Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing Transformed
Review, Tips, Guide
This game wasn’t supposed to be good.
It’s supposed to be a crappy Mario Kart rip-off with the Sonic IP lazily slapped on it. It’s supposed to be a second-rate Kart Racer that you bought for two bucks because you were drinking too much and thought that buying ironic Kart Racers was hilarious.
What’s actually here though is polished, well-presented experience. The game is fun! It controls well! The levels are great and I’ll be damned if I didn’t have a great time playing it with my friends!
Somehow I managed to clock in over 620 hours playing this, still crave every second of it.
Being a late starter and only getting the game at the start of 2014 when a friend was kind enough to give it to me as a gift while trying to promote Ryo Hazuki DLC and Shenmue.
I did not have high expectations for the game after playing the horrible touch screen version you can download on mobile… this dampened my expectations as to what to expect on the PC and console addition of SSASRT.
First mode I tried was the online match-making. Never in my life have I felt like such a novice at a kart racing game, there really is a polarizing effect between being good and being down right elitist when it comes to online MM.
This did not stop me from playing. I was fascinated, intrigued of how these top players became so awesome at this kart racer and quickly learnt that SSASRT is a rather technical Kart racing game.
Those new to the SSASRT: you need to learn fundamental basics:
- Drift to level 3
- Risk boost and danger boost
- Tracks as best as you can
- Learn how to stack your boosts
- Find every item and use them effectively
- Avoid drones with a drift
- Unlock practice with all characters find their strengths and weaknesses
- Check your mini-map on straight ways for approaching racers and on incoming item spam, back spam if needed to counter this and look backward to see the potential racer.
- Constantly if ever in bad situation go all-star strategy.
- Above all else do not hit walls and practice and maintain high speed and keep consistent races
Wondering how I got so good at this game: I came up with a plan!
Decided to complete career mode and gain all (232 stars) and complete all Grand Prix and mirror tracks set out to unlock all characters and their respective console mods. I thought this would give me the edge I needed but I was in for a surprise… Gaining all the all-stars in career mod was tougher than expected but at the same time it was the most rewarding. And whatever you gained in career mode without knowing …you will be applying in online MM.
Sumo Digital have gone to a lot of effort at getting the balance between casually playing this Kart Racer and challenging the player to get better while also gaining rewards after completing and getting all 232 stars. And gaining a new character “Ages” was funny enough (this spells Sega backwards).
I was feeling confident with my new attained super kart racing skills after completing the game, getting all 232 stars and completing Grand Prix on expert mode; I was sure I was in with a chance to take on even the top players on MM, come out on top or at least give them a good run for their money. I found myself accelerating up the ranks and obtaining & keeping a constant and respectful 1600 rank in MM. I new it was time to take on higher ranked players and test my skills.. Again I was in for surprise, feeling frustrated with my efforts and felt I had peaked only obtaining 1600 to 1700 ranks while I greatly desired to achieve a 2000 rank.
To do this I had to better my playing style to compete with higher ranks. I pushed on and came up with another plan, which was only something you could gain through experience and patience and allot of hours playing. I set out to learn all the yellow pick-up locations, what they had to offer and tap into their potential and also learned which mods and characters worked best for each track.
On some tracks this was a huge game changer: for example there are two yellow pick-ups on Graffiti City: the first pick-up is a triple boost; used at the right time you can gain tremendous speed on straight runs, however this is not always enough to win this track consistently due to the tight nature of the course and the “bees” on the second lap. Now, this is where the second yellow pick-up comes in handy, which is a (blue glove). I like to use this when the “Bees” come my/your way… activate it and sail through them, the bees also act like a wall and are slowing down other racers who might be fast approaching.
This strategy gave me huge advantage over players, and from time to time I have been accused of cheating on Graffiti City. Well, once you get to grips with the course it’s possible to pick both yellow pick-ups and use the triple boost and pick-up the blue glove which will both give your even more distance, when timed and use correctly.
Sometimes you might find yourself in challenging situations with regular players who see you as their rival, and you might end up getting a few friend requests.:)) This is something not many articles mention or people talk about…
It is the online social community linked with that game which I think people really need to start taking notes of because I think this is also a factor that makes this game a great success…it is the community that goes with it..
SSASRT has an active racing community and friendly too, and sometimes it causes and creates rivalries in MM, especially with the Brazil players and Europeans.
One veteran SSASRT racer who goes by the alias of “harlot” decided to add me as a friend back in july, he was quick to message me about my skills limitations at that time and style… others have taken note of my potential and this gave me more confidence to keep on going and to continue racing SSASRT. I can’t remember exactly what was said back then, but we soon became good rivals to one another, we both had a common goal to improve our racing style and to win as much as we can. But we had different ways of going about it. harlot said to me: If I want to really improve my game I need to “time attack”, I took note of what he said and I managed to unlock all the secrets the tracks had to offer, if it wasn’t for harlot’s insight. It would be almost impossible for me to keep up with the elitist at MM….there is so much to learn to be at the top of your game while playing SSASRT…The game has unlimited potential in that regard!
I can, at this moment, be a better matchmaker in a week, than you can be a time attacker in the same amount of time
Even though I had the Time Attack experience it did not always solve crucial problems and differences between MM and TA, that’s because in MM you can pick up items and if you get hit it slows you down, because TA promotes the use of “Console Mods”, but at times this is not always suitable for MM and so, I decided to approach this differently.
This what I come up with to address this issue:
I have a character for every track in the game, I developed a strategy that will give me the overall edge to that particular track and the best balance depending on some factors, that I take into account.
I am very specific about this, learned over time certain methods and race conditions that need a particular fine tuning, which can greatly improve your chances. This is where the true sophistication that SSASRT brings.
These are a few examples what character’s I use for some of the tracks in SSASRT and the mod’s I use and the yellow items I like to pick-up:
Race of Ages – Ryo Hazuki – Console mod
Provides the perfect balance of movement speed – especially in water areas and being small enough to avoid going over the edge of the track.
Game changer: Triple Boost yellow pick-up second lap just passed the finish line.
Chilly Castle – AIAI – Sonic – Manager – (Ryo Hazuki/ Console mod)
best over all mod for this track “Acceleration”.
Game Changer: You will need to know this course inside and out, learn TA acceleration mod and track knowledge and above all maintaining lead will see you beat this track on MM.
Dream valley – Ages / Ryo Hazuki / Gilleus / – Console mod
Game Changer: Learn how to (Risk-boost) on practically anything and stack your boosts as best you can.
Water area… learn how to follow the water fall and gain great distance if possible as this gives you a huge lead – practice in (Grand prix expert mode) like I did or TA.
Carrier Zone – Metal Sonic – Knuckles – Ages – Speed or Console mod
Depending on your style but what I like to do if I am leading or in second place, I like to pick-up 6 ice, what I do is I hold on to this until I am on the carrier and then once around the the bend on the straight way I can either back spam all ice on approaching racer’s or I use all six-ice to take out or slow down the leading racer.
Game Changer: none really allot time down to luck but if you can get the lead try and pick up 6 ice and back spam to try give yourself some distance.
Graveyard Gig – Sonic – Vyse – Acceleration mod
There is not enough boost ramps that make’s using console mod or speed mod effect enough to apply to MM but Sonic and Vyse has the perfect balance of speed and acceleration that benefit you on this course. The yellow-pick on this track is triple boost, I like to save this until you approach the finish line, this will give you more speed and distance on a straightway than it would using it earlier.
Ocean View’s – Amigo – Ages – Speed Mod
This track is nothing special really at times can be unpredictable due to the many item’s pick up location’s and the many straight runs, because of this it’s very easy to get hit… There are many ways to approach this track and this is what I like to do to gain the upper hand… Normally I use Ages Speed mod; so if I get hit I can recover quickly but this also comes at disadvantage due to length of Ages transform car because makes you easy target on the bends.
I have recently found a use for “Amigo” on this track; for some reason Amigo mod’s seem a’bit off and weirdly aligned, but it seems there good reason for this, I think something to do with how “small amigo is”…
So what I like to do with “Amigo” and “Ages; I try and use the (Secret-Ramp) where you can pick-up Yellow item and get “triple boost”. I do not use it right away I use just before the next lot of boost pads and the item-pick-up, I fire it off before I hit the items so now I have some form of protection and then this gives me enough speed and distance from the players coming up on me. Also when the bolder’s come crashing down this also acts as defence making harder to hit you from racers approaching behind but due to the speed and the distance this proven to effective strategy for me.
Like I said this is just one strategy but also if you are in very bad position you can also combine this with (All Star on the 3rd lap).
But over all there many ways you can approach Ocean Views, TA will only give slight edge on this track but nothing major.
Addar’s Lair – Ryo Hazuki – Metal Sonic – Console Mod
This track is probably the most balanced track on SSASRT, it has the perfect balance of transforms and tight spots that can really help you train to be a better racer, when it comes to improving your game on MM.
I use Ryo Hazuki console mod for this track and the main reason for this due aligned balance of the Ryo Hazuki Console mod but also greatly is how Ryo Hazuki manage’s to stack his boos’st in the flying area where you can “combine drift boosts and risk and danger boosts” and stack them as best as you can, when timed correctly you can get insane amout of speed, this could also be my playing style so far it has not yet failed me.
This track require’s allot of knowledge and experience so it’s best to practice this track in TA and learn as much about it as possible, but if you can do well on this track you have pretty much learnt all you can to compete well in MM.
These are just some of the things that show how I like to approach MM and how I gain the upper hand. There are others things you can take into account if the race is not going your way and find yourself being item spammed to death. I am going to give a few examples of how to counter this and sometimes ( I admit) I do this to troll players online for my own kicks.
No one ever really thinks about the type of (All-Star) each character has the potential for each track.
I can tell you now, it does make allot of difference under the right conditions, and so much so that I’ve had players messaging me back, asking me not to go all our all-star in the race .
It really has the potential to ruin the race for all. “Trolling wherever I go”
Characters All-Star is the most effective and awesome game changer if you are suffering from item spam or you are continually being annihilated match after match with a lobby full of 1600 ranked players and 2000.
The best all-star you can get in the game are projectile missiles – Team Fortress / Ages / Dr Eggman uses projectiles so think about that when you feel you might need to use best this strategy.
This is awesome if used at the right time and in packed racer situations where racers group together which happens allot with higher ranked player’s between 1500 to 2000 you can really mess a pack-up in a timely fashion.
Now you are probably asking yourself: it’s random item pick up? This can be true but you can greatly improve your chances if you do certain things and potentially it’s also down to the racing conditions and amount of item spam you are receiving or what might be going on in that race.
This is my all-star strategy
First lap try get hit as much as possible and stay in position between 5th and 10th until you obtain a possible all-star and above all keep an eye on your mini-map in the corner. It’ is important to stay with the pack of racers and do not allow the leading racers to gain leading distances.
Depending on how the other racers are grouped together, you can check this with the mini map, I try and hold on to my all-star until the 3rd lap from time to time, until I might get connection interruptions which can trigger all-star to go off on it’s own accord.
Use the all-star near to the finish-line if you are using Ages, you can pretty much wipe out anyone due the projectile nature of the all-star. I have become quite effective at using this strategy in tough and competitive racing environment. This is a true game changer strategy.
Now your probably asking yourself, this is waaay too risky to pull off!
Saying that, going for lead position is also risky in itself, especially If you manage to get hit and end up in very bad pick-up situations (which commonly happens with the a leading racer) and then you are being item bashed (by others who are not far behind. I know from experience this is an effective strategy. It might not seem it, but trust in it… over time you will be making other players jaw drop as you troll them with an all-star race after race, especially the higher ranked players who are going for all try-hard mode.
Also to become really good and take part in the community i advise you make some friends, find someone who is good, who can give you advice ,who can point and tell you your own potential objectively, all tracks’ secrets and where you need to improve.
I personally try to offer advice as best as I can, when new players ask how to get good at this game.