I normally don't find much to disagree with when it comes to Mr. Crecente's reviews, but my impressions with Sonic Free Riders have been very positive.
The tutorial never really spells out that you aren't supposed to crouch unless you're jumping or leaning forward to speed up, but once I figured that out, everything clicked. In the last race I played, I managed to execute a spin jump, dash, ring grab, and another jump before boosting over the finish line, all in rapid succession.
The menus are cumbersome to motion navigate, you have to make a circular motion instead of just pointing, but the voice commands are incredibly easy.
Although the story is minimal and the presentation is pretty cheesy (when has it ever not been?), but I find it all quite charming as a whole now that the voice cast has swapped to experienced LA actors.
I'm not saying Brian C.'s impressions are completely wrong, but I personally wouldn't consider Free Riders to be as difficult to control as his review made it sound.