5 Things an All-Star Racing 2 MUST Have

2010 has come and gone, and with it came a slew of excellent SEGA games. I won’t list them off as I’m certain every reader here knows all the great titles that released. However, I do want to point out one of the releases that made it into my top ten games of 2010 list: Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. When first announced in 2009, many let out a collective “meh”, and rightfully so. Up until that point, Sonic spin-off titles have ranged from terrible to good, but never great. SEGA Superstars Tennis, the predecessor to All-Stars Racing, was a good game. However the roster was lacking, the mechanics needed polish and the mission mode was a bit unforgiving.

However, as 2010 neared, SEGA and Sumo Digital began to drop hints that the new racing game would include a far larger roster, solid gameplay and a ton of surprises for SEGA fans. When the game released, nearly every promise was delivered on. The character roster was impressive. While Superstars Tennis had 16 characters from 8 franchises, All-Stars Racing featured 21 racers from 14 franchises. Not to mention, some racers included more than one character in the vehicle and there were even non-playable cameos from NiGHTS, Ristar, Flicky birds and Jacky Bryant’s car looked a lot like a certain famous red Ferrari. The gameplay, for the most part, was solid and there was a good deal of SEGA fan service. I mean, Ryo freaking’ Hazuki was in the game! Despite all that, there are a number of things that the game could improve upon. Let’s take a look at five things a Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing 2 must have in order to attain greatness.

A WIDER VARIETY OF TRACKS

If there was one complaint that every SEGA fan shared of the first game, it was that the track selection was limited. VERY limited. While the environments were diverse, the variety of franchises were minimal. Of all the possible SEGA games, only a measly six were represented! If there is one major change that Sumo would need to make, it would be in this area.

For example, let’s say that in a sequel, Sumo brings back nine of the best tracks from the first game, as is customary for racing games to bring back tracks from the previous game. Then, Sumo creates nine new tracks using assets from the returning tracks. So one returning Seaside Hill track and one new Seaside Hill track, one returning Monkey Ball track, one new Monkey Ball track, etc. This way, Sonic the Hedgehog would have eight tracks (two Seaside Hill, two Casino Park, two Final Fortress, two Death Egg), Billy Hatcher: two tracks, Super Monkey Ball: two tracks, JSRF: two tracks, Samba de Amigo: two tracks and House of the Dead: two tracks.

Then, having brought 18 tracks to the game with minimal development of new assets, Sumo could then bring in seven MORE franchises. Space Channel 5 could feature Spaceport 9 and Astroid Belt tracks. Phantasy Star Online could have Ragol Forest and Ragol Caves tracks. Fantasy Zone: two tracks (Opa-Opa track, Space Harrier track), Crazy Taxi: two tracks (West Coast and Big Apple), Panzer Dragoon: two tracks, NiGHTS: two tracks and OutRun: two tracks. Of course, with Sonic being the star of the game, an additional three tracks could be developed, inspired by the ’90’s era games, such as Labyrinth Zone, Stardust Speedway and Ice Cap. Finally, an awesome surprise would be Three Seven Speedway, though of course it would be under the SEGA Racing Classic label.

TL;DR version: 25 tracks from 6 franchises stunk, 36 tracks from 14 franchises is better.

MORE FAN FAVORITE RACERS

The roster of the first game was impressive, however thanks to hints and teases from SEGA and Sumo that never came to light, a number of fan favorites were left in the dust and many fans were dissapointed. Of course, the 21 racers from the previous game would return (Metal Sonic being that twenty-first racer). With an already beefy roster, I don’t think Sumo would get much flack for going for quality over quantity when it comes to new additions. Let’s say only twelve new racers are added, however nearly each and every one of those racers are just as awesome as Ryo Hazuki? Edge of Panzer Dragoon Saga, Vyse of Skies of Arcadia, NiGHTS and Toe Jam and Earl would all make for excellent additions.

Segata Sanshiro would bring some welcome insanity and would make SEGA Saturn fans cheer. Obvious SEGA racers like the Hornet and Hang-On bike would appease SEGA racing fans. Finally, while not fan favorites, it would be nice to have a few more Sonic characters just to round out the cast. At least add the Chaotix and Rouge to complete the 1991 to 2001 Sonic cast. With this limited, but strong, number new of racers, Sumo could use more development time on increasing the already mentioned track list and satisfy a number of fans. Win, win!

MORE ONLINE MODES

Anybody who has played the first game online knows that the fun begins and ends with basic races. While there were a number of options allowing players to decide how many computer controlled racers there were, turning weapons and hazards on and off and how many laps, there was nothing in terms of arena battles. Unless I invite physical people over, a good chunk of the game goes unplayed thanks to many multiplayer modes being offline only.

From what I have played with visiting friends, the battle mode games are a lot of fun! Basic battle, Capture the Chao, King of the Hill and Emerald grab games would have been loads of fun online. Even if a sequel adds no new battle mini-games, having them be online would be a must.

Bringing battle mode online would also mean a number of new arenas could be created. All arenas from the previous game would return, as would new arenas be designed to represent the newly added franchises, like Space Channel 5 and Phantasy Star Online. Remember that dragon boss battle from the first PSO? His giant cave would make for a perfect arena. Other franchises could also be brought in for new arenas. Superstars Tennis featured Virtua Cop’s harbor and After Burner’s aircraft carrier, so I see no issue with reusing these graphical assets (just made that term up) for SASASR2 arenas. Oh yeah, and Shenmue’s Yokosuka Harbor please.

MORE SEGA INSPIRED WEAPONS

What were SEGA and Sumo thinking when they presented such an assortment of generic weapons? While yes, the All-Star moves were very much SEGA inspired attacks, the weapons themselves could have just as well appeared in a Capcom racer. A sequel must remedy this. Instead of a rainbow filling the opponents screen, why not have Puyo Puyo blobs drop down obscuring the players view? Instead of a generic homing rocket, have it be one of Eggman’s badniks (in fact, in early stages it WAS a badnik, resembling a fish badnik).

SEGA inspired weapons would go a long way in making the game much more of a SEGA game and would allow for a number of franchises to sneak their way in as weapons. This one’s a no-brainer.

LESS VERSIONS

Nothing against the Wii and DS versions of the first game, they looked great! However, I think development of a sequel could go a lot further if Sumo stuck to one HD platform and ported the game to the other HD platform. If I’m not mistaken, for the first game the PS3 was the lead platform and the 360 version was a port. By doing this, Sumo wouldn’t have to double check and see that all four platforms receive the same content. The 360 and PS3 can do so much more (I am NOT linking those last three words to a certain song) than the Wii, so why not focus on the platforms that could provide more content rather than holding back for the sake of a third console? Give a sequel more tracks, racers and online modes and the fans will follow.

So those are my 5 things that an All-Stars Racing 2 must have. What things do you think a potential sequel must have?

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23 responses to “5 Things an All-Star Racing 2 MUST Have

  1. DCGX says:

    I agree on all accounts especially the tracks and power-ups. My sisters and I play the game a lot when they are home from college and the only reason I tired of it is the limited track variety.

    But as far as less systems, I'm okay with no Wii version but how about an iPhone/Android version? Even if it's just the basics and more limited, for a few bucks I'd probably buy it.

  2. SMT_Xero says:

    I would like to see more console exclusive characters. seeing banjo in the xbox version is what made me buy it.

    throwing some master chief jack and daxter or whatnot and you could increase the sales and have more characters.

  3. Yeah, shame Sony and Nintendo didn't want to play the crossover game, making the 360 exclusives look like the odd one out. I liked the 360 version in that you could play as your avatar, so you could dress in Halo armor and make it seem as though Master Chief was in the game.

  4. cube_b3 says:

    You Bastard you forgot tracks based on Yokosuka from Shenmue.

    Just kidding, I love this article. Awesome stuff, really good read.

  5. Gator says:

    All Stars 2's must have – making use of DLC. Nothing more after Metal Sonic… they could at least have a 5-10 track race pack DLC before ignoring it.

    For character additions.. a Rappy!

    And, as opposed to the Wii version, it'd be nice to see what they could do with the 3DS.

  6. Agreed on DLC. Metal Sonic and Death Egg were great, though the same day it released, Sumo announced via message boards that there was no more DLC planned. Way to excite fans and then let them down on the same day. 😛 I was really hoping for characters and tracks via DLC. Or even music.

  7. crackdude says:

    They should put flamethrowers. Like in Alien Syndrome.

  8. Sharky says:

    I nodded along to everything until you said they could include more Sonic Characters… fuck that. They already have all the good ones the others are obscure rubbish and every Sonic Character they include could mean one less other Sega series.

    I agree with pretty much all else, The battle modes need to be less an after thought… More levels, more interesting level designs… more modes and of course online play is a must.

  9. For the Sonic characters, I mentioned them as it's realistic. If a sequel to a Sonic & SEGA Racing game would release, then there is no doubt that they'd add more Sonic characters. At the very least, they could leave out Silver, Blaze and Cream or have them off on the sides of the track. I would be all for Fang on his yellow hover bike.

  10. CrazyTails says:

    Awesome article. Man you're whole article reeks of fangasm. SUMO should make it happen

  11. Autosaver says:

    "LESS VERSIONS"

    You mean, the majority of the market that bought the first game? Ok, great idea.

    Every point was perfect, except the last one. That was the shittiest one on the list.

  12. Well, if Sumo can produce a game like the one I detailed above AND make a Wii version, I'll be all for it! I just recall S0L making it sound as though certain things needed to be held back on in order to make the game similar for all four consoles. The DS version should definitely be dropped. I prefer they go all out and utilize the best possible hardware.

    Were it HD exclusive, 360's are so inexpensive now that Wii owners could easily make the upgrade by the time a SASASR2 arrives.

  13. ShadiWulf says:

    I agree with everything.

    Would love some PSO and NiGHTS tracks to race on =P

  14. Sega Uranus says:

    SARS was a good game, but it is one of the worst representations of SEGA I have ever seen… Especially in a game that is supposed to be all about SEGA's history, it just completely falls on it's face. I mean really, no SEGA race tracks? Not even a song? Would it really have been that frickin hard to put in Big Forest from Virtua Racing at the very least? Come on…

    I really could not agree more with a wider variety of race tracks though.

    But your suggestions are kind of weird. I can understand they need to reuse assets, but outside of Sonic I think it should be one track per IP. I could understand maybe Monkey Ball or Yakuza having multiple tracks… Maybe, but otherwise it is wasted on strange niche stuff. Barely anyone cares about Panzer Dragoon anymore, sadly.

    But of course you need to mix it up, and with that I would say a sequel REALLY needs an influx of non-Dreamcast characters, as well as having more than three females. Where is Arle? Bayonetta? Alis Landale? Hell, I would even take some obscure character like Arsha and Pepe to even it out.

    I know a big reason the game sold at all was because of the Sonic characters, but if they really want to make the cast take up so much spaces, then just make a Sonic game separately or something. Sonic and Robotnik are the only entirely necessary characters, and fans should have to vote for one or two more.

    The items thing is also a big issue… But what pisses me off the most is that some of the weapons ARE actually designed around some SEGA stuff, some are literal direct copies of stuff from Zero Gravity. I am serious. What a waste of everyones time.

    For instance, there is absolutely no reason in the world Chu Chus should be playable. Just make them an item instead.

    The biggest point you should have made was cut down on the Sonic Team, especially crap like Billy Hatcher and Sonic Heroes stuff.

  15. Sega Uranus says:

    Just off the top of my head:

    Instead of that stupid rainbow or ink stuff, just have a camp fire from Golden Axe that brings in a bunch of 2D gnomes that cover the screen running everywhere. How cool would that have been?? I thought that up in seconds, was it really so hard for SUMO?

    Also, Heart Attack Mode, where are you?!

  16. Kori-Maru says:

    As long as Sakura Shinguji and Joe Musashi make it in. I'm down and a Daytona USA and Sega Super GT track.

  17. Wonks says:

    In defense of the Wii and DS, S&SASR sold better on those two platforms than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions: about 70,000 – Wii; 55,000 – DS; 40,000 PS3; 35,000 – Xbox360 according to VGChartz (I know people have their issues with the site, it's the best thing we have to giving at least a rough estimate of sales). While there's no denying the Wii version, for instance, suffered from inferior graphics and online play, along with a few gameplay cuts compared to it's counterparts, the Wii was where Sega made their money with this particular title. They have the Mario Kart fanbase (and the like) to try to appeal to. Other than that, I enjoyed the article, and can't disagree with much else. What's hopeful about S&SASR was that it included so much, and yet a potential sequel still has so much room to grow.

  18. AshleyAshes says:

    Need's SystemLink support. Online is cool but give us some LAN. Lemme hook up some Xbox's on a router, then give them all Racing wheels and HDTVs and let me pretend that I'm in the days of linked arcade games agian! 🙁 It's not that hard to include LAN modes if you gave it online modes!

  19. nuckles87 says:

    Well, actually, the tracks are rather different on the DS version. Haven't played the Wii version, but the HD versions didn't really feel held back. But eh, if it results in a better game, I'd be all for it.

  20. ROJM says:

    You should have said include more of Sega's characters overall not just the recent characters that appeared on the last two sega systems.

    One of the reason why a game like Capcom vs is great for fans is because they include the legendary, the popular and the obscure characters in their games.

    I'd like to see more Sega of America characters like Vector Man or Decap attack's chuck D head and Sega's second party characters like the Gunstar heroes or even bayonetta.

  21. kozmo says:

    Something that hasn't come up which I missed from the first SARS was the option for a manual gearbox. But then i'm a pretty big motor racing fan, so i would say that. As for other versions of a potentail sequel, i'd have to take issue there since i bought my copy for wii. The wii really is starved for decent racing games so that market shouldn't be ignored. Althought o be fair the only reason i bought it for wii was because i didn't have another current console at the time it came out.

    Never really bother with battle modes, never much cared for them really. I buy a racing game because i want to go racing, i wouldn't miss it if these features were dropped altogether. Bigger grids would be nice though. All characters on track at the same time, anyone?

    The soundtrack really needs to be addressed too. Whilst all the music included in the first deserved its place imo, there's plenty more that needs to be there- off the top of my head i'd have magical sound shower, the hang-on theme, getting muddy from sega rally, sky high from daytona usa and maybe something from scud race. Really spoilt for choice on that front, so someone's favourite's always going to get left out.

  22. Axxidous says:

    Agree on everything except the last.

    While focussing on one version would be a little nicer, it wouldn't be enough to sacrifice Wii-only owners from being able to play the game. I prefer when multiple consoles have a game. I just hate when each version as something cool the others don't… Maybe if all 3 had all the cool content. lol

    And the second-to-last, I don't really AGREE but I don't disagree. It's not important to me but I'm not against it. lol

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