Friday, November 30, 2012

More Sonic All-Stars Racing Stuff

It was a bad, bad day...but nevertheless, more Sega All-Stars Racing stuff!!!


About the difficulty patch.  Well, I'm not upset.  If it makes the game more accessible to people then fine.  I know it's cool to think "boohoo, they're pandering to casuals" but any way they can get more people to buy the game is fine by me. know what.  I didn't realize this until a week ago.  And that is the name of the game is NOT Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing: Transformed.  It's Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed.  They took the "Sega" part out of the title and I didn't even know it.  Whatever, I will still call it "Sega All-Stars Racing" since I'm sick and tired of this "it's a Sanic gaem" bulls***.  Sega made three racing games in recent history with nothing but Sonic characters in them.  It's called Sonic Riders.  So quit trying to apply the Sonic Cycle or some crap like that to Sega All-Stars Racing already, sheesus.

HOW TO DO A FAST START.  Basically, follow this diagram that looks like a .wav file in a sound editor.  Just as the announcer begins to say a number (and when the screen goes black), tap the gas pedal (to correspond with the colors).  The exhaust flames should go from red to purple to blue to signal you're doing it correctly.  Then simply slam on the gas when he says go.  It's not tricky like Daytona USA's boost start (hold the gas at 6500 rpm's) so this one can be learned after a couple of tries.  NOTE the fast start applies with all three vehicles.  Even if you're playing Sky Sanctuary or NiGHTS levels, you can still do the fast start as the plane is rolling ahead (though there's no fade to help with the timing).

I'll probably post more tips later...I'm trying to get as much stuff off my mind now.

And another thing and I'll go ahead and say this.  Thank GOD for Joystiq.  I mean it, this site is 1,000,000,000 times better than Kotaku which blows ass.  They post a favorable review of the game (4.5 of 5 stars) as well as a link to the DLC character petition thread.  Screw you Kotaku, go post another story about an old man who took his pants off at a Japanese arcade, or something.

Also, I'm reading Sumo Digital's "Ask me questions" thread and I accrued a bit of knowledge.  Stupid stuff but here's something.  Originally, the Ages character was meant to be more than just the Hornet/Afterburner Jet/Dreamcast controller combo.  The Hornet would be one of many land vehicles such as the bike from Super Hang-On (in other words, every time you transformed to a land vehicle, you would get a random vehicle).  But memory reasons took that out so they stuck with just the Hornet.  That would've sucked since I like the Hornet and want to play as it all the time (not knocking the Super Hang-On bike).

Also there was going to be Phantasy Star and Crazy Taxi tracks but because of the space and city themes already in place (Sonic Colors and Jet Set Radio), they were cut.  Kind of sucks since there's many Sega franchises that hardly got any representation (I don't count obscure holograms from Race of Ages) but what can you do about it.

BTW, Alex Kidd is in the game.  Set your console clocks to Dec. 25 or later and he instantly becomes playable.  Not making this up.  Free DLC, thanks Sumo!

One more thing.  If you check out the license stickers, they have different names.  One is called "Scud Racer."  Another is called "Power Edition!"  I take it those are referring to Scud Race and Daytona 2: Power Edition, respectively.  I swear, with all these Sega racing references peppered throughout these Sumo games, I'm being teased left and right.  If they go make a Daytona USA 3 game without me, I'm going to go home and lock myself in a dark closet and regret I wasn't born earlier.

COMPLAINING TIME!  That is not to say the game is bad (it's great), but here are some things about the game I don't get:

1. No speedometer in the game.  I asked S0L why this is and his response was it was distracting and hard to get a scale of the world you're in anyway.  Personally, I think a speedometer would've helped a lot in determining how fast boosts carry you and what's the optimal boost pattern but eh...not having one in a racing game kind of sucks for me.

2. I don't get these mirrored tracks.  I know backwards tracks are out since nearly all of them are impossible to do in reverse (anything with a cliff/ramp of sorts).  But the way the game treats mirrored tracks as their own course when they're the same exact thing but you turn left instead of right (and vice versa), c'mon man.  There's 21 tracks in this game, not 42.  Racing backwards would be a challenge but racing mirrored is just meant to annoy you and if I could, I would never do a mirrored race seriously.  Yeah, that's my opinion.  Mirrored tracks also irritated me in Daytona USA XBLA but the game's still great so no deduction to the review score.

3. Also on the topic of time trials, why can't you race any of the three laps on any track?  For instance, the first, second, and third laps of Burning Depths (now my favorite track since everyone but me sucks at it and I like the music) are completely different but you can only time trial the third lap.  I know the water level changes but I don't see how hard it would be to disable the trigger so you keep doing the first/second lap over and over again.  Also see the Skies of Arcadia, Sky Sanctuary, Jet Set Radio levels...can't choose which track variation you like!  Oh well, S0L said some stuff about fewer options in this game...because the menus get cluttered and they have to test them all for quality.  Understandable.

4. Wish the game had different music to choose from.  Hearing the same song on each track kind of sucks after a while.

5. Also don't really like the slot machine "Bonus Chance" thing.  I seldom win (about 30% of the time) and when I do, the reward is hardly worth it (start with a free item).  Understandable, but I don't like how the tracks are scattered with coins which are basically useless in the long run...they're there to tease distract you from the current race you're on for what--a free ice cube at the start of the next race?  FYI, the max amount of coins you can have is 99 so once you've reached it, you might as well start using them.  They work for Grand Prix AND Online Races...

This thing's purpose: to teach kids the danger of gambling addiction.

6. Okay, sooooo...ONLINE PLAY!  At last, I get to show the world my skills (or lack thereof).  All I have to say is prepare for the s*** to hit the fan cause you're gonna get abused with ice cubes, tornadoes, and RC-XD's.  You thought playing against Expert CPU's was bad, here you're caught in a mosh.  Anyway, I'm playing as MeeMee (who sucks but I'm trying to level up all the characters) and collision physics get wonky at times...get hit by another guy and I get airborne in places you shouldn't.  Okay, I can live with that.  

But the ultimate WTF moment was when I was MeeMee on Roulette Road.  I handily completed my three laps about 15+ seconds ahead of the second place guy (I was pissed off and wanted to win).  However, I still kept driving.  Eventually the 30-second clock came on and time ran out.  The game said I DNF'ed and I lost 100 points off my rating.  Really now?

Also, two more funtastic moments as MeeMee, both on Graffiti City.  In the middle part of the track with the boosters on the ramps, well I got hit with a swarm just before the ramp and fell into a crack to my doom.  Okay, that sucks but it happens.  Anyway, I spawn in front of the boost ramp, hit it, but don't get enough speed to land the jump so I fall down AGAIN.  Sucks to be me!  Second part is on the downhill portion after the helicopter.  There's a swarm again and I hit one which is inevitable because the track is so narrow here.  I get stuck dangling on the pointy ledge as I floor it but can't move at all.  So guess what kids...time to commit suicide.  Back up into the pit, die, and respawn.  Wasted twelve seconds on this part too.  What a piece of s***.  I ALWAYS get in the flukiest wrecks too, I swear.

Other than that, to win you need to know the tracks inside and out (hence the numerous practice you got through World Tour mode), know how to use the items, and pray for a little luck while you're at it too.

7. Speaking of online play, the All-Star moves are a tad bit ridiculous.  There's some luck involved--if you happen to get one (and you seldom do) then you can get a nice boost.  But if you get one in second or third place, it can propel you into first with a cushy lead.  Kind of stupid, not as broken as the blue shells though.

8. I still don't get the Race of Ages track.  Is this what the inside of a Dreamcast looks like?  The land part is fairly "epic" as you're trying not to fall although there's no change in scenery there.  The air part of the track is way too vacant and straightforward, plus there's no Sega holograms there.  The water part is the coolest but I think the holograms are a cheap way to cover all of Sega's fan service bases.  Oh look, a statue of Ryo Hazuki.  Another statue of the Chu Chu's.  Another statue of Bonanza Bros. but all that does is make me sad they're not playable characters...  But that's just me.  I'm not feeling the level as much as others I guess.  Sonic Riders had some nostalgic stages like the Boulevard levels which do the old Sega vibe slightly better IMO. 

9. Menus are a tad bit slow to navigate through but w/e.  It can get annoying as it takes a few more seconds than usual to restart a failed mission...

10. Why is NiGHTS the car and not the driver???  Also, why doesn't Gilius's "car" have a steering wheel???

That's about it, game is fun, everyone please buy it if you haven't already.  Game sales are a bit underwhelming at the moment so go buy the damn game if you haven't already.  Wait for the Christmas rush to kick in--hope Sega is advertising the damn game.  Also those Model 2 fighting games we talked about earlier miraculously made their way state-side so that's good too, check 'em out if you need to beat the crap out of other polygonal players.

Damn, I'm still unemployed and I hate this NFL bulls***...I miss NASCAR.  Haters gonna hate...


  1. I think the game is absolutely awesome and I've got a lot of enjoyment out of it so far, but I also have a couple of minor issues with it I'd like to get off my chest.

    Firstly, the character roster; The inclusion of Gillius Thunderhead, Joe Mushasi, Alex Kidd and, of course, the Hornet/F-14 is brilliant, but there were so many other characters from Sega's back-catalog they could've included (i.e. Wonderboy, Opa Opa, the dude from Space Harrier, Death Adder, Some of the Streets of Rage or Virtua Fighter guys, Dynamite Dux an actual Dragon from Panzer Dragoon) instead of some of the other non-entities that actually made it, like Pudding, Shadow, Ralph and Amy. I suppose it doesn't really affect the gameplay, but as a nod to the old-school Sega contingent (i.e. old bastards in their late thirties like me) it would've been nice.

    My second issue is; Would it have been too hard to make the game 60 fps instead of 30? The whole lack of 60 fps racing games on this generation of consoles baffles me. The few that do run at this frame rate just look so much nicer for it (I'm thinking Wipeout HD, Outrun Online Arcade, Ridge Racer 7 - hell even F-Zero GX and that was a last generation game) and, I reckon, look noticeably so much faster. I think it's one of the main things that always set arcade racing games apart from home consoles in the past. There's a huge amount of detail and stuff going on in Sonic Transformed in all the tracks, so I genuinely don't know if it would be pushing the limits of this generation's consoles too much to expect it to run at 60 fps, but I get the feeling developers just aren't even trying anymore.

    The third thing (and this is really just nit picking now); Sonic has got one of those whiney Disney prince-esque voices that just makes me want to punch the TV. Honestly, it's like nails on a blackboard. I played through most of the World Tour as Metal Sonic though so this wasn't too much of a bug bear though...

    Oh, and it would be nice if there were an option to let you listen to the game's BGM in the front menu's options. There's some truly excellent re-imaging of some old-school sega game music in there and some really cool original stuff as well. I personally really dig the whole dubstep and drum and bass feel a lot of the tunes have got.

    But yeah, minor gripes aside, this game is brilliant. Go get it people!

  2. Hi Mr. Thunderwing. Thanks for replying, here's my response:

    Characters -- About the "bubble" characters (those that deserve to be there the least), they still have a purpose. Shadow and Amy aren't as liked as the other Sonic characters but bear in mind, this game has "Sonic" in the title. Sonic characters sell. Six Sonic characters out of 25 isn't too bad. If Sumo replaced Shadow or Amy with, say, the Space Harrier guy, I'm fairly certain a large amount of players would flip out.

    As for the extra characters like MeeMee and Pudding, yes they hardly deserve it but the game needs more female characters. These two clones probably took little effort to add to the game so it's not like removing MeeMee & Pudding would equal Space Harrier guy and Streets of Rage guy. And Ralph is in-game advertising so I can't complain.

    Also there will be plenty of IPs that hardly get any attention. Space Harrier, Streets of Rage, Phantasy Star, Virtua Fighter, Shenmue, Bonanza Bros., ChuChu Rocket, Fighting Vipers, etc. However, a triple-A studio can only create so much content in a year or two and some games go stiffed. Unlike the first game, each character/track needs more assets than usual--need a boat & plane for each character, need more than one path to travel for changing laps. Go complain to DarthS0L or better yet, fill out one of those petitions...expect some Hatsune Miku, Segata, & Ryo DLC :D

    FPS -- I agree about 60 FPS being better. The thing that prevents this is the boat physics. Fluid physics is very expensive. As for the rest of the graphics, I would gladly peel back the graphics quality a bit for faster gameplay but in today's world, shiny graphics sell more than anything so as long as it runs at consistent 30 FPS, it's the best overall option for us racing diehards and graphic whores. But from what I heard, the PC version can run at 60 FPS if your computer is good enough. So go buy that one when it comes out.

    Voices -- Ah, the voices...Sonic sounds pretty bad. Other characters like Shadow and the TF2 guys don't even sound the same either. I guess Sumo/Sega was too cheap to hire the original VA's? You got me there.

    Music -- More music is good, even if it's not a Richard Jacques remix.

    Yeah, that's it...good post.

  3. I wondered if the PC version might support 60 fps. I'm pretty certain my PC's got enough horsepower under the hood to run it full speed, but having shelled out for the game once already I probably wouldn't want to pay for it again (and the thought of having to get up to 165 stars again, if I did get it, is enough to turn me into a gibbering wreck of a man). I'm hoping a demo will come out for Steam so I can have a try for free and see if it really does look noticeably better than the onsole versions.

  4. When this game comes to Steam (I don't know why not...Sega store on Steam, Football Manager, Total War, TF2 characters), then maybe you'll get it cheap at one of these sales. Seriously though, I've heard the PC version can do 60 FPS if your computer is good enough. Maybe you can download a save game that'll give you 232 stars so you can start tearing it up online as the Hornet with the console mod.

  5. Heheh...the reason they dropped SEGA from the title was because of Danica Patrick and Ralph - there's more than one company/person/whatevers being represented in ASRT.
    And they keep the "Sonic &" prefix presumably to get the Sonic fans in on the act more than they would have if they just heard SEGA (especially the younger ones). In other words, marketing strategy - the Sonic base is clearly the bigger demographic than the ones who know about the SEGA Superstars/All-Stars series in total.

    And a note about guess is that SEGA Superstars was changed to All-Stars because Super Star is Mario's schtick.

  6. Yeah, that's what I figured. But the presence of Danica & Ralph out of 25 character merits just "All-Stars" in general? I know Sonic elicits a more positive response out of the fans...see "Sega Superstars Tennis" which did poorly and compare it to "Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing" which did better. It's just a name, call it "Ponypuff Princess Adventures" and I'll still buy it.

    1. Of course, being one of the more knowledgeable people in the fanbase, it's the content that counts.
      Still, the marketing strategy is to get as many people as possible on it - so appealing to those who don't pay attention to the details is also key, and why the Sonic name is chosen for the game.

      If I were to take a guess about ASRT's lack of SEGA in the title, it might have to be because they promoted said guest characters with their own spotlights leading up to the game's release.

      And if we're going to be smart, the game should be "Sonic & (mostly) SEGA All-Stars Racing Transformed".

    2. Yeah, the name is nonsensical enough as it is..."Sonic And All-Stars Racing: Transformed." I just call it "Sega All-Stars Racing 2." BTW, you must be the first commenter to use the actual "Reply" feature, ha.

  7. How's the difficulty as compared to the first game? Cause I found that pretty easy for a kart racer.

    1. Lots of people said the first was too easy, second was too hard. Take what you will from it...