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Review: Sonic and SEGA All Stars Racing (PC)

A quality Kart racing game from the guys who brought you the PSP versions of TOCA 2 and 3, Outrun 2006, Outrun Online Arcade, SEGA Superstars Tennis, and Virtual Tennis 3 and 2009.

If Sumo wasn't able to produce at least a half decent racing game, they would never have amassed that kind of resume. The good news is that this is a really good racing game, if a bit flat presentation-wise. Levels faithfully reproduce the look and feel of stages you remember from Sonic Adventure, House of the Dead, Samba de Amigo, Jet Set Radio, and Super Monkey Ball, and all the stages you don't remember from Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg. Characters are drawn largely from those popular in the Dreamcast / Gamecube era, with a few real throwbacks to the SMS days like Alex Kidd and the Bonanza Bros (who only serious US SEGA fans would remember at all, since that was pretty much a UK franchise). The announcer is crap, always talking about things that are happening in the middle or rear of the pack and occasionally misidentifying the first place character. Load times are on the long side, but once you're in motion, everything feels great, except the rare occasion when you get hung up by running off the edge of a bridge or on a wall if you miss a jump (which can happen, if you're a little over-zealous drifting to build up your boost meter). When the game properly resets you it's no problem, but if you are on a semi-navigable piece of geometry, getting back up to the racecourse can take too long. Trigger planes should have been put in place to reset you before you could get hung up on that stuff. Live and learn I suppose.

SSASR oddly has very few graphical options. You can crank up the antialiasing and anisotropic filtering through your video card control panel, but there is no in-game setting available.

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