IGN Playtests Sonic Heroes

IGN Playtests Sonic Heroes

IGN has reviewed Sonic Heroes at TGS 2003. From IGN:

Sonic and heroes made their Sonic Heroes debut in Japan earlier today as the Tokyo Game Show kicked off just outside of Tokyo. Sonic Team’s latest take on the Sonic franchise was first shown at this year’s E3 through a demo of a single level that showed off the game’s cooperative play mechanics. The Tokyo Game Show version of the game featured the same level and its team of Sonic, Tails and Knuckles, but also had another level featuring Shadow, Rouge and E-102.

We first tried out Sonic, Tails and Knuckles level and were very much impressed. The level moves fast, has lots of sections to show off the series’ trademark blazing speed, and offers up good chances to make use of each character’s abilities. We honestly can’t think of a single complaint about this level, aside from a few times where controlling the characters can become difficult. Camerawork, in particular, seems to be superb, with the occasional difficulties from E3 having apparently been cleared up. If the entire game ends up being like this level, we’ll be in Sonic heaven later this year.

The other level was a different story. We’re pretty sure it was just early, but the level had lots of camera problems and control issues. We kept on falling to our deaths in this level, sometimes because we made stupid mistakes but more often because the rough camera work and twitchy controls got in the way. Despite some cool sequences in this level, there’s definitely room for improvement, and we hope Sonic Team can polish this level and all other levels to the same state as featured in the first level.

Sega has Sonic Heroes on display at the Tokyo Game Show running on the Xbox, PS2 and GameCube. Control-wise, we didn’t notice much of a difference between the versions. Looking strictly at graphics, though, the PS2 version is lagging way behind the Xbox and GameCube versions right now. The PS2 version of Sonic Heroes has poor image quality, slowdown and occasional collision breakdowns, all of which seem to be missing from the Xbox and GameCube versions of the demo. Once again, we hope Sonic Team is able to clean up the PS2 version so that all three versions sparkle at time of release.

A stateside release date for Sonic Heroes is penciled in for some time in November with a Japanese release to follow in December. Stay tuned for further progress reports on what could be Sonic’s return to the lime-light in his all-new multi-platform clothing.

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