A few weeks ago we looked at F1 Race Stars for WeView, and it’s safe to say that it didn’t do too well. This week we’re going to take a look at its direct competitor, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. The games literally released the same day in the EU, so it seems like a brief comparison may be in order in next week’s Verdict article.
For now though lets focus on Transformed, the game we’re actually looking at. While we never did a formal review of the game, Teflon previewed it and Al compared it to F1 Race Stars and LittleBigPlanet Karting. Both articles praised Transformed, and it actually won Alex’s face off between last year’s wealth of karting titles.
Teflon picked out Transformed’s weapon system as being particularly fun due to the simple fairness it provided, removing the overpowered weapons that can completely destroy your chances in other kart racers. He was particularly fond of the fact that “everything can be blocked by that baseball glove, which will surely help you hang onto a well deserved win if you’re good enough to battle to the front.” Moving the focus more onto skill than the amount of power-ups you can pick up is perhaps a strange move for a karting game, but one that I’m in favour of. While Mario Kart is a lot of fun, it can become annoying when you are slammed by a blue shell moments before you cross the finish line.
Of course the ‘transformed’ part of All-Stars is very important, with both Alex and Teflon praising the way that the tracks changes as you progress through laps, causing your kart to transforms into a boat or aircraft. Alex said that “Sonic’s tracks are something else… For SEGA fans this is racing heaven,” and highlighted the game’s Afterburner course as being particularly well designed to take account of the game’s transforming mechanic, while Teflon simply praised the way you have to “quickly have to deal with the different handling and a new layout to the track” as things change and your kart transforms.
Sticking with the tracks, Alex did feel that they were a bit too long, despite their changing nature. To be fair he did level this criticism at all three titles he was looking at, saying that “Mario Kart, the standard bearer in the genre, knows how to mix length tracks with shorter ones for variety, something that the above titles seem to miss.” While I don’t think karting titles should directly copy Mario Kart, there are things that can be learned, and that’s one of them.
Alex also complained of some performance issues, finding “some hefty load times on the PS3,” and feeling that the “The menu clunks and drags along a bit.” However, he was positive about the game’s graphics while you’re actually racing, although did find them a little plasticky.
Overall both Teflon and Alex enjoyed Transformed, with Teflon feeling that it was “really looking like a great package” and Alex saying that “if you’re looking for the best kart racer on the PlayStation 3, it’s probably this.”
That’s all well and good, but now it’s time to throw things over to you. Did you enjoy it as much as Alex and Teflon, or would you rather have had a more traditional karting title? Did you feel it had a good selection of characters to pick from, or could it have used more? Whatever you feel, you can share by dropping a comment below. All we ask is that you add a rating for the game from the Buy It, Bargain Bin It, Rent It, Avoid It scale so we can get a feel of the community’s overall opinion in Monday’s Verdict article.