Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Wii Review
Being born from some kind of twisted desire, Sega decided to release a kart racing game, mainly based around there expansive roster of characters. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (Wii version) is a solid kart racer, but does it compete or surpass even the mighty Mario Kart, read on in this Bright Hub influenced review of Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing on the Wii.
Fortunately for this Mario Kart influenced kart racer, it was released a month or so before this new spate of racing titles currently reaching top 10 charts around the globe, namely Blur, ModNation Racers and to a lesser extent Split/Second. Due to this, it could potentially draw some moderate successes on both the PS3 and Xbox consoles, as opposed to the clustered Wii release (which has to compete with Mario Kart!).
Setting of Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing (3 out of 5)
24 separate tracks, each representing a familiar place to Sega fans, the game has a well managed and expansive selection of different tracks to choose from. In these 24 tracks is some great variety and easily some of the better designed kart racing tracks. The game will often take a Mario Kart feel as you find some courses have similar layouts, see Samba De Amigo’s own Rainbow Road attempt, however these similarities don’t drag the experience down.
Offline, the game has two specific game types for you to enjoy, the Grand Prix and Mission modes. Grand Prix allows for the usual cup style progress, pitting you against 7 unrelenting computer opponents, with the goal being to win each of the 6 available. Mission mode differs in that it tasks players with objectives based around things such as collecting coins or effective boosting. Practice will likely see these challenges perfected, however there are more than 50 to get to grips with, ergo time is of the essence.
Co-operative play is missing for this offline content and while that is a shame, the game still features competitive game modes for you and your friends to play through, in the best Mario Kart impression of course. Online is restricted to simple racing, without the split screen battle mods etcetera, however its still varied enough with options such as computer AI, rubber-banding and whether or not to use items still there to be selected or changed. Even with a stripped down multiplayer, it feels solid and will definitely peak when competing against friends.
Gameplay of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Wii (4 out of 5)
Although the claim that All-Stars Racing is nothing more than derivative could be made. The game has many aspects to its gameplay that differentiate itself from the effervescent pack. Firstly the use of an “All-Star Move” for each character to gain an advantage if they find themselves trailing (much like the hallowed Bullet Bill from Mario Kart).
Furthermore items have a distinct triangle of effectiveness, in a similar fashion to rock-paper-scissors, with certain items able to counteract or nullify others. With no blue shell present, racers will often find it hard to catch the leader, however AI can have rubber-banding turned on in order to deputise for slow friends. Along with an item that turns the screen upside down, much to the chagrin of afflicted players, there are plenty of other kart racing main-stays, such as a red boxing glove projectile thematically similar to a red shell.
Continue to page 2 for thoughts on the aesthetics and graphical capabilities of Sonic and Sega All Stars in this Bright Hub Wii Review…
Players can choose from upto 22 characters, including Mii support, from the Sega pantheon and back catalogue. Picking a favourite shouldn’t be hard and while each character has slightly tweaked attributes, they feel the same for the most part, even if boosting around corners changes dependent on the players choice.
Aesthetics of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing For The Wii (3 out of 5)
Obviously given the cross-platform treatment of this game, its to be expected that the other consoles have a more egregious graphical interpretation of Sega’s true vision. This doesn’t nothing to hamper Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing for the Wii however. The tracks bounce with vibrancy and are often colourful competitors to Mario Kart’s pantheon of tracks and visual motifs.
The 24 tracks will often have a set theme, usually influenced by one specific game or even level from said game, with players see a huge variety of background cues and subliminal troupes of that game during the race. This bombardment of fan-service can cause the game to stutter and frame rate drops will occasionally pop up; although its usually during online where the complications will arise.
With the Sega characters well represented, players will indulge in the soundtrack which provides plenty of nostalgic glimpses into their past, even if you’ve only dabbled in Sega’s better known franchises. The ability to unlock these tracks, songs and characters with earned “Sega Miles” is a decent incentive and nostalgic aesthetes will no doubt pander towards earning the sufficient miles to unlock everything in the game.
Overall Rating For Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing (3 out of 5)
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing is a great stop gap for avid Mario Kart enthusiasts. While it seems derivative and perhaps cliche to begin with, the underlying depth and solid mashups of gameplay variables make for something refreshing, even at the behest of the many other kart racers currently out today.
Although it may not deign a purchase, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing has a deserved spot in the world of mascot kart racing and could easily be a sleeper hit for each console it has been released on. Now, time to kick back and unlock Ryo Hazuki for competitive play, especially with his forklift All-Star move.
If you’re looking for some addictive enjoyment and are getting groggy from the constant Rainbow Road rehashes, Sonic and Sega All Stars is a good effort, with plenty of Sega based nostalgia and fan service to boot.