|Sonic and SEGA Superstars Racing: Speed Showdown|
Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, PC, Playstation Vita, Nintendo 3DS
Single player, Multiplayer
Like every other racing game, Sonic and SEGA Superstars Racing: Speed Showdown is a racing game which follows the footsteps of its predecessor. The player chooses a racer, a vehicle and a stage and race along with 11 other racers. The game brings back the three different modes of racing; these are car, boat and plane. A major difference, however, is that in this game, the player decides the time when the vehicle transforms as well as the type of transformation, by pressing a button on the controller. For example, the stages have various shortcuts, some of which require boat form, others requiring plane form etc. When the racer approaches a segment of transformation, the player's stats glow and make a sound to signify that the player must press that button at that specific moment to transform. This addition makes the stages more diverse and give more flexibility to the player's actions. Cars can now be physically damaged. When received enough damage by attacks or bumps, it will slow down and emit smoke and fire. It can be repaired when acquiring items.
In terms of graphics and mechanics, the game is very similar to its prequel as it uses the same engine, with a few differences. The races are faster, the stages are much longer and can change at certain segments during each lap. New items have been included, as well as multiple new characters and stages. All Star moves return. Characters have now 3 vehicles, with the exception of a few. A new inclusion to the game is a mechanic in which the player can press a button to activate a super boost, similarly to Gravity Dive from Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity. This mechanic can only be activated once per lap in certain parts of the stage, where the road is long and wide. The racetracks are now filled with rings; rings are also items. Depending on the amount of rings collected, the player's vehicle will upgrade, in statistics and appearance that is, in the middle of the race. In each race, however, the vehicle returns to its normal condition. Experience points also return. Moreover, characters are unlocked in a different way than before.
The game include various modes of play including rand Prix, single race, Time attack and the new Story Mode. These are explained in detail below. There are no major differences between the consoles, with the exclusion of graphics, speed and sound effects.
The game features 38 playable characters in total, of which 21 are starter and 17 are unlockable. The characters are the same for all systems and are all from popular SEGA titles. Of the 38 playable characters, 18 are new and 20 are veterans. There are 12 racers in each race, including the player himself. The conditions for each unlockable character to be unlocked are described below.
The game features 40 stages overall. These are grouped in 8 cups, each consisting of 5 stages. Windmill Cup, Pirate Cup, Samba Cup and Retro Cup are already accessible to the player at the start of the game. Comet Cup, Illusion Cup, Dream Cup and Master Cup must be unlocked. These cups are unlocked after successfully earning 1st place in the former cups, with the exception of Master Cup, which is unlocked after obtaining all 38 characters. Retro Cup features 5 returning stages from the two prequels while Master Cup contains 5 original levels that are part of the game's Story Mode. The difficulty of the stages increase according to the order to the cup.
|Necric Hollow||Altered Beast||Necric Hollow is based on Underworld, a level from Altered Beast, based off the mythological location in the Ancient Greek mythology with the same name. It features boat and plane form.|
|House||Clockwork Knight||Players race inside a house as miniatures. The racetrack features car, boat and plane. Segments include the children's playroom, the living room, the kitchen, the library, the staircase and the garden. Toys serve as gimmicks here.|
|Kamurocho||Yakuza||The events of the Yakuza series revolve around a city named Kamurocho. It resembles downtown Tokyo, with its busy streets, high skyscrapers and billboards. The stage has plane and car form.|
|Black Comet||Sonic the Hedgehog||From the 2005 game Shadow the Hedgehog, the Black Comet is a stage which features all 3 racing forms. Most of its segments are recognizable from Shadow the Hedgehog. Black Arms are found inside the track.|
|Providence||Vanquish||From the shooter game Vanquish comes the massive space station Providence. The race takes place both inside and outside the station. The player races in all 3 forms and has hundreds of different routes to take, ultimately making the track very diverse.|
|Crazy City||Crazy Taxi||This stage is based on the first map from the first Crazy Taxi game. As such, the map may seem recognizable to some older players. Hazards include pedestrians and vehicles. In this stage, by doing crazy things, the racers may earn enough points for a special boost.|
|Yeliko Valley||Panzer Dragoon||A stage from Panzer Dragoon Orta. The stage takes place in the blue skies of Yeliko Valley, below of which is a sea with ruins. Battleships and dragons can be seen flying in the sky. Some of the ships can be boarded. Features all three modes of racing.|
|Dolphin Coastside||Ecco the Dolphin||Dolphin Coastside comes from the island environment from Ecco the Dolphin. The race takes place around the perimeter of the island. It contains a beach and a laboratory facility. Most of the stage requires boat form.|
|Castle of Illusion||Illusion||The Castle of Illusion has multiple segments including water ruins, a town, tall towers, majestic hallways, a forest etc. It has boat, car and plane forms. The colours used in the texture of this track are bery colourful.|
|Space Colony ARK||Sonic the Hedgehog||Yet another stage taking place in space, the Space Colony ARK made its first appearance in Sonic Adventure 2. The track takes place both inside and outside the colony. It has car and plane forms. Notable structures include the Eclipse Cannon, the research facility, the wings etc.|
|Dreams||NiGHTS||A stage that consists of multiple segments. It starts off from a city during night, then players enter various portals to race in locations based on dreams such as a castle, a mansion, a park, an underwater city etc. Most of them are from NiGHTS, Journey of Dreams. Has all 3 forms of racing.|
|Night Palace||Sonic the Hedgehog||Serving as the last level in Sonic & the Secret Rings, the Night Palace contains several recognizable segments from the original, such as the outer rim of the floating palace, the inner city, the hallways where Erazor and Sonic battled and the illusional coridors. Has car and plane forms.|
|Cryptic Coridor||The House of the Dead||This racetrack resembles the ones that appeared in the prequels of this game. It takes place inside a haunted mansion. It features boat and car forms. There are zombies scattered throughout the level.|
|Oracle Mothership||Phantasy Star||A gigantic mothership from Phantasy Star Online. It is a very colourful track which takes place in space and requires car and plane form. The track is not only confined to the main mothership, but also on the peripheral, smaller ones.|
|Rhythm Speedway||Vocaloid||Although a home stage to Hatsune, Rhythm Speedway is actually an original track. It is a dark, digital world, with many upside down roads and loops. It features boat, plane and car forms.|
|Requiem of the Stars||N/A||Requiem of the Stars takes place in a futuristic, SEGA themed city built on planet resembling the moon, in space. The city features a huge racing stadium filled with crowd, from where the race begins. The racetrack continues into the cosmic city and expands into other planets. Has all 3 forms of racing.|
|Las SEGAS||N/A||Another SEGA themed city resembling the city of Las Vegas, as the stage itself implies. nlike the previous stage, which is also SEGA themed, Las SEGAS is more casino-looking and does not resemble much of a metropolis. Various SEGA characters make cameo appearances here.|
|Wildvine Drive||N/A||A massive, abandoned dome, built in the middle of a jungle, with enormously tall trees and heavy vegetation. It resembles Botanical Garden from Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity.|
|Lost Legacy||N/A||It is a ruined city of a once great empire, built by a long river. This is where the race starts from in boat form and coninues into the abandoned city. The city is made of marble and stone and resembles Teotihuacan.|
|Crisis of the Stars||N/A||Takes place in the same location as Requiem of the Stars and is basically the same stage. However, the city is consumed by a black hole, and stars are crashing into the city. The citizens are escaping. The layout and the map are more or less the same as the first stage, with some differences in the paths. Some parts of the stage are destroyed during the race. Hurry and escape from the city!|
Story Mode features the story of the game. It is composed of numerous small chapters, each featuring some races. These races can have many objectives such as Boost challenge, Boss battle, Tag, Time attack or most commonly pure race. For example, in one chapter, the player controls Team Chaotix and races with the Bonanza Bros. in an attempt to arrest them. It features all starter characters and all stages from the first 4 Cups, including some which are original and appear only in the Story of the game. Of These game exclusive tracks, 5 reappear in the Master Cup.
The chapters of the story mode can be selected and played independently from the rest, although there is a continuity. Story Mode can be played in easy, normal, hard or expert difficulty. Upon completing this mode, the player is awarded various prizes such as vehicles, characters and music. In game Bosses include Dr. Eggman, Wizeman the Wicked, Neff, Berthold Gregor and Death Adder. Master Wizeman is the final boss of the game.
Select one of the 8 Cups and race against 11 players in 5 stages, instead of 4 which were in the prequels. You earn points according to the place you get. The racer with the most points wins. The player earns the maximum points when he gets 1st place. At the start of the game 4 Cups are available. To unlock the rest, the player must earn 1st place in the previous one to unlock the next, except from Master Cup, which is unlocked automatically when all 38 characters have been unlocked.
In Single Race, you can select any stage you like and race with any character with a vehicle of your choice. There are 4 difficulties as mentioned above. There are 12 racers overall in each race, including the player himself. All unlockable characters can be unlocked by playing a specific amount of single races.
Race against a staff ghost with any character and in any stage. There are different time records in each stage set by the staff. Certain unlockable characters can be unlocked in this way. Ghost staffs are fairly easier in this game than in most racing games, especially in the first four Cups.
VehiclesA new inclusion to the game are the number of different vehicles each racer has. With the exception of some characters, nearly all characters have 3 vehicles each. The game starts with 1 as default. As the game progresses, the player will unlock more vehicles for their characters. Each vehicle has different statistics, such as weight, speed, acceleration etc. In addition, vehicles can now be upgraded during a race by collecting rings. They reset during each different race. They can also be damaged and emit smoke and fair when attacked by other racers. Damage can also be done when falling through high altitude in a car.
For most characters who have 3 distinct vehicles, one of them is the same, in most cases, from the prequel games. Some characters, however have all new vehicles. Sonic for instance has 3 vehicles, the third of which is himself running without a car. He runs on water as a boat form and flies as Super Sonic is plane form. Segata Sanshiro has a SEGA Saturn as a car, Ecco the Dolphin as a boat and a rocket, which had appeared in a popular commercial in the 90's as his plane. Yuji Naka drives his real life car as his first vehicle, the Hang-on as his second and a SEGA themed car with SEGA logos and marks on it as his third.
Items can be picked up during the race in the same manner as in all other racing games. They are inside capsules and each item is randomly given to the player. All Star moves return. Most veterans have the same All Star move from the prequel. Most items are new here, including the rescue kit, which automatically repairs vehicle damage.
- Comet Cup: Finish 1st place in Windmill Cup, Retro Cup, Samba Cup and Pirate Cup on Normal difficulty or higher.
- Illusion Cup: Finish 1st place in Comet Cup on Normal difficulty or higher.
- Dream Cup: Finish 1st place in Illusion Cup in Normal difficulty or higher.
- Master Cup: Unlock all 17 characters.
- Alis Landale: Play 10 races or finish 1st place in Pirate Cup on Hard difficulty or higher with any character.
- Silver the Hedgehog: Play 20 races or finish 1st place in Windmill Cup on Normal difficulty or higher with Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Shadow or Team Chaotix.
- Gilius Thunderhead: Play 30 races or place 1st 10 consecutive times in a race on Normal difficulty or higher.
- Ryo Hazuki: Play 40 races or finish 1st in Samba Cup on Hard difficulty or higher.
- Vectorman: Play 50 races or finish in 1st place in any Cup using an unlockable character on Hard difficulty or higher.
- Joe Musashi: Play 60 races or finish 1st in Comet Cup on Hard difficulty or higher.
- Chu-Chus & Kapu-Kapu: Play 70 races or perform 15 consecutive drifts.
- Napoleon: Play 80 races or finish 1st place in Illusion Cup on Hard difficulty or higher.
- Dr. Eggman: Play 90 races or finish 1st place in Dream Cup on Hard or higher difficulty using Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Shadow or Team Chaotix.
- Orta: Play 100 races or beat the ghost staff in Yeliko Valley in Time Attack.
- Alex Kidd: Play 110 races or beat all 5 Bosses in Story Mode except the Final Boss.
- Segata Sanshiro: Clear Story Mode or set the date on the system on November 22 (for players in Japan), May 11 (for players in North America) or July 8 (for players in Europe) and finish 1st place in a race on Hard or higher difficulty on that date.
- Fang the Sniper: Play 120 races or finish 1st place in any Cup on Expert difficulty.
- Jacky & Akira: Play 130 races or beat 17 Ghost staffs in Time Attack.
- AGES: Play 140 races or finish 1st place a total of 100 times.
- Berthold Gregor: Play 150 races or finish 1st place with all 21 starter characters in any Cup on Hard or higher difficulty.
- Yuji Naka: Play 160 races or beat 35 Ghost staffs in Time Attack.
Upon satisfying the above conditions, the player will have to beat the unlockable character in a race in order to unlock him. Should the player fail to beat that character, he/she must satisfy the above conditions again. In the race, only the player and the unlockable character are present.
Vehicles are unlocked in a number of ways. The most common requiring condition is for a racer to upgrade his standard vehicle a number of times. Other conditions include using the racer a specific number of times and earning 1st place with them a number of times. Other examples include using All Star move to finish in 1st place, performing super Boost to win a race etc. For Segata Sanshiro, AGES and Yuji Naka, the player must place 1st in Master Cup on any difficulty with any character to unlock their 2nd and 3rd vehicles.
Each stage has multiple tracks, which are randomly selected during each race. They range in number from 3 to 7, except from the stages of the MasterCup, which only have 1. The game also features original score by Crush 40. The tracks can be heard in the Music section of the menu.
- By imputing a secret code on the character selection screen while selecting Carbuncle, the player may have access to Amitie as a playable racer instead of Carbuncle. She drives the same vehicle as him.
- One of Segata Sanshiro's vehicles is Opa-Opa himself as car, boat and plane. The other vehicle is the SEGA Saturn as a car, Ecco the Dolphin as a boat and a rocket as a plane.
- In the game, Yuji Naka is voiced by himself. During development, Mr. Naka was so enthusiastic about the game that he approached the developers and expressed interest in participating in the making of the game. As such, he was added as a playable racer, driving his actual car and the Hang-On. Yuji Naka does not have an English voice actor and speaks japanese in all versions of the game.
- Several characters were intended to appear as playable in the game but were ultimately cut from the roster. Some of them were Reala, Meemee, Amy Rose, Pudding, Gum, Deppy, Wild Woody, Nei, Sam Gideon, Blaze the Cat, Big the Cat and Neff, who appears merely as a Boss in Story Mode.
- The dates needed to be arranged for Segata Sanshiro to be unlocked correspond to the days the SEGA Saturn was released in these regions in 1994 and 1995.
- All cups have one track from Sonic the Hedgehog universe, except Master Cup.
- Alongside the 4 Chu-Chus, a Kapu-Kapu is seated at the back of the car and is considered as the same racer.
- None of the in-game dialogue features recycled voice clips.
- There are 10 characters in the game who do not have a stage from their universe to represent them. Coincidentally, there are 10 tracks that do not have a playable character to represent their universe.
- There are three characters in the game that exist or have existed in real life. These are Napoleon, Yuji Naka and to an extent, Segata Sanshiro. Napoleon does appear as a playable character in the universe he represents, Total War and specifically Total War: Napoleon.