Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity
|Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity|
NOW Production 
United Game Artists
|Series||Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Engine||Havok Physics Engine|
Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, later released in Japan as Sonic Riders: Shooting Star Story (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?), is a hoverboard racing video game developed by Sonic Team in cooperation with NowPro and published by Sega. It is the fifth racing game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, following Sonic Drift, Sonic Drift 2, Sonic R and its predecessor, Sonic Riders. A sequel titled Sonic Free Riders was released on November 4, 2010 exclusively for Kinect on Xbox 360.
The Story is split into two halves, the Heroes Story (Team Sonic), and Babylon Story (Babylon Rogues). Although the stories start separately, they overlap each other, telling the story as the main characters within that story see it. Following the format of Sonic Riders, Babylon Story also includes an epilogue that expands past the Heroes Story leading to the last course.
Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles are alerted to robots that are attacking a famous city of the future. They set out to retrieve a legendary artifact that has the ability to control gravity. Along the way they discover surprises, including the return of the Babylon Rogues, a group of avian thieves who are also after the artifacts. This sets off a war to decide who gets the artifact, leading them to settle their dispute by having an Extreme Gear competition.
Toward the end the Heroes story, Sonic and friends discover that Eggman had created the robots, but they had gone berserk due to a malfunction. Helping Eggman regain control of his robots he attempts to use the power of the artifacts to control his machines at will from his secret base. Sonic and friends along with the Babylon Rouges destroy it.
During the Babyon Rouges story, Jet, Wave, and Storm discover the artifacts have the power to raise an ancient Babylon city. During the game, Jet and Sonic both stop Eggman from using the artifacts to control his robots. However, due to a distortion, as the Babylon city begins to float into the sky, the artifacts power becomes corrupted and opens up a black hole which could vacuum in the whole world. Jet, Sonic, and the rest of the gang fly to the Babylon city to fight the Boss of the game.
At the end, Jet, Wave, and Storm go and to get the ancient Babylon treasure, which turns out to be a customized carpet, much to Eggmans disappointment. They learn the material is flexible but with sturdy material that would not break, and find out that it is to be used to design a new kind of Extreme Gear. Sonic and Jet say their farewells and rise off into the sunset, but not before racing toward each other and making and X shaped jump similar to what Sonic and Shadow did in Sonic Adventure 2 signifying a strong rivalry.
This game introduces many new abilities in addition to ones from the first game. By gaining gravity points through tricks and technical challenges, players will enter a zero-gravity zone and be able to perform new moves.
The first is the Gravity Dive, which sucks the player towards a black hole further down the track, giving them a speed boost which tosses cars and other objects off the track and into the air which characters are able to smash into to gain more speed, and Gravity Control, which changes the gravity of the course, allowing the player to use a different track, such as one of the walls.
Also in the game is a move called Gravity Drift. This move is similar to the Grip move in Sonic Riders in which it can help characters turn on tight corners.
Items can offer help the player, such as an attack boost, or cause hardships, such as a ball-and-chain that hooks on your gear and slows your speed down.
There is a new method in the game called "Gear Change". Once you gain a certain amount of rings, your gear will gain an upgrade. Each gear has from zero to three upgrades and can be upgraded during a race. Some upgrades include modifying your Extreme Gear's look or top speed. There are many board types to use as well, adding for many options for customization.
In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, there are three new modes added to the game: Survival Mode, Survival Relay, and Survival Ball. Survival Mode entails each player to pick up missiles, then lock on and launch them at foes with Gravity Control, the winner being the last person standing. Survival Ball mode is, simply put, a soccer game on Extreme Gear. In Survival Relay, 2-4 players make a team of two and do a relay, with Extreme Gear as the baton.
There are a total of 16 courses in the game, eight worlds with two tracks in each. The tracks appear in the order they appear in the story mode.
- Megalo Station/Nightside Rush
- Botanical Kingdom/Snowy Kingdom
- MeteorTech Premises/MeteorTech Sparkworks
- Aquatic Capital/Tempest Waterway
- Gigan Rocks/Gigan Device
- Crimson Crater/Security Corridor
- Astral Babylon/Mobius Strip
- 80's Boulevard/90's Boulevard
Each different type of gear has their own special advantages.
Boards with the Grind upgrade and Skates are able to use the Grind Rails as a shortcut. Although boards must install the Grind upgrade themselves, Skates can already Grind from the start. Besides this, they are predominant in speed, and usually have no other functions.
Air Riders and Yachts are able to use the Launch Ramps as a shortcut. Although Air Rider Gears usually come with no special advantages, the Yacht Type Gears can ride on drafts, which is completely different from Turbulance. By tailgating an opponent, a Yacht will gradually speed up to the point where they pass the opponent. However, their major drawback is that without a draft, Yachts are very slow, generally below 130 MPH.
Bikes and Wheels are able to smash obstacles to create new pathways. Although most Bikes don't come with any additional advantages, Wheels come with a major advantage of the ability to drift.
Some Gears have no Gear Parts, but usually come in the form in the other Gears listed above. However, sometimes, they have extra abilities that help you proceed in the race. For instance, the Money Crisis Gear is a Wheel Type that has no extra upgrades, but increases speed for the more rings you collect.
The Chaos Emerald Gear is a unique gear that can only be used by Sonic. It can only be obtained after you complete all the missions with an Extreme rank. The Chaos Emerald has no initial Skill and uses rings instead of GP. However, using Gravity Moves consumes rings during at an extremely high rate. When Sonic's rings run out, he reverts to regular Sonic, and is forced to run the track on foot until he obtains some rings. Before obtaining 60 Rings, the Chaos Emerald Gear is just basically Super Sonic on the Blue Star. When Sonic obtains 60 or more rings, he activates his "Super Sonic Boost". In this state, Sonic gets off his board and flies around the track in a comet form. At this time, ring consumption is increased, but Super Sonic flies at 180 MPH and he is practically invincible to all attacks.
There are a total of eighteen characters in the game. Each character has their own personalized gear, which is stated after their name. Characters of each type can take advantage of certain shortcuts depending on the type of Extreme Gear they ride in the race.
- Sonic the Hedgehog - Blue Star: Has the Gear Parts: Max Speed Up, Max GP Up, and Grind.
- Jet the Hawk - Type J: Has the Gear Parts: Max Speed Up, Max GP Up, and Grind.
- Amy Rose - Pink Rose: Has the Gear Parts: Max Speed Up, Max GP Up, and Grind.
- Shadow the Hedgehog - Black Shot: Has the Gear Parts: Max Speed Up, Max GP Up, and Grind.
- Blaze the Cat (new) - Flame Lance: Has the Gear Parts: Max Speed Up, Max GP Up, and Grind.
- Amigo (new) - Has the Gear Parts: Max Speed Up, Max GP Up, and Grind.
- Miles "Tails" Prower - Yellow Tail: Has the Gear Parts: Max Speed Up, Max GP Up, and Air Ride.
- Wave the Swallow - Type W: Has the Gear Parts: Max Speed Up, Max GP Up, and Air Ride.
- Cream the Rabbit - Smile: Has the Gear Parts: Max Speed Up, Max GP Up, and Air Ride.
- Rouge the Bat - Temptation: Has the Gear Parts: Max Speed Up, Max GP Up, and Air Ride.
- Silver the Hedgehog (new) - Psychic Wave: Has the Gear Parts: Max Speed Up, Max GP Up, and Air Ride.
- NiGHTS - Night Sky: Has the Gear Parts: Max Speed Up, Max GP Up, and Air Ride.
- SCR-HD - He is a Gear in his own right, and has no Gear Parts.
- Knuckles the Echidna - Red Rock: Knuckles's primary Gear, Tails upgraded this Gear for some major obstacle smashing. Has the Gear Parts: Max Speed Up, Max GP Up, and Bike.
- Storm the Albatross - Type S: Storm's primary Gear, Wave fine-tuned this board to prime it up so it can take down opponents. Has the Gear Parts: Max Speed Up, Max GP Up, and Bike.
- Dr. Eggman - E-Rider: Has the Gear Parts: Max Speed Up and Max GP Up. Starts as a Bike.
- Billy Hatcher (new) - Power Egg: Has the Gear Parts: Max Speed Up, Max GP Up, and Bike.
- SCR-GP: He is a Gear in his own right and has no Gear Parts.
- Super Sonic - Chaos Emerald: Only becomes Power Type at over 60 Rings. Has the Gear Parts: Max Rings Up, Max Rings Up (locked), and Magnetic Barrier. Super Sonic will revert to regular Sonic without Rings. Before 60 Rings, Chaos Emerald has the same stats as the Blue Star.
Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity received mixed reviews from critics. It has been praised for its improved graphics, larger level designs, music and easier gameplay concepts, but has also been criticized for its loose controls, lack of online play, story material and removal of certain gameplay elements from the first one. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic assigned the PlayStation 2 version 59.31% and 56/100 and the Wii version 57.04% and 56/100. GameSpot gave the PS2 version 5.0/10 and the Wii version 4.5/10. IGN rated both the PS2 and the Wii versions a 5.8/10. The Official Nintendo Magazine gave the game a score of 72%, praising its solid multiplayer action and the amount of bonus features but criticized it for its rough controls. GameTrailers praised the game for its graphics, but lambaste the control schemes, especially the fact the Wii version was compatible with the GameCube controller but not the Classic Controller, thus if played on a Wii U or a later Wii model which lack the Gamecube ports, the player would only be able to use the motion controls, and saying that all options were confusing and rendered the game "almost unplayable".
- "Game Developer Research Institute".
- "Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (PS2)". GameRankings. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
- "Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (Wii)". GameRankings. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
- "Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (PS2)". Metacritic. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
- "Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (Wii)". Metacritic. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
- "GameSpot review (PS2)". Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "GameSpot review (Wii)". Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "Game Trailers review". Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "IGN review (PS2)". Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "IGN review (Wii)". Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "Official Nintendo Magazine review". Official Nintendo Magazine review. Retrieved 2012-11-20.