Kart racing has long been a popular game genre, with Mario Kart currently leading the pack. That’s not to say that there are not any equally enjoyable kart racing games out there, with games such as Activision’s Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled and now, Sega’s Team Racing Sonic.
Developed by Sumo Digital, Team Racing Sonic is the latest kart racing game featuring Sega’s iconic blue hedgehog. It offers players the chance to go fast in either single-player modes or compete as a team to be the first through the finishing line.
The game comes with an adventure mode complete with a whole narrative for players to follow, though we often found ourselves skipping the story to go straight to the racing. As is the norm for most story modes, there will be objectives for players to clear, such as getting first place with your team or successfully performing a team ultimate. If you are new to the game, fret not as the games come with loads of tips and guides peppered throughout the game, usually on the loading screens. Sometimes the tips might randomly flash mid-race which can be jarring, especially when you’re all fired up from racing.
That said, the game does not come with a tutorial so it’s still good that the game offers you tips every now and then or else you’ll be left figuring out what an item does through trial and error. In its defence, the game is fairly easy to pick up, being pretty similar to most other kart racing games. Players will just have to take time to figure out what each power-up item does, as well as familiarise themselves with the many bright and colourful maps in the game. Here’s a (fairly obvious) pro-tip – the more familiar one if with the map, the easier it’ll be to breeze past the finishing line in the first place.
Team Racing Sonic is also rather unpredictable as till the racers are past the finishing line, you never really know how the match will end. Someone in the last place can very well end up in the top three with some skilful use of their items, and if they are in a team match, they can also rely on their Team Ultimate to edge in front of their competitors. In the same vein, someone in the first place can also end up close to the last, if they assume that they can take things easy now that they’re in the front.
In team matches, your victory status is determined by the cumulative score of the whole team. Hence even though you get first place, if your two other teammates ended up in 11th and 12th place, you’re pretty much screwed. Likewise, someone in last place can be ‘carried’ to the top if he has two other teammates that perform exceeding well.
In the spirit of Sonic the Hedgehog and going fast, the game has a number of ways to help you ‘go fast’. As mentioned, the game has a number of items that helps to boost your speed, there is also the Team Ultimate which is an additional skill available to teams in multi-player and adventure mode. Aside from that, performing tricks is another way players can get a small speed boosts, though be careful as if not performed right, will just result in you stopping for a short while.
Another big plus for Sonic Team Racing is the fact that every playable character, as well as their cosmetic upgrades, will be available for players right from the start. The only exception is with adventure mode, as this mode follows a story where you will get to unlock characters as you proceed with the story. It’s in the other game modes such as Grand Prix and Time Trial where players will get to use the other 12 characters beyond Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. Now we just need the meme-ified versions of Sonic characters to make an appearance in the game. Imagine how fun (or annoying) it’ll be playing as Ugandan Knuckles.
While playing the game, you might notice that the rewards offered by the game are not meaningly or useful in any way, and you barely get anything beyond a pat on the back for getting first place. This reduces the replayability of the game, with nothing to incentivise players to come back for more matches against the AI. The only way to really have the most fun from this game is to compete against your friends in local split-screen mode, or competing against others online.
Overall, Team Racing Sonic breaks no new boundaries as a team kart racing game but remains a fun and interesting game to play every now and then. Instead, it chooses to rely mostly on its team racing feature to give players something new to try. Just be sure to stick close to your team to help each other out and you’ll be sure to win lots of matches. It might not be an excellent top-tier game, but it is certainly, at the very least, a good one.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
It might not push or break any barrier but Team Racing Sonic is still an overall fun and enjoyable kart racing game. Definitely recommended for any fans of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Gameplay - 8/10
Story - 6.5/10
Presentation - 8/10
Value - 7.5/10