Sonic R Review

Developer: Traveller’s Tales Publisher: Sega
Release Date: October 31, 1997 Also On: PC and Saturn

Sonic R is the first Sonic game that uses a 3D engine. Sonic 3D blast was 3D, but it used a 2D engine and just used 3D images and such to make it look 3D. It is also the first Sonic game to really focus on multiplayer competition. With these dramatic changes, is this game any good?

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Sonic R has 9 playable characters; Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles “Tails” Prower, Knuckles the Echidna, Amy Rose, Doctor Eggman/Robotnik, Metal Sonic, Metal Knuckles, Tails Doll / Teddybear Tails, and EggRobo. The characters that debuted in this game are Metal Knuckles and Tails Doll / Teddybear Tails. One major plus about this game is that not everyone is in a vehicle. For instance, Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, etc. just run, whereas Robotnik and Amy use vehicles.

This game has no story, other than “get to the end first�-style gameplay. Robotnik doesn’t fight you at the end of levels nor does he lay traps or anything like that- he just races. There are only 5 tracks, and 4 of them are unlocked from the start. The levels are Resort Island Zone, Radical City Zone, Regal Ruin Zone, Reactive Factory Zone, and Radiant Emerald Zone, which is unlockable.

The design of this game is pretty nice. They did a great job of making Sonic’s world 3D. They have things on the tracks like rings (duh), speedups, ring gates, and water hazards. Another thing about this game that really pushed the envelope for its time is the tracks which all have multiple ways to go. You can choose to go one way, or detour off any of up to 4 other ways, all with different ring amounts and other hidden surprises.

As far as the sound and music are concerned, I thought they were great. I think that a lot more games should have songs with vocals. It gives the game so much more personality. And with all of the familiar Sonic sound effects, Sonic R has more in the personality department than in the depth department. Besides the Grand Prix mode there is a Time Attack mode that lets you try to beat your best course time and a two-player mode, which lacks any fun whatsoever.

The graphics are great for Saturn. The characters look great, I have no complaints at all about character models, they’re great, and even the tracks are very detailed 3D creations, but they keep the classic Sonic cartoon look.

In the end it seems Sonic R is a neat racing game, and a great 3D start for Sonic. Be warned, it is a racing game and not a real Sonic game. It has no story, but it does keep up with the Sonic traditions. Like I said, there are no battles with Dr. Robotnik or any of his little minions. All you do is run. Sonic R is a good game, but it is very short, and you’ll probably beat it your first day, like all too many Saturn games.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 4
Final: 6.8
Written by Dave Review Guide

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