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Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing is a racing game in the Sega Superstars series produced for Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS and Microsoft Windows, featuring characters from many Sega franchises. 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.[5] A Japanese version is planned to be released by Sega in 2010. A mobile version has been developed by Gameloft.[6]

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 his monkey ball), 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.[7]

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 vehicles. 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.[8] 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.[9]

There are four single player modes; Grand Prix, Single Race, Missions and Time Trials[10][11][12], while modes for split-screen multiplayer, playable with up to four players, include Free Race, Arena, King of the Hill, Collect the Emeralds and Capture the Chao.[13] 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.[8] The main theme song of the game is "So Much More..." by singer Bentley Jones.[14]

Playable characters

File:Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing Cast.jpg

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[9] Origin
Sonic the Hedgehog5 Sonic the Hedgehog
Miles "Tails" Prower5 Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Doctor Eggman5 Sonic the Hedgehog
Amy Rose5 Sonic the Hedgehog CD
Shadow the Hedgehog Sonic Adventure 2
AiAi5 Super Monkey Ball
Amigo5 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 Zobiko1 The House of the Dead: EX
Ryo Hazuki Shenmue
Jacky Bryant and Akira Yuki1 Virtua Fighter
Mobo and Robo1 Bonanza Bros.
Chuih, ChuBei, ChuPea and ChuBach1 ChuChu Rocket!
Opa-Opa Fantasy Zone
Alex Kidd Alex Kidd in Miracle World
Banjo and Kazooie2 Diddy Kong Racing (Banjo) and Banjo-Kazooie (Kazooie)
Avatar2 The New Xbox Experience
Mii3 Wii

The following characters are available as downloadable content for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game.

Character[9] Origin Available
Ryo-F4 Shenmue Pre-order bonus in Europe, Worldwide purchase from April 1, 2010
Metal Sonic[15] Sonic the Hedgehog CD April 8, 2010 (360); April 22, 2010 (PS3)
Notes:

^1 Only the former character appears in the Nintendo DS version of the game.

^2 Xbox 360-exclusive character

^3 Wii-exclusive character

^4 Ryo rides his forklift instead of his motorcycle

^5 These characters are included in the mobile version

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.[16]

Following a successful fan campaign for the character's inclusion, Nights was integrated into the game as the flagman.[17]

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.[18] On November 25, 2009, a special press event about the game was held in France, where the DS version made its playable debut.[11]

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.[19] The second, for the Nintendo DS, was released via the Nintendo Channel on February 15, 2010.[20]. The third, for the PlayStation 3, was made available on the PlayStation Network Store on February 18, 2010.[21]

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.[22] However, fans have called and mass-emailed Johnson for his characters' return.[23][24] 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."[25][26] 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.[27][28]

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.[16] 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.[29] Segata Sanshiro was also considered as a possible character, riding a Sega Saturn, though did not end up in the roster.[30] 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.[31]

Lycett has also mentioned there will be various cameo appearances from other Sega characters who didn't make it in the playable roster.[32]

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 initially 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.[33] 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.[34]

Downloadable content

Producer Omar Woodley confirmed in an interview that there would be DLC for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game.[31] Lycett has mentioned that the Wii won't receive any DLC due to storage limits.[35]

As a pre-order bonus for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions in PAL regions, an additional Ryo Hazuki (called Ryo-F) was made available to download in which he would drive his forklift outside his All-Star move as his standard vehicle.[36] This character was later made available for purchase on April 1, 2010.[37]

Exclusive DLC for the Xbox 360 version include a game add-on that unlocks all characters and tracks without using SEGA miles, released March 16, 2010.[38] Avatar content for the game was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace on March 25, 2010.[39]

A pack containing Metal Sonic as a playable character and a Death Egg track, with Ristar as a cameo appearance, was accidentally made available on the European PSN Store on April 1, 2010 before its intended release date, and was removed shortly afterward.[15] It was then officially released on the Xbox Live Marketplace on April 8, 2010, and the PlayStation Store on April 22, 2010.[40]

It was stated April 27 from SUMO Digital worker Steve Lycett that Sega has already released all the DLC they requested Sumo to make, and that future DLC hinges upon whether or not Sega wishes to have more.

Reception

The game has received mostly positive scores. 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'.[41] Nintendo Power gave the Wii version 8/10 and the DS version 6/10.[42] 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 while criticising its uninspired weapons, whereas the DS version got 7/10.[43][44] IGN gave both the console and DS versions 8.0 each, calling it 'a clone that gets it right.'[45][46] GameSpot also gave it 8.0, praising its responsive controls and excellent track design.[47] 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.[48] GameTrailers gave the game 8.0 as well, praising its track design and addictive gameplay.[49]

See also

References

  1. http://www.tssznews.com/2010/01/08/release-date-lock-223-likely-for-us-226-eu-and-au/
  2. http://sonicstadium.org/news/nintendo-of-america-reveal-q1-2010-release-schedule
  3. http://www.esrb.org/ratings/synopsis.jsp?Certificate=28521
  4. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. Sega. Retrieved on 2009-08-21.
  5. http://www.tssznews.com/2010/02/10/steam-pc-release-confirmed-for-asr/
  6. http://www.projectnext.eu/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=20207&l=1
  7. http://www.sonicstadium.org/news/asr-dlc-coming-sooner-rather-than-later-no-all-star-moves-online-explained
  8. 8.0 8.1 http://www.originalsoundversion.com/?p=5693
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 http://www.sega.com/sonicracing/
  10. http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=215942
  11. 11.0 11.1 http://www.tssznews.com/2009/11/25/inside-sega-frances-asr-powwow/#more-9270
  12. http://forums.sega.com/showpost.php?p=5465308&postcount=67
  13. http://www.tssznews.com/2010/02/11/lycett-asr-interview-on-inside-xbox-new-modes-revealed/
  14. http://bentleyjones.com/blog/?p=461
  15. 15.0 15.1 http://www.sonicstadium.org/news/metal-sonic-death-egg-zone-and-ryo-f-dlc-announced
  16. 16.0 16.1 http://blogs.sega.com/usa/2009/11/12/sonic-sega-all-stars-racing-dev-diary-concept/
  17. http://kotaku.com/5462384/fan-pleading-got-nights-into-sonic--sega-all+star-racing
  18. Sumo Digital Attending Summer of Sonic 09. http://www.summerofsonic.com/2009/08/sumo-digital-attending-summer-of-sonic-09/.+Retrieved on 2009-08-07.
  19. http://blogs.sega.com/sonic/2010/02/08/sonic-sega-all-star-racing-360-demo-theme-out-now/
  20. http://www.sonicstadium.org/news/asr-ds-demo-now-on-nintendo-channel
  21. http://www.sonicstadium.org/news/eu-ps3-asr-demo-due-later-today-u-s-tba
  22. http://www.seganerds.com/2009/10/06/toejam-earl-were-planned-for-sonic-sega-all-stars-racing/
  23. http://www.gonintendo.com/viewstory.php?id=99528
  24. http://kotaku.com/5375494/there-will-be-no-toe-jam--earl-in-your-sega-all+stars-games
  25. http://forums.sega.com/showpost.php?p=5290608&postcount=50
  26. http://www.gonintendo.com/viewstory.php?id=99588
  27. http://kotaku.com/5401043/catching-up-with-toejam--earl
  28. http://forums.sega.com/showpost.php?p=5360575&postcount=306
  29. http://www.gamereactor.eu/previews/2095/Sonic+&+Sega+All-Stars+Racing/
  30. http://www.tssznews.com/2009/12/02/segata-sanshiro-considered-for-asr-but-unlikely/
  31. 31.0 31.1 http://seganerds.thekartel.com/blog/2010/02/22/exclusive_qa_with_sonic_and_sega_all-star_racings_producers
  32. http://forums.sega.com/showthread.php?p=5338915
  33. http://rianald.deviantart.com/journal/30845710/
  34. http://www.sonicstadium.org/news/sonic-undergrounds-sonia-in-asr-wii-pc
  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://blogs.sega.com/europe/2010/04/01/forklift-ryo-out-today-on-xbl-and-psn/
  38. http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/games/offers/0ccf0004-0000-4000-8000-000053450815
  39. http://blogs.sega.com/usa/2010/03/25/sonic-sega-all-stars-racing-avatar-items-available-today/
  40. http://blogs.sega.com/usa/2010/04/08/asr-metal-sonic/
  41. http://sonicstadium.org/news/first-asr-review-in-todays-gamesmaster-magazine
  42. http://sonicstadium.org/news/nintendo-power-review-scores-for-asr
  43. http://www.gamesradar.com/ps3/sonic-sega-all-stars-racing/review/sonic-sega-all-stars-racing/a-201002221748492062989/g-200905281021403099
  44. http://www.gamesradar.com/ds/sonic-sega-all-stars-racing/review/sonic-sega-all-stars-racing/a-20100225174132777085/g-20090528102151254003
  45. http://uk.ps3.ign.com/articles/107/1071572p2.html
  46. http://uk.ds.ign.com/articles/107/1071582p1.html
  47. http://www.gamespot.com/reviews.html?type=reviews&mode=top&om_act=convert&om_clk=subnav&tag=subnav;reviews
  48. http://kotaku.com/5481222/sonic--sega-all+stars-racing-review-remaster-system
  49. http://www.gametrailers.com/video/review-sonic-sega/62851

External links

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