Ever since Team Sonic Racing was revealed last year, I was extremely excited. Finally, we would be getting a sequel to 2012s Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed from Sumo Digital on current generation consoles even including the Nintendo Switch. The game was looking to be great with confirmed compositions from Sonic music veterans such as Crush 40, Jun Senoue and Tee Lopes making a return and with racing tracks based on stages from newer Sonic games making their way into the game. So after one long delay, the game is finally here and better than ever.
In the story mode, the game stars Sonic, Tails and Knuckles receiving an invitation from a mysterious new character by the name of Dodon Pa who has also invited more of Sonic’s friends to the race. Unfortunately, most of Sonic’s friends such as Espio or Cream or even any other SEGA characters aren’t present in the game where as odd characters such as Zavok are. But it still makes for a great story with fun little cutscenes similar to the ones present in Sonic Free Riders but with a lot more polish.
Unfortunately it is very easy to unintentionally skip cutscenes by accident when you start a race as the game doesn’t tell you that you have skipped a cutscene which means you could miss important plot points.
Many characters in the game such as Knuckles, Silver, Blaze, Zavok and Omachao have new voice actors. Sadly Knuckles, Zavok and Silver voices sound more like impressions of the character than their actual voices but Blaze and Omochao sound quite faithful to the the voices of the character in previous entries in the series. However, returning voice actors for the game such as for Sonic, Shadow or Tails do an incredible job with them maintaining what makes their character special.
The main gameplay brings a lot new to the table since the last installment with mechanics such as the useful Item Box Transfer which allows you to send items you don’t need to your teammates. Items have also now been changed to the Wisps that were originally introduced in Sonic Colors back on the Wii in 2009 rather than the very random items that were present in All Stars Racing Transformed. Wisps are quite cleverly implemented with them having similar function to the items in Mario Kart and they don’t feel forced in like they were in Sonic Forces or Sonic Lost World.
To win a race in Team Sonic Racing, you can’t just simply make it to first place as your teammates position at the end of a race will add on to your total team’s score. For example, if you come first but your teammates come close to last then your team won’t win the race. This encourages communication between you are your teammates which make this game feel more unique when compared to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed.
The game also introduces other new mechanics such as the Skimboost which allows you to speed past your teammate which gives them a boost and Slingshot allows you to drift behind a trail your teammate leaves behind which gives you a boost in speed. These can be very helpful during gameplay if you are struggling behind and can’t seem to catch up against your opponents. The game is also quite great to control however the HD rumble does seem quite a bit lackluster as it seems more like generic rumble and can be quite distracting during gameplay.
Team Sonic Racing also brings in a new customization mode which allows you to change the look of your car with parts you earn from Mod Pods. To purchase Mod Pods you can use credits you earn from racing in matches. These items you earn can vary from Wisps you can use at the start of a race to parts you can use for customization which can even help you during gameplay.
Performance wise, the game runs quite well on Nintendo Switch with it maintaining a solid 30fps in both docked and handheld mode. It is a shame that the game doesn’t run at 60fps like the PS4 and Xbox One versions do but the visuals look quite similar between the Switch and PS4 versions (but just at a lower resolution) with it even looking great in handheld mode.
For a price of £35.99 on the eShop at launch, the game is quite worth it as it makes for a fun experience with friends or family but it is a shame as the PS4 and Xbox One versions do end up being quite a bit cheaper and run better so we recommend getting the game on those platforms. The Switch version also doesn’t include the opening CGI animation which looks and sounds amazing with Crush 40’s song Green Light Ride playing in the background.
The online itself does also need a bit of polishing as trying to team up with friends in online matches against strangers will need to join the match right after they join in order to be in their team which can be quite difficult but hopefully SEGA will be able to release an update with a proper invite system as a workaround to fix this issue.
As a sequel to the Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed, the game does bring a lot to the table but does feel a lot more like a sequel to the original Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing game from back in 2010 as Team Sonic Racing doesn’t include any of the car transformations such as flying that Transformed introduced and the track itself doesn’t change each time you start a new lap.
- Solid gameplay
- Great visuals
- Fun new mechanics
- Good port which performs at a stable framerate
- Fun to play with others
- Great implementation of Wisps
- Unique customization for your car
- Amazing soundtrack
- Disappointing roster with the lack of SEGA characters and lack of many fan favorite Sonic characters
- Poor HD rumble implementation
- Doesn’t include the opening cutscene
- Confusing online party system with friends
- Easy to skip cutscenes by accident
This soup is considered a delicious experience for the whole family that will last for years to come.
A review code for Team Sonic Racing was provided by SEGA for the purpose of this review.