Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Sonic Free Riders

Go To
Sonic Free Riders is a 2010 racing video game for the Xbox 360 and the third game of the Sonic Riders series.

The game was developed to be used exclusively with the 360's Kinect peripheral, and as such it is controlled by players physically miming the movement and actions of their character. Players generally found the controls unresponsive, fatiguing, and sometimes even nauseating. Combined with a much more barebones and cheaply-made story than the previous two games, Free Riders was very poorly received. There hasn't been a new Riders game since.

Free Riders provides examples of:

  • Anachronism Stew:
    • Metropolis Speedway resembles an old western European city, but has flying cars and hovering trains.
    • In a different sense, Rocky Ridge. This is a still-inhabited Old West mining town. In other words, Sonic and his acquaintances are having a hoverboard race through a town whose citizens still travel about by steam locomotives and horse-drawn covered wagons. It's also quite anachronistic in the context of the series — whereas the rest of the series has a distinctively futuristic look, this place seems stuck in the 1850s.
  • Ascended Extra: Shadow, Rouge, and Cream are plot-relevant when they were bonus characters in the first two.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: Boosting/Diving becomes this with Super Sonic. Reason being that Air consumption is tied to Rings while playing as Super Sonic, and attempting to do either chews through a massive amount of Rings.
  • Balance Buff: After being nerfed in Zero Gravity, Super Sonic was restored to being the best character in the game in Free Riders. Free Riders Super Sonic is always on his board by default and has no concept of Levels or Gear Parts. Once you get 30 Rings, Sonic transforms into Super Sonic, which gives him better stats and infinite Air, but unlike previous games, doesn't automatically start burning Rings until he hits Super Sonic Boost. Activating any Boost will cause Super Sonic to go into Super Sonic Boost mode, which is sustained indefinitely until you run out of Rings, burns Rings at a rate of only two Rings per second, and has a blistering permanent top speed of 200 km/h.
  • Book Ends: Metal City is the first racing course in Sonic Riders, and the final course in Sonic Free Riders.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Every course has a very tough counterpart. While previous games had course counterparts for the Babylon Rogues which were tougher than the Heroes courses, Sonic Free Riders took this concept and stretched it incredibly far.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: CPU racers will typically use five kick-boosts in a row for every one the player uses with no apparent drawbacks or consequence despite the steep consumption rates for boosts. Downplayed in that consecutive kick-boosts don't stack and the course layout is such that they'll run out of open road long before they can ride out their boost to it's full extent.
  • Everyone Has Standards: E-10000B is a standard Eggman robot or so it seems but every other team is rather disgusted by Team Dark's apathy towards it's malfunctioning.
  • Final Boss: Metal Sonic.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: In free-play modes, Eggman can go toe-to-toe with Sonic and co. on Extreme Gear.
  • Gravity Screw: Metropolis Speedway and Metal City include wall and ceiling running of the same style as Zero Gravity.
  • Jungle Japes: Forbidden Tomb.
  • Land of Dragons: Gigan Rocks and Gigan Device have a distinctly ancient Chinese theme.
  • Large-Ham Announcer: Omochao is always excitable and chipper.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: The game has four story modes and it has a mostly re-cast voice cast. It has no guest characters. The game is overall more lighthearted than the first two games with no Babylonian lore, there is no traditional final boss, instead ending with a one-on-one race with Metal Sonic, and the game's tracks do not have alternate Babylon equivalents, not even Metal City, which had Night Chase in Riders.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Magma Rift.
  • Lighter and Softer: The game has a more lighthearted tone than the previous two games.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Any character with the Power attribute, in addition to being as fast as the other racers, can punch obstacles away effortlessly. Other characters are bumped backwards, but Power characters not only don't slow down, but gain Air for doing so.
  • The Mole: The robot Shadow and Rouge recruited at the last minute turns out to be Metal Sonic, who has been collecting data on all of the racers. Doubly so, as Metal Sonic passed bogus data to Dr. Eggman and saved the real data for himself.
  • Nostalgia Level: Metal City from the first Sonic Riders reappears as the final course.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The World Grand Prix organizer, "King Doc", looks like a hairier Dr. Eggman in an Eggman-red carnival ringleader outfit and is voiced by Mike Pollock. Played with, since no one falls for it.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Frozen Forest.
  • Speed Demon: The lyrics to "Free", reference the joy of racing:
    I'm falling free in the wind, in the wind
    Free to be me in the wind, in the wind
    What would it feel like to be speed of light
    And rule the night and day
    Watch as it passes by, the masses try you
    But they just can't keep up
    Into the free, into the me
    Into the ever knowin'
    Felt so refrained,
    Felt so constrained
    But now I'm breaking out and
    I'm falling free in the wind, in the wind,
    Free to be me in the wind, in the wind
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Well, for the anti-hero at least. All the teams seem rather disgusted by Team Dark's apathy to their malfunctioning teammate (E-10000B). By the end of their story, Cream is essentially begging them to get it treated.
  • Tomorrowland: Future City.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • While Shadow and Rouge are usually far from the nicest folks around, it is a little jarring to see them be quite so callous and mean, especially regarding to their mistreatment of E-10000B compared to their usual teamwork with E-123 Omega.
    • Amy also qualifies. She behaves perpetually rudely and obnoxiously to her teammates, compared to the high spirited if temperamental leader she was in Heroes.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: The Babylon Rogues are still arrogant, but far less condescending towards their rivals in Free Riders. Jet even compliments Shadow and Rouge on their skills.
  • Tron Lines: Final Factory is packed to the brim with this.
  • Walking Spoiler: Knowing that Metal Sonic is in the game spoils the entire plot.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Indirect example. When Team Dark's E-10000B breaks down after the end of the finals, Cream begs Rouge to help her teammate. She points out they aren't teammates anymore and leaves it to frazzle.