plays more or less just like it did back in the day (but not quite as fast), with one major exception. You control an entire team of characters, three in all. Your first decision is to choose from one of the four teams: Team Sonic (Sonic, Knuckles, Tails), Team Dark (Shadow, E-123 Omega, Rouge), Team Chaotix (Espio, Vector, Charmy Bee) or Team Rose (Amy, Big, Cream). Plus, even though he looks more or less the same, Dr. Robotnik is now called Dr. Eggman (which may have happened before Sonic Heroes
, but I guess I've been out of the Sonic loop lately).
Each member of the team you choose from has his/her/its own special abilities, and using these abilities at the right time not only can come in handy, but is often necessary to get past a certain point or objective. The three members of your team are specialized in Speed, Power, and Flight. There are times, for example, that the only way to jump a gap is to move as quickly as possible. At other times, finesse is out the window, and you'll need to use sheer power to break through barriers. Then there are times when the only way to reach the next platform is to fly there.
Each formation also allows for its own special attacks. While some attacks are certainly more powerful than others, forcing your way through enemies isn't always an option. Sometimes enemies will be of the flying variety, so you'll need to take control of your characters in Flight formation just to be able to reach the enemies to knock them out, then finishing your business in either Power or Speed formation. Despite the fact that my initial reaction was that this is more of a gimmick than a gameplay option, using different formations in this way certainly adds a nice twist to the game. In fact, it also allows for multiple paths to be taken in each level, which also adds a bit to the replay value of Sonic Heroes for those who like to cover every square inch of ground.
Along with the Story mode, which is the heart of Sonic Heroes, also offered is a Challenge mode. The Challenge mode is a great way for you to improve your speed to clear each of the levels you've already passed, or to go back and find any goodies you may have missed. In addition, you can also play Sonic Heroes in 2-player mode. Here you take on a buddy in an effort to see who can gain the highest score, depending on the mission objectives set forth for each stage. Only one multiplayer objective is available from the start, so in order to unlock the other six, you'll have to collect Emblems in Story mode (another incentive to add replay value to the game).