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So much for the character that symbolizes SAGA, Sonic has not been doing well for the past years. Filled with senseless storylines accompanied by slow progress, Sonic has failed to be “cool” among gamers. With the release of Sonic Rivals 2, will the dull impression on Sonic be changed?

Even better than the basic racing concept, Sonic Rivals 2 has improved the game with multiple paths and a lot of catches so that once you miss a jump; your next game is not so much affected. Having the coolest and the speediest use of 2.5D, Sonic Rivals 2 has the coolest environments – and don’t forget the simple menu selection and great game sharing options.

Races are simple to understand. Special abilities are also used once unlocked by collective rings. Having these special abilities lets you destroy another player, be invisible, and even do a shockwave on opponents. Though these are possible with other characters, Metal Sonic can only copy opponent’s ability; that’s all he can do. If you are a bully type, weapons can be picked up and used to crush other players; hence, you can only use these if you are ahead of all the players. Pressing buttons X and O can boost you up, too.

Backbone Vancouver’s crucial failure is that they put more effort in boss battles and knockout challenges which totally hauled the game. Fighting the bosses is a futile attempt to bring entertainment. Putting a pseudo-3D theme and some of the traditional blows didn’t entirely work to create a good combination.

Racing should have been the focus of this game, but the storyline drags you before you are able to unlock a special Cup Circuit Mode. I have to put so much effort on collecting little Chaos before I can play the Free Play section. Good thing with the Single and Circuit Mode races, racing has given some semblance of focus. Sonic should have been this way. Ad-Hoc multiplayer spices up the game and gives you the chance to play against another person. Something what a real race should be.

The whole game looks pretty great, yet the colored lighting and the other environments are real eye sores. Not to mention the disturbing rock song (though it has somehow become a trademark for Sonic) on the first level; Sonic Rivals 2 could do with a little more improvement if they plan to release a third one.

But if I were to compare between the first and Rivals 2, I think the latter offers gamers more of the feel of what a race truly is. The races on the game offer great adventure paths and challenges to keep you going. Yet, as we all know, there is still room for improvement for this game.