Saturday, November 24, 2012

232 Stars, IT CAN BE DONE (All-Stars Racing Is Too Hard)

232 Stars.  Beat all the Grand Prix cups in 1st on Expert.  It's not impossible, people.  It only took me three days though most of it was grinding (being forced to play similar missions repeatedly).


The end of the World Tour, Thank God


When you get the last mod, the credits play again.  Hey, that's Steve and Gareth.  I know you, please hire me and we can work on Sega Racers Megamix!!!  Please reply to my e-mails!!!  DAMMIT!!!

Now, if there's one thing that has people fuming about the game, it's that the game is too hard on the hardest difficulties.  And not "hard" but just plain cheap.  Like the AI rubber-bands your ass and has 100% accuracy with weapons.  But this is a case of "you don't know what I've experienced, I saw X and Y happen, you can't dispute that."  And as usual, we draw up different conclusions about the game's AI and there's apparently NOTHING that we could do, say, or show that would change each other's minds.  But I'm going to say what I have to say anyway.

I question this claim the AI is broken because of the following:

* If these people claim to have witnessed rubber-banding on Expert, then how the hell did they even get into 1st place with an insurmountable lead for the AI to overcome?  Play a Cruis'n or Fast & Furious game in arcades and tell me that's not true rubber-banding.

* Because you get hit by a bunch of items doesn't mean the game's automatically broken.  SURPRISE, I've played the first game online as Jacky Bryant and have gone through streaks of being pinballed by all sorts of items thrown at me and I drop to last.  So the AI decides to fight fire with fire and all of a sudden, that's cheap?  For that reason, you're not 100% guaranteed to win any race because of the item aspect of the game.  You may get a Level 3 Boost, shot by an ice cube, fall into a pit, AAAAND IT'S GONE.  That's part of the game.  Go play Forza with ghosts on (can't hit each other).

* But maybe I'm too good at the game or something so I'm underestimating the game's difficulty.  I really don't claim to be a racing game pro like some think I am.  But I do "okay" to "good" at them.  Forza online is a hit-or-miss--I always lose to pros who play the game non-stop and have the best tuning setups.  I'm not close to getting WR's in Daytona 1/2 or Outrun 2.  Haven't even gotten into F-Zero GX for difficulty reasons.  And then there's Gran Turismo's licence tests.  So I'm playing GT4 and I want to unlock the Dome Zero and the Model T but I can't get all golds on the I-A and S license tests.  POLYPHONY DIGITAL BROKE THE GAME, IT'S TOO HARD...

* And even if the AI cheats...well, so what?  Some good games do this like Civilization V.  On harder levels, the AI starts with extra settlers, technologies, and happiness bonuses (to make up for the fact your CPU isn't Deep Blue).  In SASRT, it's possible to beat the game.  I did it, many others did it.  Each mission isn't an automatic win but if you perform well enough over a period of time, the ball will eventually bounce your way and you'll win. If this game were entirely luck based, then anyone can win but no, that's not happening. You will be forced to "know" the tracks and improve your technique. Sorry that it hurts to say for some people. You didn't start out playing Daytona USA or Outrun finishing in first from the start?  This has to be the first racing game in years where the AI doesn't just lay down and die and a few are apparently butt-hurt by that.

* Worst-case scenario.  If you are stuck in World Tour, then STOP PLAYING IT.  Go play something else and come back when you get better then you'll beat that mission on your first or second try.  I guarantee it.  And once you've unlocked all the characters you want, then you don't have to play that mode anymore!

Review-wise, the game is going good.  Still hovering in that 8-9 range which doesn't merit me going on rants.  But there's one review that sticks out (and really isn't even a review), it's the Kotaku article which answers the question "Should you play this game?" with a resounding NO.  Oh God, here we go again.  The thre main reasons for this bad review are the following:

1. BAWWWW THIS GAME IS TOO HARD -- Read above.  Wait, he can't even beat a B-class race?  C'mon, man!
2. I don't like boats or planes -- Sumo goes out of the way to add two new modes of transportation as opposed to Mario Kart's "look I'm driving on the bottom of a lake" and it sucks.
3. Track layouts don't require knowledge -- Try playing any racing game on tracks you've never seen before like Nurburgring or Complex String (from GT3).  You get better at any track you've played on multiple times.  That's common sense.

I suppose all these complaints indirectly bring up a good point and it is this--Sumo could've added a better "tutorial" to help you improve quickly.  Okay, there's always room to get better.  I'll probably drop tips in a future post.  But don't worry, Kotaku, there's always Forza and NFS to make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside which are the best racing games ever!  Funny because the media treats Sega All-Stars Racing like it's meant for "fans only" but Forza and NFS are meant for "everyone."  Bulls***, everyone should play Sega All-Stars Racing.  Seriously though, I have a few things about the game to nit-pick about but I wouldn't say "Dirty Cheating AI" is one of my main points.

...whatever, I don't have anything else to say about the difficulty.  Try playing the demo on various difficulties and if it's so difficult you want vomit (even on Easy), then don't buy it.  Otherwise, please do!  Peace out.

EDIT: Looks like DarthS0L aka Steve Lycett said that he's releasing a patch that'll tone down the game's difficulty.  So those of you worried about the game being too hard, you're in luck.  HAHA, noobs...  (jk)


  1. To be honest, I was reaching the same conclusion as others had in regards to the game's difficulty. I guess doing things in C class was too easy, B class gave me trouble, but A class could just be incredibly unforgiving. I wasn't exactly too pleased when I got to the 200 lock with just 135 stars. But looking at similar complaints, good and bad, compliments, good and bad, and Lycett's own defense, I felt rather mixed. I felt a lot of the times I wasn't playing a racing game at all, but some battle game on wheels. Getting slammed by at least five different weapons in less than five seconds, no invincibility frames, and even getting attacked by numerous weapons when I was already in last place. I will say one thing I absolutely hate is how easy you can get shoved around. Get hit by weapon, stun, someone bumps into you and knocks you off the course. I was starting to think AGES wasn't worth it.

    But then I read a couple of hints by Lycett, read this blog post, and figured I'd give it a go again. I noticed some events didn't have A-class stars, and went straight for Expert on some of them. Might as well. And somehow I breezed through some of them when I struggled on hard, and there were others I had to constantly redo, but I felt I won most races by pure luck.

    And now I've got AGES unlocked. Woo! I think one obstacle is that I was looking at this as more of a family game and approached it as such, and the first game wasn't difficult. That said, I think some of the arguments against the difficulty, being that this is advertised as something of a family and casual game, but instead has the depth of a more hardcore game, do have merit to them. I still feel that some of the difficulty is still unbalanced with unnecessary frustration at times, and I'm not really getting the sense of accomplishment with the challenge, but now I feel I'm starting to get the hang of things.

    At this point, I might as well aim for the 232 stars as well. If some patch does come along, at least I can say I got Ages before then. That's all I really cared about anyway.

  2. I don't mind challenge. I like practicing.
    I've yet to rent this game, but I'll check out the demo for now.
    Congrats on unlocking the Hornet!

  3. Hey Eric, it's Alex again here. I finally managed to get 165 stars and unlock AGES on Tuesday night. I got up to 100 doing all the B events with no problems, the next 40 or so weren't too hard doing a combination of Expert and Hard in the first two worlds, but man, those last 25 were super difficult to achieve(I was at 163 stars and suddenly found myself utterly despairing of actually managing to get those last 2. I just couldn't find any more events I thought I had a shot at completing in expert or hard). I think that now I've unlocked AGES that me and the World Tour are done now. Forget the remaining stars - I just don't think it's worth the frustration and potential broken joypads (one did get flung across the room the other night during a particularly violent bout of uncontrollable rage at once again getting screwed over in the last leg of a race on the first JSR level - luckily it didn't break). I must admit I'm curious as to what's through the 200 star gate though... Is that the final console mod or are there more challenges?

  4. Congrats on getting the Hornet guys...although some of the latter missions are definitely crap. The races weren't the hardest was the traffic attack for me.

    After the 200 star gate is two more races--a boost race at the Haunted Mansion Mirrored and a regular race at Race of Ages Mirrored. If you've made it that far, neither of them are too hard. After those two is the 232 gate which has the Ages mod (seen above). If 4 speed & 6 boost is worth beating the whole game for, well...knock yourselves out.