Sonic Free Riders

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Sonic Free Riders
Sonic Free Riders Box Artwork.jpg
This is why you shouldn't make motion controls 100% mandatory.
Genre: Racing
Platforms: Xbox 360
Release Date: November 4, 2010
Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: Sega
Made in: Japan
Franchise: Sonic the Hedgehog
Previous Game: Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity


Sonic Free Riders is a racing game developed as a launch title for the Kinect and the last game of the Sonic Riders racing game series.

Plot

Eggman, disguised as a king, announces the World Grand Prix. Though he offers prizes to the winners, his real plan is to collect the data from the racers in order to program them into robots. After defeating Eggman, the real enemy is revealed to be Metal Sonic. It challenges Sonic to one final race, and Sonic wins. Even though are no prizes, everyone is happy because they had fun.

Why It Sucks

  1. The use of Kinect is completely mandatory for everything, and there is no option to use a regular controller.
  2. The nearly broken unresponsive controls make the game borderline unplayable at times, thanks to the poorly designed and heavily rushed control scheme.
  3. Besides the unresponsive controls, the movements the player has to do are tiring and even painful. In particular, having to lean back and forward can hurt your back.
  4. Menu navigation is frustrating due to the requirement of spinning the menu to cycle through options, and voice commands barely working at times and require to say the exact name of the option you want. The problem is the game don't even show what option it is unless if you select the option.
  5. Lack of content. The previous games had more content present.
  6. Repetitive music during the cutscenes.
  7. Some characters are very annoying and unlikeable as they won't shut up while riding their hover boards like Amy Rose saying "HERE I GO!!!" every time she accelerates her hover board.
  8. Some things like grabbing rings, flying in the air, drifting, bumping into stuff can cause frame rate drops.
  9. The multiplayer mode can be very awkward for certain players because you need to hold hands with the other player.
    • On the topic of multiplayer, the Kinect has a harder time tracking two players which makes the controls even worse somehow.
    • Split screen multiplayer can be kinda dangerous because you might bump your head into someone while leaning back and forth.
  10. This game was the beginning of the flanderization of the cast.
    • Speaking of flanderization, Jet is extremely unlikeable in this game. He stays as the same crabby jerk as he was in the first Sonic Riders game. To make matters worse, Michael Yurchak's portrayal as him is very atrocious. Instead of sounding like a teenager, he made Jet sound like a little kid. So much for Jet's character development.
  11. The game uses cutscenes with characters talking without any motion and with a background of a racing map behind them, similar to Team Sonic Racing later on in the decade.
  12. In one cutscene, Knuckles states that there was foul play. Omochao then says: "Alright, let's roll back the tape!" yet we hear a camera snapping pictures. Plus, Knuckles racing by himself in the race before that cutscene.
  13. Terrible plot filled with plotholes like how everyone is easily fooled by Eggman's pathetic "disguise".
  14. There is no option to switch the voice-over to Japanese in the game. Instead, you have to switch the system's language to Japanese in order to change voice acting. Why didn't they just program a simple UI option?
  15. Sega never bothered to release a patch which adds normal controller support.
  16. It ended up killing the Sonic Riders subseries.
  17. In a meta sense, this game exemplifies why motion controls should always be a secondary option, and should never be forced upon the player, especially when they are this unresponsive.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. It marks the debut of a new voice cast (starring Roger Craig Smith, Cindy Robinson, Kate Higgins, Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, Kirk Thornton, etc.), who are good as their characters.
  2. The graphics look really good.
  3. Bike gears are more functional and enjoyable than Board gears.
  4. Online play is supported and is fun, but, sadly, the servers are dead nowadays.
  5. Much like every other modern Sonic game, the music is good to listen to.
  6. Some characters get their own controls and moves like Tails' ability to take shortcuts from Sonic Adventure, Sonic's ability to grind on rails, and Knuckles' ability to punch upcoming obstacles.

Reception

The game received mostly mixed to negative reviews from critics, but a very negative reception from user scores due to the unresponsive controls that make the game near unplayable. It is a very common example as to why motion controls faded from popularity, and are more of a novelty nowadays.

Angry Joe gave the game his very first 1/10 rating stating it to be "outright broken," panning the controls as unresponsive, and the menu navigation to be clunky and similarly unresponsive.

Somecallmejohnny couldn't even get past the tutorial segment because of how unresponsive the motion controls were when he reviewed a series of Sonic racing games.

Although he never reviewed the game itself, The Retro Replay believed Sonic Free Riders to be an example of how motion controls need extensive testing before being released.

Scott The Woz briefly reviewed this game in his Kinect video. He stated that the menus were hard to navigate and said that you could get back cramps from playing this. He was clearly not having a fun time with this game.

Nathaniel Bandy ranked this game #1 on his "Top 10 worst Sonic games" video.

The game is currently holding a score of 1.9/10 on IMDb.[1]

Videos

Comments


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Grust

25 months ago
Score 8
This is the only game I've ever destroyed purposely.
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XXSeph MySpaceXx

24 months ago
Score 3
I remember me and my sister trying to play this game around 4 years ago. It frustrated us. A lot.
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Ivan97Miraheze

15 months ago
Score 3
I wish Sega would make a remake of the whole Sonic Riders trilogy (including this game) for the new consoles, while also removing the mandatory motion controls from this game.
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SpazJR61

15 months ago
Score 1

I don't think so since Sega and Sonic Team playing too safe.

And that's why the recent games are bland and lazy.
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HunterZolomon

15 months ago
Score 2
Abomination
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Mr. Dready

14 months ago
Score 2
Believe it or not this was the 2ND Kinect game i've played after Kinect Adventures, and later i said this game suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks!, it's a good thing they haven't made any other Kinect Sonic game.
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Mr. Dready

11 months ago
Score 2
For me i think this game is kinda better than Dragon Ball Z: For Kinect, i think this is more a terrible way to end the Sonic Riders series, which i’m kinda dissapointed, because i did really enjoyed Sonic: Riders and Sonic: Riders: Zero Gravity, but for DBZ for Kinect, it’s just Ultimate Tenkaichi but worse.
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Glitchedblood

8 months ago
Score 2
Is this the only unplayable Sonic game?
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SpazJR61

6 months ago
Score 1
With expectation of some of the fan games, yes.
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DarkMatterMan4500

6 months ago
Score 1
Actually no. Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis can also be unplayable as well.
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SersanRoachie

6 months ago
Score 1
Thank God, my dad threw the disk away when he was pissed off to me
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ThePCGamer

6 months ago
Score 1
Glad I've never played it. And one of the reasons why is because I don't have a Xbox 360
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Kgames

6 months ago
Score 0
nice one sonic team and sega
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PlayStationForever

5 months ago
Score 0
And this is why you should never let Sega touch motion controls. And i never knew this game had online, and im sure it's a dreadful experience. Also the game encourages you to HOLD HANDS.... Sega, what the fuck is wrong with you?!
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ItMeansNothing

5 months ago
Score 0
I can handle games with some bad controlling, but I could not even do anything even though I was playing the demo version of this.
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Yoshi and Tails Fanboy 130

4 months ago
Score 0
If I ever played this game, I'd smash it on purpose because I would hate it so much. Anyways I'm staying away from this game at all costs.
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TheLukesterJoy

3 months ago
Score 0
I'm falling in the wind all right! Off my board that barely works!
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HammerBro101

2 months ago
Score 0
This game is borderline unplayable due to unresponsive motion controls, and this game proves why you shouldn't make them mandatory.
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DoubleJumpMan

2 months ago
Score 1
I thought Sega learnt their lesson with Sonic and the Secret Rings, but apparently they didn't.
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MarioFanatic69

one month ago
Score 1
This is actually my least favourite game of all time. Once I finished it, I actually destroyed my copy of the game with a sledgehammer so I wouldn't come back to it on mistake. I even left a note on my Xbox 360 and One to remind me to never buy this game on mistake. I fucking despise this game. Its difficulty makes Dark Souls look like New Super Mario Bros. 2. The story also sucked.
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LouBlu08

2 days ago
Score 0
"Made Dark Souls look like NSMB2" is one of the best comparisons I've heard in a long time.
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Jamie G.

11 days ago
Score 2
🎵IIIIIIII'M FALLING FREEEEEEEEEE IN THE WIND!🎵
🎵IN THE WIND!🎵
🎵FREEEEEEEEEEEE TO BE MEEEEEEEEEEEE IN THE WIND!🎵
🎵IN THE WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIND! 🎵

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