Review by RangerD

Reviewed: 03/02/06

This is a game you'll play alot in 5 years because you're bored and good at it.

(This is a first glance review, I'll probably edit it as I play more.)

No 'I waited anxiously for this game' crap, straight to the review.

This is a racing game. And not just any racing game. This game has its own, unique style. So why don't you go to Training mode to learn how to play? Oh wait, there isn't one. You have to read the manual and hope you are an expert at first start.

Story mode is already tough. The first two races are simple 'Finish third or higher' races. And the next is a 'Finish in first race'? And against a strong CPU? This game has a steep learning curve. I've just started the game, and I'm already using every skill I have just to stay in the top four. I don't remember seeing a difficulty switch in the Options, so you're stuck racing like crazy.

They tried to incorporate the Speed, Flying, and Power categories from Sonic Heroes into this game. They don't really fit in this game, though. They all get different abilities (when the abilities are used, you get more air to fuel your board):

-Speed players get to grind on rails. So you're telling me two-thirds of the characters are too slow to jump onto a rail? It just doesn't add up to me.

-Flying characters get to go through 'Accelerators'. The screen shows that you should move up and down or something, but that doesn't help. I usually only get one Accelerator then either fall back on the track or fall off the course.

-Power people get to hit stuff. It's cool, but at the speed you're going, you have to steer into a series of things standing in your way to bust them up. Very annoying.

You have to look for specific places on the tracks to do this. A light shines to show you where to go. However, I always get distract by the blue Speed Ability light (which usually comes first on the track) and miss the other two. That's just me, though, I'm easily distracted.

Also, there's about no way to get back into first if you fall behind. If you don't get a spectacular start, you're gonna be in fifth or sixth in the first one second of the race. If you fall, give up. If someone stuns you (which happens if they pass by you in boost), you won't get back too fast. I'm not saying you'll stay in that place the whole time, but in a 'come in first' race on the last lap, you won't come back in time. You can ride turbulence, which helps some. But how does riding on someone's wind catch you up with them? You have to stay behind them to do it! And there's always the risk of running out of air. If you have to sharp turn around a corner, you might run low on air. So you have to drive into some corner in the middle of nowhere a bump into the wall a couple times to wait for air. Wonderful.

There are some good points, though. The high paced music gets you energized and ready to race. Also, the race tracks are awesome, large-looking and gorgeous. The only thing is most of the time, you'll be going too fast to really enjoy that you're in such a spectacular area. But that's okay, though, speed is better. :D The cutscenes are beautiful, but they aren't really too good at explaining anything. For example, Wave the Swallow walks up to the Sonic group and laughs at them. They remember her stealing, but they don't wanna fight her or anything. They don't even ask her for her name. :/

In a nutshell, this is the game you'll play five years from now. You'll look through your games and go, "Hey, I haven't played Sonic Riders in a long time." Then you'll play and be great at it. But until then, good luck getting used to the awkward, annoying game antics.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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