Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing
GamesCom 2009: Sonic and SEGA All Star Racing Preview
Written Thursday, August 27, 2009 By Lee Abrahams
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No doubt the first thing that will pop into your head upon viewing this title will be; Mario Kart. While it is safe to say that the Nintendo racer is the one cherished by many as the original (and arguably best) comedy driving game, it would be unfair to disregard Sonic and SEGA All Stars as easily as that. Drawing upon a rich heritage of characters and locations from SEGA’s back catalogue, this game has more than enough about it for the game to stand on its own two feet.

Leading the charge is none other than Sonic (what gave it away?) and a number of his sidekicks and foes, amongst them; Knuckles, Tails and Dr Eggman. If the blue speedster is not to your liking, then you can always plump for Alex the Kidd, Samba di Amigo, Ai-Ai or Beat (Jet Set Radio) to name but a few. In fact the final list of characters has yet to be finalised though we spotted at least ten on show during the brief run through with one or two others that we could not even recognise. Shame on me. Each character also has their own customised car; so Sonic is in a Speedster, Ai-Ai’s in a giant banana and Billy Hatcher drives some kind of egg mobile. It gives them all a nice quirky feel and also affects how they move and handle throughout various courses. 

The levels themselves are based around favourite locations from various SEGA titles, so expect to see Seaside Hill and Casino Park from Sonic, Jumble Jungle from Monkey Ball and Blizzard Castle for Billy Hatcher. Once again we were not given the total track list but you would have to assume that there would be one or two for each character. The tracks have been filled with as much character as possible and all have their own unique obstacles to throw at the player. The casino track drops large gambling chips from the sky, while in Blizzard Castle you will do well to avoid marauding crows and giant eggs.  The developers did make a point of saying the obstacles were never unfair and that nimble drivers would never feel harshly done by and would be able to avoid them.

The gameplay itself is exactly what you would expect. The levels are full of multiple routes and shortcuts and you can pick up a plethora of weapons to aid your cause and hamper your opponents. Exactly what weapons you will get is entirely dependent on where you are in the race. If you are leading then you will have to make do with smoke (which gives your opponents a wonderful on screen blur effect) or mines; whereas if you find yourself near the back of the pack then you are more likely to get boosts and rockets.
Each character has their own unique weapon, which you can snag randomly, and they are a sight to behold. Sonic gets his invincible golden sheen, ditches has car and hurtles round the course. Billy Hatcher turns his ride into a giant egg and careens along crushing other competitors, while Beat jumps into his trusty rollerblades and can spray paint other cars to momentarily dazzle them. Each move is funny to watch, though they may end up being a tad overpowered, especially in multiplayer, as it is not hard to go from last to first while using them.

A key element of the game is the ability to drift, and you are encouraged to do so at every available opportunity. The main benefit is the build up of boost you get after drifting around a corner, so those seeking an edge (or merely a fast time) will want to glide around every bend. It does depend on the type of vehicle you are in though as small nippy cars and bikes will do well on the twisty tracks, but may not have the power on straights, while the opposite is true for chunkier vehicles.

Multiplayer is touted as a key component of Sonic and SEGA All Stars – as expected – and boasts four player splitscreen and up to eight players online. No specific modes were mentioned, but party play is going to be an integral part of the whole experience, and if they can recreate the successful formula of that Mario Kart game, then they will not be going far wrong.

The game itself looks beautiful and all of the characters and cars have a real energy about them. None of the tracks seem like filler either and you should have plenty to see and do on each of them. Obviously there are still a lot of questions to be answered at this point, in terms of characters, tracks and modes, but from what we saw, this is shaping up to be a lot of fun indeed. Keep an eye out for this one.

Sonic and SEGA All Stars is currently slated for a Q1 2010 release.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 593
Comment #1 by x 19 Luke 87 x
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 07:22:03 PM
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woop. More sonice

Forum Posts: 1469
Comment #2 by Norman Coxwell
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 07:36:11 PM
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It seems like a crappy diddy kong racing. neat

Forum Posts: 148
Comment #3 by Medaking
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 07:37:00 PM
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Great another sega cash-in.. Wake me whens its £5 like Superstars Tennis is now -.-

Forum Posts: 34
Comment #4 by kamakazegrunt27
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 07:49:21 PM
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uhhhhhhhhhh no

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #5 by FrozenGearNinja
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 08:07:14 PM
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Next thing they might come up with is Mario VS Sonic Racing, they did just about every other sport

Forum Posts: 184
Comment #6 by Nerotic Shadows
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 08:25:04 PM
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I can't wait for this. The 360 has yet to get a good kart racing game.

Forum Posts: 63
Comment #7 by MusashiX
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 08:38:08 PM
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I don't know why people are complaining. Sega Superstars Tennis is, although sadly, the best game starring Sonic game this generation....even though that's not saying a whole lot. However, a kart racing game such as this should be at least half decent.

But I will wait till it's cheap.

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #8 by DJ Master Chief
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 08:54:22 PM
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I really want Ryu (Ryo? Man, it's been a while) from Shenmue to be in this game. Driving a forklift. I would buy it in an instant.

Forum Posts: 63
Comment #9 by MusashiX
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 08:56:49 PM
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To be honest, I would too lol.

Forum Posts: 214
Comment #10 by zyxomma100
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 09:04:17 PM
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Sega Superstars Tennis had its moments but was largely forgettable. Same with every Mario Kart ever released. Maybe the two can come together, cancel each other out, and end up being worthwhile to play?

If Ristar is a playable character, I'll buy this on launch.

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #11 by waterhead71
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 10:00:14 PM
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Sonic's last game is a cart racer?

Forum Posts: 289
Comment #12 by gary1963
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 11:08:45 PM
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Looks like it could be a FUN game.....

Forum Posts: 46
Comment #13 by Tacticalkilljoy
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 12:14:25 AM
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It looks like it could be fun....for $30. Honestly games are only bad a lot of the time because of the high price tag for so little. I wouldn't mind paying $10 for this in 6 months.

Forum Posts: 20
Comment #14 by LetsWinWithTim
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 12:49:46 AM
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Hmmm... it looks like they are sticking with the cutesy-poo characters again, just like in Superstars Tennis. Where's Shinobi, Axel, Ryu (Shenmue) and Toejam & Earl?

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #15 by slteven11
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 02:19:33 AM
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Forum Posts: 71
Comment #16 by Devalaous
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 02:43:30 AM
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So its basically the same cast as the Tennis game?

Forum Posts: 321
Comment #17 by KiddingPigeon
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 03:08:11 AM
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Sonic in a kart... am i the only one seeing the problem here.. sonic.. the fastest blue hedgehog in the world... in a kart... lol

Forum Posts: 549
Comment #18 by Cringer85
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 03:17:06 AM
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I'm sure it will do well online, as well as local four player a friday or saturday with some beer and drinks - until now, Mario Kart 64 had to do for me. But now, I'm totally looking forward to this :)

Forum Posts: 677
Comment #19 by adriano28
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 03:59:58 AM
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well when you think about it, if you only have a 360 then this will be the closest to mario kart for all you mario fans. I am going to buy it, because ive always wanted to play mario kart with sega characters.

as for what i would like to see, i'd like to see an outrun car (with that boy character in it, but i'd only like it for the car) and nights has to be in it right?

@17: i was thinking the same thing. Why not just run?

Forum Posts: 596
Comment #20 by Jimbo76
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 04:48:53 AM
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My kids will like this game.

Forum Posts: 58
Comment #21 by DarkEchoesX
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 05:03:06 AM
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Since this is being done by Sumo Digital rather than Sonic Team it's pretty safe to assume that it'll be a good game as everything else they have worked on is high quality.

If Ulala and Nights are in then this will be an instant buy, if not then I'll probably wait for a demo to see if the gameplay mechanics have enough depth.

Forum Posts: 195
Comment #22 by Epic Henchman
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 05:36:35 AM
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this looks like another "meh" game to be honest, might get it if it goes realy cheep but what would make me buy it on realease would be if they added in the sega characters that we acctualy remember and like insted of just sonic and a bunch of other random chars like the guy from shenmue or some characters from pso would be cool.

Forum Posts: 755
Comment #23 by l.maciver
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 06:11:42 AM
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another fun sega game.

Forum Posts: 31
Comment #24 by Caffaro
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 06:19:22 AM
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.. how much I miss you! :))

.. Sega, forget Sonic for a year or something, give Alex a brand new game, or BETTER, give Alex a Miracle World Remake..

{}'s Caffaro

Forum Posts: 893
Comment #25 by DaChiefOfOwnage
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 06:40:45 AM
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sweet! If they manage to pull this off it will be one awesome kart game! Can't wait but im not getting my hopes up yet.

Forum Posts: 131
Comment #26 by Jimmy Hapa
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 07:26:56 AM
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That's brilliant. I agree with you 100%!!!

Forum Posts: 358
Comment #27 by kizwiz
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 08:20:43 AM
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It looks good, don't really like the characters as I'm not a big fan of Sega but like Mario Kart so will enjoy this game.

Forum Posts: 549
Comment #28 by Cringer85
Saturday, August 29, 2009 @ 03:27:29 AM
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@17: Maybe Sonic is just tired of running - or he is finally going in retirement - if you think about it, man, he has some age on his back and ran quite a few miles...

Forum Posts: 12
Comment #29 by Modern360Gaming
Thursday, December 03, 2009 @ 05:54:04 PM
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This lookds like a beast game with good graphics and gameplay , looks fun , im buying it

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Game Info


US February 23, 2010
Europe February 20, 2010

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