Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing

Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing Review for Wii

On: WiiXbox 360PS3PCiPhoneDS

Fan favourites such as Dr. Eggman, Tails, AiAi, Amigo and many more will join Sonic in their custom built vehicles as they battle to cross the finish line in first place.

Review Verdict Read Review
8Out of 10
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Visually it's excellent, but the frame rate does chug at times.
Visually it's excellent, but the frame rate does chug at times.

Visually it's excellent, but the frame rate does chug at times.

Maintaining a tight line around corners is only one part of the race experience. No kart racer is complete unless a bevy of weapons are at your disposal. Sadly, this is one area in which Sonic and co don't perform as well. For the most part the weapons are fairly generic, with new designs simply covering up the fact that we've seen them all before in Mario Kart. One that stands out, mainly due to its flashy nature, is the All-Star pick-up. As is the way in these kind of games, you'll only get it should you be performing badly, but once activated your character will perform a special move for a short period of time. Sonic uses the chaos emeralds to become a super fast gold Super Sonic, while Shenmue's Ryo hops into a forklift and zooms through the pack.

Outside of the Grand Prix mode there's a substantial Missions mode, in which you'll need to complete various challenges as you try to earn the coveted AAA ratings. Sumo Digital is following in the footsteps of its home console versions of OutRun 2 here, with a variety of challenges ranging from going head to head against another character, to drifting as much as possible. You're forced to use certain characters, too, which mixes things up a bit. With 64 missions to complete there's enough here to keep you playing for hours.

As expected, multiplayer racing is great fun in All-Stars, but it's not nearly as feature-rich as I'd have liked. For one, the eight-player online mode is limited to racing only – there's no battle mode support. To fight against friends over a handful of combative game modes you'll have to stick to the four-player split-screen option. In truth, the battle modes aren't great, with the most fun with friends coming from the standard racing, but even this isn't handled brilliantly. You can't compete in an online Grand Prix, so you're essentially just racing in single one-off races. There are options to set up private games, whether you want AI racers to join in and if power-ups and rubber-banding are on, but the whole mode seems painfully lacking.

While the multiplayer options are disappointing, the presentation is anything but. On all three consoles the visuals are excellent, jammed full of charm and character. The PS3 and 360 games clearly look sharper and more detailed than the Wii version, but the Nintendo console still pumps out an impressive looking game. There's some awesome music too, with new versions of many classic SEGA tracks, and even the in-game announcer isn't annoying. If it weren't for the erratic frame rate, which stumbles too much in all versions of the game, there'd practically be nothing to complain about.

Billy Hatcher fans rejoice!

Billy Hatcher fans rejoice!

Aside from visual differences the three versions have a few minor things to set them apart. The Wii game lets you use tilt to drive and has Mii integration, the 360 game features a Banjo and Kazooie car and Avatar integration, and the PS3 version uses the Sixaxis tilt sensor for driving. None of these are especially noteworthy and do little to elevate one title above another. More significant is the downloadable ghost data for use in the Time Trial mode. On PS3 and 360 you can use these ghosts to help improve your racing, but on Wii you can simply view the fastest times.

Whichever version of Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing you choose you're going to get a well produced, fun arcade racer, with enough tracks and unlockables to keep you playing for a long time. Yes, it has taken more than a bit from Nintendo's karting series, but it has enough of its own style to make it worth a look even if you're a die-hard Nintendo gamer. Dare I say it, SEGA has finally given us another good Sonic game.

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14 Comments

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pblive's Avatar

pblive

Agree completely with the score, eldest and I had some great multiplayer races on the Wii game. Handling doesn't feel quite as fluid as MK but the tracks are great and the unlocking system is fun. I love the Tokyo Drift tracks from JSRF.
Posted 11:07 on 01 March 2010
Marink's Avatar

Marink

T'would be nice to collect the racers: Crash, Mario and Sega. So I shall pick this up at some point in my life...
Posted 10:36 on 01 March 2010
wannabefree's Avatar

wannabefree

this really is no competition for mario kart. why doesnt any dev understand MKs secret is its butter smooth 60fps and visual simplicity. i am judging the 360 version but i will try the ds demo soon since the way the ds renders means it doesn't drop frames when pushed only polygons: it might actually be playable.
Posted 01:39 on 28 February 2010
NintendoGamer's Avatar

NintendoGamer@ Ghost_Dog

I played the demo off the nintendo chanel on my ds lite(its on its last legs)its way,way,way better than mario kart ds(especialy the drifting,NO STUPID HOPPING BEFORE DRIFTING!)
Posted 21:58 on 27 February 2010
sonic_freak's Avatar

sonic_freak

I'm really enjoying the game, loads better than Mario Kart as its faster and the drifting aspect awesome.

If anyone's intersted, Sonic Wrecks is holding a competition to win some Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing goodies including concept art.
http://www.sonicwrecks.com/news/comp...h-sonic-wrecks
Posted 21:43 on 27 February 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog

My kids love Mario Kart, so this might be a good PS3 family friendly game to get.

EDIT: Have now played the demo with my 5 (soon to be 6) year old daughter, who has declared it as 'better than Mario Kart'. This was from the person who the other day argued the case with me that Mario is better than Sonic. There's no better recommendation than that.
Posted 17:12 on 26 February 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Was thinking about getting this because of my lack of a Nintendo Wii,
although I'll always have the amazing Mario Kart on the DSi.
Posted 16:05 on 26 February 2010
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

If you were Paul Gadd you may buy this game for your prey. Is that what you're saying?
Posted 10:58 on 26 February 2010
IndoorHeroes's Avatar

IndoorHeroes

If I had a kid this is something I'd get to play with him/her. But I dont. Instead I'll buy something about mercilessly murdering children in a hellish saline solution of rain water and tears. Should be a good time.
Posted 10:45 on 26 February 2010
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Just got the Wii version in the post, looking forward to playing it.
Posted 10:19 on 26 February 2010
renegade's Avatar

renegade

I wonder if it affects the Pc version. Because some games regardless of your Pc are just made badly
Posted 09:58 on 26 February 2010
TomO's Avatar

TomO

The frame rate is more of a shame than a real problem, for me anyway. It's such a nice looking game that would have really looked great running at a silky smooth 60fps.
Posted 09:51 on 26 February 2010
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius@ SexyJams

Quote:
Originally Posted by The one and only Tom (Unless James pretends to be him for the day) Orry
Frame rate is erratic

This can irritate some more than others I guess.
Posted 09:46 on 26 February 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Wow, this is a totally differnt opinion than my games tm magazine.
They thought the framerate and stuff were awful with no real unique takes on anything.
I have no idea whether to get it or not now!
I reckon I trust Tom more...
Posted 08:42 on 26 February 2010

Game Stats

Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing
8
Out of 10
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing
  • Good fun
  • Tight handling
  • Great presentation
  • Frame rate is erratic
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 26/02/2010
Platforms: Wii , Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC , iPhone , DS
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Genre: Racing
No. Players: 1-8
Rating: PEGI 7+
Site Rank: 571 7
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