Video Game: Sonic Rivals

Race to win.
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:

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: In Espio and Sliver's story, Eggman Nega's legs are caught in debris following the Ifrit's defeat and he's forced to beg them for help. It doesn't work and they leave him in the Ifrit's dimension.
  • And I Must Scream: The series has Eggman Nega on both ends of the trope. In the first game, he uses a special camera to turn people into cards and planned to do this to the entire world. He gets sealed in a card himself by the end of the first game, but he breaks out of the card by the second game only to get trapped in the Ifrit's dimension at the end.
  • 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.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI characters in the boss fights.
  • Big Bad: Eggman Nega in both games.
  • Big "NO!": Used by Shadow, Rouge, and Silver in the sequel when they respawn.
  • Big "Shut Up!": This is one of Knuckles' Voice Grunting during his dialogue with the other 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.
  • Conflict Ball: Very much so. Instead of the characters working together to save the day, they would have to resort into fighting each other to get to Eggman first.
  • 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 plot 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.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Eggman Nega reveals that Eggman will never succeed, and that his failures ruin the Robotnik name.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Silver and Espio in the second game. Initially, their first meeting was iffy, but they then teamed up, and at the end of their story, they bid farewell to each other.
  • 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.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: What the series is all about. Even Team Dark members Shadow and Rouge clashed in the second game.
  • 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.
  • Nominal Hero: In Rivals 2, Metal Sonic plays a heroic role for the first time, but only because he is under Eggman's control to fight off Eggman Nega.
  • No Name Given: Two of the Bosses in Rivals 2.
  • Not a Date: In the second game, Sonic teasingly asks Knuckles are him and Rouge are going on a date, only for Knuckles to tell him to knock it off.
  • 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 disguised as Eggman Nega.
  • Rivals Team Up: This happens in the Meteor Base, the final level of the first game. One character of each story 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.
  • Ship Tease: Good God, Shadow and Rouge runs high in the first game. In one scene, when Shadow attacks Eggman Nega, he calls Rouge's card 'his'. In the very last cutscene, Rouge says 'That's my Shadow', and gets more flirty then usual when she's asking Shadow to look into 'their' future. Granted, she mentions that they are treasure hunting together, but this seems like an invitation to a date. Shadow tries to back out, and we don't know if he gave in. But, this is Rouge we are talking about, so... you never know.
  • 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. Justified in that Knuckles doesn't trust Rouge to help him retrieve the Master Emerald from Eggman. It doesn't help that Rouge stole it from him in the end.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: It's got Rubber Band AI and the ability to spam special abilities just to catch up to you.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: This happens to every single "good" character. All of them spend most of the time insulting and fighting each other in order to get to the main villain instead of working together to find him. The villains just do their gloating routine as usual.
    • Silver is a more noticeable example. In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), he 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 in here, Silver is terribly rude and hostile to everyone he meets during his pursuit of Eggman Nega.
  • 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