Friday, March 21, 2014

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Why not say Sega-All Stars?)

I find it really confusing to sort the difference between these 2 titles. I think they slapped the Sonic name on here for a selling point.  Anyway, if you're looking for a racing game like Mario Kart or one like Gran Turismo.  Not gonna find it here. This is more of the in-between of both games. Generally frustrating like all other races too as well.

Graphics: 

Well if you're looking for better graphics since Mario Kart Wii. You can say this was Sega's Answer to Mario Kart Wii.  By having far better graphics and a rather dynamic track design this does beat Mario Kart in that regard.  But since graphics are at the bottom of my list of things I care about it.

Gameplay

Let's talk about the dynamic tracks.  What I mean by "Dynamic Tracks". I mean most of the tracks on this game change each lap either by explosions on the course that change the layout or being forced to take a separate route.  This is where the vehicle change comes into play (and why you slap on name Transformed in the title).  You'll watch your car transform into a plane or a hovercraft/boat.  I honestly found this rather exciting.  But of course you want to be in your aircraft form for as long as possible as even the game tells you that its faster.  While the course map is more or less the same as in regards to turns and straightaways its hard to notice when you have to shift your focus towards the track changes.

I do wish character selection was a bit more vast and that "Wreck-It Ralph" wasn't in this game though.  You pretty much got the Sonic cast that ppl care about. Then 1 or 2 characters from other games. (Other versions such as the PC version gained extra characters that don't really make sense like Team Fortress 2 characters???? but whatever.)

I haven't tried out the multiplayer yet but I did find that the leaderboards were already hacked or glitched it seems.  I've seen people with lap times as low as 3 seconds. So I'm going WTF? How?  Apparently this game was rather buggy and still is to a degree.  The main bugs I come across tend to be when I start the game it doesn't load so I have to go back to my PSN home menu and restart the game. Other bugs tend to be me somehow going way out of bounds especially during transformations, I even came across one where I had to repeat lap 2 cause the game said I went out of bounds during a drift. Really inconvenient but not unplayable.

Career Mode I feel could use some work.  Like every other Sega All-Stars Game you have to work really hard to unlock things.  While you could sit at C or B class and finish everything easily. You'll quickly discover that you need to be A and S rank to progress any further. This doesn't help the fact that you need to do this to unlock characters as well.

Music

Hearing some remixed tracks of older stages or games is pretty cool. I personally found myself liking the Golden Axe theme and Shinobi theme.  Love the Shinobi theme hate the track though lol. What tends to ruin the music however is when a character gains All-Star (The Equilvalent of Mario Kart's Star Powerup). You'll hear that character's theme for a few seconds and then the track theme resets.

Difficulty

OMG these guys are bullies. This is what separates this game from Mario Kart Wii. While in Mario Kart you could sit in first place and the only thing you'd have to worry about is a random shell of the blue variety headed your way. This game is more about skill.  While all the weapons are generally balanced the AI is a bully and has the sturdiness of a Gran Turismo AI car (AKA the brick wall cars).  Trying to reach 1st place is hard enough especially in the A or S Class.  You're generally rewarded for skill while driving in this game. Be it the classic drift mechanic to something as advance as Risk boost where you gain a boost for avoiding an obstacle at the last second. Messing up on a drift or messing up a stunt can result in your position dropping drastically.  There are no slackers in this game.  Even in GP mode I never see the same racer behind or in front of me.

Career Mode is worse in the aspect of difficulty. With stages like Pursuit where you're chasing a tank trying to kill you. Or Traffic Attack where you have to weave your way through traffic and hope not to crash. Its heavy on the skill requirement and there's frustration to be involved as well.

Replay Value

The replay value aside from online and multiplay comes from having to level up your characters to unlock various mods to there cars.  Or you could just play as Metal Sonic who already has everything unlocked and is max level.  Up to you but I like playing as Knuckles and Gillius.

What Would I Change

I would change how Career Mode works. Instead of forcing me to replay the same stage at a higher rank for another Star to my record how about based on how well you've done the first time you played it have a set benchmark to meet.  Its very annoying to go back and play some of courses again to unlock more characters and mods.

Overall 

I enjoy this game. Wish I had people I know who still play this. But its enjoyable.  Age is a factor that doesn't serve this game well too.  But I'll take it over the seriousness of Gran Turismo or the random factor that Mario Kart possesses. This definitely stands out as a racing game. But it is rather buggy while not unplayable the bugs you come across are very inconvenient.

Original Price: $40.00
Paid: $35.99
Worth: $25.00