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  • Sonic Riders

     Created: by Dreadknux
     Edited: by Dreadknux

    Stats

    Platforms:

    • PlayStation 2
    • Nintendo Gamecube
    • Xbox
    • PC

    Developer:

    Sonic Team

    Publisher:

    SEGA

    Genre:

    Racing

    Release Dates:

    • 21 Feb 2006 [US]
    • 23 Feb 2006 [JP]
    • 17 Mar 2006 [EU]

    REVIEWS

    Sonic Stadium Score
    ( Read TSS Review )

    Sonic Community Score
    ( 0 reviews )

    Sonic gets back to what he does best - racing, in Sonic Riders. Only this time the blue blur's on a hoverboard, taking part in Eggman's EX World Grand Prix. Having spotted a gang called the Babylon Rogues steal a Chaos Emerald, Sonic gives chase but eventually loses them. He has big beef with Jet, the green Hawk leader of the Rogues.

    A few days later, he decides to take part in Eggman's race when he learns that the band of thieves are also lined up for the Grand Prix. The entry fee is a Chaos Emerald, with the winners taking all seven as top prize. But what else has the rotund dictator have in mind? It's all hands to the boards as Sonic Riders promises an extensive return to the Sonic racing we all loved back in the Saturn days with Sonic R.

    Characters

    Sonic Riders, being a spinoff racing game, includes as many characters as possible, including three secret racers from various SEGA games, and a new trio called the Babylon Rogues. These act as rivals to Team Sonic, much in the same way as Eggman, Rouge and Shadow did in Sonic Adventure 2.

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    Sonic the Hedgehog

    Sonic loves a bit of adventure, he does. When traipsing about Metal City, he discovers a Chaos Emerald with Tails and Knuckles. It soon gets stolen from Jet and his Babylon Rogues, and in giving chase they escape from the fastest thing alive. Eggman suddenly announces a racing tournament, the prize being Chaos Emeralds and the racers being Sonic's new rivals. It becomes a pride thing again for our fat-headed hedgehog as he joins up.

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    Miles 'Tails' Prower

    A technical genius despite his age, Tails finds the technology of the hoverboards and the history of the Babylonians most interesting. Tinkering with the Extreme Gear like the mecha-freak he is, he vows to find the secret of these airbourne racing vehicles. His confidence is riled when Wave decides to 'diss' him. Fo' real, homez.

    riders-info-char-knuckles.gif

    Knuckles the Echidna

    Yeah, he looks happy there, but in the game he's nothing but the same miserable Knuckles. Maybe he doesn't like spending time away from the Master Emerald. He has beef with Storm and in his hot-headed manner would love to knacker him up. He finds the Extreme Gears interesting but would rather not hear about theories from Tails all day!

    riders-info-char-jet.gif

    Jet the Hawk

    Sonic's bitter rival on the race track. The leader of the Babylon Rogues, Jet doesn't really take much interest in things unless there's profit involved. Holding an ancient tradition of the race of thieves (Babylonians), Jet's Extreme Gear skills exceeded any of his predecessors, giving him the title of "legendary wind master". He owns a mysterious box that seems to have attracted the attention of legendary fatboy Eggman...

    riders-info-char-wave.gif

    Wave the Swallow

    Wave's ancestors were great mechanics, so it makes no surprise this flighty bird has skills in engineering. She frequently repairs the pirate ship of the Rogues, while modifying and improving her team's Extreme Gears to enhance their performance. Despite not being the leader, Wave sometimes has to step in when there are instances of apathy on Jet's part.

    riders-info-char-storm.gif

    Storm the Albatross

    Storm may have an expression as blank as a certain purple cat, but there's strength behind that huge exterior. Serving as Jet's right-hand... bird, he comes from a Babylonian ancestry of sky pirates. As mild-mannered as Knuckles in the best of times, Storm's been waiting for the chance to knock the red head's block off after he clocked him in the Metal City chase.

    riders-info-char-eggman.gif

    Dr. Eggman

    The ever-extravagant Eggman takes to the races, complete with 'Classic British Racing' scarf flapping in the breeze. You just gotta love this guy's style. Holding the EX World Grand Prix, he learns about the secrets of the Babylonian's home and as a deterrent to Sonic (and to obtain Jet's treasure) enlists the help of the Rogues.

    Characters that make an appearance without much of a motive (they just love to race, bless 'em) are as follows: Amy, who joins simply because Sonic is on the tournament (blatantly); Shadow, because there must be some sort of emo-angst tool somewhere that may vaguely lead him to his past; CreamRouge and E-10000G and E-10000R who are generic racing robots that just sit there looking blank.

    Gameplay Basics

    Air

    riders-info-basics1.jpg

    In Sonic Riders, there is no accelerate button. You go at a constant speed based on momentum. Air is your fuel for this. Just for racing you lose a small amount of air. Charging jumps, cornering and virtually doing anything else will use more air than necessary. You can replenish your air by either hitting a Pit Stop (which wastes time), landing tricks effectively, riding someone's turbulence or rotating the analogue stick at "event points" - parts of the track where you have no control.

    riders-info-basics2.jpg

    Turbulence

    When you go over 180km/h, you leave a trail of 'turbulence', which is essentially a half-pipe of high-speed air. Riders lagging behind can use this to ride on without consuming any air, and can even trick off of the turbulence to replenish air and get a speed boost.

    riders-info-basics3.gif

    Levels

    As with any Sonic game, there are rings on the level you can pick up. You start at Level 1, but when you collect 30 and 60 rings you reach Level 2 and 3 respectively. The higher your level, the bigger your air meter and the stronger your attacks. Note that falling into a pit or being attacked by an opponent will lose all your rings and take you back to Level 1. Rings you end up with at the end of each race are saved into a bank to purchase items in the Shop.

    Extreme Gear

    This is the collective term for the vehicles you can ride in Sonic Riders. The standard Gears work very much like hoverboards, and as such the traction is pretty poor, meaning corners are going to be difficult unless you can corner effectively. You can purchase more Gears in the Shop and you can also earn more by completing missions and story modes.

    Each Gear has a statistic rating in cornering, speed, power and 'limit' to help you decide what to ride on in each race. Some gears have special abilities to offer to the rider, while some aren't even hoverboards at all - Shadow's hovershoes, Eggman's wee motorbike, magic carpets and even broomsticks are up for grabs.

    Tricks

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    Tricks are necessary to gain speed boosts and also to replenish your air during a race. The most obvious place to perform tricks are off of designated ramps, that are clearly marked. Pressing buttons in conjunction with directions on the analogue stick will perform tricks in the air, and the more you do and the more advanced the trick, the higher your ranking.

    Tricks have to be landed properly (by not performing any more tricks in good time) otherwise you'll fudge it up and get the lowest trick rank (C). There are various points in each course that you can trick off of too, that aren't clearly marked as a trick ramp. The 'Zones' Section makes note of these. There are a total of 54 different types of tricks.

    Moves

    There are some basic moves to Sonic Riders, that are applicable to every character you play as. As this game has a steep learning curve, it's almost crucial in later stages to master these techniques.

    Accelerating

    About the best piece of advice to give to players regarding control is the subject of acceleration. Holding up on the analogue stick does nothing. It doesn't speed your character up, as there is no accelerate button. Get into the habit of not holding up to go forward and you'll find it easier to input front and back flips, for example.

    riders-info-move-boost.jpg

    Boost

    The boost button activates a short speed burst and will also automatically attack an opponent you catch up with. This uses a large chunk of air, so use sparingly. The higher your level the more powerful your attack and the larger your air meter (meaning more boosts).

    Jump

    Jumping is executed slightly differently to past Sonic games. Press X or A to jump, or hold the button down will charge a jump. If you're holding the jump button down, releasing it will make you jump. Holding the button down slows you down drastically and uses up more air, but this has its uses in performing special tricks.

    Front and Back Flips

    The front and back flips are one of the key techniques necessary to success that many players cannot grasp easily. You need fair timing to pull these off, indeed. As you're coming to a trick ramp, hold down the jump button. Then, as you're riding up the ramp, push either UP or DOWN on the analogue stick just as you let go of the jump button. The analogue command has to be input at the same time as you release the jump button, that's most important.

    Your character will shout something like "Yee-hah" or whatever as they're tricking to let you know you've done it. Front flips make you fly further forward reaching distant shortcuts, while back flips give you much more height for shortcuts high in the air. Performing and landing tricks from a front or back flip is necessary if you want an 'X' trick rating too.

    Cornering

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    riders-info-move-corner2.jpg

    riders-info-move-corner3.jpg

    riders-info-move-corner4.jpg

    riders-info-move-corner5.jpg

    Use the triggers to turn a sharp corner. This requires a lot of practice, because the traction of your Extreme Gear does not make for a particularly clean corner if you turn too late. The best way to do this is to take the corner a little wide, then hit the trigger as you approach the U-turn.

    You can move the analogue stick left and right to balance your turn effectively. Holding down the trigger for longer will enable a sharper turn, so stabbing the triggers will do little for a U-bend. Cornering uses more air than normal, but if you hold down the trigger for a sufficient amount of time you will earn a speed boost when you release it.

    Tornados

    You can lay a tornado behind you to screw up opponents chasing you by pressing both L(1) and R(1) triggers. This uses air and slows you down to a crawl, so just about the best chance to use this is when you're certain an opponent is riding your turbulence behind you.

    Skill Types

    Depending on what character you choose, they will either be a 'Speed', 'Fly' or a 'Power' type, much like Sonic Heroes. Your chosen skill type will then be able to use certain skill points laid out on each course. Using these will replenish your air and can lead to shortcuts.

    riders-info-move-speed.jpg

    Speed Type

    There are grinding rails on each track, the starting point signified with a blue light. Jump in the air and then press the Jump button again in mid-air as you're about to hit the rail to grind along it. You can link more rail grinds together by using the same command to jump from one rail to another. Connected rails are symbolised with a red and blue light.

    Fly Type

    Perhaps one of the hardest skills to pull off, but the most rewarding. There are speed rings levitating in the air, usually located just after a jump. Use the left analogue stick to fly through these gates. To do this, you constantly flick the analogue stick DOWNWARDS to keep going up. Flick in moderation (ooh, missus), as you could miss gates ahead if you fly too high. Tails wants to fly high, but not that high.

    riders-info-move-power.jpg

    Power Type

    Power characters can simply smash through obstacles littering the track, be they cars, ruins or robots. The more you destroy, the more air you replenish.

    Note that some hidden characters can have more than one skill type, making for faster lap times. Also, some vehicles and Extreme Gear you purchase in the Shop will enable characters to equip an additional skill type in each race.

    Game Modes

    Sonic Riders contains more modes than meets the eye. It's fully set up for a great multiplayer experience while offering some challenging 1-Player modes:

    Normal Race: You can attempt a 'Free Race' which allows you to play any unlocked track with any unlocked character on any unlocked Extreme Gear. Funnily enough you'll play this more often than you think. For lap time freaks, there is a 'Time Attack' option to record best attempts and Ghost Data. You can also play one of two five-course 'World Grand Prixs' in a battle for points. The Grand Prix can be played as a 1-Player or with 2 Players, but the difficulty is higher than that in Story Mode.

    Story Mode: A 1-Player only mode, this takes you through the whole setting for Sonic Riders. You start with the Hero Story, where Team Sonic chase the Babylon Rogues, but upon completion you can attempt the Babylon Story which explains a lot of things unmentioned in the Hero side.

    Mission Mode: A huge 1P option with 80 missions to complete. There are five missions to each course in the game, ranging from grinding challenges to time attacks. Storm's Mission contains tasks for the Hero tracks, while Wave's Mission hosts missions for the Babylon levels.

    Tag Mode: Four players take part in this mode (if you're short of players, CPU characters fill the numbers). As the screen is split four ways, the top two players are one team and the bottom two players are another. The two teams race against each other for great victory. There is only one air meter between each team however, so both players share each other's air during boosts, tricks and cornering. It makes for a good slagging match when your mate decides to boost for ten minutes while leaving you no air at all to even get started.

    Survival Mode: There are two games in this mode. 'Race Stage' has four players racing for a Chaos Emerald laid somewhere on the course. The person holding the Emerald needs to pass five gates to win the game, but holding the gem will use up twice as much air for anything you do. 'Battle Stage' contains three special duel courses where players can pick up items to help them beat each other up. Your boost button is used as your attack, but your air is used up much quicker in this mode. (Space Theater is cheap ~ Dread).

    Shop: The little Chao dude from Sonic Adventure 2's Black Market returns for great glory! You earn rings during each race and you can use these to purchase more Extreme Gears and other special items.

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