Sonic Heroes (ソニック ヒーローズ) is a 3D Sonic the Hedgehog video game released for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox and later Windows PC. It was the first original Sonic game to be released for a non-Sega home console.
The game sees 12 playable Sonic characters work in teams to stop Dr. Eggman, in a story meant to take place after the events of Sonic Adventure 2.
Sonic Heroes is a 3D action platform game in which players control one of four pre-configured "teams", each comprised of three characters with unique abilities. The player can cycle between who takes the lead (and thus which "formation" to use) at any point, with the remaining two members attempting to follow. All characters can run and jump, collect Rings and fight Eggman's robots.
While there are subtle differences between them, each team has members which fulfill one of three roles; a "Speed Type (blue), which as the name suggests allows for faster play and grants the leader the ability to perform moves like the Homing Attack and Rocket Accel, a "Fly Type" (yellow), allowing the player to ascend short distances, and a "Power Type" (red) which gives the player more power to overcome certain obstacles. Levels are typically beaten by utilising the abilities of all three, with the game necessitating the player to level up all three of their characters by collecting Power Cores.
In addition, each team also has a Team Blast skill, allowing for multiple on-screen enemies to be taken out at once. These moves can only be performed when the "Team Blast Gauge" becomes full, which is achieved by collecting rings and destroying enemies. Each of the four teams follow a different, but intertwined, storyline, occasionally having to do battle with one another.
In addition to normal levels, Sonic Heroes brings back the concept of collecting Chaos Emeralds in Special Stages. Players need to find the Special Stage Key in each level and reach the goal without taking damage to gain access, with the true ending not being seen until all teams have collected all 7 Emeralds.
In the opening scene of Team Chaotix's story, there are pinned papers on a notice board behind Vector, showing concept drawings of the robots used in the original Sonic game.
If one stands around for a while when playing as Team Chaotix, Vector will say "I forgot to pay the electric bill back at the office." Charmy will also say "Can we go now?"
in non boss battle levels depending on the character who earned the most points (and possibly the most power cores) will say a phrase depending on the rank e.g. Amy - A rank - "We're like awesome or Sonic - E rank - "Shoot not my day"
This team and associated levels are designed to be of medium difficulty, and contain high-speed sections. Their Team Blast, Sonic Overdrive, consists of Knuckles throwing Tails, who spins to gain momentum, and throws Sonic, who attacks surrounding enemies multiple times. During the final boss, each team member, under Super Transformation, performs the same attack as Sonic.
This team and associated levels are designed to be of hard difficulty, requiring skill and concentration to endure heavy battle. Their Team Blast, Chaos Inferno, consists of Shadow performing Chaos Control, whilst Omega, lifted up by Rouge, fires large lasers whilst rotating the top half of his body. It also freezes time momentarily once complete, so that all enemies are frozen in place.
This team and associated levels are designed for younger players, with shorter missions. Their Team Blast, Flower Festival sees Big bouncing Amy and Cream on top of his umbrella with a shower of flowers raining down on them. All three members level up by one and grants them temporary invincibility, high running speed, and a shield.
This team and associated levels provide a different experience, as most are mission-based, and are only complete when the mission target is met. Their Team Blast, Chaotix Recital, sees Espio, Charmy, and Vector singing and playing instruments badly, causing all of the surrounding enemies to explode, whilst Ring bonuses are received for each enemy destroyed. Collecting Rings also refills the gauge, potentially allowing the player to perform another Blast immediately after the first is complete.
Much like the 2D games, Sonic Heroes has a 2-Act and boss structure. Unlike those games, the levels are not named Act 1 and Act 2 (though the Special Stages are labeled as such) but they function in a similar manner. Each set of 2 stages are based around one of the classic Sonic level themes. But as the story is completed for all of them, it does list them in zone styled order.
The game requires that all 4 teams complete all of the stages and get all 7 Chaos Emeralds before progressing to the Last Story, where all 4 teams participate.
2P Play mode
Sonic Heroes has a multitude of mini-games for two players to compete in, similar to the multiplayer mode in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. At the beginning, only Action Race is available, but more mini-games can be unlocked by collecting Emblems in the single player mode. Every minigame has three dedicated stages to choose from, and if "ALL" is selected, then both players play a best-of-three match.
The objective of this minigame is to reach the Goal Ring before the opposing team does. This is the only mode available from the beginning of the game.
In this mode, both players' teams battle against each other to force each other off the edge of the stage. The first team to force all three of the opposing team's members off the stage is the winner. If the battle goes on for too long, it is declared a draw, and both teams must fight again.
In this mode, both players control a team each riding on a Bobsled on specially-designed courses. To win, a player must complete three laps of the stage before the other player can do so, or survive longer than the other player. Any teammates lost from crashing into obstacles are restored on the next lap.
This mode is similar to Action Race, except the stages are shorter. The Goal Ring is placed in the middle of the stage with both players starting on opposite ends of the stage, and both players must race through mirrored layouts seperate from each other.
When all 120 Emblems have been collected and all 141 A-Ranks have been achieved, Super Hard mode will be unlocked in 1P Play. In this mode, the player must play through all 14 stages sequentially as Team Sonic. The object and enemy layouts in this mode are more difficult than those seen in Team Dark's stages, no score is tallied at the end of each stage, and there are no bosses. When the final stage, Final Fortress, has been cleared, the game ends with the credits.
Team Sonic Movie: Beat Story Mode with Team Sonic.
Team Dark Movie: Beat Story Mode with Team Dark.
Team Rose Movie: Beat Story Mode with Team Rose.
Team Chaotix Movie: Beat Story Mode with Team Chaotix.
Last Cinema: Complete Last Story in story mode.
As characters interact, they sometimes make references to past Sonic games:
Amy: "This weather reminds me of our last attack on the Egg Carrier!" (allusion to Sonic Adventure) in Final Fortress, even though she was not actually part of the attack and was only on the Egg Carrier because she had been kidnapped.
Amy: "This place reminds me of Casinopolis!" (allusion to Sonic Adventure) in Casino Park, even though she never actually entered the Casinopolis stage during the course of Sonic Adventure. It should be noted that she does not mention Casinopolis in the Japanese version of this game.
Knuckles: "We have jungle mushrooms on my island too, but not this huge!" (allusion to Mushroom Hill Zone from Sonic & Knuckles) in Frog Forest.
Shadow: "Space? Did you say SPACE?" when replying to Rouge who said, "We might even be at the edge of space." (allusion to Shadow's "fatal fall" from space in Sonic Adventure 2) in Egg Fleet.
Shadow: "Some things never change, do they?" as a response to Rouge mentioning going after the Master Emerald at the end of Team Dark's story (allusion to Sonic Adventure 2).
Metal Sonic: "I was created for the sole purpose of destroying you," when addressing Sonic (allusion to Sonic CD) in Metal Overlord.
Knuckles: "The Egg Carrier is nothing compared to this!" (allusion to Sonic Adventure) in Final Fortress.
Big: Big's quest for Froggy is reminiscent of his story in Sonic Adventure. In addition, the giant frogs in Frog Forest and Lost Jungle appear to be the same as Froggy.
Rouge: "I haven't heard from the President lately." (allusion to Sonic Adventure 2) while the player stands still for a while on any stage.
E-123: "I couldn't even beat Gamma or Beta..." (allusion to Sonic Adventure) when completing a stage with an E-rank.
This is one of the final Sonic games in which the voice actors from the Sonic Adventure games recorded their voices. Newer games in the series, from Shadow the Hedgehog on, are recorded by the cast of Sonic X. Many Sonic fans were angered by the change and have sent demands to Sega to rehire the original voice cast from this game and the Sonic Adventure series. Some said this, however, was unlikely to happen, especially considering the passing of Deem Bristow who voiced Dr. Eggman in this and all previous 3D Sonic games.
Sonic and Metal Sonic are voiced by the same actors in both the English and Japanese versions.
The PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions have both voice language tracks included in the game disc. The PlayStation 2 version, together with a multi-lingual text language option, is the only version featuring an additional option to switch between both English and Japanese voice language, though this is only present in the Japanese and North American versions. The EU/PAL PlayStation 2 version removes this feature and only has the text language option present, defaulting the voices automatically to the system language. Since the Xbox version doesn't feature any language option at all, neither of text nor of voice, the only way to have the Japanese voices in this version is changing the console language to Japanese in order to set the game entirely in Japanese.
The GameCube and PC versions feature only one voice track in the disc (discs in the case of the PC version) and according to the regional version, due to size constraints. The Western versions have the English voice language whereas the Japanese version has the Japanese one, while the text language is entirely multi-lingual and manually selectionable in all regional versions. Since the PC version requires to be installed in the hard disk, it is not a difficult task to swap the voice files in order to have the desired voice language.