Ever since I started Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, a writing spark has been bothering me. There’s just something incredibly unfulfilling about it, yet it still remains to be good. I don’t quite understand it and as I pondered on the thought, I questioned if its existence is actually necessary. What SEGA have genuinely created with this franchise, is a sharp plaster. It’s not a bad ‘game’ at all, but it doesn’t really need to be there. Especially when it came out the same year as Split/Second, Blur and ModNation Racers; I don’t quite understand why anyone would want SEGA’s result of painting Mario Kart in blue. It’s basically like buying old worn-out tyres for the same price as newer, better ones, which is nonsense when you think about it like that. As I reflected on this more thoroughly, I began to contemplate the history of the ‘hog & friends, to which made me die a little inside, as you’ll soon see.
Originally however, the title came from the lovable Dreamcast’s iteration of “Player’s Choice” – due to the Dreamcast’s unfortunate death, SEGA decided to brand a selection of games “SEGA All-Stars” as an attempt to spring some interest to their games. Consequently, only 17 games actually got this ‘treatment’ before SEGA went out of the console business, but the name still lived on attempting the carry some sort of legacy… alas, Sega Superstars was born. Created for the Playstation 2’s Eyetoy camera, Sega Superstars was a collection of minigames featuring all of the descendants of the Dreamcast in a neat little package; it was like their funeral, on speed. Overall it was your average Eyetoy game that had some fairly inspired ideas and some obvious filler. Not really the best way to start a series… although when SEGA characters decided to pick up a tennis racket, it was no better…
Since there still isn’t a true Mario Tennis game on the Wii (surprisingly), SEGA Superstar Tennis did actually have the potential to be its spiritual successor. What it actually did however was completely different; it loitered with Power Tennis’ winning formula, in addition to soullessly cramming as many SEGA cameos as the human mind can contain. Another average attempt on SEGA’s behalf, which also reflects my thoughts on the latest in the series, Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. I think it’s pretty evident there’s a pattern emerging here, there’s just no justification to why these games are actually created. For some reason, I just get next to none nostalgia playing these games, it’s just like strings have been attracted to the characters’ corpses and SEGA is making them dance around fruitlessly. It’s also rather laughable how SEGA make a big deal about Sonic being in the game as well, yet he’s such a minor (and sometimes hated) character on Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It’s almost like SEGA are developing these games to make Nintendo look better, clearly they admire their ideas.
In terms of the (jet set) future of these games, I’m not really sure what else they could do either. Personally, I’m hoping that SEGA either stop releasing such dribble or actually turn it into something special. In the time between Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl, SEGA released three of these games (to my awareness), which really speaks volumes in terms of craftsmanship. If some real effort and time was put into these games and they did something inspired, I wouldn’t have a problem with these games at all. Currently though, it’s just overused ideas with SEGA characters; Sonic is more or less half of it, most of the games featured are unrecognizable and anything to do with Super Monkey Ball is like scooping your eyeballs out with a fork. I appreciate the thought, SEGA, and that readers are probably sick to death of hearing of your name right about now, but if you’re going to be digging up deceased characters, please, oh please, don’t abuse them; just let them rest in piece.