Electronic Theatre Preview: Sonic Rivals

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Electronic Theatre Image          Sonic Rivals is coming for your PSP soon and what a beauty its turning-out to be. Harking back to the good old days of its side-scrolling predecessors, the game still has Sonic dashing for Rings, looping, ricocheting and smashing into enemies; but now nicely updated for the PSP with some added extras to keep the format alive.

Electronic Theatre Image            The basic premise for Sonic Rivals is that it pits you against another character in a simple race to the finish, building-up points via Rings and destroying enemies. The demo on display only had one available Level with the opponent being Sonic’s old nemesis Shadow. Some of the new features on show included an Attack Punch to disable your opponent if their racing just ahead of you, an extra Boost when you approach a log which Sonic grabs and can dash a short distance or propel him sky-wards towards higher ledges. Also included in Sonic’s new arsenal is a power-up ability when certain items are picked-up enabling a Fire Punch to help destroy any nasties in your way.

            It plays fairly smoothly, having use of either the PSP’s D-Pad or Analogue controls, although the D-Pad feels more natural at the moment, easily enabling the hectic movement across the screen with no apparent Slow-Down or jerkiness which is crucial for Sonic games to keep their rhythm. Based on 3D architecture, but plays as a 2D title, all the characters are nicely rendered, and the Level design allows movement around cliffs, Electronic Theatre Imagecorners and to-and-away from the player, but with a good percentage of the Level viewed straight-on whilst still containing plenty of depth and detail retained throughout.

            Sonic Rivals looks like its going to contain all the elements needed to bring the franchise onto the PSP and is going to be worth keeping an eye on for fans, along with Sonic Rush for the NintendoDS and versions for the Xbox360 and upcoming PlayStation3 and Wii machines, its going to be hard to keep away from the blue-spiky-one over the next year.





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