Sonic Heroes

System: Nintendo GameCube Release date: 06/02/2004

Picture the scene: a young, ambitious game designer is tasked to come up with an idea for a new Sonic the Hedgehog title. Hours go by and he's still staring at the same blank piece of paper. Then his eye wanders to the top of the page, where his company logo is printed. It says 'Sonic Team'. Then it hits him. Instead of controlling a single character on screen, why not a whole team? A few hours of intense scribbling later and the concept for Sonic Heroes is born.

Take the speed of Sonic, the flight capabilities of his foxy buddy Tails, and the brute force of Knuckles the Echidna, and combine them into a fighting force to be reckoned with. The result: an action-packed platformer with the pick-up-and-playability of Sonic but with a clever twist that keeps you on your toes.

Sonic Heroes plays in much the same way as Sonic Adventure - but without the adventuring bits - in that each level is a 3D maze of pipes, platforms, loops and ramps, which you must propel through at superhuman (or superhedgehog) speeds. Controlling three characters at once is handled remarkably simply. While you take control of the leader, the computer commands your partners, and you simply switch leaders with the X and Y buttons.

The correct character in the right situation is the key to success. Sometimes you'll need Sonic's speed to get you through a situation. Other times only Knuckles' powerful punches can clear a path. Or you may need to fly over obstacles, using Tails' flight capability. And with all character-switching handled on the fly (usually at high speed), the game flows smoother than Sonic's smile.

But the beauty of Sonic Heroes is that it features not only one team but four. As well as the Sonic-Tails-Knuckles combo of Team Sonic, there's Team Dark (featuring Sonic's nemesis Shadow the Hedgehog), Team Rose (a cute, fun team for younger players) and Team Chaotix (featuring three brand new characters). Your choice of team isn't just for cosmetic reasons, either. Each threesome has a different path through the levels and a unique storyline.

Admittedly, the game moves at such a breakneck speed that you'll have little time to think about plot, but suffice to say that the moustache-twiddling evil genius Dr Eggman is up to his old tricks again - employing an army of robotic minions to take over the world. You'll need more than just speed, strength and flight to beat this ovoid menace. It's lucky, then, that each character has a selection of spectacular special moves at their disposal. By combining a character's traits with his partners, you can pull off some impressive moves. Use team-mates to push the leader and get a boost of acceleration, throw your buddies as flaming cannonballs, or hang together in a skydiving-style formation to float on drafts of air.

Plus, for special occasions, there's the Team Blast manoeuvre. First, build up enough energy from collecting rings or items then, if you find yourself surrounded or outnumbered, press the Z button for a screen-clearing smart bomb-style attack.

As with all Sonic games, the objective is simply to reach the end of the level in one piece, but to see all that the game has to offer you'll need to keep your eyes peeled for secret Special Stage Keys. Survive a level while holding a key and you'll activate a between-level bonus round where you'll get the chance to grab one of the elusive Chaos Emeralds during a high-speed dash. If you're not sure where the Special Stage Key lurks, or simply can't survive long enough with it in your grasp, you can practice any level you've previously played in the Challenge Mode.

Last, and definitely not least, is the two player mode. Using split-screen, you can compete with a friend in races or a battle mode, and there are more levels to unlock by completing objectives in the single player Story mode. So whether you prefer the speed of Sonic, the brute force of Big the Cat, or the flying foxiness of Tails, you'll find it all here. Sonic Heroes has, quite literally, something for everyone.

What you need to know

This content is sold by Nintendo of Europe GmbH. The payment will be made with Nintendo eShop funds usable through the Nintendo Account used to complete the purchase.

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Please make sure you have enough storage to complete the download.

After your payment has been processed, the content will be downloaded to the applicable system linked to your Nintendo Account, or your Nintendo Network ID in the case of Wii U or Nintendo 3DS family systems. This system must be updated to the latest system software and connected to the internet with automatic downloads enabled, and it must have enough storage to complete the download. Depending on the system/console/hardware model you own and your use of it, an additional storage device may be required to download software from Nintendo eShop. Please visit our Support section for more information.

Please make sure you have enough storage to complete the download.

The details of the offer are displayed based on the country settings of your Nintendo Account.

The Nintendo Account Agreement applies to the purchase of this content.

The use of an unauthorised device or software that enables technical modification of the Nintendo console or software may render this game unplayable.

This product contains technological protection measures.

Content not playable before the release date: {{releaseDate}} . For pre-orders, payments will be taken automatically starting from 7 days before the release date. If you pre-order less than 7 days before the release date, payment will be taken immediately upon purchase.

Categories

Adventure, Action

Multiplayer mode

Simultaneous

Players

1 - 2

Publisher

Sega

Developer

Sega

Age rating

TBD

Nintendo GameCube

System

Nintendo GameCube

Release date

06/02/2004

Age rating

TBD

Languages

English