Review: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Sega-racing-02

SonicAllStarsRacingTransformedCoverImageAfter endless waves of emotional roller-coasters and ultra violent war simulators it is sometimes nice to kick back with something light and fun for shits ‘n giggles. SEGA takes the classic kart racer back to the garage, tinkers under the hood and pimps it out. Buckle up!

Every now and then, through the sea of Sonic reboots and iOS games, SEGA blows me away by returning to their roots and smash it out of the park with an addictive and fun new release. If you didn’t try Sonic & All-Stars Racing the first time around, you missed out. This sequel, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, may be a clone of Mario Kart, but at the same time the series is aiming to take a pre-established idea to crazy new heights. Literally.

Insanity

No tail gating!

Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed is a brilliant twist on the genre. It combines traditional kart racing, jet powered boating mechanics, some sweet flying sections and meshes them all together into a surprisingly fun racer. The result is a stylish, fast paced game with a slew of features packed into this awesome little bundle.

It won me over from the word go by providing a feature that should be in every single arcade game, the ability to play the campaign co-operatively. No longer are you forced to finish the game before enjoying a decent selection of tracks or characters. Instead it lets you play through with friends and knock out the main modes as a team.

Players are awarded a ranking based on the best placing overall. This means if one of your team places first, everyone wins. This system brings new depth and replayability to the usually tedious single player experience. Add in the levelling up of characters and the addictiveness begins to set in. Find a character that you enjoy and earn yourself experience points (XP) that eventually unlocks more customization features for your favourite racer when your ride needs a little more handling or speed.

rev-up-for-sonic-all-stars-racing-transformed--20120430064356356

Showboating usually leads to plowing into a wall

The character roster covers most of SEGA’s icons. The line up includes favourites like Sonic and Tails, the more obscure such as Samba De Amigo and some bizarre guests like Wreck-It Ralph and NASCAR superstar Danica Patrick. Some are better on the road, some excel at flying and others are excellent at laying down the hurt. Players can mix it up based on the track they are playing and there are plenty of unlockable new stars to discover along the way.

The only real let down comes from some poor software design. Sometimes a track will only register a jump if you land dead in the centre of the ramp. It was a little touchy as well. On four separate occasions the game faded to black at the end of a level and never came back despite the music continuing to play. Graphics will glitch out and disappear at times and your racer can sometimes get stuck in terrain, destroying immersion which is super frustrating in a driving game.

Some awesome location choices

Some awesome location choices

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed pulls out enough unique concepts coupled with solid mechanics to  bring you a great all ages racer. SEGA aficionados should be satisfied with the nods to its back catalogue providing an impressive array of  locations and it offers plenty of game types and racers to choose from, all tempting selling points to the completionist in us all. This title is perfect for all-ages and is sure to keep everyone happy at a party or gathering. Whether you’re young or old Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed packs in hours of family friendly fun.

8/10

The following two tabs change content below.

Joshua Philpott

Tech MacGyver
Games writer, podcaster and tech wizard. Obsessed with obscure horror films, crazy gadgets and caffeine. Passionate, argumentative and open minded. Freelance writer and co-founder rawDLC.

Latest posts by Joshua Philpott (see all)