Sonic Heroes

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Reviews: 1

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Reviewer: Dead_Metal Date: May 9, 2022
Sonic Heroes is an action-platformer released in 2003 on many platforms, developed by Sonic Team, Sega. This entry into the Sonic series carries on from Sonic Adventure 2 plot-wise yet is very back-to-basics for the series in terms of story, presentation and game structure (2 acts and then a boss). The main new gameplay idea Sonic Heroes brings is having 3 different characters being playable at a time, which you have to consistently switch between them to face different obstacles and enemies, but with a larger combat emphasis than previous games.

Graphics: 8
The large use of very colourful and cartoony graphics allows the game's appearance to age quite well, plus added onto this is the surprising high level of detail some zones in the game have and the game's look honestly is surprisingly good for 2003/2004, especially including the solid draw distance and solid 60fps present in all this. However the cutscenes stay in line with the prior 3D Sonic with how their character movement (fmvs and real-time rendered) can be awkward and stilted, also most character models are fine yet they have this sort of plastic-y texturing to them which can be a bit of a turn-off for some. Despite this, the game is really good looking overall, arguably more of an 8.5 than an 8 if I could rank it that.

Sound: 8
The music in this game is spectacular and easily some of the best tunes in the Sonic franchise, fitting their respective zones perfectly and are just memorable. 'Nuff said...
On the other hand, the voice acting and character dialogue in the levels is honestly cheesy yet fun and harmless, with the only 2 voices I ain't great fan of being Tails and Charmy Bee as they can get quite irritating. The dialogue spoken throughout levels could definitely annoy some though as it is quite frequent and often can repeat lines multiple times throughout a whole playthrough, yet this can be drowned by the player out just through concentration on the gameplay. Overall the music 102% carries this score to be as high as it is.

Gameplay: 7
Now as mentioned before the gameplay is quite like the previous 3D Sonic games in terms of platforming, however differs in being able to switch between 3 characters/movesets and a bigger combat focus; on these points the game mostly succeeds. The level design honestly complements my previous comments as groups of enemies can be quickly eliminated or skipped past and often feature on lower route moreso punishing the player for worse performance with slowing them down and the higher paths being super fast yet harder to stay on: classic Sonic gameplay, although a few later levels can drag somewhat. Each individual character as well has a nice variation of moves giving you a very good reason to frequently swap formation. However the combat falls apart a bit in the bosses where the Eggman battles can be easily cheesed, the team battles don't like working properly and the enemy gauntlets being a bit dull yet work quite as they are. Also a factor of this game which is quite infamous is the lack of polish, a fair serving of bugs, jank and control awkwardness can affect your playthrough a bit. Yet many of these unpolished bits are either a bit overblown, inconsistent (rarely happens) or just version specific (PS2 and PC versions being quite nasty, while GCN and XBOX being not that bad). I've had perfectly fine, unhindered playthroughs or ones which have had nice dosages of Tails randomly dying in a pinball machine and light-speed dashes cutting out, well just cause it feels like it. Overall, really solid structure and depth to the main gameplay, hindered by varying levels of jank.

Overall: 8
Honestly this game gets a bit of a bad reputation due to specific buggy versions being pretty popular (I'm looking at you, PS2) and people often just not getting the hang of the admittedly complex movesets and combat variety. But personally I feel this game is quite a classic in the Sonic series, just one where it can sometimes get under your nerves a bit, although the game still works well, playing it a bit more slowly and cautiously if your worried about jank harming you.

Also, don't spam switching rails, as that's a bit of a culprit with rail-related bugs and only play the XBOX/ Gamecube versions, as stated the others aren't great at all.