Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Review: Sega Fans Will Fall In Love
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Platform: Xbox 360 (Also Available on PlayStation 3 and Wii U)
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed takes us on a wild ride by car, boat and plane through many Sega-themed tracks based on their previous titles, most notably, Sonic, NiGHTS, Jet Set Radio, Shinobi, House of the Dead, After Burner, Panzer Dragoon, Burning Rangers and more! You’ve got to appreciate that fact right off the bat, that Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed offers tracks themed on past games, especially if you are a Sega fan or at least enjoyed a few of their classic franchises in the past. Sure, it probably does sound interesting to most, but is it good? Absolutely!
I must admit that I am a Sega fan and love many of the titles that the track themes are based off of, which makes the experience much more enjoyable for me. However, if you aren’t the biggest Sega fan, but still find yourself interested in the racing aspect of this game – it’s still worth it. Whether you know the games or not, the tracks are fantastic and the racing is even better. For those who are Sega fans and fans of those franchises, you are going to fall in love with this game and those tracks. For me, it was NiGHTS, After Burner, and Jet Set Radio that really caused me to fall in love with the design of this game. Even though those are my favorites, each track is incredibly fun to race on in this game and you’ll want to race them again and again. Plus, each track uses music based on each game as well.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed – World Tour Race: Sonic The Hedgehog Track
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed features a good cast of drivers along with their vehicles and how they each perform. You, of course, have pretty much the entire Sonic crew along with Beat from Jet Set Radio, B.D. Joe from Crazy Taxi, Ulala from Space Channel 5, Joe Musashi from Shinobi and many more characters including additional ones to unlock. You also have two guest stars – Ralph from Wreck it Ralph and Danica Patrick in her Hot Wheels car. It’s a good selection of characters and tough to unlock them all. You’ll be put through a tough challenge in order to do so. Each of the vehicles is unique and fun to race, each with their own special attributes. As you race you will be able to level up each character’s vehicle and also unlock mods to help each character develop with a specific attribute. (Speed, handling, boost, etc…)
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed looks really cool from the outside looking in. Watching trailers and reading my colleague’s impressions from E3 really piqued my interest in this game and I was easily intrigued by it. This type of game can always look good when watching a trailer, but then you always wonder about the actual gameplay and how it can change your opinion so quickly. Thankfully, I am 100% in love with this game. It does everything right that this type of arcade racer should do. The gameplay, the challenge and the excitement factor are all there to give you hours of enjoyment. You even have those typical moments where you are about to finish in first place and then you get nailed by a firework from stupid Joe of Crazy Taxi who then steals first place away from you. Whatever, Joe! If I had played it well I would have had a glove ready to catch the firework, so there is plenty of defense in the battle part of the game.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed – World Tour Ring Race: NiGHTS Into Dreams
The gameplay feels like your typical kart racer with how the vehicles control and the use of all the power-ups. It’s all quite average and expected, but very solid with how it plays out. Actually, the racing itself and the weaponry probably won’t do much to excite you outside of a few power-ups and how they respond with each character. (Like the star power-up and how it transforms your character into their specific power moves) It’s all still good, but, what really makes this game stand out is the fact that the tracks are engaging and so much fun to race on. What helps make the tracks in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed most engaging and fun is that you do transform. There are areas where you will be racing in your car, come across water and transform into a boat or take to the skies in your plane.
Transformed. That’s the winner with this game. It’s not only your vehicles that transforms, but the tracks themselves change up on you. You may have two laps that are the same, but all of a sudden you have the road ahead of you get taken out and you then switch to the aircraft. It’s a changing environment and with that brings forth uncertainty with what lies ahead of you in each race. Now, you’ll eventually learn these maps and how they change on you, but your first playthrough will be a truly wonderful and fun experience. You’ll love it so much that you’ll easily come back for more. I’m so incredibly happy with the tracks and the entire feel of the game. It gives me a feeling I haven’t had in a long time with fun engaging tracks to race on. I really hope to see more in the future. There is downloadable content featuring an OutRun track for those who get the bonus edition.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed – Time Attack: After Burner Track
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed does that good, bringing you back for another playthrough. It’s a challenging game and what I did to quickly get through the world tour is played it all on B ranking, medium, so that I could beat it fairly quickly. It was fairly easily on B, but it still had many challenging moments – enough that I had to restart more than a couple of times. There are three difficulties to start out with, A ranking (Gold) being the most difficult. If you are looking for a good challenge, you will certainly get it with the Gold ranking. If that’s not enough, don’t worry, once you beat the game you will unlock an expert mode for you to have an even more difficult challenge ahead. There is plenty to unlock and keep you busy!
In each world tour area you will need a certain amount of stars in order to progress. You earn stars by beating a stage in a certain difficulty. C ranking gives you 1 star, B ranking -2, A ranking 3 and expert ranking -4. You can beat the game by collecting all Silver, B ranking stars, but you’ll be far off from gaining access to restricted areas and un-lockable drivers. You use your collected stars to unlock these areas, items or characters. It took me just over 100 stars to beat the game on all silver. You will need upwards of 160 stars to get one character and 180 to get a vehicle mod. That just shows that you will need to beat a lot of levels on expert if you want those two items. Thankfully, it is fun to attempt with all the different game types that the world tour features. It’s not just racing; you have other game types that I found very enjoyable as well. (Traffic Attack, Ring Race, Boost Challenge, Battle Race, Sprint, Drift Challenge, Pursuit)
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed – World Tour Race: Jet Set Radio Track
You can beat the world tour pretty quickly – about four hours of time. Obviously it will take you a lot longer when attempting the higher difficulty levels. If you want to stop there and not attempt the additional characters and mods, then you can also play grand prix in career mode which features different “Cups” to play for in a group of four tracks. Also, to add more replayability to that, it keeps track of your overall combined time of all four tracks and uploads that to the online leaderboards. So, whether you want to attack your own time or your friends’ time, the option is there. You also have, time attack mode, to set times for each track individually and that of course comes with online leaderboards as well. For more exciting gameplay, you can play in online multiplayer with has three different modes to enjoy. Also, you have your license to fill out by ranking up, collecting stickers (achievements) and other stats you get by completing the game and its modes.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is an incredible joy to play and brings some exciting and transforming gameplay that everyone can fall in love with. It really is the tracks that completely won me over in this game. They did an excellent job in creating them and give you a good feel to the gameplay to go along with each track. Whether you are racing, drifting, or going after record times, there is a lot to keep you busy and well-entertained for a long time. Sega fans will be in love and racing fans will have a great time.