Wii U Countdown: 5 days, and haven’t I played this on my iPad?

Sections: Columns, Consoles, Features, Genres, Originals, Racing, Wii U

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We’re now in the final week leading up to the release of the Wii U, and I still haven’t decided on the game I’ll be buying with the system. I have, however, started to eliminate some games from the race, one of which is, appropriately enough, Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed.

Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed

My reasons for this are many, not the lest of which is that I really don’t like any of the Sega characters. I like some of the Sonic the Hedgehog games well enough, but I don’t like Sonic himself. He annoys me. His friends annoy me. Playing a Sonic game is like having to watch a football game with commentary by Chris Collinsworth; he’s just a necessary evil you have to deal with if want to enjoy the game.

I’m also not much of a fan of racing games. Or racing at all. The moment two people decide they can get from point A to point B faster than the other, I leave for somewhere around point P.

Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed

But the main reason I have no interest in Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed is because I’m pretty sure I already played it on my iPad. It’s called Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing there. I’ve learned they dropped SEGA from the Wii U title because that Wreck-It Ralph fellow is in it, and he’s not a SEGA character. You know this because you don’t want to swat him away the moment he opens his mouth.

Regardless, the basic functionality of Sonic & All-Star Racing Transformed is right there on the iPad (and it’s coming soon to OS X). Granted, the Wii U version will be prettier and will have a bunch of additional features, but even some of those are already available elsewhere. Consider motion control, for example, which is obviously a carryover from the iPad. “But Kirk, with the Wii U you can control it with the GamePad and watch it on the big screen.” Yes, we call that AirPlay in the Apple world, and it’s a pretty cool way to play racing games.

Speaking of the GamePad, I’m not sure I like the idea of game details being displayed on there, as I’ll obviously need to be watching the continuous action on the TV. Not a lot of chances to look down during a race, even if Sega is building some pretty decent functionality into that second screen.

The game certainly looks colorful and energetic, but if you’re seeing something there that indicates this is a day one purchase, you’ve got better eyes than me.

This isn’t a knock against Sega, of course. I’m a big fan of the company, and they have one of the better iOS lineups available. But I wish they’d been a little more courageous with their initial Wii U offerings. Something like Valkyria Chronicles or an entry from the Yakuza series would’ve made a bigger impact, I’d think. Resonance of Fate would’ve stood out, too, or even The House of the Dead Overkill Extended Cut to illustrate the differences between…actually, maybe not The House of the Dead Overkill Extended Cut. The original cut was extensive enough.

Regardless, I’ll be bypassing Sega this Sunday. I expect it won’t be long, however, before they start making announcements that’ll pique my interest. Until then, maybe I’ll finally give that Zaxxon Escape a try. It’s not as if the Wii U will be the only gaming device in the house, after all.

Read all entries in the Wii U Countdown.

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  • Korgoth

    I have to agree that Sonic and friends will not even be on my radar as to what I’m getting this Sunday. However I have to disagree with the difficulty of looking at the 2nd screen for what is going to be shown.

    You can see a rearview mirror, a map, or the view of your weapon targeting some poor schmuck who got in front of you. Really things just for a casual glance. If you think that casual glance is too much for you, you may want to rethink your real life driving habits. While driving you are constantly monitoring up to 6 different “screens.” Your side view mirrors, rear view mirror, dash board, and the stereo/GPS all are being constantly monitored. Then we have that big window right in front of us where most of the action is, oh, wait then there are the two to either side which hold blindspots. And don’t forget to text your friends to let them know you’re almost there! If you can manage all that in the life or death struggle that is a daily commute, I think you can handle looking at a 2nd screen every once in a while.

  • sdf

    Is this a troll article to get hits….. I dont know if you are blind or cant tell the difference between two games . This is a SEQUEL to Sonic and Sega All stars Racing , if you are saying its the same as the first one. Then go complain to Sega.

  • NeoGAF

    Yeah, the main reason I have no interest in New Super Mario Bros. U is because I’m pretty sure I already played it on my Nintendo Entertainment System in the late 1980s. It’s called Super Mario Bros. there. I’ve learned they added New and U to the Wii U title because the Wii U is a new video game console.

    I also used to have a lot of sex but then I stopped doing that. You know, what’s the point? Been there, done that.

    P.S. Can someone explain to me what the word ”sequel” means?

  • Chunky Droid

    Really? This is an article?

    Transformed is the sequel to your iPad nonsense, which was also available on PS3/360/Wii.

    • Kirk Hiner

      Yeah, I get that…I’m just saying that from what I’ve seen so far, there’s not much here to indicate its different enough from its predecessors (including the iPad version) to justify a day one purchase. If we don’t get a Mario Kart soon, though, it would be a good one for the kids for Christmas.

      • azelsperch

        It has 5 player local multiplayer (4 on TV, one on pad). This is something not present in the other versions. It also has extra gameplay modes not in the other versions like the Monkey ball race game.

        If you play games by yourself, I can see this not being a big deal compared with the iPad version (unless you miss buttons), but as a party racing game, it sits pretty high up there on games I’m most excited to try on the Wii U.

        • Kirk Hiner

          Once I see more of the extra gameplay modes to determine how much they bring to the mix, I’ll perhaps reconsider. It also depends upon who effective Nintendo Land will be as a party game.

  • Dominic Leighton

    A Wii U Valkyria Chronicles with a touch enabled map on the pad would be fantastic – but then Sega haven’t even released the PSP sequel over here so if they made one we probably wouldn’t see it in the West anyway!

    I’m waiting to hear whether this is a good port more than anything else – lots of early previews have said it has a poor frame rate compared to the 360/PS3 versions. I like racing games and there isn’t much choice for the Wii U until Need For Speed comes out so I’ll grab it if it’s good. And forget about the Sonic characters – it has Samba De Amigo and Vyce from Skies of Arcadia in it!

    • Kirk Hiner

      I prefer kart racers over deeper, customizable racers like Need for Speed, but I prefer most genres over racers in general. That said, I do hope Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed is a success for Sega, as I want to see them really embrace the Wii U platform.

  • The Samurai of Gaming

    …Seriously? You’re kidding, right?

    It’s just as Chunky Droid said — Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed is the sequel to the original Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. This is not a mere port or update of your scaled down iPad crap.

    On a side note, I’ve always had a problem with this series’ title, personally. Why “Sonic & SEGA”, when Sonic himself is part of SEGA? Furthermore, why drop the “SEGA” part in the second game’s title? Couldn’t have anything to do with Wreck-It-Ralph as the uninformed author of this so-called article assumes, since there were already non-SEGA characters in the original (Banjo & Kazooie, Miis). Lastly, the previous SEGA crossover games carried the “Superstars” monicker (SEGA Superstars, SEGA Superstars Tennis), so why switch to All-Stars all of a sudden?

    What I’m saying is, the proper titles should be “SEGA Superstars Racing” and “SEGA Superstars Racing: Transformed”.

    • Kirk Hiner

      Agreed on the title.

      But I wouldn’t call the iPad version “crap.” It’s actually a pretty good racer. I’m just wondering from what I’ve seen of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed if it’s different enough to justify the $40. You think it will be?

      • The Samurai of Gaming

        Frankly, I don’t think that’s particularly relevant. Would you buy a new Mario Kart, knowing full well that its gameplay will be almost identical to its predecessor but with new tracks? I would.

        Of course it’ll play mostly like the previous game; if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be a proper sequel. If you enjoyed the first title, this one is more of that but with some twists added to the formula.

        • The Samurai of Gaming

          Personally, I intend on getting this game, but not at launch. I agree that nothing about it screams “Get me NOW”, I just disagree with the reasoning behind that.

        • Kirk Hiner

          At launch of a new system, no, I likely wouldn’t get a new Mario Kart game. The Mario Kart games I have purchased for other systems are basically worked into lulls in the release cycle, or if the kids want them. The focus of this column, though, is the countdown to a new system. For launch titles, I’m looking for games that’ll keep me tied to the system. Because there’s a somewhat similar iPad version out there, this new Sonic wouldn’t do that. So, yeah, I’m with you on the possibility of getting it later on, but because of the reasons listed in the article, it’s not a drop day purchase. Perhaps a rental one weekend to see if it’s worth buying.

  • seth

    love the collinsworth comment. hate that ass-hat.

  • Bareknuckle4

    Ripping into a game you have no knowledge of is ridiculous. The iPad version of Sonic and SEGA all stars racing is a good racer but no where near as good as the PS3/360 Versions.

    How you can compare the sequel to a watered down ios game is unbelievable to be honest.

    They dropped SEGA because the name would be ridiculous. If it was anything to do with wreck it ralph, wir would be some wear in the name not ignored.

  • awesome pawesome

    i just wanted to point out that motion controls are not a carryover from the ipad. The wii has had motion controls since it came out.

    • Kirk Hiner

      True. My point was that tilting the “screen” to steer is what we’ve been doing all along on the iPad. Sega used that as a feature in the trailer, which is why I addressed it.

  • JRoman

    At least it’s $40 and not $60. With a B1G1 40% off or a B1B1 $1 or some other BF deals, it’d not be too bad. It’s a game for the family, in my case. We own the original on the ps3. We love it. This one brings more of the same, with some updates, upgrades, transforms into air, water, and ground vehicles, but same mode of fun racing with boosts and attacks.

    It’s not NFS, but it doesn’t try to. I really wasn’t impressed by the images/videos I’ve seen and almost wished it were just the original with some extra characters and tracks…But, you can play 5 players instead of 4! But we’re 5 in the family, and the youngest 2 are 2 y.o. and 3 m.o. so that’s not gonna work…well I guess at least the screen won’t be so crowded if one of the persons is using the gamepad?

    I know I’ll end up purchasing it. Probably Day 1 because it’s cheaper than most other Wii U games and because we can play in family. NintendoLand comes with the console, and My wife’s fave is Mario…mine so far is ZombiU. So at least we’re nailing most of the game categories…?

    • Kirk Hiner

      You know, I wonder if I’d be more open to Sonic if I weren’t getting the Nintendo Land package. I want a game for the family to play, so if there were no Nintendo Land, Sonic & All Stars could have been the game to fill that void.