sonicka wrote:I think we should get one thing clear, this game is better than Mario Kart - but not running on the 3DS it appears.
That simply isn't true. You can call us blinkered Nintendo zealots until you go red in the face, it doesn't detract from the fact that Mario Kart is a beautifully constructed game. It's a purer racer, more finely balanced and far more technically competent than this offering (going by the direct 3DS version comparison - we've nothing to compare the Wii U Sonic too). Sonic may do stuff that Nintendo should take on board - a more ambitious single player mode - but that's really where we draw the line.
SASRT is a gimmicky racer, throwing around large, barren levels full of flashy background noise to detract from the fact that the course design is pretty flat and that one third of the vehicles are properly stink-o-magic (the boats, in case you were wondering). The idea that we'd mark it down because of the characters in the driving seat is frankly ludicrous. Show me one Mario Kart review where the critics highlight the roster/setting as a reason why the game is so good. In fact, much of the praise for SARST is aimed at the use of characters/brands - it's arguable that, stripped of the Sega cladding, it'd be this game scoring lower.
Now let's have no more of this tedious conspiracy guff.
Thing is though Matt, I do adore the Mario Kart Series. But it's really beginning to wear on me with the last few entries. I don't deny how tightly designed all of Nintendo's course's are - but they mostly lack the excitement and I feel they're designing the game a little too safe these days for players.
Mario Kart 7 did have some remarkable new tracks (and the 3-sectioned courses were also some of my favorites), but it also had plenty of lackluster familiar feeling ones as well that were set in familiar locations we've seen plenty of times before. What killed the game for me was the single player mode admittedly (which is something we do agree on) - and I still don't understand the downgrade in this section of the game after the sort of content Mario Kart DS offered. But completing the GP only mode was enough for me to sell the game after a week, and a few wonderful tracks weren't going to keep me enthused unfortunately (as I'm not much of an online player) - and it didn't help that the retro section offered (IMO) a poor selection of tracks from the previous MK entries.
Now, I can't say anything about SAASRT on 3DS as I haven't played it (though I am supremely disappointed it's not different from it's console brethren as I don't care to own the same game twice.) I don't know weather it's fair to compare the console versions of SAASRT to Mario Kart 3DS (or even Wii), but I can't see how you see it as a 'gimmicky' racer in any form as it fully makes use of the idea in the title - 'Transformed' and takes the kart genre too another level, beyond Mario Kario, and further on from the likes of Diddy Kong Racing.
I really have praise the Sumo Digital for doing something different with this idea and running with it - that the Vehicles (and even the Tracks!) can shift and transform with you every lap really keeps things fresh, exciting and well paced for an enjoyable ride. It also makes repeat plays more accessible and enjoyable because there it feels like a fresh ride with new paths to discover.
And, to be fair... it's really Nintendo that gave us Gimmicks in Mario Kart 7 with those underwater track features and the gliding. Whilst it's a nice addition, they hardly add much to the gameplay in the same way and I felt that they really were a novelty idea that were underused on many of the tracks included.
SAASRT has some fantastic track design though. I'm sorry, but that can't be up for dispute surely? Bland? Barren? ...What?! There is so much more variation when those tracks transform in lap 2 or 3, and on top of that we get kart racing with a blend of hydro thunder and starfox-style racing to boot. Of course the characters and branding of the tracks add to the flavour of the overall game experience, but I find it an ambitious assumption for you to say that if you strip away the SEGA cladding that you'd be left with a blander karting game when really the same could really be said of the Mario Kart titles as well.
It's a shame a lot of the ONM staff don't seem to have taken to SAASRT, and I don't think I'm alone when I say it really is that good. But, everyone has their own opinions on the game at the end of the day, so that's fair enough. I think I just feel that Sumo Digital may have the edged the Karting genre into new territory... maybe some aren't ready for that yet, but it sure as hell excites me. It's Nintendo that need to be taking some pretty serious notes, because while Mario Kart is a competent and well designed racer, it's also stuck in a rut with it's ways, and it needs to evolve itself beyond the current experience it's provided gamers for over a decade now.
On a side note - I'm with you Matt on reading those ridiculous 'Sonic + Car = The Lower Score' comments making the rounds. This people, really is a load of old rubbish that needs to be dropped.