PS3 Review – Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing

April 2, 2010Written by Thomas Williams

The kart racer genre has been greatly overlooked on the PS3 since launch. Have no fear, as Sega and developer Sumo Digital are here to ‘save’ the day with Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing. Is it the best kart racer available yet or should you just wait for ModNation Racers later this summer?

When Sega and Sumo Digital first revealed Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing to the gaming world, they never promised anything about reinventing the kart racer ‘wheel’. Instead, the duo decided to take the formula that has worked for years– that formula being what the Mario Kart series created, sans Nintendo’s cast, add-in Sega’s crew of characters and boom, Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing was born. After all, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and this is a prime example. Thankfully the game is game is great and doesn’t come off as just a rip-off.

Why? Because just like Mario Kart, the game’s a blast to play! Even better is the fact that the entire family can enjoy this game. I think we all know how kart racers work: One button for gas, drifting gives you boost, boost pads are scattered on the track, and you smash into ring containers from the Sonic games which now contain power-ups. Instead of mushrooms giving you an instant boost, you receive Sonic’s shoes. I think you get the point. Nothing new, just the correct adjustments to fit the Sega Universe.

The game features a bevy of modes: grand prix, singe-player, time trails, online and offline multiplayer and ‘mission mode’. Mission mode contains a whopping 64 different challenges, which also ends up being a clever way that the developers ensure you use every character in the game, even the lame ones. Like I stated earlier, the game doesn’t feature any new mode types and for some odd reason, the online multiplayer is limited only to racing. All the other offline multiplayer modes such as battle, capture the chao (flag) and what not are exactly that… offline only. I’m not entirely sure why Sega made that decision, but it certainly would have helped with the online community. I never saw more than 30 players on at one time…so buyer beware, who knows how long it will be before the community completely dries up.

Thankfully any race, battle, grand pix event, or mission you complete during the game earns you ‘Sega Miles’ which you can be used to buy new music, characters, and tracks at the game’s shop. As you continue to earn more Sega Miles, you also graduate from license to license, which is yet another incentive to continue to keep playing the game. On another note, trophies are super-easy to earn in this game, at least at first. I could have very easily earned 15 trophies in the first 30 minutes if I had looked at the trophy list, however I’m hearing it takes about 20 hours to earn a platinum trophy. Just a friendly tip for all of you trophy hunters out there.

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