The next game that I will be covering is Sonic Heroes on the PlayStation 2. Sonic Heroes was the first game after SEGA became a third party developer due to stopping making games for the Dreamcast. It was initially made for the Nintendo GameCube but then ended up also making it for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The capabilities of the PS2 I discussed in the Crash Twinsanity analysis. Sonic Heroes supported a more ‘cartoonish’ feel with much smoother animations, exaggeration in the movements, improved mouth movements and much better looking environments. Sonic Heroes also supports local multiplayer although it’s pretty much the stuff that you go through in the single player.
This game actually feels like it was targeted towards kids with how it has the cartoon feel, not really much for story. Team Dark makes things a little more serious with Shadow trying to recover his memory and Omega wanting to destroy Eggman for sealing him up but it’s nowhere near to the extent of Crash Twinsanity or Sonic 06. Otherwise, it’s just Team Sonic stopping Dr Eggman, Team Chaotix trying to pay the rent and Team Rose trying to find Froggy and new comer Chocola Chao (who exists purely to make Cream involved as this is the only time it’s around).
The biggest problem with this game is the controls. They are very slippery which means that you will find yourself nearly running off of the edge and dying. Also a lot of functions are mapped to one button, mainly the square button (on PS2). This button holds the quick attack (you will probably only use for Espio), Rocket Accel (completely useless), tornado attack (in the air) and light speed dash (which was already awkward). Since the triangle and circle are used for switching characters, square is used for attacking which means that using the light speed dash is unlikely to respond resulting to it messing up and even dying when you have to use it over bottomless pits.
Each team plays pretty much the same with occasional minor differences. Rose’s levels are a lot shorter than the other teams. Dark’s levels are pretty much the same as Team Sonic’s (except Hang Castle at the end) but with stronger enemies and Team Chaotix have mission based gameplay (Mystic Mansion can take over 20 minutes).
There is also some camera issues such as Casino Park and Bingo Highway which have pinball sections but you can’t see where you are falling so getting out of it can be a pain. The controls also have a mind of their own in these sections as sometimes they don’t go where I want them to go. Control is also an issue in the special stages. The control doesn’t respond to you. You need to collect orbs to build up speed but the controls will have you going all over the place. You will get stuck on the ceiling then slow down as you try to collect the orbs.