LittleBigPlanet’s courses aren’t especially interesting in the whole, save for a few stand out tracks, but the point of LBPK is that you can make your own and of course – share others. This is where United Front Games’ title pushes ahead of the rest (assuming you’ve got an online connection to your PS3) – the game is essentially unlimited in the number of tracks you can race on, and it’s entirely possible that you’d be able to create anything from the other two games here, give or take.
F1 Race Stars boasts eleven tracks, all of which are themed around real life circuits but taken to the nth degree. So your favourite course will now contain loops, jumps and various dangers, and Codemasters have crafted some really nice tracks, seemingly free from the same constraints that the rest of the game has been hamstrung under (again, we’re talking about the handling and lack of drifting). There are some memorable tracks, too, and there’s the potential for more as future DLC.
Sonic’s tracks are something else, though. For SEGA fans this is racing heaven, with the likes of the stunning Afterburner course blending traditional kart racing on the deck of a carrier, then into the skies before some on-water boat action. Over the space of twenty tracks (and, at the time of writing, one DLC track in the form of an Outrun themed level) the developers have really excelled in building some wonderfully inventive levels.
One thing consistent across all of the three games, though, is that the length of the courses are too long. 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. On the lower speed levels, for example, F1’s three-lap events feel like epic endurance races.
Track design winner: Sonic And All Stars Racing Transformed.