Remember those old 2D Sonic games from the old days ? Those contained speed while the first versions of the 3D games were horribly slow which made them a lot less popular. Sega wanted to make up and bring us a 3D game with some fast-paced action. After a night of brainstorming they ended up with Sonic Heroes where you don’t play with only one character but even three ! One is necessary for speed, another for flying and the last one is known for its power. These characters will need to be working together to make their way through the different levels. Ready ? GOOOO!
In the main menu you can choose between 1Player, 2Player, Extra and Options. As usual these names speak for themselves. The extra’s contain the collected songs and movies.
In the single player menu there’s choice between Story, Challenge and Tutorial. After starting up the tutorial, I quickly close it again as it’s extremely irritating to continuously getting interrupted by this slow, annoying computer voice. Since you can reply finished missions in Challenge and I haven’t done any yet, I go on to “Story”.
As said before, you don’t play alone in this game but in team of three and there are four of those, all wanting to beat Dr. Eggman. Let’s see what these teams are made of and why they’re so interested I the poor doctor.
•Team Sonic: Consists out of the famous speed devil Sonic, powermonger Knuckles and cute cuddly Miles who can get the whole team into the air. Sonic received word that Dr. Eggman will control the whole world within three days so he’s more than delighted to go out and prevent this from happening
•Team Dark: Rouge, who takes care of the flying was looking for treasures in Dr. Eggman’s lab but only finds Shadow – the fast bike – and E-123 Omega, one of the doctor’s former defense robots. Eggman has left them and they’re rather upset with that so they decide to team up and go after him
•Team Rose: Definitely the most colorful trio of the game; Big, a fat, strong, fluffy purple blobberball (aka cat) and Cream, a rabbit with the possibility to fly with its ears, have lost their friends Froggy and Chocolat. When these two are spotted on a picture with Sonic, Amy – the fast chick who loves our blue hero – decides to search for the source of the foto and once they find it they head off to find Sonic, Froggy and Chocolat. The story sounds childish but this is intended as this team is for the less gifted amongst us and the difficulty level here is rather low.
•Team Chaotix: Vector, Espio and Charmy have their own agency that fixes things. Not really knowing their mission, they start off, lead by the guy that gives them their jobs. This team delivers mission-based levels where it isn’t always about getting to the end of the level as soon as possible but they’ll have to collect things or kill a certain amount of enemies.
Each team has its own storyline and levels. The surroundings remain the same but the path you’ll follow is different.
With the gameplay things are quite alright. I personally found the 2D Sonic games to be always the same. Walk to the right and press the jump button from time to time. Here things are different. You still have to press the control stick forward but since you’re with three who need to work together you’ll have to take a lot more into consideration. This sadly works against the speed of the game as where the “Speed”-types go extremely fast (sometimes even a bit too fast so that gently turning your character can end up in you bouncing against the wall), the “Fly” and “Power”-characters are a LOT slower. This is logical but does ruin the atmosphere when you were just running along.
The continuously changing characters also gives some delays and makes it look more like a normal platformgame than a superfast action game. Not bad at all as the game remains fun but for the true Sonic fan who were hoping at a return of the supersonic speed this may sound a bit disappointing.
Throughout the game you’ll collect rings which are your life points. When hi, you’ll loose them but some will remain so that you don’t die instantly. Be sure to get them back fast though because if you only carry 1 ring when being hit will mean instant death.
The controls are simple but in the beginning you’ll need to get used to the switching between characters. Walking is done with the control stick, jump with A while X and Y stand for changing your character. R and L will work the camera and the Z-button will do a Team-Blast where the full team will kill all enemies in sight at once.
The AI is pretty stupid. Enemies respons slow, aim bad and only hit you when you dare to walk against them by accident. Some opponents are the other way around, they keep attacking your and when hit against the ground you can give up as getting back on your feet again is out of the question as they’ll keep hitting you.
That isn’t the only way of getting killed though, the camera tends to help aswell. More than once you’ll be running at top speed and suddenly you’re facing an abyss just because the viewpoint was bad and you didn’t see it in time. Same goes for when jumping and you can’t really aim correctly where you want to go.
In 2P Play you of course play with 2 players (duh!). In the beginning it’s the same as in single player but in split-screen against each other. The rest of the modes you need to unlock in the single player part so I’m not going to elaborate on those, I can only say that in some of them the camera really sucks major ass and it’s almost impossible to see where you’re running!
The graphics are simply, not super, but certainly not bad. The sound isn’t top notch, the same simple tunes playing on the background all the time, while the voices are very sharp and harsh. The lip synchronisation is completely off, I don’t know which person can make a full sentence with only making his lips go up and down. Sega has already announced that they’ve found a new system which would fix this problem in next games.
Sonic Heroes is an enjoyable title where you thanks to the four different storylines have a lot of fun with. If you’re used to the top quality of the old Sonic games on the other hand, this one may disappoint.