Sonic & All-stars racing transformed – Review
Follow Genre: Racing
Developer: Sumo Digital
Publisher: Sega
Platform: PC, 360, PS3, Wii U, Vita, 3DS

Sonic & All-stars racing transformed – Review

Site Score
8.4
Good: Sonic and all your other favorite Sega characters, duh!
Bad: Sour cookies? Nah, honestly no idea
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Over the years we’ve been bombarded with loads of karting games, be it good ones or awful ones. Sega did it’s quite successful attempt with the first Sonic & All-stars racing a few years ago. Will this second installment of the all-stars racing be a refreshment for the genre? Or will it be one of those games we tend to overlook?

1

Story:

As expected for this type of game Sonic & All-stars racing transformed does not have an actual storyline. Instead of only being able to drive when playing a grand prix mode – the game has also inserted the world tour option. Which is more than simply racing (and will be explained below) which will make it feel like you’re making progress in different aspects of the game. Also this mode will need to be played to unlock most of the hidden characters.

Because of the lack of a storyline (and this genre doesn’t actually need one) this wil not be graded at the end.

Graphics:

When we think of kart games we tend to think the graphics are kept basic and the main element is the ‘fun’ the game provides us. Sonic & All-stars racing transformed took away that way of thinking and treats us to a great looking game. The characters have been done quite simplistic yet certainly very pretty, the environments have been done amazingly well. Most tracks have been done with amazing detail (ofcourse in the style of the game) and has loads of background action going on. When doing your first set of races this might feel a bit chaotic and will distract you in a lesser extent but when getting used to it you will find it quite amazing. This will go hand in hand with losing your sense of direction from time to time because you were simply paying attention to the giant flying ship on the background but then again if you’d see one in real life I doubt you wouldn’t lose your sense of direction either.

3

Sound:

Sonic & All-stars racing transformed treats us to a soundtrack that originates from a variety of Sega games. Each of the tracks will give you the feeling that suits the original game it represents. The soundtrack is more a subtle one, because you will pay a lot more attention on keeping your competition at bay than actually enjoying the musical experience, but it’s a very decent one. For fans of the older games they will get a nostalgic feeling when listening to the music of tracks of the games they used to play and for the new ones to the genre they will certainly find the music appealing.

The voices of the available cast of characters will also sound very authentic if you played with some of the characters in their original games. Simply put the game did a great job in keeping that nostalgic feeling alive yet keeping it refreshed enough for this day and age.

2

Gameplay:

Actually I was lying a bit when I called this game a ‘karting game’ because you will not be limited to driving in a simple land vehicle but you will also have to pilot an airplane or even control a boat in those risky waters. This is an idea we’ve already seen on the nintendo 64 in Diddy Kong’s racing but this game takes a new approach when using these 3 vehicle types, seeing your vehicle will transform during the race itself instead of having to pick a type before the race starts.

Most games of this type often solely consist out of a grand prix mode and a fun multiplayer mode. Sega takes a refreshing way of creating more than just these modes and presents us with a world tour mode. (yes I realise more games than Sonic & All-stars racing transformed have a mode like this – but in kart games it’s quite rare however.) An important remark that can be given for most of the gameplay of Sonic & All-stars racing transformed: You can play nearly all modes in split-screen except for time trial with up to 3 friends. Meaning you don’t have to complete all the ‘single player’ objectives on your own making it a fun experience to unlock all the extra content or receiving that little extra help when being faced with those difficult levels that don’t suit your racestyle.

The world tour mode will be the main mode you will be playing to unlock all your favorite characters because you start out with a very limited cast of characters. During this mode you will earn stars depending on the difficulty you complete the track/objective in, varying from 1 to up to 4 stars per track. (easy – medium – hard – expert) With these stars you will be able to open gates to progress even further or to unlock those characters that  you worked so hard for. And believe me to unlock those last few characters it will cost a decent amount of blood, sweat and tears because the game will not provide you with enough stars to progress if you keep playing the tracks on normal difficulty. Which in a way creates a decent replay value because personally I tend to want all the unlockable characters in a game like this.

As stated before the game will not consist out of simple racing like most karting games. In some cases you will have to perform certain objectives if you want to progress to the next stage or if you want to earn those stars to keep going! Be prepared to do checkpoint challenges by which you need to keep your time counter high by driving over boost markers, dodging traffic, flying to rings, destroying tanks, racing without weapons or even battle racing with limited health. Most of these modes are simple variations of the normal racing we have to do but surely keep the game fresh and will provide you with a lot more options than other games in the genre.

Your character list consists out of famous characters from other Sega games and personally sometimes I missed certain older characters but then again that could just be me trying to act difficult. When playing a lot with a specific character you will earn experience granting it new ‘mods’ when leveling up. These mods are variations of your original set-up of the vehicle your character is driving – meaning you can try out different mods to see which one suits your style. (This means – more speed or handling and so on on your vehicle.)

During the races you will be able to use an arsenal of weaponry to fight your opponents with. This ofcourse means you will be fired upon aswell (and on higher difficulty this means you will be fired upon a lot…) and will have to make decisions if you fire your weapons each time when getting them or use them for defensive purposes. Keep in mind this game does not have a noticeable handicap system where you will drive ‘faster’ when falling behind. This means you will have to use your own skills to climb back to those higher positions when getting shot in to oblivion. When getting used to the game you can take advantage of the drift – boost system to thicken your set of skills. When drifting long enough you will receive a boost when releasing your drift. This is a great way to get back your lost positions or to create a bigger lead. Keep in mind when drifting longer you can unlock better boosts.

Outside of the world tour mode we still have the classical grand prix and time trial modes to give you that extra batch of content. The grand prix mode is a great way to simply keep racing a few tracks in a row and will also earn you some extra characters upon completion.

Ofcourse online and offline multiplayer modes have been included in the game outside of the split-screen modes during your overall progress. You will be able to do multiplayer action varying from racing, battles to capture the ‘chao’. That last one is basically a capture the flag type of game with changing spawn and capture points. While it’s great the offline multiplayer allows you with a 4 player split-screen, the online multiplayer will allow you to play with 11 other people. Pretty much you choose which type floats your boat.

Conclusion: 

Sonic & All-stars racing is that karting game that is worth to buy if you’re a fan to the genre. For those who are new to games like this the game might prove to be difficult at times (well I’d be lying if I said I found it a very easy game.) Be sure to keep an eye out for this game if you’re looking for some fun with your friends.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Sonic & All-stars racing transformed - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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