Sonic Rivals 2 Review
I have never been able to figure out what the obsession is with making racing games with our blue wonder. Sure Sonic is super fast but, with a few exceptions, none of those other hanger-on's that are his friends and enemies should even be able to match up with him. What the heck is a doofus little chameleon, a plodding lizard, doing having a freaking foot race with Sonic the Hedgehog? This is an unhealthy fetish that hasn't really produced a single really good game.
There are two main ways to play this game; story mode or racing mode. Race mode is a fair amount of fun, consisting of you picking one of the eight playable characters and racing through the variety of levels.
Story mode doesn't fare quite as well and that is unfortunate. Let's get one thing out of the way first; I don't care about the storyline. This has never been a strong point of the Sonic games so we are just going to move past that. These are games about speed. You will pick one of four teams to proceed through story mode with, two teams of four. Most players will recognize Sonic and Tails as a guaranteed team but it is interesting to see Shadow and Metal Sonic rearing their little heads as a team. However the problem here is the progression that story mode takes.
The first type of race you will come across is against a computer-controlled nemesis. You and your opponent will be sprinting across the race track and racing to reach the end of it first. What makes this mode so interesting is exactly how fast you can go, the sense of speed is really intense and harkens back to the original games. While the basic premise is fun the truth of the matter is a bit more frustrating due to the focus on combat between you and your rival in these sections.
When you near your opponent you can knock them down with a press of the circle button, letting you get past them or you can leap into the air and dash into them to the same effect. In addition there are pick-ups you can find around the stages that give you items to attack your opponent with or to help get you through the stage. By collecting rings, the staple of Sonic games, you can power up to perform a super move that varies by character. Unfortunately these aren't very well balanced. Sonic has super speed, of course, but Tails has the ability to fly, something that is useless except in a few situations. Silver has the ability to completely mess up your race with one use of his power while Knuckles is only effective at close range. There is a serious imbalance here that makes it frustrating to go up against the other rivals.
After the race you will have to fight the other opponent in a one-on-one fight that is incredibly dull and boring. The first person to get hit twice loses essentially. Another competitive race comes up and then there is a boss battle. These are obnoxious as well since they are essentially like a boss fight in any other Sonic game except you and your rival are fighting each other to be the first to hit the boss the required number of times. While it sounds interesting it is frustrating as all heck to be trying to hit the boss only for your rival to use your head as a springboard, slowing you down and then they wipe out the boss. It's obnoxious to have to fight a rival and a boss at the same time.