Sonic Finally Stars In A Decent Game - Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing - PlayStation 3 -
Switch Lights

The lights are on

What's Happening

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing

Sonic Finally Stars In A Decent Game

Some say that landing second place in a race is simply being the first loser. When you’re Sonic the Hedgehog, however, ranking right behind your long-time rival after over a decade of poorly received titles is a big achievement. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing is a blatant Mario Kart rip-off, but the hedgehog’s emulation actually executes parts of the kart racing formula better.

I’ll spare you on the specifics of the gameplay because you’ve done it all before. Firing power-ups, nailing boosts, and drifting around corners are easy to do with the game’s simple, tight controls. Where Sonic’s racing breaks from the pack is in its creative level design. These tracks are packed with ludicrous jumps, destructible environments, and hazards such as robotic crabs. Cruising around the glitzy casino courses and gorgeous Sonic Adventure areas puts other arcade racers to shame.

Sonic Racing offers a ton of choices when it comes to characters. Problem is, most of them suck. Sega even called in backup from Rare with celebrities Banjo and Kazooie (360 exclusive) to pad out the lacking roster, but that won’t stop you from groaning at the sight of Shadow the Hedgehog or Billy Hatcher. However, bowling through the likes of Dr. Eggman, Alex Kidd, and Ryo Hazuki as a powered-up Super Sonic is redeeming.

Whether playing online or via four-player splitscreen, Sonic Racing is best enjoyed with friends. Racers tired of hassling with friend codes and waiting five minutes to get a race going will love the game’s breezy online setup. Once you’re in a game, Sonic Racing’s welcome battle modes, such as capture the chao (flag) and chaos emerald collection, offer variety to otherwise by-the-numbers combat.

Despite being a solid kart racer, Sonic’s new ride isn’t without its share of flat tires. While the game contains a ton of fun and engaging tracks, more theme varieties outside of the Dreamcast-era titles would have been nice. Many courses fall victim to their own extravagance, with some tricky turns being poorly indicated. Having a variety of cars, winged craft, and motorcycles is nice, but giving the players the option to choose from multiple carts for a given racer would lend the game some much needed variety. If you want to ride a hog (no pun intended), for example, you’re stuck looking at Shadow.

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing polishes the fundamentals of kart racing without adding any stupid gimmicks. If you’re looking for the next big thing in wacky racing games beyond a capable online framework, don’t look here. If you’re looking for straightforward Mario Kart clone with a glossy Sega veneer, then this game is for you.

Email the author , or follow on , and .

User Reviews:

  • 8.50
    I've played a good amount of kart racers in the time I've been playing videogames, but I'd be hard pressed to name any that can touch the Mario Kart series. Those games are always fun and above all, well made. Even though the Mario Kart games haven't pushed the envelope too much lately...
    read more
  • 7.75
    Drifting is pretty cool, and I do like the fact that it is somewhat mandatory to do in many (if not all) of the events! Unfortunately I found it a wee-bit too easy to learn and earn trophies, so that is why I can not give it an 8 or higher. Still has replay value though, and is a cool game to learn and...
    read more
  • 10.00
    when i saw the commercial for allstars racing it was so awesome i bought the ds version 1st then the ps3 version and last summer i bought the wii version and my sister likes the ps3 version becus it's the wii problem! (for her) u have to sterr the wii wheel or remote and the ps3 version is easier...
    read more
  • 7.50
    The kart racer most certainly is not dead, and nor should it be. As someone who is quite averse to realistic sports in video games (real world sports do not interest me either), I continually find myself drawn to the colorful and unpredictable world of cartoon racing, whether it’s Mario Kart and...
    read more
  • 7.75
    Sonic And Sega All Stars Racing Tries To Dethrone Mario Kart From The Kart Racing Genre. While It Does Not Succeed It Comes Real Close. Track Design is Top Notch Except For The Super Monkey Ball Tracks In My Opionion. The Characters While Diverse Are Pretty Nice And The The Vehicles Are Pretty Cool Especially...
    read more
  • 5.00
    its a shame what has become of the sonic franchise. it is nothing what it used to be. they turn him into a "warehog" they put him on some levitating skateboard (sonic riders) they even put him in a fairy tale (sonic and the black knight). now sega is trying to rip off mario kart with this....
    read more