Sonic: Free Riders

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Published bySEGA of America, Inc.   Developed byFun Unit Inc.   O-Two, Inc.   Sonic Team   ReleasedNov 04, 2010   PlatformXbox 360   GenreRacing / Driving   PerspectiveBehind view   GameplayArcade   Vehicle Simulator   VehicularAutomobile   Track Racing   

Sonic makes his Kinect debut with a Kinect-exclusive sequel to the previous generation's Sonic Riders title. Sonic Free Riders is notable for also for being a minority in Kinect releases as just about the only launch title that's not only a sequel, but part of a pre-existing game franchise, where most titles are Kinect-specific "show-off" titles for the controller-free hardware add-on. The game is also billed by Sega as being the first Sega title controlled by "full body movements". Like previous entries in the series, the game is played controlling characters from the Sonic franchise as they race through closed tracks going over jumps, performing stunts, and attacking one another. The difference now, as is perhaps obvious, is that the controller is removed in place of full body movement for control. The game is for one or two players on a single Xbox 360, or up to eight online. There is even a mode, called Tag mode, where two players may work together in a race by placing their hands together and moving in sync to control their characters onscreen. Besides the series' trademark "hoverboards," the option to ride bikes has been added to the game. There is a story mode to the game featuring Sonic and friends, essentially, versus some bad guys--a bunch of birds from "Team Babylon." Story mode features four teams, each with three characters, along with some additional characters. The teams are Team Heroes, Team Babylon, Team Rose, and Team Dark with nineteen total characters, including a player's Xbox 360 Avatar as an option. Characters are divided up into three classes as before, known as Speed, Flight, and Power. Players can collect rings through the race tracks which can be used to level up characters, and to enhances various attributes. Besides this, there are weapons and other items which are used by specific motion controls, such as physically throwing a missile or other item at another player or character. Menu navigation can be controlled by voice through the Kinect device.