E3 2003: Sonic Heroes Hands-on Impressions
After stepping onto Segaís booth, the first game I walked towards was Sonic Heroes, Yuji Nakaís newest full-fledged Sonic platform title. Off the bat, Sonic Heroes is no filler, and all killer. The concept of controlling three characters simultaneously is easier than it sounds. Using Triangle and Circle you can shuffle around the characters you wish to control. Naturally, every character possesses different traits; Sonic has speed, the jumps and the whirlwind attack; Knuckles can punch through various objects and can use Sonic and Tails as his personal bowling balls; Tails will airlift both Sonic and Knuckles when itís necessary. In the end, what Sonic Team did for Sonic Heroes was incredibly intuitive.
Unlike the previous two Sonic games, the controls are tight, very tight. The camera is always in position and accidental deaths arenít an issue anymore, which is a relief. The level design is reminiscent of the original Sonic Adventure, but depth to the stages has been added here and there for extra flair. Visually, the game looks lush and downright beautiful. While it may not be as open and gigantic as Jak II, Sonic Heroesí art direction and overall technical merits really make the game stand among the best. All in all, Sonic Heroes has potential to be the best Sonic since Sonic and Knuckles for the Sega Genesis. Look for it sometime around the holiday season.
5/14/2003 Arnold Katayev