Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
There are a few genres of game that seem to have a timeless quality to them. Where no matter what IP is producing them, as long as they stick to the tried and tested formula, they seem to sell. The Sega alumni are no strangers to the kart racer genre with a number of characters lending their services on the track. However, Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed takes this formula, steers away from the Mario Kart reskin cliché and produces one of the best kart racers of its era.
This game plays like any conventional kart racer that you may have come across in your gaming career. Games like Crash Team Racing, Mario Kart, Modnation Racers or Jak X Combat Racing. This game takes the classic kart racer format with powerups scattered throughout different courses with all your favourite Sega characters in the playable roster.
Who makes the Cut
Unlike the previous Sega kart racing outing, this game really bolsters its roster, cutting the less noticeable names and adding some really interesting additions. The game obviously leans on the success of the Sonic franchise with pretty much all the key characters from the series making an appearance. Then you have characters from other great series such as Alex Kidd, Wreck-It Ralph, Football Manager and the game even has some real-world additions such as Nascar legend Dannica Patrick and Yogscast member Simon Honeydew.
Dynamic and creative
This kart racer does an awful lot to avoid falling into the usual bracket of ‘just another Mario Kart clone’ and to its credit, it really succeeds in this respect. The standout changes from the tired kart racer tropes are the dynamic aspects of driving and the environments. As you proceed through a course, the track will change with each lap on most occasions, adding an ever-changing environment which only serves to add more of a hectic and frantic style to the races.
Then there are the aspects of the track that will have you float across the water, soar through the skies or use other environmental effects to make navigation more than just wheels on the track action. Many of these changes would be included in Mario Kart 7 and perhaps took away from the innovative strides this game made but don’t be fooled. This game had Nintendo worried. Perhaps it’s Nintendo that are looking to other kart racers for inspiration these days.
The game also does a fantastic job of presenting itself as well. The sound quality and musical score is brilliant and serves each environment perfectly. Then the environments themselves are beautiful and true to their source material. The mesh of bright colours, lively effects and stunning animations all culminate to give a set of tracks, character models and other lively aspects that make this game a real visual spectacle.
Gotta Go Fast
In most cases, it would be simple to cast the opinion of mediocre or safe when a kart racer comes along. However, with this title, this is far from safe. This title offers anything a Sega fan would want in terms of content and characters, it adds dynamic track effects and vehicle effects that would be a key feature of Mario Kart 7 and the game looks truly remarkable.
A lot of care and attention has went into making this a series that could potentially stay the course and rival the Mario series down the line. If this game is anything to go by, I wouldn’t put it past them.
- Remarkable sound and visuals
- Dynamic tracks and environments
- A stunning cast of characters.
- Screen can get a little cluttered
- Very reliant on the Success of Sonic