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October 22, 2003
Sonic Heroes - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
6/2/2004AtariSega/Sonic Team1$99.95

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Sonic, Tails and Knuckles...
How many of you were around when the MegaDrive was released, and Sonic The Hedgehog first crashed onto the scene? Probably not too many seeing Sonic first came out way back in 1990. So keen was I to play the game that I actually paid over $120 to get it from an importer two days after it came out in Japan. It was worth ever single cent. Believe it or not since that day over a decade ago there have been almost 90 Sonic games accross all platforms including consoles, handhelds and PC, but few of them have come close to the original in terms of anticipation and awe. This game is probably the most anticipated since Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast in December 1998.

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Gotta love the beach.
The anticipation for Sonic Heroes is fairly high for several reasons. Firstly it's the first time Sega's mascot will be released on a Sony console. Secondly, the developers are developing the title for simultaneous multiple platform launch and finally the game requires you to make use of each characters unique abilities to progress.

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Tails assists the others here.
Sonic and his friends have evolved, adopting a configuration feature that lets gamers control three playable characters simultaneously, using Sonic’s speed, Knuckles’ power, and Tails’ ability to fly, to conquer massive worlds. This team-based gameplay marks the next evolution in Sonic’s gaming career, taking platform gaming to a completely new level. Using the three formations and the powerful moves that each team member has, Sonic and his friends combine forces to battle the ultimate evil!

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Texturing is quite impressive.
The development team of Sonic Heroes, the legendary Sonic Team, allows you to play as one of four teams for a total of 12 playable characters - Team Sonic, Team Dark, Team Rose, or Team Chaotix - each with their own unique signature moves and story line. Each team boasts multiple specialized stages with unique missions and CG movies driving each “team” story forward. You will also be able to experiment with team formations to learn the best way to defeat enemies, solve puzzles, and navigate massive environments

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Check out the massive levels.
Reports from E3 were that the Playstation 2 game wasn't quite as polised has the Gamecube or XBox versions of Sonic Heroes and that the frame rate was struggling to keep up the pace. Given that the Playstation 2 architecture is so much more complicated this is understandable, and with 6 months development time since E3 this game should look pretty sweet by the mid-December release. This game will hopefully bring back the glory days of Sega's blue mascot and in doing so should help resurrect Sega as a company who have had some disappionting sales figures worldwide despite terrfic games such as Rez, Virtua Fighter 4, NFL 2K3, NBA 2K3 and Headhunter on PS2 in recent years.

Sonic Heroes will hit Australian shores only a couple of weeks after Japan and America with a release date of early February now locked in.