Video Game: Sonic Rivals

Sonic Rivals is a 2006 action platform game for the PSP, published by Sega and developed by Backbone Entertainment in 2006 (with a sequel, Sonic Rivals 2, released in 2007).

The main objective in these games is to race through each stage and beat your "rival" to the finish line. Stages are broken up by boss fights, where both characters fight against one of Dr. Eggman'snote  robots, with the winner determined by who can land more hits.

Sonic, Knuckles, Shadow, Silver and Metal Sonic are playable in the first game, while Tails, Rouge and Espio are added to the playable roster in the second game.

Tropes used in the Sonic Rivals series:

  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI characters in the boss fights.
  • And the Adventure Continues/A Winner Is You: Each playthrough of the original Rivals ends with the main character searching for more cards, and immediately cutting to the credits.
  • Big "NO!": Used by Shadow, Rouge, and Silver in the sequel when they respawn.
  • Big "Shut Up!": Used by Knuckles in the first game a couple of times during the dialogue with one of the rivals.
    • Silver says this to Knuckles, only for Rouge to call out the telekinetic hedgehog's tone of voice.
  • Comeback Mechanic: Anyone not in the lead gets his or her top speed increased.
  • Continuity Nod: In Shadow's ending, he says that he won't lose to someone who blames his own failures on the past. This hearkens back to the resolution of his Story Arc that in Adventure 2, Heroes, and Shadow.
  • Darker and Edgier: These games are certainly much edgier than the 8-bit, Advance, and Rush games. Darker maybe. The various characters seem unusually willing to fight each other for no particular reason other than to reach a certain destination faster. They don't even help each other defeat the bosses, even though said bosses are mutual enemies.
  • Dispense With The Pleasantries: In the sequel, Silver does this to Sonic very nastily before Act 1 of Sunset Forest:
    Silver: Move aside, Sonic!
    Sonic: Hey, Silver. Long time no see. Guess you're looking for Eggman too, huh?
    Silver: I said move aside!!
  • Excuse Plot: The first game's plots consists of Eggman (later revealed to be Eggman Nega) planning to turn the world into a card and the four characters must fight each other in order to save the world. The 2nd game's plot is a little more detailed- something about Eggman capturing all the Chao to feed to an Iblis-expy called the Ifrit- but by and by the "plot" is mostly characters insulting each other for no particular reason.
  • Green Hill Zone: Forest Falls in the first game (which resembles Green Hill down to the vibrant color scheme and checkerboard dirt) and in the sequel, Blue Coast, which includes elements of Greek architecture similar to Apotos from Sonic Unleashed.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: While The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard in the levels, the AI suffers from Artificial Stupidity in boss fights, and the bosses take very little effort to defeat anyway.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Of its own accord, Metal Sonic tears out the Chaos Emerald powering it to save Shadow from being trapped in the Ifrit's dimension.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Eggman Nega unleashes the Ifrit, and upon its defeat is sealed in the Ifrit's dimension.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: Eggman Nega's motivation, which is only revealed in Shadow's playthrough, is to erase the "failures" of Dr. Eggman, because Nega apparently didn't have anyone recognize his genius because of Eggman's failures.
  • Miniscule Rocking: The vocal theme of Rivals 2, "Race to Win", is only one minute long.
  • Monster of the Week: The Ifrit in Rivals 2.
  • Mirror Boss: Once a level, actually, with only special abilities being the difference. It's quite jarring with characters like Knuckles and Silver, who aren't supposed to be Mirror Bosses and have been established to have slower foot speeds and different skill sets in every other game in the franchise.
  • No Name Given: Two of the Bosses in Rivals 2.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Eggman Nega
  • Palette Swap: With the exception of super moves, all the characters play exactly alike.
  • Playing with Fire: Ifrit
  • Power-Up Magnet: The Magnet Powerup, which works almost identically to the electric shield from previous games in that it attracts rings to you.
  • Recycled Premise: Silver's story involves going back in time to save the future from a lizard-like fire demon who was unleashed into the world like the main villain.
  • The Rival: This is what the series is all about, hence the name. Instead of working together like in previous games, the characters are racing and battling each other in order to stop to Eggman or Eggman Nega.
  • Rivals Team Up: This happens in the end of the Sonic Rivals story in where the characters team up to enter in the Meteor Base, often where one character is assisted by a rival in one act and another in the next. Sonic is assisted by Knuckles and Shadow; Knuckles is assisted by Sonic and Silver; Shadow is assisted by Sonic and Silver, and Silver is assisted by Shadow and Knuckles.
  • Robot Me: Metal Sonic 3.0, a Robot Me for another Robot Me.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Every good guy who gets turned into a card is technically this, but breaking the can seems to be very easy given that any card retrieved gets immediately turned back into the character.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Similar to the US version of Sonic CD, hard rock plays on every level, even the bright and cheery ones. Particular noteworthy is Sunset Forest Zone, which also features the heaviest metal possibly heard in the series yet.
  • Spiritual Successor: The entire game is this to the Metal Sonic race from Sonic CD.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Knuckles and Rouge in the second game.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: It's got Rubber-Band A.I. and the ability to spam special abilities just to catch up to you.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Silver from Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) was a noble hero from the future who can be misguided with his intentions of building a better future. Then the events of that game was erased, and Silver in the rivals series is shown to be terribly rude to everyone he meets during his pursuit of Eggman Nega, even going as far as to call Tails a "half-pint" while stealing his rings.
    • To be fair, this applies to pretty much every single "good" character in this series. The villains just do their gloating routine as usual.
  • 2D: The first 2D Sonic games to ditch sprites entirely and use 3D graphics and variable camera angles. The games look great for this reason, with many spectacular loops and corkscrews that fly all over the place, and a similar approach was adopted by the 2D sections of "modern" Sonic games, and Dimps for the Sonic games on Nintendo 3DS.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: You have the ability to mix and match parts of each alternate outfit in order to customize a character's appearance.
  • Voice Acting: Only in the second game. It's actually not too bad, although many will be inclined to skip it.
  • Voice Grunting: Only in the first game.

Alternative Title(s):

Sonic Rivals Series