Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed races into new console territory on Nintendo Wii U.
As far as racers go, it’s slim pickings on the new generation console leaving Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed in the unique position of being the only racing game on the Wii U so far, so it’s not like you have much of a choice!
So with that fact in mind, we ask the question; just how good is the game on Wii U?
For our review of the PlayStation 3 version, please click here.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed has already delivered outstanding results on PlayStation 3, and on Wii U the game really shines.
All modes and options are brought over with a couple of additions – the Wii U version has the “Limited Edition” pack built right in as each Wii U version comes under the banner of “Special Edition”. This means you will have automatically unlocked the character Metal Sonic with a special vehicle mod, the stage “Outrun Bay” with a batch of time trials and some exclusive in-game stickers, which serve as unlockables to decorate your licence. Voice chat, however, has been dropped though Wii U is all about communication and the excellent Miiverse becomes your podium for boasting about your last match.
Sega have added in two modes exclusive to Wii U. “Ninja Tag” is a game of tag where the GamePad player must find and crash into all the other racers to turn them into ninjas. “Banana Heist” is similar, though the player with the GamePad controls a Monkey Ball and must catch all other players before they collect all the bananas scattered around the maps. Both modes are most fun when played with more than two players and while simple, they will be a blast amongst fans of minigames.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed looks gorgeous on Wii U and in fact a lot better than the PlayStation 3 version. It’s as if the saturation has been bumped up a notch and all the characters have been given an extra dose of resolution.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed uses Wii U’s GamePad to its advantage, showing a handy map of the race as you’re playing through the tracks. The GamePad will also display live coverage of your player-seeking weapons so you can see if you’ve caused any damage.
The GamePad is also used for two-player split screen. Player 1 uses the GamePad, Player 2 gets the entire TV to themselves. Since Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed can be played in split screen mode at almost any time, this feature lends incredibly well. Don’t expect high-definition resolutions on the GamePad though – there is a noticeable drop in image quality when you compare the two feeds side-by-side. This is not really an issue, though, as it still looks great even on GamePad and neither feeds suffer from any performance drops at all.
The tracks in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed are superb and will keep you on your toes. One of the main features in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is that your vehicle can transform into a boat or a jet depending on the conditions of the track. Track conditions change dynamically as you progress, too, and it’s incredibly fun having to manage the handling changes going from boat to jet then back to car, completely on the fly.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is your only choice at the moment if you’re a Wii U racing fan, and it will not let you down. It’s fun, frantic and begs you to keep playing with tonnes of unlockables that keep you coming back.
For those on the fence about which version to get, Wii U may cost about AU$10 more but with all its extra features and the fantastic GamePad integration, it is the best version to spend your Christmas cash on!