I am still of the opinion that Super Mario Kart for the SNES is the “funnest” racing game ever made; it was all about fun , from top to bottom. Since that time, I’ve essentially passed on arcade-style racers and only have a place in my heart for the simulators, but that doesn’t mean I’d scoff at the possibility of playing a colorful, speedy, and altogether humorous and amusing title like Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing . Sadly, we’ve seen terrible things happen to our beloved blue streak of a mascot during the recent years of platforming attempts, so perhaps it’s best to turn to a simplified yet still crowd-pleasing racer that features Sonic and some of his bestest friends. You can tell simply by glancing at the screenshots that this one is meant to be lighthearted and charming; it won’t ask you to follow strict tutorials and it won’t punish you too heavily for screwing up a turn (and if it does, it’ll be funny). Essentially, this one is all about kicking back on a rainy day and relaxing with a smile on your face.
Multiple characters from Sega’s stable will hit the vibrant, curiously designed tracks in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing , and each will have their own set of attributes and statistics, as you might expect. Some will wish to simply play as their favorite while others will want to choose a character that best suits their madcap racing style. Characters include Sonic and a few of his friends, like Tails (of course), that cutesy little monkey from Samba de Amigo , Alex Kidd, Beat (from Jet Set Radio ), Billy Hatcher, and oh look, another monkey; this one from Super Monkey Ball . If you gave Sega Superstars Tennis a try, you can expect much of that roster to be available in this game, and the cool part is that in addition to being distinctly different from one another, each recognizable mascot will have his or her own ride. Sonic charges around in a bright blue sports car (figures), Alex has a motorcycle, Knuckles has an ATV, Amy has an old-fashioned pink sedan, Billy is in an egg pod buggy of some kind, and Beat is in a hopped-up bad-ass-mobile, so in this way, there will be plenty of diversity out there on the racetracks.
Each vehicle comes fully equipped with a power move, too: Alex’s motorcycle transforms into a helicopter, which kinda seems a little unfair, Sonic has super speed, and Billy will quite literally take his egg racer and bounce on his opponents…which ought be quite the laugh-inducer. Those racetracks, by the way, should be both zany and appealing. Some of the settings were inspired by past Sega games – as you can probably tell – and this includes a casino park roulette level, a snow-themed raceway, and a lush tropical island that may have come from one of those ill-advised Sonic titles earlier this generation. As for the controls, you probably shouldn’t anticipate anything too challenging; while it may take some time to master, this is the very epitome of a “pick-up-and-play” game. This is a quality most everyone can appreciate at any given time in their gaming careers, as sometimes, all we wanna do is rip down a colorful, crazily designed racetrack with our nostalgic memories to drive us forward.
Obviously, multiplayer is a crucial aspect of the industry this generation and when it comes to racing games, most everyone wants the option. Well, Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing will support up to eight players on the PS3, 360 and Wii versions, and this includes four-player split-screen action. We’re not sure about online play just yet but we’d like to assume it’ll be an option. Early hands-on sessions by GameSpot and other sources report a highly fluid, entertaining experience, one that feels like 60 frames per second but is actually short of that. The game is scheduled to arrive some time early next year and although it may land amidst a series of big-name titles, it should be a breath of fresh, leisurely air that generates interest from both old-school gamers and casual, family-oriented gamers.