Sonic Rivals 3 is a game created by Monster Lab. Developers Backbone Entertainment and Sonic Team are exclusively to the PlayStation Portable and Xbox 360, respectively. This is the third game to be developed by a Canadian company, although Sonic Team also developed the game. The prequels of the game are Sonic Rivals and Sonic Rivals 2. It features 2.5D gameplay, as the players scramble to reach the end of the level before the other players do (whether they are computer-controlled or live opponents). It otherwise plays very much like older titles in the series. However, in the Final Story, it uses 3D gameplay. It starts off with a compettion with Shadow, but after Shadow joins Sonic, they compete against rivals that use a specific strategy like acrobatics. Each characters has four normal abilities and 1 special ability.
- Sonic the Hedgehog - Strategy: Speed
- Abilities: Homing Attack, Light Speed Attack, Sonic Wind and Whirlwind
- Special Ability: Sonic Combo
- Shadow the Hedgehog - Strategy: Speed
- Abilities: Chaos Blast, Chaos Control, Chaos Spear and Homing Attack
- Special Ability: Chaos Boost
- Blaze the Cat - Strategy: Acrobatic
- Abilities: Burst Dash, Fire Boost, Fire Claw and Spinning Claw
- Special Ability: Flames of Kilekion
- Amy Rose - Strategy: Acrobatic
- Abilities: Big Hammer Attack, Hammer Attack, Hammer Whirl and Homing Attack
- Special Ability: Invisibility
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Gaia Core is the final level of the game. It is only played during the Final Story, featuring 3D gamplay instead of 2.5D. In this level, Sonic and Blaze are not playable, although Blaze fights the final boss with the Gaia Colossus. There are 8 segments, 7 focusing on collecting the Chaos and Sol Emeralds. The final segment focuses on collecting the Master Emerald and Master Sol Emerald. The order goes like this: Omega, Silver, Cream, Tails, Rouge, Knuckles, Amy and Shadow. The boss of this level is Mephiles and Dark Gaia.
There are several songs in this game. The main song of the game is Dear My Friend, which was performed by Brent Cash, but because this was played during the credits of the Final Story, within the loss of Sonic, this was also performed by Cherami Leigh as Blaze's singing voice, making a memorable game and song of the Sonic series. There's also other songs played at the credits of the strategy featuring: It Doesn't Matter, Believe In Myself, Unknown From M.E., My Sweet Passion & Dreams Of An Absolution.