Sonic has had a bad record with games lately, never managing to capture his former 2d glory, but now he’s back and he’s brought some friends in Sega’s latest release.
Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing is a kart racer that has been been compared to Mario Kart, but let’s get this straight.
Xbox 360 does not have any real Kart style racers and games should never be compared to other games.
All Stars is more than capable of holding it’s own in this world of bleak, realistic games that are currently dominating the market, instead this game offers bright visuals and large selection of weapons and Sega characters to go nuts with as you racer around the fantastic tracks.
Instead of a brake button that most race fans are familiar with, All Stars gives you a Drift button which is what makes this whole game tick.
As you drift you fill up your boost, so the more you drift the more speed you get and of course, drifting is a much quicker way around the courses anyway.
Mastering drifiting and chaining it all together is the key to this game and does not take long to learn before you’re blazing around the track pulling off stupid drifts.
It’s so accesible that anyone can pick up the game and feel like a racing god after a few minutes but still offers enough for seasoned pro’s.
But wait, there’s more!
Along the way you can pick up weapons and shields to pummel the opposition with, these can also be fired backwards to block incoming attacks or just to ruin someone’s day with a well placed missile.
Sadly these weapons to lack any realy creativity, you have a standard assortment of mines, missiles etc but nothing that really stands out as a “wow thats cool!” weapon.
However each character has an All Star pick-up, these awesome power-ups is unique to each character and allows them to blast past the opposition or blow them off the track and each one is cool to watch.
It’s well balanced as well, if your leading the pack then you won’t get any of these All Stars but if your doing badly or your at the back of the pack then there is a high chance that you will, allowing you to get back into the race.
It’s a good way to keep the race’s feeling tight without feeling cheated.
It’s the track design that stands out in this game, each one is based off of the back catologue of Sega games, such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Curient Mansion and Monkey Ball.
Because of this each one is a bright lively place filled with corners, boost pads, jumps, weapons and the occasional mind blowing corkscrew keep it feeling fresh and thanks to the bright graphics it’s a wonder to behold each track.
Speaking of grahpics they are certainly a stand out feature in this game, bright and lively these are far from the standard brown shooters of the modern era that we have to look at, the character models are all well detailed, not to mention that they move around as you race, sometimes dancing around the vehicle or other little things that help make them feel more alive.
Each track has extensive backgrounds and a good amount of attention to detail that helps give the game a nice, polished feel.
The single player mode is made up of missions and grand prix’s and will provide a solid 8 hours or so of gameplay. missions range from collecting rings to plain race’s and usually force you away from your usual driving mechanics.
As you complete missions and race’s you earn Sega Mile’s, pretty much the in-game currency which can be used to buy extra characters, tracks and in game music but sadly this is not a very effective way of keeping the player playing, as the Miles are earned so easily that you can buy most of the shop very quickly and so many players may find themselves getting bored of the single player quickly,
However the multiplayer is a major part of this game and plays exactly like singleplayer race’s except with realy people, it massively entertaining and even more so if you play with friends.
For all it’s good points there are some bad one’s, considering the massive back catologue of games that Sega has the roster of characters and tracks is actually pretty limited, though DLC has been confirmed they still could of featured alot more than they did into the game.
Sonic & Sega All Stars racing is the best Kart racer on the Xbox 360, mainly because it has no real compeition but mostly because it’s a joy to play and to look at, a great game that you can simply pick up and play for a while, most will play this for around a week before moving on but many will find a great online game that will keep them coming back and back, it’s simple, addictive and fun to play so do yourself a favour and consider this game.
Oh, and did I mention that you can use your Avatar for the game? an that Xbox 360 players get an exlusive character, none other than Banjo & Kazooie?