It is kind of crazy to think that Sonic R is the only Sonic game for the Sega Saturn. While Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic Jam were also on the console. This would stand as “THE” Sonic title for the system which when you look back all these years later is kind of crazy. This is a game that has a very mixed reaction to it and today I am sharing my thoughts.
What Is Eggman Up To?
Despite this being a racing game, you do have a story. Eggman is up to no good and once again after the Chaos Emeralds. This time around they are there as prizes to be won in grand Prix. So Sonic, along with Tails and Amy decide to enter to make sure that Eggman does not get his hands on the chaos emeralds. To be fair, Sonic R has a story that kind of makes sense and it was certainly more than Mario was offering at this time!
The presentation is not bad at all. In single-player, there is no pop-up and the game moves at a decent pace. It makes you wonder what a 3D Sonic game on the Sega Saturn could have been like. The soundtrack is something you will either like (which I do) or hate with a passion.
Super Sonic Racing
What we have here is an arcade-style racing game. I want to start with the good about this game. While it is true there is only a handful of tracks in this game. To be fair, these are some fantastically designed tracks and certainly make you feel like you are in the world of Sonic The Hedgehog. While there is only a small number of tracks, Sonic R is not as linear as other racing games. You can get to the finish line anyway that you want and there are many shortcuts and secret areas that you can go to do this.
What I like about this is that it makes racing the same track never feels exactly the same. You can get power-ups, coins, and other secret items that as well as helping you race will unlock characters. Speaking of characters, you have four at the start, but there are a further six that you can unlock which keeps you driving forward.
Not So Smooth Criminal
To be fair I feel that Sonic R does many things right. The controls in this game are what many people will call to when saying why they dislike the game and I kind of get that. This is a game that has some very strange controls. Taking corners feels very strange and it takes a while to get to grips with. The game has a kind of twitchy feel to the controls and some people will put the controller down and just say enough is enough and not want to proceed. Hey, I get it. However, if you stick with it and get the controls down, you can have fun with this game.
While the tracks are limited, I do like how there is a multiplayer option and some fun extra modes like the time attack and the mode where you collect balloons as well.
I can see why some people do not like Sonic R I really can. It does not exactly have a ton of content and those controls take a very long time to get the hang of. I though have had a soft spot for this game for a while and think that there is still some fun to be had here. It is worth checking out, even just as a curiosity so you can see what the only exclusive Sonic game on the Sega Saturn was like.
- It is cool seeing all the Sonic characters in 3D
- I like how the tracks are not linear
- Unlocking characters keeps you moving forward
- It tries to have an interesting story
- I like the soundtrack
- Those controls are far from perfect
- Only five tracks to race on
Download Sonic R
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Sonic R is another $5 bargain, which would look more at home on a console. Based around Sega's world famous hedgehog, it's an arcade-style racer with power-ups and cutesy characters. However, rather than being the mindless pap you might expect, there is actually some substance to the gameplay, and you'll find that it takes a bit of mastering. Sonic R is fast and full of action, with some extremely taxing circuits.
It's just a shame that the graphics are so poor, as the split-screen and four-way games are a barrel of laughs. However, at this price, you can just about turn a blind eye to the somewhat suspect visuals.