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Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
SEGA Racing.jpg
Developer(s) Sumo Digital
Gameloft (mobile version)
Publisher(s) Sega
Engine Sunshine (in-house engine)
Platform(s) Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo DS, Microsoft Windows, Mobile[1]
Release date(s) JP 2010
NA February 23, 2010
EU February 26, 2010
AUS March 4, 2010
[2] [3]
Genre(s) Racing game
Mode(s) Single-player, local split-screen multiplayer, online multiplayer
Rating(s) ESRB: E
PEGI: 7+
Input methods Game controller, Wheel

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing is a racing game produced for Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS and Microsoft Windows, featuring characters from many Sega franchises, as well as guest characters. It is being published by Sega and developed by Sumo Digital. It was announced on May 28, 2009 and was released in North America on February 23, 2010 and in Europe on February 26, 2010, with the PC version available both from retail and via Steam.[4] A mobile version is also being developed by Gameloft.[5]

Contents

Gameplay

The game is a mascot kart racing game, very similar to other games in its genre like Mario Kart, Konami Krazy Racers and Crash Team Racing. Characters race through various race circuits themed on different Sega franchises and collect power-ups to boost their speed or hamper their opponents. The items have a rock-paper-scissors effect, in which certain items can be used to defend against others. Also, on occasions when players get three of one item, they can choose to fire/activate them at the same time. Additional boost can be earned by successfully executing drifts (with longer drifts earning more boost), or performing tricks while in midair. Like Sumo's previous Sega game, Sega Superstars Tennis, each character has a special ability (called an "All-Star Move") unique to them that they may use to their advantage (such as Sonic transforming into Super Sonic and AiAi riding in marbles), which they can obtain if they are running behind in the race. How long each All-Star move lasts depends on the character's current position. Due to network latency issues, All-Star Moves are not featured in online races.[6]

Vehicles are separated into three different categories: cars, bikes and hovercrafts. As the terrain on the tracks will vary, vehicles can be either assisted or hindered by the surfaces they drive upon. Cars vary in weight and speed, with some performing better on some terrains than others. Bikes have fast acceleration and can also perform ground tricks for extra boost, but can easily be bullied by heavier vechiles. Hovercrafts are not affected by any terrain and are able to perform multiple tricks after a jump, but they have poorer handling and have low acceleration. All of the vehicles also have their own specific engine sounds.

By playing through the game, players can earn Sega Miles that can be spent in the in-game shop to unlock additional content such as characters, tracks, and songs.[7] The game features a total of 24 tracks based on locations from Sonic Heroes, Super Monkey Ball, Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, Jet Set Radio Future, Samba de Amigo, and The House of the Dead.[8]

There are four single player modes; Grand Prix, Single Race, Missions and Time Trials[9][10][11], whilst modes for split-screen multiplayer, playable with up to 4 players, include Free Race, Arena, King of the Hill, Collect the Emeralds and Capture the Chao.[12] The game also has customizable multiplayer options for up to eight players online (four players on DS version, no online support for PC version).

The soundtrack for the game consists of various old and new tracks from the various Sonic and Sega franchises, though it also features original songs by various artists including Richard Jacques. Each course starts with one track, with more being unlocked as players earn Sega Miles. The Nintendo DS version of the game features MIDI versions of the tracks arranged by Allister Brimble and Anthony Putson of Orchestral Media Developments.[7] The main theme song of the game is "So Much More..." by singer Bentley Jones.[13]

Playable characters

The playable characters of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing excluding the console exclusive characters

At the start of the game, players can play as Sonic, Tails, Dr Eggman, Shadow, Amy, AiAi, Amigo and Billy Hatcher, as well as any console exclusive characters. Other characters are unlocked after purchasing them with Sega Miles.

Character[8] Origin
Sonic the Hedgehog Sonic the Hedgehog
Miles "Tails" Prower Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Doctor Eggman Sonic the Hedgehog
Amy Rose Sonic CD
Shadow the Hedgehog Sonic Adventure 2
AiAi Super Monkey Ball
Amigo Samba de Amigo
Billy Hatcher Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg
Knuckles the Echidna Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Big the Cat Sonic Adventure
Beat Jet Set Radio
Ulala Space Channel 5
B.D. Joe Crazy Taxi
Zobio and Zobikoa The House of the Dead: EX
Ryo Hazukib Shenmue
Jacky Bryant and Akira Yukia Virtua Fighter
Robo and Moboa Bonanza Bros.
Chuith, ChuBei, ChuPea and ChuBacha ChuChu Rocket!
Opa-Opa Fantasy Zone
Alex Kidd Alex Kidd in Miracle World
Banjo and Kazooiec
Avatarc The New Xbox Experience
Miid Wii
Notes:
a Only the former character appears in the Nintendo DS version of the game.
b DLC featured as a pre-order bonus in Europe allows players to ride Ryo's forklift as standard.
c Xbox 360-exclusive character
d Wii-exclusive character

Development

Following the release of Sega Superstars Tennis, Sumo Digital decided to do a racing title, based on their experience with recent Out Run titles. In an early prototype of the game, Sonic raced on foot, Dr. Eggman rode an Eggpod with legs, Tails flew in a biplane, Amy Rose drove a car, and Gilius Thunderhead from Golden Axe rode one of the Chickenleg creatures from the game. This version, however, was reportedly not fun to play, largely due to the varying sizes between the different characters, but also because the drift mechanic wouldn't work with racers who were on foot. It was later revised so that everyone would be in cars, bikes, or modified flyers.[14]

The game was showcased at E3 2009, where it was stated that the final version of the game will have over 20 different characters.[15]

Following a successful fan campaign for the character's inclusion, Nights was integrated into the game as the flagman.[16]

At Summer of Sonic 2009, Steve Lycett, executive producer and Travis Ryan, lead designer of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing were present for a Q&A session. A PlayStation 3 demo was also available for attendees to play. It was identical to the Comic-Con demo.[17]

On November 25, 2009, a special press event about the game was held in France, where the DS version made its playable debut.[10]

Three demos of the game have been released: The first, for the Xbox 360, was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace on February 8, 2010.[18] The second, for the Nintendo DS, was released via the Nintendo Channel on February 15, 2010.[19]. A PlayStation 3 demo was made available on the PlayStation Network Store on February 18, 2010.[20]

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Planned characters

ToeJam & Earl were originally planned to be in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing as a duo driving their spaceship, but Sega could not come to terms with ToeJam & Earl Productions co-founder Greg Johnson.[21] However, fans have called and mass-emailed Johnson for his characters' return.[22][23] He has responded on the official Sega forums under the pseudonym 'Big Earl' stating "I'll give it another try and see if I can get the homies at Sega to talk again on the phone."[24][25] He later mentioned that the duo will not be appearing in the retail game, since it is too late in development, but the option for including them as downloadable content is still open.[26][27]

In its prototype form, Gilius Thunderhead from Golden Axe was a playable character who rode one of the Chickenleg monsters from the game. In his developer diary, Lycett makes it clear that this does not confirm him as a final character.[14] This is the case with Gilius, as he did not make the cut into the final roster. Lycett has also talked about Vyse from Skies of Arcadia in an interview with Gamereactor.[28] Segata Sanshiro was also considered as a possible character, riding a Sega Saturn, though did not end up in the roster.[29] Early in development, Mario was considered as a Wii-exclusive addition, but Sega decided against it so as not to cause cross-contamination with its Mario and Sonic series.[30]

Lycett has also mentioned there will be various cameo appearances from other Sega characters who didn't make it in the playable roster.[31]

Mishaps

On the Wii and Steam versions of the game, one of the playing cards shown on the Roulette Road track, which would normally show Amy Rose, shows a picture of Sonia from Sonic Underground, adapted from a fanart of the character by deviantARTist, RianaLD. The artwork was initally used as placeholder artwork, mistaken as official artwork. Sonic Team noticed the error and requested it be fixed, however it somehow remained on the Wii and 'low-res' PC versions of the track.[32] Lycett has offered his sincere apologies to the original artist, citing the incident as unintentional. There are plans to remove the image from PC version, although the Wii version will retain the image due to the lack of an update feature.[33]

Downloadable content

The game's entry on Xbox.com states the game will support downloadable content (DLC).[34] Producer Omar Woodley confirmed in an interview that there will be DLC for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game.[30] Lycett has mentioned that the Wii won't receive any DLC due to storage limits.[35] The first DLC announced was a pre-order bonus for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in PAL regions where players can play as Ryo Hazuki on his forklift normally (outside of his All-Star move).[36]

On March 16, 2010, a game add-on was released for the Xbox 360 version that would allow the player to unlock all characters and tracks without using SEGA miles.[37] It is unknown if or when the Playstation 3 version will receive this content.

Reception

The game has received mostly positive scores so far. GamesMaster gave the game 83% for the console versions and 70% for the DS version, calling it 'the best kart racer on 360/PS3, but not quite the Mario Kart-beater we hoped for'.[38] Nintendo Power gave the Wii version 8/10 and the DS version 6/10.[39] Official Nintendo Magazine gave both the DS and Wii version 75%. Computer Bild Spiele, a German video game magazine, rated the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions a score of 2.32 out of 3. The Wii version was given a 2.46 out of 3 score. GamesRadar gave the console versions of the game 8/10, praising its pick-up-and-play fun whilst criticising its uninspired weapons, whereas the DS version got 7/10.[40][41] IGN gave both the console and DS versions 8.0 each, calling it 'a clone that gets it right.'[42][43] GameSpot also gave it 8.0, praising its responsive controls and excellent track design.[44] Kotaku calls it a competent racer which evokes fond memories, although laments that the tracks and music selection don't delve as deep into Sega lore as the character roster.[45] GameTrailers gave the game 8.0 as well, praising its track design and addictive gameplay.[46]

References

  1. ^ "Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing". Sega. http://www.sega.com/games/?t=EnglishUSA&g=6150&v=1356. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  2. ^ http://www.tssznews.com/2010/01/08/release-date-lock-223-likely-for-us-226-eu-and-au/
  3. ^ http://sonicstadium.org/news/nintendo-of-america-reveal-q1-2010-release-schedule
  4. ^ http://www.tssznews.com/2010/02/10/steam-pc-release-confirmed-for-asr/
  5. ^ http://www.projectnext.eu/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=20207&l=1
  6. ^ http://www.sonicstadium.org/news/asr-dlc-coming-sooner-rather-than-later-no-all-star-moves-online-explained
  7. ^ a b http://www.originalsoundversion.com/?p=5693
  8. ^ a b http://www.sega.com/sonicracing/
  9. ^ http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=215942
  10. ^ a b http://www.tssznews.com/2009/11/25/inside-sega-frances-asr-powwow/#more-9270
  11. ^ http://forums.sega.com/showpost.php?p=5465308&postcount=67
  12. ^ http://www.tssznews.com/2010/02/11/lycett-asr-interview-on-inside-xbox-new-modes-revealed/
  13. ^ http://bentleyjones.com/blog/?p=461
  14. ^ a b http://blogs.sega.com/usa/2009/11/12/sonic-sega-all-stars-racing-dev-diary-concept/
  15. ^ "Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Video Game, E3 09: Developer Walkthrough HD". GameTrailers.com. 2009-06-03. http://www.gametrailers.com/player/50588.html?type=flv. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  16. ^ http://kotaku.com/5462384/fan-pleading-got-nights-into-sonic--sega-all+star-racing
  17. ^ "Sumo Digital Attending Summer of Sonic 09". http://www.summerofsonic.com/2009/08/sumo-digital-attending-summer-of-sonic-09/. http://www.summerofsonic.com/2009/08/sumo-digital-attending-summer-of-sonic-09/. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  18. ^ http://blogs.sega.com/sonic/2010/02/08/sonic-sega-all-star-racing-360-demo-theme-out-now/
  19. ^ http://www.sonicstadium.org/news/asr-ds-demo-now-on-nintendo-channel
  20. ^ http://www.sonicstadium.org/news/eu-ps3-asr-demo-due-later-today-u-s-tba
  21. ^ http://www.seganerds.com/2009/10/06/toejam-earl-were-planned-for-sonic-sega-all-stars-racing/
  22. ^ http://www.gonintendo.com/viewstory.php?id=99528
  23. ^ http://kotaku.com/5375494/there-will-be-no-toe-jam--earl-in-your-sega-all+stars-games
  24. ^ http://forums.sega.com/showpost.php?p=5290608&postcount=50
  25. ^ http://www.gonintendo.com/viewstory.php?id=99588
  26. ^ http://kotaku.com/5401043/catching-up-with-toejam--earl
  27. ^ http://forums.sega.com/showpost.php?p=5360575&postcount=306
  28. ^ http://www.gamereactor.eu/previews/2095/Sonic+&+Sega+All-Stars+Racing/
  29. ^ http://www.tssznews.com/2009/12/02/segata-sanshiro-considered-for-asr-but-unlikely/
  30. ^ a b http://seganerds.thekartel.com/blog/2010/02/22/exclusive_qa_with_sonic_and_sega_all-star_racings_producers
  31. ^ http://forums.sega.com/showthread.php?p=5338915
  32. ^ http://rianald.deviantart.com/journal/30845710/
  33. ^ http://www.sonicstadium.org/news/sonic-undergrounds-sonia-in-asr-wii-pc
  34. ^ http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/games/s/sonicandsegaallstarsracing/
  35. ^ http://www.tssznews.com/2010/02/10/lycett-chances-are-no-wii-dlc-for-asr/
  36. ^ http://blogs.sega.com/sonic/2010/02/01/wouldnt-it-be-great-if-you-could-use-ryos-forklift-normally-in-asr/
  37. ^ http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/games/offers/0ccf0004-0000-4000-8000-000053450815
  38. ^ http://sonicstadium.org/news/first-asr-review-in-todays-gamesmaster-magazine
  39. ^ http://sonicstadium.org/news/nintendo-power-review-scores-for-asr
  40. ^ http://www.gamesradar.com/ps3/sonic-sega-all-stars-racing/review/sonic-sega-all-stars-racing/a-201002221748492062989/g-200905281021403099
  41. ^ http://www.gamesradar.com/ds/sonic-sega-all-stars-racing/review/sonic-sega-all-stars-racing/a-20100225174132777085/g-20090528102151254003
  42. ^ http://uk.ps3.ign.com/articles/107/1071572p2.html
  43. ^ http://uk.ds.ign.com/articles/107/1071582p1.html
  44. ^ http://www.gamespot.com/reviews.html?type=reviews&mode=top&om_act=convert&om_clk=subnav&tag=subnav;reviews
  45. ^ http://kotaku.com/5481222/sonic--sega-all+stars-racing-review-remaster-system
  46. ^ http://www.gametrailers.com/video/review-sonic-sega/62851

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