Team Sonic Racing is a bold choice of game as the go cart style cartoon racing genre is very much owned by the Mario Kart series. That’s also taking into account that the last Mario Kart was a port from the Wii U to the Switch and the next one is set to be released on Mobile phones.
Over a few years Sumo Digital have built up a trust and skill by making their own series using the Sonic & Sega universe of characters. Along the way we’ve had the fun “Sonic and Sega All-Star Racing” and the brilliant “Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed” which took big risks with morphing tracks as you raced in amazing transforming vehicles.
Team Sonic Racing takes the fun of those games and strangely strips it back rather than making it bigger. It’s yet another interesting design choice but one that pays off as it concentrates on team based playing to get your win. This is extremely vital in the modern gaming environment that seems to have more and more emphasis on team multiplayer gameplay.
To break it down let’s say you come 1st in the match but your teammates are 5th and 6th while the opposition team come 2nd, 3rd and 4th, then the win will go to them. It uses a point based system starting with 15 points for a win and dropping from there. This means you have to be switched on for the whole race so that you don’t let your team down and make use of the co op specials in order to rise up the ranks in a race. If you don’t like the sound of that you can always play in one of the single player modes, but you won’t get the same feeling of accomplishment after all its called Sonic TEAM racing.
The story mode helps you to unlock more characters as you play your way through it and even though the story seems fairly basic, (perhaps targeted at younger gamers), the gameplay and various game types throughout keep you on your toes. If you played Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed then you’ll be super familiar with many of the aspects of this mode. Some of the missions are going to take you multiple times to get the highest points possible so you can unlock more cool stuff, but that’s really what these types of games are about, failing over and over to get better.
The variety of characters is a bit of a disappointment, especially when compared to the “All Stars” of previous titles. It makes sense I guess as younger gamers won’t really know who some of the old Sega characters are, and with a Sonic Movie out this year it’s all about highlighting brand “Sonic”. What it lacks in choice of player it makes up for in spades with the track selections and car modifications that you earn throughout the game.
It’s really hard to not compare this game to Mario Kart but as far as this genre of racing game goes Sonic Team Racing does a really good job of being a truly satisfying experience and at no point does it feel like a poor imitation. The other bonus is you can get this on consoles other than Nintendo which means Xbox and Playstation players have a really great arcade racer that you can play with your friends at a really good price point.
Team Sonic Racing is a game worth having in your collection with great replay-ability and a brilliant party feel.
9 out of 10
(pictures supplied by 5 Star Games, story originally appeared on website and republished with permission)