Sonic Heroes - PC - Review
When Sonic Heroes hit consoles about this time last year, it improved a bit upon the little blue hedgehog’s previous 3D outings by incorporating some nice multiplayer features and the ability to play many different characters from the Sonic universe. However, the game had some pretty major problems that brought the gameplay down a few notches, like lousy camera angles and clunky gameplay. Unfortunately, even though a year has gone by, Sonic Heroes on the PC still has all of the same problems as the console iterations.
Sonic Heroes involves four different yet connecting storylines, each featuring a different team. There’s Team Sonic, Team Dark, Team Rose and Team Chaotix, each featuring three characters from previous Sonic games. The teams must fight to defeat Dr. Eggman’s evil forces while progressing through their own story arcs and exploring the game’s 14 stages.
The main focus of Sonic Heroes is teamwork, meaning that it is imperative that you utilize each member of your team to their fullest potential, using their skills and strengths to get you through the games puzzles and challenges. Doing this is not terribly difficult, as the game is pretty simple when it comes to these puzzles and never presents too much of a challenge for any gamer regardless of skill level.
Each character is separated into one of three categories, Speed, Power and Flight. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what each of these categories entail, as each one will use them whenever necessary, as in you need to use your “Flight” teammate to carry your team to higher ground or your “Power” teammate to knock down a brick wall.
The game does improve upon other 3D Sonic games by offering huge levels to explore that are fun and creative. The stages are a blast, presenting a variety of environments, like the Casino World, Seaside Hill and many more diverse and entertaining levels.
However, there are some pretty glaring problems in Sonic Heroes. The stages aren’t very challenging and feel pretty simplistic, requiring you to run from point A to point B with little deviation in game plan otherwise. This may bore gamers looking for more of a challenge and not just some fast-moving eye candy. Also the camera is a chore, often getting caught at some horrible angle where you can’t see the action at all.
Another huge problem unique to the PC version is the almost complete lack of conversion. The game was straight ported to the PC without any effort to acquaint PC gamers to the control scheme. The HUD still shows the button-commands from the XBox version of the game, and since there is no manual included with the game to help you get oriented, this is very frustrating.
The graphics are bright and colorful, very much the high point of the game. The character models are nice and smoothly animated, a noted mark up from their Dreamcast incarnations. The large environments are also great looking, full of action and vibrant colors. The game also trucks along at a pretty decent framerate, keeping the game smooth and sweet.
The sound is stock fare for a Sonic game, or most Sega games for that matter. Expect to hear a lot of wailing rock guitars and campy voice acting.
With new features and teamwork-based gameplay, Sonic Heroes is a marked improvement over other 3D Sonic titles. However, the game still falls victim to a host of problems, making it ultimately not as good as it could’ve been.
Review Scoring Details for Sonic Heroes
Sonic Heroes has some cool gameplay features, like huge environments and team-based play. However, the game suffers from lousy camera problems, simplistic and easy gameplay, making it not as good as other offerings in the genre.
The graphics are bright and colorful, with nice character models and animations and huge vibrant stages. The framerate is also pretty smooth, keeping the action fast.
Standard Sega sound effects, meaning cheesy spandex guitar riffs and goofy voice acting.
A step in the right direction for the series, but disappointing when compared to others in the genre. The PC version also suffers from being a straight port with no real attempt to convert it fully to the PC.
Sonic Heroes has some cool two-player features, like a bunch of mini-games that you can play with a friend, but nothing that will hold your attention for too long.
Sonic Heroes is a step in the right direction, adding a nice teamwork element to the game. However, it is ultimately mediocre at best, given its fair share of problems, including bad camera issues and overly simplistic gameplay. Plus, the PC version suffers from a lack of conversion, meaning that PC gamers expecting a unique (or consistent) experience will be left in the dark.