Team Sonic Racing is the latest entry in the Sonic and Sega racing franchise and is available this month on PS NOW. Sonic has had an interesting history in this category. In 1994 Sega released Sonic Drift, a Sonic based kart racer and over the years Sega released multiple games in the racing genre Gianna featuring Sonic. Some of them were really good while others were really bad.
Fast forward to 2019 and we are introduced to Team Sonic Racing from Sumo Digital who created the Sega All-Stars racing games which in my opinion are the best Sonic racing games to date. Team Sonic Racing has a story mode where we are introduced to this new character named Dodon Pa. He has this teamwork power engine that he needs power for positive usage and the only way to power this engine is to have Sonic and his gang race as teams.
Eggman sees the potential for this engine, kidnaps Dodon Pa and steals the engine for himself and now we must stop him. Team Sonic Racing’s story is not that great to be honest but what did you expect from a kart racer and at least we got a story. Sega even released a prequel comic that is quite entertaining. The main mode in Team Sonic Racing is called Team Adventure and this is where the game’s story mode is.
Here you are going to do various challenges, everything from checkpoint challenges, ring challenges and even race cups. These challenges grant you stars and the better you do, the more stars you will receive. You need to collect a certain number of stars to access the later levels. I honestly found this mode extremely repetitive and boring actually as there’s not enough track variety or challenge variety to really keep me interested.
This honestly felt like a chore to complete and I think Team Sonic Racing would be better off without this mode and just made the challenges optional mini games. So, in terms of the main gameplay mechanics, you are a team and you race as a team hence the name of the game. Your placement in these races is based on how well your team does as a whole so if you come in first place and your team member comes in last you could still lose the overall race.
Team Sonic Racing brings home the point of teamwork and this game requires that you coordinate with your teammates to reach the finish line. You can do things like give items to your teammates and give your teammates a boost by leaving a yellow path behind for them to follow. The more team interactions you do, the more your super meter fills and once your meter is filled you get a great burst of speed.
Similar to previous Sonic kart games each team member has a class, speed, technique and power. Speed types are the fastest, technique has better handling and can attract rings and the power types can just run through obstacles without slowing down. I like the innovation here and I think this was a unique take on the traditional kart racing formula and it definitely helps Team Sonic Racing stand out.
Instead of having the traditional mode of each player for themselves kart racer, it encourages team play and you have to consider your teammates when making moves which is pretty cool. This game also offers multiplayer with both local and online but if the whole team mechanic is not your thing, they also put in a traditional mode for you to enjoy. Team Sonic Racing has coins for you to collect where you can use it in the garage and here it introduces car customization.
You can make some pretty sweet looking cars here and there’s even an all gold car which is really cool to look at. Overall, I think this game had potential, it has a decent variety of stages, an innovative gameplay mechanic and some great music. The only issue is that the game is quite bland.
Sonic All-Stars Transformed that was released before this game got it right and Team Sonic Racing is just bland in comparison. The gameplay is solid but I don’t see myself really playing after I finished the story mode as the online mode is pretty dead as well. So if you enjoy kart racing games or Sonic you should definitely try it out even just to see if you will enjoy it but otherwise it is a step backwards from the previous game.
Team Sonic Racing has been permanently added to the PS NOW library.
Overall I think this game had potential, it has a decent variety of stages, an innovative gameplay mechanic, overall solid gameplay and some great music. The only issue is that the game is quite bland and Transformed, the previous entry in the Sonic racing kart games was amazing. Team Sonic Racing is just bland in comparison and a step backwards but if you enjoy kart racing games or Sonic you should definitely try it out even just to finish the story mode.