What is different about Sonic Riders Tournament Edition from the original? Why play the mod over the original?
Sonic Riders Tournament Edition is still Sonic Riders as you know it. Much of the content, set pieces, and fundamentals of how the game plays is unchanged. However, many of the game's mechanics have been altered or iterated upon. And content has been added to the game such as new characters, extreme gears, and other features. This will change the way you approach the game compared to the original.
Game Defining Changes
Magnetic Impulse (MI)
Magnetic Impulse (MI) is a new comeback mechanic that interacts with the game's other two comeback factors, Turbulence & Slipstream. If the player behind has not interacted with Turbulence or Slipstream for a prolonged period of time, a streak of light will begin to orbit around the character, and they will gain additional fuel & speed from performing actions that utilize the environment. This ranges from trick ramps, type shortcuts, dash panels, pits, air/ring boxes, speed shoes, and even sign grinds. (With the exception of QTEs, if it's part of the stage, MI will boost it.)
MI begins if you are below 1st place have not used either Turbulence or Slipstream for a second. Similar to Slipstream, the longer you are under the effects of Magnetic Impulse, the stronger it becomes. MI reaches full power in 20 seconds. This is referred to as Maximum Impulse. While under the effects of Turbulence and Slipstream for a second straight, the Magnetic Impulse is stalled and begins to decay. It takes 15 seconds for MI's intensity to decay from Max Impulse.
MI will reignite when the timer for Turbulence and Slipstream deprivation has been reached again. When that happens, the intensity of MI picks up where it left off. MI mainly comes into play on stages where Slipstream and Turbulence are not as present, or when a player is no longer within the range of these other comeback factors. While the player will gain access to more resources, it is up to them to make use of it.
Rail Speed = 360
Rail Speed = 422
How does it look in the game?
Red BM Streak - Indicates that MI is active and in effect
Blue BM Streak - Indicates that MI is dormant and not in effect
Max MI - Both streaks are present at the same time, are slightly bigger, and are rotating very fast
MI becomes active and begins to grow after one second of no slipstream or turbulence use. It also deactivates if the player crosses into 1st.
As soon as you meet one of the conditions, MI begins to decay, the red streak will fade and the blue one will take over. This is to signify that you still have an MI value: it's just not in effect at the moment.
Even if MI is in its active state, it is unable to get stronger while in very close proximity to the 1st player. The effects will still work, but the growth will be frozen. MI will resume growth once you are out of range.
A brand new mechanic to Sonic Riders. Holding the B button in fall state or trick state will result in the player falling faster than normal. The longer you hold the button, the more velocity you'll gain.
The speed and cost at which you fall is determined by the character & gear's weight. Lighter characters will consume less air when fast falling, while heavier characters will consume more. The base fast falling velocity is the same for every character; however, heavier builds will fall much faster than lighter builds because their weight is accounted for in the base falling equation.
S Rank Speed Up
In SRTE, S rank tricks give you 300 landing speed when performed. This encourages trick variety by alternating between X/S rank combinations. More speed in the present vs more fuel for the future. New judgment calls must be made on which trick would be most advantageous to use.
Keep in mind, you still need ample charge S rank, so missing your charge when you originally aimed to do an X rank won't be an option, since a no-charge jump on most ramps will only net the player up to A+. Sometimes on certain ramps, you can get an S+ with no charge. However, on those ramps, a normal S is still not possible because despite it being a lower rank, S ranks take longer to perform than an S+. Ring gears lose fuel when they perform S rank tricks. This takes the form of a new special flag, known as Trick of Greed.
By skimming passed a tornado, you will gain a burst of speed. There is a unique visual & sound cue to indicate this. This technique is disabled if Clutch mode is active.
Hold Z or use the Y toggle to go through turbulence, pits, and tornadoes. When going through turbulence or tornados this way, your air is drained: slightly while exiting turbulence and exponentially when going through tornadoes.
Weight was a hidden stat in the original version of Sonic Riders that didn't have any noticeable effect during races. Introduced in SRTE 1.4, Weight was redefined to add all new layers of depth to the game. it mainly influences uphill speed loss and introduces downhill speed gain which the original game did not have.
Additionally, other quirks have been granted to characters in order to make them feel unique from each other. For example, heavier characters need to charge their jumps for longer, and lighter characters lose more speed while traveling on off-road. Perhaps the most noticeable change is the character's Weight now determines how their decent while falling. This becomes much more apparent when using the newly implemented fast-fall mechanic.
Weight has also been attributed to gears with skates being light, bikes being heavy, and boards generally being around the middle. Each individual Extreme Gear & character possess their own weight value and both values are combined upon selection.
The introduction of weight adds pregame competitive depth to Riders. Players will need to consider the weight of their gear/character combination and figure out which kind of gear will pair well with the weight of their character.
The effect this has on Riders outside a competitive lens is as well, just as staggering as it is subtle. The game in general feels more kinetic with the auxiliary physics. Characters feel like they have real weight to them whereas the original game lacked such nuance. Additionally, each individual character has their own unique weight stat regardless of Shortcut Type or Archetype. This makes them all handle just a bit differently from one another, making them feel a little less like skins with stat bonuses and more like characters with their own personal quirks.
Some additional things Weight affects...
- How fast characters fall naturally and when using the fast fall mechanic.
- The air cost per frame of the fast fall mechanic (The heavier the build, the higher the cost.)
- How long it takes for players to reach maximum jump charge.
- How much speed players gain while traveling downhill.
- How much speed players lose while traveling uphill.
- How much speed players lose while traveling on "off-road" surfaces.
- Magnet's life span has been increased from 10 seconds to 15 seconds.
- "Speed Shoe" & "5 Rings" are two new kinds of item boxes that are placed throughout the stages
- The 100-ring box and max air box has been removed
- Other items such as the ball & chain, bomb, and invincibility have been removed.
- The probability of getting speed shoes from a random item box at level 1 & 2 is 0%.
At level 3, it increases to 20%. Ring gears are 20% all the time.
The way items work in SRTE has been altered to enhances competitive play. This was generally done by removing some of the more high impact items from the game and raising the consistency of what is pulled from random item boxes. Some RNG is still preset in random boxes as a little bit of variability provides more exciting gameplay.
By doing things this way, we decrease the frustration players have when not leveling up from random boxes and increase the chance of getting speed shoes when the player actually wants them. We want the RNG in the game to still exist, as we think that it's still somewhat important for the game's charm and soul. The change is simply to skew it much more in the player's favor now. While this may slow down level 4 gears from getting to their final form, they aren't really played on stages where this would matter. Level 4 gears by design are most viable on stages where there are massive stashes of rings that could bypass the ring collecting process, such as Splash Canyon.