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Let the blue hedgehog fever run! Sonic is back in his first racing game for the PC (Windows 95 and 98) with Sonic R, based on Sega's Saturn version of the same title. This time it's distributed by Expert Software with permission from Sega's PC Collection line, and is even Y2K compliant (as readily noted on the box art)!
In this racing game you can immediately play as one of four familiar characters from the Sonic world: Tails, Knuckles, Amy and the master of speed and spin himself, Sonic. As the game progresses you'll eventually uncover five other hidden characters including the evil Dr. Robotnik! Play in 360 degrees from a choice of five soaring, twisting and upside-down looping tracks that include hidden areas. Some of these tracks are Resort Island, Radical City, Regal Ruin and Reactive Factory (see the pattern here?). And with six game modes including Time Attack, Grand Prix, Network Play and Single Race, the fun has just begun.
The game even features sub-modes such as Balloon Race (where you must find predetermined amounts of balloons throughout the circuit) and Tag Battle (where you also collect balloons but must tag Sonic's pals along the way). Do so by accelerating ahead of the others and braking at corners. You can also jump, fly and essentially do anything your character can to win. Oh, and don't forget to collect all those rings that will open up new parts and earn you bonuses!
Sonic R allows you to track down other players' footprints so you can learn new shortcuts. As well, you can switch between three different player viewpoints, and in the multi-player mode a four-way split-screen option is available. Go ahead, race up to three other friends over a LAN (via TCP/IP or IPX), modem or serial link! The game also supports 16-bit hi-color depth and uses a 640x480 resolution. The game runs on computers with various brand name processors such as Intel's Pentium, AMD's K5 and Cyrix's 6X86. In addition to joystick/joypad compatibility, the keyboard may be used as well.
The developer, Traveller's Tales, has also included support for 3D accelerated hardware from manufacturers such as 3Dfx, Matrox, nVidia, Real 3-D, 3D Labs and ATI. The user gets to choose between DirectDraw or Direct3D when the game is first started. The graphics feature background animations and even weather effects such as big plops of rain.
Discover hidden courses, bonuses and characters as you take advantage of power-ups like speed bursts and other items until you race across the finish line with Sonic R for the PC. But don't disappoint Sonic; he'll know you BLUE it! ~ Cal Nguyen, All Game Guide