Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Published by Sega, Developed by Sumo Digital

Genres: Racing

US release date: Feb 12th, 2013 | EU release date: Feb 8th, 2013

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed review

Out of fuel.

Artakha wrote this game review.

Review written by
Artakha

April 29th, 2013

Transformed is, of course, an arcade racer for Sonic and his gang of familiar and obscure Sega characters. There's even an appearance from Disney's Wreck it Ralph, and Danica Patrick of real world racing fame. The primary focus of this game is the changing of the terrain, or lack thereof, by having the vehicles switch to boat or plane and then back into a car. It's a great concept and it is one that was probably based off of Mario Kart 7 and possibly even Diddy Kong Racing for the Nintendo 64. But the 3DS game is a whole other monster.

In terms of differences between the 3DS and Wii U versions, there aren't any in terms of the courses, minus a few missing obstacles. There's also a handful of missing mission types. There are no ring races, traffic races or drift challenges. Rival races work differently too. Instead of being challenged by a handful of characters for portions of the track, you are pitted against a single rival for 3 laps. Personally, it's a better fit for rival race instead of facing 3 individual racers, as it doesn't break the flow of the racing action.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed screenshotBut that's about all the praises I can give. The game itself is fairly buggy and I've had races where I've lost the ability to utilize stunts. Effectively, losing the race. Other times, items don't hit or they fly out of control and off the stage. But perhaps the most devastating bug of them all is that it sometimes crashes. But, not only does it crash, forcing you to hold the power button to turn it off, if you have 3D on, one of the images will be black while the other will be the normal racing image, which is painful to the eyes. Another glitch is that sometimes, the bottom screen isn't even in sync with what's happening on top. I've actually had my character supposedly be off the track when in reality, he's snug right in the middle of the straight. But perhaps the largest bug I found was during the Sky Sanctuary stage, when I somehow managed to go all star, fly off the stage, and jump straight to first while being on the third lap, but at the same time, not be on the third lap. The third lap was supposed to be an all air lap. But, I managed to make the third lap be the second lap all over again.

While the courses are identical, graphics have been significantly downgraded. It is to be expected, but it's gone to the extent of having no shine to any of the cars or environments. Some of the epic environment destruction displayed in the Wii U version, such as in the Skies of Arcadia's Rogue's Landing, is simply not found. True, there's explosions and moving airships, but it doesn't look as fresh as it does in the console version. The game itself still looks like it belongs on a large screen and it shows. With the lack of any significant attempts at making all the worlds reach the limits of the 3DSs graphical capabilities, the screen looks busy and often times, you don't hit that item box or dodge a zombie that was conveniently the same color as the ground until it's too late. It looks like one giant mess, which isn't good for a screen so small.

As for sound, there are a few cuts to the audio. There is no audience cheering you as you perform amazing feats. There's no chant as you stay in first for an extended period of time. Even the dialogue in some of the stages is missing. This renders some of the stages' dynamic changes obsolete, such as the one in Flaming Depths.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed screenshotBut there's another thing with the sound. There is a very noticeable lack of distance. A rocket will explode with the same volume whether it's right on you, or if it missed everyone and explodes on the far side of the map.

While the Wii U's Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed shines in almost every way imaginable, the 3DS version is yet another example of Sega rushing to meet a deadline. It's almost as if they don't put as much effort into the portable one. As a result, it's lackluster. It's not the system at fault, it's the game. Sega had a golden opportunity to show just what they could do with the 3DS. The 3D effect was nice, but the graphics were just too messy to showcase them. So, just stick to Mario Kart 7, at least it looks nice and actually works to a decent standard.

50%

Gameplay: Gameplay score: 6

Graphics: Graphics score: 4

Sound: Sound score: 5

Lifespan: Lifespan score: 4

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