Review by Tails 64

"What goes up, must come come down... YET SONIC'S FEET DON'T TOUCH THE GROUND!"

Finally, a brand-new Sonic game! No more rushed ports of Dreamcast games, Sonic is speeding his way into the true quality of next-generation consoles! Does twelve heroes, four teams, three consoles, and fourteen stages add up to one great game? You bet it does!

Since Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut was a lazy port of a 1999 Dreamcast game, the graphics did not hold to GameCube quality. Luckily, that’s not the case here! The character models are bright and colorful, as they should be. The environments are beautiful and truly feel like a 3-D version of classic Sonic games. The casino stages are truly spectacular. Forget the yawn-inspired real-time scenes in Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut, there are CG movies here! They show tons of effort, I especially love Team Dark’s opening. I have no complaints about the graphics of Sonic Heroes – I’m not crazy.

Sonic games always have good music, and Sonic Heroes is no exception. The in-course music has a nice beat and gets you in the mood for Sonic speed! The music in Final Fortress is my favorite course music ever in a video game. The character theme songs will also stick in your head. They are all good, even Amy’s theme song! o_0 I found the voices to be perfectly fine, except for Tails’s female voice. All of the sound effects are as good as the music, so you will definitely keep the volume up!

There are four teams in Sonic Heroes, each containing three characters. Team Sonic (not Sonic Team) is made up of Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. The heroes receive a threat from Dr. Eggman (I wish they would call him Dr. Robotnik) that he will destroy the world in three days. Time to stop him, of course! Team Rose is setting the stage for Amy Rose, Big the Pimp… I mean Cat, and Cream the Rabbit. Amy is searching for Sonic, Cream is looking for Chocola, Cheese the Chao’s brother, and Big lost Froggy again. They decided to search together for their loved ones. Team Dark marks the return of Shadow the Ultimate Life Form, and also has Rouge the Bat and Omega, an E-Series robot. Rouge found Shadow and Omega in Eggman’s base, and released them. After a battle between Omega and Shadow, Rouge tells them to stop and talk. Apparently, Shadow can’t remember anything, and Omega is mad at Eggman for shutting him down. It’s time for some revenge! The last team, but FAR from least, is Team Chaotix, made up of Espio the Chameleon, Charmy the Bee, and Vector the Crocodile. These guys come from Knuckles Chaotix, a game for Sega’s ill-fated system, the 32X. The detective agency finally gets a job from a mysterious person, so they decide to take it. The story is very good and has some mystery charm to it.

This game isn’t called Sonic Hero; you get to control not one, not two, but three characters at once! You switch the lead character with the X and Y buttons. Switching may seem sloppy at first, but you’ll eventually become a natural – I promise. Why switch, you ask? Well, one character is for speed, another character is for flying, and another character is for power. In both exploration and combat, you will have to utilize all of your team’s techniques. You don’t have to wait for the other characters to catch up, so don’t worry – it’s all good. Each team is slightly different in performance, and the stages vary team to team. Team Sonic is the basic team, Team Rose has short courses, Team Dark has more enemies to deal with, and Team Chaotix has cool, unusual missions. You’ll want to play through the game as every team to get the real ending!

Once you select your team, the game’s afoot! In each stage, there will be classic running sections as promised, you know the deal, and there will also be combat. This requires more thinking than you think. You may have to whirl a shield off with your Speed character, nail an air-born foe with your flying character, or tear through with raw power. Once you get enough points, you receive an option to use a Team Blast, a super attack that destroys all the near-by enemies. There will be floating televisions telling you which formation to be in as you go, and the characters will talk trash to the enemies as you go. At the end of the long level (three to sixteen minutes), you will be ranked on an A through E scale, as in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. There are boss battles on occasion, some are sloppy, just beat the crap out of a big robot using Team Blasts, but some are cool endurance challenges. With all of the fun packed into the courses, this is what a 3-D Sonic game should be.

There is also a 2-Player mode. You can play in various modes such as Race, Battle, and Special Stage. Each mode is unlocked for every 20 Emblems you get, so you have to unlock the fun! Though the framerate chugs a little, this is still a fun mode.

It’s time for the darkest part of all reviews… THE FLAWS! (Gasp!) First off, the most glaring of the flaws is that the boss battles are bad. In fact, they are the worst to ever creep into a Sonic game. What usually happens is that you will get hit, pick up a few rings, get hit, pick up a few rings, hit the boss a few times, repeat. However, I do like the battles where Dr. Eggman sends hundreds of robots to attack. Another flaw is that you may find the later courses to be frustrating, but do not worry, you will become better, young one. There is no Chao Garden, but that's okay - more room for the actual game. The little flaw is the fact that 2 Player Mode’s framerate has to chug along with the fast action.

But in the end, those flaws do not matter. There are too many good points to boost this game’s rate upward. I haven’t even mentioned that the framerate is flawless in Story Mode and the fact that you collect Chaos Emeralds on your own, not through the story (yes!). Overall, if you like action/platformer games even the slightest bit, you owe it to yourself to buy Sonic Heroes!

Rate: 9.75/10

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/17/04

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