In a world where everyone always seems to be at odds with one another, developers Sumo Digital decided to make a game that would bring people together. What better way to do this than with kart racing and Sonic the Hedgehog?
While Sonic might not be the most popular guy on the internet right now thanks to his upcoming movie, “Team Sonic Racing” is hoping to alleviate some of that ill will with some good old fashion racing. And luckily, the game was enough fun to make me forget about that terrible looking movie, even if it was just for a few hours.
In “Team Sonic Racing,” an alien tanuki named Dodon Pa sends invitations to the Sonic crew to race on his planet. Although they are all skeptical of his motives, they agree to race. However, it isn’t long until Eggman shows up and begins to wreak havoc.
Surprisingly, there is a full story mode in this game. Even more surprisingly, the story is fully voice acted. Plot obviously doesn’t matter much in racing games like this, but it’s awesome that the developers went through the trouble to put it in here. The cutscenes were all really fun to watch and added a lot of personality to the game.
Speaking of personality, “Team Sonic Racing” brings back almost all the regular Sonic voice actors to reprise their roles. Not only do the characters add personality in the story segments, but also in regular races. Sometimes when characters pass one another or hit each other with items, they will exchange
little quips or insults, which makes each race slightly more enjoyable.
A game could be brimming with charm and personality, but without good gameplay, it's all for nothing. Luckily, “Team Sonic Racing” is a blast to play.
Each character has different stats that make them control slightly differently. You can also unlock a ton of parts to add to racer’s cars, making it easy to be able to play with the stats you want.
The thing that makes “Team Sonic Racing” unique are its titular team races. Instead of a traditional racing game where everyone is for themselves, “Team Sonic Racing” adds a mode where players can race in teams of three.
This adds a whole new layer to the game, meaning players must work together if they wish to win the race. If one player finishes in first but his teams finish in 8th and 11th, you won’t win the race. The only way to secure victory is sharing item blocks with teammates and driving in the trail that the teammate furthest ahead leaves. This reinvigorates the kart racing genre and makes the game stand out from other popular titles such as “Mario Kart.”
If team racing doesn’t sound like your thing or you’d like to try a good old fashion race, don’t worry, those are in the game too.
In addition to these more conventional races, there are also several difficult challenge races in the story mode that shake up the gameplay by having you collect coins, drift through gates or avoid robots. These are a fun diversion from the main attraction that add some variety to the game.
Visually, the game is quite pretty. The different tracks each wonderfully showcase different parts of the Sonic world and boast great remixes of classic songs.
My only complaints for “Team Sonic Racing” are more nitpicks than real issues. Some of the load times between races can take over a minute, which feels like forever. It also would’ve been nice to see a few more characters represented, as the Sonic franchise has way more than 15 characters that could’ve been used.
“Team Sonic Racing” was much better than I thought it would be. Whether playing by yourself or with others, “Team Sonic Racing” will reinvigorate your love for kart racers and, perhaps, Sonic himself.
Game reviewed on a Nintendo Switch. Review copy provided by Sega.