Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
All-Star Racing doesn't fail to impress on a visual level.
- A nice line-up of classic Sega characters to choose fun, the track designs are impressive and eye-catching
- It's a competent racer but it doesn't do anything exciting or new, the inability to play the competitive modes online is a serious crime
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing is an enjoyable game with some innovative tracks and a nice chunk of fanservice for Sega faithfuls, but it isn't enough to bump rival Mario off the go-kart throne. It also isn't enough to re-establish Sonic as a relevant character.
Price$ 79.95 (AUD)
Let's be honest: Sonic the Hedgehog's reputation is in the toilet. His recent titles have been terrible, with only the Summer and Winter Olympics titles -- collaborations with his biggest rival, Mario -- accounting for anything positive. The blue blur's latest effort, Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing, fares better than some of his previous efforts thanks in large part to Sega's rich company history and the presence of some imported talent, but it isn't enough to put him back in the limelight for good. It's a step in the right direction, however.
What stood out the most for me while playing All-Star Racing is just how well designed the tracks are. My favorite track was Roulette Road, a casino themed level where fireworks illuminate a night sky framed by houses of cards. Poker chips rain onto the card-table track and billiard balls coast along the sidelines. The stylized recreation of the Shibuya district in Tokyo, with its huge jumps and just-out-of-reach low flying aircraft, is another memorable course. If anything, All-Star Racing doesn't fail to impress on a visual level.
There is also a lot of fan service paid in the cast of characters. The majority of them are Sega stalwarts like Sonic, Tails, and Dr. Eggman, but there's a nice mix of more obscure characters as well. I had no idea who Opa-Opa was until I looked him (it?) up on Wikipedia -- it's the ship from Fantasy Zone, an arcade shooter that Sega put out way back in the 80's. There's also a cadre of Dreamcast characters including Ulala from Space Channel 5 and Beat from Jet Set Radio Future (the inclusion of several race tracks based on that game made me want a new Jet Set game that much more). Sega also extended invites to Banjo and Kazooie from Rare's classic platforming series, which provides a nice break from the Sega-centric lineup.
Unfortunately, all of the racers feel a little too similar, with only a special All-Star Move to differentiate them. If you find yourself lagging behind the pack the game throws you a bone in the form of these special power-ups hidden inside item crates. These flashy moves will give you a quick jump ahead of the competition in a fashion unique to each character. Beat for example, jumps out of his car and starts tagging his way past opponents, leaving them in clouds of spray paint.
The racing itself is particularly drift-heavy, with more sweeping turns than tight corners. It does have a nice sense of speed -- no surprise considering the Sonic connection -- but when I wasn't boosting or running over the pink zipper lines, everything felt painfully slow. It's incredibly similar to Mario Kart 64, which would normally be a good thing, but Sega did little to expand upon the formula, and as a result, All-Star Racing feels basic and lacking. After picking your character and firing up a race all you really need to do is mash the accelerator against the floor and yank on the drift button when you approach a corner to build boost. There's little in the way of strategy: if there is someone in between you and first place, all you need to do is run through an item box, fire off a punching glove, rocket, or a star (this causes your target's screen to flip upside-down) and zoom past them to the winner's circle. You rinse, lather, and repeat that procedure throughout the entire game. Aside from the generic Grand Prix race mode, the game also includes a mission mode with specific goals, but the controls don't offer enough precision to make completing challenges like collecting enough rings to earn a passing "A" rating and taking out a specific amount of targets with punching gloves easy.
Multiplayer is also an incredibly mixed bag. While the modes themselves work well, the limited options and arenas -- there are only three in total -- kill the potential for fun before you even leave the gate. But the biggest crime is that you can only participate in races against online competition; modes like Battle, the incredibly fun Capture the Chao, Knockout, Grab, and King of the Hill are only available as local split-screen. That unforgivable design decision aside, All-Star Racing is a shallow yet enjoyable racing experience that serves as a nice love letter to diehard Sega fans, but those of you who aren't devoted to the House That Sonic Built will be better off turning to Nintendo's Mario Kart series for a dose of racing fun.
Join the newsletter!
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Apple iPhone X
cloudandco Smart Cane
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Toys for Boys
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Bose SoundLink Micro
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Xbox One X
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- Australian Destroyer joins in World of Warships
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
- Nintendo Switch software update: What does 4.0.0 feature and how to install it?
- Robot House announce vacuum-bot adventure game ahead of PAX Australia
- Wargaming launches ANZ servers for World of Tanks
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCTechnical Testers ? API testingQLD
- FTPronto Systems / Reporting AnalystVIC
- CCContracts OfficerNSW
- FTAutomation DeveloperOther
- FTFull Stack .Net DeveloperQLD
- FTDeveloper - TallymanOther
- TPBusiness Consultant - Dynamics CRMWA
- FTJava DeveloperOther
- CCTableau DeveloperQLD
- FTProject Delivery Lead | 8+ mthOther
- FTSAP SD/EDI Support ConsultantOther
- TPProject Manager - DigitalNSW
- FTPermanent .Net Developer roleACT
- TPPrincipal Business Analyst - ServiceNow | ITSMQLD
- CCProject Manager - InfrastructureWA
- FTSenior Business AnalystOther
- CCDrupal DeveloperNSW
- CCCRM Solutions/ Technical ArchitectVIC
- FTCUSTOMER SUPPORT OPERATOR - NOC ENVIRONMENTSA
- CCProject ManagerQLD
- TPProject CoordinatorACT
- FTETL/Data EngineerOther
- CCISAM AdministratorACT
- FTService Desk Engineer/IT Help desk Support - Multiple positionsVIC
- FTCyber Security Program ManagerNSW