Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Reviews

AuthorReview
SuperDuperLiam
260,606 (162,665)
SuperDuperLiam
TA Score for this game: 528
Posted on 20 November 12 at 12:39
This review has 15 positive votes and 11 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Transformed for sure but for the good?

The original Sonic & Allstars racing was a brilliant game that for me came out of nowhere. I assumed it would be a bad kart game but instead I got a high quality piece of software with hours of fun.

The character roster was varied and excellent, level design was top notch and there were plenty of them too. Ok, the game was easy but the journey to 1000 was still long and was entirely fun.

So how have things changed?

Game play

*Please note I have been playing entirely in A class*

The game play is still very good however things have changed a lot. Drifting now takes a very long time but you can switch the direction of the drift too.

The AI was once Johnny Five but is now more like Robocop. They will assassinate you in a moment and somehow their speed is always superior to yours. If you are in 10th place the 9th and 8th place AI will still fire behind them instead of concentrating on trying to win!

I am playing in A class but still found most of this to be true in B class.

I was stunned when I played my first race and came 8th. Considering I played 70+ hours of the original online, I thought I would at least place top 3. I will say that this is definitely going to be a struggle for some to 1000 and children should play completely in C class.

If you make one mistake you will be punished. Bumping into a wall will lose you your drift charge and speed. Also getting hit by weapons will do this too and will frequently push you from 2nd place to 6th place.

Most races in world tour consist of struggling to get to first place. The best tactic I have found (involves luck) is to pick up an All Star item and keep it banked until the last half of the 3rd lap. Ideally your skill will get you to 5th/4th/3rd place and the leaders in sight, using the Allstar item will bump you into first for an easy cheap win.

The online is great and cuts out cheap AI. The new modes are welcome and Battle Arena is brilliant, it is essentially Mario Kart battle mode. There are also Boost races for the purists who hate weapons and battle races where you have 3 lives. There is finally Chao races. All are pretty good and I have no complaints but encourage you to play them.

Finally I will add that there are glitches and bugs which will penalise you. For example whilst pulling tricks off in the air, if you move the camera angle your car will start to face the wrong way meaning you will be sent off in the wrong direction and most likely lose your pole position.

The golden axe level also has a jump into a snake skulls mouth, numerous times I have hit the ceiling of the mouth and have essentially been punished for going too fast!

This has also happened lots in the Billy Hatcher level when transforming into a boat whilst dropping in to the ice cave. The level builds you up for an epic drift boost but as you do, you hit the roof of the cave mouth and are screwed over for boosting.
Other glitches experienced include stopping dead in mid air when hitting someone from any angle and slowly drifting to the ground, making it take even longer to get back in the race.
Constantly falling through the levels if you drive off the edge.

Annoyances include being bumped really far by AI or other players cars just from normal collisions whilst trying to take over etc. Also I have driven in the back of someone who has just been hit by a weapon, I was stopped too which is fine but not when your car is then turned 180 degrees for no reason!

Sound

This is where the game really shines; the announcer is slightly annoying as he announces EVERYTHING. Go into sound test for a blatant prank by Sega too.

The music is brilliant and the sound effects are top notch. Not much to say on this apart from praise! All the characters sound great and the themed music takes inspiration from the source. The Shinobi level in particular has epic music which bought me back to the golden days of Sega.

Level Design & Graphics & Characters
The levels are great but needed more testing and bug squashing. I also can’t help but feel that they wasted another opportunity for more varied levels. Some of the levels are copied and pasted from the first game but changed up a bit.

Every level has 3 laps which all change to encompass the boat, plane or both. I wish they had thought about Alex Kidd, Ecco, Gunstar heroes, Columns, Altered Beast and others when they designed the levels.

The same goes for characters. There are some great ones but be aware that to unlock the best ones (IMO) you have to grind through the campaign and if you are playing on anything but A class, it will take even longer due to you only getting 2 stars for a B Class 1st place win.

It took me about 7 hours to unlock my favourite from the roster, Joe Musashi. There also seems to be too many of the same kind of character and I can only attribute that to laziness on Sega’s behalf. For example both the Super Monkey Ball characters are in the game, simply because it is easy to change the models. Knuckles, Sonic, Shadow and Amy are easily modelled from one to the next too. Also the lack of the old roster it daft, surely they could have worked all of the other characters in?!

There is also Miles and Dr.Eggman (ROBOTNIK FOR ME!) as well as Metal Sonic if you have the dlc which means that there are 7 Sonic characters. There is also Wreck-it Ralph and Danica Patrick who whilst cool are not as cool as say having the dude from Comix Zone as a racer or having Axel from Streets of Rage. It seems a bit silly to add extras without looking after the backlog first.

Graphic wise, the game looks good but could be better in a few areas and some of the older levels seem less detailed. Also the frame rate leaves a bit to be desired but in no way is this game shoddy for graphics.

Fun Factor

The game is very fun but also very frustrating. You will constantly feel screwed over and feel it is unfair – and it is. The AI will constantly bombard you and if you are sub 5th by the 3rd lap without an All star item, you may want to throw the towel in!

Online is great, a few oddities occur but overall it is a laugh.

Achievements

These range in difficulty, not having 1000 myself I cannot say how long it will take. It will take a long time though and with A class being hard mode, I am dreading Expert mode.

Also there is an achievement for 4 players locally to win against 10, it is unsure if this has to be AI or Online yet. Either way, what a nightmare!

Check the list yourself; this is definitely a doable 1000 but with a lot of effort

Conclusion

A would be stellar game marred by glitches, a sharp spike in difficulty, overly aggressive AI and some poor choices by Sega.

Overall, I actually really like this game but it is definitely different and I would say that it is not for the better.
Given 3 stars by SuperDuperLiam
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