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Sonic Heroes (Xbox) artwork

Sonic Heroes (Xbox) review


"Sonic Heroes is a cheesefest. You'll know this immediately because the title screen theme will just hit you HARD with its joyous lyrics ("SONIC HEEEEEROES! SONIC HEEEEEROES!"), and if you're man enough to stay and not sprint to the menu screen, you'll get a chance to hear the full version afterwards when a video starts playing. Not cheesy enough, you say? Well, thankfully, that's not all. Throughout the entire game, the characters will chatter nonstop throughout each stage, uttering goofy..."



Sonic Heroes is a cheesefest. You'll know this immediately because the title screen theme will just hit you HARD with its joyous lyrics ("SONIC HEEEEEROES! SONIC HEEEEEROES!"), and if you're man enough to stay and not sprint to the menu screen, you'll get a chance to hear the full version afterwards when a video starts playing. Not cheesy enough, you say? Well, thankfully, that's not all. Throughout the entire game, the characters will chatter nonstop throughout each stage, uttering goofy nonsense. Lines like "If it's about a date, it'll halfta wait!", "Chips? You mean potato chips?", and my personal favorite, "Shaa!", will forever (a week) be etched into your brain. It's moments like these that'll make you cringe, and make you wonder why you're still playing. But then you remember: Sonic Heroes is actually an enjoyable title.

As you begin the game, you'll get to choose between four different teams, Team Sonic (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles), Team Dark (Shadow, Rouge, Omega), Team Rose (Amy, Cream, Big), and Team Chaotix (Espio, Charmy, and Vector, originating from the 32X title Knuckles Chaotix). Yes, teams, not single characters. As you control these teams, you'll come across various situations throughout the game's 14 stages that'll require you to use specific team members. For example, you'll need Sonic and Shadow to speed through certain areas and travel through a trail of rings, Tails or Cream for flying to higher platforms, and Big or Vector for brute strength against robots that usually wield shields. If this sounds like a big hassle, it isn't. Switching between characters is fast and easy, and you'll pretty much master it before you even reach the first boss.

Which is a good thing, because then you'll have the chance to appreciate the stages and how fun and diverse they can be. You'll jump from island to island in the first stage, Seaside Hill, dash through skyscrapers and speeding hover cars in the futuristic Grand Metropolis, and avoid colliding with trains as you skate your way through the long and fast-paced Rail Canyon. While all those stages are fun in their own right, there are others that just really stick out. Two of these are Casino Park and BINGO Highway, both taking place in a, you guessed it, casino-like environment. Now, I know this theme has been done a bijillion times in past Sonic games, but the design in these stages are so rich, it'll feel like this is the first time you've played one. Big, red, floating dice, roulette tables, pinball machines, and other things that shine and flash in the night are littered throughout these stages, it's like Disney World for gamblers. Other cool stages are Hang Castle, where you'll constantly go from right-side-up to upside-down and back again with warps, and Egg Fleet, an awesome stage that has your team literally flinging themselves from one airship to another, avoiding the various cannons and robots that want them dead.

All of this adds up to a really fun game, and makes SH the closest you'll probably get to a pure "Sonic experience" in 3D for now. There's no adventure fields to slow you down, no silly side games like fishing, or annoying stages that require you to look for hard to find emeralds, what you have here are stages that require speed and platforming skills, like the Sonic games of yesteryear. Shoot, even the special stages return! However, the game isn't perfect. There are little flaws in SH that'll make you die at the silliest moments. Most of the time, this happens while you're skating on rails, where, for some bizarre reason, your characters fall to their deaths when normally you would automatically connect to another rail or something. Moments like these rarely happen, but still, they're annoying.

Then there's the boss fights. Man, do they suck. For each team, there's a total of seven boss fights, two involve another team and last for under a minute (all you do is knock them out of the arena), two where you just fight an army of normal robots, and three that are long-winded and boring Eggman/Robotnik battles. They just came off as being afterthoughts to the rest of the game, sadly. But other than that, SH is quite the enjoyable game. If you can get over the Sega Cheese, the goofy and cartoonish way most of the characters act, and the horrid boss fights, then you'll have fun with Sonic Heroes, a title with gameplay that's about on par with some of the great, Genesis Sonic titles.

Rating: 8/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (January 01, 2007)

PickHut has this weird fondness for the Sega Saturn. Even though he's aware that most of the game's are either decent or terrible, he still wants to play them.

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