails boxing gloves if he could have taken over for Sonic and Knuckles. The flying members probably get used the least. The power members are useful for destroying enemies and for destroying blocks and such.

The physics engine has also been tampered with. If you jump, you lose all of your speed. If you use a power attack, you loose all your speed. If you get flung off of something, you don't loose your speed, and it is very likely that that speed will carry you over a cliff. Good luck! 5/10

Sound: For Sonic fans, past Sonic music has been nothing but good. Composer Jun Senoue has constantly churned out catchy tunes. Some levels featured songs with lyrics. Flash forward to Sonic Heroes: Bye Jun! Jun now only composed The opening and closing songs. In place of his usually catchy riffs are generic dancey Eurobeat trance like songs. Gone are the ingame lyrics of old. The theme songs for teams are still good as usual. Voice acting is good as usual. 3/10

Graphics: If you buy games based only on graphics, this is the game for you! Graphics are bright and shiny, and everything chugs along at a steady 60 frames per second. on the other hand, levels are completely un-Sonic like in theme. Since when did Sonic hang around in Ocean Palaces? 8/10

Level Design: The staple of the Sonic series has always been speed. Apparently Sonic Team hates staples. Some remnants of speed are still in there via in stage loops and rails, but most of the roller coaster like feel has been taken out. And in its place: tedious platform jumping! It's really a twitch fest here folks, plain and simple. 5/10

Story: Where? Seriously, there is no story. I kept expecting some sort of story to form, but no, it never comes. 0/10

Difficulty: I said it was a twitch fest, and it is. This game is HARD!!

I hate the gaming media. They have done nothing but bash on Sonic Adventure 1 and 2. They bashed every element that made fans love it. The music, the adventure stages, the voice acting. And now they're gone and taken all that out. Well, not the voice acting. But I seriously hope they're happy, since they played a large part in ruining an otherwise beautiful game series. And after all they've done, they still want it dead. I'm done, folks.

Overall: If you took out the Sonic characters and put in anyone else, it would still be the same game. What other Sonic game can you say this about? Sonic fans, go ahead and buy it. You know you were going to anyway. Everyone else: Go ahead and rent it or whatever.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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