Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Hands-On) (Wii U) Preview

By Stuart Lawrence 05.11.2012 12

Review for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Hands-On) on Wii U

Cubed3 recently had the chance to test out early code for the Nintendo Wii U version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, as well as the most recent build of the multiplayer side on the PlayStation 3. The Wii U will include more multiplayer options, but at SEGA's special Press event there was a mix of the two games.

The first thing played was the single player mode of the Wii U version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. Sonic was the only selectable character in this instance due to the game being early code. The level could be played in both normal control mode with the analogue sticks and motion control mode with the gyros on the Wii U GamePad. The game handled quite well in both modes although with the motion controls it took a while to get used to the sensitivity since the GamePad was very delicate and it resulted in driving straight into the first corner as soon as the first race started. Once getting used to them, they are actually very good. The level played was Seaside Hill, fitting for playing as Sonic, and the game played very much like the original, Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, with twists, turns, obstacles, and varying paths all being a vital part of the level; choosing the right route can lead to victory.

Two new things added to the game, though, are the transforming levels and vehicles, and these add a ton of variation to the mix. On Seaside Hill, the last lap destroys the normal course and turns most of it into a lake with speed boost rings throughout, and, oh, it turns your vehicle into a boat! The boat does handle differently to the car but not by so much that it will suddenly leave players feeling lost, rather it simply makes for a more 'floaty' feel. The game also allows for the selection of a level of difficulty (easy, medium and hard) and there was indeed a noticeable difference between them.

Most of the items were available in the Wii U version, with the Twister (a little tornado) being the least common item to get, and the missiles and speed boosts being the most common. There were also other items that weren't in the Wii U version, such as the RC Car, which drives a mini version of your vehicle into the person in front, ending in a spectacular explosion. Graphically, the game looked nice; it was a bit choppy with the frame-rate but this was a very early version. The map on the screen was helpful at times but there was never a real need to look at it, but when the demo video was playing on the screen it looked very sharp.

Screenshot for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Hands-On) on Wii U

The next thing played was the PlayStation 3 version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing's multiplayer, and it was obvious that it was a far more advanced version than the Wii U edition with multiple characters and courses to choose from. There was also a noticeable bump in image quality and frame-rate that will also be in the final version for the Wii U. There were eight players in the online mode with ten characters to choose from across various SEGA franchises, including Sonic, Ulala from Space Channel 5, B.D Joe from Crazy Taxi, and, of course, the new movie character Wreck-it-Ralph. Each of these characters was upgradable in the form of levelling up and the better players did in races, the more experience points were received for that specific character, leading to players using one character more than others and getting more out of the game with a sense of achievement.

During the hands-on play-test, several levels were tackled, with stages such as Dragon Castle from Panzer Dragoon, Galactic Parade that is a bit like Rainbow Road from the Mario Kart franchise, Samba Studios from Samba de Amigo, and a personal favourite, the After Burner course, which took place between a few aircraft carriers in the sea going to war. The course was a good opportunity to try transforming into the plane version of the vehicle, which was very fun and different, but it was easier to handle than the car and the boat. The stage also had the most variation with all three transformations being used. Another fun level was Skies of Arcadia's Rogues Landing, which also allowed for a lot of flying.

Other items available were the swarm that set off a swarm of wasps to block and sting opponents, as well as the engine boost block that boosted the engine for a certain amount of time. Pressing the 'use item' button again created an explosion with a pressure gauge on the back determining the level of the blast, but if left too long it blew up in the player's face, slowing them down. There was also the All-Star mode item that transformed the character into a character dependent vehicle and pretty much allowed for gliding past opponents with ease.

Screenshot for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Hands-On) on Wii U

Final Thoughts

All in all, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is shaping up to be really fun, and with it being released later in the month on Wii U, there is no problem with making a choice to buy this as something to keep players busy and having fun with for months or years to come.

Developer

Sumo Digital

Publisher

SEGA

Genre

Driving

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop

Comments

I'm really hoping theres DLC for this. Sega have so many characters and series it would be great to see extra tracks and characters released. 

I'll be amazed if Toe Jam 'N Earl don't make it in after all the hoo-haa around the first game not including them...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Really looking forward to this! But the fact that the possibility of Ryo not returning is affecting my hype to such a huge level is probably a bit trivial huh. It's just infuriating that they'd put in someone like MeeMee from Monkey Ball over Ryo! So I hope he returns plsplspls.

(seriously though.... Ryo.... Smilie )

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

I wonder if a Japanese release will include Miku?

Image for
Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Are there any confirmations as to how many tracks and characters are gonna be in this. I haven't been paying that much attention to it but some of the videos kinda have me intrigued.

As far as I know, currently the game features 29 different playable characters, including console-exclusive racers. There are also 16 new tracks, plus 4 from the original game.

The Wii U version will feature unique minigames that utilise the Wii U GamePad and will support up to five players via split-screen.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses
Amlani (guest) 05.11.2012#7

It'll be a great shame if Ryo doesn't return. Hopefully he will be an unlockable character.

I heard from recent playtests that there are only 20 characters not including bonus characters like Ralph and Danica.. Idk if that's true though.

Adam Riley said:
I wonder if a Japanese release will include Miku?

That's actually a brilliant business idea; would be strange if SEGA didn't try to get in on that but.. for some reason I feel like they won't be bright enough despite the megabucks a move like that would make in Japan.
Heck even in the western release Miku would shift a lot of copies in certain fan circles.

( Edited 05.11.2012 23:14 by SuperLink )

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

I'd download her, that's for sure Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Adam Riley said:
I'd download her, that's for sure Smilie


Smilie Smilie
Not sure if SEGA own her rights in Western territories anyway Smilie but I'm sure they could work something out for money's sake! They've got Ralph and Danica in there after all!

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

Still time for Ryo (even ToeJam and Vectorman).

Game is launching cheap, too. £30 Wii U version, £25 PS3/360 etc version.

Votes being held to determine new DLC characters for the game.

http://forums.sega.com/showthread.php?427121-S0L-s-Challenge-The-Campaign-for-SEGA-characters-to-become-DLC

Hatsune Miku running away with it, currently. Ryo is up there, too. I've voted for those, along with Kazuma Kiryu, Bayonetta, Ristar and Space Harrier. No guarantees they'll get in, like mentioned, but a nice idea and I hope it works.

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