When I first got my iPod Touch 4G, it was in the midst of the Retina Revolution, all the apps were beginning to shift their graphics to support the Retina display. However, no arcade kart racer apps made this switch. I found myself searching high and low for a game that looked good, but also was a fun play. Sega answered with the Sonic and Sega All-Star Racing game. The game features a classic-feeling gameplay, clean graphics, ample audio, abundant replay, and an overall big bang for your buck.
Since as far as I can remember, Sega has always been making games. Classic games with characters that were memorable and fun were what made these games great. Everyone can always recognize Sonic from anywhere. Their gameplay was also exceptional which is what kept them going in the first place. This game has a lot to live up to if it wants to be as memorable as the classics.
This game is a simple arcade kart racer. Now arcade racer is split down into so many terms, it can cover anything from Need for Speed to Mario Kart. This game is a lot like Mario Kart, except not everyone is on a kart. Otherwise, this Sonic game is a lot of fun and packs all the excitement and humor as Mario Kart did for me years ago.
This racing game does differ a little. You have the same classic modes, single race, 3 cups to race in, mission mode and a time trial mode. Each racer has their own statistics allowing them to have general advantages over each other. However, with advantages also come disadvantages. The actual race is fast paced, exciting, and just plain, old-fashioned fun. With 6 cars on the field at any given time, the game can only get more exciting with weapons. Weapons are laid out throughout the track and packaged in capsules marked with a question mark. These weapons you get can be anything from a missile to a speed booster. As you are further back of the pack, you get rarer and better the weapons get. Each race runs for a total of 3 laps that only takes minutes to complete. It makes it a great game to just pick up and play.
As you progress through the game, you unlock new cups to compete in and earn Sonic Miles to spend on unlockables like new characters and tracks for single play. There are a total of 10 characters to race as and 12 uniquely fun tracks to race on, four tracks per cup.
The controls are extremely easy to adapt to and just feel natural to the touch. There are two control schemes to choose from, a full-touch control scheme and a motion controlled one. In both control schemes there are three buttons:
- Yellow button: allows you to drift, if you drift for long enough, you get a speed boost.
- Red button: brakes, slows down your vehicle, if you completely stop, your vehicle will back up.
- Weapon button: uses a weapon when you have one. If you don’t have a weapon, the button doesn’t show up. In the tilt controls, the actual image of the weapon is the button, otherwise, in the slider controls, it’s the blue button on the right-hand side.
- Tilt Controls/Slider Bar: Allows you to steer your vehicle.
The only thing I didn’t like about these controls were that you couldn’t have a manual accelerate mode, I always like to be able to control this, but it’s minor.
This racing game definitely didn’t let me down with its gameplay and controls. The gameplay was top-notch, classic fun that was both refreshing and nostalgic with a modern twist. The controls were just about spot on and a joy to use.
Remember when I said the gameplay really brought me back to my nostalgic days? Well, the graphics do the exact same. The graphics in this game are give a fun, cartoonish vibe that are enjoyable if you are 20 or if you are 10, and even if you are 40. Everything fits in really well; the game is retina ready and runs perfectly. The framerates are high and animations are humorous at worst. Even when keeping the graphics simple, the game still allows a nice amount of detail into the images that you see. The textures are simple, but work well. Could it use improvement? Sure. Does it really need to? No.
The menus in the game are really simple and use a swipe interface. The buttons are large and well placed. I did not need to learn the menu style, it was really simple. The organization is well done, especially considering all the features this game has. The menu icons and graphics are really high quality and eye-catching. They are cleanly done. I really couldn’t complain about the menus at all; they are perfect.
The menus in the game use a swipe interface that is really simple, but eye-catching.
The graphics in Sonic Racing aren’t going to turn eyes because of their simplicity. They are fun, humorous and really nicely done still. The menus are presented in just about a perfect pattern; I really didn’t have anything to complain about with the graphics, they ran smoothly and still looked good.
The audio in this game really adds the final touches to create a fun, exciting racing game. The music in the game is abundant with a specific song for each track, a separate song for the menus as well. The music is faster paced and higher quality. However, it is still able to stick to the fun side and complement the gameplay and graphics perfectly.
The sound effects, like the music, are really fun to listen to. They aren’t realistic, nor should they be. They really complement the cartoon-style gameplay that you are presented with. You can hear every missile fire, every skid and drift, and even the booms from the boosts that you gain. The sound effects are fun and effective in this game.
This game has plenty of depth in it. Even after you beat it, you are still confronted by many extras. Missions, other difficulty levels, and even multiplayer still stand in the way from full completion. The multiplayer in the game is both online and local. If you want to play with a friend you can; if you don’t, hook up to the cloud and race with the best of the best from all around the world.
You want more replay value? Sure, Sega also made sure you have plenty unlockables to strive for. You can acquire Sonic Miles to use as a currency to unlock tracks to race on, and characters to race with. You have to get these fairly too, as there is no way to purchase Sonic Miles.
Besides that, there are two other difficulty levels to go through after you beat the easy mode. Medium and hard both add much replay to the game. If that isn’t enough, the missions in the game are abundant and can get quite challenging. This game is chalk-full of ways to play after you beat it. Oh, did I mention, it also has a bunch of achievements if you are into that kind of thing? One more thing, this game is addictive, nostalgic fun! Sega definitely went be above and beyond to ensure that you get the most replay out of this game!
OK, so far I’ve said that this game has great gameplay, near perfect graphics for what they are after, abundant audio, and the most amazing replay value I’ve ever seen. So let’s price this all up. Sonic Racing is just under 5 dollars in the iTunes App Store (tax not included). What else can I say; it’s a steal at this price for what you get. EA and Gameloft both have some things to learn about this game, as they usually always lack replay value. This game will keep you busy for hours on end; I know it already has taken up precious hours out of my life. If you haven’t gotten it, it’s well worth the five dollars.
Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing definitely lives up to the hype that it wasn’t given. The game is just a great pick-up-and-play sort of game. Whether you need to blow off five minutes, or 2 hours, this game will satisfy your racing needs. The fun graphics and animations, coupled with great gameplay and audio really make this a stellar game.