E3 2012: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Hands-On

Whether you like or hate Danica Patrick, every SEGA fan has to be happy with the overall line up revealed for SEGA’s upcoming racer. Vyse, Gilius, Joe Musashi, not to mention stages from Golden Axe and Panzer Dragoon make this game the best SEGA mascot mash up made in eons.

If the newer E3 build is any indication, development for ASRT has progressed splendidly since the press briefing back in April. The frame rate has smoothed out and chugs far less, and while it still isn’t perfect, it is very quickly getting there.
The new items on display are also a step up. The ice item from the last demo is now a rapid fire weapon, allowing the player to fire three dumbie fire shots in quick succession and cover racers in ice. A catcher’s mitt has now replaced the green shield from the last game and instead of just deflecting weapons, it catches them and allows the player to throw them back! Finally, the homing rocket of the last game has been replaced with a miniature RC car of the character firing it. These weapons represent exactly what the weapons of the original ASR lacked: creativity. They are more than just analogs for Mario Kart weapons, they are original weapons with their own attributes.

Everyone’s seen the Golden Axe level, and it’s as cool to play as it looks. The course focuses mostly on boating and flying, though the road sections have plenty of paths with tight turns that wind under and over one another. The flight areas provide far more things to crash into as well, and some nice opportunities to pull off cool tricks. Perhaps some of you have seen the giant monster in the flight area? You can fly through its mouth. You can also fly through the flames in the hands of the giant skeleton. Both tricks are difficult to pull off and reward the racer with an item box. The boating areas don’t offer much new in the way of difficulty, though the lava doesn’t produce quite as many waves as the water areas in the Panzer Dragoon or Monkey Ball stages.

Finally, we have the new racer, Joe Musashi. For a character from a franchise renowned for superb controls, he is surprisingly touchy. The controls for Musashi are very sensitive, making it very easy to oversteer and crash into walls or drive off the track, though Sumo did say they were still tweaking the controls. Given ninjas are known for their quick reflexes, it would make sense that Musashi’s controls are more sensitive, though only time can tell whether or not there is any inherit benefit to using him.

Overall, Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed is progressing well and the character line up continues to shape up into one of the best SEGA All-Star casts to grace a game since SEGAGAGA. With Musashi and Vyse confirmed, and Panzer Dragoon getting a stage, there are only a few more franchises I hope to see represented. How about some Segata Sanshiro, NiGHTS, and Ristar Sumo? Come on, you know you want them too!


10 responses to “E3 2012: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Hands-On

  1. Pao says:

    From the videos, it looked like the tracks… were.. hm, how should I put it? don’t have a lot of curvy turns like in the original game? I felt there was a lot of straight roads and the turns were only slightly curved, did you notice that in your playthrough?

    They better not remove Jacky and Akira… also Ryo.

    I hope there is a Skies of Arcadia track and a Fantasy Zone track, especially Fantasy Zone.

  2. Kori-Maru says:

    The tracks looks a lot more wider than the last game judging from the playthroughs.

    I also hope they keep Ryo, Jacky, and Akira in the game. In fact, I wish they included Sakura Shinguji and Segata Sanshiro in the game for fans/players to acknowlege the rich history of Sega from around the world.

    Other than that I want to get my chance at Joe Musashi at Sonic Boom.

  3. radrappy says:

    “These weapons represent exactly what the weapons of the original ASR lacked: creativity.”


    no no no! What was wrong with the weapons was that they were GENERIC and weren’t sega at all. They could have been from any kart racer ever. And now that they’ve removed the green shield, they’ve removed the ONLY sega specific item from the last game. You know why the mario kart items rock? They’re from actual games. Why couldn’t they have done that here? It’s a great way to include even MORE throw backs. Poorly played Sumo. Poorly played.

    • nuckles87 says:

      Well, no, from a game play stand point what they lacked was CREATIVITY. Or they were generic, either way they just weren’t creative. What good would it do them to be SEGA themed if they were just Mario Kart analogs?

      This game already has plenty of fan service. I’d rather they make good weapons than weapons that need to be tethered to a SEGA IP.

    • radrappy says:

      in a racer based on a wonderfully rich heritage as this one is, it’s practically a crime not to include game specific weapons. An RC car? Unless it’s a reference to toy commander that shit belongs in mod nation racers.

      I suppose what they need is to be both creative and sega specific. But it looks like they’ve only addressed one of those concerns. And I don’t see how a snowball is so creative, or how the rc car isn’t still just the red shell functionally.

  4. Richard says:

    still no announcement of my nights 🙁

    wheres the love ?

  5. I hope that the weapons have a lot more creativity this time around.

    I would like to see all of the original characters from the first game return and these new characters all look great. Throw in Nights and The Hornet from Daytona USA and somehow integrate the hornet as a boat and a plane and I’m Sold.

    I really hope that the game has some refrences to Sega’s history with racing games (I.E. Daytona USA, Scud Race, Sega Rally etc.)

    Overall I think that this game is gonna shape up to be a pretty solid sequel to ASR.

  6. SkyBlue says:

    I hope that there are more weapons rather then worrying about them being generic.

    The first poster is right…if there aren’t as many twists and turns then the racer may not be as fun.

    Still awaiting that Valkyria track SUMO!

  7. Kesh says:

    Dumbest thing they did is when they decided to drop the ‘SEGA’ in the title.
    Does Sega feel no pride or faith in their own name any more?

  8. Kesh says:

    And why is Ryo, Nights and Segata Sanshiro.
    Is the list final?

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