Review by irrewonderful

"Sonic left the Gamecube pretty well"

On February 21, 2006, the last Sonic game for the Nintendo Gamecube was released, and was also released on XBox and PS2. It was called Sonic Riders, and was another racing game in the Sonic series. The game featured racing on air boards, a new gimmick to the Sonic Games. How did this new gameplay fare? My review will tell you how I feel.

The new air board controls are quite unique. You can play as a Speed, Flight, or Power type character, each with their own abilities. Speed types can grind on rails, Flight types can fly through hoops, and Power type characters can break through obstacles. I like the concept of the three types, as it provides more variety in racing. You can have different experiences while playing the levels depending on who you pick. You also have to deal with the new air boards known as Extreme Gear. These run on air, so you cannot run out of it while racing on it. You use up air as you go, and even more is used after boosting. You will need to recharge your board with air after a while. Also, your board can take you to different routes on the tracks, depending on how long you hold the jump button, and what direction you move the control stick. These controls work fine and make the game fun to play. However, you will have to get used to how the game plays before you can enjoy it. The one problem I have with this game is that you cannot simply start playing and know immediately what you are doing.

A story mode also exists in this game, where Sonic and his friends learn that Dr. Eggman is hosting an Ex World Grand Prix race. They enter the race to figure out what Eggman is up to. Also, another storyline exists, that follows three new characters called the Babylon Rogues. These 3 are Jet the Hawk, Wave the Swallow, and Storm the Albatross, all of which I believe are enjoyable characters. They are thieves who are trying to find the legendary Babylon Garden, a place their ancestors came from, and where treasure is surely to be found. I really do like the story in this game, as it has a lot of humor in it, making the cutscenes interesting to watch, and it has a good amount of depth to it. This is another game where I find myself wanting to beat the levels to see more of the story.

As for the graphics, they look amazing in this game. This is one of the Gamecube's best games as far as graphics go. Every area looks so realistic, with so much detail. Despite that, it still looks cartoon-like, something that should always be true of the Sonic games, as it gives the feel for being in a Sonic game. As far as the soundtrack goes, it is pretty good, having a few really good songs. Some of them, however, are pretty forgettable, though still not terrible.

The learning curve of this game is the one major problem with it. However, it is a really fun game once you get used to the controls and tracks. It is an overall pretty good racing game in the series, and I rate it a 7/10.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 06/20/13

Game Release: Sonic Riders (US, 02/21/06)

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