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Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing . Nintendo Wii
** Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Wii **
Being a huge Mario Kart fan, when I saw that Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing was due to be released on the Wii, I decided it was a 'must have' purchase! After all another racing game compatible with the coolness of the Wii steering wheel attachment had to be a good thing! In my mind I was hoping to have the coolness and simple yet fun game play of Mario Kart but with different characters, different tracks and maybe some new moves thrown in as well, and this is exactly what I got!
** Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing - The Game **
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing is racing game on the Nintendo Wii in which you compete in a wide variety of races. In a lot of ways this game is almost identical to Mario Kart, but in other ways the game is totally different to it.
Upon inserting the game and going past the usual adverts and Wii remote strap advisory screen you will need be greeted by a voice stating the name of the game. After pressing A you will be taken to the main area for setting up your game. Firstly you will need to create your driving licence. Your driving licence will be your starting point every time you play, your driving licence keeps track of how many race points you have earned and how many you still have available.
After making your driving licence you are ready to race. The next screen is where you can choose from the different race styles including:
Grand Prix: In Grand Prix mode you take part in many races, you gain points as you race and to win a trophy in Grand Prix mode you must finish in the top 3 places.
Single Race: Single race is the option for if you don't have much time and just want to do a one of race, you can choose from any of the unlocked tracks you have available.
Missions: The Missions in Sonic & Sega All Stars are great fun, you must complete missions and depending on your performance you will be awarded points which will get added to your driver licence points and you can use these points to unlock characters, race tracks and music.
Time Trials: Time Trials is as it sounds, you choose the track you want to race on and you race around it in as fast a time as possible, after the first lap a ghost image of you will be shown, this is from your first lap so ideally you want to be racing this ghost to improve your time. I enjoy playing the Time Trials as not only can you gain more points but I find it is also a good opportunity to practice various tracks.
After choosing your game mode you will need to choose which character to play as. All of the characters you can choose are Sega game characters, they include Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails, The Chu Chu's from Chu Chu Rocket, Amigo from Samba De Amigo, Beat from Jet Set Radio and many more classic and recent characters. There is also the option to play as your Mii character, I don't find this quite as exciting as playing as a cool character but it is good to see that the option is there if you want it.
After choosing your character you are ready to race. If you are playing in Grand Prix mode then you will compete in 4 set races to determine an overall winner and points will be awarded at the end of the Grand Prix.
Depending on my mood I tend to usually race in Single Race mode more than Grand Prix, this is because I find the speed in this game to be a lot faster than Mario Kart and where as I could sit and play Mario for hours I find that with Sonic All Stars it actually makes my fingers hurt from holding the accelerate button down for so long. The individual races themselves are quite long, the track length is in general quite long and usually with lots of twists and turns. As you race through any of the tracks there are item bubbles for you to collect, these are often entertaining, there are the usual bombs and slippy items to throw at other drivers, but there is also a horn which if you set off next to another racer it will blast out and distract them from their race, there is a rainbow which you leave in the middle of the track and when another racer drives through it their whole view will be disrupted by a wiggly rainbow. The best 'weapon' in my eyes though is the All Star, you usually receive this when you are in last place or very close to last and drive through an item bubble, activating the all star your chosen character will perform a move that is individual to that character, for example if you are Amigo then maracas will appear and anyone who is close to Amigo will get in a line behind him and start dancing instead of driving at the end of the maracas dance the cars following Amigo will loose control and Amigo can zoom off. If you play as your Mii character and get an All Star then you will get a few mini mii's who will pick up your vehicle and run with it to overtake other drivers. All of the All Stars moves involve a speed increase and will help you catch up a few places.
The race tracks in the game are based on the different games that the race characters come from. My personal favourites are the Samba De Amigo tracks as these are bright and fun to play with lots of little jumps and twists, also in the complete opposite direction I enjoy the eerie tracks that are set in the graveyard with random zombies and spooky stuff around. I'm not sure what game this is based on but I do enjoy it.
The tracks are unlocked by purchasing them with your points that you gain from racing and accumulate on your driving licence. I like the fact that with this game you can choose which tracks you unlock and it isn't just decided for you. Each track will cost you a different amount of points and you may have to do a lot of racing to get all the tracks that you want. I had the bonus of I let my little brother play for a few hours and he got me lots of points so I unlocked almost all of the tracks and a few extra characters.
This game can also be played online using the Nintendo Wifi connection. Due to my slight addiction to playing Mario Kart online I am yet to experience Sonic All Stars online, I think this might be a little bit of fear factor that I'm definitely not as good at this one as I am on Mario Kart and I'm sorry to say it, but, I'm a bad looser ;)
The sound in the game is fun and usually themed towards the game that the track you are racing on is based upon. The commentary in the game can become very annoying, it can be switched off in the options menu, but I would recommend keeping it on as the commentator often refers to what other racers are doing and this can be of an advantage to you especially if that racer is close to you.
The graphics are fantastic, they are really smooth with lots of bright colours and the rolling screen loads without any glitches or jumps making for an overall pleasantly smooth racing experience and more time to concentrate on the race itself.
** Controls **
The controls are very simple, the wii remote can be used on its own or it can be slipped into the steering wheel accessory which comes with the game. The steering wheel included is blue and shaped like a go kart steering wheel. It has grips on the sides and looks pretty cool. The remote is held horizontally and simply turned to the sides to turn corners, after collecting items you have to use the D-pad to use the item and simply press it in the direction that you want to throw or leave the item. It took me a while to get used to this as I was used to being able to just press B from Mario Kart.
The part of this game that hurts... literally is accelerating and using the drift to get round corners. I find that I have my thumb pressed on the '2' button for acceleration, but then when I want to perform a drift slide to corner more effectively I have to keep hold of '2' and also press and hold '1' at the same time while turning the wheel and when this is on a track with a lot of corners it actually really hurts your thumb by the end of the race. This is annoying as I always want to race more but I have to stop to give my thumb a rest!
** Price **
I bought this game for £28.99 including the steering wheel in Blockbuster in September 2010. It is currently retailing for around £20 with the steering wheel or £15 without.
** My Experience and Opinion **
I really like this game, it is fun and very addictive, its just a shame the controls make my thumb ache, but this could also be a good thing as I would spend hours on it! As I said earlier it is very like Mario Kart in a lot of ways but at the same time it is very different and I think it is a little more fast paced than Mario too so this adds to the excitement a little more.
Thanks for reading :)
had very high expectations of this game. bought it for myself and the kids to play.
this is a racing game with the sonic the hedgehog characters. the game itself is playable enough and you get to choose different characters with different vehicles but it left me feeling like i was missing something. there just isnt the excitement and fun ive experienced with other games of a similar nature.
choose your character based on their skills - speed, acceleration etc. then choose their vehicle - car, air plane etc. in single player mode complete the tracks and win to unlock new tracks to race on. in multiplayer mode race against your friends or computer to see who wins.
the kids enjoy it but dont play it very often. when i bought it the price was very expensive and far too much for what i felt it was worth, its cost now is far more realistic and its not bad value for money.
as a game in its own right the race tracks are varied and quite entertaining with lots to see and items to collect on the way to help you win (by cheating of course).
the wii controls are simple - accelerate, brake and use item. you can use the control on its side or put it into the steering wheel. i prefer just the wii controller but the children prefer the steering wheels.
the characters on screen are very responsive to any moves you make with the controller.
if youve bought this game and you love sonic and racing games you will love this. if you have already played mariokart then you may find this one is not your cup of tea. still a very playable game and great for family and friends