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Sonic & All-Stars Racing Challenges Mario Kart’s Dominance

/ Mar 1st, 2013 No Comments

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Few have been worthy of being in the same paragraph as Mario Kart, let alone be compared to the King of Party-style Racing. The reason for this is a mixture of Nintendo having the recipe for creating a legendary racing game and other developers failing to replicate it. It’s like Captain America to all those who tried to replicate the Super Soldier Serum. Mario Kart is Good Burger, everyone else is Kurt. So it is only right that the only comparable game to the king was produced by Nintendo as well. RARE‘s Nintendo-produced title, Diddy Kong Racing (DKR), was not quite Mario Kart, but strived because of that. As similar as the concept are, likely due to them both being Nintendo productions, the games look and feel completely different. Diddy Kong Racing offered players the choice of three vehicles; cars, planes, and hovercrafts. Items are predetermined by the color of the balloon, as opposed to a “random” item selection.

After years of racing imitators getting tossed into the grinder, one mascot track game has risen to be legitimately compared to the Grand Poobah of Party-Racing. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is the best thing since Diddy Kong Racing. This game excels at doing what Diddy Kong Racing aimed to do. In Sonic Racing Transformed, the players have three vehicles, but rather than being limited to one at a time like DKR, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed has courses that utilize all three vehicle forms. Each character has a four-wheeled vehicle, a watercraft, and an aircraft. Some courses may call for the racers to start the race in their car. The course later throws the racers down a river, causing their vehicle to transform, Bumblebee Style, into a hovercraft or boat, only to take a ramp that has the racers jetting of into the skies in their respective planes. This is just in one lap. Add two more laps, and combine the transformations with the ability to choose the route the racer prefers, and the result is some pretty insanely fun and intense races. Items are randomized, but the addition of the All-Star item (which transforms the player into an invincible, weaponized speed demon, with powers that are unique for the driver) adds an authentic Sonic feel to the game.

This is a game that can go down as one of the best racing games since DKR, but first it needs the recognition. Countless other games not titled Mario Kart have ruined the consumers faith in this genre, but Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is certainly a must have alongside Diddy Kong Racing and any of the Mario Karts. This game allows four-player game play in EVERY mode, and even in the menus. The game does a fantastic job of balancing the difficulty between skill levels, and actually has a rank-up system, which unlocks different tunings for the characters vehicles and other unlockables. The environments are simply beautiful, and the transformations and stage transitions really work well together. All-in-all, there is absolutely no reason not to try it. It is only $30 new at most major markets, and by having a ship in every port, all gamers should check out the game for their respective console. The replay value nearly guarantees that it will be in gamers’ libraries for as long they keep their old systems when the next-gen comes around. While Mario Kart is still the best at what it does, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed has done what only Diddy Kong Racing could in offering a fun and good alternative to the empire of Mario. By being different than Mario Kart, expanding upon the Diddy Kong Racings foundation, and sticking to what makes Sonic unique, SEGA and Sumo Digital have created a game that should go down as a classic… but first, it needs the recognition.

Chad Whitney

Chad Whitney

Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Chad is a contributor to Gaming Illustrated. A part of the Editorial team, The Chad has also dabbled in Reviews and Previews. The Chad has been a gamer since he became conscious of life. He has stated on more than one occasion that The Chad doesn't wear aluminum foil on his head, thus he is vulnerable to having his mind read. Mind reading can be a strain though, so FOLLOW The Chad @ChadNorris1390 on TWITTER.
Chad Whitney

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