Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Sonic Rivals 2 for the PSP lets you play as different teams through a story mode, or enjoy free play. You get to experience the familiar Sonic world on your PSP in casual adventure fun.
Be Sonic & Tails, Shadow & Metal Sonic, Knuckles & Rogue, or Silver & Espio. Each character has her or her own personality, special abilities and look. You can test them all out in free play mode to get the hang of their talents and see which one is the best fit for you.
People new to the Sonic world might find this game a bit challenging. where most games have an easy ramp-up level or two where they say "press X now to attack", this game simply drops you into a level and expects you to know everything. The plot comes at you staccato with references to people and places you might not recognize at all. Really, the plot means nothing - but again it might be frustrating to a newcomer. They feel like they're missing what is going on in more than one way.
Still, once you get the hang of the buttons and accept the plot problems, the game is arcade fun. The maps have a lot of tiny details that add interest, far more banners and mossy areas and ivy trails than were necessary. The graphic designers obviously had some fun here. There are high roads and low roads and hidden roads - there's a lot of incentive to play and replay a level. the first few times through a level are just to get the sense of its general layout. It's only after a number of times through a level that you really start to explore all its paths.
The sound is what you'd expect from an arcade style game. Upbeat, stereotypical voices, jazzy pop music, appropriate brrrrings! and "Yeah, let's do this!" calls. It adds a boost of fun to your zooming around in loop-de-loops.
The controls are responsive and get you where you need to go. They've really got that aspect of Sonic games down.
Highly recommended for Sonic fans who want yet another handheld way to spend some time in mindless fun while they ride a bus or wait in line. There's no multi-hour RPG puzzles here, nothing to tie you up if you have to hit pause. It's perfect for filling in the quiet times of day with something fun and engaging. If you're new to the Sonic series, though, I'd recommend starting with Sonic Rivals 1. That way you get at least some grounding in what is going on.
For parents, this is good clean fun. Little characters are racing along roller coaster style racetracks and trying to gather gold hoops. It's rated E for everyone.
Buy Sonic Rivals 2 from Amazon.com