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Team Sonic Racing

Posted by GG Goblin On June - 6 - 2019

Put the hedgehog in the kart and watch him drift around corners.

 
Mario and Sonic have often been rivals, but perhaps never more so than in kart racing. The classic platformers each had their own styles, but it is very difficult to to make one kart racing game substantially different from another, and so the plumber and the blue hedgehog have always been competing. The problem is, Mario got a massive head start in kart racing and so the Mario Kart games have always been the standard that any other kart racing game has been measured up to. However, the Sonic Racing games have never been far behind, and it is with the latest title, Team Sonic Racing, that SEGA hopes to shift the competition in its favour.

 
tsr1 (Copy)

 
Of course, perhaps the biggest thing going in Team Sonic Racing’s favour is the fact that it is multi-platform. While there is very likely going to be little argument that the Mario Kart games are the best karting games, a huge number of gamers without a Nintendo console will have no idea about that, and should they want to try some kart racing, they will have little to choose from. So, in this respect, Team Sonic Racing will have a much wider audience than the Nintendo-only kart racer, but still, what does it have to offer?

 
Well, for start there is a clue in the name. Team Sonic Racing is all about racing teams. This means that while the player alone may be able to wipe the floor with their competition, it will mean very little if the rest of the team comes in last place. So this is a game about co-operation as well as competition, and players will be part of a team of three. This means trying to help team mates and having each of them finish as close to the top as possible. To aid this, players are able to help their team mates out, and be helped out themselves, in a variety of different ways. For example, the lead team member will leave a coloured slipstream behind that will boost any team mates hoping into it. They can also help out team mates who have faltered by driving past closely, and even swap items between team mates to give an advantage.

 
This idea of co-operation in a kart racer is implemented really well in Team Sonic Racing, and it doesn’t take too long to get used to the idea that being first across the line is not necessarily the best approach. Of course, this does leave a lot of the winning down to the AI, but fortunately it seems to be pretty up to scratch most of the time. The story mode will take the player through many of these team-based races, with the occasional skill based race thrown in for variety.

 
The option to play standard kart racing is there as well, and can be played with friends for some good old-fashioned multiplayer fun. After spending a lot of time playing as part of a team, it can be a bit of an adjustment, but the excellent mechanics of the game mean there is still plenty of fun to have.

 
tsr2 (Copy)

 
The characters in the game are a bit dry, with not so many big names as in the other popular kart racing game. Still, they all perform exactly how they should, with three different categories of racer. The Power types are, well, powerful and can ignore some types of obstacle. The Speed racers are all about the speed, proving to be faster than any other type. Then there are the Technique racers who can take advantage of certain shortcuts. Each type of racer has its advantages, and players will quickly come to work out which suits there racing style.

 
The karts are all pretty good fun, but players don’t have to put up with what they are given. Credits earned through racing can be spent on various randomised kart upgrades or cosmetic changes. While this side of the game is very grindy in nature, as the player will need to collect a lot of credits and have a little luck to drastically change their kart, it is not essential and most players will be able to have as much fun as they need without any kind of upgrades. That being said, when it comes to the more difficult skill-based challenges, upgrades can certainly give the player an edge.

 
The tracks are just as nicely polished as you would expect, being brightly coloured and interesting to drive around. There is some real imagination here, taking the player through a great variety of different settings. The tracks are primarily designed for team gameplay though, so expect them to be slightly wider and more sweeping than perhaps other kart racing games. But they still look absolutely great, as do the different characters and their karts. Team Sonic Racing is a good looking game, and it sounds pretty excellent too, with a typically upbeat Sonic-styled soundtrack.

 
tsr3 (Copy)

 
Developed by Sumo Digital, there really wasn’t any doubt that Team Sonic Racing was going to be a quality product. The team-based racing adds a level of strategy to what is otherwise just zipping around a track as fast as possible, but I am not sure how popular that will be with karting fans, despite how well it works. Still, it looks great and handles perfectly, offering everything that a kart racer could want from a non-Nintendo title. Remember your friends and race like a blue hedgehog.

 

 ★★★★★★★★½☆ 



 

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