Sonic Heroes has been over the years a controversial game. Some people find the game to be a very well put together game and the last good quality one before Sonic sunk deep down in the abyss where his quality seemed to slowly be dying off. Other times Sonic Heroes has been called the game that started the bad quality.
The overall concept of this one is that you can choose between playing as 4 different teams. These “teams” might spark the idea of the “Team Hero” and “Team Dark” from Sonic Adventure 2. Well shove that thought out of your head because they’re completely different and you should feel like a bad person for comparing them. In Heroes we get the opportunity to play as 4 different teams. Team Sonic, Team Dark, Team Rose and finally Team Chaotix.
- Team Sonic: The lovable trio from the good ole’ Genesis/Megadrive days. Sonic, Tails and Knuckles all meet up after discovering that Dr. Eggman is up to his old tricks again. The constant theme mentioned with this lot is “teamwork”. In fact, the game in general tries to make the theme focus on that concept. But good lord…Team Sonic takes it to levels almost considerably annoying.
- Team Dark: Team Dark takes two characters from the previous team in Sonic Adventure 2 –Shadow and Rogue– and replaces Eggman with Omega. A creation of Dr. Eggman’s originally made for the purpose of killing Sonic the Hedgehog. Shadow plays as the speed character while Rogue is the flight. Leaving Omega as the fire power for the team.
- Team Rose: Rose serves well as an “easy mode” of the game. Their levels take different paths and are usually very shorter in comparison to any of the other group’s levels. Even the characters in this group seem like they would represent “younger” or “easier” setting of difficulty. We have Amy Rose as our speed character with Cream the Rabbit handling flight (with the help of her pet chao Cheese). In addition Big the Cat from Sonic Adventure 1 makes a return as the power character….his voice is still the same….
- Team Chaotix: The Chaotix make a much overdue return in Heroes. We re-unite with Espio, Charmy and Vector. We only see 3 of the Chaotix for this game, which is a bit of a shame. I’d have loved to see Mighty again. Espio serves as our speed character, Charmy flies the team around and Vector is the official powerhouse. The unique thing about this one is that Team Chaotix goes on different missions from the other teams. By that I don’t simply mean different paths in levels, but entirely different missions. For example in Hang Castle the detectives go on a search for keys and later blow out candles, instead of just following the path to the end like the other teams.
The gameplay is actually pretty smooth the majority of the time. Other times though it feels like everything’s just going too slippery as you move along and that often leads to problems. In general the controls just feel very “loose” and not the best. The spindash is replaced by a powerful kick/slide and that suffers a feeling of extreme akward. It’s far too overpowered and without the character being in the form of a ball there’s little to no control at times. What’s particularly strange about this is that in Sonic Adventure 2 the spindash was done so well and easy to control. Whatever happened to that?
Enemies get health bars in this game which can also prove to be an annoyance. How so? Well, it’s a common tradition in 3D Sonic games for there to be a continuous chain of enemies to perform the homing attack on in order to form a path over a bottomless pit… That does not work well at all combined with enemies with health bars. Why couldn’t it just be where one hit kills the enemy? Oh, and trust me…there are LOTS of bottomless pits in Sonic Heroes…
The homing attack is an example of one of the moves that every team has. The speed character is able to perform it. For the most part, you will see that every team shares the same moves only with small differences.
However, there are some distinct and unique abilites only some teams have. For example, Espio is able to turn invisible by performing the Tornado Attack. When this is done, you as the player can of course see him, enemies will not. This is another thing that makes Team Chaotix a tad different. Espio can also throw ninja stars as one of his unique moves.
Speaking in terms of how the game looks, Sonic Heroes is one good looking Sonic game. You can see a huge transition in the graphics between SA2 and this one. With that said, there was a bit of a time gap between the two, so that helps make a contribution. Some of the cutscenes show some true beauty to them, such as the opening one. The character models look pretty good too, but something that’s always been strange is how they have a “shiny” texture to them. Just see the picture below.
The level design for this one is some of the best I’ve seen in a sonic game. The themes for them provide much opportunity, since they’re all based on classic “themes” and ideas seen before in plenty of media. Some good examples of this include Rail Canyon, Frog Forest, Hang Castle and Egg Fleet. There are also alot of places that remind me of old themes in Sonic games, such as Casino Park following the classic “Casino” theme we’ve seen since Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Megadrive/Genesis. Sometimes however in the rare case a theme is overdone and does NOT work. Bingo Highway shows this pretty well.
The boss fights don’t stand up very well. They are a tad dissapointing at times. There’s the occasional impressive one such as the fights against the opposing teams. Even at times the Doctor might surprise you. However the majority don’t feel special and are usually very easy. The final “hidden” boss fight is also just a…bit…strange…. Remember the good old days back when you could have a regular race and/or fight against Metal Sonic without him turning into a Yu-Gi-Oh! monster? Yeah, me too.
The gameplay is repetitive, the story has little to no effort thrown in and controls are confusing. However, it also has some strong points. Unique level design, nice tunes and sleek graphics. The determining factor is of course (as always) the gameplay. Whether the style’s good or not is up to the player, even more-so than ever with a game like Heroes.
Overall, Sonic Heroes is what we could call a mixed bag. It depends quite a bit on who the player is and how much patience they have. The game has it’s flaws for sure. Slippery controls, buggy attacks, akward character models and a whole other set of issues I could go on about. If you’re willing to get past these minor issues you can find yourself enjoying the game very much. In conclusion, if you haven’t played this one yet and would like to give it a try, go for a rent and take it from there.
Posted by Chris on Oct 30, 2011Tags: Friends, Gaming Misfit, Hedgehog, Heroes, review, SEGA, Sonic, Sonic Heroes, Sonic Team