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Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing Review

Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing Review

It's become common place in the gaming community to tar karting games with the Mario Kart brush just because that's the game everyone remembers. Inevitably when a newcomer appears on the scene, and concequently receives a mediocre score, this is largely because "it's not Mario Kart". Well I wont be doing that with Sega and Sonic's All Star Racing, I'll review this on it's own merits and if you don't agree, well you can all go suck an egg!

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Well as you would expect from the title, ASR contains a vast array of cameo appearances from the talented folks of Sega. Sonic, Alex Kidd, Ryo Hazuki, Ulala, the mice from Chu Chu Rocket and many others are all present sporting their own unique ride, all of which are usable. Only a handful are selectable to begin with as the others you need to unlock using Sega Miles, the games currency which is awarded based on your performance after each event. The game itself lets you get to grips with the sublime control system, thanks to the creative people at Sumo Digital, via a tutorial level guided by Sonic himself. If you're resourseful enough to scan the achievements of the game before playing you'll be able to score 30 gamer points before you even complete a single race.

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The grand prix mode is the bread and butter of the game and is a championship layout with races over a number of courses: the racer with the highest score wins that championship and the further you progress the harder the competitions become. While racing you'll notice that each course is themed after one of the "All Star's" present within the game, from Sonic's lush green environments and sweeping corners for some awesome drift action to the dense jungles of Ai-Ai and it's annoying 90 degree turns. Dodging the traffic on the streets of Tokyo, driving through the bowels of Eggman's secret labs or the carnival spirit of Amigo's stages is always fun. Each and every stage has received so much love and attention, not just in the actual course design but also the elaborate background environments which complement the stage beautifully, so there is never a dull moment in your racing.

chilly hedgehogs

Now what sort of kart game would be complete without powerups? ASR is no exception, sporting an arsenal of comic destruction, from boxing gloves to land mines, homing missiles to sonic boom's via an overpowered horn. There are also some over-elaborate superstar moves for those lagging beind the pack to catch up and possibly take that pole position. Each driver has their own unique superstar move which increases their speed in order to catch up the main bulk of the race, so you'll have more of a chance of getting one when you are behind everyone else rather than being out in front. These are just so fun to watch mid race, such as Billy Hatcher's massive egg or Sonic turning SuperSonic in order to launch themselves back into the foray.

Onto the multiplayer side of things; well you have up to four player split screen on the same system or up to eight players online, with the latter more likely to be the most popular. The standard races should be self explanatory, a dog-eat-hedgehog battle for first place. The party modes however take a little more explaining. We have a battle mode where each racer has a number of balloons representing the number of hits you can take before being eliminated.

Eliminator pits eight racers against a timer, whoever is in last place when the timer stops gets knocked out and an additional handful of seconds is added to the timer. Once these have elapsed, last place gets knocked out again, this goes on until there is only one left. Personally I call this Highlander mode as there can only be one.

Monkey balls!

There is also a sort of capture and hold mode, in the centre of a map is a number of gems, pick up a gem and your score increases at a set rate, the more gems you hold the quicker your score builds up, however take a hit and you spin-out losing all your gems, so you have to be quick and agile to retain your booty. Along side this is a CTF mode, where you capture a giant tellytubby thing and drive it back to the score zone.

All the game modes have a lot of appeal so there is plenty for you to get to grips and have a laugh with and Sumo Digital have done an awesome job with the game. Definitely one for the Sega fans and certainly a title for people's collections.

8.50/10 8½

Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing (Reviewed on Xbox 360)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

All the game modes have a lot of appeal so there is plenty for you to get to grips and have a laugh with and Sumo Digital have done an awesome job with the game. Definitely one for the Sega fans and certainly a title for people's collections.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Neil 'Wedge' Hetherington

Neil 'Wedge' Hetherington

Staff Writer

A purveyor of strange alcoholic mixes and a penchant for blowing shit up in games. Proud member of the glorious PC master race.

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