Ah, Sonic Heroes. It's often remembered as the last game before Sonic's Dork Age
began, possibly even starting it. It's a bit of a Base Breaker
and not one of the more popular games in the series, but for me, it's my favorite of all the 3D titles, and I've played the Adventure titles, Unleashed, Colours, Generations, etc. Confused? Hear me out.
The game's story is a very obvious Excuse Plot
, hearkening back to the Genesis games. Like Sonic Adventure, they spoil the final boss in the opening cutscene and throughout the game. And I don't care one bit. The dialogue and characters is all incredibly cheesy for what you get, and while the writing's not as strong as Colours, per se, I still had a smile on my face from the little that's offered. But, like Colours and Generations, the game wants you to play it for its gameplay, and great gameplay it has.
This game plays so well because it successfully blends three types of gameplay into every level, and switching between them is as seamless as a button tap. You have Speed, wherein the speed character controls similarly to the Sonic of SA 2
(though with a nerfed spindash), Power, wherein the power character can destroy whatever's in your way (and also float and run nearly as fast as the speed character), and Flight, which flies and can also shoot your teammates as electrified projectiles. In addition to this, you'll also be riding cars, playing pinball/slots/bingo, grinding rails, riding trolleys, and flowers/helicopters, and chasing Chaos Emeralds in special stage tunnels. It's a varied game.
Onto the big issue: the stages. Level design is as competent as SA 2
if not more. A lot of people might be put off by having to play the same stages with each team, but note that each team has subtle differences between them, and variation in their particular versions of the stages, just like another game
in the series. Also breaking the monotony is Team Chaotix, who do missions instead of getting to the goal like the other three. For me, it's most fun to play with Team Dark, but YMMV.
The game also upped the ante on SA 2
in the graphics and music deprtment, though the CG cutscenes are a little Off Model
at times. And the game does have it's glitches (specifically, the homing attack is sometimes a bit unwieldy), but overall it doesn't detract much, and the game comes highly recommended.