Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing Review [Xbox 360]

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by heavyknight, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. heavyknight

    Member heavyknight GBAtemp Regular

    Dec 9, 2009
    United States
    <b>Introduction</b> -
    Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing. What is it? It's the newest entry in Sonic/Sega spinoffs. It's very similar to Mario Kart in many ways. From items, karts, to characters, it's a blast. You've got a decent variety of items, modes, mayhem, racers, and revenge schemes. The game is available for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and DS. If you somehow missed the title, this is about the Xbox 360 version.

    Quick Info -
    There are a lot of Sonic & Mario Kart comparisons, but they are mostly for the sake of helping you get an idea, as well as explanation purposes. This is not a COMPARISON REVIEW of All-Stars and Mario Kart. If you think this is a comparison, then you should read the TMNT Smash-Up Review on IGN.

    <b>Gameplay & Explanations</b> 8/10 -
    Gameplay is basic. It's a simple racing game. Breaking it down, there are items, boosters on the tracks that increase speed, obstacles that will get in your way or absorb your items, and other minor inconveniences, such as falling out of a loop. Also, if you fall off while driving, you are almost instantly back on track. Speed's the game, falling shouldn't be lame.

    The buttons you will mostly use are: acceleration, brakes, and the item button. If you hold the breaks, you will enter a drift. The longer you drift, the more speed boost you get when you let go. You can also drift while getting a speed boost, be it a speed boost from the boosters on the field, an item, or a drift boost.
    Also while on the topic of boosts, you can also acquire a speed boost at the starting line with some timing/etc. My friend can do it often, but I mess it up.

    There are also ramps and such, with the proper amount of speed, you will go flying. Pressing the brake button in air will lead to a trick. If you do a trick multiple times, you will get nice speed boost, compared to just doing 1 trick. If you lack speed, you will most likely fall off. This can make or break the game. I went from 1st to 7th because I fell.

    <b>Obstacles</b> - Obstacles are things that get in your way in stages. The objects vary from stage to stage. In Sonic-themed stages, you will run into the fish from Sonic 2, and crabs of Sonic 1. In Jet Set Radio-themed stages, you will run into cars, street signs, and various objects.

    <b>Stats</b> - Each racer is unique. Going from Big to Eggman to Banjo & Kazooie - Motorcycle, 4wheel giant-thingy, a Jeep. Racers are pretty much individual from stats to All-Star moves. It's a matter of how you use them that makes them different.

    <b>Items</b> - Some items can be shot from behind, others act like traps/road blocks. Certain items that come in pairs of 3 can be released all at once by holding the item button down. It's useful for being strategic, since items can be blocked by Obstacles. They can also cancel each other out. IE - A Rocket is behind you, you can either shoot a Confusing Star backwards, K.O. Gloves backwards, take the hit and use a Rocket as revenge, set a Mine to intercept, or make use of the Shield. Use a Bomb on a Mine. A variety of things.

    <b>Name [amounts] - My descriptions</b>
    High Speed Shoe [x1] [x3] - Gives a speed boost, similar to the Mushroom in Mario Kart.
    K.O. Gloves [x1] [x3] - These items will fire in a straight line until it hits a wall and bounces off. They act like Green Shells from Mario Kart. Except they don't hit you.
    Rocket [x1] [x3] - Can be shot from behind. They're practically homing missles. Similar to Red Shells.
    Mine [x1] [x3] - Acts like an object, blows up when touched/hit, similar to a Banana Peel. Behind-only
    Shield [x1] - Absorbs a hit from either an Object or an Item.
    Giant Rocket [x1] - Front-only. Can hit things in the way as well as detonate on command/after some time.
    Mega Horn [x1] - Small AoE- A horn appears on the top of you, blasts sound once and hits racers near by.
    Confusing Star [x1] - 'Drug trip', flips your screen upside down. Can be fired backwards.
    Pocket Rainbow [x1] - 'Drug trip 2', similar to setting a mine, it will nearly block all/your visibility with a rainbow wave.
    Bombs [x1] [x3] - These bombs roll and bounce off walls, and explode after a bit of time or when they come into contact with something, occasionally each other if you release them at once..

    <b>All Star</b> [x1] - Similar to the Star in Mario Kart, except much more fun/better. Everyone has one special All-Star move. Sonic can turn into Super Sonic, where you can control who you want to hit as well as gain speed by repeatedly pressing 'A'. Banjo & Kazooie creates a giant jigsaw puzzle rain with the pieces randomly dropping. If the All-Star is behind you, you will most likely take a hit if they either bump into you or as part of their attack. Another note is that you automatically move, so you can kick back for a few seconds. Very helpful on maps with sharp turns and holes.

    <b>Multiplayer Aspects</b> - Online play is part of it. There are also minigame modes like Capture the Chao, Knock Out, Battle, etc. What's the most fun is Local Multiplayer, because interacting with real people and seeing how they act is fun. Or you can hit them for kicks. Who knows. It's just a lot of fun.

    '<b>Unlockables</b>' - Sega Miles are used to unlock tracks, characters, and songs, which are locked by default. These Miles are earned after every race you play, including minigames. You wouldn't think they would let you play with all characters and tracks from the start, would you? Don't forget to suffer the wrath of one single default stage BGM!

    <b>Stages</b> - Stages, 24 in all, there are some that suck, and there are some that are just plain trippy. For the most part, the Sonic and JSRF stages are the best stages to play in, except for Sonic's Casino Park. I haven't had the chance to play all the JSRF stages yet. Super Monkey Ball stages I hate, and Billy Hatcher stages are okay. Samba De Amigo stages and House of the Dead stages are just plain weird.

    There's also stage settings. No items, No obstacles, change laps, etc. With no items, you will need to master drifting.
    For the most part, 8th place can make it to 1st place if they're either lucky or try hard. That means no getting shoved into 8th place for nearly the whole duration of the race. Items also affect the CPU. IE, if you hit them with a Confusing Star, they would actually be confused.

    Last but not least, there's Mission Mode. If you want something other than just racing, there'll be Mission Mode.

    <b>Graphics</b> 8/10 -

    In the test drive/'learn to play' beginning, the graphics are smooth, mostly because not many objects need to be loaded, and that it's just Sonic. The menus aren't a mess and it's neatly arranged. Character stat windows have funny little pictures, including their small 'art' for All-Star moves.

    In normal gameplay, the game suffers slowdowns, but they aren't drastic. (It's like running a 'high' or old 2005-ish MMO on a mid-low spec comp.) It runs semi-smoothly, and isn't unplayable. The sense of speed is still around, and there's no real issue.

    As for animations, some items are simple, while All-Star moves are interesting. other than the racers, and the details on a map, the items are slightly 'meh'. Beautiful Stages with lots of detail. Sunflowers from Sonic, many mixes of Sonic Adventure with Sonic Heroes. That's just scratching the surface, too.

    <b>Sound</b> 7/10 -
    Not many 'new' songs. There's a large number of rehashes and reuse of the original BGM from games. Like Seaside Hill from Sonic Heroes. Even the unlockables aren't that special. That and the music you buy is pretty much songs that you can pretty much hear in previous games or other games. Like Sonic stage music. There's nothing really 'new'. Just imagine the possibilities with music that they could've included. Crush 40 doing Emerald Hill from Sonic 2 in the style of Angel Island of Sonic 3 which appeared in SSBB.

    The announcer on the other hand is..slightly annoying, but I find it fun. You can hear who got hit by what.

    Also to note, there are a lot of familiar songs, including song clips. Even more familiar if you're a Sonic fan.

    <b>Lasting Replay</b> 8/10 and/or 6/10 -
    This gets two scores.
    When you first play it, there will be many things to do, but it's all mostly racing. It may get repetitive, and once you buy everything in 'Shopping', you have nothing left. That is, if you haven't gotten all achievements. Even then there'll be Mission Mode, but if you're done with all of this, it's just a normal racing game that's not much fun after many hours. Maybe if they had made Sega Miles a little harder to earn.

    To have the real/full experience, you need to play Multiplayer. I personally haven't tried going online, but I hear it's fluid, and that All-Star moves can't be used due to lag issues. (Translation : All Stars are removed from Online mode.) So if you want to enjoy the heck out of this game, you need to either go Local 2P-4P, or go online 8P.

    <b>Version Differences </b> not much/meh -
    There are also differences between the other versions and Xbox 360 version, which is what this review is based on. The 360 version has an exclusive character, Banjo & Kazooie. The minor differences compared with the Wii version is, you get to use your 360 dashboard(?) avatar instead of a Mii.

    Console Music VS DS Music. DS BGM being Midi, it sounds more 'unique'. I prefer a few DS tracks over console tracks, but they both get the job done in the game. Also, the DS tries to stay true to the console versions, though I haven't seen much of the DS version.

    The Wii version keeps an average frame rate, so it's smooth. The Wii version supposedly will not have DLC either. For the price of sharp graphics (not saying the Wii version has bad graphics), you get a smoother game, but with the lack of DLC, it would be better to get the 360 or PS3 version. Wii - very close to 360/PS3.

    <b>Overall</b> 8/10 -
    What makes Sonic & All-Star Racing unique would have to be the things the announcer says, the details on stages, All-Star moves, and falling out of loops. I also heard that other characters of various games would appear as cameos. I've only noticed Nights as the flag holder. (Hoping to see Vector. Even Espio would be nice.)

    The things that people generally think : at first you'd think "Why does Sonic need a car?" But once you play it, you will see why. He also likes a little challenge. Things are pretty chaotic. Also, this being a technical Sonic game, it keeps the theme of speed in check. That, and it's actually fun to hold items and plan on when to use them. (Revenge is nice. BWAHAHAHAHA!)

    With 24 stages and 20/21/22 characters, depending on who/what you count, and various modes, with decent online play to boot. Don't forget the future DLC! What's not to love?

    If you're a fan of kart games/racing games, or need a little chaos with your racing, or heck, even want an awesome party game that'll slowly, ifnot never, get old, then this game is for you.

    (This is my first proper review of anything. If this is decent, then having a goal to improve would be fun.)
  2. adrian2040

    Member adrian2040 GBAtemp Fan

    Jun 8, 2008
    Just noticed that you forgot to talk about the Bombs item. Also, IIRC, I think you can be hit by your own K.O. Gloves.
  3. heavyknight

    Member heavyknight GBAtemp Regular

    Dec 9, 2009
    United States
    Thanks xD wouldn't have noticed missing that. Late night typing - bad. Updated some stuff..and I don't think you can get hit by your own gloves but, too lazy to confirm.
  4. KingVamp

    Member KingVamp Great... AETHER!

    Sep 13, 2009
    United States
    You could say that the Pocket Rainbow is like the Blooper in Mario kart , but pocket rainbow is set on the road... nice review.
  5. jack969

    Newcomer jack969 Member

    Mar 13, 2010
    I have this game on PC, DS and Xbox. It's one of the best games ever.

    I think over time it could even beat mariokart

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