Sonic Free Riders is a launch title for the Kinect and the seventh racing game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series of games.
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 and challenges Sonic to one final race, and Sonic wins. Even though are no prizes, everyone is happy because they had fun.
Why It Sucks
- It requires the Kinect, and no PlayStation 3, Wii, or Microsoft Windows versions exist.
- The nearly unresponsive controls make the game borderline unplayable at times.
- 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.
- Menu navigation is frustrating.
- Voice commands barely work and require to say the exact name of the option you want. How are you supposed to know what that option's name is?
- Repetitive music during the cut scenes.
- The multiplayer mode can be very awkward for certain players because you need to hold hands with the other player.
- In the cutscenes of the game, some of the major characters have been flandarized.
- It marks the debut of a new voice cast (starring Roger Craig Smith, Cindy Robinson, Kate Higgins, Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, Kirk Thornton, etc.).
- The graphics look really good.
- Bike gears are more functional and enjoyable.
- Much like every other modern Sonic game, the music is good to listen to.
The game received very negative reception 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.
Angry Joe gave the game his first ever 1/10 rating stating it to be "outright broken," panning the controls as unresponsive, and the menu navigation to be clunky and similarly unresponsive. ProJared tried the game out his review of the Kinect itself. The game had left Jared feeling angry, and with a sore back. 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.