GiantBomb: Hands-On Preview of Sonic Free Riders

GiantBomb: Hands-On Preview of Sonic Free Riders

Seems that SEGA’s finally comfortable enough about the progress of Sonic Free Riders to allow the press to play it and give their thoughts. We’ve already heard from 1UP, but what about some other members of the press? GiantBomb was able to get some time with the game, complete with video, which we have posted below.


What do you think?

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Nuckles87 has been an editor at Sonic Stadium since 2007, and has been covering events like E3, PAX, and SDCC since 2010. An avid retro gamer, he runs a monthly stream on Twitch where he explores obscure Sonic oddities, and how aspects of the franchise have evolved over the decades.


  1. At the end on the list of people in the race in the order they finished, I saw Vector the Crocodile!

  2. No lie, if this were on the wii, I’d buy it. But I don’t really want to buy the kinect, and so I’ll probably never buy this game.

  3. @MamaLuigi: The scoreboard said nothing about Vector. I think you’re confusing him with E-10000.

    There’s something funny about watching a fat man swinging his arms and (attempt to) jump on the spot.

  4. I think “get out, it looks like Jet is riding drunk” and “I need to actually be able to control a racing game properly before I can enjoy it”.

  5. This game looks awsome! I can’t wait to get it on Kinect! I’m glad that it’s on 360 and not Wii as Kinect is basically a BETTEr version of the Wii! Can’t wait to buy it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Add me to the “Wii please, don’t want Kinect” camp, and I HAVE a 360! I’m just more comfortable with Sonic games being on the Wii and DS. ๐Ÿ˜› Good thing we have Sonic Colors! ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Free Riders looks great so far. What I really want is to hear the new VAs, especially Sonic, Tails, and Jet. He might sound badass, for all we know! (Unless his voice hasn’t changed. :o)

    Just gonna tell you guys something about the Jazwares Super Sonic/ Super Shadow pack. See for yourselves:

  8. Oh I love Sonic at 5:35:
    “See ya later. SUCKER!!”
    It still looks like a mix between Riders 1 (Air and Boost system) and 2 (Tricks and Level)
    With a few own things (2 switchable skills and obviously, the controls)
    Can’t you do that with the balance board Sega?
    I mean most hardcore gamers won’t get kinnect and the casual market rather buys a Wii with the balance board, than a 360 with kinnect.
    I’m sure Microsoft wants to use Sonic again to promote new stuff with him. As said I’m excited for the reviews of this game.

  9. Damn. Im coming back from Orlando right now so I’m only able to use the iPhone 4 for internet. I can’t watch it right now.

    I do have one question though… Why are people sayin “SEGA MAKE IT ON Wii PLZ! AS IF YOU GUYS HAVEN’T CATERED TO THIS ONE CONSOLE ENOUGH! WE CAN’T LET THE ECKSBAWCKS AND PS3 HAVE ANY EXCLUSIVES!”? Seriously, first, you guys have a bunch of games that aren’t on the PS3 or 360. Let us have one. and second, SEGA CAN’T MAKE THIS ON ANYTHING ELSE! the Wii and PlayStation 3 don’t have anything like Kinect so please shut up about it.

  10. @ gamerc0la64

    Ooh! Awesome! The 3 pack looks awesome. Where did you find that? I’ve already seen Super Sonic and Shadow so I can’t wait to see Silver.

  11. I’m so excited for this game!! BUT I NEED TO KNOW: IS IT A DOWNLOAD OR A REGULAR GAME? (I hope it’s not a download.) BTW this is probably one of those games that you will suck on at first and then you get used to it.

  12. @ Edge
    The balance board is perfectly capable of what this game needs. And many people don’t want to spend 150 $ for Kinect just to play this game. So I think you can understand why people want it for something cheaper.

    @ Diehardsonicfan:
    Free Riders will probably be a retail (regular) game, since one of the developers said so. The official Xbox site said it would be download only, but they also said at one point, that you could play the game with 4 players offline, which is impossible for Kinect.

  13. @ Eggman123
    And the 360 and PS3 are perfectly capable of what Sonic and the Secret Rings and Sonic and the Black Knight need. For that matter, they’re also capable of what Sonic Colors needs, and Colors is part of the main series.

    It’s fine if you don’t want to buy a Kinect for this game. Hell, I used to own a Wii, and I wasn’t even willing to keep it for some of the newer Sonic games. I probably would’ve bought Sonic and the Black Knight or preordered Sonic Colors if they were available for the 360. The door swings both ways. I hope you speak up for 360 and PS3 owners who don’t get to play the Wii-exclusive Sonic titles, because if you don’t, that would make you selfish.

  14. Free Riders looks awesome, but to get this game, you’ll have to buy a kinect AND this, and unless microsoft lowers the kinect’s price from $150, you’ll be paying 200 bucks for this!

  15. @Brianzilla2004:

    While that would be unfair, I’d hate to break to you, even Iizuka agrees that Sonic games sell the most on Nintendo platforms. So that’s why the concept of Free Riders not being on the Wii does not compute! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Besides, PS360 fans are loaded with dozen upon dozens of hardcore games that the Wii’s been missing out for years and will never hope to have. So forgive Wii owners (well, Nintendo owners more like) for wanting a 3rd-party franchise they can count on to be on their consoles. And none are more fit than Sonic, I mean how many other 3rd-party franchises have crossed over with Mario himself? I only know of Snake and Bomberman, but Sonic’s crossed over three times, by far the most.

  16. I’m confused about how to play this. Sonic Rider Zero Gravity was a little complicated at first, but this is just mind scramblingly confusing for me. :S

  17. This game looks cool. I really wanna get it. ^_^ If it weren’t exclusive that’d be cool too. But there’s plenty of people who are going to buy the KINECT because they see how awesome it is to be able to interact physically and vocalling with the new generation of technology. This game will just be available to them.

    But I guess a lot of people are stupid enough to think that they’re using only this game just to get people to buy a connect. xD It looks a lot more fun to me than Wii. You’re ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING. Geez. If people weren’t so damn lazy. We need our hardcore nerds to get some excercise anyways. =/ WE need some excercise. Can’t we appreciate that? Can’t we let the KINECT make a Sonic game? geez. Otherwise, Sonic best fits Xbox360 and PS3 otherwise we use Wii Controls on a Sonic game which doesn’t mix thus getting Secret Rings and Black Knight… >.> Notice one thing about Sonic Colors. IT ALLOWS YOU TO USE THE GAMECUBE CONTROLLER! xD

    And why would SEGA use the balance board… when you could use the freakin floor? It’s much easier to balance and control yourself on the floor… than a fake board you’d be afraid of breaking. xP

  18. @Hero of Legend

    Sorry but that’s total BS.

    Games of Sonic on PS3 and Xbox 360 are Sonic 06 and Sonic Unleashed. One of them was unfinished thus glitchy. The other was the best version of the multiple versions to be released.

    For the Nintendo Wii we had Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic Unleashed and Sonic and the Black Knight. One of those was stale even tho completed. The other was OKAY but drove a lot of people to find Sonic boring in general based on that one game. Sonic Unleashed was alright but is considered the inferior version.

    Now, Sonic is probably most successful on Nintendo DS tho. The Sonic Rush series.

    The problem is Sonic had only seemed to fit the DS, not the Wii. Not the Wii until Sonic Colors that is.

    Here’s the thing, why would Wii fans getting to have Sonic games have to automatically mean that non-wii fans can’t play Sonic? What if they like Sonic and not Wii? It’s sort’ve not fair. Wii fans miss out on hardcore games, but they get the most games people are after. But that’s not the point. They get the franchise they’re looking for: Sonic. Wii gamers only miss out on individual games

    But my best option would be to save up some money, do like most of my friends, and get multple consoles. Why prefer one over the other? They’re just machines that allow me to play games that can only be played on those machines. I have no favorite.

  19. This game looks very exciting to play. Not only do you get to move your body around but you can finally control Sonic and the gang with YOUR body. If Shadow’s in this game then his animation could be really fun since he hovers/skates whatever you want to call it.

  20. Wait a second… Since when could Sonic Swim through that part…. TIS A HAX I SAY SONIKU CANNOT SWIM!

    (Brawl dosent count)

  21. @Ax:

    As I said before, I have a 360 so I CAN get those hardcore games, etc.

    I’m just biased and personally prefer to play Sonic games on the Wii. ๐Ÿ˜›

    I do agree it’s fair that the Wii gets Colors and the 360 gets Free Riders, like i said, I just have a personal bias. XD I’m sorry for sounding greedy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. I’m perfectly fine that the 360 also gets some Sonic exclusive, I was rather talking about the profit for Sega.
    I am rather a supporter for multiplatform.
    God let’s hope Nintendo’s next console is hardware wise on the same standard, then this problem would cease to exist.

  23. @ Hero of Legend
    Dismissing the possibility of Sonic reaching the PS3 and 360 because Sonic games sell better for the Wii is a reasonable business move, but bringing the lack of decent titles for the console into the argument is just silly. So, because Xbox has Gears of War and Halo, I don’t get to have Sonic? Brilliant! And what sound logic it is! Why would SEGA want to release games on the consoles that get all the good games when they could instead go to the platform with no good titles? Are you suggesting Sonic has some sort of monopoly involving quality in third party titles, and that’s why he sells so well on the Wii? I’m guessing not, but that’s the only reasoning behind using that logic that makes any sense. That is, unless you’re just being exclusive, which is always a nice thing to do. “No Microsoft fans allowed.” Thank you.

    @ Eggman 123
    Amen to that. If the Wii had comparable strength to the PS3 and 360, nearly all third party games could be available for everyone, like they were in the last few generations.

    As for the profit aspect of things, I agree that it would be wise for them to release a Wii version of the game. I’m curious to see how well the game sells, with it being a Kinect-only title. I have a feeling that Microsoft struck up a deal with SEGA, getting them to work on a launch title for the Kinect. After all, having a major character like Sonic in the launch line-up can’t hurt things, and with a lack of family-friendly franchises, Microsoft could use SEGA’s help. This is evidenced by Microsoft heavily advertising Sonic & SEGA All-stars Racing, along with them having Banjo-Kazooie added to the 360 version’s roster.

  24. Ummm…..Yeah!Where is that Sonic 4 Article you mentioned i still dont care about this crap

  25. @ Shoryuken
    What Sonic 4 article?
    You mean the SoS preview? Gee, be a bit patient, Shadzter has a real life, too.
    Just wait for it, it’ll come soon.

  26. @Eggman123 yeah i meant that and kay’ i’ll get patient it’s just that we haven’t heard sonic 4 news for months now and im tired of reading sonic colors or sonic free riders news i don’t care about those games

  27. @Hero of Legend

    That kinda bias doesn’t even remotely make sense. xD A machine is a machine. Just get the one that plays the games you like. I have no bias of consoles cuz it makes no sense. If you have a wii and wanna play Sonic on wii then that makes sense, doesn’t mean people who have other consoles shouldn’t also be able to play it. xP Considering such a situation has no affect on you it shouldn’t even matter. Then again, if a game is exclusive for a non-wii console then it’d affect you. Then you should want it to also be on wii and that’s it. xP


    WHOOOOOLEY JEEBS! I didn’t even think about Shadow’s! xD He might end up on a board tho (was Eggman not seen in the race? Cuz I don’t think he will be either D:) Well it’s possible for a bike they’d do it the same only facing forward instead of sideways. Unfortunately I think the hover skates might end up the same as the bike control if I’m right. D: (due to not being able to skate in place for real. It’d sorta conflict with boosting anyways… unless you’re suppose to “skate” without moving your feet and just your legs and knees. xP)

  28. @Shoryuken

    Well we HAVE gotten news on Sonic 4 the most frequently. So I don’t know what you’re talking about. Oh, perhaps because it’s the same thing only very slightly to almost nothing different? Unfortunately, that’s because it’s based on the classic games. Exactly WHAT kind of news are you expecting for it? All they can give us are tiny details that mean nothing or the release date which I haven’t kept myself aware of if it’s been revealed or not, but if so, then there’s really nothing left.

    Sonic Free Riders gets the least attention but shows 2 examples.

    Sonic Colors is the most in-depth game with the most to offer, so it would likely get the most news. Of course we’ve only gotten a few things, it’s just such BIG news is all. And even then we hardly know about it. Sonic 4 you practically know everything about as of this moment. xD

    And seriously, you care more about Sonic 4 than Sonic Colors? o.o I find it odd cuz Sonic Colors looks more exciting while being just as fun, has more to offer and will last longer. Not to mention Sonic 4 has a lot of waiters and a few haters while Sonic Colors doesn’t have any, unless there are so few that we can’t tell there’s any. xD

    Not saying it’s wrong to care more about Sonic 4, so sorry for this wall of text xP I just found it interesting and a little suprising. =P

  29. @ Edge

    It was on Sonic Gear. I was just showing my buddy the picture, and bam! It hit me! Silver was right there!

  30. I’m disappointed…

    I LOVE the Sonic Riders series…

    but I’m sad this isn’t for Wii.
    Yeah I’m sure you guys heard that already.

    I have a 360 too but…. for over $200…. just for that game?
    I’m sorry, Sega….but my money is not going to that game any time soon.

    Either Microsoft lowers the price or you guys make it for Wii and PS3 Move, I’m not getting it.
    No matter how much it kills me.

  31. @Ax i want to a newer build with more classic physics and better level design and of course i care more about sonic 4 the sonic colors DUUUH sonic colors is just unleashed daytime stages with gimmicks i had faith in sonic colors till i saw the trailer and i realized it’s crap but again this is sonic 4 man i want sonic to be as good as possible and play like the classics

  32. @Shoryuken
    Gimmicks…come on people, really? Color has NO gimmmicks…sheesh people. Can’t you get that into your head?

  33. @SonicSilverSS

    What are you talking about? It has no gimmicks… ARE YOU BLIND? xD I’m so annoyed how fans used the term “gimmick” as an insulting way to address the “THEME” of the games! But as soon as there’s a game they like they don’t call it a gimmick anymore… Shoryuken was right. There ARE gimmicks in that damn game. More than in Sonic 06, Sonic Heroes or Secret Rings that’s for sure.


  34. @Shoryuken

    I can see you’re more into Sonic 4 and that’s cool with me. I was just suprised because, like I said, ppl are already mocking Sonic 4 and hating on it because of “GREEN EYES” and the 3D look to it, the homing attack and speed pannels.. you know… all that nerd rage stuff…

    But Sonic Colors looked like crap to you? HOW? How does it not look fun? I can understand if you think it’s not about just running fast, but if you can platform AND go that fast shouldn’t that feel cool? Shadown’t the levels always giving you something to do like the classics be fun to you? Shouldn’t the challenge be fun? Does the excitement go right over your head? I just don’t see what’s so crappy about it. The Wisps? They look fun too.. what’s not fun about them?

    It just feels like the so-called “oldschool fans” seem to have prefered the oldschool games due the lacking of the recent games thinking only the oldschool games could work… thus clouding them to only ever like the oldschool games nomatter how good a new game may be, even if it ends up being better than the classics. I like Sonic 4 as well, but personally, it’s second place on my list as it’s too small of a deal, too simple for me. (Especially with all these fan games out now. xP)

  35. It Has Not Changed Much From The Ps2 Ones!
    Sorry I Have To Say This They Made It Hard And Annoying So Only Very Experienced Players Will Be Able To Play This
    Not Much Has Changed In The Game Itself Same Characters And To Be Honest It Could Hard Controls Will Prob Be 1 Thing That people Will Hate!
    Hopefully This Game Turns Out Good!

    Kinect Will Prob Cost ยฃ100 Just To Buy Thn The Game ยฃ40 Thats Like Buying Another Console
    If This Game Dosent Have Xbox Live Then The Game Will Turn Out Horrible!
    Some People Tell Me xbox360 kinect Is Abit Like The Eye Toy For The Ps2

    If I Grab This I Will Make Sure That Its Very Good Befor

  36. @SonicSilverSS i meant the wisps but they’re not bad gimmicks im just not interested in S.Colors and as fair as i can see by now sonic 4 doesnt play like any of the classics

  37. @Ax i dont like sonic 4 currently at all i want to see a newer build with better improvements sega better keep their promise about sonic colors i dont like cuz it seems like unleashed and i say its crap cuz it looks too automated and thats not true sonic adventure was a brilliant game so was sonic adventure 2 but im just not interested in Colors just not im more worried about sonic 4 cuz if they don’t change anything it will fail to play like the classic games.I am hoping the 20th anniversary sonic game crush 40 was talking about is Sonic Adventure 3 and they’d better not fuck it up

  38. I don’t care what console it’s on, as long as you can use a normal controller to play it.

  39. @Ax
    …do you not get it? Wisps are POWER – UPS! Power-ups are not gimmicks… A gimmick would be…the Werehog, or a Sword. Unless the Wisps drastically change the gameplay, which from what I’ve seen, they don’t change it by much, then yeah.

  40. @MamaLuigiBarrelRoll: That would be E10000G, not Vector.

    Although, funny thing related to that; E10000G isn’t actually called E10000G on the result screen, it’s just called E10000. Hmm…

  41. @SonicSilverSS i said they were good gimmicks they give variation and they are the only i like in sonic colors the rest of the gameplay looks like shit to me

  42. pretty amazing !
    SONIC GONNA HAVE TO SWIM IN THIS GAME?? cause if he will i’m gonna hate the fact he didn’t swim in the original series , really!

    although i’ve noticed in the demo the bad steering from Sonic Rider:ZG , i wish they fix it.

  43. Hmmm…I’ll stick to Zero Gravity. I never played the original, but it seems the Air Gauge is back. I miss the Gravity thing though…

    But, also, my 360 is dead, so I can’t get it anyways XD I’m not even sure the older models work with Kinect anyways. And also…I’d rather not look like an idiot. I’m sorry, but the swimming part made me lol so hard! XD

  44. @Shoryuken

    I see. Sonic 4 is pretty much just like the classics really. Springs, running, rings, loops, spin dash. There wasn’t much to the classic games to change. The only real difference in gameplay is the homing attack. Sonic Colors being like Sonic Unleashed was suppose to be the GOOD thing about it. They actually use the boost less. In Unleashed, the levels were designed for the boost but in this they don’t seem like it as much as there is a lot of detail in it that requires you not to boost or you’ll likely mess up. lol Sonic Adventure was brilliant. But the fans aren’t being very clear on what exactly it’ll take to please them. They sound like they want one thing but then they don’t. They’re also starting to sound very… boring. (As in what they’re calling perfect sounds dull, unexciting and uninterest. zzZZzzzZZ)

  45. Hmm, in conclusion, the Wisp are gimmicks but because people like them they will not be considered gimmicks. “Gimmicks” was a word only used to insult the games obsessed fans didn’t like as much, thus resulting in overdramatic hatred for a video game making themselves look like fools (Also by claiming they were the majority just because they were the only ones to speak out unecessarily. xD)

    Oh well, the oxymoronic hater-fans gonna hate. =P

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