|Developer: Sonic Team, Traveller's Tales|
|System(s): Sega Saturn, Windows PC|
|Save file size: 2.16 KB (PC)|
Sonic R (ソニックＲ) is a racing game, featuring characters from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It was developed by Traveller's Tales and Sonic Team for the Sega Saturn and PC. The PC version was ported to the GameCube and the PlayStation 2 in Sonic Gems Collection. The game is characterized by the same sense of environmental openness in the Sonic platformers. It contains colorful 3D graphics combined with a Powerpop soundtrack by Richard Jacques (including songs performed by British singer TJ Davis).
There are five racers in each race. The opponents selected depend on what character the player chooses. If the player chooses a secret character, the other secret characters that have been unlocked will be used. If the player chooses a starting character, he races against the other starting characters. For the purposes of selecting the racers, Dr. Robotnik is treated as a starting character.
There are several collectible rings across each of the five racetracks. Each ring regenerates after a short period of time. These rings can serve two purposes.
There are also inexhaustible emblem bonuses. Touching an emblem gives the racer one of multiple possible rewards, including a random number of rings and the water and lightning shields that first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. The bubble shield allows the racer to walk on water once, after which it disappears. The lightning shield attracts rings to itself, but is eliminated over time or immediately upon touching water.
Aside from the main game, there are three special gameplay modes: reverse, in which racing occurs facing the opposite direction, break five balloons, and tag four players.
There are five racers in each race. The four "best" racers that have been activated are automatically selected as computer opponents if a secret character is chosen. If one of the default characters is chosen, then the opponents with be the other default racers.
Some racers can run on water for a while, and all characters can "swim" in it indefinitely, but the speed of movement will be greatly reduced. In addition, each of the ten playable characters has a different speed and a unique set of abilities. These abilities can give certain characters, even those which are initially playable, a clear edge over others. The four characters that are initially playable are Amy Rose, Tails, Knuckles, and Sonic. Below are the characters and their abilities, listed roughly from worst to best.
-The Saturn version of Sonic R handles the game's signature fade-in differently. If the game is undergoing slowdown the fade-in will disappear, shortening the draw distance, in an attempt to keep the frame rate up. Polygons that are transparent do not have lighting applied.
-On the software rendered PC version, fade-in is fixed and can be changed in the options menu or in-game with the F1 and F2 keys. On the hardware rendered version, fade-in is displayed differently, calculated per pixel instead of per polygon. Also on the hardware rendered PC version, the lowest flat floor fades-in with the polygons.
-The Gems version has no fade-in.
-The Saturn and software rendered versions use addition to calculate lighting. This allows for much more dramatic lighting and changing to color of a texture. (Blue light on red shows blue.)The hardware rendered PC version and Gems version uses multiplication for calculating lighting. (Blue light on red shows black.) Since the game's lighting was designed for additive lighting, the track appears subdued on the hardware rendered and Gems versions.
-In the Saturn version, the Radiant Emerald track is transparent and has a transparent overlay to simulate multi-texturing. The fade-in found throughout the game is disabled, so the end of the track pops into view.
-In the PC and Gems versions, fade-in works normally, but the track is no longer transparent and there is no overlay. Instead, the coloring of the track pulsates with bright colors.
-On the hardware rendered PC version and Gems versions, the track is dark and unlit in places, but coloring does change.
-The Saturn version has a smaller background (mostly made from a tilemap) and is mirrored four times to wrap the screen (causing suns/moons to appear twice).
-The PC and Gems versions use a 1664*128 bitmap for the entire background.
-The water for the Saturn version appears different, with light shading on the wave reflection of the background (a palette effect) and a faintly visible water surface.
-The software rendered PC version has ripples done that same way as the Saturn version, but is missing the visible water surface and wave shading. The Gems Collection version animates water in a similar way.
-The hardware rendered PC version is missing the features that the software version misses, as well as the background reflecting by a slightly darkened, wobbling texture.
- The Saturn version uses 4-bit textures whereas the PC and Gems versions have 24-bit textures. Despite some tweaks, texture resolution is roughly the same. Some polygon models have changed, too. The changes on Knuckles are particularly noticeable between the Saturn and PC/Gems versions. Also, the software rendered PC version is the only version with texture alpha blending. (Per texel transparency, all other versions only do per polygon transparency.)
-In some places collision detection has changed. For example, in the PC/Gems version, you can stand on the ropes in Reactive Factory; in the Saturn version you cannot.
-The Saturn version's controls were unresponsive at times, (but using a 3D Analog Pad slightly fixes this).
-In the Saturn version, there is a slight delay between when a button is pushed and when a character responds.
-The PC/Gems version has time records for each character, mode, and track combination, and the Saturns' has records for each track, mode, and combination.
-The Saturn and Gems versions have ambient sound effects for torches, waterfalls, and seasides; the Gems version has volume issues (too loud) and is missing some of the sounds that the Saturn version has.
-Credits are different in the Saturn version in that there are no 3D characters.
-The balloons in the balloon mode are blue in the Saturn version, while other versions have randomly colored balloons.
-Items have different probabilities of being received in the Saturn version; shields and speed shoes are far more common for racers in top positions.
-In the PC and Gems versions, races occur in random weather conditions, either normal, rainy, or snowy, unless the default settings are altered.
-The Saturn version supports two players in split screen, while other versions support four players.
-In the Saturn version, the instrumental tunes are longer, they're mysteriously truncated in the PC version.
The Sega Saturn version of the game makes use of the Saturn's internal battery back-up as well as the Sega Saturn Back-Up Ram Cart to save progress and unlockable content.
About Appearing Characters
Each character possesses their own unique ability, and by means of this ability may be able to take differing routes where the road forks.
Characters appearing at the start. These five contend in Grand Prix mode:
Sonic the Hedgehog
Well-known protagonist. His maximum speed is the highest among all characters. However, because his acceleration and grip performance is inferior to theirs, skill is required. When he rolls into a ball and does a spin dash, even faster speeds become possible. Additionally, with his double jump he may be able to leap over large obstacles such as rivers.
Miles 'Tails' Prower
Yearning to be like Sonic, always along wherever Sonic goes. His maximum speed may be inferior, but his other abilities are relatively good. As with Sonic, when Tails curls into a ball, a spin dash is possible. Also, by spinning his two tails, he is able to fly, making bold short cuts possible.
Knuckles the Echidna
Sonic's rival-like being. Regarding this character, all abilities are in balance. As with Sonic and Tails, the spin dash is possible when curled up. Also, gliding through the sky is possible; from a high place, he can fly further than Tails.
Only female character. Tails remodeled her all-purpose car so she could drive it and participate in the race. This character is aimed at the beginner; maximum speed is low, but it accelerates nicely. Also she has a truly all-purpose car; she can even drive it on the water. And she is able to do a Turbo Dash, traveling at great speed for a set length of time.
A wicked, genius scientist. He rides his familiar Eggmobile to participate. Since it floats in the air, its turning ability is very high and it can float over water too. Eggman is also able to throw bombs to attack other players.
[Appearance requirements] Become overall champion in Grand Prix mode to have Eggman appear on the Character Select screen.
These characters will appear when their requirements are met. One must become a good player to handle them.
Eggman developed his secret weapon with the aim of exceeding Sonic in power and speed. His maximum speed is precisely equal to Sonic's, and his acceleration exceeds Sonic's. However, because of that overwhelming power, his turning ability is inferior. Considerable skill is necessary to operate him.
[Appearance requirements] Collect 5 tokens on Resort Island in Grand Prix mode and finish better than fourth place to begin a one-on-one match with Metal Sonic. Win this race and Metal Sonic will become a possible choice on the character select screen.
As with Sonic, Eggman prepared this secret weapon for the sake of overthrowing Knuckles, considering his existence to be a hindrance. Having the same power plant as Metal Sonic, speed and acceleration power are high, but like Knuckles, this robot can glide from high places.
[Appearance requirements] Collect 5 tokens in Reactive Factory in Grand Prix mode and finish better than fourth place to begin a one-on-one match with Metal Knuckles. Win this race and Metal Knuckles will become a possible choice on the character select screen.
Eggman created this robot intending to surpass his strongest robots, including the other Metals. However, it demonstrated its true strength on its first mission: thanks to its comical body, it ignores air resistance . . . Eggman boasts of the offensive abilities he gave it, and it still matches Metal Sonic's speed.
[Appearance requirements] Collect 5 tokens in Regal Ruin in Grand Prix mode and finish better than fourth place to begin a one-on-one match with Eggmanrobo. Win this race and Eggmanrobo will become a possible choice on the character select screen.
As a last resort, Eggman manufactured this to catch Sonic unprepared. This, except for the power plant embedded in its head, is a mere stuffed animal, whose meager form nevertheless exhibits considerable ability in races due to its lightweight design. Still, it is also able to float in the air for a long time.
[Appearance requirements] Collect 5 tokens in Radical City in Grand Prix mode and finish better than fourth place to begin a one-on-one match with Tails doll. Win this race and Tails doll will become a possible choice on the character select screen.
By using the power of the Chaos Emeralds, Sonic's strongest potential abilities can be brought out. Surely the strongest and faster character, Super Sonic boasts overwhelming acceleration and maximum speed.
[Appearance requirements] After finishing at least 3rd in Grand Prix mode in Radiant Emerald, and collecting 7 Chaos Emeralds, Super Sonic will become a possible choice on the character select screen. However you are not able to keep Chaos Emeralds you pick up unless you come in first in that race.
|87||Sonic Retro Average|
|Based on 4 reviews|
|PC, JP (Ultra 2000)|
|PC, UK (Xplosiv)|
|PC, UK (Xplosiv) (newer)|
|PC, ES (Xplosiv)|
|Sonic games for the following systems|
|1996 Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island 1997 Sonic Jam | Sonic R|
|1996 Sonic the Hedgehog CD | Sonic the Hedgehog The Screen Saver | Sonic's Schoolhouse 1997 Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island | Sonic R 2003 Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut 2004 Sonic Heroes 2006 Sonic Riders 2010 Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing 2011 Sonic Generations 2013 Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed 2017 Sonic Mania | Sonic Forces|