Beyond that, get beaten over the head with nonsense about the Babylonians (never before mentioned in a Sonic game that I know of, yet treated as common lore) being a civilization of thieves living on an island in the sky who specialized in — of all things — extreme sports. Yeah, that makes sense. Like I said, if you're older than about age five, turn off the subtitles, mute the volume, and just admire the nice character models in the cut scenes. And do make a point of enjoying said CGI, because the rest of the game looks almost on par with Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast. Maybe worse.
Now you're actually up and racing. You can try to aim for the turbulence half-pipes or speed pads on the ground or the jumps you'll never truly be able to time properly, but you mostly careen from one wall to the next with little to no control over what your character is doing. My race position would jostle up and down constantly and I never saw anyone passing me or being passed.
Don't forget that running out of air (fuel) leaves you running the race on foot, which is where these characters are known to be fastest anyway, but not here. I just don't get it. The only ways to get more air are to make a pit stop (which guarantees last place), doing tricks at pre-assigned spots on the track (forget the jump button or any trick improvisation), or keeping an eye out for on-screen indicators letting you know when to spin the analog stick like a maniac to get some boost. It's tedious and stupidly implemented. It's like having to earn gravity and snow in a snowboarding game.
What's more, there's a supposed combat element here, but I never managed to hit anyone. They might have been better off using a Wipeout or Mario Kart-style combat system where you pick up and fire projectile weapons. It would certainly have worked better than this uncontrollable mess.