Review by Chickenlicker

"Oh no Eggman is gonna take over the world! What to do read this review."

Sonic, Sonic, Sonic. How could one possibly resist the blue hedgehog who is probably high on caffiene? Over the years we have learned to love the furry creature's ways and games ever since it's first debut on the sega genesis. Now, after almost 2 years a new sonic title has been released. It is a big excitement here in America. How will this new title live up to its predicessors? Well we shall find out as I continue.

Graphics 9/10
Sonic games never had a problem with graphics. Even the old 2D ones were pretty good. The graphics in this title are appropriate for each level and blend in well. In a casino level, graphics are extremely bright and colorful. However, in a spooky castle, they are kind of gloomy and tend to be darker. But the graphics do remind you of the old sonic games and are portrayed in the levels. Remember the whales jumping over you on the beach or the ah, can't thing of anything else on the top of my head but they are all very nice. Also, this game features many new elements so I don't want to give that away. The characters are quite shiny and the models are pretty good. Can't complain here.

Sound 6.5/10
Here is Sonic Heroes' downfall. Now the music is perfectly fine. Its mostly techno and a catchy song here and there. Thank god they got rid of the rap and Shadow's extremely wierd technoish theme from Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. They didn't really take any risks in this department. So why did I give this part a 6.5 instead of an 8? Well, if you haven't heard its the voices. Now, I can't say they are absolutely abysmal, I have seen worse like the voices in Star Fox for the Super Nintendo but that was made 10 years ago and back then they didn't get it. So back to this. They are, what should I say appropriate for each character. You can see what they are trying to portray but even for little 8 year old rabbits, they are a bit too high. So high that they pierce your ears, so redicously annoying that you just want to mute the television. Not all the voices are awful fortunately. The only people who I can bear to listen to are Sonic, Knuckles, Shadow, Rouge, Espio and Eggman. That's less than half of the characters in the whole game! I mean give me a break here and get another guy for voice acting!

Gameplay 8/10
The gameplay in this game is original and the first of it's kind. Instead of sticking to the old traditions of the legendary Sonic series, this game features a new element of gameplay. Basically, there are 4 teams. (Sonic, Dark, Rose, Chaotix) There is 3 members of each team. The first one is a speed person who can do fast grinding and quickly go down slopes. They include Sonic, Shadow, Amy and Espio. Next is power who is for killing lots of enemies and breaking crates and things. They include Knuckles, Omega, Big and Vector. Last, but not least and most important is flying who can fly you over large areas. Tails, Rouge, Cream and Charmy are in this category. In the enormous levels which can take you anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes, (only with chaotix really don't get frightened everyone else is 15 minutes at most) you can switch easily from speed to power to fly using X or Y. It isn't inconvenient, infact it brings many new features into the game that have never been done before.
In terms of the game format, there is 14 levels that you play with all 4 teams. The paths and missions for each team are tweaked around a bit, however not enough to make them get extremely repetitive. The levels are divided into 7 different terrains that are beach, modern city, casino, forest, spooky castle and eggman air ship. There are 2 levels for each terrain followed by a boss. The bosses are not only eggman robots, but are also team battles and enemy waves. (I mean there are lots of rounds of enemies you have to beat) And that covers gameplay.

Story 7.5/10
The story in this game is decent. In this section, Sonic Team decided to stick to their old stories eggman takes over the world with his army yada yada yada. Each team has their own reasons to destroy eggman. Sonic team just gets a letter saying he will take over the world gotta stop him. Dark is a bit more interesting where Shadow survives from SA2 which this game follows by the way, Rouge wants to get some treasure from him and Omega is imprisoned by Eggman. Rose is extremely stupid where Amy wants to find Sonic, Cream wants to find some Chao and Big yearns for his pet frog. In my opinion, I don't even think they should have included them. And chaotix is a detective agency that gets a message from a secret client (you find out in the end no spoilers) saying to destroy eggman. It's more straight forward than SA2 and it still works out. Also, Eggman has a new world-dominating invention and you will see who that is later in the game as well.

Multiplayer 8/10
Multiplayer in this game is similar to SA2. There are a few new modes like ring race but nothing too special. You can unlock a new one every 20 emblems you get and quite frankly I only got 4 modes out of the 7 with them. It's nothing that exciting but is fun nonetheless.

Replayability 8/10
Like SA2 there are many things that you may want to do once you have beaten this game for the first time. For each level there is an additional mission and now they include bonus levels that you must beat in order to unlock the Last story mode. There are plenty of extras like multiplayer unlockables, new modes and more things to do in the game in general. So, unless you just get sick of this game after hearing the characters annoying voices for too long (which is very possible) the extras are worth it.

Rent or Buy?
This game has a lot of gameplay to it so to really experience it I say buy. But if you just want high-speed action which this game covers very well for a few days, rent it, whats the worst that can happen.

All in all, I think this game is original, creative in some aspects and definitely worth getting. A great game for a gamecube fan.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 02/22/04

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