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Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity


Leon K Fox
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It would probably be a good idea to mention that I myself have not played this game, but I purchased it at a market today for £12 on the Nintendo Wii so I own it but haven't played it and won't be able to until Saturday so therefore I have no opinion on this game as of yet.

Anyways, the title probably says it all here, what did people here think of this game? As a big fan of the original Sonic Riders (its storyline sucked, as did the Babylon Rouges, but I loved the gameplay of it) I always wanted to try Zero Gravity because of my love of the original but never did get around to it for some reason.

So yeah, what did you guys think of this game, better than the original, just as good as, or worse etc?

Lookin' forward to your responses.

Edited by Leon K Fox
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Hmm, you probably could have found out easier everyone's opinions if you searched the board and found the not-so-old Sonic Rider opinion topic.

Anyways, I loved the first Riders game. I was really excited when I got the second game, only to be let down in every single way. A completely terrible sequel, in my opinion. One of the few Sonic games I absolutely regret buying, along with Sonic Chronicles and Sonic Unleashed (ps3).

Edited by Legendary Emerald
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If you liked the first I'm sure you'll like the second ~ Speedfreak

Not neccesarily. Besides the concept of boards and racing, the two games are almost nothing alike. The first game is based on the Air System, and the second game is based on the vastly worse Gravity System. The first game is actually fun, and the second is a mess (imo).

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The first Rider's was great and was a blast to play, Zero Gravity though, much worse.

The fact that everything in the game revolves around the Gravity system(which the game could have easily done without), just makes everything a mess. The turning is so much stiffer to make using the Gravity Control relevant, and they removed the boost and slowed down the boards to make the Gravity Dive worth using. The slow and sluggish pace compared to the first game feels very disappointing.

The game is just littered with design flaws, like how the CPU is severely overpowered and literally breaks the game, (e.g being able to go far beyond the default speed limit, and can make the sharpest turns that are virtually impossible to do in the actual game. In fact, it makes one of the tracks, Snowy Kingdom, almost impossible to beat, no matter how good you are, because of how broken the CPU is), and the fact that they took away the trick system is simply unforgivable and pointless. And speaking of sluggish, since there's no boost, all the gears that specialize in speed are almost pointless to play as since you can rarely go at top speed due to their poor acceleration, and doing anything besides moving in a straight line, or going downhill automatically decreases your speed, even when you so much as try to turn, a fatal consequence due to the lack of drifting.

And what's more, is that while there are about 60 different gears to choose from, and while I like how characters are not restricted from using certain types of gears, most of them are overall pointless, and some are completely unplayable, and that is not an exaggeration. It makes you wonder if they even tested half of these boards.

But for what it's worth, the overall design, the level themes, the graphics, the board designs and their new types, and the story(besides the ending) are much better in this game. The only two things that this game did better than the first was the style and design, and the removal of the air gauge.

And for the record, if they ever make a 3rd Riders game, which I hope to God they do, I pray that they will stick to the mechanics of the first game and let the gameplay from ZG rot away for ever.

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I actually preferred it over the first game, even though it seemed to be a lot easier; I had fun even without multiple players. I can't say I ever noticed any extreme differences in gameplay from the first though; just that they watered it down a bit so it's less complicated to play (which I for one appreciated, since I could barely do anything right in the first game). The levels are also designed a lot better so it's generally more of a fun-ride rather than some kind of pitstop-infested maze .

Since you've got it for the Wii I'd definitely suggest having a Gamecube or Classic controller handy, though. Trying to play this game with the remote is nigh on impossible and you'll probably have a much better experience with a pad.

I would have liked it to have at least some form of proper online play, since I do think that without a good deal of people to play it with the game can get old fast; but besides that I didn't have many problems with it at all.

Edited by Tombi
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Like everyone else has said, the gameplay in the first one was better, fresh and original. I remember the first I played Riders 1. I was like wow, this is fun. Cause it felt so good to go off a ramp and perform tricks on your own.

Other than that, everything else in ZG is better. Design, graphics, music, and even sound effects.

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I thought the characters were pretty good in ZG. Without giving too much away, I particularly liked Tails and Knuckles' teamwork with Tails' smarts at figuring stuff out and Knuckles' knowledge of ancient script.

The gameplay can burn in hell though. The original was MUCH better for that.

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The first one was okay, but ZG was just awesomesauce. The twisted levels, the unique structure and design, the variety of the boards, the unique gravity mechanic- it was all a blast.

I didn't really see a need for a storyline in either though. I guess it's fair for explaining the context of putting Sonic on an board, but I think there are far better things they could have done with their time and money on such a game.

Edited by SuperStingray
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I hated that air bull crap in the first. If I wanted to go a certain way I couldn't because someones stupid air trail was in my way. It was unavoidable and I hated it.
Doing the command for a Tornado (both shoulder buttons as far as the Cube version goes) disengages you from the slipstream immediately, allowing you to move freely again. Now see, this is why people should pay attention to the manuals and tutorials. :rolleyes:

In all fairness, I thought the original was fantastic to the right audience (particularly if you had other people with you capable of playing), but the sequel is lacking, to say the least. The biggest draw of Riders 1 was its sheer competitive value - usually the kind that's reserved for traditional fighting games, and almost NEVER seen in racers. 0G, on the other hand, obviously took to heart the complaints of the original's difficulty and simplified it. So what do we have? A game oversimplified for a bunch of fans that didn't even care about the Riders series in the first place. How wonderfully redundant.

For what it's worth, though, the Gravity Dive is fucking awesome, though it's annoying that the move is only useful in certain areas of the track (and usually, you'll be lucky to find more than one in the same track). The alternate version of the Boss track is all kinds of cool too, once you get the hang of it. But other than that, Riders 1 is a far superior game overall and I'd strongly recommend that over 0G anyday as long as you're not averse to competitive difficulty.

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In all fairness, I thought the original was fantastic to the right audience (particularly if you had other people with you capable of playing), but the sequel is lacking, to say the least. The biggest draw of Riders 1 was its sheer competitive value - usually the kind that's reserved for traditional fighting games, and almost NEVER seen in racers. 0G, on the other hand, obviously took to heart the complaints of the original's difficulty and simplified it. So what do we have? A game oversimplified for a bunch of fans that didn't even care about the Riders series in the first place. How wonderfully redundant.
I didn't really feel that the sequel was less competitive. In fact, I felt it was far better in that regard. The competitiveness of the original relied on cheap mechanics like turbulence and pit stops to prevent players from spreading too far apart. The gravity effect made shortcuts more challenging and elusive as well as making the levels more spread out and dynamic (not to mention making timing a more important property in the "Gravity Dive" zones), creating a more competitive environment through the use of structured gameplay.
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I didn't really feel that the sequel was less competitive. In fact, I felt it was far better in that regard. The competitiveness of the original relied on cheap mechanics like turbulence and pit stops to prevent players from spreading too far apart.

If my guess is correct, more competitive players could manipulate the direction of the turbulence to let it veer into an obstacle or something with great timing to throw others off and slow them down.

But the pit stops were next to useless for anyone who's even slightly good at the game since your gaining more air than you are losing it. And it in no way keeps the players from spreading, the exact opposite actually.

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I didn't really feel that the sequel was less competitive. In fact, I felt it was far better in that regard. The competitiveness of the original relied on cheap mechanics like turbulence and pit stops to prevent players from spreading too far apart. The gravity effect made shortcuts more challenging and elusive as well as making the levels more spread out and dynamic (not to mention making timing a more important property in the "Gravity Dive" zones), creating a more competitive environment through the use of structured gameplay.
I'm really not in the mood to argue to be honest, but in addition to what Virgo brought up, the complete lack of any offensive abilities whatsoever in the sequel is unforgivable, and trying to replace the boost with, of all things, a fucking powerup, is one of the most hairbrained-stupid things I've ever seen in the franchise. The competitve depth of the original wasn't tied directly to the turpulence mechanics, even if they did prove a big part of it - the bigger part of the challenge was actually beating opponents down physically whilst trying to keep your own rings intact at the same time. THAT is what's missing in 0G - all you're really doing is trying to get to the finish line first, and while that doesn't exactly sound out of the ordinary for a racing game at first, it simply doesn't do the original any justice. Edited by Blacklightning
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I'm really not in the mood to argue to be honest, but in addition to what Virgo brought up, the complete lack of any offensive abilities whatsoever in the sequel is unforgivable, and trying to replace the boost with, of all things, a fucking powerup, is one of the most hairbrained-stupid things I've ever seen in the franchise. The competitve depth of the original wasn't tied directly to the turpulence mechanics, even if they did prove a big part of it - the bigger part of the challenge was actually beating opponents down physically whilst trying to keep your own rings intact at the same time. THAT is what's missing in 0G - all you're really doing is trying to get to the finish line first, and while that doesn't exactly sound out of the ordinary for a racing game at first, it simply doesn't do the original any justice.

What is also sad is that when Super Sonic picks up an attacking powerup, causes him to go slower. It makes him go from 180 to 150. Super Sonic in this game is poor enough, but this...

Sonic Team put very little effort into the gold hedgehog.

"Behold the power of the chaos emeralds." Not in this game.

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Since you've got it for the Wii I'd definitely suggest having a Gamecube or Classic controller handy, though. Trying to play this game with the remote is nigh on impossible and you'll probably have a much better experience with a pad.

I've actually heard that the controls with the Wiimote aren't that bad if you practice and know what you're doing (not sure whether they were refering to the horizontal or vertical Wiimote modes though) but even if they do suck I still have my old Gamecube controller ^^

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Oddly, the first time I played Zero Gravity I thought it was easier to control, but having revisited the games again a few months ago, I realized that the first Riders had a slightly more adaptable, racer-like control - not that that really says much, because both games are downright tedious to get used to. Only now have I realized that gravity turning is one of the series' ultimate measures of tedium, and I have to wonder to myself just how the flying fuck I managed to handle this game in the first place, as I find it hard to win races at all now.

Also, just when you thought Super Sonic couldn't have gotten any worse than he was in the first Riders, he got worse. Much, much worse. It's impossible to win with him in any race aside from perhaps one particular track.

Controls aside, I wish the game had a more Sonic-like feel to it. None of the racetracks stood out to me or were memorable - I guess it didn't help that the entire setting was an alternate change of pace from the default games, and it felt like Sega was trying way too hard with the "cool" image that Riders kept up. Nonetheless, Riders is a pretty fun romp, but its concept leaves a lot to be desired.

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Also, just when you thought Super Sonic couldn't have gotten any worse than he was in the first Riders, he got worse. Much, much worse. It's impossible to win with him in any race aside from perhaps one particular track.

You think Super Sonic is bad? Try beating ANY race with the MAG gear and then we'll talk. No GP, no abilities, shit stats, and even shittier Gear changes.

Truth be told I was able to get first in ONE track with the MAG gear after several reruns and insane luck. But it is pretty much, downright, absolutely, virtually, no way in hell possible to win in ANY track in the game with the MAG gear. Now that I think of it, either the people who made it were complete idiots, high on some chemicals, both, or put it in for the lulz.

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I think of Super Sonic to be more of a "trophy" than an actual racer in the Riders games. I mean, a reward shouldn't be worth less than the trouble you went through to get it. My theory is that they deliberately nerfed him after how broken he was in R but took it a step to far.

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My theory is that they deliberately nerfed him after how broken he was in R but took it a step to far.
Hmm, I dunno. To me it looked as though they were trying a riskier, potentially more rewarding route - Super Sonic has a fucking high top speed and we can't really deny that, but they attempted to balance that by making him run on rings instead of air (or gravity energy or whatever it was called in 0G). The only problems with that is the fact that there isn't usually enough rings in the level to stay active effectively (even less than that if you intend to use other moves that usually drain additional fuel), and that just staying Super takes up too many rings in the first place.

I reckon SS could have been viable if a few tweaks were made, like slower ring drain, maybe a perma ring magnet if he doesn't already have one, but I feel the point of him existing is a "professional" method of playing - he's MEANT to be hard to use, but is superior to most if you can handle it. Naturally, like a lot of the other Gears, they just didn't make it right. XD

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Okay, I finally got to play this game today, and honestly I have actually found myself playing the original again. I can;t stand how much slower it is, the trick system is basically gone, and even with the Gamecube controller turning is hell.

These are only initial impressions and I do hope the sequel grows on me eventually, but we'll see what happens.

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It's funny how they dumbed down the AI in Zero Gravity considerably (except in certain modes, where they become stupid hard yet again) and regurgitated most of the game's difficulty into actually controlling the goddamned thing.

I also didn't think the graphics were as good. The other computer opponents in the game looked like they were still images running along, like a slideshow. I didn't notice such a problem in the original, which had slightly more consistent graphics.

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