[Playstation Vita] Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed
When most of think of a mascot racing game, we immediately think of Mario Kart. For years developers have tried to copy the success and most of the time they failed miserably. So what makes this game any different than those that failed in the past? Continue reading if you would like to hear my take on how Sega succeeded, or failed..
Graphics = 8/10
For what the game is, I feel the graphics are pretty spot on. I played both the PS Vita and PS3 versions, and I was surprised by how close the Vita version resembles the home consoles. What I like the most about the graphics are the bright colors that pop out. These colors just shine on the Vita's OLED screen!!!! Now these graphics are not going to "WOW!" you like other racers on the Vita, but I think many of you will agree that they are perfect for Sega wanted to achieve here.
Gameplay = 9/10
All-Stars Racing offers so much content and variety, it is ridiculous!!!!!! There is both a single player and multiplayer experience, and each character will have 3 types of vehicles. Some races will require you to race with the Car/Bike, Boat, and Aircraft. What I love so much about this game, is how the course changes while you are racing. Lap 1 may be a simple car race, but lap 2 might change in front of your eyes causing you to transform in to a boat or aircraft. I will go ahead and break down some of the different mode types.
World Tour - In World Tour mode, you will venture through 6 (maybe more?) tours.
These tours will allow you to unlock characters, vehicle modifiers, and new tracks. You will do this by earning stars. Each race will start with 3 difficulty settings. Easy, Medium, and Hard. Eventually you will unlock Expert mode. Each difficulty is worth so many stars. Easy is worth 1 star, Medium is worth 2 stars, and so on. You will need to earn a set amount of stars to reach the next tour, and to unlock characters and certain vehicle mods. There are also a few different types of races throughout the World Tour which are as follows.
Race - Standard race with power-ups and weapons.
Drift Challenge - A timer is counting down and the only way to stop it is to drift through the marked drifting areas.
Boost Challenge - Much like the drift challenge, you will want to boost as much as possible to stop the timer from running out.
Versus - Here you will face a set number of racers. You must either gain enough distance to win, or be in the lead as the timer runs out.
Traffic Attack - Here you will need to dodge waves of traffic and reach the checkpoints before time runs out.
Ring Race - Here you will need to get through the rings and reach the checkpoints before time runs out.
Battle Race - Survive the race and try to eliminate your opponents by shooting them 3 times each. If you get hit 3 times, you are eliminated!
You will have a license that you can change to show off your progress. You will be able to choose 3 stickers to showcase your favorite achievements. There are 120 different stickers to earn throughout your World Tour. These are like in game trophies, and a lot of these are pretty difficult to earn. Your license will also be viewed by other racers you encounter online. When viewing your license, you can also view your stats. These stats will show you the percentage of the game you have completed, how many world tour stars you have, how many characters you have unlocked, how many Grand Prix Wins you have, how many staff ghosts you have beaten, how many stickers you unlocked, how many mods you earned, total time played, and your favorite character.
In this mode, you will be racing for a bronze, silver, or gold cup. Each Cup will require you to race in 4 races, after you earn a cup, the next cup will unlock. There are 10 cups total, but so far I have only unlocked 7. The first 5 cups will feature all the tracks, the next 5 cups will feature the tracks in reverse. There is also a leaderboard where you can compare your best times with your friends, or everyone else in the world.
As it sounds, this is a mode that allows you to try for the best times. You can also download ghosts to race against.
This is just a single race of your choosing.
There are 3 different types of online modes.
Race - Race against online opponents.
Arena - Play arena modes against online opponents. (Very much like Mario Kart where you battle friends by shooting their balloons)
Lucky Dip - Play a mixture of Race and Arena modes.
You will also be able to see your online stats which will provide you with your Online Rating, Wins, Games Played, Top 3 Finishes, and Wins/Loss Ratio.
You can also choose to create a Custom Game, which will let you choose how you play online, or in Ad Hoc mode.
Controls = 9/10
There are 3 vehicle types in this game. Car/Bike, Boat, and Aircraft. Each of these have their own unique feel while racing. This makes for a great experience as you may be very good handling the car, but during lap 2 your vehicle will switch to a boat and you might not be as comfortable with the very loose handling. My favorite vehicle is the aircraft. I just love the controls and I seem to always do my best in the race when I reach that point. As you unlock vehicle mods, you will be able to tweak the attributes of the vehicle which could help you control them easier. But one mod controls all 3 vehicle types, so you may create an easier time with the boat, while also making the aircraft more difficult to fly.
While racing you will also want to drift around turns as much as possible. If you drift long enough, you can get a speed boost when you finish your drift. You can earn up to a level 3 speed boost. Another way to earn boosts is to do stunts. By moving the right analog stick, you can perform flips and barrel rolls. You must land the stunt to earn the speed boost.
Overall = 8/10
I have invested 9hrs so far, and I have yet to get tired of this game. I am constantly trying to unlock everything the games has to offer, and I have only reached 56% completion. The courses are all unique and are all based off of the characters in the game. A super fun single player experience, packed with a super duper fun online experience! For anyone who loves fun "Mario Kartesque" type of racers, I highly suggest this title.
A crazy amount of content
3 vehicle types
Lots of characters
Lots of fun trophies
No cross play with the PS3
Can't customize the vehicle or character appearances
*Pictures were all taken from my PS Vita