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SEGA versus the ‘ModNation Anonymous’ – a rose-tinted view?

Submitted by on Monday, 25 January 20107 Comments

I, like many others, thoroughly enjoyed last year’s PS3 Attitude 10 most wanted games of 2010.  However, as I finished reading the list I couldn’t help but notice what I consider to be a glaring omission, so I’ve donned my rose tinted glasses in an attempt to bring you round to my way of thinking.

This situation does put me in a bit of a quandary though.  I’m new to this journalism malarkey and as such this is my first proper article, but I have a feeling the game I’m going to big up will have one or two of you wanting to melt me with Internet lasers, but I shall persevere none the less.

The game I’m referring to is Sonic and SEGA All Star Racing. Still reading? Well the madness continues because I’m proposing that it takes ModNation Racers coveted fourth place in the top 10 list.

It’s at this point I would like to say I have nothing against ModNation Racers.  From what I have seen so far it looks like an accomplished racer but one of my biggest issues with the game was summed up quite well by Mrs Folken24.  Just to test my theory I sat her down to watch the trailer, and as soon as it was finished the first thing she said was “that looks like LittleBigPlanet but with vehicles.”

Now for some of you that statement will be like manna from heaven and more than enough to secure your hard earned money as a pre-order, but I feel very differently.  I really, REALLY don’t want to have to make tracks and muck about with editors.  I can’t game for hours a day, so when I can I just want to jump straight in and go.

Right about now you might want to politely (one hopes) remind me that ModNation Racers will come with pre-made tracks, so why am I fussing?  Well the game’s USP is its track, racer and vehicle editing abilities so you know that whilst the tracks that come on the disk might be good, the best tracks are going to be ones that you make yourself.

Sooner or later my obsessive nature will kick in and I will have to go into the track editor and that would be it, I would be lost amongst the track pieces and car parts wondering how to make the ultimate track but failing miserably.  The same can be said about the actual racers themselves; they all seem to lack a bit of character and unless you are willing to put a bit of time in changing colours, clothes and goodness knows what else all you are getting is a generic block of polygons.

This is where Sonic and SEGA All Star Racing comes in.  Have you seen the multiple trailers that have been shown?  They make me feel 8 years old again!  Yes there’s Sonic and the gang but then you have characters like Ryo from Shenmue and he’s driving a fork lift truck!

I was literally sitting there, mouth gaping, pointing out what seems like 20 years of SEGA history battling it out on screen. “Look there’s Dr Robotnik! BILLY HATCHER! They’ve got Billy Hatcher in there and it looks like he’s racing AiAi from Super Monkey Ball! Alex Kidd is there too!”

No matter how hard you party, you'll never party this hard!

As you can guess, SEGA have got my heart strings and are giving them a massive tug.  I’ve not even played the game and already I love it.  The vibrant colours, the familiar sounds and the recognisable tracks instantly make me feel at home and it is stuffed with personality that a new IP like ModNation Racers can only dream of having.  Throw in four-player split-screen and eight-player online multiplayer and surely this has enough to please everyone.

Or does it?  It’s such a shame that I’ve heard so little about a game that has all the makings of a cult hit.  Has SEGA finally lost a little bit of its magic?  Are people moving on or have SEGA not pushed this hard enough to make it stand out from the glut of games we have coming up in Q1?  If this game was announced ten years ago there’s a good chance it would have exploded the Internet and sold by the bucket load but I guess that times have changed.

So that’s my argument laid out in full.  Even if only one or two of you go and check out the trailers and smile I will feel a little slither of triumph, and I will most certainly be driving banana cars, piloting planes and crashing fork lift trucks come the end of February.  If you fancy a game just give me a shout – I’ll see you on the grid!