It's hard to believe it took until March of 2006 for Sega to strap Sonic's feet to a plank and point him downhill. Everyone from Final Fantasy VII's Cloud to Solid Snake have already geared up for some video grinding over the years. It's not exactly skateboarding or snowboarding, but Sonic Riders is close enough. You'll choose one of 16 characters and guide them down a mountain, through a steamy jungle or into a machinated wasteland while busting tricks and staying ahead of the pack. These courses aren't designed with reality in mind, as they often flip at impossible angles or twist into waterfalls. Anything that makes the ride more interesting and intense, goes. That is the Sonic way, after all.
Each rider has his or her own ranking in speed, flight and power. Balancing these attributes will affect not just your performance, but also your path on the course. Critters like lil' old foxy Tails can fly over the track and avoid most of the traffic, but muscle-bound Knuckles the Echidna can uppercut his way to the final lap.