|System: X360 (KINECT)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Sega of America||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sega of America||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 4, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
There are a few modes in the single-player section such as tag race and time trial. Time Trial is the most fun of all of the modes since it's just a race down the track. You don't have to worry about precision turning and picking up power-ups. That takes some of the pressure off the bad mechanics. There are also a good amount of unlockables and upgradeable content, although it requires you to slog through a lot of bad racing. So take that compliment with a grain of salt.
Even the menu system is weird and difficult to navigate. You use motion control to flick through a set of options on a circular ring. Flick to the left and the circle will spin like a horizontal wheel, allowing you to access new options. It sounds decent on paper, but in practice the system often screws it up. When you flick to move the ring, you have to bring your hand back to the side to flick again. I lost count of the number of times the system registered that as me wanting to flick the ring in the opposite direction. It's not a big thing, but trust me, when you just got done being frustrated with a race and the menu doesn't even work, it becomes a very annoying issue. This is in contrast to Adrenaline Mistfits which has a nearly flawless menu system that I hope many upcoming games will copy.
The soundtrack and the voice acting barely warrants mentioning beyond simply saying it's really bad. The voices sound like terrible Saturday morning cartoons that have been imported from Japan and dubbed with English voices. Some kids may respond to that kind of thing, but most adults will find them to be like nails on a chalkboard.
Sonic Free Riders never really had a chance. On the one hand it's a Sonic game, and Sega has demonstrated many times over the last decade that they have no interest in making quality Sonic games. Those titles will sell the same number of copies no matter what. Free Riders does nothing to break that tradition. Moreover, this game is a racing game on a brand-new system that clearly was not designed with racing games in mind. It never had a chance to be good, and in almost every respect this game falls short.
CCC Freelance Writer