Have You Played… Sonic R?

Gotta go badly

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I have! Here are some good things about Sonic R:

It really wasn’t that bad of a racer. It was just, by the standards of the time, a rote addition to the sickly Sonic empire. Diddy Kong Racing came out in the same month, for heaven’s sake. The only saving grace is that this is also out for PC. For a glorious period in the early 2000s it could be found in any reputable bargain bucket, in that wonderful orange case.

It had five levels.


  1. Scobie says:

    When I was a kid, I had a Saturn because of my idiotic dedication to Sega. I had, basically, this and Burning Rangers*, so I played this game for hours and hours, squeezing as much joy as I possibly could out of the paltry five tracks. It was not good. I wish I’d had an N64 instead.

    • welverin says:

      I was going to say Burning Rangers is a valuable game, but it would appear that’s just the US version, which had ridiculously low print run.

    • wariospeedwagon says:

      My family chose Saturn over N64 and PlayStation as well! I never actually got to play Sonic R, but my 2 memories of this game were
      1) The official Saturn magazine banging on for MONTHS how this was the superior game to Mario Kart 64, and how one track in particular was nicer looking
      2) Watching a video demo and being underwhelmed, with the characters looking not quite right. Now, I have that bloody song stuck in my head ‘everybody supersonic racing/try to keep both feet right on the ground”

      PS I was aching to play Burning Rangers! And also Panzer Dragoon saga, but I’m not sure either game got a release in Tasmania.

    • sirplayalot says:

      suck a cunt and die asshole, sonic R was great with lots of replayability and hidden secrets to discover and racers to unlock

  2. Chromatose says:

    The soundtrack on this thing was so atrocious that it became strangely compelling.

    Also, I have a really strange fixation on late-period Sega Saturn games, mainly just to see what incredible tricks Sega’s first-party devs would pull to keep graphics competitive with the Playstation and N64. While Panzer Dragoon Saga, Burning Rangers, Sonic R and Quake look absolutely primitive by today’s standards, at the time seeing my clunky black box render out such gorgeous, colourful graphics truly felt kinda special.

  3. vorador says:

    Another good thing about the game is that the game disc made for a nice Sonic themed drink coaster.

    While i don’t use that coaster anymore, i still use my old copy of Heroes of Might and Magic 2 as one, just as a reminder to never lend games to certain careless people.

  4. mega5657 says:

    Across from some obtuse controls and racing physics, I’ve recently learned Sonic R has an amazing 100% aspect to it. There’s numerous unlockable characters and chaos emeralds to collect (which have their own specific requirements that are challenging and almost puzzle-like to complete while still being fun). A lot of the unlockables require the player to replay levels in new and interesting ways that have convinced me to give the game a second look. If anyone is interested, I’ve seen a nice video that talks more about this in detail. It is about 20 minutes though. Look up Sonic R Underrated on YouTube and it’ll be the first result!

    • satan says:

      Yeah, bought Sonic R for full price back in the day and I got a loooooot of replay value out of it, was kinda scratching my head over the bad reviews then as I still am now.

  5. Hyperion says:

    I never got a Saturn until 3-4 years ago, but I did have the PC port when it first came out. Back then I didnt know it was considered a bad game, but I won all of the tracks and unlocked whatever I could get.

    I read that SEGA was one of the first developers to effectively know how to use Direct X and was the reason for SEGA’s ports being decent.

  6. fishyboy says:

    you didn’t mention the soundtrack: i know a lot of people don’t like it but it was probably my favorite part of that game