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Riders

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by 2WaterGuns, Mar 24, 2009.

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  1. So, now that the darkness of midterms is over, I've started playing video games again, and I finally unlocked Super Sonic in Zero Gravity (disappointment, by the way). But despite this "ultimate" goal being achieved, I felt compelled to continue playing the game, which is pretty strange for me. I felt like Riders got something right about the 3D Sonic that it hadn't before in two ways.

    First, the narrative. Sonic games have never been known for their story (though it's still a bit more fleshed out than Mario, for better or worse), but I think the first thing that comes to mind when discussing Sonic storylines for most people is the corniness. For a while, Sonic games have been about things such as teamwork, destiny, love, and forgiveness. Some have been pulled off better than others, but I still feel that a lot of them are quite contrived coming from an anthropomorphic hedgehog. However, I felt that the original Riders had a unique story for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, in that the Chaos Emeralds seemed like just an afterthought to the real plot of Sonic attempting to one-up Jet at his own game. It was a different side, showing a little bit of the Sonic attitude that we've often been told about but always seems to be lost in translation. Not to mention the fact that, at the end, Eggman technically wins.

    The difference between the narratives of the two games was akin to the two Adventure games; they both were excellent examples of a compelling plot, but in different ways. The original Riders had traditional settings but a somewhat nonstandard, character-oriented plot; while ZG had somewhat wilder and darker settings but a more traditional, get-the-cosmic-plot-items story. I felt the original was better in this regard, partially due to ZG having some pretty lousy translation abnormalities.

    Second - and this is what really sold me over - was the branching stage design. Though not as robust as, say, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the character separation system took the monotony of Heroes' "every team can do everything!" idea and turned it on its head into the much more wanted multiple path setup. This was all and good in parts of the original, but it was limited mainly to short, air-gaining "shortcuts" and the rather unexplained high jump shortcuts. Zero Gravity capitalized on this quite a bit, though, with the three shortcut types (now tied to the gear, not the character), wall-running, on-foot shortcuts, a couple of interesting uses for the gravity mechanics, and, of course, the high jump shortcuts (that could now be more easily accessed by Gravity Dive). The addition of the gear change mechanic also added a thin layer of strategy.

    To me, a lot of both games feels like what a modern 3D Sonic game should be. The series has already been gravitating toward being a racing/platformer hybrid, and Riders is just making that explicit. In addition, they bring back some of the long-wanted multiple path idea, even if it's not as immense as the MegaDrive games were. The only complaint I really have is the lack of content - many of the stages seem to be parallels of each other (a good amount of level design is shared in the original game).

    So, what do you guys think? Worthy offshoot? Another distraction from getting the Sonic franchise back on footing? Would you want a third one?
     
  2. I liked them a lot. Actually only Zero Gravity I haven't played the first. I thought the story was surprisingly a lot better than most of the "real" Sonic games. And there were a lot of really things you could do like slow down time to shoot around corners and use objects in the world as slingshots. I would welcome another one with open arms.
     
  3. muteKi

    muteKi

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    If I could get the damn game to play on this machine I'd probably play it all the time. Sadly it doesn't run very well, so I don't (ridiculously low frame rate).
     
  4. Diablohead

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    I own the first one on the ps2 since it was only £5 and I had much fun with it, as a racing game it has it's good and bad points, the bad mostly being full of stupid mistakes and bad design.

    I have only played zero gravity a few times on a cousins wii, the racing feels quite different by using the time stopping turning and riding on walls but I still like it, having your board transform into a glider or bike on the fly was a nice touch and rather cool, bikes being better on water or through hidden areas etc.

    If a 3rd was to be made I would like to see it as a XBLA, PSN and Wiiware title, as a full release I think it would just fail unless they could tweak the game to be much more amazing and balanced with lots of content.

    Riding on the air waves in the first game is something which spices up 2 player a lot, sometimes it pays to not be first or going super fast because you just make an easy passage for whoever is behind you to catch up.
     
  5. Tweaker

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    I played a demo of Riders a few years back in a Wal-Mart once. I found it pretty hard to control, irritating, and out of character for a Sonic game, and I actually found myself having more fun simply running on the ground after losing my board going through the level. In fact, there was a video of the first stage of the game done entirely on foot, and it looked much more fun. Why can't they make a game like that? ;)

    Outside of the actual gameplay, though, I thought Sonic Riders had a very interesting art style and some fantastic music. The sequel was significantly more lacking in regards to music, though—Tomonori Sawada only did one or two tracks in Zero Gravity compared to the majority that he composed in the first game, with the rest being done by Fumie Kumatani. The style didn't fit anywhere near as well, and I think the soundtrack suffered as a result.

    I'm not particularly bothered if there's another Riders game or not, though; I'm likely to just download the soundtrack and call it a day, in any case. =P
     
  6. SMTP

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    Loved the first one, it played very well, it just needs time to get used to it.
     
  7. serpx

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    I rented the game a while ago, and I just could not get into the game at all. The controls were just so insane, I just gave up. Plus, on my small TV, I could hardly tell where I was going or needed to go from the way too colorful levels that I played on.

    I just felt like the game was a mess -- if I owned it, I probably would've figured it out, but I just couldn't move on past the second level. Completely lost interest.

    To answer the initial question: I don't think making another Riders will help the franchise any.
     
  8. FinalBeyond

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    Quite honestly, I don't think they should have made the first. Only Sonic game I've ever sold. Awful mess.
     
  9. SteelBrush

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    The first time I played it I hated it but I tried again and did start to hold some minor affection for it, the branching paths and more surreal levels are probably what I prefer. It's a steep learning curve to master the controls, it would have benefited greatly from a tutorial level. I haven't played ZG. As for a third one, I don't know, I'd be indifferent to it, I just don't see why the characters can't be running instead, an updated version of Sonic R with more tracks is what I really want from a Sonic Racer and yes I do want more "can you feel the sunshine".
     
  10. Mystical Ninja

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    No, they shouldn't make a third one. The first two were already bad enough, and the series always seems to get progressively worse after each sequel. If they were to make a Sonic R sequel, on the other hand, that would be a whole 'nother story.
     
  11. Drex

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    Played the first one and I remember liking it a lot. Then I played Zero Gravity and wondered how I could've liked the previous game without the fun gravity mechanics. I'd rent it if they made a third.
     
  12. I wasn't really around for Sonic R when it first came out. It was mildly entertaining on Gems Collection, but turning was a pain and the character selection lacked balance. It also felt really, really short. Maybe it was a bigger deal if you were there for the drought of Sonic games on the Saturn. I would like to see them try a sequel, but only if there were marked improvements and much more content.
     
  13. SteelBrush

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    Did you try using the L and R buttons to turn the characters?
     
  14. Sik

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    Considering that Sonic R was a Formula 1 game that was modified in only six months, you shouldn't expect much out of it =P
     
  15. PC2

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    I own both games, and I can certainly say I wouldn't mind a third. The futuristic theme is pretty cool and I'd love to see what else they could come up with. The character and stage design is kind of interesting and I really like the gameplay itself. They should try and find a way to combine the air-based racing from the first game (pit stops, drifting, etc.) with the gravity controls/gear swapping from the second game. And next time, there should be some more characters involved with the story, and less stupid cameos. I'd much prefer unlockables based on more obscure Sonic stuff than have the game suddenly turn into "Sonic Team Riders"... really.

    As for the trick system, I think I prefer the solid jump in Zero Gravity, but at the same time I really missed being able to perform multiple tricks in mid-air. That sort of takes away the fun of being on a board/bike. Oh, and if they're going to make anymore "bosses", they need to make them intense one-on-one races or something... I mean, it's supposed to be a racing game.
     
  16. Diablohead

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    Tweaker, once you learn the ways of Riders, running on foot is shit and slow boring crap.
     
  17. Cap

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    I was actually thinking about this very thing last night.

    Firstly, the original riders game was loads of fun. I actually enjoyed playing it to unlock as much as possible. It had some nice level design, and a unique racing system.

    Zero Gravity on the other is awful. One of the worst and most boring games I've ever played. Tricks are mapped to simply pressing X or A of a ramp. The later you jump the better the trick. The mechanic behind that is frankly broken, and is nowhere as fun as having the freedom to do your own tricks. That was part of the fun behind Riders. You play it safe and do an average trick, or you could being push hard to move up the field and either end up making a mistake or getting a perfect trick and a huge boost. That to me is racing.

    Also, they took away boosting from Zero Gravity, another big no no. Also, the mid level board leveling up was another flawed system. Sometimes you'd end up being forced to use what looked like a tri-cycle. I personally would rather have option of choosing to use a board, skates or air bike, rather than being forced mid-level.

    The level design in ZG was unique too, but again, personally I prefer the levels from Riders. They felt more natural for Sonic to racing around.


    Overall, I'd like to see Riders 3, but it would need to be done right and build on the ideas from the original riders. Something I doubt Sega would do, but there's always hoping. It would have to be just like the first riders game, but without the air tank. You would simply start with an empty meter and have build up boost as you raced along doing tricks etc. It'd be a simple formula for a great sonic racing game. Something we don't see often enough.
     
  18. Jayextee

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    I remember enjoying the original Riders a lot. Even had regular 4 player sessions with friends coming around; it got a lot of play, and it was awesome fun. After the initial "WTF AM I DOING IN THIS PIECE OF CRAP" when I figured out how to play the damn thing in lieu of getting ripped off for air all the time, it went from "shelve this shit" to "bearable" then "fun" to "pretty cool".

    And then came Zero Gravity, and I had to basically unlearn all the Riders shit. It seemed like they'd threw away the depth and... I don't know. Made an idiot game out of it. Of course, I've got 'into' the whole wall-riding thing, experienced the best the game has to offer in terms of nonlinear track design, and it's pretty cool.

    Tried going back to the original Riders and... WHAT THE FUCK DID I PLAY? Overcomplicated piece of shit game, feels stiff and uncompromising. I can't play this.

    ZG still fun, unless a sequel comes along and makes me redact that from my brain. In all, the series is about as good as the time you're willing to spend with it.
     
  19. Tweaker

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    It probably is; I just don't particularly care to "learn the ways of Riders." :colbert:
     
  20. Blanche Hodapp

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    I've never given the first game much time, mainly because of the bizarre ways in which tricks are scored (and how air is regained, especially when in another character's slipstream. I don't want to spin my control stick around and around and around, it hurts my thumb!), so I can't give comment.

    Zero Gravity, on the other hand, is a reasonable attempt at a racer. But it's not a Sonic game. Good God, no. It has the characters, and the frankly bizarre storyline and character traits (like the big bad Whatshisface being scared of a prissy bitch like Amy after she's been running away from them for God knows how long), but they're practically playable cameos, if such a thing were possible (don't bother to answer, I couldn't give a toss).
    See, the game would work just as well if the characters riding the "gear" (I never got the use of that word, it makes them sound like drug addicts) were randomly created, arbitrary humans whose only causes for speech were taunts and exclamations of joy when making first place. Aside from my friend (whose copy I have borrowed) telling me the giant plot twist (giant "who cares?" more like), I don't actually know the story, because it shouldn't need one. If you want an example of a racer using branded characters, look at Mario Kart. As far as I know, no game in that series has a story because they actually got it right and realised that a plot-drive racer is frankly a stupid idea. Think, for a second, about how silly it is to have a character say "I need to escape this flooded city, pronto!" and then essentially run around in a circle three times, only to end up right back where he/she started. It's utterly pointless. The only good parts of the game that I've seen (even though one of them is very poorly implemented, as part of Eggman's "simulator") are the aforementioned simulator and the time attack options. Guess why?

    As for the "simulator" idea, I would like to smack whoever came up with it. It's ludicrous. To create the characters in order to study them, Eggman must have already acquired data about their techniques, but instead of using this data to improve his robots, he instead programs a simulator to collect the data he should already have, so that he can program his robots. In short, :colbert:.

    TL;DR, Zero Gravity is an adequate racer (though they could try a little harder next time), but it didn't need to be a Sonic title in the first place. Really, it didn't.

    Also, @Sik: When you think about it, they actually did a marvellous job in those six months with Sonic R, considering the levels would certainly not be navigable by the average F1 car =P
    (And you said in another thread that nobody pays attention to you =P)
     
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