Sonic Heroes for Xbox
Sonic Adventure 2 was always going to be a tough act follow, due to it’s extremely heavy emphasis on a narrative with a comsiderable amount of pathos and tragedy (more then you would ever reasonably expect from a series about a bright blue hedgehog that goes zoom zoom really good). This, paired off with Sonic Heroes’ overall gameplay shift, may have helped contribute to its not-overwhelmingly-posetive standing within the fanbase.
Heroes’ main conciet is that rather then picking a single character to play as, you select one of four teams of three- one Speed character, one Flight character, and one Power character. These are all fairly descriptive- Speed characters are used for clearing long distances in short time frames, Flight characters helps you get passed otherwise obtrusive obstacles like pits or tall inclines, and Power characters are used for clearing debris or large enemy clusters sith relative ease. Each of the game’s 13 levels require the player swap between team members multiple times to progress, with some areas shaking up what each character type is intended to do in both minor and major ways for gameplay variety. Though all 17 levels are shared between the four teams, they are altered in different ways: Team Sonic (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles) is the standard ‘get to the end of the level’ fair and could be considered the Normal Mode; Team Dark (Shadow, Rouge, E-123 Omega) plays through longer versions of each level with a higher difficulty curve on each, making them the Hard Mode; Team Rose (Amy, Cream, Big) play through shorter versions of each level with a greatly reduced challenge, making their story the Easy Mode; and finally Team Chaotix (Espio, Charmy, Vector) play through versions of each stage that require them to meat certain goals or accomplish certain tasks, almost like a Mission Mode.
Pair this wildly divergent gameplay off with a much simpler and far cheesier story (with dialogue to match), and it stands in sharp relief to Sonic Adventure 2; further making it stand out is the fact that each two sets of levels are similarly themed, almost giving the game a kind of ‘Act One to Act Two through 7 stages’ structure. To this day, Sonic Heroes inspires divisive opinions amongst series afficionados, though we recommend giving it a try yourself to see what conclusion you come to personally.