The game does alot right and alot wrong, most of the wrongs you can get past over time, though. The bir thing Sonic Riders does right is boing innovative. The Speed/Flight/Power variety makes it so that you really have to know the track before you can win, meaning you're almost guaranteed not to win on your very first time playing the game. The other thing is the "turbulence," or half pipe slip stream. It's a really nice, creative idea, but it has it's issues. You can't see much when you're in it, and you can't get out once you're in. If you wanted to catch the grind rail on the left but you're in someone's turbulence, forget it. You're not going to be able to get out.
The game really does 1 thing wrong that's not the fault of the game designers. The game is VERY shallowly explained in the manual. All the game does to explain the trick system is charge up a jump and use up/down to do a front/back flip and get farther/higher to reach potential shortcuts. It also vaguely mentions shortcuts available through the use of turbulence. It doesn't tell you that they are marked with special colored trick zones.
In the graphics department, the game does a nice job with colorful environments and active backgrounds, If you get close to objects you can see that there's not a whole lot of detail, but most of the time you're going to fast to care.
Sounds wise the game gives a nice variety in the way the music feels for the levels, but at it's core all of the music feels like it has the same cheesy guitar type feel. THe announcer isn't as annoying as some peopel make it out to be, but he does lack some brains. You can perfectly land a 1 flip trick and get a rank B and he'll say "Oh, he fails to land correctly!" every time.
With 54 types of gear to ride and 16 characters, this game give plenty in replay value.
This game isn't your typical racer, and I know that may put off some people, but I would recomend it to anyone who is interested in racing games and is looking for something original.