by Ben Lelievre
reviewed on PS3
What are these merry folk doing racing together? (cntd)
Fans of Mario Kart will find that the game has an eerie feeling of similarity. A few times, I had the feeling of playing a Mario Kart game. The electic Japanese-Theme-Show atmosphere is nice, but it doesn't do enough to distract from the structure which is basically the same as Nintendo's king racer. A nice addition is the ''All-Star Move''. Whenever you are waaaaay behind in a race, you can bump into a power-up and get an All-Star Move. It is a move that is characteristic to the racer's own game. I won't spoil them, but it goes from badass to hilarious. As long as you are in a highly disputed race, it is fun, but in single player, you can't keep playing Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing for hours because you will get bored. Race, rince, wash, repeat. There is no alternative racing mode that will keep the players hanging by a thread. In that sense, it's a little bit lacking.
Shiny & Strong
If the straightforwardness of the title keeps it from being an all-time great, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing does a few thing subtly well, which adds to the frantic enjoyment of the game. For example, the control is simple, tight and fun.R2 for gas, left stick to race and X for power ups. Some things are too enjoyable when they are kept simple and Sega enjoyed it. The boost system employed with L2 (drift) and R2 is a little complicated to get, but to a certain extent you won't need it. You'll need it to win in the last difficulty level or online, but if you play Beginner, Advanced or Missions mode, you won't need to master it. It is gameplay hindering, but only to a certain extent.
Graphic wise Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing is also a very strong offering. Nothing too fancy, but it is sharp and efficient which allows the gamer to concentrate on the race itself. The courses are very bright and colourful, which is a much needed change from the downer brownish titles that the new generation of hardware seems to spawn. There is no realistic quality to Sonic and friend's fiendish racing. Just grit and fun. Some developers seem to forget it, but Sega hit the nail on the head with this one. Minimal hinderance come in between the player and crazy races.
Ben, should I buy it?
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing is, first and foremost, a party game. Even in the Single Player modes, the visceral fun of this title is to swap the controller around with friends and trying to beat each other's score and to rub your superiority in the other's face. In this regard, this is a hit. Missions & Time Trial also take much more sense with buddies around.
The shortcomings of the game comes with the Grand Prix mode. It feels a little underdevelopped. There are only six cups (no different on any difficulty settings) and there is no backstory to follow. It's just not enough to keep the player's attention. The Sega Shop is also a little empty. Power ups for the cars would have been welcome, but there are only characters to unlock. They add a variety, but not enough to keep you interested.
Every household needs its party title. If you have a PS3, you should check out Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. It's an amazing party title and there is another karting game coming on PS3 soon which will have to live up to Sonic's standards. Welcome back Hedgehog!
Fast, frantic and simple
Gets repetitive after one Grand Prix in Single Player