Sonic speeds to PSP

The world's only, and therefore favorite blue hedgehog will be hurtling around PSP screens this fall, as Sega brings Sonic Rivals exclusively to Sony's handheld.

The game pits one of four characters against familiar foes from the series in a side-scrolling race across colorful 3D landscapes, avoiding the usual traps and enemies. Although the beauty of early Sonic games was the way they gave players a choice to either explore slowly or blast through at the speed of sound, hurtling through side-scrolling levels at least indicates a partial return to Sonic's 2D roots.

Above: The environments look good, if a little on the blocky side. It'll be the speed that counts.

There will be trading cards to unlock, which you'll be able to gamble in Wi-Fi matches against friends. With the ability to trip, shove and vault over your opponent, all at breakneck speed, the game certainly promises close competition. You'll also be able to customize your racer, but to what degree hasn't been revealed.

The environments in these initial screens do look a little blocky, probably to keep everything running quickly, but if it moves at lightning pace while still maintaining a sense of control, this could be a perfect blast of speed for PSP. Plus, if you're running that fast, you won't even have time to notice the simple visuals.

Check out the rest of the screens by clicking the images tab above.

May 3, 2006