I'm sure you've all heard of this game and if not, where the hell have you been!! This game released in November is going head to head with Diddy Kong Racing this Christmas and is Sega's big title to be released. This game is the first game to feature Sega's mascot Sonic specifically made for the Saturn. And about time too, sure we had Sonic 3D and Sonic Jam but they were Megadrive games ported over. We all expected that the first would be a 3D Platform game like Mario 64, well it isn't, it's a racing game. A lot of people were surprised by this but the game is an excellent game which has turned out very well.
The graphics in this game are one of the best ever seen on the Saturn ( and the Playstation for that matter) Their are some graphical effects that the Playstation cannot handle. There is NO pop up at all in this game thanks to the misting affect achieved by Sonic Team. The racing is quite fast too, at a good 30 frames per second.
There are four tracks plus one hidden in this game and let me tell you something, they are huge, you can get lost very easily at the start. There are many hidden shortcuts as well as Sonic Tokens and Chaos Emeralds to collect on each track giving great lastability. There are also coins to collect so that you can get shortcuts. All of the emeralds and many of the Sonic Tokens are hidden behind these doors. Each track is like some of the zones in the Sonic games on the Megadrive and Sonic fanatics will be familiar with them straight away.
Initially you get a choice of four characters to race as: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy as well as Dr. Robotnick and 5 others to find. Sonic, Knuckles and Tails all race on foot giving them speed advantage. While Sonic can do a double jump Tails can fly for a short time and Knuckles can glide. Amy races in her car and after about every 15 seconds you get a turbo to use as she is quite slow, but unlike the other 3 she can fly over water giving a good advantage for short cuts etc. Dr. Robotnick can also fly over water in his eggy mobile as well as fire homing missiles for every 10 coins collected.
2 Player Mode
The 2 player mode in this game is one of the best I've seen in any game in my life with again no pop up, scenery loss and all the speed retained from the one player game. Things do appear more closely but thats acceptable. As well as racing around the tracks trying to beat one another, you can also play the balloon mode where each racer has to collect 5 balloons as quick as possible before the other does. This part is a lot like Sonic World in Sonic Jam only better! Options There are a huge amount of options in this game with Grand Prix mode, Two player mode (see above) and Time Attack mode which gives you an option to race the courses front and backwards. You can also play tag mode which involves you having to tag the other four racers on any of the tracks. It's great but can get annoying when you can't catch the last one! There is also the balloon mode (see above)
The music has singing in it which is very dancy and good at first but if it gets on your nerves you can just turn it off in the options menu. The music itself is good and very Sonicy as you'd expect. Also there are some specially remixed instrumental versions to appease everyone.
So as you can see there are many great things to this game with everything in it impressing me. This game is a classic game which should not be missed and gives another reason for having a Saturn. Saturn owners should not be disappointed this Christmas. There may be a lack of choice but what's out there is very good so it's quality of quantity with Sega having one of their strongest line ups ever. There is no question, buy this game whether or not your a Sonic fan.
Review By: Matthew Langan