Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Review!
Spilling your rings is a thing of the past; Sega has offered Sonic and his friends transforming vehicles. Whether it takes to the air, sea or land, compete with other Sega characters aside from the other Sonic titles.
With plenty of interesting maps to race on, you and your friends can duke it out in a classic kart racing style many grew up with. Resembling the Diddy Kong and Mario kart sort of racing, you can challenge your family or friends to several different competitive game types. Now each gaming platform has a formidable, HD, kart racing game. Did I mention that the release price for Transformed is about forty dollars? For the amount of replay ability and gameplay this should already be in any gamer’s inventory.
An absent story line doesn’t necessarily make a flimsy game. Transformed doesn’t really offer a plot other than beat the other racers, so there’s not a whole lot of purpose except having a good time. Sonic and many other Sega related characters are available to choose to race as. Doctor Eggman, Tails, Knuckles, Shadow, Sonic, and Amy are all ready to race. Many other familiar characters are also available to play, Wreck it Ralph has a kart with a wrecking ball on the back. This includes Danica Patrick, Alex Kidd, characters from Crazy Taxi, and Jet Set Radio. Each driver has special music that goes along with their star power, where the vehicle they drive turns into its’ flight mode taking corners easily and speeds by competitors.
Playing the game was a blast, specifically how developers emphasize on drifting. Taking corners just the right way is how you win any racing competition, proper breaking and cornering keeps you ahead. In Transformed you are rewarded with a boost if you can drift a corner long enough. This way you can get an edge on the other players while doing it with style. There’s even a game type where the player has to drift inside the guide lines to keep the clock from running out. At some point in the game you will need to use this rewarded boost that you get from doing tricks or drifting to continue on through the world tour; some stages are impossible to beat without this.
Online was about the exact same gameplay as single player. Multiplayer lobbies offer the same race modes and maps from the world tour. The only thing that would make the online play different would have to be comparing stats and characters with other players. Seeing as how you have to unlock half of the other racers, you can guess the player’s skill levels if they race with a sought after character.
Some stages or tracks are meant for a specific game type like a mode called sprint. In sprint you race against a computer to beat their time and complete the stage, if you don’t use the boost rewards at all during these races you will lose. Other modes are available that help define the game into the cart racing category as well. For example, Battle race lets you race on any track and by using item boxes, you eliminate other racers with rockets and other silly means of destruction. The last racer standing wins the race, of course. This game resembles Mario Cart in some ways, yet still stands out as Sega’s own style of racing. Some of the battle game types are clones of other cart racers.
Sonic is more or less about speeding through maps at high velocities, so Transformed has kept that reflexive gameplay. Some fans might be accustomed to using free roam or rings to experience that but now there are other cup trophies to be won. Transforming plays a large part in the game, one moment you’re tearing around a corner getting ready for a jump, then you realize there’s nowhere to land and your kart morphs into a jet. Other times you transition into water, making an amphibious change to a speed boat, this offers a feeling of unpredictability, holding a players interest.
The target audience for this game would probably be for the E-rated gamers. Although, this doesn’t mean age has anything to do with it, kart racing games should be a part of everyone’s gaming intake, and continue to exist in them. Sonic Transformed is one of those games you can play with your younger siblings and not have to worry about exposing them to foul language and excessive violence. This is more of a multiplayer game anyways, so let your friends or family join in and have that classic video game experience this game has to offer.
The graphics of the game look good; they’re really nothing special compared to other games. Sonic has never really astonished us with detailed rendering but with the environments give you the same effect. Some players will recognize the scenarios the track was built after, like Doctor Eggman’s laboratory. If you’re not familiar with many Sega titles, most of the maps will seem like random madness, which is still a lot of fun.
Visuals were mediocre; many things didn’t really seem detailed as much as they could have been. Other than the vehicle rendering there wasn’t that sort of awe that newer games have been providing for the community. There wasn’t anything wrong with the lighting or how things looked, I just feel like they could have polished the environments a bit more, there was a tone of simplicity. Yet, for a modern kart title, Sonic remains unmatched. However, one thing worth noting is the sense of speed in the game is amazing!
The soundtrack to the game was exhilarating, with fast beats and uplifting melodies which kept me focused on the prize while playing. The title screen had me chuckling at how intense the theme music was, I couldn’t help but feel excited to play. Even the all-star power up had a specific effect for each character in the game; usually the tune that played would be a mood changer.
As far as the audio went, Sonic transformed had fulfilled my expectations. The character voices sounded like they always had from previous games and the television shows. Vehicle sounds and effects were up to par as well, along with the announcer’s voice, always stating the obvious. Announcer voices are pretty rare in a game, aside from online multiplayer games. Sonic’s announcer had a defined enthusiasm compared to others.
Transformed had music and audio that surprisingly lowered my vulnerability of frustration. I don’t know what it is about Sega’s developments that always gives games such a youthful outlook on everything. Most of their games are action packed and still toned down enough for younger players to enjoy as well.
To me, classic kart racing games are within the godfathers of gaming and I’m truly happy to see they are still coming out. These types of kart games bring friends together and give us a four player experience that has become rare with the influx of single player games. Also, some of the gaming community is still aware of age ratings for video games and can refrain from giving their 7 year old Call of Duty, or Gears of War.
Sonic Transformed isn’t going to be a massive title, but is still crucial to the rising gaming community. I had a blast playing, I’m in my twenties but I couldn’t help being reminded of when I was sitting around in footy pajamas gnawing on pizza crust. Overall, this game is fun, the music is intense and even made me chuckle at some points. Either if you’re and old fan of Sonic, or a parent, I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys a good cart racing experience; a brand new game for forty bucks is nothing to complain about either.
Written by Guest Contributor KHUFU