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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: January 8, 2008
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written by: Noel Del Pilar

In 2006, Sega decided to give a new edge to Sonic by making a racing game using hover boards. The game got mixed opinions has some find the use of hover boards quite dumb when they could just make a sonic racing game on foot like Sonic R, while others had problems with the controls and the concept of restoring air to your hover board. Still, the game did sell fairly well and was overall a good game, so Sega decides to bring a brand new sequel that eliminates the need of using air. But do the new changes make it better or worst? Read on and find out.

Tails shows Sonic and Knuckles a special blue bracelet he found that has the ability to control gravity, then robots start chasing them desperate to get this blue bracelet and when Sonic is about to fall in one moment, the bracelet activates making sonic float and not fall to the ground. And so now Sonic, Tails and Knuckles go in search for the rest of bracelets before Eggman does and along the way they encounter Amy and Team Babylon who were the new characters in the first Sonic Riders. The story is not something really impressive but they do their best to relax after each race with several nice cut-scenes.

Sonic Riders Zero Gravity brings back most of the gameplay of the previous Sonic Riders except this time with control changes and a different way to make specific things like tricks. The most notable change is the ability to control gravity that lets you freeze in the air when there is a long turn and quickly move the character to the correct path of the turn. This ability also lets you reach hidden paths to take around the course. And itís all thanks to the new bracelets that give sonic and company this power and the reason why itís called zero gravity. Another change is that in the last game you had to pick up air in a station or make tricks to gain air or else you will have to go walking in the course which was considered quite troublesome. Now, there is no need to charge air; instead you charge a boost meter that you must have in order to control gravity with the bracelet as mentioned before and a special turbo that sends the character flying very fast in the course until there is no more boost in the meter.

Doing tricks now is easier but perhaps a little too easy. This time around when you are close to a ramp to jump is all about timing by pressing the button it requests moments at the end of the ramp and depending on your timing, the trick is performed nicely or just average. And that really disappoints because the way it was before in the previous game was good in which yes you had to press with timing but after you jump, you performed the trick by moving the control stick by just the way how you want the trick to be. Yet the worst thing has to be that when you are not using a boost or anything, the racing feels a bit slow, not as fast like the previous title. Even tough when you master all the gameís techniques it will run pretty nicely.

Another new addition is that when you collect rings you upgrade your hover board or vehicle. In the previous game you could use each characterís special ability at any time in which the speed characters could grind on rails, the power characters could punch all obstacles in their way and the flying characters could go and fly by first going to the ramp that will let you start flying and then you had to go through special dash rings to continue flying or else you might fall outside the course. These special abilities remain in this sequel, however this time around you need to obligatory collect a certain amount of rings to get the second upgrade to your vehicle that enables the use of that special ability. Which again slows down the gameplay and it really disappoints that they changed another thing that was good on the previous title and then basically ruin it in the sequel when it should be opposite, fix what is really broken.

On the Wii there are three control options to use. You can use the Wii remote sideways, vertical form or simply the Gamecube controller. When holding the control sideways (default controls), you tilt the control to the left or right and twist a bit the control to the front to start running and maintain fast speed. This controls are not quite the best at first to manage, but after quite a few tries you will master it little by little until it becomes no problem. Unfortunately, some people donít wait to master them and think itís possible to control it well, but I suggest you have patience until you finally get use to it.

Zero Gravity brings back the great multiplayer of up to 4 players. However, it turns to be a bit more difficult because the screen gets smaller and this racing game has many details that you need to watch clearly but is still a great racing game to play with some friends and hang out. And there is also online playÖ or sort of. Why is not an exciting feature? Because the online consists of beating other peopleís ghosts, in other words you have to beat the course the fastest you can and beat the ghost which is the record of someone elseís fastest time in a course. So, itís not that you are racing live online is just basically beating someoneís else record like Mario & Sonic at the Olympic games except that you can see a ghost of how that person finished the course in that time.

In the end, this sequel fails to take the Sonic Riders to the next level by fixing what was bad in the first game but ruining what was good in it. Is not worst neither better then the original is just about the same amount of fun. Despite itís errors, Sonic Riders Zero Gravity is still a nice fun racing game for the Wii that fans of the first one should check it out and those that didnít like the first one could still rent this game and see if maybe they like it more now with the new changes but is not recommended and instant buy because the new changes are definitely not for everyone.


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