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Riders logo2

The logo of Sonic Riders, the first entry in the series.

The Sonic Riders series is a sub-series of action racing games[1] in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. These titles feature Team Sonic racing against the Babylon Rogues in Extreme Gear competitions, such as the EX World Grand Prix.

Three games would be produced for the series, all following the same format of racing. The final entry, Sonic Free Riders, would see players controlling the characters with their bodies through the use of the Kinect, an Xbox 360 peripheral.

List of games[]

Year Title Platform(s) Box artwork (US)
2006 Sonic Riders Nintendo GameCube
PC
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Sonic Riders key art EN
2008 Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity PlayStation 2
Wii
SRZG KeyArt
2010 Sonic Free Riders Xbox 360 SFRCoverArt

Gameplay[]

As a racing game, the objective of all three Sonic Riders games is to race the other characters around a given course three times and then cross the finish line first, though different objectives may be available depending on the game mode. The player chooses one of the various playable characters and a class and variant of hover board equipment called Extreme Gear, each with different stats and abilities.

Metal City 01

Knuckles in Metal City, the first course in Sonic Riders.

In the first entry in the series, Sonic Riders, Extreme Gear requires Air to function, with the character being stuck running on foot if this supply runs out. Air can be restored by completing various tricks on Trick Zones or by surfing on the opponents' turbulance, with the latter being a more effective method of gaining air. However, in the later games turbulence, renamed slipstreams, become limited and are only available in certain situations.

Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity would go on to replace the concept of Air with "Gravity Points", allowing players to ride indefinitely. This new mechanic allows the player to manipulate gravity upon entering certain areas of the course. This game also introduced new Extreme Gear variants that were inspired by aquatic extreme sports, such as bodyboarding and windsurfing. Gear Parts can be added to the Extreme Gear in Zero Gravity to enhance and add special abilities to them, with this mechanic carrying over into the next title in the series.

DolphinResortunderwater2

Sonic in Dolphin Resort, the first course in Sonic Free Riders.

The final entry in the series, Sonic Free Riders, returns to the use of Air, which functions as it did in the first Sonic Riders game albeit without the playable character running on foot upon running out. This game features full-body motion control through the Xbox 360's Kinect. The player must jump, kick, and lean to lead the playable character through the course in order to win.

Rings in the Sonic Riders series serve to increase the character's level and, in the first and third games, refill the Air Tank, though they can be lost when the player is attacked or falls off the course. The player keeps all Rings that have been collected by the end of a race, which then serve as in-game currency used to purchase additional Extreme Gear. Also, Rings replace Air as the fuel source when using the Chaos Emerald Extreme Gear as Super Sonic.

The Sonic Riders series features various unique Power-Up items, gained by colliding with an Item Box, such as the Speed Down or the Colorball. These function quite similarly to other racing games, such as Sonic R, and will either help or hinder the player's progress in the race. The Item Boxes in gameplay display yellow question marks on their screens, creating a sense of mystery around the contents of said box.

Trivia[]

References[]

  1. ソニック ライダーズ (Japanese). Sega. Archived from the original on 29 May 2007. Retrieved on 23 February 2022.
Sonic the Hedgehog spin-off games
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