Sonic the Hedgehog has finally decided to jump on the bandwagon with Sega's upcoming Sonic R, but Saturn owners shouldn't mind too much. He's on the bandwagon because Sonic is not only starring in his first full-fledged racing game, a popular genre for mascots-he's also made it to a 3-D world-another "in" mascot pastime.
Traveler's Tales, a European-based development team and the makers of Sonic 3D Blast, are developing Sonic R for Sega. Originally the title was being done in the States when it was called Sonic Xtreme (remember this one?). But then it went to Sega of Japan before finally making it to Traveler's Tales, where they are now finishing the project with input from Sega of Japan.
Sonic may have dabbled in 3-D before with Sonic Jam, the olden day carts or with the Sega-CD, but were those really full-on 3-D games? Whatever past games Sonic has been in, Sonic R is quite a departure from anything before. The game features Sonic and around eight of his friends and enemies (normal and hidden characters included), racing against one another on several different tracks.
The five courses (that's including the bonus areas) are set up and have the look of levels in the old Sonic games. Look for the tracks wrapping around themselves, taking you on a different pathway every time you play (or at least the first few times anyway).
The graphics in Sonic R are really nice, complete with a cool effect that eliminates pop-up--or at least lessens the ugliness of it. When you're coming around a turn and in the distance there's a large hill, instead of just popping out of nowhere, it slowly fades with softwaregenerated transparency effects.
Players have at least three different modes of play to choose from in Sonic R. Sega bays there will be the standard Grand Prix Mode, Two-player Versus, Time Attack, Relay and Tag. In addition, all modes of racing support Sega's Analog Pad.
MANUFACTURER - Travelers Tales
THEME - Racing
NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
Download Sonic R
PC compatible, P-200
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode Multiplayer (Hotseat)
If you're a Saturn owner and you fancy a fun, addicting racing game with furry characters, Sonic R is your game. If you just want to race through the game (so to speak), you can beat it fairly quickly but you won't see all there is to see. Although there are only four main courses (and a couple of additional hidden ones), this game is a blast to play. There are tons of secret paths and items in the game (some of which open up additional characters and courses), so it'll take a while for players to see everything. Each character has his/her own strengths and special abilities too, which offer incentive to try different tracks with different racers. Graphically, this is one of the best-looking Saturn games I've seen in a while. The 3-D texture-mapped graphics are absolutely lush in their detail, and the frame rate always seems to hover around 30 frames per second. In addition, I really think the track designs are excellent. Not only is there a lack of the famous clipping problem that all too often rears its ugly head on the Saturn, but the twists and turns and off-track sojourns mix things up nicely. The music is a little too nondescript for my tastes, and I do wish more tracks were included. In the end though, Sonic R is more than the tepid diversion l expected it to be. The game grew on me and if you give it a chance, it'll probably grow on you.
There's no question about it--if a Sonic racing game had to be done, this is the way to do it. Right from the start, I got that old Sonic feeling (chaotic levels, lots of colors and a weird bunch of animals). The graphics are some of the best on the Saturn, and as cheesy as the tunes are, you can't help but hum them again and again. The way they hide the pop-up is really nice, too (well, except in the Two-player Mode). Also, there's lots of secrets.
Sonic R is one of those types of games that drive you absolutely nuts because it's so damn good, but it just doesn't give you enough of what you want. This is a brilliant racing game with fantastic graphics and some of the most welt-designed tracks ever (complete with secrets, shortcuts and multiple paths). The five levels have enough to keep you coming back, but after beating them, I only wanted more. Great game, but it needs more tracks.
When you first play Sonic R, you'll probably be turned off by the awkward control of the racers (I actuatty prefer the digital pad in this one). Once you get used to it, you'll find a real solid game. The track designs are excellent, and there's plenty to do on each course besides just coming in first. The Two-player Mode isn't all that exciting, and the music is pretty weak (though strangely catchy), but otherwise Sonic R is definitely good.
Sonic R Screenshots and Media
- Sonic 3D Blast
- Sonic 3D Blast
- Sonic and Knuckles
- Sonic Compilation
- Sonic Jam
- Sonic R
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic Xtreme