Bowser's Review a Week (The reopening)

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Re: Bowser's Review a Week (The reopening)

Post  King Weavilian on Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:28 pm

Those damn spies destroy everything. Razz

Before I work on those requests, I reviewed one more game that I left for a long while.

Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing

In all honesty, I bought this game on a whim with no expectations at all; I thought I would buy it for a laugh, but this was dashed quickly as everyone repeatedly said “No! It’s Sega!” I left it for a while then I heard the majority thought it was a decent game so I went with my gut instinct and decided to give it a go. I can say just now... It is probably one of the best racers I have played in my life.

Poor Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing will constantly be compared to the likes of Mario Kart just because it’s a kart racer with items; it’s as applicable as me comparing Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Sonic Unleashed just because there’s a wolf in them. S&SASR is more comparable to Diddy Kong Racing in which the gameplay is relatively fast paced and unlike Mario Kart, more leaning towards the aspect of skill counting as your victory and not because a Blue Shell just blew you up at the last minute and everybody else over took you.

So let’s get started with a game; I am going to post a picture of the character roster, and you, my faithful reader, are going to try and name as many characters as you can from the picture alone, and no using the internet either! You’ve got three minutes, go!

So how did you do? Want to share results? I’m going to guess that you knew all or most of the Sonic characters and perhaps guessed the odd few obscurities like Alex Kidd or B.D Joe. Me? When I first played the game, I didn’t know who the Bonanza Brothers or Zobio and Zobiko were. I never grew up on Sega, I was more into the Nintendo scene, but I was still proud I managed to name the majority of them; and don’t lie by saying you knew them all, Zobio and Zobiko are Japanese only!

Like most kart racers, the objective of the game, is to win the race on the quirky tracks whilst avoiding obstacles and weapons hurled at you by your opponents. S&SASR is more focused upon the drifting aspect on which your vehicle will speed up immensely and whether you can perform a quick trick or two on a ramp for an extra speed boost; this heavily encourages skill, so the better you are, the more likely you are of winning a race.

“Hold on a minute” you say, “that’s obvious, more skill equals a better chance of victory!” As Lex Luthor would say: “WRONG!” or to be honest, only partially wrong. Sure if you are more skilled you have a higher chance of winning, but in video games where items are an aspect, you have an extremely high chance of losing.

Take Smash Bros for example; I can count the amount of times I have lost due to lucky or overpowered items on both hands and even my toes. S&SASR at the least makes it so the weapons give slower players a chance to catch up, but not a chance to win. I can be pummelled by at least five rockets in a three lap race but if the opponent isn’t good enough to catch up with me, then I can still win with ease. Even with the incredibly powerful All Stars I can win a race; one time, I had raced against an obvious hacker who was constantly activating an All Star (which is impossible online since they are disabled) yet I still won by ten seconds. So easily, this game gets high marks for the item system, just because a good player will win just like they deserve to and won’t be punished just for winning; Nintendo, I am heavily hinting, nudging and potentially smashing your face in with this.

Another aspect of kart racers is of course, the tracks. Generally the more quirky of tracks is usually the most fun; in all honesty, I can say S&SASR kind of falls flat in this department. Of course you’ll have the tracks from the different franchises, so let’s take the iconic Sonic as an example. In his games, we’ve seen cities, vast green hills, beaches, fortresses, casinos, ice covered mountains, you get the idea. So what are we given? Three beach stages, three fortress stages and three casino stages.

To be honest, that’s far from varied, heck, even poor Billy Hatcher is stuck with the stock ice stages as two out of three of his stages are all ice based. When I played Billy Hatcher, there was much more than that. Easily there could have been a much larger variety of tracks such as a city in Crazy Taxi, a space track for Space Channel 5, a ChuChu esque track or heck... the incredibly well known Green Hill Zone from Sonic.

This links towards the representation of franchises. Of course, Sonic is obviously the most overrepresented, sporting the most characters: himself, Tails, Knuckles, Dr. Eggman, Amy, Shadow and... Big... WHY BIG?! Of all the Sonic characters, they add BIG. Big the motherfudging cat! It’s BIG. The most boring and annoying Sonic character ever, even his story in Sonic Adventure was BORING. No boss worth his salt can be beaten in a mere second, but in Big’s story it can! You could have at the least added a cool Sonic character like Blaze, but no... BIG had to be added.

Excuse me, but when I remember Big got into this game over many characters, I kind of die on the inside. But yes, Sonic is clearly the most represented character in the entire game, and it’s obvious to be honest, he’s the most popular, people are going to know who he is and what he represents. When I first unlocked the incredibly awesome Bonanza Bros, I was like “Why are there lego men in this game?” Even Zobio and Zobiko I called “the zombie group.” Even popular and well known Sega franchises such as Virtua Fighter or Super Monkey Ball only got one character, and AiAi is lucky he even got some tracks – probably some of the most sadistic tracks in history.

The representation is indeed lacking; apparently there were time restraints and characters such as Toejam and Earl were cut (I bet you don’t know who they are either). But this can be changed in the DLC in which- Oh wait, I bought it for Wii so I get screwed over with no DLC! I am glad though really, the latest DLC featured Metal Sonic which... is just really disappointing. I think everybody was disappointed with this.

I could potentially list characters they could have added to the existing franchises right now such as Agent G and Washington driving the hilarious ice cream truck from House of the De- Oh that’s right... For friendliness, its renamed Curien Mansion. Either way, give me Agent G and Washington in the ice cream truck! I don’t care how bad they are I’ll... still probably use the Bonanza Brothers.

If characters are to be mentioned, let me rush over the balance of them. Sometimes in kart racers, the developers decide to give the racers incredibly different stats so they are at least different. This works well sometimes as it gives some variety at least, however, this can present problems. One, the balance of the game is thrown down the gutter since characters are divided into how good or bad they are, and two, your favourite character may be one of the worst in the game.

I’d be heartbroken if Weavile was in a kart racer and he was one of the worst characters in the game; it’d pain me to even use him. In this particular kart racing franchise, acceleration is key, and by good chance, the Bonanza Brothers (the characters I use... a lot), have high acceleration and extremely fast trick speed making them incredibly fast in the process. At the least, I have began to like a new character because of how good they are in the game; and I always do like that simple trick they do where they shake hands in mid air, it’s awesome. And their laugh is awesome... And their car... Ok, they’re flat out awesome.

What is probably a must have in a Sega game is good music, in many Sega games I have played, the music is incredibly catchy, even if it is what I used to dub “teenage band bollocks” which is essentially, the Sonic garbage. However, we are blessed with such tunes such as the E.G.G.M.A.N instrumental ( no vocals!), Can you feel the sunshine (I like it...) and of course; Samba De Janeiro, which is so awesome that it’s the only music I race to on a Samba De Amigo track. There are plenty of tracks and all suit the fast paced racing mood, even Super Sonic Racing which sounded really tacky in Super Smash Bros Brawl becomes catchy as you’re racing head to head with other Sega characters, dodging attacks and pulling off tricks like a pro.

Finally, I want to mention the announcer. He is like marmite, you either love him, or you want him to die and jam a rusty pole up his arse until he screams. Me? I think he’s hilarious. He constantly updates you on the race and says hilarious lines that, although can be a bit repetitive are still funny, and he’s a great motivator. “The Bonanza Brothers mess up! How are they gonna recover from that?!” Like this, with gusto. And thus, I win the race. It’s even better when he’s virtually insulting your character or your driving ability; unlike most announcers in games, he’s humorous and to be honest, the environment seems so... quiet without him. I muted him once for a quiet race and it was just bad. I missed him telling me that a rocket was about to blow me up or that Tails had the All Star. He is a definite positive for the game.

So what else is there to say about this game? It’s a kart racer, and just because it’s Sonic and Sega, it’s going to be judged as a Mario Kart rip off and shunned by every reviewer who is paid out there just because of that reason alone. Don’t let that put you off, Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing is at the least, a rent; it’s a great racer invoking fast paced action with semi-balanced gameplay and rewards skill instead of punishes it; for me, it’s one of the best kart racers ever, I rank it higher than Mario Kart and Diddy Kong Racing. A buy though? That’s your choice, it can particularly get dull by yourself after you have done the Grand Prix and unlocked everything, but with your friends, it can be a right laugh.

“B.D Joe gets bananas?! This game is racist!”

Yes, that was one instance where my friend Shayne (who plays as B.D Joe – I wonder why), had bananas as a shield in Battle Mode where as I had apples and Gareth had oranges. It was rather humorous, if not a bit low on the morality scale for humour; but not as low as Family Guy. That’s below Hell.

I do admit, this game is great for advertising the characters. I already began to play a bunch of the Sega games I missed, and I downloaded Bonanza Brothers for the Virtual Console. Damn you Sega making money off of me!

Overall, I give this game a steady 85 out of 100.

The game loses points for dull single player after a while, lack of variety in franchise tracks and a proper lack of character representation. It however gains tons of points for an attempt at balance, a cool selection of characters, adding B.D Joe and the Bonanza Brothers, rewarding skill and of course, fast gameplay.

This review was primarily based upon the Wii version, but most are the same; the only one which would potentially be worth more of a buy if you have every console is the Xbox360 version as it has Banjo and Kazooie, the PS3 has no exclusives but can have DLC and the DS is a perfect handheld version of the game, but removes some partner characters; no more Bonanza Brothers it’s just Bonanza... Bro. Poor Robo.

I will shut up about the Bonanza Bros... now. Now if you'll excuse me... I'm going to play Bonanza Bros. on the Wii.

Music will be below:

Just noticed "The Concept of Love" has the word "ass" in. Ha ha at PEGI Age Rating fail. Razz

And of course; this HAD to be added. Very Happy


Eh heh heh!
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Re: Bowser's Review a Week (The reopening)

Post  Rorschach on Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:13 pm

Good review. I love the music from the game.

This may also be suprising, but I found S&SASR to be much more fun than either Mario Kart or Diddy Kong racing. Whether or not it's right or wrong to compare them.

As for naming the characters, I got about 90% but that's only because we have played multiplayer a few times. Razz Otherwise, around 6 max as I wouldn't even know some of those Sonic characters.

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Re: Bowser's Review a Week (The reopening)

Post  Ghost on Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:40 pm

Rorschach wrote:I would like to point out. The community of over the top antics and n00b slandering ways are the Xbox. If you play MW2 on the PC or PS3. (Any online game to be true) you may get a hint of it, but nothing like what is on the Xbox, which is where everything gets a bad name.

This is very true. I've been playing the Call of duty series for a while now and I gotta say this is the one with people crying on it.

Today I was playing on it and I used the Ranger just to get the two challenges. I thought Team DM would be fun. So I go on it, Half way through the game. But eventually they won because I was the last kill. The other team all said at the same time " SHOTGUN NOOB YOU DESERVE IT"

And in another game all of my team timed out. it was me vs 4 guys. They started spawn camping me on Highrise and I decided to noobtube. They all just spam the chat saying " Lol noob using the noobtube" So I replied with "Because camping is pro too."

Last but not least: My school. My god damn school. The only game they play is MW2 all day, Nobody has bought a new game since, Except me.. So a guy from my school adds me and said he was doing boosting, So I thought I would join for the lulz. Nuke boosting. So somebody killed me when I was gonna get a nuke and I get killed half way. And if I got one more kill I would win. But another guy wanted too get it instead, so I let him, but on his 25th kill he said ok kill me. So I listened, did a 720 spin and killed him. Him and everybody else that plays it raged. They raged so hard the next day at school they beat the crap out of me. Kicked, Punched and even winded. All because of that game.

So yeah... There's lots of jerks on MW2. I'd watch out.

tl;dr MW2 normally has a douche in it.
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