Sonic Heroes (GameCube) Preview

By 21.06.2003 2

After two 3D appearances Sonic has returned, this time SEGA are promising a game thrice that of the previous two, but will it live up to its 2 dimensional routes? Read on to find out if this will be the best platformer of they year...

The traditional Sonic fans, who have enjoyed the delights of speeding down hills, through loops and jumping on springs up into the thin clouds wont have been too happy with the last two Sonic games to hit the Gamecube. They have had very mixed responses, most though have been complimenting the sheer speed of the Sonic and Shadow levels but being highly disappointed with the rather tedious searching levels. These consisted of searching for pieces of the Chaos Emerald around a level. This grew boring fast and didn't really give a motive to come back and finish the level. Sonic Team tried to offer something new, fresh and innovative but it turned out to be a double-edged sword. The gameplay just didn't feel like a true Sonic game, you weren't getting sweaty hands from losing control because of the great speed but getting bored quickly from the searching levels. This time, Sonic Team have promised, things will be different. SEGA have promised all the transitioning problems will be gone, and do we hope they are right?

You will also encounter other teams when in the game such as Team Rose and Team Chaotix and Team Dark to go along with Team Sonic. Team Rose consisting or Amy Rose, (Sonic's long-time sweetheart) Cream (and her trusty Chao Cheese) and Big the Cat. Team Chaotix will be made up of Vector the Crocodile, Espio the Chameleon and Charmy the Bee. Now, the last team, leaving only but the evil team Dark. Team Dark pairs up Shadow Sonic, (Sonic's true nemesis) Rouge the Bat (a feisty lady bat who likes to search for precious Emeralds) and E-102 Gamma. (An evil robot created to destroy Sonic made by Dr Robotnik. Playing as Team Dark looks like quite a lot of fun but mostly we'll probably come back to playing with Team Sonic.

The graphics are also a vast improvement over the old blocky textures seen in the Dreamcast and Gamecube Sonic Adventure games. Whilst they still aren't the best ever, they are pretty nice. It seems that SEGA aren't going to rip us off like most developers for multiformat games do by giving the XBOX version many graphical upgrades that the Gamecube could easily cope with. With that out of the way though, I must say, SEGA have kept up the look of the Sonic games well. The effects that burst off the characters when they attack is quite a treat to look at as well. Another upgrade from Sonic Adventure to Sonic Heroes is the vastly improved camera that at times in Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 made it impossible to play, or at least limiting your site.

There will definitely be a multiplayer mode in this Sonic outing but just how it will work we do not yet know. The reasons for this as it will most likely be a co-operative style game. This will basically be the normal one-player game except each player controls a team, or character in a team. This will be added in when the main game is very nearly finished and SEGA do have a good 6-9 months to work on Sonic Heroes.

Final Thoughts

All in all, this is one that all Sonic fans should go for. It won't just be a standard platformer but something more special and innovative. Although we doubt Sonic Heroes will challenge Mario this time as the king of platformers it will certainly be a very different offering to that from the fat plumber which could be just what people out there are looking for, a valid alternative to Mario Sunshine. With lush, vastly improved graphics, a whole new dimension and style of gameplay we could be looking at one sweet platformer.

Developer

Sonic Team

Publisher

SEGA

Genre

3D Platformer

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (7 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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