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Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing for OS X review

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Category: Cart racer
Developer: SEGA
Mac Publisher: Feral Interactive
Minimum System Requirements: OS X 10.8.3, 2.4 GHz Intel processor, 4GB RAM, 4GB disk space, 256MB graphics card
Review Computer: 3.2GHz Intel Core i3 iMac, 4GB RAM, 512MB ATI Radeon HD 5670
Network Feature: Yes
Price: $24.99
Availability: Out now

Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing is about as good a kart racing game as you’ve ever played on the Macintosh. I remember having fun with Cro-Mag Rally back in the day, but not this much fun. This is in spite of SEGA’s history. As I’ve mentioned here numerous times, SEGA characters annoy me on the level of PSA cartoon mice that try to sell me on the idea that wearing dental guards to school is somehow “kool.” But the “all stars” here are the tracks, which are just a joy to play.

First, those characters. Sonic & SEGA All Stars features twenty video game characters, one of whom is Sonic. Most of the rest are equally annoying, even if they do come from some pretty memorable games. Your choices are limited at first, but as you accrue miles, you’ll be able to unlock more. More tracks, too, but you already knew that, didn’t you.

Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing

You also already knew that there would be multiple racing modes: single race, grand prix, time trials and missions. You knew there would be multiplayer, both online (via Game Center) and local. It’s sometimes difficult to find racers through Game Center, but that picked up during the end of this review period. Local multiplayer is handled via split screen, and you’ll need multiple input devices to accommodate. We ran a gamepad/keyboard combo, but you can go with multiple gamepads (Bluetooth include), multiple keyboards, etc.

As I mentioned earlier, any problem I have personally with the characters and with the lack of innovation is quickly cast aside by some outstanding tracks and engaging gameplay. The worlds from the SEGA game catalog make for colorful, unique race tracks that have more character than the drivers themselves.

Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing

They were fun to explore and race through numerous times, and the need to unlock more tracks provided much more incentive than unlocking more characters. Fans of games such as House of the Dead, Super Monkey Ball and Samba de Amigo will get a kick out of how elements from those games make it into the tracks, but you don’t need to get it in order to have fun here. My son hasn’t played 95% of these games, and he got hooked into Sonic & SEGA All Star Racing harder than some of the Mario Kart iterations he’s played.

It helps that there’s so much to do. There are plenty of power-ups and weapons to utilize during the races, there are tricks to master, and the challenges and Game Center achievements give you incentive to keep coming back for more. It helps that the graphics hold up well considering the speed of the races, and that action changes up quickly. No matter how many times it happens, it was always a thrill when my car converted to a boat or plane mid-race. In short, it’s just about everything you want a cart racer to be.

Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing

You don’t have to be a fan of Sonic or even of racing to enjoy Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing, you just need to be a fan of fun. Feral has no shortage of racing games for Mac gamers—you can race off road, through Formula One circuits, etc.—but if you need ice caves, graveyards and giant slot machines to find racing entertaining, Feral now has that covered, too.

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