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Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Review

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Luke Albiges

Sonic attempts to take on Mario at his own game. Again. Find out whether he succeeds in our Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed review.

sonic-006.jpg

Published on Nov 19, 2012

Why doesn’t Sonic just get out of the car and run, you ask? It’s simple. Though he could easily just outrun the traffic, he’s a sporting fellow; he’d no sooner hop out of his ride than an Olympic runner would hop on a motorbike and take the gold.

No, Sonic is all about friendly competition, just racing on a level playing field against his friends Tails, the guy from Shinobi, um… Wreck-It Ralph and… some racing driver we’ve never heard of. Hang on a second. What the balls is going on here?

While the oddball cast might not be the greatest collection of Sega superstars ever assembled, the courses on offer delve deeper into the archives to make sure this does offer a warm welcome to those who remember the days when Sega not only still made consoles but was really good at it too.

On top of the glorious remix soundtrack, which will be enough to send retro Sega fans over the edge, franchises like Jet Set Radio, The House Of The Dead, Panzer Dragoon, Burning Rangers and Billy Hatcher all provide nostalgia–stuffed evolving backdrops on which to race, each shifting as the race progresses to put the three-form vehicles through their paces.

Cars have the solid handling and sense of weight you’d expect from a Sumo arcade racer, while boating fun is far closer to Hydro Thunder. Early cornering is crucial in this low-traction environment, and choppy seas offer both hazards and new trick opportunities.

Aircraft are the loosest of the bunch, tough to tame as you climb through the speed classes, but as the quickest vehicle type, any opportunity to get airborne should be snapped up.

Handling is good, then, and the arsenal isn’t too shabby either; Mario Kart clichés are avoided for the most part, and even game-changing All-Star powers aren’t nearly as broken as they could be. And most important of all, it’s fun.

Solo races and challenges rapidly grow properly challenging – you know, like in a real racing game – while group play is a riot, whether you’re hearing friends shriek as the courses evolve or all blasting around the wonderful settings like pros.

But perched as it is somewhere between accessible fun and serious racing challenge, Transformed is an oddity. We’re not entirely sure who it’s aimed at. Well, except for Sega fans, who should add four points to the score and leave for the nearest game shop at once.

Version Tested: Xbox 360

 

Score Breakdown
Graphics
8.0 / 10
Sound
7.0 / 10
Gameplay
7.0 / 10
Longevity
7.5 / 10
Multiplayer
8.0 / 10
Overall
7.0 / 10
Final Verdict
Blue skies, great control and real challenge – Transformed has all the hallmarks of one of the classic Sega games it brilliantly celebrates. Still, the less devoted may find it too playful for a hardcore racer, or too hardcore for a playful one.
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Game Details
Format:
Xbox 360
Release Date:
16/11/2012
Price:
£39.99
Publisher:
Sega
Developer:
Sumo Digital
Genre:
Racing
No. of players:
1-10
Verdict
7.0 /10
An enjoyable and heartfelt celebration of Sega’s rich past, though much of it will go over the heads of gamers who started on the 360
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