Review of Sonic Rivals 2 for PSP

Everybody’s super sonic racing, gotta keep your feet right on the ground!

Story: Eggman is up to the usual summoning of evil god-powered creatures from non-existant mythology, this time with a giant flaming pheonix. Meanwhile, Sonic and his friends all team up in groups of two for no particular reason while challenging each other to pointless races. Typical Sonic plot.

Sound: The theme song for this game is disgustingly redundant, and that’s the tip of the iceberg. No tracks are memorable, which is a sin for a Sonic game. On the other hand, there is a LOT of voice acting in this game which can be either a pro or a con depending on your opinion of the voice actors. Sound: 5.5/10

Presentation: The original Nintendo DS Lite’s Sonic Rush graphics makes these visuals look like a kindergartener’s first attempt at using a crayon. Worse yet, the courses and plot are identical for all eight characters’ playthroughs of the game’s story, with minimal variation in dialogue. Presentation: 4/10

Gameplay: The game, on the surface, resembles a good copy of classic Sonic the Hedgehog. When actually playing it, the two games share almost no resemblance. Sonic Rivals 2 consists of endless rival races, silly battle challenges, impossible AI and wonky physics. Oddly enough, when these are all added up it CAN be fun, it just isn’t most of the time. The rival races would be enjoyable, if the AI weren’t completely perfect at the course and allowed you a mess up or two. And when you’re not racing rivals from hell, you’re fighting them. It’s weird and equally as one-sided as the races, just in an unfitting brawl format. All of this is complicated even further by some pretty freaky physics, which don’t feel like those of any other Sonic game in existence. Then, all four of these things collide in what are the most frustrating boss battles to ever tarnish Sonic’s history. There are a few really fun courses that work well in the game, but these problems plague the majority of the levels. Gameplay: 4.5/10

Multiplayer: It’s alright, especially since this game is all about racing. The download play is cool, and this is probably the best feature of Sonic Rivals 2. Multiplayer: 7/10

Length: Since all eight story mode campaigns are identical, you’re really only going to get one fun waltz through story mode. Free play mode is nice, but after doing the courses eight playthroughs over you’re not likely to revisit anything. Multiplayer is honestly the only feature that might ever make you come back to this game after the initial run through. Length: 6/10

Overall: Sonic Rivals 2 gets a well-deserved 5.4/10. It’s not the amazing handheld adventure that Rush was, and it’s definitely no classic Sonic remake. It’s on its own little island of Sonic history, an island that should be forgotten by all but serious true blue fans.

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