Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is easily one of the most pleasant surprises of recent times. A game transformed from its predecessor in more than just name, as beautifully designed circuits, weighty steering, fun items and an awesome soundtrack ups the quality in every conceivable way.
Of course, the other side of the ‘Transformed’ moniker is the ability of your kart to shape-shift into boat and plane as dictated by tracks which crumble and change themselves as you put the laps in.
Sumo Digital has also plumbed the depths of Sega’s rich history. Characters and locations based on Panzer Dragoon, Samba de Amigo, Sonic, Afterbuner, Nights and more making for stunning arenas in which to put the pedal to the metal.
On Wii U there are further joys to behold. The GamePad's screen displays not only a map à la Super Mario Kart, but also a rear view mirror so with a quick glance you can check what's behind you. Just like real driving then… only with hedgehogs.
During the US launch there were claims that the game was broken, with speed boost stages apparently missing checkpoints. I'm happy to report that the PAL version sports no such issues, if my review version is anything to go by.
If you have that many eager participants nearby, the other big improvement is the upping of the player count to five. One taking on the GamePad, with the rest on Wii controllers, Pro Controllers et al.
As in Mario Kart Wii, players can use motion controlled steering which is perfect for enticing veterans of Nintendo’s racer. You can use the Mario Kart steering wheels as well, of course. I might also suggest turning on the flying aids at first too, as piloting can be tough.
Away from motion control you are free to use the analogue sticks on both the GamePad and Pro Controller. Controls here are responsive and skidding around corners is an absolute joy.
Easily one of the Wii U’s best multiplayer games and a must for anyone who has ever lost themselves to the charms of Mario Kart. Indeed, it could be argued that Sonic All-Stars is actually superior in terms of handling, and certainly in terms of visuals.
More Info Official Sonic All-stars website
Next page: ZombiU
re: sound ..
Well, since the sound that comes from the pad is the police radio chatter, a tinny little speaker is just about right.
(Worth noting: neither of us actually knows how good the speakers in the pad are, although I doubt very much that they are a match for your main gear.)
Gotta hand it to developers
They bring old games over to a new system to test the water, and when those old games don't sell well as the majority of the people who wanted it already have it on the original systems over a year ago have it already, they will say there is no market on the new Wii U, and screw it over for games.
I've seen this on the Wii, and other other systems they bring a old, and terrible edition of a game from japan over it bombs they cancel the good release in the US as there is no market.
As for people judging a system on the 1st round of games... seriously when has a game system even been remotely pushed at all when they 1st came out. I don't think I can recall a launch game really push any system or show what they can do.
" i didnt want it to use my £2000 B&W speakers or anything. 7.1? nah, can i just use some tinny little speaker on the pad...."
You won't need your 80" 4K TV either - just use the low-res screen on the Gamepad.
"If these are the best games on the Wii U right now I'm glad I haven't bought one. Mario Bros and ZombiU I'd be interested in. But the rest either don't interest me (nintendo land) or I can grab on a console I already own (batman arkham city / Darksiders 2.)"
If only Nintendo had asked you first. Then they wouldn't have had to go to the expense of designing, manufacturing and selling a new console.
I do hope you've written to Sony and Microsoft to prevent them from making the same mistake with *their* next consoles. I'd hate for them to go to the effort of releasing the PS4 & neXBox if they don't interest you.
Given that the previous Wii console also put some sounds through a "tinny" speaker on the game controller, I'd guess you were equally disappointed with that too, so you wouldn't really be the target market (and I don't know of anyone who complains about the noise through the controllers, to be honest - that's there for secondary sounds related to that particular player usually, not the main game action).
And the number of people with a £2000 7.1 amplifier setup AND who like playing Wii are probably lost in the intersection of the Venn diagram rather than a huge portion of the market.
Similarly, when I buy a laptop, the sound quality on it is pretty much irrelevant so long as it's loud enough. There aren't many people who hook up their laptops to the hifi either because that tends to be the audiophiles only anyway. And my TV has speakers on the back that are good enough that I don't even *OWN* a hifi or amplified speaker any more.
Never forget: Most people are happy with laptop speakers, iPod headphones, integrated TV speakers, and the little cheap plug-in iPod "speakers" that run on AA's. You are in the minority here, seriously.