Oh Sonic, you’ve not had an easy ride going from your 2D roots into the new 3D realm have you? This gen’s current offering of Sonic games has been fairly dire to say the least, with only Generations and the original All Stars racing doing well. But is Sonic & All Stars Racing: Transformed going to be any different, and more importantly, is it going to beat Mario Kart as the top multi-player racing game out there?
It was with a small feeling of dread as I picked this game up, as I remembered the All Stars Tennis game, and I wasn’t to keen to pick up another one, but I was completely blown away by just how fun this title is. This isn’t going to win any awards for story-telling, as there is no story. It’s just racing, simple as that, and the racing is fun, borrowing very heavily from the famous Wii counterpart Mario Kart. Unfortunately due to the styles of the games, there is going to be a lot of comparisons to the Mario racing game.
In Sonic & All Stars Racing you get three different ways to race, sometimes all occurring in the same race as your vehicle can transform. You start out most races in a car, and then you can transform into boats or even planes. With these transformations taking place it can make the races extremely fun, and sometimes very confusing as the race tracks sometimes self destruct half way through to incorporate these news modes of transport, so the track you started out on, may be extremely different by the time you’re on your 3rd lap. This adds to the challenge of the game, as you can’t just memorize the course.
There are also different styles of races, you have the standard races, but then to add to the variation there are drift races, battle races where you have to be the last racer alive, various styles of check point races, and boost races where your racing against a timer and if you go over a boost symbol, the clock stops. All these different variations means that multiplayer can be very fun, as if one of your friends isn’t a brilliant racer, but is awesome with the weapons, don’t challenge them to a battle race, as he will surely beat you easily.
One aspect of the game that really stood out, was the variation of the weapons that were available to the game. This made the races all that more exciting as flying though some swarms that someone else launched at you added in the extra challenge. The weapons were more than just the standard bombs and rockets available in most racers like this. My favorite weapon was the rare All-Star, where you transform into the ultimate form of your vehicle with a barrier to knock other away. I unlocked this when racing as Sonic, and he turned into a plane, with his iconic golden rings floating around him.
There are a number of different racers available to you, and each one has a different way of racing. You start out wth 8 racers, but as you progress through the game you get to unlock more and more. The majority of the starting racers are from Sonic, but as the name suggests, it’s not all about the speedy hedgehog. There are also characters from SuperMonkey Ball and other Sega games such as Golden Axe and Crazy Taxi. It has to be admitted it’s rather fun zooming around the SuperMonkey Ball course as MeeMee.
Multiplayer is where this game is at however, it’s the 360/PS3 rival to Mario kart, even though it is being released onto the Wii U as it will be difficult to get fans of Mario Kart to switch. However, if you’re after some good 4 player split screen racing, this is the game for you, be you in University playing it at a party, or are a young one just getting into gaming. There is an online component as well, but it’s just not as enjoyable as the split-screen.
This game has done a lot to repair the damage that the All-Stars Tennis game brought upon my psyche, and is an extremely enjoyable racer, but with F1 Race Stars coming out as well, there may be to many of these racers on the market at the same time. However, saying that, this is an extremely fun racer which shows a lot of charm.