Game-A-Week: Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing

Title: Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing (PC)

The Gist: Ever play Mario Kart? It’s difficult not to play this as a Mario Kart game with every Nintendo character replaced with someone from a Sonic or Sega game. It does however have some things that set it apart from its Nintendo counterpart and in some ways feels like an improvement.

Pros: What this game does best is accept being a copy of Mario Kart and then add things that Mario Kart doesn’t have. There’s standard racing, battles and time trials as well as missions which basically have your racer complete a task such as catching up with a specific racer. The 2/3/4 player split screen co-op is actually a lot better than I imagined; whilst standard racing and battles are very Mario Kart like they’ve introduced elimination (after a certain amount of time the person in the last position of the race is eliminated), capture the chao (flag) and one of my favorite modes called Collect the Emeralds where you and fellow players grab and hold onto as many emeralds as you can…the cool bit being that you can shoot your opponents and cause their emeralds to fly free for the taking; the more emeralds you have and the longer you have them contributes to an overall score.

One of the main differences to Mario Kart is the ‘All Stars’ power up; whilst it may be similar to Mario Kart’s invincibility star in that it provides invulnerability and a slight speed boost it does so in a unique way for each character. This becomes the perfect excuse to bring Supersonic into the game as Sonic’s ‘All Stars’ move, other abilities include Amy Rose speeding along with her massive hammer knocking other racers out-of-the-way or Shadow gaining the ability to fly and use his Chaos Spear move.

Another pretty cool feature that gives players an incentive to play and provides good replay value is that players can earn Sega Miles for their travels. These can then be used to unlock extra characters, new levels and new music for the game.

Cons: If you’re not into Mario Kart at all then this game isn’t for you; it doesn’t do enough to feel like an entirely different franchise. The lack of online component for the PC is its weakest point, whilst there was money off the game at launch for this not being included it seriously lets the overall game down…I can’t race friends or see how my track times fair up against other racers in the world.

Musical Note: I found the music for this game to be a bit of a duality; on one hand you get to unlock some classic Sega tunes from Sonic games and such, on the other you get the occasional pop song including Samba Dejaneiro …which I can’t stand >.<

Hunger Level: At first I didn’t find myself playing it too much but I eventually loaded it up for some 2 player split screen action; must admit I’ve played this a fair few times over the past few weeks and I’ll no doubt play some more.

Conclusion: Didn’t like this game to begin with; it feels like a carbon copy of Mario Kart initially but after giving it more of a chance I really enjoyed a lot of the additional features such as varied multiplayer games. Overall I think I actually prefer this over Mario Kart and really hope that Sega decide to make another of these with online support for PC!!! >.<

(please note that screenshots are not my own as I was unable to capture them via screenshot/steam pics; headed over to Steam’s page for the game)

Game-A-Week @ Black Vinculum

This will be the last Game-A-Week for now at least; I‘ll be working on longer reviews of several titles including Battlefield 3, Sonic Generations (3DS and PC!), Skyrim, Star Wars: The Old Republic and tons more!

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