Sonic Rivals - PSP - Preview
E3 2006 First Look Preview
This generation, Sonic the Hedgehog will be more prolific than ever. With three brand-new, console-specific titles on their way, Sonic could soon become the series with the most sequels and spin-offs.
On Nintendo Wii, gamers have Sonic Wild Fire to look forward to. The next-gen spiritual successor to Sonic Adventure will be appearing on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Last year, Sonic Rush hit the DS with astonishing results. And soon he will dash into PSPs everywhere in his first side-scrolling racing adventure: Sonic Rivals.
Polygonal environments, two-player competitions, levels that are based on speed, not scavenger hunts – these are the things that made Sonic a hit in the first place (except for the polygon stages, which has been a more recent evolution).
Rivals is fast, exciting to watch, and looks to be very addictive. Sonic and company charged through each stage, leading to cool background changes that are best described as a 2.5D effect. The gameplay is strictly side-scrolling, but the stages three-dimensional. Together they make an interesting pair, adding a new level of eye candy to the classic Sonic gameplay formula.
But don’t think with all this talk of “classic” gameplay that Sonic Rivals is a rehash. Remember, this is a racing game first and foremost. You don’t drive cars, karts, or motorcycles – you race to the end of the level on foot. Sonic’s running shoes should come in handy during close battles, but it’s the shortcuts that’ll help most hedgehogs prevail.
Shadow the Hedgehog, Knuckles the Echidna, and Dr. Eggman (formerly known as Dr. Robotnik in the United States) are the only two confirmed “rivals.” If there are other characters in the game, Sega is currently keeping them a secret. They have also yet to announce how many of these rivals will be playable.
Each character is said to have their own level path, which makes sense when you look at Sega’s other recent racing game, Sonic Riders. In Riders, every character was given a special gameplay type that allowed them to traverse exclusive areas of each stage.
Expect to encounter a lot of twists and turns, as well as some of the most entertaining environments designed for a Sonic title. The game is scheduled to hit stores sometime this fall – look for myself and other gamers to line up to play it as soon as it does.