It is not the first time we have seen SEGA launch games that are a true tribute to itself and many of its franchises. It is an attempt to separate each of the main emblems of the saga from its world, to wrap them and turn them into a real playable frenzy full of fun. They already did their experiments with the famous Eye Toy camera and then many stars went to play tennis at SEGA Superstars Tennis, a title that although it was very fun, you could see that it had lacked a lot of ambition and that is why it was left half.
When this karting game with an unpronounceable name was announced (SEGA Racing from now on), in addition to the much-used question of what Sonic does in a car (although in the Sonic Drift saga of Game Gear he was also in one) many could not avoid comparing it with the title of a certain company … Normal thing, Mario Kart is a great reference in kart games. The question was incorrectly moved from whether it was going to be a good game to directly usurping the throne from Miyamoto’s famous moustached plumber. Will this SEGA Racing live up to expectations? The answer is a resounding yes … although with some nuances.
At the beginning of the game, Sonic invites us to take his car in a short tutorial that shows us the controls of the game. And the truth is that it is a real delight: the response is immediate and they are direct. The style of the drifts is very reminiscent of Outrun or Mario Kart: we drift with the trigger and depending on how long we are like this, the turbo that will be produced will be more powerful or less. There are up to three levels, each slightly more powerful than the last.
Although a car has nothing to do with a flying vehicle, both have very similar characteristics and their control is similar.
Once we complete this set-up, the menu opens with the various modes that the game consists of. And the first thing that comes to mind is racing, many races to get a taste for driving. For this, we have the “Grand Prix” mode, which consists of tournaments in increasing levels of difficulty, or the direct “Quick Race”. And so we find the roster of characters.
In total there are 20 selectable characters. Many are old acquaintances and others not so much, but the set offers a good approach to the particular world of the company. There are the classics of the Sonic saga, Billy Hatcher, Ryo Hazuki, the Chuchus … the team is worthy and each one (except Opa-Opa) has a vehicle that endows them with a different personality. There are airplanes, cars, ships and motorcycles, each with its own characteristics. As always in a compilation of this type, “stars” like Ristar or Vectorman are usually missing, but hey. We cannot complain in this regard, as it is the best squad of any game of this type.
The races are at a pretty good level. The 24 circuits in which we play help a lot in this work: they are magnificently set, full of color and life and without much difficulty they achieve that SEGA air of the sagas in which they are inspired. From the purple and red hues of the phases set in Dr. Eggman’s fortress to the checkered and twisted tracks of Super Monkey Ball. The level of detail and care that the guys from Sumo have printed in this sense is admirable and, except that there are few franchises represented and recycling between circuits is more than evident, it does not leave anyone unhappy at all.
The Samba de Amigo tracks are beautiful: colorful and full of life.
Inside them, madness is served. Missiles fly there, boxing gloves there … and it is very easy to see how a competent AI (depending on which circuits) can take the podium in the last corners of a highly contested race. Along with the weapons, far removed by the way from all that SEGA aroma that breathes every square inch of the races, the “All-Star” movements come together. Unique to each character, they usually make you move quite a few meters on the track and give your rivals a good smack. Tails with his tornado, Sonic and Shadow become their “Super” versions, Alex Kidd with his petcopter or Billy Hatcher turning his kart into a giant egg are just some examples of some of them. Still, all this arsenal is not as decisive as good driving and performing combos and turbos combos and drifting, something to be appreciated.