Developer: Sumo Digital
Release Date: 1/31/2013
Rating: Everyone 10+
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I’m not much of a kart racing fan because the games tend to be too simple and easy, but Transformed really knocks it out of the park. The last Sonic kart racer was just okay, it had a slow pace and it just wasn’t designed very well. This game really surprised me with its excellent graphics and track design and character selection.
The obvious is Sega mascots such as Sonic, Amy, Shadow, Robotnik, Alex Kidd, and various others. While any of these guys outside of Sonic aren’t well known, it is nice to see them here. PC users get exclusive characters such as Football Manager (I know), Team Fortress, and Shogun (I know…I know). Not exactly amazing characters you would want in a kart racer, but oh well. When you start your first race you will immediately see how much better this game is. The handling is so much more fluid and the races just flow. What really sells the game are the tracks that change mid-race and are able to transform into a flying and nautical vehicle. Each character has three different vehicles and it just feels great. They all handle differently so it makes you stay on your toes. The track design is amazing. There are hazards everywhere and the weapons are really cool. The tracks are featured from various games like Sonic’s Green Hill Zone, and Samba De Amigo’s crazy LSD track. These levels are fun, but I just wish there were more.
The weapons vary from iceballs, twisters, remote cars that explode, rockets, blowfish, and various other crazy weapons. You pick up the question mark capsules to find them, but you will find an All-Stars weapon that will make you really powerful and fast. Your car transforms and it just looks really cool. Along the way, you can pick up coins that are used in other modes’ load screens in a slot machine to acquire boosts and other items. I just found the game to be very pleasing to play, but not in a single player. Easy was too easy, and the medium was too hard, and hard was impossible. The AI is really bad, but people play kart racing games for the multiplayer anyway which is where all the fun is to be had in this game. Unlike the last game, PC gamers get online multiplayer.
The graphics are really nice with bright vibrant colors, great-looking textures, and some really amazing lighting effects. Of course, the PC gets the best treatment and it looks way better than the last game. As you play the game you will eventually find tracks that become your favorite and find which character you prefer. The dynamically changing tracks just add that much more fun to the game. Hitting speed boosts, finding weapons, and avoiding track hazards is so much fun and the sense of speed is incredible.
I just wish there was a bit more still, while there is more content than the last game, I feel something is just missing. Maybe if the AI wasn’t so bad the single-player would be more fun, but I found myself getting bored with it. The only reason to constantly come back is multiplayer. There is a licensed feature that allows you to add up to three stickers that you earned, but I felt this was completely useless and something put in for little kids. However, as it stands it doesn’t add anything significantly new to the genre or push it forward which is what it needs. While it may not reinvent the wheel it just makes it bigger and louder.