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The Next Level
Simply put, Sonic Riders is a fun, fast paced racer that will challenge the best of us while leaving others exhausted and swearing off games in its wake. It's a bit on the short side, but with such solid difficulty and so many extras to uncover, it should keep us busy until the next great arcade-style twitch racer comes our way.
Riders does contain some glaring flaws, mostly in the way of menu bog-down and an inconsiderate lack of multiplayer options. It's a shame that a game with so much going for it is so hindered by such simple oversights. Setbacks aside, this is an enjoyable, rewarding racer for Sonic fans or anyone taking the time to invest in its unorthodox concept. Surprisingly, Sonic Riders feels more like a classic Sonic game of yore than most recent installments. It's all about speeding through courses as fast as possible. New courses must be learned for success, their pitfalls avoided, straightaways exploited. Eggman should really learn to center his plots around something Sonic isn't as good at.
Auf dem Papier hört sich der Titel eigentlich perfekt an. Leider hält er nicht ganz das was er verspricht. Sind Geschwindigkeit, Abwechslungsreichtum und das typische Sonic-Feeling zweifellos vorhanden, kränkelt es diesmal leider ein wenig in Sachen Gameplay. Zu viele Anzeigen, zu undurchsichtige Levels, schwer kontrollierbare Airboards und ein bissiger Schwierigkeitsgrad lassen den kessen Igel leider über sein Ziel hinausschießen. So reiht sich Sonic Riders leider nur zu den guten aber nicht herausragenden Racern ein – Schade, ich hätte dem Kulthelden mehr gegönnt.
Kaum aus dem Winterschlaf erwacht, steht Segas Säuger schon wieder auf dem Airboard, um sich mit 15 gegnerischen Fahrern in einem etwas zu simpel gestrickten Rennspiel zu messen. Der adrenalinfördernde Temporausch basiert auf dem Erfolgsrezept von Sonics 3D-Abenteuern: Sonic Riders ist leicht zugänglich, sieht sauber aus und macht auch zu viert ordentlich Laune. Der Steuerung hätte man dagegen ruhig einige Feinheiten mehr spendieren können. So ist doch recht schnell die Luft raus.
Like most popular platformer franchises, the Sonic series has dabbled in the racing genre in the past with games like Sonic R for the Saturn. Despite the fact that Sonic's already-speedy nature might seem like a perfect fit for a racing title of some sort, the results of these attempts have been disappointing thus far. Sonic Riders is the latest attempt to get Sonic back on the race track, though this one eschews the typical kart- and foot-racing brands of racing one would usually find in a racer starring popular platformer heroes. Instead, Riders gives Sonic and pals their very own Back to the Future II-style hoverboards, which they can use to dart and dash around wacky tracks of varying levels of difficulty. Unfortunately, Sonic Riders isn't really all that much better than any of Sega's previous attempts to make Sonic a racing hero, simply because it can't quite manage to keep its diverse and chaotic racing mechanics together into one cohesive package.
Someone at Sonic Team has really got to lay off the Marketing for Dummies books. Undoubtedly discovering that players sometimes gravitate toward games with guns, the pioneering Japanese studio last year created Shadow the Hedgehog, which was more or less Sonic Adventure with weapons. The added shooting mechanics were arguably the weakest additions to the formula. Now comes the racer Sonic Riders, a concept that initially seems to make sense for SEGA's speedy mascots. After all, Sonic R for the defunct Saturn console had potential and the best bits about recent hedgehog games have been the frenzied, rollercoaster areas. Unfortunately, the developer once again opened up its marketing book, took a look at the success of EA's SSX franchise, and decided that its blazing fast characters would be better served on snowboards.
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM)
The majority of your gameplay time will involve trying and retrying the courses, feeling out the alternate routes. Sure, you've got to pull off a few tricks here and there to keep up your momentum, but SSX it ain't.
Game Freaks 365
I really don't like being so harsh on a video game, but Sonic Riders isn't worth your money. It isn't worth your time, and it isn't worth having Sonic's name and image plastered on the cover. If you want to play a mean trick on your kids, buy them Sonic Riders - they might enjoy it just as much as Shadow the Hedgehog.
Game Informer Magazine
The general feeling this game conveys is confusion and chaos, akin to being flushed down a jet-powered toilet. If that sounds fun to you, I say go for it.
Sonic Riders a pour lui sa réalisation en plus de quelques idées intéressantes comme le système de turbulence et les figures à réaliser indispensables pour faire remonter sa jauge d'air, mais tout cela est en grande partie gâché par une jouabilité vraiment médiocre, par un nombre de circuits assez faiblard aux tracés mal pensés et par un niveau de difficulté trop élevé.
All Game Guide
As in traditional skateboard and snowboard titles, players can perform a number of grabs, spins, and other tricks, but the air boards have the added ability to create turbulence, which players can strategically use to draft behind their rivals. Another feature of the game is an air meter, which is filled by performing tricks and unleashing massive jumps. Players can use the stockpiled air at any time during the competition for more precise cornering, a speed boost, or to create a tornado to temporarily stun pursuing rivals. Up to four speed demons can compete in racing, battle, and tag modes, with the latter supporting cooperative play.
Eventually, every gaming icon grows tired of saving the world/girl/humanity from harm. Over the years, Mario, Crash, Jak, and Mega Man have felt the need to develop some kind of new, interesting method to combat evil. Unfortunately, the bone they usually get tossed is shaped like a go-kart, and now one more is added to the list with Sonic Riders, where the world's fastest mammal tries to go faster, with mixed results.
Sonic's lost a little bit more of his zip here with the second failed Hedgehog title out of the Sonic Team camp in less than a year. Sonic Riders tries to put some zesty racing action on the line here, but suffers due to inadequate gameplay and the kind of AI that makes you want to bash your controller into pieces with a hammer. If you want frenetic racing action that's actually fun, I recommend Sonic R in the Sonic Gems Collection. Riders goes off the mark far too often to give you any kind of smooth ride.
Think back to the heyday of SSX, Tony Hawk and all things extreme. Talk about missed opportunities. Sega could've named this Sonikk Riderzz XXX. Cross-promotional tie-ins with Mountain Dew, Johnny Moseley and Jackass could have had all the kids in line to buy Sonic's madcap racer. If only someone had foresight, maybe we wouldn't be receiving a lukewarm, SSX clone-ish, Sonic racing game in the year 2006. Still, I didn't even see one Sonic Riders billboard during any of the snowboard events of this winter's Olympics…which causes me to question Sega's enthusiasm for its hero's latest exploits.
Game Informer Magazine
The game does deserve props for its innovative approach towards drafting and the starting line, but the remainder of the content is a mangled mess of blue fur and something rank.
Räkna med obligatoriskt gnabb med Dr Robotnik, gyllene lökringar som hårdvaluta och ett upplägg som trots Grand Canyon-stora brister åtminstone knäcker det ärkekonstiga Sonic R. Det verkar nästan som om Sega avsiktligt vill utrota all kvalitet som kan förknippas med deras maskot. Den där stora revanschen blir mer och mer avlägsen för varje Sonic-spel som släpps.
On the surface, you see most of the elements needed for a successful title. Sonic lovers will find doses of blinding speed; you have a bevy of modes to choose from, both single- and multiplayer; it's not a bad looking game, and runs at a steady framerate; and you have plenty of courses, characters, and unlockables. It's when you actually pick up a controller and try to have fun that you realize these things are mere Scotch tape attempting to hold together the busted plate that is Sonic Riders' gameplay.
Press Start Online
Let's not beat about the bush here; Sonic Riders is awful. It's the kind of game that copies from all sorts of other games without realising what made any of them any good - taking all the worst bits from superior titles like a pinch of SSX, a great wodge of F-Zero, and a few steals from Kirby's Air Ride.
The Video Game Critic
Five flashy courses wind through a city, factory, desert, river, and a jungle track that looks as if it was lifted from Sonic Adventure 2. Sonic Riders includes a four-player split screen mode, but based on what you're heard so far, would you really expect it to be any good? I had a Sonic fans over to give this game a good workout, but after a few minutes their eyes glazed over as they looked on in bewilderment. Sonic Riders is a complete mess. This hedgehog will require a complete overhaul if he's bound for the next generation of systems.