While many consider the 3DS sonic games uniformly inferior to the 2D ones, many of my best Sonic memories come from Sonic Adventure 2 — and not just the game's singleplayer. I can't count the hours I spent doing racing battles with my friends — which is probably why I find the multiplayer of Rodea the Sky Soldier so enjoyable.
Rodea the Sky Soldier, the newest game by Sonic and Nights into Dreams creator Yuji Naka plays quite differently depending on whether you play it on the Wii with motion controls or on the Wii U without them. The Wii version of the game also comes with another feature not present in the Wii U version: Sonic Adventure-style versus battles.
Much like the classic racing battles of Sonic Adventure 2, Rodea the Sky Soldier's Wii version allows up to four players to race to the finish of a remixed stage from the single player.
However, to mix things up a bit, it's not just a simple race with the various players grappling from floating island to floating island to reach the end of the stage. Rather, each level also has several diamonds to shatter and collect. While doing this slows down your progress dramatically, collecting enough of them can open teleportation door shortcuts — allowing you (and any of those following you) to bypass large chunks of the level. And, of course, you can attack each other, steeling said gems in the process.
There are a total of five of these maps to unlock by playing through the main story, and each has several paths to try out as you race your friends.
While far from complicated, battling for gems and flying through each level is surprisingly fun — and more than a little reminiscent of the time I spent with my friends and Sonic Adventure 2 back in the day.
Rodea the Sky Soldier was released in Japan on the Nintendo Wii U (with the Wii version included as a bonus) and 3DS on April 2, 2015. It is currently scheduled for a North American release on September 22, 2015, for the Wii U. First-run copies of the Wii U version in North America will also include the Wii version.