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Team Sonic Racing - Upcoming Sonic Racing Game

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Alrighty, let's talk about the Master of Chaos. 

Spoiler

 

What happened here? Why was it allowed to? How did anyone not think to prevent this opportunity from getting by? Is everything alright, Sonic Team? Not intending to be rude, I just thought I should check. On the real though, I can’t help but find this whole thing confounding.

 

To get to the point, this game was an opportunity for more to be done with Zavok as a character. While I’m not sure it’s fair to call him in a particular a flat character, it is common to think that the Deadly Six Zeti weren’t given much exposition and are overall underdeveloped. In Zavok’s case, he has a clear role as their leader & Master Zik’s [last?] disciple and his general personality as a calm & patient, yet cruel and proud warrior is relatively established, but he could still use more exploration. And interacting with not only Eggman and Sonic, but the rest of the recurring cast should’ve been a great way to do that. Especially given this is a freaking kart racer, a pretty low key setup where there’s little risk and the cutscenes are voiced over static images that don't have to worry about action setpieces and extensive choreography (although that last bit definitely would’ve been appreciated).

But he ultimately gets relatively little out of this appearance. Not only does it seem like another case where anyone can say that and a situation where that would logically be expected, but it’s also an instance where they practically teased it with other things:

·         Big the Cat has not only how many mentions of Froggy and fishing, but also a simple-minded insight that makes him notice things the other characters overlook in their scrutiny.

·         Vector uses his love of money as a cover for investigating Dodon Pa’s background and works in tandem with other sources including Tails, who hired(?) him in the first place.

·         Blaze received her invitation across her dimension, has a pleasant relationship with Silver, and casually mentions that one of her duties as  princess(Queen?) equates to potentially being lied to everyday, which means she’s learned to be able to be wary of people’s motives.

·         Silver received his invitation 200(dropped zero?) years in the future, has an interaction with Sonic where his wet eared demeanor causes him to miss the point of trash talk, and even has hints of precognition that Blaze’s suggests could be the result of his travels through time.

·         Omochao, who comes some of the same problems and a few of their own, picks up on telemetric signals from Dodon Pa likely due to being a robot & occasional broadcaster themselves and helps Silver keep a look out for trouble by pointing out that the Chao in the stands are watching everything.

·         Cubot, despite not even being involved with the race, mentions the fact that he actually likes Eggman despite the latter being annoyed by him and feels little jealous when he chooses to hang with other robots. :o

·         Espio and Charmy, who don’t even appear, not only get asked about by Knuckles, but actually off investigating Dodon Pa’s background while Vector stays close to Dodon Pa himself.

And yet Zavok got practically none of that-- there’s practically no explanation of who he is and where he comes from(again), he doesn’t really interact with anyone besides Eggman and maybe Sonic at one point(again), his personal motivation for bothering with this race is never really established(again-ish), and he doesn’t even get to talk much with less than 20 fairly terse lines. He’s just here because Eggman “hired” him to look for the Ultimate Energy Engine, sticks around to race after being spotted on Eggman’s lofty suggestion, and just disappeared in the ending. They might as well have used Zomom or some other antagonist instead—at least the former actually is a strong simpleton himself.

What makes this extra weird, aside from the littlest bit of flavor text he’s given in outside the game, is that they actually build him up before he’s introduced to the plot—unlike Team Dark and especially Metal, who just show up not long after Dodon Pa announces Eggman joining the races and get addressed afterwards. Technically, he’s first hinted at when Silver sensed something bad about to happen, but his actual role first comes into play when Eggman finishes communicating with an operative he has sent data(?) to complete his mission. Admittedly, there wasn’t much guessing room with this game’s roster, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it must be another character. Not too long afterwards, Big notices him hiding in the shadows, as well as a cloud that looks like Froggy—we’ll come back to this later, believe it or not. But he’s finally revealed when, just as Silver inquired of Omochao, the Chao in the stands spot him in the Hidden Volcano and freak out. Now I actually like this gradually set up in theory, it ultimately goes unfulfilled due to how he is implemented into the rest of the plot—or rather, how he’s not.

First of all, there’s that afformentioned flavor text that’s from both his character bio for this game and a Japanese magazine. The former explains that he occasionally comes down from the Lost Hex to battle Sonic and his friends whenever the opportunity arises, while the latter implied that he was getting involved in the story for his own reasons; these two things never really come into play and was straight up suka, respectively. Which is a shame considering it would’ve been perfect for how this story plays out anyway: he could’ve showed up looking to throw down with Sonic, if not straight up being brought there by Dodon Pa, acted as a boss initially separate from Eggman, aside from maybe hijacking some Egg Pawns to use as minions, and gradually be forced to race cooperatively alongside Eggman leading up to the finale.  

Second is the neglect to include his motivation for getting involved. So Eggman hired him to look for the look for the Ultimate Energy Engine using information he sent him and Zavok accepted this mission. Why? How? …With what? They don’t really state what made Zavok an ideal choice for an operative on this since its essentially corporate espionage, cunning be damned. I also don’t really see how doing this task could benefit him, nevermind why he’d take interest in the first place. And given that he hates Eggman anyway, there’s never any indication that he’s bothering for any misguided or ulterior motive, like that Eggman’s identity was masked from his end of things or that he was planning on screwing him over once the mission was accomplished.

Third is his ultimate lack of impact on the story and how it’s told following his introduction. Upon being discovered, Eggman simply tells him that he might as well race with his team since he’s here in an attempt to play off their current alliance. And following this race in Hidden Volcano, the heroes start to get worried due to how intense the races were getting in conjunction with his competing. Yet Dodon Pa never pays him any mind; he just let’s this happen without a comment on how this “deadly” gentleman is a welcome addition (“You know what they say, the more the merrier!”) or query of what the hell a spiky red Zeti is doing there. And he just quietly races alongside Omega in the “oh yeah, these guys are here” category with only an occasional peep had with Eggman. In fact, the only thing he actually does is kidnap Dodon Pa at Eggman’s suggestion, which Metal Sonic probably could’ve done anyway.

Oh and as an addendum of a fourth point, let’s pull the pin out of that one point of buildup with a seemingly random detail I singled out earlier—the Froggy Cloud. His hiding in the shadows coincides with this alleged cumulous and his leaving after that race also saw it disappear, which ends up distracting Big from properly getting his presence across to Amy. While the obvious takeaway to this is “Lol, Big is Dumb,” I couldn’t help but notice that they appear and disappear about the same time. And with Big reinforcing this when Zavok is found out, it makes me wonder if that was supposed to be important to what Zavok was doing. Now obviously Zavok displayed nothing like this in Lost World, but it could be still some baroque Zeti mysticism and it’s not like characters showcasing new powers is that all that uncommon. Ain’t that right Amy?

And last but certainly not least, we arrive at the most basic, yet important element to any character: his characterization. In simultaneous conjunction and summation with all the other points, this game mostly fails to expand on and/or utilize Zavok as a character despite the fertile opportunities to do so. Again, he rarely says anything, interacts with anyone, and doesn’t do much to stand out as a villain or as just a guy. I seem to recall from the Olympic Games that he apparently cherishes an opportunity to hone his skills, perhaps as a reflection of him being the Zeti’s strongest warrior and Master Zik’s student. Perhaps in addition to whatever malicious intent he might’ve brought to the track, he could also take a genuine in learning to drive and stand a chance of besting Sonic at something; according to Eggman, he can’t drive for shit(which is funny considering the final map). I will say though that there are two minor take aways with what dialogue he has after he loses some races. He says that he can respect how strong their opponents are, only getting angry when Eggman calls him weak(“Zavok is Mighty!”). Another prior to the final map, Eggman mentions that kidnapping Dodon Pa is a chance for Zavok to “regain his honor.” I’m not sure what that last one’s about, but I guess they can be a nod to his martial artist motif and a hint of Blue and Orange Morality among Zeti.

As far as interaction goes, he missed the chance to converse and snark with thirteen other racers, plus Dodon Pa, Orbot, Cubot, and maybe even Metal Sonic. He mostly just speaks to Eggman and even then, it’s mostly in response with all but one instance of hostility or rather retort; compare this to Lost World, where his introduction alone has him stoically listen to the doctor’s boasting before breaking the silence with a sarcastic compliment to amuse himself. Some of the more notable dynamics they could’ve went with are:

·         Easily his most notable dynamic aside from Master Zik, Zavok and Eggman have an enmity with each other for enslaving his race and misusing his invention to destroy Sonic’s World in retaliation, respective. When I think of them being forced to compete together, I would imagine there’d be a fair degree of arguing, backhanded comments, and compromised stalemates between them.

·         With Orbot and Cubot chiming in from the Final Fortress(did it need to be called that, btw?), Zavok could’ve commented on how even Eggman’s lackies find him ridiculous, though some tested patience with their own foolishness is something he can admittedly relate to with the likes of Zazz and Zeena.

·         Learning to drive a racecar himself, the sheer competitiveness could’ve been one of the only things he and Sonic share. All the more reason to win.

·         When it comes to Dodon Pa, him joining the competition would make sense due to his own underlying sadism potentially making things more thrilling and yield more variable results. It could’ve also been a chance for both his eloquent and manipulative side to be shown, genuinely holding an charming conversation with him in order to get the Tanuki to give him free reign to crush the Mobians.

·         Once he joined the races on Eggman’s team, Knuckles in particular seemed alarmed. This could’ve been a sign that Zavok nearly tossed him over before, enough for Knuckles to consider him enough of a threat to not fool around with. Their superficially comparable tempers and homelands could’ve also been a talking point, which would likely just make Knuckles angrier.

·         Blaze immediately judging Dodon Pa on being a Tanuki is either suggestive of being well-versed with Yokai or Fantanstic Racism, but given that the Deadly Six are based on(and in the Japanese version, more or less are)Oni, perhaps this another area where she could’ve gotten involved. In fact, Blaze is another character I could see having some of the more interesting conflicts with him, given their similar temperaments.

·         And with the Zeti’s innate ability to manipulate electromagnetic fields, it would’ve been really interesting if this enabled Zavok the ability to communicate with and/or influence Metal Sonic as a second chance from Forces.

You know, it’s so weird to say that Zavok’s presence in this game and it’s story was once again one of the things that piqued my curiosity the most. Call it a bit of Bile Fascination at this point if it makes sense, but SonicTeam keeps bringing this guy back against all of their prior odds. And that, along with his contrast to Eggman, ironically makes him interesting. He’s not even my favorite Zeti—I like Zor, Zazz, and maybe Master Zik more, but this guy in particular has been so weird if muddled that it kinda gets your attention. And this game was a chance for them to not only capitalize on all that, but show why he’s worthy of being taken seriously and cared about.

What an egregious waste—something Zavok himself despises.

 

 

 

 

 Zavok has a ponytail and a convertible. He's clearly going through a mid-life crisis

 

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Zavok Might legit just be there because someone likes them. Though I don't think this is a big situation where he's so derpy he becomes a meme. He just kinda makes folks upset

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Ok, final thoughts.

* Team Mechanic - yes this works. You proved it Sumo (and Sega). This changes how you approach races and is actually more fun than it sounds to boot. I constantly felt more involved and had to think tactically, even when I was far out in front. It is not IMO better than the Transformed Mechanic though - because that was on another level of crazy exhilarating fun, especially as that extended to the tracks transforming on top of the vehicles.

* Story - totally sucks balls. The banter is entertaining enough and the delivery is fine - but it is presented lazily around static images. There is no getting around that this is a simple dressing to spruce up Mission/Tour modes from previous games. The mission mode in itself is absolutely fine however. Once more the mode creates a reason to play the game solo when friends aren’t about. Probably one of few things the game has going for it against Mario Kart.

* Tracks - as mentioned before I do think the 12 new levels are really well thought out designs. Individually they are fun to return to again and again for their own unique reasons. These are basically the highlight of the game and full credit the creators for the charm and whimsical throwbacks when diving into the Sonic Verse. 

...But it’s real bittersweet that that 8 tracks made a return from the first game, and 1 from Transformed. Out of these I will only admit to really REALLY liking Roulette Road and Pinball Highway (and man - what a pumping soundtrack and graphical overhaul they have had!) these are amazing and the best versions they have ever been. Bingo Party I think should have been replaced with Galactic Parade from Transformed though, considering they are both set in outer space this would have given the Casino Park Zone more variety, even with the omission of the space flight section.

Nothing from the Seaside Hill selection really interested me and these were visually pleasing (apart from Ocean View) but as boring as they were the first time around. In fact, Ocean View has no real place in this game and is arguably worse than when it was in Transformed. If any track from ASR should have been included it should have been Seaside View, the wider track and level design would have better fit TSR’s aesthetic.

Final Fortress though... these definitely should not have been included. Personally I think these tracks are at the bottom of the barrel in the original ASR - I mean, really the Sonic Stages were the weakest of that game ironically anyway. So I find it almost offensive that these 3 tracks are treated as an unlockable reward for beating the game... I mean, are you kidding me? I think Thunder Deck... and maybe Turbine Loop just scrape past being acceptable levels, but Dark Arsenal still remains the dullest symmetrical track I’ve ever played. It’s a slog and is so so boring, it’s got slim roads and tight turns but you can’t fall off there, long stretches of nothing, and it feels like you are doing 6 laps in stead of 3. Such a drag. The only thing going for this is (again) is the soundtrack for this level. Which is insane.

So It’s a shame, because the new tracks are amazingly fun to play and just they make me want more. Sumo are obviously very talented and made a lot of very creative decisions when throwing together Sonic’s History in these raceways. So it’s sad that almost half the stages are not only returning tracks, but not great returning tracks.

* Characters - 15 and no more? No unlockable Super characters? Where is Cream? Mighty? Ray? Espio? Charmy? Eggman Nega, Chaos, Orbot and Cubot (playable) Etc... In actual fact that there are no Xbox Avatar or Nintendo Mii characters this time around I am hugely surprised they didn’t include the option to import your Custom Avatar data from Sonic Forces. That would have been neat.

Also whilst I understand the reasoning behind the team gameplay, why can we not mix and match between the 15 available? That’s what i was REALLY looking forward to trying out, and whilst multiple previews said this was possible... I have yet to be able to find a way to play as 3 speed characters in a race (for example). I imagine with these strict requirements it may explain the absence of some characters if they have to be teamed up specifically.

* Wisps - An Inspired option for weapons now that they are part of the Sonic Universe and the context of these are soooo much better than a random traffic cone or wasps - these are a perfect fit. I agree that some are better implemented than others though - the grey quake wisp (which originally I thought was a stage hazard until it kept appearing in later levels) is far too difficult to avoid, and it’s actually impossible on the returning stages to get past as the track designs are not wide enough to accommodate.

* Soundtrack - I didn’t think the Transformed soundtrack could be topped, and as much as I have loved a lot of Jun’s previous work (and also disliked as much) I was dubious of him producing the entirety of it. But consider my faith restored. I am especially impressed by the amount of remixes and collaborations made - this really beefs the quality and feel to racing when you have an exhilarating beat to push you round every corner.

* Customisation - The Pods for Mods and decors has actually been more fun to mess about with than I thought - the process of getting these just reminds me of Smash Melee (no bad thing). And pimping out a ride for your character with an appealing paint job of your choosing makes it all the sweeter. I like the further advancements on Mods and effects on stats, and having 3 to play around with instead of 1 adds to the personal customisation. It is a slight shame that some of my favourite mod aesthetics don’t always match the stats I want though.

Overall, the game is still a Solid 8/10. The price of making this a budget title means I can’t be too mad at all of the inclusions and omissions. I just wish more money was thrown at Sumo to invest in their talent and production. 

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3 minutes ago, Son-icka said:

Also whilst I understand the reasoning behind the team gameplay, why can we not mix and match between the 15 available? That’s what i was REALLY looking forward to trying out, and whilst multiple previews said this was possible... I have yet to be able to find a way to play as 3 speed characters in a race (for example). I imagine with these strict requirements it may explain the absence of some characters if they have to be teamed up specifically.

Thats is really disappointing. I too wanted to try out teams of 3 speeds o 3 Techs, but the game insists on randomizing your partners. Not only can I not choose my team composition, but I can't even load up my team with my 3 favorite characters.

If your playing with 2 other friends, then yeah, you can do it. But that seems like a silly limitation. Why can't I choose my teammates? That's a missed layer of strategy you could have topped onto the game for free.

 

3 minutes ago, Son-icka said:

* Wisps - An Inspired option for weapons now that they are part of the Sonic Universe and the context of these are soooo much better than a random traffic cone or wasps - these are a perfect fit. I agree that some are better implemented than others though - the grey quake wisp (which originally I thought was a stage hazard until it kept appearing in later levels) is far too difficult to avoid, and it’s actually impossible on the returning stages to get past as the track designs are not wide enough to accommodate.

Much like the wasps, the Quake wisp's effectiveness is all about timing. If you watch the mini-map before deploying, and have a keen eye for how long it takes for you're little hazard to fly to the front and do its work, you can create some impossible dodging conditions on any map.

Placing it right after a big jump, blind turn or narrow alley makes it near impossible to dodge. But if you just throw it out there so that it spawns somewhere with good visibility or lots of room to maneuver, then its pitifully ineffective. I was playing Sand Road the other day and some quake pillars spawned ahead of me in the open section with the giant caterkillers. But they only spawned on the half of the track that the game thought I would take. It was far enough ahead that I basically laughed and went the other way completely unfazed. The Wasps from the last game were the same way.

 

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Ah, you see I have yet to actually deploy a grey quake myself. They are always in my path. XD

Currently I just try to let the other racers take the hits if I can’t get by. 

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On 5/23/2019 at 5:16 PM, JezMM said:

The only thing I will say in TSR's defense is while the item gameplay is a bit hit-or-miss, GOD I appreciate the Wisp usage over the first two games' generic items when I see them side-by-side. I know the fandom as a whole is still struggling with swallowing the "Wisps are here to stay" pill, but the fact is they're a major part of the Sonic franchise now and they are so much more appealing to look at, what with the little guys peering around quizzically, putting on a sassy expression or looking downright traumatised by everything going on around them as you wait to use them, as oppose to... Baseball Glove.

I still would have preferred Sonic-themed items over Wisps, but their use in this game makes sense.

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Has anyone figured out how to manually select your teams, local races or otherwise?

4 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

Zavok Might legit just be there because someone likes them. Though I don't think this is a big situation where he's so derpy he becomes a meme. He just kinda makes folks upset

Some of his in-game dialogue feels like someone was trying to go there.

But yeah, it's likely a combination of favor and convenience.

4 hours ago, tailsBOOM! said:

That, that made me laugh.

Mission Accomplished. :lol: 

1 hour ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

The most I've identified with a character in this game was when Orbot said he likes making lists.

I've got composition books full of pointless lists I've made.

Admittedly, I do have a lot of those in ColorNotes as well.

1 hour ago, Son-icka said:

* Characters - 15 and no more? No unlockable Super characters? Where is Cream? Mighty? Ray? Espio? Charmy? Eggman Nega, Chaos, Orbot and Cubot (playable) Etc... In actual fact that there are no Xbox Avatar or Nintendo Mii characters this time around I am hugely surprised they didn’t include the option to import your Custom Avatar data from Sonic Forces. That would have been neat.

 

Yeah, that's always been a shame. It was also kinda confounding since local was the first thing I clicked and behold everyone was there.

1 hour ago, Son-icka said:

Also whilst I understand the reasoning behind the team gameplay, why can we not mix and match between the 15 available? That’s what i was REALLY looking forward to trying out, and whilst multiple previews said this was possible... I have yet to be able to find a way to play as 3 speed characters in a race (for example). I imagine with these strict requirements it may explain the absence of some characters if they have to be teamed up specifically.

 

Yeah seriously.

1 hour ago, Son-icka said:

the grey quake wisp (which originally I thought was a stage hazard until it kept appearing in later levels) is far too difficult to avoid, and it’s actually impossible on the returning stages to get past as the track designs are not wide enough to accommodate.

That was first thought as well.

1 hour ago, Sega DogTagz said:

Thats is really disappointing. I too wanted to try out teams of 3 speeds o 3 Techs, but the game insists on randomizing your partners. Not only can I not choose my team composition, but I can't even load up my team with my 3 favorite characters.

If your playing with 2 other friends, then yeah, you can do it. But that seems like a silly limitation. Why can't I choose my teammates? That's a missed layer of strategy you could have topped onto the game for free.

 

 

 

Hopefully, that's something they easily add in with a patch/update.

1 hour ago, Son-icka said:

Ah, you see I have yet to actually deploy a grey quake myself. They are always in my path. XD

Currently I just try to let the other racers take the hits if I can’t get by. 

Probably cause you have to be in the later 5 places or so in order to get it.

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Bingo Party was easily my favorite of the Casino levels, if only for the aesthetic alone. That beautiful background with the orange and blue space coloring almost took me to orbit. I'm also not as in love with Galactic Parade as everyone else here is. If they were to make another one, the space levels I'd include would be an amalgamation of a bunch of the stages we've had set on the Space Colony Ark. That and Sweet Mountain. 

Final Fortress in and of itself is a great location to choose but I do find myself agreeing that the structure of the tracks themselves leaves a lot to be desired. It needs to take advantage of the cool shit that Egg Fleet did first and foremost. Sky diving off the top of a fishy ship through the thunderous clouds so that you can land on another ship below, race through it, and keep finding ways to launch your car from one ship to another would be a great and thrilling way to emulate what you did during the level in Heroes. Having us stuck in these corridors isn't as interesting. It's nice seeing inside them but it's not  exciting having that be all that there is. 

Although, I'm of the mind that should they make another racer they need to go back to the All-Stars moniker. Not only is it the only way the SEGA IPs stay alive these days but because of how little content this game has in comparison it almost doesn't feel worth it to continue making these games Sonic-Only if you're not going to bother going all out with the roster and stage selection here.

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Ironically, I have to say I say enjoy Seaside Hill the most out of the returning zones. I was most excited for Final Fortress, and both it and Casino Park look stunning, but they're really not a good fit for this gameplay style. Ocean View always had broader track design so it didn't need any changes, but both Whale Lagoon and Lost Palace feel larger and better to race on. The other returning tracks however are really narrow and chaotic, and the fun stops when you get by every single rocket, Team Ultimate, Quake and other items online because there's simply no place to avoid any of it. Even Turbine Loop feels better to race on as bland as it may be. But they also really stick out compared to the new tracks, which just have more life in them - even if it's just in the form of hot-air balloon bouncing, King Boom Boo taunting you or Caterkillers rising from the sand.

Keep in mind a third All-Stars Racing instead of TSR likely wouldn't have had much more content either (in 2019, at least), and the downgrade from Transformed would've been just as clear if not more. Since Iizuka expressed interest in making more Sonic racers, it might be best to pull a Riders and start including the All-Stars as bonus teams (such as Ulala, Beat and Vyse for Dreamcast) and bringing back Sega Carnival as a zone. No fanbase would have to miss out in that case and let's be honest, even if we get a TSR 2 and 3 I doubt they'd have much interest in including many Sonic characters beyond Espio, Charmy, Cream, Orbot/Cubot, Zazz, the Babylon Rogues and maybe Chaos.

 

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Jim Sterling gives his impressions of it, saying that it's just okay, mostly on the dull side. Those Results screens are ridiculous almost Sonic 06 loading screens annoying.

 

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10 hours ago, LukA8 said:

Ironically, I have to say I say enjoy Seaside Hill the most out of the returning zones. I was most excited for Final Fortress, and both it and Casino Park look stunning, but they're really not a good fit for this gameplay style. Ocean View always had broader track design so it didn't need any changes, but both Whale Lagoon and Lost Palace feel larger and better to race on. The other returning tracks however are really narrow and chaotic, and the fun stops when you get by every single rocket, Team Ultimate, Quake and other items online because there's simply no place to avoid any of it. Even Turbine Loop feels better to race on as bland as it may be. But they also really stick out compared to the new tracks, which just have more life in them - even if it's just in the form of hot-air balloon bouncing, King Boom Boo taunting you or Caterkillers rising from the sand.

Keep in mind a third All-Stars Racing instead of TSR likely wouldn't have had much more content either (in 2019, at least), and the downgrade from Transformed would've been just as clear if not more. Since Iizuka expressed interest in making more Sonic racers, it might be best to pull a Riders and start including the All-Stars as bonus teams (such as Ulala, Beat and Vyse for Dreamcast) and bringing back Sega Carnival as a zone. No fanbase would have to miss out in that case and let's be honest, even if we get a TSR 2 and 3 I doubt they'd have much interest in including many Sonic characters beyond Espio, Charmy, Cream, Orbot/Cubot, Zazz, the Babylon Rogues and maybe Chaos.

 

Tikal and Sticks are possible candidates, too, given that they had comics in the 25th anniversary webcomic, plus Runners.

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10 hours ago, LukA8 said:

Keep in mind a third All-Stars Racing instead of TSR likely wouldn't have had much more content either (in 2019, at least), and the downgrade from Transformed would've been just as clear if not more. Since Iizuka expressed interest in making more Sonic racers, it might be best to pull a Riders and start including the All-Stars as bonus teams (such as Ulala, Beat and Vyse for Dreamcast) and bringing back Sega Carnival as a zone. No fanbase would have to miss out in that case and let's be honest, even if we get a TSR 2 and 3 I doubt they'd have much interest in including many Sonic characters beyond Espio, Charmy, Cream, Orbot/Cubot, Zazz, the Babylon Rogues and maybe Chaos.

 

47 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

Tikal and Sticks are possible candidates, too, given that they had comics in the 25th anniversary webcomic, plus Runners.

That is probably true. It'd essentially be like Sonic Riders again.

Thinking about the Teams, those additions(plus either Master Zik or Zor) would either create new teams and/or merge with some of the rest for consistency sake.

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Tip for PC players that have a stuttering mess at a locked 60 fps: Force vsynch and 60 fps from the nvidia control panel or whatever the AMD equivalent is instead of the in-app version. It made it waaaaay better for me.

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I have to say I didn't expect to enjoy the game this much, it's really fun, refreshing and different from other racers, there is so much going on to keep you busy that 3 laps are really a short racing time and it passes so quickly, I can never get tired of it. That said a couple of things are bothering me on the Switch version: lack of opening, lack of custom team choice, lack of unlockables (outside of the vehicle customization). But it's really fun, Crash may have more content, but it's just quantity, it can't compete with the real superpower of teamwork, I never thought I'd say that but eh. lol.

The single player mode is actually interesting, with tons of missions, story is… well, there's not much but dialogues are fun at least? Quite in-character and they are fun and charming in their little. The ring challenges are… fucking hard. And I don't get why I can't play as Team Eggman in the adventure but hey, it's okay.

So these are my thoughts, really a fun game, I'm hoping to find some more people online, since apparently the Switch version sold a lot more than the Others. The delay really helped the game. 

Oh, one more thing: the tracks are really well designed, with paths exclusive to some character types and cool shortcuts, and the revamped tracks are nice as well, tbh with this interesting gameplay they've built, I kind of forgot about the rehashed stages, they are not a problem anymore to me.

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A little thing that bugs me in the post-game is how the structure of the single player means the Final Fortress tracks (and even a couple of lately-introduced regular tracks like Clockwork Pyramid) barely get used in single player.  Making Thunder Deck ONLY be used for the final stage works, but I wish there was an unusual mission or two for it down that long alternate path at the end that requires 100 stars to access too.  The fact that Final Fortress is absent from GP mode is also weird and annoying.

Honestly, I disagree with the above and say that the 3 lap races are actually very long feeling compared to Mario Kart, especially on some tracks that always feel like they go on slightly longer than they should - Hidden Volcano and Sky Road are big offenders. Having said that, they should've taken advantage of that and made each GP be three races long instead of four - that way we could've had a nice even seven cups, and Final Fortress tracks could've been included (I'd have rather had a mixed up playlist though than "Wisp Cup", "Seaside Cup", "Glacier Cup" since the returning zones all feel so similar etc etc).

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6 hours ago, Psycho_Jack said:

I have to say I didn't expect to enjoy the game this much, it's really fun, refreshing and different from other racers, there is so much going on to keep you busy that 3 laps are really a short racing time and it passes so quickly, I can never get tired of it. That said a couple of things are bothering me on the Switch version: lack of opening, lack of custom team choice, lack of unlockables (outside of the vehicle customization). But it's really fun, Crash may have more content, but it's just quantity, it can't compete with the real superpower of teamwork, I never thought I'd say that but eh. lol.

The single player mode is actually interesting, with tons of missions, story is… well, there's not much but dialogues are fun at least? Quite in-character and they are fun and charming in their little. The ring challenges are… fucking hard. And I don't get why I can't play as Team Eggman in the adventure but hey, it's okay.

So these are my thoughts, really a fun game, I'm hoping to find some more people online, since apparently the Switch version sold a lot more than the Others. The delay really helped the game. 

Oh, one more thing: the tracks are really well designed, with paths exclusive to some character types and cool shortcuts, and the revamped tracks are nice as well, tbh with this interesting gameplay they've built, I kind of forgot about the rehashed stages, they are not a problem anymore to me.

Aside from the opening cutscene, the issues that you listed is ALL of the versions.

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15 hours ago, DabigRG said:

That is probably true. It'd essentially be like Sonic Riders again.

Thinking about the Teams, those additions(plus either Master Zik or Zor) would either create new teams and/or merge with some of the rest for consistency sake.

Eggman Nega also had a comic, so he seems plausible too, especially as he’d be easy to make. 

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There is one particular corner on Sky Road which I can fly off quite easily and twice while doing that I have respawned in the same spot mid-air and began falling again instead of respawning on the track. I decided to try and see if there was anything in particular about that corner that was troublesome and found a few times that if my back wheel clips the edge of the track my car gets stuck on it instead of falling off and I can’t get back onto the track either, I’m stuck there. On a different track, part of the track ahead of me didn’t load properly until I hit that section and then suddenly it loaded when I was on it. This is in addition to the earlier menu problem when the backgrounds and text didn’t load and it just had the button icons. I had hoped the delay of the game would have eliminated these problems.

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On 5/24/2019 at 12:16 AM, JezMM said:

The only thing I will say in TSR's defense is while the item gameplay is a bit hit-or-miss, GOD I appreciate the Wisp usage over the first two games' generic items when I see them side-by-side. I know the fandom as a whole is still struggling with swallowing the "Wisps are here to stay" pill, but the fact is they're a major part of the Sonic franchise now and they are so much more appealing to look at, what with the little guys peering around quizzically, putting on a sassy expression or looking downright traumatised by everything going on around them as you wait to use them, as oppose to... Baseball Glove.

I remember reading that the Japanese version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed that the items are actually SEGA-related. The (ugh) Blowfish item is replaced with Garbage Puyo, as an example. I would have taken that more than what we got; Wisps, SEGA items, but not something like... Bee Swarm???

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11 hours ago, Psycho_Jack said:

. And I don't get why I can't play as Team Eggman in the adventure but hey, it's okay.

Yeah, that is a bit of a miss. Granted, the story is one straightforward thing and in that case, I would've thought Team Eggman would be individually introduced throughout before teaming up later, but still.

4 hours ago, Miragnarok said:

Eggman Nega also had a comic, so he seems plausible too, especially as he’d be easy to make. 

...Oh, he wasn't in those lists. Okay.

 

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