Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity is one of the many Sonic games with mixed reviews and split opinions. It was released for the Wii and the PlayStation 2 in 2008. The game revolved around some old and new Sonic characters racing on hoverboards. There are two story modes available in the game, which are the Heroes story and the Babylon story. I have many critiques for the game, and looking back, this seemed to be one of the weaker Sonic games released. It has received a 56% rating on both Metacritic and GameFAQs. These mixed reviews are similar to when Shadow the Hedgehog came out — some fans loving it and others hating it.
Many of the critiques include buggy gameplay, bad control and laggy framerates. However, others are praising the game for being different compared to previous Sonic games as well as fun and exciting. It is one of those cases where this game has such mixed reviews that the player would have to play themselves to truly form their own opinion.
For me, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity was nearly impossible to control. It was just so awkward and difficult to steer the character throughout the track that ruined the fun. I had a challenging time completing the game due to the fact that the controls were so wonky and messed up. This ruined the entire experience of this game for me and defeated the purpose and it being new, different, and fun.
However, I do give Sega props for trying to branch out and switch things up for the Sonic franchise. However, his is not the first time this has happened. Shadow the Hedgehog was another game that Sega released that switched it up and tried something new, but got overall mixed reviews from the public. I found Shadow the Hedgehog to be more enjoyable and felt they hit the nail on the head when it came to trying something new for the series.
The new Babylon characters were a nice change for the series; however, this game did not reach its full potential. If the controls had been fleshed out before the its release, then it could have been one of the most exciting and one of a kind Sonic games in the series. However, since the controls became such a prominent issue, this is mainly got it so many negative reviews from the fans, including myself. The use of new characters and a new style of gameplay was exciting, but there were so many things that could have been improved on.
Sega has had this kind of reception from the fans many times over. From Sonic ’06 to Shadow the Hedgehog, and now Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, they seem to be well-known for their mixed ratings and reviews. With the new Sonic Forces game coming in the near future, hopefully this will not be the case all over again. My hope is that Sega makes a game that blows these previous games out of the water and surprises everyone with how amazing it can truly be.
Although Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity was a bit of a bust for the Sonic series, it is worth watching for the new game to be thrilling and better than anything Sega has ever done for the Sonic the Hedgehog game franchise.