|Tails Adventure: Revenge Of The Swatbots|
Sega Studio USA
Warren Graff, Ken Pontac
Sonic The Hedgehog Series
Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, XBox
JP: November 13th 2005
USA: November 15th 2005EU: November 18th 2005
Platform, action-adventure, third person shooter
Single player, multiplayer, cooperative
PEGI: 7 OFLC: PGUSK: 12
GC Optical Disc DVD-ROM
"Step aside, Sonic! It's Tails turn to be a hero on the spotlight!"
Tails Adventure: Return Of The Swatbots is a 2005 third-person shooter video game developed by Sega Studios USA (the former American division of Sonic Team) and published by Sega for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation2 and XBox consoles. It was released on November 2005 in Western nations, while Asian releases followed a month later. The PlayStation2 version was then digitally re-released for the PlayStation3 via PlayStation Network in Asian countries in 2013.
Althogh it is a 3D platform game as with the more Sonic Adventure games, the game's levels each featured up to only one mission to complete. The game stars Miles "Tails" Prower and his quest to rescue the world, where an evil invasion race known as the Techno Union Armies(a.k.a. Swatbots) is invading the planet.
The game received mixed reviews; it has been criticized for the addition of weapons into Sonic gameplay, and other dark themes, since Sonic SatAM, although it was praised for its replay value.
After the events of Sonic Heroes, Tails had left Team Sonic to spend a long vacation in the big city. It was four weeks after the victorious battle against Metal Overlord, with Knuckles and Sonic, and Shadow has retained full memory.
The story begins with Tails standing on a hill next to a tree outside the city of Empire City. As Tails stares into the sunny and windy sunshine, a huge aerial battleship opens up in the sky over the city. Strange mechs and machines descend from the ships' hangars and begin to cause domination in the city. Tails stares in fear, about what will happen to the people, and when the bluebirds float behind him, Tails crouches in fear, then something just fired at them. After Tails opened his eyes, he unsuspectingly sees a Steyr AUG on his hand. Two more bots run for Tails to kill him, but quick as a flash, Tails noticed them and shot them. Tails is starting to get a hang of firearms and declared:
"Here we go again... caught in an adventure on my own. A couple years ago, I couldn't fend for myself. Even at my strongest, I needed rescuing, I've wanted to be accepted as more than just a kid. But that was then.. and THIS is NOW!"
Fueled with desire to seek revenge against the bots, his face broke into a big smirk, he grabbed his Steyr AUG, and sped off into Empire City.
Before The Last Way, Tails is confronted by Dr. Fukurokov after gathering all of the Chaos Emeralds. Fukurokov commands him to give up the Chaos Emeralds so that they can begin their ritual of destruction. Sonic, his buddies, and Dr. Eggman then arrive and tell Tails not to listen to Fukurokov. After it is revealed that Fukurokov wishes to harvest the Chaos Emeralds as an energy source, he takes the Emeralds from Tails and uses Chaos Control to warp the Swatbot mothership down to the surface of the planet.
Much to everyone's shock, while Eggman is in disbelief that Fukurokov betrayed this planet just for revenge and creating his army, Fukurokov paralyzes everyone with mind control machine. As the end seems near, Tails suddenly hears everyone (including his parents) crying for help and he breaks through the paralysis. Fukurokov flees, leaving behind Tails, the only hope for the planet.
Tails finally catches up with Fukurokov, and holds him at gunpoint with his Steyr AUG, but is suddenly attacked by mind-control. Fukurokov tells him that can control him as they have the same power running through their veins. Tails refuses to believe it as the scene switches to the ARK, where Vector The Crocodile, Espio The Chameleon, and Charmy Bee race to hack data disks that they found in the game. The room seems identical to the one Tails' father's first video is activated. They finally get inside, and Charmy activates a video showing Tails' father, Amadeus. He refers to Tails as his son, while Tails refers to Arthur as his dad, and tells him that he is the only hope for the planet. It is revealed that the only way to defeat Fukurokov is to destroy the mothership, using the Eclipse Cannon, a powerful weapon built into the ARK. Tails knew his father knows so much about the Space Colony ARK, which is built by Gerald Robotnik, where Shadow was created 50 years ago. As the video ends, Tails' mother, Rosemary, steps into the frame and gives Tails inspiration he needs to break through Fukurokov's control. Fukurokov escapes and prompts Tails to use the Chaos Emeralds to become Super Tails and fight the bird leader. Fukurokov (now inside his ginormous mech) fights Tails and is defeated.
Tails teleported himself into the mothership, and is very happy that his friends are all right. Tails and Sonic hug each other very tightly, followed by Cream. Amy and Rouge each gave him a kiss on his cheeks. Finally, Shadow and Knuckles gave him fistbumps. Tails gave them a warm smile, although he threw a contemptuous glare at Eggman, but Eggman just smirked with a shrug, turning away. Tails then teleported his friends back to Empire City, which is all back to normal. Tails uses his super-powerful Chaos Control to warp the mothership back into space and warped himself into the ARK's central command room, where Vector, Espio, and Charmy are happy to see him. Tails smiled as well. Vector asked Tails to teleport him and his buddies back to Empire City, saying they'll miss pizza, which is why Charmy is excited for it, but as Vector is about to yell at him, Espio just pushed him away, remaining confidently calm and saying that they'll wait for a little while stating that patience is a virtue. Tails then warped the detectives back to Empire City. Tails made his way to the Eclipse Cannon to tear the mother ship apart with a blast. Everyone below Earth cheers in joy as the Battle Bird threat is destroyed forever. In one final scene on board the ARK, Tails looks at a picture of him and his parents before tucking it his pocket, making his way to the ARK's hangar to get on board his space fighter, flying back home to Empire City, gazing at the stars with a smile.
For some missions, Tails teams up with various allies from the series, some new and old. Potential allies for Tails include Amy Rose, Charmy Bee, Cream The Rabbit, Dr. Eggman, Espio The Chameleon, Knuckles The Echidna, Rouge The Bat, Shadow and Sonic The Hedgehogs and Vector The Crocodile. The allies act as combat support and guidance and give help to Tails should he need it. In all versions of the game, a second player can connect a 2nd controller and play as another character in a co-op mode.
Ally Special Attacks
For the most part the allies can do what Tails can do, except things that deal with weapons and vehicles. When an ally is played as in co-op mode the second player can run, jump, and attack with their character. Some allies have different attacks compared to the other allies. Allies with special attacks are listed below.
- Sonic - Can perform a homing attack, all other allies can do the Jump Dash, but it won't home in on the enemy. He can also punch like the other characters. Sonic's Homing Attack unlike most can even aim towards targets outside the usual range/angles, such as working on targets right above him or right below.
- Shadow - Can use a Chaos Spear for his attack.
- Knuckles - He punches but it is slightly different than the other allies' punches.
- Rouge - Kicks instead of punching the enemy.
- Vector - Bites the enemy with his jaws.
- Espio - Kicks and chops enemies.
- Amy - Hammer Attack
- Omega - Attacks with his arms, but different than the others' punches.
- Tails' mother - She can only jump one foot off the ground and can't jump dash, other than that acts like the others.
When the player is played automatically by the computer, they will act differently compared to the others. If it is a playable ally, then they will attack any nearby enemy if Tails gets within range. Some allies will use their attacks and others will jump to attack the enemy. Allies will always attack Battle Bird Armada soldiers.
- Sonic - Will jump or use the Homing Attack
- Knuckles - Will jump to attack
- Rouge - Will jump or use her attack
- Espio - Will jump to attack
- Omega - Wii jump to attack
- Shadow - Will use his Chaos Spear
- Amy - Will use her Hammer Attack
- Rouge - Will use her Screw Kick
- Vector - Will use his bite to attack
- Tails' mom - Will punch to attack
During the story, the Techno Union is the only faction that is present in these missions and will all try to attack him regardless of Team Sonic he sides with in a mission. The armies include red laser blasting weapon wielding robots, flamethrowing mechs, and destroying them earns points to use Chaos Control. Also, when Tails shoots a Swatbot with the said weapon it will fill up the bar that is affiliated with GUN soldiers (GUN always fill up the Chaos Control meter.)
Tails' abilities in this game are similar to those in Tails Adventure. He can Jump Dash/Homing Attack, as well as Spin Dash, Light Dash and slide to attack while running, and can perform a punch-punch-kick combo. He also has the ability to use weapons, and drive vehicles that he finds or commandeers. Tails also keeps his ability to wall run. He is able to use Thunder Shoot, from Sonic Heroes, but only when you complete The Last Way and turn into Super Tails.
Tails can use a variety of weapons found throughout each stage. Ranging from pistols and machine guns to close combat weapons, Gatling guns, bazookas, and even laser rifles. Weapons are commonly found in boxes and dropped onto the ground. When a weapon is first picked up, Tails receives some initial of ammunition for that weapon; more ammunition can be gathered by picking up more copies of that weapon. Only one weapon can be held at a time, and when Tails runs out of ammunition for this weapon, he will toss it aside and it disappears. Even melee weapons such as swords have ammunition points, which may represent their durability.
Six special weapons can be unlocked in Story Mode. The first five are each unlocked by completing the first missions of the game (and their ammo can be increased by completing the missions).
Tails can use only one Chaos Power, based on how the player makes his act towards enemies. Destroying the Battle Birds, healing wounded GUN troops and civilians and putting out fires gives points and fills up Tails' Chaos Control gauge. Also, there is a circular shape that is hidden in some levels. This instantly fills up the player's gauge, blue for Chaos Control.
When Tails' Chaos Control gauge is full, Tails becomes invincible, gets unlimited ammunition, and can activate Chaos Control which fast forwards towards the stage (or slows down time in boss battles) until the gauge is empty.
Interestingly, while both sides are often seen exchanging shots with one another, they will rarely ever hit each other. This is because the developers wanted all the enemy deaths to be a result of the player's actions. The player cannot simply wait out a fire fight until enemies are weakened, but must do the work themselves.
The story mode of Tails Adventure: Battle Of The Swatbots has broken into stages, with cutscenes in-between. The first stage of the game in story mode is always Station Square. After that, however, the next stage played is determined by a mission which was completed in the previous stage. For example, if the first mission is completed in Station Square, the next stage will always be Digital Database. There is a door in each stage, which requires only one key to unlock. There are bonuses such as weapons, vehicles, and shortcuts behind the door.
- Station Square(Starting)
- Digital Database
- Haunted Castle
- Cocoa Island
- Central City
- Space Colony ARK
- GUN Fortress - Battle Falcon as Boss
- Aerial Fleet
- Battle Mothership - Battle Dealer as Boss
- Mystic Canyon
- Prison Island
- Sky Troops
- Iron Jungle
- Hot Shelter - Battle Wyvern as Boss
- Lethal Highway
- Circus Park
- Death Ruins
- Lost Countryside
- Cosmic Fall - Battle Cerberus as Boss
- Mad Matrix
- Space Gadget
- Final Assault - Battle Emperor as Boss
This game uses the traditional A through E ranking also featured in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle and Sonic Heroes. A certain minimum total score is required to earn each ranking, with A being the most points, and E the ranking earned when less than the required number of points for a D are earned. The number of points required for each ranking varies between stages.
There is only one type of points earned during the level and the way the total score is calculated depend on a mission that is completed. Normal points are earned by collecting rings and items. Points are earned by destroying Swatbots, healing wounded GUN soldiers and civilians, and putting out fires.
By earning an A rank for all stages, "Expert Mode" - a challenging version of all stages is unlocked, similar to "Super Hard Mode" in Sonic Heroes.
Rank A: "Yeah, that was great!"
Rank B: "Just too easy!"
Rank C: "Not too bad, I guess."
Rank D: "I should've tried better."
Rank E: "This is too close."
This is the first game in the series to feature the 4Kids Entertainment voice actors.
Miles "Tails" Prower: Amy Palant
Sonic The Hedgehog: Jason Griffith
Shadow The Hedgehog: Eric Stuart
Dr. Fukurokov: Sean Schemmel
Dr. Eggman/Amadeus Prower: Mike Pollock
Amy Rose: Lisa Ortiz
Knuckles The Echidna: Jay Snider
Rouge The Bat:Kathleen Delaney
GUN Soldiers: Andrew Ranells
President: Maddie Blaustein
Secretary: Bella Hudson
Vector The Crocodile: Carter Cathcart
Espio The Chameleon/GUN Commander: David Willis
Charmy Bee: Amy Birnbaum
Rosemary Prower/Cream The Rabbit :Rebecca Honig
Cheese/Additional Chao: Ryo Hirohashi
Following the death of Deem Bristow, the voice of Dr, Eggman since Sonic Adventure, Sega decided to hire the 4Kids voice who were cast for Sonic X for the Sonic The Hedgehog games as well, with their debut featured in Tails Adventure: Battle Of The Swatbots. This move was poorly was received by fans, with criticing the 4Kids actors as either trying to inmate their predecessors too much, or being unsuitable for their roles. Despite protests by fans, as well as long running campaign by former Sonic actor Ryan Drummond to return to the role, the 4Kids voice actors were kept up until Sonic Free Riders in 2010 where the cast was replaced once more except for Mike Pollock, the voice of Doctor Eggman.
The vocal tracks were released on an album in February 2006, entitled Lost and Found: Tails Adventure Vocal Trax. They are:
- "His Journey" by Avril Lavigne (Intro song and main theme)
- "Believe In Myself" by Bryce Dallas Howard (Final boss theme)
- "Into The Wind" by Crush 40 (Lethal Highway theme)
- "Watch Me Fly" by Crush 40 (End credits theme)
Tails Adventure: Battle Of The Swatbots was released in 2005 in North America on November 15, in Europe on November 18, and in Japan on November 20. It received mixed reviews from critics upon its release; the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions are respectively rated 51%, 45%, and 49% on Metacritic and 53%, 45% and 52% on GameRankings. By May 17th, 2006, the game's worldwide sales total exceeded 1,000,000. The game was later released as a part of two budget lines-Greatest Hits from PlayStation 2 (this represents sales of at least 400,000), and Player's Choice for the GameCube (250,000).
Much criticism stemmed from the unwelcome sense of maturity and, in particular, in addition, the addition of guns. Game Informer staff writer Matt Helgeson said that "not that is this new 'adult' interpretation of Sonic painfully dumb, it's also ill-advised and almost feels like a betrayal to longtime fans. Eurogamer staff writer Tom Bramwell felt that "the game's other selling point - its darker edge - [is] not really meant for us." G4 sX-Play and GameSpy staff writer Patrick Klepek thought similarly. In contrast, staff writer Steve Thomason rated the game 8.0 out of 10, stating that "this darker take on the Sonic universe succeeds for the most part, giving the series a bit of an edge without going overboard on violence." However, in the last issue of Nintendo Power, Thomason would go on to say that giving it this rating was his worst mistake while working on the magazine and described the game as an "abomination."
The game's controls were criticized, especially because Tails' homing attack caused unexpected enemy deaths. Game Informer's Matt Helgeson complained that the attack "frequently sends you careening off into nothingness, resulting in cheap death after cheap death." Nintendo Power, X-Play, Eurogamer, Official Xbox Magazine, and GameSpy agreed. Other complaints focused on the mechanics of weapons and vehicles. Greg Mueller of GameSpot felt that the guns were nearly useless because of a lack of an aiming ability. IGN staff writer Matt Casamassina, 1UP.com staff writer Greg Sewart, Game Informer, X-Play, GameSpy, and London's The Times also criticized the mechanics of Tails' weapons and vehicles, and other aspects of the game's controls. However, Nintendo Power claimed that "blasting Tails' foes with the wide variety of weapons at his disposal is just plain fun."
The many possible paths through the game caused reviewers to praise the game's replay value. Rating the game 8.3 out of 10, GameTrailers stating that "any style gives the game replay value that many platformers lack." The Melbourne, Australia, publication Herald Sun and Official Xbox Magazine thought similarly. Nintendo Power agreed, although criticizing the difficulty of the missions that require the player to locate objects. GameSpot praised the game's variety of levels and its music. Despite of the overall mixed to negative reception, Tails Adventure: Battle Of The Swatbots was voted the best game of 2006 in the Official Jetix Magazine Reader Awards.