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While it did make its way to PC and later consoles, Sonic R was the only exclusive (at the time) Sonic the hedgehog game that the Sega Saturn would get in its lifetime. It is a game that has a very mixed fan base with some enjoying it and others ranking it as one of the worst Sonic games ever to be released. I fall on the side of that this is an ok game, but it does take a lot of dedication in order to get the best out of it.
Fast And Smooth
I want to start by talking about one of the aspects of the game I think is good and that is the presentation. Sonic is all about speed and Sonic R captures that speed very well. The game moves at a fast pace and there is very little pop in compared with other games of this era so I give it props for that.
There are only five tracks in this game! I know that may sound crazy, but to be fair the original Ridge Racer only had one (with variations) and people let that slide. While five tracks is not many. They counter this by making them huge and very non-linear with many ways to get to the end and many secret areas to find. Plus, these tracks capture the Sonic world perfectly. You only have four characters at the start of the game, Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy, but you can unlock a few more such as the strange, but awesome Metal Knuckles which I do not think has appeared anywhere else.
Super Sonic Racing
Let’s talk about the soundtrack. I think that one of the coolest aspects of Sonic R is the soundtrack, I freaking love the soundtrack. While I can say that I like it, I can see why for some people the soundtrack may not be to their taste. It was not like anything else we had experienced in a Sonic game before and I appreciated that, plus it had that super catchy song…. You know the one I am talking about.
I Wish I Loved You!
I do feel that this is a game that has a lot going for it. I liked the fact that the single-player championship mode has a bit of a story to it. I liked how you unlocked characters in this mode as well. I also liked how you could play with friends to take part in time trials or burst balloons if you want. So, while there are not many tracks, Sega really gets the best out of them.
The problem is that the controls of Sonic R are best described as twitchy. When you are at high speeds, the controls can be very sensitive which can make taking corners really tough. I do think that the controls are manageable once you get the hang of them. It just takes a great deal of time and patience to do that and as I am a huge Sonic fan, I am willing to do this. I can see why others would not want to bother.
I can see why Sonic R is a game that some people do not like. It is a very, very hard game to love and requires a great deal of patience from the player to get to grips with the controls. With that being said, I do feel that this game is nowhere near as bad as some people make out. I for one, would loved to have seen Sega try and make another game like this on the Dreamcast! It may not be perfect, but this is a game I have always managed to have a good time with.
- Features some interesting characters like Metal Knuckles and Tails Doll
- It captures the spirit of the franchise very well
- I love the soundtrack
- The game moves at a fast pace
- The levels are non-linear
- The game's controls take a long time to get the hang of
- While I like all five tracks, a couple more would have been great
Download Sonic R
It is kind of crazy to think that Sonic R is the only Sonic game for the Sega Saturn. While Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic Jam were also on the console. This would stand as “THE” Sonic title for the system which when you look back all these years later is kind of crazy. This is a game that has a very mixed reaction to it and today I am sharing my thoughts.
What Is Eggman Up To?
Despite this being a racing game, you do have a story. Eggman is up to no good and once again after the Chaos Emeralds. This time around they are there as prizes to be won in grand Prix. So Sonic, along with Tails and Amy decide to enter to make sure that Eggman does not get his hands on the chaos emeralds. To be fair, Sonic R has a story that kind of makes sense and it was certainly more than Mario was offering at this time!
The presentation is not bad at all. In single-player, there is no pop-up and the game moves at a decent pace. It makes you wonder what a 3D Sonic game on the Sega Saturn could have been like. The soundtrack is something you will either like (which I do) or hate with a passion.
Super Sonic Racing
What we have here is an arcade-style racing game. I want to start with the good about this game. While it is true there is only a handful of tracks in this game. To be fair, these are some fantastically designed tracks and certainly make you feel like you are in the world of Sonic The Hedgehog. While there is only a small number of tracks, Sonic R is not as linear as other racing games. You can get to the finish line anyway that you want and there are many shortcuts and secret areas that you can go to do this.
What I like about this is that it makes racing the same track never feels exactly the same. You can get power-ups, coins, and other secret items that as well as helping you race will unlock characters. Speaking of characters, you have four at the start, but there are a further six that you can unlock which keeps you driving forward.
Not So Smooth Criminal
To be fair I feel that Sonic R does many things right. The controls in this game are what many people will call to when saying why they dislike the game and I kind of get that. This is a game that has some very strange controls. Taking corners feels very strange and it takes a while to get to grips with. The game has a kind of twitchy feel to the controls and some people will put the controller down and just say enough is enough and not want to proceed. Hey, I get it. However, if you stick with it and get the controls down, you can have fun with this game.
While the tracks are limited, I do like how there is a multiplayer option and some fun extra modes like the time attack and the mode where you collect balloons as well.
I can see why some people do not like Sonic R I really can. It does not exactly have a ton of content and those controls take a very long time to get the hang of. I though have had a soft spot for this game for a while and think that there is still some fun to be had here. It is worth checking out, even just as a curiosity so you can see what the only exclusive Sonic game on the Sega Saturn was like.
- It is cool seeing all the Sonic characters in 3D
- I like how the tracks are not linear
- Unlocking characters keeps you moving forward
- It tries to have an interesting story
- I like the soundtrack
- Those controls are far from perfect
- Only five tracks to race on
Sonic R is another $5 bargain, which would look more at home on a console. Based around Sega's world famous hedgehog, it's an arcade-style racer with power-ups and cutesy characters. However, rather than being the mindless pap you might expect, there is actually some substance to the gameplay, and you'll find that it takes a bit of mastering. Sonic R is fast and full of action, with some extremely taxing circuits.
It's just a shame that the graphics are so poor, as the split-screen and four-way games are a barrel of laughs. However, at this price, you can just about turn a blind eye to the somewhat suspect visuals.