Sonic Riders 2 - Tempest Waterway





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Published on Jul 27, 2009

Tempest Waterway
Silver the Hedgehog
Big Bang (Wheel)

The darker Babylon version of Aquatic Capital is Tempest Waterway, the same city now subject to a very heavy downpour. As the water pours from the skies, the winds toss mist into the air. For the racers, this means that unlike the serene and peaceful water in Aquatic Capital, Tempest Waterway boasts strong currents that can easily bring you where you don't want to go if you're not careful. This is the longest course in the game, and definitely one of the hardest. Unlike in Aquatic Capital, the sharp angles on the map making up a triangle are the real deal, requiring that you know how to use Gravity Control properly. (This vehicle is an exception to that rule. I'll explain later.)

The character here is...new to the Sonic Riders scene. He's Silver the Hedgehog, who made his debut in the 2006 game Sonic the Hedgehog, where he comes from the future. Or alternate dimension. Or Newark. I don't know. Nothing about the game makes any sense, and its low reviews are entirely justified. Silver has telekinetic powers: He can move things with his mind, including himself. However, he can't run fast like the other hedgehogs in the series. Thus, he's categorized as a Flight character in this game rather than Speed like Sonic, Shadow, and Amy. Zero Gravity also marks Silver's second appearance on a Nintendo console after Sonic and the Secret Rings, predating Super Smash Bros. Brawl by a mere 2 weeks.

The vehicle he's in with this race is the Big Bang. It's a Wheel, a new type of Extreme Gear. Everything about the Big Bang is out of the ordinary among Extreme Gear: It can do Gravity Control, but you get no boost. Rather, it and all other Wheels must do a Slide Turn, which doesn't deplete the Gravity Meter but is way harder to control. (Think powerslides with the Swerve Star on Kirby Air Ride if you're familiar with that, even using the A button on the Classic and Gamecube controllers.) Like some other Wheels in this game, the Big Bang also has absolutely no Gear Changes--nearly all other vehicles allow you to pay Rings in order to upgrade your Gear mid-race, but the Big Bang stays the way it is.

The Big Bang further distinguishes itself from even the other Wheels by automatically putting your character into Attack Mode when the GP Gauge fills to the top. It gains GP at half the rate as normal and uses up twice as much GP during a Gravity Dive, making it a challenge to fill up completely. When in Attack Mode, the character gets off his or her Gear and runs on the track at a speed much faster than normal. (Which begs the question: Why are they even using these vehicles if it slows them down?) Making contact with another racer allows someone in Attack Mode to hit them with something and make them stop for 3 seconds, a devastating blow. Best of all, racers in Attack Mode can use Springs (those big red bumpers you see in every course) and Attack Mode shortcuts--in this case, the gondola towards the end of each lap.

The problem is that the Big Bang's stats are abysmal. Out of a possible 7 in each stat, the Big Bang scores 1 in top speed, acceleration, and weight and a 3 in handling. The game clearly wants you to make up for that by being in Attack Mode a lot, but with the reduced GP capability, it's very hard. I had to try this about 7 or 8 times before I managed to pull a victory with the Big Bang.


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