It almost goes without saying that if you buy one kart racer game then you should go for Mario Kart. However if you don't have a Nintendo console then you can't go a-racing with Mario and pals; in fact any games of this type are few and far between for the more "grown up" consoles and so it's been nice to see Sonic's thoroughly decent kart outing spread across all platforms.
This week the PS3 version features as one of Shop To's Star Buys and its price is pretty awesome for such a new game, especially considering its high quality, undercutting nearest competitors Amazon and The Hut's shared price of £28.93 by £4.
An eclectic bunch have come together to traverse these wacky and wonderful tracks, including seven(!) from the Sonic world (is there actually anyone who gives a toss about any of these characters apart from the spikey blue guy himself?), Ryu Hazuki from the much loved Shenmue, AiAi from Monkey Ball, a team of the little mouse thingys from ChuChu Rocket and, to my joy, Ulala from Space Channel 5. Sadly unlike its Wii (which allows you to pick any one of your Miis as your racer) and XBox 360 (which allows you to race as your avatar character or as Banjo & Kazooie) counterparts, the PS3 version does not include a special bonus character.
For single players there are six Grand Prix competitions, each comprised of 4 races and 64 offline missions to sink your teeth into and you'll probably soon find yourself hooked on trying to achieve those coveted AAA ratings for the latter. The single player campaign is plenty of fun and will keep you busy for a good many hours but of course it's the multiplayer that is likely to see you coming back again and again and thankfully this is well implemented, both on and offline.
The visuals are smooth and stylish and there is a great collection of tracks, lifted from various Sega franchises, all nicely designed and offering a nice variety of race style. The action is tight and fun with solid controls and a decent sense of speed. Much like the portly plumber's raceways, the courses here are littered with power ups which increase the fun factor but can often add in some controller-thrashing frustration.
Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing offers plenty for those who are hankering for some good clean fun racer action. It's no surprise that it often feels like a Mario Kart impersonator but, really, this only works to its advantage. In fact, the biggest complaint I have is that they were not able to include Toejam and Earl on the roster as hoped but at least I can keep my fingers crossed for a DLC appearance from the funky twosome.
Thanks to taswir1 at Hotukdeals!