Sonic Rivals for the PSP
Tyler Sigman (lead design)
Single player, multiplayer
ESRB: Everyone, formally RP(rating pending)
Universal Media Disc (PSP Only), Digital Download
Sonic Rivals (ソニック ライバルズ Sonikku Raibaruzu?) is a game created by Monster Lab. developers Backbone Entertainment exclusively for the PlayStation Portable. This is the first Sonic game to be developed by a Canadian company. The sequel of this game is Sonic Rivals 2.
It features 2.5D gameplay, as players scramble to reach the end of a level before the other players do (whether they are computer-controlled or live opponents). It otherwise plays very much like the older titles in the series.
Sonic Rivals starts as a competition between Sonic and Knuckles, but expands as further rivals get added to the mix.
The game begins with Doctor Eggman turning Tails, Amy Rose, Rouge and the Master Emerald into cards with his new camera. Sonic and Knuckles arrive on the scene and find out what has happened. Knuckles, bent on saving the Master Emerald, tells Sonic that teamwork is out of the question and that he needs to get to Eggman first. Sonic snickers and says that he likes a good challenge.
Meanwhile, Shadow the Hedgehog receives a distress signal from Eggman. Suddenly, a mysterious hedgehog named Silver appears from the future. Silver is then pursued by Shadow. When they encounter each other, Silver tells Shadow he needs to get to Eggman, first. After numerous conflicts within the characters, it is revealed that Dr. Eggman is in fact Eggman Nega (to Shadow and Silver only) and that the real Doctor Eggman is captured into a card prior to the story. After one final battle with Sonic, Knuckles, Shadow and Silver, Nega is defeated, everyone is reverted to their original forms and Silver returns to the future with Eggman Nega who is trapped inside a card.
|Sonic the Hedgehog - This hedgehog is the fastest living being in the universe. He's defeated Dr. Eggman to save the world numerous times, but this time he's discovered that his best friends Tails and Amy have been mysteriously turned into cards. Now it's a race to take down the nefarious Dr. Eggman Nega once and for all and free his friends!|
|Knuckles the Echidna - The guardian of the Master Emerald, Knuckles is as tough as they come. Unfortunately, the Master Emerald has been stolen right out from under his nose and turned into a card by Dr. Eggman Nega. Now this renowned echidna must race to find the Master Emerald and take down the evil mastermind behind this insidious plot.|
|Shadow the Hedgehog - Shadow was created as the ultimate life form by Professor Gerald Robotnik, the greatest scientific genius of his time. Possessing the power to use the Chaos Emeralds to perform "Chaos Control" he has the ability to manipulate time and space. Summoned by Dr. Eggman Nega via a cryptic transmission asking for his aid, Shadow encountered something strange and now it's a race to find Eggman Nega and uncover the truth!|
|Metal Sonic - Metal is Dr. Eggman's latest and most powerful Sonic robot to date. In this game however, Metal Sonic is presumably reprogrammed by Eggman Nega to ensure obedience to him instead of Dr. Eggman, and tries to stop Sonic, Knuckles, Shadow and Silver from foiling Eggman Nega's plans. He is available for play after collecting the Metal Madness, Metal Overlord and Neo Metal Sonic cards. Metal Sonic's special ability is the ability to copy the attacks of others, similar to that of Emerl from Sonic Battle and also reminiscent of his play style in Sonic the Fighters, wherein he could use all the other characters' special attacks.|
|Silver the Hedgehog - A mysterious silver hedgehog, Silver is equipped with psychic powers that allow him to propel items through the air with the power of his mind! The only thing Silver is that he is searching for someone...but for whom, and more importantly, why? Shrouded in mystery, Silver begins to chase after Dr. Eggman Nega to find clues that will unlock his quest.|
- Miles "Tails" Prower: Upon journeying to Onyx Island with Sonic, Tails is turned into a card by Dr. Eggman's camera as proof to Sonic that he indeed has the power to do so. It's now up to Sonic to save both him and Amy, who has also been turned into a card. He is later rescued by Sonic.
- Amy Rose: The first to be turned into a card by Dr. Eggman's camera; Sonic and Tails journey to Onyx Island to discover this shocking truth. After Tails himself gets turned into a card, Sonic sets out to save them both. She is later rescued by Sonic.
- Rouge the Bat: After discovering the truth about "Dr. Eggman", Rouge goes missing, but it is later revealed that she was turned into a card. Shadow sets out to save Rouge whilst trying to figure out what she had discovered.
- Doctor Eggman: Eggman, in fact, isn't the troublemaker in this story. He is actually the victim. Eggman NEGA turns Eggman into a card before the main storyline actually occurs. Shadow retrieves a distress signal from Eggman when the game first starts, but Shadow then states it was sent 6 hours earlier. After Eggman is saved by Silver and Shadow, he helps them get into outer space to stop Eggman Nega's evil plans.
- Eggman Nega: As it turns out, Eggman Nega is the main antagonist of the game who hails from the future. Masquerading as Dr. Eggman in the past, he uses a special camera to turn everyone into cards on Onyx Island, an island he brought along with him from the future. His master plan is to change his destiny by turning the whole planet into a card that he can control. It is revealed that he was never an alter ego, but a descendant of Eggman.
This game features:
- 5 playable characters, including: Sonic the Hedgehog, Knuckles the Echidna, Shadow the Hedgehog, Silver the Hedgehog, and Metal Sonic.
- Sonic Rivals' gameplay is similar to classic Sonic games, but now, keeping with the Rivalry Theme, players can jostle, trip and shove opponents around.
- There are 8 types of power-ups, fire, ice, mine, illusion, wind, ring magnet, lightning and star. The effects of each one are different for each character, though generally have similar outcomes. For example : the Fire power-up gives the character a fire attack, the Ice power-up gives the character an ice attack, and the Star power-up gives the character a special attack specific to that character.
- Single player consists of a Story Mode, in which each of the five playable characters have separate story lines, and must race each other to the finish line in each stage in order to thwart Doctor Eggman's various schemes.
- Multiplayer mode is played Adhoc, and players can customize their racers using collectible cards won in Single player, trade cards with friends, and wager cards on races.
- Boss battles at the end of levels require you to, not only defeat the boss, but also prevent your opponents from defeating it before you. 
- Badniks are featured as enemies, but many are similar to those of Sonic Heroes.
- Customizable options include footwear, gloves, and even costumes like in Sonic Adventure 2. 
Sonic Rivals consists of many different modes: Single Player Mode consists of Story Mode, Challenge Mode, and Cup Circuit. Wireless Play Mode will have you participating in Multiplayer games and races whereby players can wager cards or just race for fun.  . The game's loading screens will give you tips on using each character to your advantage when racing. Although it was assumed that a Boss Attack mode will be featured in the game, these challenges have been implemented into Challenge Mode. 
Performing objectives throughout the game will give you collectible cards. Such tasks include getting a certain number of rings, hitting your rival a certain number of times and getting to the goal within a certain amount of time.
The game contains six zones (five of which are in Onyx Island),  each with three respective acts, the third being a boss battle. The same source states on the Game Info page that there are 17 stages per character, with each stage featuring two acts and a boss, with the exception of Sky Park which does not feature a boss stage. The stage names are as follows:
- Forest Falls: A strange forest with terrain somewhat resembling Green Hill on South Island. This forest contains many waterfalls, and rivers that flow through it. This is the first level. The boss is the Egg Turtle, a large robot turtle.
- Colosseum Highway: A desert ruin based on Ancient Roman architecture. The boss is the Egg Falcon, a large robotic bird that resembles the Egg Hawk.
- Sky Park: A carnival level. Carnival-like attractions appear throughout the stage to help you reach the goal. This level only has two Acts and no Boss. You have to win the race against Metal Sonic in Act 2.
- Crystal Mountain: An icy mountain level with many traps. The boss is the Egg Lynx, a large robotic lynx.
- Death Yard: A level filled with machinery, fans and other forms of metallic scraps. As in Sky Park, you have to win a race against Metal Sonic in the second Act. The boss is the Egg Kong, a King Kong-like robot.
- Meteor Base: Eggman Nega's base hidden within an asteroid belt. In this final level of the story modes, the player will be assisted through both levels by two characters. Sonic is assisted by Knuckles and Shadow; Knuckles by Sonic and Silver; Shadow by Sonic and Silver; and Silver by Knuckles and Shadow. The Boss is Egg Destroyer, a spaceship flied by Eggman Nega.
- Egg Turtle - The boss of Forest Falls. Seen in screenshots of the boss battle, featuring both Sonic and Shadow. It attacks with its head and tail.
- Egg Falcon - The boss of Colosseum Highway. Set in a circular arena, this boss flies overhead and drops fire and ice bombs. It bears a heavy resemblance to the "Egg Hawk" boss from Sonic Heroes.  
- Egg Lynx - The boss of Crystal Mountain. This boss fires crystal missiles at the players. 
- Egg Kong - The boss of Death Yard. It appears to be based on a gorilla's head, and fights by firing missiles then releasing it's Brain Capsule. Metal Sonic helps attack your character in this confrontation. 
- Egg Destroyer - The boss of Meteor Base. The final battle of the game takes place on board a large rocket, which you will have to fight your way through Metal Sonic and various other obstacles to get to Eggman Nega's capsule.
- Venoom - Spider-like creatures that appear in Forest Falls. Official concept art of the game confirms the name.   
- Vultur - Vulture-like bird robots that attack you throughout Colosseum Highway.  
- Mono Clown - Jester robot that rolls on one large wheel and punches players in Sky Park.
- Yetee - Giant mechanized ice bots that can be seen hunched over in Crystal Mountain. In-game loading screens confirms name. 
- Metal Hound - Dog robots that attack you throughout Death Yard.   
- Drill Worm - Worm robots that can use their mouths to drill holes in the ground. Found in Meteor Base. Official concept art of the game confirms the name.   
- Egg Pawn - Another one of Eggman's robots, first seen in Sonic Heroes, often appears throughout the various stages.
- Flapper - The cannon shooting robot as seen in Sonic Heroes is seen throughout the stages once again, now equipped with homing missiles. 
Collecting all of a character's cards will unlock outfits related to that character. For example, collecting all of Amy's cards unlocks a pink track suit that can be equipped into one of the rivals (although this appears to be missing in the final version of the game for some reason).  Examples of some unlockable costumes are listed below:
Each character has a total of 3 unlockable costumes:
- Sonic: Leather, Ice, Black Tie
- Knuckles: Leather, Armor, Eggman
- Shadow: Leather, Flame, 80's
- Silver: Leather, Lightning, Christmas
- Metal Sonic: Leather, Circuits, Jester
Chris Renzanson is the main composer of Sonic Rivals and its soundtrack.  A track entitled "Quick Trip To Paradise" was composed by Lee Brotherton and used as the music for the Forest Falls Zone and the title screen of the game. 
Sonic Rivals features an extensive collectible card system that spans a total of 150 cards, featuring cameo appearances of robots, major characters, minor characters, boxarts, and items from past Sonic games such as Sonic Heroes, Sonic Adventure, Shadow the Hedgehog, and even dating back to Sonic the Hedgehog. The cards themselves are used to unlock secret costumes for the characters among other things.
The game recivied mixed to positive reviews upon release. IGN rated the game a 7.4 out of 10, highlighting its replay value, its graphics, as well as its entertaining stages. GameSpot, which rated the game 6.9/10 said there was a good sense of speed and colorful graphics but that the level design was frustrating and tedious to get through. On average, this game has received a 69.3% through 12 reviews, according to Game Rankings' official score.
- This is the first Sonic game for the PSP.
- There are 3 types of clothing for each character, the first is leather, which comes in different colors. The second is misc, which is a different style of clothing for each character, Sonic's is called Black Tie, Knuckles' is called Eggman, Shadow's is called 80's and Silver's is called Christmas. And the last is elemental, which represents different elements for each character, Sonic's is Ice, Knuckles' is Metal, Shadow's is Fire and Silver's is Lightning.
- This is Silver's first handheld appearance and (canonically) the first time Sonic, Shadow and Knuckles meet him (due the events of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) being erased from history).
- If one were to count Metal Sonic as a hedgehog, then that would make Knuckles the only playable character who isn't a hedgehog.
- Inversely this makes Amy the only hedgehog not playable in the game.
- Metal Sonic is the only playable character who is not on the boxart.
- In the unlockable card for Coconuts, it is misspelled as "Coconut".
- Shadow's artwork in this game is similar to his running artwork in Sonic Adventure 2.
- Also, if you look closely, Shadow on the boxart has his eyes towards Knuckles. In the game, it's the same artwork, but his eyes are back to facing the front.
- There is a hidden test room labeled "Test Room 2" in the coding. It can be loaded using a codebreaker, but it is just an empty room and you can't move.
- The game will be availble for download for the PS Vita along with Sonic Rivals 2
- Silver's outfit for the Secret Freedom Fighters in the Archie Comics is the same as his race outfit.
- The Secret Freedom Fighters cover is also based off of the Sonic Rivals cover.
- Metal Sonic was supposed to have two Sprites in the Cutscenes, but that was scrapped for unknown reasons. These sprites can be found in the game files.
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/psp/driving/sonicrivals/screenindex.html?sid=6160074
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/psp/driving/sonicrivals/news.html?sid=6160578&tag=gumballs;img;1
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/psp/driving/sonicrivals/media.html
- ↑ http://sonicrivals.sega-europe.com/en/index.html
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_Rivals
- ↑ http://www.sonicstyle.org/music/sonicrivals/
- ↑ http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_Rivals
- ↑ http://segaretro.org/Lee_Brotherton
- ↑ http://bentleyjones.com/music/others/features-and-soundtracks/
- ↑ http://www.last.fm/music/Lee+Brotherton
- ↑ http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages4/928010.asp
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