Sonic R is exactly what it says on the tin – a racing game. Only… the ‘Racing’ is abbreviated with an ‘R’ and it’s not in a tin. It sees you take a whole cast of Sonic Team characters out on a racing revolution! A competition is being held on Sonic’s home grounds, and the blue blur just can’t help but notice it. Sonic can’t turn something like this down. Tails joins him in signing up for the competition, however it they soon find out that it was all just a ploy set out by Dr Robotnik to trap the blue hedgehog. The swine.
The point of fatso doing this is to take over the world, as per usual. But as well as Sonic and Tails joining the race, Knuckles and Amy rose also have plans for pole position. AND with Eggman hoping to lead the race as well as the world, this contest could get ugly.
Platform: Sega Saturn | Developer: Travellers’ Tales
EU Release: 21 Nov 1997 | US Release: 18 Nov 1997 | JP Release: 4 Dec 1997
Everybody’s Super Sonic Racing! God, I’m sorry, but I had to say it, it’s the second corniest thing next to Sonic’s hilarious voice over on the Sonic Jam title screen intro. But this game is all about racing, and if you don’t like racing, then take solace in the fact that Sonic’s in it. But, obviously, because it’s made by Sonic Team, it can’t possibly be like all the other racers out there. No. Sonic R consists of Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Robotnik (not accessible from the start) all racing it out across five levels, with many secrets to discover, and lots of modes to access.
You may have noticed that when you start playing, you can’t race as Eggman, and there about four other characters spots missing. That’s where you have to start your work, and you realise the game is about more than just winning the gold. The special characters, as they are known, can be unlocked by collecting gold coins (except for Eggman) hidden within each of the four initial stages. Find all of them, then be sure to complete the race. First place isn’t necessary, but try and get to the end at least. Then, when you have all five golden coins at your possession…
You get a challenge from a mysterious character – Metal Sonic for example. You must race the special character around the same track you have just played, and come in first place. Coins and Chaos Emeralds will not appear, so don’t even bother. To ensure some of the golden coins become yours, be aware of big metal doors with numbers on top. You need the required amount of rings to enter and pass through. Some gold coins are situated there, others are in sneaky narrow routes around the track. Keep your eyes peeled…
As well as special characters to unlock using golden coins, there also happens to be the classic Chaos Emeralds still dotted around each level. There are usually one or two of these on each level. They are usually locked behind large metal doors that require rings to enter. If you are saving rings, keep in mind that speed boosts will lose some or all of your rings. Once you have one or even two Chaos Emeralds, you MUST finish in First position to keep them. Collect all the Chaos Emeralds, and you get a special character, and even YOU should know who THAT will be. If you don’t have a clue, you really haven’t learned a thing about Sonic the Hedgehog.
Your main goal, as with any other racing game on the planet, is to finish the course in First place. Sometimes, you need to come First in order to keep any Chaos Emeralds you have collected in the track, and sometimes you don’t have to come in first if you are collecting the five golden coins, but you should at least make a place. If all the racers finish and you do not, then the race ends automatically and you’ll be placed as 5th.
Of course, there are more modes than just the Grand Prix. You can face it off with your pal in a VS mode, in which you can just play a straight race, or race to collect the five blue balloons in the fastest time. On your own, there is the time attack, the blue balloon game as well as a ‘tag’ game in which you play a course with four racers to touch, or ‘tag’ if you will. You can go any direction in the track too.
To get ALL ten characters you must do the following things: to get Metal Sonic collect all the five gold coins in the first level. Puppet Tails: do the same thing only for level two. For Metal Knuckles, get the five coins on level three and for the Egg Robo, catch five coins from the fourth level. Eggman can be accessed once you complete the whole game in First position, and for Super Sonic to be played you need all the Chaos Emeralds in the courses. Easy, huh?
Not the new Sonic platformer I (or many other fans) was hoping for, but this game, I must say, absolutely ROCKS! This may be the shortest game in the history of the Sega Saturn, but this is also the one of the best. It’s another hit by Travellers Tales – a wealth of power ups to collect, alternative routes like no tomorrow, and loads of hidden characters, even if they are easy to unlock. The multi-player mode will keep you coming back more than anything else though, and is truly genius, as is the entire short but sweet racing game. Now, sing it with me! Everybody’s Super Sonic Racing…