Review by RedEcks
"I didn't think Sonic Team had it in em'."
Sonic the Hedgehog is all about speed. So you'd think a racing game featuring Sega's blue mascot would be no problem. However, after many failed attempts from Sonic Drift, to Sonic Riders, to the horrifying Kart Racing in Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Team has finally brought us all a racing game that may even give Mario Kart and F-Zero a run for their money.
Well, first off you have the story. In an actual full scale adventure, this could make or break the game. But for something like this, the story is basically filled with light hearted humor that's quite suiting for what it is. Basically, Eggman has set up a World Grand Prix tournament using "Extreme Gear," or shortly put, air boards. The entry fee is a Chaos Emerald, in a winner-take-all final race. However, three descendants of an ancient race of thieves known as the Babylon Rogues, and Extreme Gear specialists have entered the tournament. What connections to this ancient race do Jet, Storm, and Wave have? Will Sonic step up with his reputation as "The Fastest" on the line? And just what are Eggman's true motives behind this tournament? Well, I sure as hell am not telling you.
They're basically your standard Gamecube, XBox, or PS2 graphics. With the XBox 360 around, everyone's standards have raised, but by no means are they bad. If you've played Sonic Heroes or Shadow the Hedgehog, you'll know what to expect with this. Some character models however, look particularly uglier than ever. Tails being a good example of this. But you can really only notice it in the cutscenes of story mode. When you're actually racing, you can't tell the difference. The stages however, are well done with some nice effects.
This isn't a simple racing game that you can pick up and start winning within five minutes. There's really a lot to the controls, and it does have quite a learning curve. But once you get the hang of it, what you have is quite possibly the best racing game you'll ever play. By no means are the computer players pushovers. Especially in story mode. In fact, in order to beat certain levels, one mess up could cost you the race, which will get frustrating. But the controls are comfortable, and even though it lacks any wide array of weapons, it makes up for that in other aspects, such as grinding, flight, power, riding other racers turbulence, and collecting rings to build up your special attacks.
Replay Value: 10/10
The story mode is quite short, but with loads of unlockables, this game will keep you busy for a while. You'll start out with five tracks and seven characters for multi-player mode, but you'll finish with fourteen tracks and seventeen characters. The rings you collect from each race are saved up, and you can spend them to buy more boards and vehicles. Such will allow Power characters to grind, or speed characters to fly. And you can even buy mopeds for your character in place of the boards.
Mission mode will also keep you busy after story mode as well. For mission mode, you're basically given certain objectives, like flying through a certain number of rings, or picking up items within' a certain time limit. You're then given a bronze, silver, or gold medal based on your performance. These could get tricky.
It has quite a few mutli-player modes, like standard race, Grand Prix, a Chaos Emerald chase, and even a free roaming battle mode. This I'd say without a doubt has the best multi-player of any Sonic game ever made. It is sure to impress.
Whether you're a fan of Sonic, racing games, or want a game that will keep you and your friends busy, this is a keeper.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/24/06
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