The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a 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.
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
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
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.
& 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 Tim Turi, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.