|Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity|
Single player, Multiplayer
Wii: Wii Optical Disc
DualShock 2, Gamecube controller, Wii Remote
Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (ソニックライダーズ シューティングスターストーリー Sonikku Raidāzu Shūtingu Sutā Sutōrī?, lit. Sonic Riders Shooting Star Story) (abbreviated SR0G or SRZG) is a hoverboard-racing video game for the Wii and PlayStation 2. Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity is the predcessor to Sonic Riders and the prequel to Sonic Free Riders. The game was published by Sega Corp. and developed by Sonic Team in cooperation with CRIWare.
Sonic discovers a legend regarding an artifact known as the "Ark of the Cosmos", an item that can take matter and use it to control gravity. However, the Babylon Rogues, Sonic's well-known rivals, are also after the legendary artifact. This sets off a war over who gets the artifact, now leading them to settle their dispute by having an Extreme Gear competition.
The story begins when shooting stars crash into the planet. One crashes into the Crimson Tower and rolls into the back of a MeteorTech robot. It activates, along with others and goes on a rampage.
The next day, Team Heroes are on their way to Megalo Station in Monopole when they hear about the news on the radio. Tails gives Sonic a meteor which he thinks might be from the events last night. Sonic puts it around his wrist. Soon, they are attacked by the robots, who seem to have recognized the meteor Sonic is holding and barely escape with their lives. While Tails and Knuckles use their respective flying and gliding abilities to save themselves, Sonic almost falls to his death from the summit of a 300-storey building, but fortunately, the Ark of the Cosmos was able to save him. All three manage to escape from the city afterwards.
Team Heroes then meets up with Amy, who says she was being pursued by the robots as well. As she hugs Sonic, she drops an Ark of the Cosmos. Tails suddenly realizes that the robots are after the meteorites. They decide to go to MeteorTech to solve this mystery.
The team then arrives at MeteorTech and is greeted by the Babylon Rogues. Jet tries to force Amy to hand over the Ark but she remains clueless as to what Jet is talking about. An alarm then sounds alerting the robots. Sonic and friends take off, leaving the Rogues in pursuit. Sonic and Jet unknowingly crash into Eggman in the main computer room of MeteorTech. When revealing himself, Sonic and Knuckles threaten Eggman and discover that he owns MeteorTech. When he sees Sonic's Ark of the Cosmos, Eggman reveals that his Mother Computer hasn't been responding ever since he gave it an Ark, which is why the robots are going out of control. He also says that the robot leader contains an ark. Jet remembers what he was there for, but realizes that Amy and Storm are missing. Eggman's computer shows that Storm is chasing Amy, but they are being followed by the MeteorTech robot's leader.
Sonic, Tails and Knuckles leave and find Amy at Aquatic Capital. She informs them that the robot self-destructed and Storm ran off with something that was previously inside the robot. She then says that Storm was going on about something he found in a place called "Giga" or something along those lines. Knuckles then confirms it to be the Gigan Rocks, a famous ruin among treasure hunters. The team arrives at the rocks and find the treasure gone. When Knuckles reads an ancient script, they find that Babylon Garden is a spaceship powered by the Arks of the Cosmos and that a great darkness attacked it. Eggman (in the Eggmobile) then flies overhead with the Babylon Rogues's airship in pursuit. Sonic then says that they should catch up.
They arrive at MeteorTech's home tower and find Jet and the Rogues waiting. Wave confirms that Crimson Tower is MeteorTech's signal tower. Storm then says that the Arks they collected were stolen by Eggman. Jet challenges Sonic, with the prize being the Arks of the Cosmos and title of "Fastest Creature in the Universe" to whoever nabs Eggman first.
When they reach the top, Sonic and Jet enter at the same time and grab one of the two Arks he was holding. After bumping into his machine, Wave grabs the master Ark that fell out. After this, all robot operations are cancelled. Due to the five Arks being in the same place at once, it called down Babylon Garden. Seeing that he doesn't need the Arks of the Cosmos, Sonic hands all of them over to Jet. When Jet accuses Sonic of running away, Sonic states that he'll see Jet at the next World Grand Prix.
The story begins in the Gigan Rocks when the Babylon Rogues are trying to get an Ark of the Cosmos at the Chalice. The Ark was held in a booby trap, so Jet punched in some keys on an ancient keyboard in Babylonians text. This deactivated the trap. Slowly, Jet grabbed the Ark of the Cosmos. No sooner than that, Wave saw a shooting star. There, she closed her eyes and put her hands together, making a wish. When she tells Storm what she's doing, he simply laughed, but not for long, as he saw Jet doing the same thing. Jet wished of having a power to beat "him". Then, three more crashed down and caused a rumbling sound just as Storm was about to make a wish himself. This re-activated the trap, causing two boulders to come crashing down. It nearly crushed them until the Ark's power caused them to fly out of the way. Jet remarks that "his wish already came true". With this power, the Rogues escaped the ruins safely.
Back on the ship, Wave was analyzing the Ark of the Cosmos they found and explained it can charge up gravity and convert it to power the engine unit of Babylon Garden. She explains that there are five of them. Jet then orders her to create a radar to help find them. But before she could do that, Storm bursts in and shows a news report of a MeteorTech Mech stealing an Ark of the Cosmos from the Megalo City Museum. At seeing this, they set a course for Megalo City. After going through Megalo City, Jet tracks the robot to Botanical Kingdom where he destroys the robot, but loses the Ark. He searches the ground and discovers Sonic talking with the others. When Amy hugs Sonic, the Ark of the Cosmos she found (the one Jet is after) falls out. Overhearing their conversation about MeteorTech, Wave and Storm appear and Wave suggests that they go ahead of Sonic and the others to gather information on MeteorTech.
They meet Sonic and friends at MeteorTech but are cut short by guard robots. As Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Jet, and Wave ride off, Storm attempts to get the Ark of the Cosmos from Amy, only to get whacked by Amy's hammer. She then escapes with Storm in pursuit. They reach the Aquatic Capital and Amy throws the Ark at Storm's face. She then insists that he find away out when they are confronted by a MeteorTech robot, SCR-HD. After scanning Storm's Ark of the Cosmos, it blows up and reveals a second Ark. Storm runs off with both Arks and returns to the airship. Jet, happy that they now have three, is cut off by Wave's description of an ancient Babylonian text. After Jet gives up on trying to figure out what the lightless black is, he find that the two Arks are missing. Eggman then appears outside flying away with them, having sneaked inside while the Rogues were determining what to do.
They follow Eggman to the Crimson Tower where they wait for Sonic and the others. Jet then challenges Sonic and they reach the top of the tower. After Babylon Garden is called down, Tails thought about what was going on.So he put together the clues he thought about it and figured it out. The damaged SCR-HD breaks in and steals all five Arks of the Cosmos from Wave. Tails informs Everyone out loud that the five Arks will make a giant black hole if put in Babylon Garden. After that, Eggman declares that massive energy readings are coming from Babylon Garden. A scene then shows the outer part of Babylon Garden falling off transforming it into Astral Babylon, the Babylonian spaceship and creating a black hole. Sonic, Jet, and everyone (except Eggman and Amy) rush to Astral Babylon's Mobius Strip to face SCR-HD's giant new form and disconnect the Arks of the Cosmos from the ship.
Afterward, it shows Astral Babylon orbiting Earth. Jet and the Rogues are atop a rock in the desert looking at it. After a quick conversation they fly off on their gear. The scene then switches to Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy, in Tails car driving through Megalo City. Tails explains how the ancient Babylonians warped to Earth and left their engine unit in orbit. Then Amy theorizes that's probably why people started wishing on shooting stars. Shortly after, Sonic hears someone say his name in the tunnel. Jet rides up imposing a challenge. The scene ends with Sonic and Jet racing through the tunnel marking the end of the story.
SCR-HD is the leader of the MeteorTech robots rampaging around Monopole. During the story, it once contained an Ark of the Cosmos until it cornered Storm the Albatross and Amy Rose. Later on, near to the end of Jet's story, it ambushes the Babylon Rogues, snatches all five of the Arks and takes them to the Babylon Garden, creating an immeasurable black hole and becoming Master Core: ABIS. When facing it in the course known as Mobius Strip, the boss battle works in a similar way to the Babylon Guardian, but is considered a lot harder. It can activate the Gravity Dive about halfway towards the end and the player can use the rising floor panels to gain more speed and ram into the boss. It takes six hits to fall, twice as how many hits the Babylon Guardian could take.
In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, there are three new modes, along with the main story mode: Survival Mode, Survival Relay, and Survival Ball.
- Survival Mode entails each player to use gravity in certain spots of the level to slam objects into opponents, mainly rockets.The mode consists of a rather small arena-type field where 4 players or less are to knock each other out but aiming rockets through Gravity Control.
- Survival Ball mode is, simply put, a football game on Extreme Gear. Players score points by throwing a ball into a goal. But in the third zone, Megalo Junction, a noticeable change is made to the ball. The field is rather large and contains many goals around the place, most goals having different numbers written on them marking how many points you score if you shoot the ball through it by Gravity Control. It is the only ball that can explode and paralyze any player (including yourself) for several seconds. In Survival Relay, 2-4 players make a team of two and do a relay with a single Extreme Gear.
There are a total of 16 courses in the game: eight worlds with two tracks in each.
- Megalo Station/Nightside Rush
- Botanical Kingdom/Snowy Kingdom
- MeteoTech Premises/MeteoTech Sparkworks
- Aquatic Capital/Tempest Waterway
- Gigan Rocks/Gigan Device
- Crimson Crater/Security Corridor
- Astral Babylon/Mobius Strip
- '80s Boulevard/'90s Boulevard
One notable difference from Sonic Riders is that the tracks are a bit longer and don't virtually carbon-copy each-other, like they did in the original Sonic Riders. Another change is that there are sharp turns that require the use of gravity to get around, as opposed to the use of drifting. Also, since Air is no longer used as a fuel source, refuel stations were removed. There are 6 tracks in the Heroes Story and 7 tracks in the Babylon Story. Though the first 5 tracks are unlocked in Free Race, the other 11 tracks are locked, and can only be beaten by completing the Babylon story.
|Sonic the Hedgehog||Grind|
|Miles "Tails" Prower||Air Ride|
|Knuckles the Echidna||Bike|
|Jet the Hawk||Grind|
|Wave the Swallow||Air Ride|
|Storm the Albatross||Bike|
|Cream the Rabbit||Air Ride|
|Rouge the Bat||Air Ride|
|Shadow the Hedgehog||Grind|
|Silver the Hedgehog||Air Ride|
|Blaze the Cat||Grind|
|N/A||Super Sonic (Chaos Emerald)||None (Power)|
This game introduces new abilities that all playable characters use throughout the entire game. By gaining Gravity Points to fill up the characters' GP meter through tricks and other actions, they will enter a zero-gravity zone and be able to perform two new moves:
|Gravity Dive; which sucks the character towards a black hole further down the track, giving them a speed boost which tosses nearby objects off the track and into the air which characters are able to slide into to gain more speed.|
|Gravity Control; which changes the gravity of the course; this enables the use of the Ark of the Cosmos to shoot the player forward a short distance (as well as skipping through the stage music for a "wild" effect). Once activated, the world around the player slows down and the player is given a bit time to launch towards a new platform only accessible through the control.|
Items and Tricks
The Items, from first seen in the original Sonic Riders, give the character special features, such as 10-30 Rings, more Gravity Points and an attack boost, which the character is able to move at exhilarating speeds attacking other racers and accessing special on-foot shortcuts, such as springs. Item boxes can work hinder the character, such as a ball-and-chain that hooks on to the character's Gear slowing him/her down. There are two special items that appear hidden in each course that will give the character either 100 rings or 100 Gravity Points.
The usage of Air Tricks also changed. When progressing towards a ramp or ledge where it is possible to do a trick, a player must simply press the jump button. The main key is timing. The earlier the jump is applied, the slower the trick and less distance and height is covered. When performing a trick, the player can only trick in one direction (such as only doing frontflips, or only doing backflips).
Along with the returning characters from the previous installment come new playable racers, hover boards, bikes, air riders, yachts, air skates and other futuristic hover crafts that are available. These Gears can be upgraded, even in the middle of a race.
The PS2 version uses a DualShock 2 controller while the Wii version supports three control methods: the Wii Remote sideways, the Wii Remote held vertically and the Nintendo GameCube controller.
Replacing the old upgrade system from the last game (where stat parameters simply increased by certain amounts from collecting rings), there is a new method in the game called Gear Parts. Once the player collects a certain amount of rings, they will get an opportunity to activate one of their Gear Parts. Each Gear has from zero to three Gear Parts and can be upgraded during a race by pressing /Up on (Wii Remote horizontal and vertical respectively), the Y button (GCN Controller), or (PS2). Some Gear Parts include modifying the Extreme Gear's look, higher specs, an increased Gravity Points Gauge and character type specific Gear Parts, such as the ability to grind in rails as a Speed character, transform into an air ride/yacht-type Gear to fly through Dash Rings scattered throughout the stage as a Fly character, or transform into a bike/wheel-type Gear which can smash through objects including barricaded shortcuts as a Power character.
Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity is the second game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series to use the Extreme Gears in gameplay, the first being the game's predecessor, Sonic Riders. Like in Sonic Riders, the Extreme Gears are high-tech hoverboard vehicles that are used by the characters to ride on, but uses Gravity Points (GP) to as a fuel to perform special actions in this game rather than Air, and are the central component in the gameplay.
Like in Sonic Riders, every playable character has their own unique default Extreme Gear, which only they can use, but additional Extreme Gears can be obtained in the game by either buying them in the shop for Rings, or fulfilling certain requirements, such as completing one or more missions in Mission Mode, or completing a certain story.
Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity features six different types of Extreme Gear. In addition to the returning Board type, Skate type and Bike type Extreme Gears from Sonic Riders, the game introduces as well three new types of Extreme Gear in the series, namely the Yacht type, the Air Ride type and the Wheel type.
- Board: Resembles regular boards. A basic and balanced Gear type that most characters can ride and is suited for general riding.
- Skate: Resembles roller skates. This type of Gear tend to lack in power, but is more agile and always allows the user to grind in Grind Areas.
- Bike: Resembles motorbikes. This type of Gear is more powerful that most other Extreme Gear and allows characters to knock away heavy objects, but are less manoeuvrable.
- Air Ride: Resembles hovercrafts. This type of Gear allows the user to glide through midair and fly through Dash Rings.
- Yacht: Resembles windsurf boards. This type of gear has Air Riding capabilities, allowing to glide through the air and fly through Dash Rings and as well ride on opponents' slipstreams (different from the first game, as you only run along the slipstream) to increase speed, which somewhat makes up its low top speed.
- Wheel: Resembles monowheels. This gear type, allows the user to knock away heavy objects and have the ability to perform Slide Turns, but the dash from Gravity Control is shorter.
In general, since it would be difficult to animate transformation from board to skates, boards get "Grind" Gear Parts rather than transforming to skates. Gears that start off as 'upgraded' versions of standard gear (Yacht, Wheel) usually have lower capabilities or have less effective Gear Parts.
List of Extreme Gear
There are a total of 61 different collectible Extreme Gears that can acquired in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (excluding SCR-GP and SCR-HD despite that they also function as a Gear themselves). The following Extreme Gears are listed as they appear in the Gear Gallery.
|List of Extreme Gear|
There is an official soundtrack for Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, which was released as the album Zero Gravity Tracks: Sonic Riders Shooting Star Story Original Soundtrack.
Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity received mixed reviews from reviewers. GameRankings and Metacritic assigned the PlayStation 2 version 59.31% and 56/100, respectively. GameTrailers praised the game for its graphics, but lambaste the control schemes, especially the fact that the Wii version was compatible with the GameCube controller but not the Classic Controller, and saying that a "broken interface" rendered the game "almost unplayable".
- The obvious differences between the two versions of the game is that the Wii version features three different play styles: two using the Wii Remote and one using the GameCube controller, but none with the Classic Controller. The PlayStation 2 version includes an expanded tutorial that is missing entirely in the Wii release, but does remove the Japanese language entirely and contains more instances of slowdown as is common in Sonic's PlayStation 2 ports.
- Any Gear Storm rides is nearly twice as big as normal. This can be more easily noticed in Tag Mode, in which the other character will be much smaller than the gear.
- This is Silver and Blaze's first and only playable appearance on the PS2.
- When the characters go into second gear change, their gears transform into vehicles depending on their type; Speed types' Gears transform into what appears to be rockets or miszzsiles, Fly types' Gears transform into hovercrafts or saucers and Power types' gears transform into bikes.
- SCR-HD is the only unlockable racer who is not unlocked in story mode.
- During cutscenes, Amy is wearing her normal dress, but during the races, she wears her racing outfit from the previous game. (However, when playing as Amy in Story Mode, she is wearing her normal dress.)
- In the intermission cutscene, Amy is not there even though she participates in the race before that cutscene. She is also not present in the final boss.
- On the cover Tails' Arc of the Cosmos is on his left hand, while in the game mode it's on the left side of his hip.
- Each playable character holds an Arc of the Cosmos by color; Sonic is the only character who has the blue Arc. Jet, Shadow and Knuckles have the green Arc. Tails, Wave, Rouge and Silver have the red Arc. Cream, Blaze and NiGHTS have the yellow Arc. Amy and Storm have the pink Arc.
- The characters hold the Arcs on certain parts of their bodies; Sonic holds his Arc on his right wrist. Jet and Amy hold theirs on their left wrists. Knuckles and Shadow hold theirs on their ankles. Tails, Wave, Rouge and Silver hold theirs on their hips. Cream, Blaze and NiGHTS hold theirs on their chests. Storm holds his on his finger like a ring.
- Shadow's artwork in this game has a striking resemblance to his Sonic Adventure 2 artwork, as it is a mirrored version of it.
- This is the only game in the "Riders" series in which the main story doesn't take place during a World Grand Prix.
- Two Extreme Gear, called Shinobi & 'Kuniochi', reference the Shinobi series by Sega and its canonical offshoot, Nightshade (called Kuniochi in Japan).
- This is the only Sonic Riders title to not appear on a Microsoft hardware although there was originally meant to be a Xbox 360 version of this game but it was cancelled for unknown reasons.
- Despite being a hero, Amy is playable in the Babylon Story but not the Heroes Story.
- Despite the fact that the PlayStation 2 supports widescreen, the PS2 version of the game cannot be played in widescreen.
- The SCR robots are counted as Gears, as seen at the EX Gear section at the profile select when having everything in the game.
- ↑ http://youtu.be/5FHh2GcQ_fc?t=22s
- ↑ http://youtu.be/5FHh2GcQ_fc?t=3m45s
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 http://au.ign.com/games/sonic-riders-zero-gravity/ps2-956233
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 http://au.ign.com/games/sonic-riders-zero-gravity/wii-956232
- ↑ http://www.cri-mw.com/product/adoption/platform/wii.html
- ↑ http://youtu.be/5FHh2GcQ_fc?t=2m25s
- ↑ http://www.metacritic.com/game/wii/sonic-riders-zero-gravity
- ↑ http://www.gamerankings.com/wii/942736-sonic-riders-zero-gravity/index.html
- ↑ http://www.ign.com/articles/2008/01/14/sonic-riders-zero-gravity-review
- ↑ http://www.gametrailers.com/reviews/aut671/sonic-riders--zero-gravity-review
- Official Website (Japanese)