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Review

Review: Team Sonic Racing

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Have you ever felt that Sonic nee­ded a car? Neit­her did we, but it doesn’t mat­ter as the blue hedge­hog and his fri­ends are rea­dy to race it out.

After the very good Sonic & All-Stars Racing Trans­for­med that was released back in 2012, Sonic took a break from the racing games. This is the year that he deci­ded to come back, but this time he dit­ched the other SEGA com­pa­n­ions, deci­ding to race only with his series’ fri­ends and rivals. As other SEGA IPs nowa­days are not that well known, it’s a choice that pro­bab­ly makes sen­se mar­ket­wi­se, but it ine­vi­ta­b­ly disap­poin­ted the long-time fans of the com­pa­ny that expec­ted ano­t­her nice cross­over. Sumo Digi­tal was brought back to work on it once again, SEGA made a mar­ke­ting cam­pai­gn simi­lar to Sonic Mania with some car­to­o­ny video (only much shorter) and Team Sonic Racing was offi­ci­al­ly born.

Game­play wise, whoever’s alrea­dy used to Mario Kart will pro­bab­ly be able to jump in wit­hout worry­ing too much: it’s the usu­al arca­de racing game type, with wea­pons and tur­bo boosts via drif­ting. What sets it apart from the rest is the team mode, which you may or may have not noti­ced in the tit­le. Com­pa­red to ano­t­her racing tit­le fea­turing a cer­tain huma­no­id band­icoot, there’s a rea­son for the team to be in the tit­le: the main mode which is also fea­tured in the adven­ture requi­res team­work to ful­ly suc­ceed. You won’t race alo­ne (alt­hough there’s an opti­on to do that too, but doing that will just trans­form it into an infe­ri­or Mario Kart) but with 2 team mates you can pass along items whenever you need them most and help each other boost. The result will also depend on how well ever­yo­ne per­forms, not just if any of you arri­ves first. Alt­hough it’s a gre­at con­cept in theo­ry, we find that it loses its novel­ty very quick­ly. Gre­at to intro­du­ce newer genera­ti­ons into the kart gen­re, but that risks beco­m­ing boring for tho­se more used to it.

You’re also able to cus­to­mi­ze your vehi­cles with several parts, adjus­ting your cha­rac­te­ris­tics slight­ly and paint them accord­in­gly. To get the­se parts you’ll have to roll for them by using ear­ned in-game coins: you can also get legen­da­ry ver­si­ons of tho­se same parts but ser­ve no addi­tio­nal pur­po­se besi­des loo­king gold and not being able to paint them. There’s also no added bonus if you use all parts com­ing for one set. The sto­ry mode will also offer qui­te the few chal­len­ging levels to go through if you real­ly want to com­ple­te ever­ything. While the­re are ques­tion­ab­le choices in the ros­ter, we feel that it still works for the team con­cept the deve­lo­pers clear­ly had in mind. And the music, as a tra­di­ti­on for the Sonic fran­chise, is once again gre­at with very good remi­xes of songs from the past.

Conclusion

Over­all what pro­bab­ly hurts the tit­le is being released clo­se to the remake of Crash Team Racing, one of the only tit­les that some peop­le online con­si­der even supe­ri­or to Mario Kart, alt­hough ever­yo­ne has their tas­tes. Is Team Sonic Racing an excel­lent game? No, like we said, it can feel very simp­le and boring after several matches. But is it a good alter­na­ti­ve to the pre­vious­ly men­tio­ned series? Abso­lute­ly. It’s hard to find a good kart racing game that isn’t dri­ven by an Ita­li­an plum­ber with a red hat nowa­days. Alt­hough we do feel that this game is infe­ri­or to its pre­de­ces­sor, we also belie­ve that this game can turn out to be sur­pri­sin­gly fun if you have a good par­ty and are a fan of the blue hedge­hog.

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