Review by ScrawlKnight

Reviewed: 01/08/07 | Updated: 08/31/11

Sonic Riders is fun, but has too much missed potential.

Intro: On a basic level, Sonic Riders is a fun racing game with some interesting ideas and some originality. There is a lot of fun to be had with this game, some interesting challenges and some fun multiplayer. However as you dig deeper you find many flaws within the game, but also some little jewels.

Graphics 8/10:
The graphics are just your typical Sonic ones. They look very nice and do the job very well, but there is no advancement from previous sonic games. All the characters look nice and are easily distinguishable. Courses look good too, however in some points seem to be lacking in detail and can be a little bland or plain at times. Boards all look great and are fun to race around on. The cut scenes, though have been done very well - especially the opening and closing- and have a really nice look for the game. The only issue with them is they look too "cartoonish" and don't really suit the rest of the game.

Gameplay 7/10:
Sonic Riders is a typical racing game except in a few areas. For starters you have an air gauge. As you race around, bump into things, boost and turn corners that gauge will run down. When it empties your board is out of fuel and you have to either find a pit stop or perform a trick to get more air. Thankfully there are plenty of opportunities to do this, but overall it really just seems to get in the way. The course designs are also fairly boring, but they all have their good points. Although they can to feel fairly similar as you move from one to the next. However they are quite short and presuming you are good at the game, you should be able to knock over the story mode in under an hour or two. Then you have mission mode to play through in which there are a number of missions per course such as performing tricks or picking uo certain items to keep you interested. Course Design is good in theory but in practice there are some corners on the courses that no matter how much practice you have, you will see yourself flying off the edge or hitting a wall. Also you have turbulence in which you can board on to gain extra speed, however occasionally this turbulence takes you halfway around a corner and then leaves you to go slamming into a wall.

Sound 7/10:
Not a lot to say here. The sound works well, but its not amazing or original. If you normally like Sonic music, then you won't have a problem with the background music here. It's catchy, fun, and suits the courses pretty well. Sound effects are pretty good and there's some great ones in there. What really lets the game down in the voice acting, it is terrible. The voices barely suit the characters and even then they have been very poorly done. It is some of the poorest voice acting I have seen in a while, but then I guess it is hard to voice act a hedgehog.

Replay Value 8/10:
Well it is a racing game so you can do time trials to try and beat records, you have play your friends in multiplayer which is a lot of fun and you can try and do better in the missions and earn higher ranking medals! This adds a huge amount of extra stuff to the game and jacks up the replay value, as long as you're happy to do missions over and over and over again. But the main game won't take you that long to beat in itself. There are a couple of challenging courses, but on the whole the 1-player is fairly easy. So as long as you enjoy the game, there is a lot of value to it.

Overall 7.4/10:
Sonic Riders is a good game, its just lacking in some things and others that weren't done well enough. It works well with multiplayer and provides some interesting and fun gameplay, if bland at points. If you are a sonic fan then it might be worth a play, just to see what its like, but otherwise you may want to stay away, unless you like snowboarding.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

Product Release: Sonic Riders (AU, 03/23/06)

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