Because “Future Day” – the date that Marty, Doc, and Jennifer go to the future in Back to the Future II – fell on a survey day last week, we couldn’t resist jumping on that zero-gravity bandwagon. So we asked you what your favorite hoverboarding game is from what we felt was as complete of a list of strictly hoverboarding games as one could come up with (only games that are all hoverboarding, not ones that feature just a hoverboard level or section). Seeing as how our sole write-in was someone who didn’t follow that guideline – though we do love the hoverboard segment in Turtles in Time – we must’ve covered all of them.
So who came out on top, and who ended up in a pile of manure? Yeah yeah, I know that was the first Back to the Future. Make like a tree and get out of here if you’re going to nitpick my references.
The Winner is…
Kirby: Air Ride (GameCube)
Kirby finished way ahead of the pack, getting 25% of the vote with the three games tying for second – Sonic Riders, its first sequel Zero Gravity, and the Super Famicom-exclusive Super Back to the Future II – only getting about 12% each. Even if you account for the Sonic Riders series splitting the vote across its three installments, totaling them up still falls just short of Kirby’s tally. What’s interesting about Air Ride‘s strong finish is that it’s one of those games that reviewed pretty poorly – it only has a 65.58% on Gamerankings – with some outlets going as low as 5.2 out of 10 (IGN), 5.1 out of 10 (Gamespot), and even a pitiful 3 out of 10 (Edge Magazine UK). But it obviously has a lot of love from the actual gaming community, or at least the Chi-Scroller community. Having never played it myself, I can’t speak to its quality either way, but I’m the type of person who is more likely to listen to gamers than critics and after this survey I’m going to start keeping my eye out for Kirby’s Air Ride.
If you’re curious, the other games that got a trickle of votes were Airblade (PS2), AirBoardin’ USA (aka Air Boarder 64) (N64), Sonic Free Riders (X360/Kinect), Streak: Hoverboard Racing (PS1), and TrickStyle (Dreamcast). The only two that were shut out completely were the PS2 EyeToy hoverboard game Antigrav, and some XBLA game called Street Trace NYC. For those that don’t know, three of the above games – Airblade, Trickstyle, and Antigrav – were developed by Criterion Games of Burnout / Need for Speed fame. Everyone is clamoring for Burnout‘s return – honestly, I wouldn’t mind seeing them take another stab at a modern hoverboarding game first.