July 28, 2007 - Tucked away in one of the smaller videogame booths on the San Diego Comic-Con floor is a lonely little platform with a solitary PSP on it. A piece of notebook papers asks inquisitive onlookers to please ask for a demo, and a little placard boasts the game's name: Sonic Rivals 2.
Sonic can't lose to some mutant.
Yes, the blue hedgehog you remember from your youth is back on the PSP and set to tear through the competition in a footrace.
As a SEGA representative took us through the first level -- a jungle with plenty of catapulting springs, boxes and robotic enemies -- it was clear Backbone Entertainment took the criticism launched at the first game (i.e. "I can't stop falling off the track and dying!") to heart. As Sonic shot across the level's stone straightaway, through the throwback loops and around corkscrew walkways, he'd occasionally run into a set of spikes and fall from his perch.
However, death usually didn't await our tumbling blue guy. Instead, there were secret tunnels, alternate paths or at least way back to the surface. Once the hero was back on track, the goal was to basically run as fast as possible, dodge deadly obstacles and attack other racers when they got close enough.
Although SEGA wasn't ready to announce the title's full roster, a rep did say that there will be three new characters, and the Comic-Con demo showed Sonic, Tails and Knuckles as playable. Even though each racer will run rapidly, the difference between them comes down to their signature move.
As players collect the coins placed on the tracks, a signature move meter will build, and characters can use the built-up power to pull off individual special moves. Sonic gets a speed boost, Kunckles gets to throw an attack, and Tails can fly. Beyond those moves, players can pick up mines to bomb other racers and a magnet to attract coins as they play.
The Sonic loop never goes out of style.
Speeding from left to right might be the big concept of the game, but action isn't just limited to the horizon. Sonic and pals will need to climb ropes, scale walls and grind rails as they make their way through levels, and some of those tasks will mean following onscreen commands such as alternating between the X and circle buttons.
Sonic Rivals 2 will pack a single-player mode, free play, ad-hoc multiplayer and game sharing. SEGA is targeting a holiday release, so start saving those precious George Washingtons now.
Thanks to IGN.com for sharing the news with us, and you can discuss the news HERE!