Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed Preview (PS3)

Sony wasn’t the only publisher at E3 with a kart racer, as Sega’s Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed was also at the show. Unlike LittleBigPlanet Karting however (read our preview here), this Sonic-themed racer is jam-packed with personality.

While Sega doesn’t have the same caliber of beloved characters and franchises as Nintendo to pull from, this game is undoubtedly the best Mario Kart alternative. From iconic characters like Sonic and Knuckles to Vyse from the Dreamcast classic Skies of Arcadia, there’s a substantial cast that will appeal to any Sega fan. Not only that, but the developer has done an excellent job of making this a really vibrant and crisp experience, with great visuals and outstanding level design that expertly pays tribute to a plethora of Sega franchises.

As the title of the game implies, transforming vehicles is major element in this game, and I must say, it really does help in diversifying each race. There are three main transformations that take place depending upon the terrain whether it’s land, water or sky.

The handful of courses I played had me skidding across solid earth one minute and cutting through water the next. The transitions were seamless and beautiful, as I found myself eagerly waiting for another terrain change to see how the different vehicles would transform.

The controls were tight and responsive and, let me tell you, that means a lot coming from me. Racing games are hardly my forte, but I found All-Stars Racing Transformed to be an incredibly intuitive and accessible experience. I managed to squeeze in a couple of races, but if I wasn’t pressed for time, I definitely would have wanted to try out even more of the characters and courses because I was having so much fun.

Every gamer who considers him/herself a fan of both the Sega brand and kart racers has got to check this game out when it launches later this year. While it won’t likely be able to creep out from under the massive shadow of Mario Kart, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed serves up an addicting racing experience that will keep you coming back for more.