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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: SEGA
Developed by: Sonic Team
Genre: Racing Action
Players: 1-4
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: TBA 2007
Screenshots: Link
Written By: Matthew Prunty

When Sonic Riders first debuted on last generation consoles, Sega primary focus was to bring the world of Sonic to gamers in the form of a multiplayer racing game. Though different fro previous Sonic titles, players couldn’t help but see one too many similarities to previous racing titles like Mario Kart and other problematic areas like Sonic needing an air board to race around a track. In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, the sequel to Sega’s 2006 racer, Sega and the Sonic Team are concentrating on several key aspects, primarily gameplay and gravity.

Within the world of Zero Gravity, Sonic has discovered a strange and unique artifact that has the powers to alter gravity. Jet the Hawk, who made is appearance within the first title, learns of this new artifact and sets out to claim it for himself. Because of these actions, a war begins to brew over the acquiring of said artifact. Players play out this epic struggle via a set of new equipment, known as Extreme Gear. This gear ranges from futuristic hoverboards, bikes, and other vehicles. Not only expanding on the vehicles, Sega is looking to expand on pretty much every aspect that was incorporated into the first title, which includes the roster of playable characters and the aesthetic and functionality of the various vehicles.

One of the new stages gamers will be able to race on is known as Botanical Kingdom. Within this immersive level, gamers will be able to experience various pathways, booster pads, and numerous chains of rings; all to a pulsing techno soundtrack, coupled with an overwhelming sense of motion blur. The collectable rings within Zero Gravity allow players to shift gears and increase their character’s speed, which adds to the competitive nature of the game. Another stage within Zero Gravity is Crimson Crater, which has an indoor setting. Within this level, like many other levels, players can used the strengths of their characters to access hidden routes, to get the upper-hand.

A nice staple of Sonic Rider’s was the inclusion of entertaining and over-the-top tricks via the air boards. Well players will be happy to know that these tricks have returned, being re-defined to take the name Zero Gravity to a whole new level. While the gameplay and its mechanics are being re-worked and refined, Sega has decided to remove Turbulence, which allowed players to ride another character’s wake, in order to pick up more speed. While this was a nifty feature, Sega has replaced it with something better. The new gravity-based mechanic can be used to take special tricks to new heights, and even rocket past opponents in a slingshot motion.

As of right now, Sega still has some time on their hands to get this title polished and ready for another exciting venture on the Playstation 2 console and the highly successful Nintendo Wii. Sega also has a few other issues to address within the game like overly-used motion blur, the boomerang effect of the A.I., which often say players loose huge leads, only to keep the game competitive. In regards to the Nintendo Wii, Sega has yet to reveal how the game will utilize the Wii-mote, but judging from Sonic and the Secret Ring, we already know how to control Sonic and his crew.


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Gaming Evolution
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