If we ignore the wonky Sonic R, then Sonic The Hedgehog has had a pretty good track record as far as mascot kart-racers go. Team Sonic Racing is out today and the latest from Sumo Digital, formerly of the excellent Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. This time, they've narrowed their focus a bit, swapping transforming omni-vehicles for regular cars and focusing solely on Sonic and pals instead of the greater Sega universe. From what I've heard from folks who snagged the console version early, it's still a grand time despite missing out on Football Manager racing around Skies Of Arcadia. Below, a launch trailer.
Rather than just rehash their previous Sonic kart-racers, this one is a little more focused on hitting that optimal racing line, although still a power-up and boost-pad heavy kart racer. Your three-car team are competing together against other teams, and if you fall behind you can catch up by following in a teammate's highlighted path. Cars are also split into three classes - speed, power and technique, having higher top speed, ability to take damage (or drive through some obstacles) and handling respectively. It's accessible and kid-friendly, but seemingly not without some depths.
There was also a lovely little animated short released a few weeks back, which I feel compelled to share. It is more proof, were it ever needed, that Big The Cat is the best.
Unusually for an arcade racing game, there's a story mode this time round, featuring multiple objectives per race and a lot of silly among between the characters between stages. You can skip all the nattering if you've no time for saturday morning cartoon daftness, of course. Personally I wish they'd done more of the kind of silent animated antics we see in the video above, but you can't have everything. Still, there's the occasional chuckle-worthy gag and some deep cuts for old-school Sonic fans. Plus, a catchy soundtrack just chock full of familiar (if remixed and arranged) melodies.