- November 28, 2006 00:00 AM PT
Sonic's 15 years old and he just keeps going, and going, and going...
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Where is Tails? Where is everyone for that matter? In Sega's Sonic Rivals, Dr. Eggman has trapped Sonic's friends in cards, and it's up to Sonic to free them from Eggman's clutches (seriously). That is, if he can beat out his competition to reach the doctor first.
Here Comes Another Challenger!
PROTIP: Each race you win or objective you complete unlocks tradeable cards and can result in new outfits, skins and images.
In Sonic Rivals, the majority of the game is race to the finish between Sonic, Knuckles, Shadow, Silver or Metal Sonic. In single player mode, you have the option to play in story, challenge or cup circuit contests. Story mode changes depending on what character you're racing as, and involves two stages of plain racing followed by a boss battle. The story also changes slightly depending on which character you're racing as.
Challenge mode presents you with various objectives to complete on each track with three levels of difficulty. Cup Circuit involves pre-selected sets of courses in which you race your rival in a best-of competition.
In addition to the new game modes, the game has seen the expected upgrades in terms of graphics and sound. Graphically, the game has leapt ahead on the PSP with sharp, detailed and colorful graphics. The background music is energetic and the monosyllabic voice acting keeps the competitive atmosphere and characters fresh.
Out of My Way
PROTIP: When you come to a boost, you will have a split-second to push X or O to send you in the right direction.
While the game has seen anticipated upgrades in terms of graphics and sound, the heart of the game is essentially the same as past Sonic games: go fast. The objective of the game is simple, but in order to actually win this flat-out race to the end, you need to take every opportunity you are given. Those opportunities present themselves as chances to rebound off your opponent or "jostle" them, which is a nice way of saying beating down your rival and shoving them into a face-plant in the middle of the track. There are also a myriad of special attacks and power-ups that can be grabbed as your tear through the race course. Each special involves an offensive or defense effect that depends on whether you are in first or second place.
PROTIP: Each character also has a signature move that has a unique effect, such as Sonic's unstoppable burst of speed or Silver's ESP that scrambles the screen of your competitor.