With the help of Dr. Eggman Robotnik, the evil Dremagen has trapped different characters from the SEGA universe in her negative dimension. You must build a team of SEGA heroes to defeat Dremagen and her evil clones. On paper SEGA Heroes should be a slam dunk, but it's just another run of the mill, free-to-play battle RPG. What makes it interesting is all the different SEGA characters you can battle and unlock.
The biggest problem with SEGA Heroes is that it requires a lot of grinding. The level of difficulty drastically jumps after the first two zones making it impossible to advance through the game. This is a common problem with a lot of freemium games where developers try to make you to pay for upgrades out of frustration. This forces you to replay completed levels to earn XP. This is a very common tactic in RPGs, but in SEGA Heroes it takes a lot of grinding to upgrade your heroes 1 level. This would be fine if your other motivation, to unlock more heroes, also didn't take so much grinding.
To unlock most heroes you have to collect "shards" by completing certain levels. You need around 25 shards to unlock the most basic characters. This means you will have to play the same level over 25 times just to unlock 1 character (If I understand the system correctly. It is confusing.). You can of course purchase hero packs to unlock certain heroes, and a few are available in the Variety Shop for in-game currency. I've played the game nonstop for a few days and have only unlocked 2 characters.
The grinding wouldn't be such a huge issue if the game didn't implement an energy system for battles. You have to spend energy to enter a battle, and you can only earn energy by waiting for timers or by spending diamonds. This makes SEGA Heroes one of those "put your phone down" games where you spend more time playing something else while you wait for your energy to replenish. It also doesn't help that the game is a battery suck. Another reason you'll have to put your phone down unless you're connected to a charger. On the upside, there are a lot of reasons to replay levels. You can attempt to earn a 3-star rating, and you'll want to collect shards to unlock heroes and upgrade your special moves.
Like I said earlier, SEGA heroes is saved by its heroes. You begin the game with Ax Battler and Amy Rose from Golden Ax and Sonic the Hedgehog. You can then unlock additional characters from other SEGA titles, such as Jet Set Radio, Phantasy Star, Double Dragon and more. Dremagen has also cloned the SEGA universe. This at least allows you to see some of your favorite characters in battle, in case you never get to unlock them. It's a lot of fun watching the different characters interact with each other in the cut scenes, and you'll see some familiar enemies, such as Badniks from Sonic.
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The overall story and concept of SEGA Heroes is great, but it suffers from too many freemium pitfalls to reach its full potential. The rewards are just too few and far for it to be worth any time.
SEGA Heroes is available for free on the App Store.