Team Sonic Racing is an arcade racer which pits Sonic characters against each other in team races. Does this racer get off to a false start or will it rubber-band into the lead ahead of Mario Kart? Start your engines and let’s find out.
2’s a company but in Team Sonic Racing, 3’s a team
While you control only one cart at a time, you are never alone out on the track. 2 AI or player controlled characters are there to race against other teams of 3 and throw everything the arsenal has to offer at each other. Added on to this the team member who is furthest ahead leaves a boost trail behind them, which can be used by the other two team members to pick up the pace.
The final feature that sets this game apart is that you can share items and you should because that fills the team boost meter. When ignited, it will give the whole team a massive speed boost that is unmatched by all other types in the game. Using this strategically can make the difference between having the highest overall team score or not.
Everyone is there, in teams
Or at least I think so. Seeing that I am a Nintendo-Kid/Grownup and have dabbled in Sonic games here and there the main cast is familiar, but most of the 15 available characters will only be recognisable for Sonic veterans. There are three types of racer classes: speed (fastest characters, for example, Sonic), technique (immune to hazards for a limited time, for example, Tails), and power (breaks through obstacles and gets more powerful power-ups, for example, Knuckles). I mostly chose Sonic, because… you know… who else?! Although I have always been fond of Tails.
There are 21 tracks within Team Sonic Racing including some returning ones from Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. These tracks are split across seven zones and based on locations from main Sonic games. A great addition to the “usual” modes Grand Prix, Time Trial and Exhibition modes is the Team Adventure mode.
Here players get to experience all tracks and modes within a fairly decently written and presented story. Each race has stars, which can be earned by completing certain objectives, which adds some replay value. Multiplayer mode works great off- and online. I only played with randoms, also sometimes it took a while to find a race because the teams need to be filled by one version of each teams character.
Random cart customisation
This to me is the biggest downfall of the game. All cart customisations are random and need to be purchased using in-game currency earned by competing in the races. While I did get a few parts for the Sonic cart, I did earn many parts for characters I would probably never play. So the excitement quickly died down. Maybe this game in combination with Mortal Kombat 11 will make the games industry put a massive “Finish him!” on this type of item drop randomiser.
Team Sonic Racing is a really well-designed arcade racer which provides some unique selling points. Overall it does fall short to Mario Kart 8 and Diddy Kong Racing, but if you are a die-hard fan of Sonic and the gang, then that podium may change. I am looking forward to many more hours of fun putting the peddle to the metal.
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