Sonic Rivals 2 First Look

We meet with Sega to check out a one-level demo of Sonic the Hedgehog's next racing game.

Earlier this week, during a visit to Sega's San Francisco office, we were treated to a sneak peek at a one-level demo of Sonic Rivals 2. Currently scheduled for release on the PSP toward the end of this year, Sonic Rivals 2 is a racing game in which the titular spiky-haired mammal and seven of his friends and enemies face off against each other in head-to-head speed challenges through environments filled with gold rings, power-ups, and plenty of obstacles to overcome. There's purportedly a story-driven mode in there somewhere, but Sega isn't saying too much about it just yet, save for the fact that it'll support all eight of the game's playable characters.

A couple of the playable characters are also being kept under wraps for the moment, but we can tell that the roster will definitely include Sonic, Tails, Shadow, Knuckles, Silver, and Metal Sonic. The basic controls for all of the characters will be the same, though each of them will be able to perform a unique signature move after collecting enough of the aforementioned rings. Pretty much the only other controls that you'll need to concern yourself with as you speed through environments like the Sunset Forest Zone, which we were shown, are a jump button, an attack button, and a power-up button. There are a handful of other, context-sensitive controls that you'll need from time to time, and instructions for these appear on the screen anytime you're going to use them. Examples from the Sunset Forest Zone level include hitting X to launch yourself from a cannon, alternately hitting X and O to scale walls, and pressing either X or O to move between a series of pads that the racers are drawn to like magnets.

The only characters who were playable in the early version of the game that we were shown were Sonic, Tails, and Shadow. We had an opportunity to see all three of them in action at one time or another and, having seen their various special moves, we reckon you'll each have one or two favorites based on your play style. Sonic's signature move is a huge speed boost that, if you use it to catch up with your opponent, ends with a powerful attack. Tails can fly to evade hazards or take different routes, and Shadow can send a nearby opponent into slow-motion for a short time. In addition to the signature moves and standard attacks, Sonic Rivals 2 will feature a number of power-ups that can be used to gain an advantage over your opponent. Only two had been implemented in the demo version that we saw: Mines that you drop behind you to slow down your rival and make them drop their rings; and magnets that circle around you, pulling in nearby coins.

Fans of traditional Sonic the Hedgehog games will find plenty that's familiar in Rivals 2.

Based on our time checking out the Sunset Forest Zone environment, you'll find plenty that's familiar in Sonic Rivals 2 if you've played either its predecessor or pretty much any game with Sonic in it. There are gates that speed you up as you pass through them, there are loop-the-loops that you can only negotiate if you're traveling fast enough, there are pinball-style bumpers that shoot you around, and, well...you get the idea. Perhaps the most pleasing thing about the Sunset Forest Zone, and presumably the rest of the environments as well, is that it doesn't punish you too severely for mistiming jumps and the like. The environment design is such that staying at the top of the level appears to be one of the quickest routes through it, but anytime you miss a jump you simply fall down onto another route and keep going. Even in the brief time that we spent with Sonic Rivals 2 on this occasion, we saw several completely different routes through the same environment.

Although the goal of each race is, of course, to be the first across the line, you'll be awarded a score at the end based on how many rings you collected, your time, how many boosts you hit, and how many times you successfully attacked your opponent. We're not entirely sure how relevant the resulting overall score is going to be in the finished game, but at the very least you'll be able to brag about your performances after competing in the obligatory ad-hoc multiplayer races. We're told that races won't be the only events featured in Sonic Rivals 2, incidentally, but Sega isn't talking about any of the other gameplay modes it's planning to include just yet. We look forward to bringing you more information on Sonic Rivals 2 as soon as it becomes available.

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58 comments
COG_Sev
COG_Sev

I don't see what the problems are with 3D Sonic games, so I'll probably love it. I love ALL Sonic games

seth_sss
seth_sss

wow... quite the "meeting of the minds" here! who has time to complain about a game that isn't even out? i will give it a shot and then decide.

Rogeraldo
Rogeraldo

Waiting for it, sonic Rivals was not the best game, but it was pretty good, what i want from sega it is classic sonic game but on that engine

supersonic60107
supersonic60107

this game looks pretty cool, but i wish they would make it a full 3D game, i mean come on, whats up?!?!?

psp100thNOOB
psp100thNOOB

i think it's kinda hard with all the 3D stuff. unlike the 2D. There are so many things or area to discover, i think.

Feedback15
Feedback15

And have you seen the trailer? I don't think it lacks speed at all!

Feedback15
Feedback15

Finally another real Sonic Game, back to the primary 2D

flarelord64
flarelord64

in the pictures it showed espio the camelion as a character in the game maybey that was one of the characters that they are not showing?

pspfb
pspfb

c i told u it sucks

FloppyDrive
FloppyDrive

I like the 2d that it has. But I think it lacks the speed that the sonic games are known for. I think if sega was able to make the gameplay faster we' would have a great game on our hands here.

littlestreakier
littlestreakier

this game doesn't look appealing to me at all. i love sonic games but for some reason...this just kindda looks dumb

pspfb
pspfb

it looks like it sucks

syncroshadow
syncroshadow

eh rather not. also i m not a fan of the psp

ninjasam
ninjasam

the first one stunk, but this one doesn't look as bad. I loved sonic adventure 2 battle, as some levels were more mild, but then sometimes they went heavy on the action. Racing shadow, urban snowboarding was kind cheesy but fun and just the overall sense of speed which hopefully the sonic franchise can stay true to. But not by forcing you to accelerate like on the Wii.

blazethehedghog
blazethehedghog

yeah sonic cd was the best sonic... no the best game on the face of the planet! they should make a sonic 2 and sonic cd remake.

RazorBat
RazorBat

Whereis the Sonic CD remake. That one was fun.

gary_safc
gary_safc

sonic rush adventure will be better then this crap.

beastmr2
beastmr2

WOW! this game is going to friggin suck, whats a psp owner to do when we want some sonic goodness when the give us this crap while nintendo ds owners are getting a sonic rpg from bioware.....BIOWARE!!!, come on wheres the psp love?

gary_safc
gary_safc

I'm sorry Sega and Sony this game looks total rubbish just like the first sonic rival's game just watched the 1st gameplay video and almost fell asleep i'm not joking why dont you just remake the old classics with same gameplay but updated graphic's its pointless making this game its crap ..

shatgan2222
shatgan2222

Who knows, this game might be better than the last 3d games...

curua02
curua02

"Works in 3D" is one thing. Better in 3D? No. Still I'm always willing to give Sonic Team a shot.

Franzkill
Franzkill

You guys who say the usual rubbish like 'Sonic should just go back to 2D' either need to jump on the Nitendo bandwagon (seing as their philosophy is to keep doing the same gameplay over and over) or play the Sonic Adventure games back on the Dreamcast. Proof alone that Sonic works in 3D.

xlang
xlang

sonic rivals was fun, but i can't stand looking at 3d **** sonic, i mean, he loox good in some 3d but him in 3d on the psp looks like **** he's running in 3d, i mean, why can't they do some type of high definition sprite or something

dryden555
dryden555

3d sonic was a failed idea after several attempts -- not sure about this one

6love6metal6
6love6metal6

i think sega should stop making all these crap Sonic games.....stick to the old 2D Mega Drve, fast moving action

zeus_gb
zeus_gb

I wish Sega would just go back to the 2D Sega Mega Drive/Genesis days, they were awesome!

Franzkill
Franzkill

Looks to me like more of the same which isn't neccesarily bad but like I would like an Adventure type Sonic game on the PSP. Anyone with me on this?

SSJ_Tenx
SSJ_Tenx

Also a lot of people have been talking about how much the games have sucked in the past...5-8 years, but I think that the Sonic Adventure games were great (haven't played the ps3 one yet) and SatSR was really refreshing to play. Personally i think Sonic heroes was crap. I don't think the game have been so bad, there may have been a bad apple or two (shadow spin off/sonic riders) but with all the next gen systems out i think the games are only going to get better, but I think they should expand the character list and include the characters from the comics instead of making up new ones ( though i do like Silver). I think it would be awesome to play as the Freedom Fighters.

SSJ_Tenx
SSJ_Tenx

Funny how people are saying this isn't a real sonic game....how is it so different than others? the ONLY difference in it is that you racing a CPU. And the point of the game is to go from A to B...just like the other games! omg thats sooo different! I agree with STARS Sonic Rivals is such a great game that captures the entire element of Sonic in the game, speed. and i know for a fact that this game is going to be just as good, if not better.

Duffman_X86
Duffman_X86

first one was ok. Hopefully this is better

Mad_simon_000
Mad_simon_000

look ok. but it just looks like the frist one

enraged-killer
enraged-killer

looks ok i guess so far all the sonic games were borrowing hopefully this game can bring it back.

STARS_Splinter
STARS_Splinter

Am I the only one who absolutely loved Sonic Rivals? I've had some of the finest multiplayer experiences on that title- every race i've had has been tense, and the game really captured the speed and style that made Sonic fun in the first place.

KBABZ
KBABZ

They have a chance to improve it, so I'll give this one an extra chance to be better than the first one (annoying traps, anyone?).

RunningMansKid
RunningMansKid

sorry, but the 1st one sucked and this one will too just give us a regular sonic, not a stupid racing game! sooo im not getting this either

ImSwordMan
ImSwordMan

Sonic was in his prime between 1991-1994, now it just makes me sad to see sonic in so many awful titles, im glad he still has sonic rush, and hopefully rush adventure will also be good, stop making esque 3D sonic games please...

Willy105
Willy105

Yay! New PSP games! That's rare.

Jordan Bisasky
Jordan Bisasky

Wow I love when Gamespot and other publications write previews to garbage games and try to make up good things about it. - "We had an opportunity to see all three of them in action at one time or another and, having seen their various special moves, we reckon you'll each have one or two favorites based on your play style." - "Even in the brief time that we spent with Sonic Rivals 2 on this occasion, we saw several completely different routes through the same environment." - I was really surprised they didn't say the textures looked good or the lighting effects were well done. Those seem to be dead giveaways.

Lord_Alan
Lord_Alan

"I hated the first Rivals, I won't buy this one. Sonic sucks now anyway, biggest load of crap and any fans who enjoy it now are fools" Try Sonic Rush- it's fantastic! "yawn how about a real sonic game" My sentiments exactly.

Spaction3
Spaction3

I hated the first Rivals, I won't buy this one. Sonic sucks now anyway, biggest load of crap and any fans who enjoy it now are fools

willripyouanew1
willripyouanew1

Part one got a 6.something score, I didnt think they'd make a part 2, guess just some good old franchise milking.

lukey9493
lukey9493

has potencial but if saga rushes it like most other sonic games lately it could suck

m0986-8
m0986-8

cool... cant wait to play it