The Segularity: Ryo Hazuki Added To Sonic All-Stars Racing

By Graham Smith on January 20th, 2014 at 8:00 pm.

The Segularity? Shenmoving more like?

I thought I could let this pass without posting about it. It’s just a bit of character DLC for Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed, a kart racing game few people other than me seem to love. But… it’s too good. It’s Shenmue’s Ryo Hazuki driving a transforming car/boat/plane modelled to look like an OutRun arcade cabinet. It’s beautiful. It’s the Sega singularity. I’ve recorded a video of me racing that OutRun arcade cabinet around an OutRun track while the game’s announcer calls out phrases like “Football Manager has gone All-Star!” and “Stickers unlocked!”

Technically it’s an OutRun cabinet when on land, a Hang-On cabinet when on water and a Space Harrier cabinet when you’re a plane.

It’s rare that there’s a kart racing game worth playing, and it’s even rarer that the game is on PC. It’s rarer still for that game to have the invention and personality of Sonic Racing Transformed, in which each track and character is plucked from Sega’s back catalogue of videogames. That means you can race as Space Channel V’s Ulala on a track inspired by House of the Dead against other drivers based on Sonic, of course, but also Company of Heroes, Shogun: Total War, Football Manager and more. It’s joyful, and the next best thing to digging out an old copy of Diddy Kong Racing.

Developers Sumo Digital – also responsible for the PC port of OutRun 2006: Coast to Coast – have been occasionally adding new characters to the game as DLC. The previously added character, Simon from Yogscast, was released to raise money for charity.

Aside from being a really good kart racer, I love the game for the way it celebrates Sega history, with a healthy disrespect, or at least careful cherry-picking, for character canon. Ryo Hazuki wants to avenge his father’s death? Not anymore! Now he wants to hit boosts and fire ice blasts from his magical arcade cabinet. Because, let’s face it, being able to play muck around playing Space Harrier within Shenmue was what that game was about.

As always when writing about this game, I’m obligated to link to Dead End Thrill’s gallery of screenshots.

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56 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    DrScuttles says:

    Um… do you know a place where sailors hang out?

  2. SominiTheCommenter says:

    Graham, go learn to drift and then come back to posting videos.
    For shame!

    • Vinraith says:

      There’s a word for playing Sonic Racing Transformed without knowing how to drift: losing.

    • arboreal says:

      No drifting, no boost start and no jump stunts. At last, someone I may be able to beat.

      • Premium User Badge

        melnificent says:

        There’s boost starts. How?

        • Vinraith says:

          Pulse the accelerator in time to the countdown. You can get a 1x, 2x, or 3x boost right off the front. The trick is that you have to slightly anticipate the announcement of each number in the countdown and hit the accelerator before that. Oh, and if you do it wrong on one of the later ones, you lose anything you’ve built up.

          • Premium User Badge

            stahlwerk says:

            I think you can fail the one in between and reboost on the last.

            Is this mechanic actually explained by the game or the manual? I found it only by accident.

          • LionsPhil says:

            I don’t remember it being explained anywhere official, no. The closest is that there’s a sticker for doing it across land, air, and sea, which cues you in that it must be possible. (And you can see opponents doing it in proportion to the difficulty, if you don’t just assume that that’s a handicap.)

            If you do it as the screen fades out, you can get the rhythm fairly easily.

          • mickygor says:

            You can get a 4x boost if you start before the first count.

    • The Random One says:

      He’s almost as bad as me. Maybe I too have it in me to become a game journalist.

  3. Will Tomas says:

    I just adore this game. It’s so, so good.

  4. Sami H says:

    Oh Shenmue, when will they port you to the PC?

    • Guvornator says:

      The number plate of the kart reads “Shen 3″. It’s probably nothing…

    • Kitsunin says:

      Eh, nullDC works near perfectly so I don’t really see the need. It’d still be nice though.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      I only care about the port if someone is actually going to release the next part and continue/finish the story.
      It’s all written I believe, 16 chapters in all (the first 2 games cover 6 or 7 chapters). Doesn’t look likely this story will ever be finished which is a shame, such a revolutionary game for its time.

  5. Vinraith says:

    I love this game, but I wish they’d release some DLC with substance for it. I don’t need extra characters, I need more tracks and more events!

    • Kitsunin says:

      Exactly! Characters are cool I guess, but really, they’re just new skins – almost totally cosmetic items. More tracks please! No…an expansion with a whole bunch more and new single player campaign as well please!

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      Those non-static tracks look pretty expensive to make. I have a feeling that the only reason we are even getting new characters is because of the extremely small, but very dedicated PC audience.

      • Kitsunin says:

        True, but certainly less expensive than the game, and I would be hells of willing to pay the price of the game all over again for the same amount of content with no improvements or anything. It’s a shame that there might not be others like me there.

  6. LionsPhil says:

    Look at all those colours. Many of them are not grey or brown or just plain washed out! Nor are they actually saturated to the point of being screaming daggers of gritty pain being ground into your eyeballs. It’s just cheerful.

    • pilouuuu says:

      And also notice the not exagerated HDR. How I hated those brown and grey games.

  7. Rally.Plane says:

    Why is he not driving a Forklift?

    Do sega’s men don’t know their own games?

    • Vinraith says:

      I take it as an indication that most people played Shenmue the way I did: completely blowing off the plot in favor of just playing the classic Sega games at the arcade.

      • Premium User Badge

        welverin says:

        Lan Di must be brought to justice!

        Um, so no, that’s not how I played it.

        • Vinraith says:

          I don’t even know who that is. :)

          Then again, I got the game from my roommate when he was done with it, it’s really not the kind of thing I would have bought myself.

          Edit: Oh, and in case it wasn’t obvious my original post is a joke, not a serious suggestion that most people didn’t play the actual game.

          • Premium User Badge

            DrScuttles says:

            It’s also very possible that a great many people engaged enough with the story to engage with it at a reasonable pace while enjoying the atmosphere and stuff you could do, which eventually creates a narrative where Ryo Hazuki’s entire life becomes devoted to avenging his father… just after one more go on Space Harrier. And maybe some darts. Only now it’s curfew ‘o clock. Should probably give Nozomi a call, too. After I’ve had a quick spar with Fuku-san. But then I will avenge you, father! Ooh, look, a kitty.

        • Pippy says:

          I figure if Ryu completes the whole of career mode he can go up against Lan Di in a battle race*
          *I am only extrapolating as I have never played Shen Mue or known its plot, in fact I have been racing as Ryu without even knowing who he is (but he sure has good stats as well he might as he is level whatever top level is)

      • arboreal says:

        I spent a ridiculous amount of time feeding kittens in the snow.

  8. Konil says:

    Graham, you are actually missing another level to this madness:

    It’s obviously referencing this:

  9. furrymessiah says:

    The, ahem ‘kart’ that Ryu is driving is actually based on a real-world vehicle someone made: http://www.popsci.com/diy/article/2012-01/gamer-engineer-builds-drivable-arcade-cabinet

  10. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    Damn you. My heart skipped a beat when I saw Ryo on a screenshot.

  11. LionsPhil says:

    Also, argh, the audio seems a good second out of sync in that video, unless YouTube just found a new and exciting way to fail my end.

  12. Felixader says:

    So sad that they messed up the Dreamcasts launch.

    • Premium User Badge

      Jalan says:

      They’ll make up for it by including a Dreamcast DLC for this game, complete with Bernie Stolar as its operator.

      • iainl says:

        Given you already get a Dreamcast controller as the final unlockable character, it would be a bit superfluous, no?

  13. Notebooked says:

    I expected so little from this game and got so, so much. It’s a chipper bounding bundle of delights.

  14. Gabe McGrath says:

    @Graham, I do hope they offer ‘Magical Sound Shower’ as an option.

  15. hypercrisis says:

    i’m one of those shenmue fanboys, and I’m disappointed at the vehicle choice, it feels lazy and half-arsed.

  16. MeestaNob says:

    Fantastic game. I would happily pay $20 for a expansion with extra tracks.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    One day, when I am rich, I am getting this: http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/9/2010/02/forklift.jpg

    Or, you know, will just make one with a 3D printer.

  18. Premium User Badge

    stahlwerk says:

    Those dead end thrills shots are incredible.

  19. Chizu says:

    “It’s joyful, and the next best thing to digging out an old copy of Diddy Kong Racing.”
    I think I might love you, Graham.

    I wish Outrun 2006 was still available on steam :(

    • Premium User Badge

      strangeloup says:

      I went through the linked articles and was at first overjoyed that a PC version existed, and then my happiness was cruelly dashed by it being no longer available.

  20. RichardDastardly says:

    When the hell is Sega going to realize that if they were to put Shenmue 1 and 2 on the PC they’d make probably enough to finish the trilogy? Seriously I thought they were going to smarten up once Jet Grind Radio randomly hit Steam after Sonic Adventure 1&2. Even Square Enix seems to know that PC players want their older games. The Dreamcast games would do well on the PC.

    • Premium User Badge

      strangeloup says:

      I think they could just do a Kickstarter for Shenmue III, which would then attract all the money in the world like some kind of currency singularity, to the point where not only all 11 games or whatever it was they initially planned get made, but all countries become subsidiaries of SEGA.

      • Premium User Badge

        Jalan says:

        It was supposed to be 11 chapters, with the count being left at 6 with the release of the second game. If they could ever pull their heads out of their asses, they could cram the remaining 5 onto a console disc or even take the TellTale approach and release them episodically.

      • felsenmeer says:

        that’s a really good shout. it’s still such a ridiculously marketable game. Sega wouldn’t even have to cover the majority of production costs.

  21. felsenmeer says:

    I guess he finally got sick of searching for Lan Di. Probably backpacked for a bit around Europe, missed home, and now drives cars for a living.