Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sonic Rivals (PSP) Review

This how the rest of the week will pan out. Today I'll be posting a classic review for Sonic Rivals in anticipation for tomorrow's guest review of Sonic Rivals 2. Then Friday we have another brand new review but by yours truly. It'll be The Conduit for Wii. My plan for this month is to devote the majority of new reviews to classic games. A retro month, if you will! For now, let's race on over to a very old review of Sonic Rivals! While the game's average, this review certainly is below that!

Can we get rid of the racing next time?

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Sonic Rivals is the PSP's first full-fledged Sonic adventure, and it brings with it a lot of good but a lot of bad simultaneously. The game features four characters to jet as, Sonic, of course, Knuckles, Shadow, and the newcomer, Silver with one character being unlockable. The story is essentially that Eggman is up to no good, and rather than team up to take him down... let's race each other to see who can beat him first! ...Wait, what? Regardless of the story's angle, as soon as you pick your starting racer you're launched into the game's first zone in attempt to beat your rival to the finish. Using moves from previous games such as the spin dash and homing attack to new ways of taking out your opponent like various items including a freezing type pick-up to a star that lets you speed through the races faster. It's important to note that these "races" are not made of laps. In fact, if you threw out the racing element you'd think you were playing a game almost worthy of the 2-D Sonics. However, the racing aspect forces you to compete against a computer who knows how to effectively use items, take you out from nowhere, and catch up as if you were walking to the finish instead of rocketing towards it. I'd much rather be playing a 2-D platformer version of this game than simply a "let's push right the entire time which is sometimes halted by the annoying AI" racing game.

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What is this-- a footrace? Speed it up!

Boss battles consist of taking out one of Eggman's nefarious robotic creations. Each boss battle requires you to hit Eggman a set number of times before your rival does. So... just because I hit Eggman six times and his bot's beginning to smoke mean that my rival would have to hit him seven times to win still? My rival must be hitting Eggman pretty weak for it not to explode already. Nonetheless, that's my only quip with bosses.

A cool addition to this game is the use of cards. No, they aren't used in-game like a Baten Kaitos or a Yu-Gi-Oh!-- they're collected after completing tasks such as winning a race, beating a specific time, collecting a set number of rings, and other goals. There are 150 to collect, and these bring a heck of a lot of replay value to Sonic Rivals. It's just that some might not want to wade through all the racing to do so. Extra modes include cups which are essentially useless as they don't unlock anything or do anything specifically for the player.

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Eggman can go lay eggs. It's roller coaster time.

Nonetheless, Sonic's PSP adventure is neither great nor horrible. It's just there. While I can say anything is better than the 360 and PS3 adventures, this game is still nothing special. I'd really prefer something other than racing against a sometimes cheap AI and would rather explore some of the levels more thoroughly in a platform-only setting. Maybe next time, Sonic.

[SuperPhillip Says: 5.0/10] - Average.

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