|Publisher(s)||EA Sports BIG|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Shox: Rally Reinvented is an arcade rally racing video game developed by EA UK and was released under the EA Sports BIG brand in North America and Europe for the PlayStation 2 console in Fall 2002. Shox features 24 licensed vehicles from real life makers like Audi, BMW, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Lancia, and Ford. The game introduced a unique concept, “Shox Zones.” Within each track there are specially designated areas, or "Shox Zones" where players are awarded Bronze, Silver, and Gold placements based on their driving skills. While Shox garnered praise upon release for its visuals, fun gameplay and sense of speed, it did not leave a lasting impact on the genre in the long run.
Shox: Rally Reinvented features three environments where all tracks are based upon: Arid (a desert-like, sandy environment), Jungle (a jungle-themed, muddy environment), and Ice (an arctic, snowy and icy environment). In every track there are three "Shoxzones", areas the player must cross while being timed. When the player reaches the end of a Shoxzone, the player is rewarded with cash based on the time taken to cross it, divided into Gold, Silver and Bronze. However, if the player takes too long to cross the zone, beyond the Bronze time, a reward will not be given. Shox doesn't feature the genre's traditional gameplay modes. Instead of time trial, single race, and career modes, Shox has only one: the championship mode where players take one of 24 cars through 30 different races that are spread across five unique leagues. Shox features licensed rally cars, ranging from the Subaru Impreza, Porsche Cayenne and Mitsubishi Lancer, which all feature visual damage and dirt from the tracks. The handling is very arcade oriented. Winning races will earn money, which pays for car repairs or new cars. Multiplayer can be played with up to four-player splitscreen, either with races or capture the flag modes. There is also an option to split each controller so four player can be played with only two controllers.
Shox also features the concept of a "Shoxwave", a sort of shockwave that follows the track ahead of the player's car if they successfully pass, within Gold time, through all three Shoxzones, and is activated on the next 'checkpoint' (for lack of a better word) (it is not required to achieve Gold time in each Shoxzone within a single lap). During the duration of its presence, the player will be continually earning cash, but the Shoxzone system will be temporarily disabled. The objective of the Shoxwave, should it be activated, is to drive fast enough to catch up to it before it reaches the next checkpoint. While approaching the Shoxwave, the screen will appear increasingly blurry and distorted and make driving at high speed more difficult. Should the player fail to catch up in time, the Shoxwave will disappear and the Shoxzone system will resume. On the other hand, if the player succeeds, the Shoxwave will speed ahead of the player upon passing the checkpoint, for the player to catch up to again.
Electronic Arts announced that an off-road rally car racer is in development for the PlayStation 2 at E3 2002. The game was developed by EA UK studio. Development reportedly took only eight months as the GameCube version was eventually scrapped in favor of a holiday season release. The game used the game engine from F1 2002. Described as a cross between Rally Cross and Ridge Racer, Shox is part of the EA Sports BIG lineup, which targeted casual gamers with slick presentation and over-the-top arcade-style gameplay.
In Japan, the game was released under the name Rally Shox (ラリーショックス Rarī Shokkusu) and was released on January 9, 2003. This version was published under the EA Games label instead of the EA Sports BIG label.
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