Sonic the Hedgehog, a legendary hero and franchise in the gaming industry. This speedy hero dates back to the Sega Genesis, and since has been known as “The Blue Speed Demon”. Now, Sega brings him and all of the other characters (most of them introduced in Sonic Adventures 1&2 for the DreamCast) back - as teams, fighting for different reasons against different enemies. As the first high-tech Sonic game, Sega should have done quite a bit of homework before moving into the 'new age' of games.
You start out by picking one of 4 teams, each having 3 characters, each of which having his own specialization. There will always be a Speed, Power, and Fly type character in each team, and each will be needed throughout the game. Each team you pick starts you at a tutorial level, which is narrated by an annoying little voice; This tutorial leads you through all the actions that your team can do, like attacks, jumps, flying, movement, so forth. It's a little tedious doing this after playing through one of the other tutorials, then playing another teams', and theres no way to skip it.
After passing the tutorial, you start your first mission – which is actually really really big (as are all of the levels), although they are all straight-forward. You get through the levels by using each of your characters to do their specialties: Speed through loops and past enemies, Power attack enemies and obstructions, and Fly up to special areas and over high obstacles. Most – meaning about 90% of the time – it will auto switch you, and if not that, then bug you to, switch characters to the one you need most for that obstacle. This can and will annoy people, and makes the game too much of a 'hand holder' (at least for me).
Levels are somewhat complicated - even though it's straightforward, you can get lost on the very first mission easily. Once, I was on mission 2, and it didn't give any help in a part where I needed to jump from one island to island – all it said was "pick a character, get in the cannon, and it will shoot you at an island". You land on an island, you kill some enemies, and then you're just dazed at what to do next. This lost me a couple lives, and I was not happy in the end. The game has good mechanics, but it's just not too nice, and too hard at many points, it's like the developers got hasty sometimes, and power-hungry the next.
Sonic returns with his awesome vigorous voice of a hedgehog, along with Amy and Knuckle's' original voices. All of them sound great, except Tail's is just horrible. Tail's sounds like a kindergardener that inhaled helium, which ends up in a really squeaky and unoriginal voice. The awesome rock-type tropical music returns, and it is really nice to listen to once you get into the game. Other than these, that's about all that's included for Sound – although there is a nice option to listen to all unlocked tracks, and watch all movies too.
What's a tropical island without beautiful graphics? Yes, Sonic looks excellent on the new platform, and the levels look gorgeous. Sonic and all of the characters have spectral highlight reflections on their hair and bodies, and so do all of the enemies. Each of the enemies look detailed down to little buttons and lights on their mechanical bodies, and everything moves fluidly too. Graphics has to be the most impressive thing in Sonic Heroes, with the seemingly alive levels, and the swaying ocean waves. I have to say that Sega has used the advantages of the PS2 quite well.
Along with Single play, you can play with two people, battling against each other for a score. Player with the highest score wins. Nothing too original but a good addition nonetheless.
An expectation by all Sonic fans gone wrong. The game is just a mess at most times (besides the graphics and sound), the gameplay has bugs and there are a couple misleading times in the many levels. The game is also sometimes so fast paced that it's impossible to get some vital powerups and items. I'm sure that Sega can do better than this – perhaps make a 3rd installment to the Sonic Adventures series. Rent first.