Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Impressions
We take a few laps with the iPhone and iPad version of Sega's quirky kart racer.
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing is set to make its iPhone and iPad debut this summer. After playing it a couple of weeks ago, one thing was (and presumably still is) abundantly clear: this port of the 2010 kart racer is without question superior to the DS version.
If anything, it's closer in quality to the console editions with one notable exception: tilt controls. Now you can physically maneuver the device of choice to guide ten iconic Sega characters (including Sonic, Tails, Eggman, AiAi and Amigo) through 12 tracks pulled from the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game.
The verdict? We had a lot of fun with this title, using both tilt and virtual controls to launch our tiny karts through the air, scream around turns and through the many power ups (boost, rockets) to score a valuable edge during heated competitions.
On top of that, All-Stars Racing looks sweet. Gone are the pixilated graphics from the DS, replaced with simplistic yet smooth textures bursting with color. What's more, the tracks look outstanding and were inspired by classic Sega games, such as Sonic the Hedgehog (prepare to race through Green Hill Zone), The House of the Dead, Jet Grind Radio and more.
The longer you play, the more Sega Miles you'll earn that go towards unlocking new characters and tracks.
What really piqued our collective interest, though, were the features not on display. First, the App supports Game Center and Open Feint, complete with achievements to earn. Second, there's two player local racing via Bluetooth, and most importantly, four person online play.
There's also a Battle Mode, where four players begin at opposite ends of the arena and must destroy the opposition to emerge victorious. To do that, simply collect the weapons strewn around the play field and hit someone three times; the old three strikes and they're out rule.
The only conceivable downside? Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing will retail for $4.99, which might as well be $20 for iPhone/iPad users. We just hope it's worth the dough, which we'll find out soon enough, since the game launches tomorrow.