Karting Face Off: LittleBigPlanet vs. F1 Race Stars vs. Sonic All Stars Transformed

The pre-Christmas rush is normally one entirely occupied by the likes of EA and Activision, with first person shooters and annual sports franchises clogging up the shelves. And whilst the former publisher tends to push out yet another Need For Speed at this time, this year there’s been a considerable shift in emphasis in the genre, with three karting games all vying for your cash. Two of them are multi-format, but they’re all on the PS3, so – let’s find out which is best.

sonic karting

Sonic’s multiplayer boasts split screen, but so does everything else here.

Multiplayer:

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Playing a karting game with mates is normally the option most people will pick, especially after they’ve sampled the single player to unlock some courses. You’ll need to do just that with LittleBigPlanet Karting – the multiplayer section (four player split screen, eight player online) is locked off initially and you’ll need to discover the multiplayer courses in single player to unlock them one by one. This might sound a bit daft, but it won’t take long to open up at least a few.

Sonic All Stars has a similar issue – its courses are also locked off until opened up in single player, although you can have multiple people joining in on the campaign action from the off, so it’s not nearly as restrictive. All Stars has ten player online.

However, F1 Race Stars has the gamut of its eleven tracks open from the start, making it an obvious choice here for those that just want some quick multiplayer action, and the frame rate holds up even with four players sharing a screen – the crisp visuals and lack of clutter only emphasising Codemasters’ clear focus on offline fun. The game also supports up to twelve players online, too.

The winner here isn’t automatically the one with the lowest barrier to entry, though. Although with F1 you can get home and start playing in full right away, Sonic All Stars is close behind, and potentially offers the most fun long term with the wider variety in the tracks and the types of racing, via its clever use of multiple vehicles. The handling in F1 is still a bugbear, too, that uncomfortable blend of arcade and sim never really clicking.

Multiplayer winner: Sonic And All Stars Racing Transformed.

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30 Comments

  1. I am loving all three of them but I agree, I’m spending more time with Sonic, then LPBK, then F1 Race Stars! This game NEEDS some loving

  2. Great article.
    I bought Sonic as I loved the original but this one is so much better with 3 different vehicles – kart, boat and plane all in one. Its brilliant and fresh and not samey…. My favourite track is AfterBurner I love that SEGA game. Also for £25 in ASDA on launch was a fantastic deal than F1 and LBP Karting both which is £40
    Also…. I heard LBPK has poor online and F1 karting drift/turning seems heavy and slow from the demo I played a few weeks ago.
    So bought Sonic and I am very happy especially at 25 quid…. can’t go wrong.
    I am still thinking on the Vita Version too and I think it’ll be the same as the PS3 just like Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

  3. None of them for me. LBP Karting is too floaty, F1 Race Stars just isn’t fun yet i can’t take it seriously with those big heads, Sega almost get’s it right with the handling but then breaks up the flow with the transforming.

  4. Spot on about track length.

    Too often I found myself in Sonic wondering how long a lap was. They could easily have stolen a trick from ninty and had one or two much shorter tracks that have 4 or 5 laps instead of some of the crazily epic things which carry on forever on just 3 laps.

    Rubber banding is quite noticeable on the higher difficulties, and too often I’ve found myself dumped down to 3rd from leading into the final corner. Though rarely the fault of the weapons, which are all rather fair and interesting.

  5. Nice one. Glad I went for Sonic for my sons Christmas present. We’re both big LBP fans but it didn’t get the best reviews so Sonic got my money.

    These comparison reviews are a great idea by the way.

  6. This is brilliant, it’s made a tricky decision that much easier this Christmas :)

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