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Retro Review: Sonic R - GameReviewStop

Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and Robotnik (Eggman) are all ready to burn some rubber!

Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and Robotnik (Eggman) are all ready to burn some rubber!

Sonic R is considered by some die hard Sonic fans to be one of the worst Sonic games ever, yet others see it as a fun and enjoyable racing game! I sit on the middle of the fence in this debate, so I’ll give the pros and cons and let you form your own opinions.

The biggest problem this game has is the controls, there are times when it feels like you’re driving 18 wheeler instead of our fast and athletic furry friends. Staying on the tracks can be a bit of an effort but thankfully, you aren’t penalized for touching the grass or water (though you will run slower).

The graphics are actually pretty decent. The entire game has the cartoony feel of the classic games and the levels are very bright and charming. Now I know that this was a Saturn/mid-90’s PC game, but I feel that the character models could have been better. Sure they look great on the title and menu screens, but when you actually play the game, they look very blocky and simple polygonaly (new word!).

As far as the sound and music are concerned, I thought they were actually pretty good. Each course of the game has it’s own power pop/dance track that gives the game more personality. It also has all of the familiar Sonic sound effects, thus creating a racing game that stands out from the crowd!

Resort Island

Sonic running through Resort Island, one of the 5 courses in the game.

The game is very short compared to other Sonic games as there are only 5 courses. The fun part is that each course offers it’s own challenges, creative designs, and provide a treasure hunt to find the Chaos Emeralds and Sonic tokens that can unlock a robotic counterpart of the characters! But after awhile, they can get a little repetitive. It’s really too bad there weren’t more courses.

The developers tried to give Sonic R replay value by putting hidden characters in the game, adding a hard mode for more of a challenge, and including multiplayer and minigames. I will admit that unlocking the bonus features was a bit of a challenge and I really enjoyed the Tag game, but there’s really nothing else to do after you run through it all.

In the end Sonic R is a neat racing game and is enjoyable at parties or by younger players and gamers wanting to avoid big expansive games. I give Sonic R a 3 out of 5!

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