I absolutely love the kart racer genre. Ever since Super Mario Kart spearheaded the genre years ago, I have been in love with the zany track design and arcade racer feel ever since. Now many people still love Mario Kart, but I feel that the franchise may have lost its way in recent iterations. One kart racer that got everything right, however, was Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. Sega must have thought the same thing since they have announced a sequel.
Sega announced today that the sequel will be called Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. While the title could use some work, I’m excited nonetheless. The game promises to bring back all the great ideas from the first game which included loads of fantastic tracks with all of your favorite Sega characters.
The big difference this time comes from the “Transformed” in the title. The title seems to be taking a cue from Mario Kart 7 in that the cars will transform into planes and boats depending on the environment. It’s the same gameplay gimmick that was introduced all the way back on the N64 with Diddy Kong Racing.
The game is also going to provide way more fanservice this time from characters that missed the cut last time. In a move that makes me absolutely ecstatic, Vyse from Skies of Arcadia will be making his first debut outside of an RPG alongside Gillius Thunderhead from Golden Axe.
One complaint you could levy against the first game was that its tracks were taken from too few franchises. There were plenty of Sonic inspired tracks alongside House of the Dead and Super Monkey Ball. The lastest games seems to have learned from its mistakes by introducing tracks based on its more niche franchises like Panzer Dragoon.
“Given the fantastic feedback we received from critics and consumers alike for the first game, we really wanted to push the boundaries on our follow up game, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed” commented David Corless, Global Sonic Brand Director. “The transforming vehicles allow us to do this – as well as drifting your car around the corners of a track, you get to fly your plane and pilot your boat against others all within one race. Add to this a grid full of star characters, retro IP, fun, fast race modes and cool tracks and racing fans of all ages are sure to love this one!”
Alongside the announcement, Sega announced a contest similar to the Jet Set Radio contest from last month. Players will be able to submit art that will be featured in the Jet Set Radio track in the game. It can be themed after Sega game and the top 10 will be selected for creation in-game.
While the announcement doesn’t say who will developing the title, the trailer tells us that Sumo Digital, the developer of the first title, will be developing this one as well. The game will be coming out in late 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS and PC. I’ll be there day one to get back into my favorite kart racer this generation.