North American cover art
|Developer(s)||Sonic Team USA (or Amusement Vision UK)|
|Series||Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, multiplayer, Online (PC only)|
|Distribution||(CD x2), (DVD x1), GameCube Optical Disc|
Sonic Heroes (ソニック ヒーローズ Sonikku Hīrōzu ) is a platform video game developed by Sonic Team USA and published by Sega for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Microsoft Windows. The game was first released in Japan on December 30, 2003 and later released on January 5, 2004 in North America and on February 6, 2004 in Europe. As part of the PlayStation 2 classics program, the PlayStation 2 version was re-released exclusively in Europe on the PlayStation Network in late February 2012.
Sonic Heroes is the eighth installment in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Set a few months after the events of Sonic Adventure 2, the game's story follows the journeys of four individual teams of three and their inevitable search for the mad scientist Doctor Eggman. However, Sonic the Hedgehog's clone and nemesis Metal Sonic is secretly manipulating the games events in an intricate plan to eradicate his long time foe.
Sonic Heroes is a platform game in which players control four teams of three characters. The objective is to collect the seven Chaos Emeralds and defeat Sonic's nemesis Doctor Eggman. The player is able to switch the party's leader freely, changing the current formation. Each team contains three character types: Speed, Power and Flight. Speed characters are able to perform spin dashes, homing attacks and light dashes, and can form whirlwinds that allow them to climb up poles. Power characters can use their strength to fight against strong enemies and break obstacles, as well as enter a gliding formation to ride up air fans. Finally, Flight characters have the ability to fly in the air for a short amount of time and can more easily attack airborne enemies. Each ability is also represented in the interface by color and an associated element; speed is blue and uses wind, flight is yellow and uses thunder, power is red and uses fire. By acquiring certain items or reaching checkpoints, characters can level up, increasing their efficiency when used against enemies. For example, if a Flight member increases their level, they can destroy airborne enemies more easily instead of just stun them. Players are given a certain amount of lives, which are lost when the team is attacked while holding no rings, falls into a pit or fails certain mission objectives. If all lives are lost at any point in the game, the game is over. Players can collect gold rings, which give the player extra lives for each 100 rings collected, and shield the team from one enemy attack. Destroying enemies and collecting rings builds up a 'Team Blast' meter, which can be used to perform a powerful attack that destroys all on-screen opponents, as well as activate certain abilities unique to each team.
The levels and difficulty are depended by the player's selection of the team: Team Rose represents easy difficulty, containing shorter levels than the other teams, including a tutorial stage,. It also contains less enemies and is basically designed for younger players. Team Sonic's are of medium difficulty and contain high speed sections, the tasks and levels require intermediate gaming experience, and Team Dark's levels represent the hardest difficulty, containing longer levels with more focus on skill and battle. However, Team Chaotix's levels are mission-based and are recommended for advanced players.
By collecting a key hidden within each level and reaching the end of the level without getting hit, players can enter the Special Stage. These stages take place in a large tube littered with colored orbs which fuel a boost meter and bombs which slow the player down. If the stage is entered via Act 1 of each zone, a Bonus Challenge will take place in which players try to reach the end of the stage before time runs out, collecting orbs to increase the time limit, earning extra lives should they succeed. If the stage is entered via Act 2 of each zone, an Emerald Challenge takes place in which players must use boost gathered from orbs to catch a Chaos Emerald before it reaches the end of the stage. If players can collect all seven emeralds from each zone (regardless of team chosen) and clear each team's story, an additional Last Story is unlocked.
If all A-ranks are achieved, Super Hard Mode is unlocked. The player goes through all stages as Team Sonic, although this time it is much harder. Most paths from Team Dark and Team Chaotix are open, but rarely any Team Rose paths, although some custom paths are created for this mode.
Sonic Heroes features twelve playable characters divided into four teams of three. Team Sonic, the main team of the game, consists of Sonic the Hedgehog, the titular protagonist of the series; Miles "Tails" Prower, a two-tailed fox; and Knuckles the Echidna, an anthropomorphic echidna. Team Dark consists of Shadow the Hedgehog, an artificially-created hedgehog and Sonic's arch-rival who lost his memory after his assumed death; Rouge the Bat, a treasure hunting bat; and E-123 Omega, a robot who was shut down by Eggman. Team Rose consists of Amy Rose, a pink hedgehog chasing after Sonic; Cream the Rabbit, a flying rabbit accompanied by her Chao friend Cheese who wants to seek Chocola, the Chao's companion; and Big the Cat, a large cat seeking out his friend Froggy. Team Chaotix consists of Espio the Chameleon, a quiet, ninja-like chameleon; Charmy Bee, a hyperactive young bee, and Vector the Crocodile, the team's leader. Aiding the teams is Omochao, a robotic Chao who gives hints to the player. The main antagonist of the game is Metal Sonic, who has detained Doctor Eggman, the series antagonist, and disguises himself to collect data on the teams.
The game takes place three months after the conclusion of Sonic Adventure 2, in which Sonic and Shadow defeated the Finalhazard and save the Space Colony ARK from crashing into Earth. A few months after the Biolizard's demise, Sonic is approached by Tails and Knuckles, who give him a message from Dr. Eggman, saying he has developed an ultimate weapon that will take over the world in three days. As the three form a team in order to stop him, other teams are formed elsewhere with their own motives. Amy, who is constantly on the heels of Sonic, teams up with Cream and Big, who are both searching for their missing friends, Chocola the Chao and Froggy, in order to chase after a clue leading to the whereabouts of all of them. Rouge, infiltrating one of Eggman's bases in search for a reputed treasure, discovers both a capsule containing Shadow, who was presumed dead following the events of Sonic Adventure 2, and a robot named E123-Omega who had been abandoned by Eggman. Realizing Shadow has lost his memory and Omega has his own vendetta against Eggman, the trio form a team to go after him, hoping to find clues to find out more of Shadow's identity along the way. Finally, the Chaotix Detective Agency, consisting of Vector the Crocodile, Espio the Chameleon and Charmy the Bee, receive a walkie-talkie from an anonymous client wishing to hire their services. Having a policy of never turning down any work that pays, the team take on the mysterious client. As the teams push on their travels, Team Rose discovers Chocola and Froggy have been kidnapped by Eggman, while Shadow comes across evidence suggesting that he is in fact an android.
The player characters arrive at Eggman's Egg Fleet. Upon Eggman's defeat at the hands of the player characters, Team Rose reunites with Chocola and Froggy while Rouge hears from Omega that the real Shadow may be out there somewhere. Team Chaotix, meanwhile, discovers that the Eggman who plotted the scheme was actually fake, as the real Eggman, revealed to be the Chaotix's client, was detained. The true mastermind is revealed to be Metal Sonic, who had disguised himself as Eggman in order to copy data from each of the teams, allowing to transform into the powerful Metal Overlord so that he can finally prove himself to be the best Sonic. Using the seven Chaos Emeralds to transform into Super Sonic, Sonic, along with Tails and Knuckles, defeats and restores Metal Sonic to his regular form. As Metal Sonic laments his loss, Sonic tells him he is ready for any challenge he throws at him before setting off with his friends on another adventure.
Sonic Heroes was developed to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog. The game's director, Takashi Iizuka, stated that he did not want to make Sonic Heroes a continuation of the Sonic Adventure series, as he was worried only core gamers would buy the title, and instead decided to create a game that more casual players could adapt to.
Sonic Heroes uses the RenderWare engine so that the game could be programmed and ported easily to the GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Microsoft Windows. Despite being able to port some textures and character models from the Sonic Adventure titles, most work on the title was started anew. Despite the use of cross-platform middleware, Sonic Heroes was Sega's first multi-platform title, and the development team found additional challenges in working with the Xbox, the platform that they had very little experience with.
Jun Senoue once again returned to provide music for the game, along with the two songs by his band Crush 40 and other members of Wave Master. Replacing the individual character songs, playable teams now have team theme songs. The game features once again returning vocal talents Johnny Gioeli, Tony Harnell and Ted Poley, as well as new musicians Kay Hanley, Gunnar Nelson and rock band Julien-K. Takashi Iizuka has said that the intention was for the music to return to the roots of the Sonic experience and to be exciting and fast-paced.
The Sonic Heroes Official Soundtrack was released in North America on November 9, 2004. Triple Threat: Sonic Heroes Vocal Trax, which includes the original vocal theme songs from the Sonic Adventure game soundtrack, was released in Japan on February 4, 2004. Complete Trinity: Sonic Heroes - Original Soundtrax was released in Japan on March 3, 2004. To commemorate the series' 20th anniversary, the game's official soundtrack was re-released on August 24, 2011 in Japan as Sonic Heroes Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Edition.
|Sonic Heroes Official Soundtrack/Sonic Heroes Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Edition|
|1.||"Sonic Heroes: Main Theme" (by Crush 40)||3:29|
|2.||"We Can (Theme of Team Sonic)" (by Ted Poley and Tony Harnell)||3:18|
|3.||"Stage 01: Seaside Hill"||1:36|
|4.||"Stage 02: Ocean Palace"||2:01|
|5.||"Follow Me (Theme of Team Rose)" (by Kay Hanley)||3:35|
|6.||"System Screen: Select"||1:38|
|7.||"Stage 03: Grand Metropolis"||2:28|
|8.||"Stage 04: Power Plant"||1:04|
|9.||"Special Stage: Bonus Challenge"||2:13|
|10.||"Stage 05: Casino Park"||2:29|
|11.||"Stage 06: Bingo Highway"||2:25|
|12.||"Battle: Casino Area"||2:41|
|13.||"This Machine (Theme of Team Dark)" (by Julien-K)||4:23|
|14.||"Boss: Robot Carnival/Robot Storm"||2:18|
|15.||"Stage 07: Rail Canyon"||2:39|
|16.||"Stage 08: Bullet Station"||2:16|
|17.||"Team Chaotix (Theme of Team Chaotix)" (by Gunnar Nelson)||3:42|
|18.||"Boss: Egg Albatross"||1:39|
|19.||"Event: Disquieting Shadow"||0:31|
|20.||"Stage 09: Frog Forest"||1:55|
|21.||"Stage 10: Lost Jungle"||4:41|
|22.||"Special Stage: Emerald Challenge"||2:14|
|23.||"Stage 11: Hang Castle"||4:42|
|24.||"Stage 12: Mystic Mansion"||2:42|
|25.||"Stage 13: Egg Fleet"||2:31|
|26.||"Stage 14: Final Fortress"||2:24|
|27.||"Event: Metal Sonic... the Ultimate Overlord"||1:24|
|28.||"Last Boss: Metal Madness [Version 1]"||3:19|
|29.||"What I'm Made of...: Last Boss/Metal Overlord [Version 2]" (by Crush 40)||3:43|
|30.||"Event: Finale... Adventure Must Go On"||1:13|
|Triple Threat: Sonic Heroes Vocal Trax|
|1.||"Sonic Heroes" (by Crush 40)|
|2.||"We Can" (by Ted Poley and Tony Harnell)|
|3.||"This Machine" (by Julien-K)|
|4.||"Follow Me" (by Kay Hanley)|
|5.||"Team Chaotix" (by Gunnar Nelson)|
|6.||"What I'm Made Of..." (by Crush 40)|
|7.||"My Sweet Passion" (by Nikki Gregoroff)|
|8.||"Lazy Days... Livin' in Paradise" (by Ted Poley)|
|9.||"Unknown From M.E." (by Marlon Saunders)|
|10.||"Believe in Myself" (by Karen Brake)|
|11.||"It Doesn't Matter" (by Tony Harnell)|
|12.||"Open Your Heart" (by Crush 40)|
|Complete Trinity: Sonic Heroes - Original Soundtrax (Disc 1)|
|1.||"Sonic Heroes / Opening ver."||1:30|
|2.||"Stage 01: Seaside Hill"||2:42|
|3.||"Stage 02: Ocean Palace"||3:42|
|4.||"Boss: Egg Hawk"||1:12|
|5.||"System Screen: Select"||3:46|
|6.||"Stage 03: Grand Metropolis"||3:36|
|7.||"Stage 04: Power Plant"||2:03|
|8.||"Special Stage: Bonus Challenge"||2:33|
|9.||"Event: Strange Guys"||0:25|
|10.||"Boss: VS. Team Battle"||1:37|
|11.||"Stage 05: Casino Park"||2:30|
|12.||"Stage 06: Bingo Highway"||2:26|
|13.||"Battle: Casino Area"||2:42|
|14.||"Event: Monkey Business"||0:32|
|15.||"Event: My World"||1:22|
|16.||"Boss: Robot Carnival / Robot Storm"||2:19|
|17.||"Stage 07: Rail Canyon"||2:40|
|18.||"Stage 08: Bullet Station"||2:17|
|19.||"Jingle: Speed Up"||0:15|
|21.||"Boss: Egg Albatross"||1:40|
|22.||"Event: Disquieting Shadow"||0:34|
|23.||"System Screen: Menu"||1:49|
|24.||"Battle: City Area"||2:05|
|25.||"Battle: Sea Area"||0:41|
|26.||"System Screen: 2P VS. Menu"||0:54|
|27.||"Battle: Quick Race"||0:57|
|28.||"Battle: Ring Race"||0:38|
|Complete Trinity: Sonic Heroes - Original Soundtrax (Disc 2)|
|1.||"Sonic Heroes / Title ver."||0:23|
|2.||"Stage 00: Sea Gate"||3:25|
|3.||"Stage 09: Frog Forest"||2:31|
|4.||"Stage 10: Lost Jungle"||5:07|
|5.||"Event: Excuse Me?"||0:29|
|6.||"Event: Unexpected Encounter"||0:44|
|7.||"Special Stage: Emerald Challenge"||2:15|
|8.||"Event: No Past to Remember"||1:00|
|9.||"Stage 11: Hang Castle"||4:42|
|10.||"Stage 12: Mystic Mansion"||2:43|
|11.||"Event: My Ambition"||1:17|
|12.||"Stage 13: Egg Fleet"||2:32|
|13.||"Stage 14: Final Fortress"||2:23|
|14.||"Boss: Egg Emperor"||1:28|
|15.||"Event: Metal Sonic... The Ultimate Overlord"||1:25|
|16.||"Event: All Heroes Gather"||1:07|
|17.||"Last Boss ver. 1: Metal Madness"||3:20|
|18.||"What I'm Made of / Last Boss ver. 2: Metal Overlord"||3:44|
|19.||"Event: Finale... Adventure Must Go On"||1:17|
|20.||"Special Stage: Emerald Challenge / Extended ver."||3:40|
|21.||"Casino Park / Original ver."||2:08|
|22.||"Bingo Highway / Remix ver."||5:10|
Reviews of Sonic Heroes were generally mixed with Metacritic ranging from 64% for the PlayStation 2 version, based on 29 reviews, to 73% for the Xbox version, based on 28 reviews. Game Rankings averages range from 60% for the PC version, based on 9 reviews, to 75% for the Gamecube version, based on 35 reviews.
Reviewers noted several positive aspects to the game. These included the gameplay style; Sonic Heroes came close to the series' 2D roots. Sound design was also praised, described as "inexorably linked" to the experience and "at least very pristine" with "perfectly implemented" sound effects, running in Dolby Pro Logic II. Graphics design and environments were also highlighted, described as colorful, vibrant and cheery, with consistent art design and an exceptionally vibrant color palette. Framerate was also consistent for the Xbox, GameCube, and PC versions, although a drop in framerate in the multiplayer component was noted.
It also attracted several negative criticisms. Often cited were the game's camera control system, described as "uncooperative" and "terrible". Camera control compounded an additional problem regarding the controls relative to the camera's position, such that pushing forward may or may not move the character in the same direction the camera is facing. Falling from the level's platforms into the deep pits below was also criticized. The game's voice acting also came in for criticism; it was described as "horrendous" and "the biggest misstep in the sound design".
In 2004, Sonic Heroes was the sixth bestselling game in the United Kingdom overall, and a full year after its release, was still at number eight in the all-price chart. By October 2004, the game had sold over one million copies in Europe. The game ultimately sold well enough to enter all three consoles' "best-sellers" lists: Greatest Hits/Platinum for the PlayStation 2, Platinum Hits/Classics for the Xbox, and Player's Choice for the GameCube.
For Sonic's 20th Anniversary, Sega released Sonic Generations, a game that remade aspects of various past games from the franchise. The PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC version contained a remade "Seaside Hill" level. The Nintendo 3DS version contained a remake of the "Egg Emperor" boss fight. Additionally, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing contained race tracks that are based on locations from Sonic Heroes, including the Seaside Hill, Casino Park, and Final Fortress levels. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed has a new racetrack that takes place in Seaside Hill, and also features a returning Casino Park racetrack.
Sonic Heroes introduced the character E-123 Omega to the series and marked Cream the Rabbit's first 3D appearance, as well as enemies known as "Egg Pawns", which would be used in future games in the Sonic series. It also marked the reintroduction of Espio the Chameleon, Charmy Bee, and Vector the Crocodile, who first appeared in the game Knuckles' Chaotix.
The "Seaside Hill" level was used as the base setting for Sonic Dash.
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- "Sonic Heroes hits the European PSN Store...quietly". 23 February 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
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- "Sonic Heroes for GameCube Review". GameSpot. 2004-02-06. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
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- Sega (2004). "Team Dark". Sonic Heroes Manual. PC. Sega. pp. 6–7.
- Sega (2004). "Team Chaotix". Sonic Heroes Manual. PC. Sega. pp. 10–11.
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- "Sonic Heroes Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Edition". cdjapan.co.jp. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
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- Matt Casamassina, Ed Lewis (2004-12-10). "IGN: Sonic Heroes Review (PC)". IGN. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- Matt Cassamassina, Ed Lewis (2004-01-23). "IGN: Sonic Heroes Review (PS2)". IGN. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- Matt Casamassina, Ed Lewis (2004-01-23). "IGN: Sonic Heroes Review (Xbox)". IGN. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- Ryan Davis (2004-01-06). "Sonic Heroes for GameCube Review". Gamespot. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- Ryan Davis (2004-01-27). "Sonic Heroes for PlayStation 2 Review". Gamespot. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
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- "An Unlikely Hero". Edge. February 2005. "Sonic Heroes was the sixth best-selling game in the United Kingdom overall, outperforming big hitters like Burnout 3 and Spider-Man 2. Are you very surprised? How about this: The same game, a full year after its release, it is still at number eight in this week's all-price chart."
- Van Autrijve, Rainier (October 29, 2004). "Sonic Is Sega's Hero of Sales Figures". GameSpy. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
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