Faster than the speed of sound!
Since every franchise under the sun needs their cart race to compete with the likes of Mario Kart, Sonic brings his next cart racer to the Nintendo Switch and other consoles in the form of Team Sonic Racing. This isn’t the first Sonic racing game but it is the first one for the Switch so is it able to compete with the big plumber on campus?
For starters, the Nintendo Switch version doesn’t have the introduction cinematic/movie that the other versions have and that would have been a nice touch. It was reported online that to keep the “file size/cartridge small” was the reason why the intro movie was cut from the Switch version. Anyway, Team Sonic Racing allows you to play the Team Adventure mode or play online against other people as well as local multiplayer. The Team Adventure follows a map system where you play different races with different achievements during the race to well, achieve. Some of the races are Team Races where your team is judged and some will be a single judging like the survival race where you need to survive and advance in the race. There are other competitions during the Team Adventure where you can score stars and keys during the mode. You’ll need the keys to unlock paths on the map so do your best. You’ll also be able to compete in the Team Grand Prix during the Team Adventure and you’ll need the top score to win but the other challenges have prepared you for this, as the courses are tracks similar to the challenges. You’ll need starts to advance on the map as well and you gain stars by completing different goals in races such as finishing in the top three or winning the race as a team. The finish the race as a team can be a challenge at times because it feels like two of your teammates know what they’re doing and the third hangs around in the bottom three places, a cellar dweller in the standings if you will.
During races, you’ll be able to collect items, Whisps, to gain an advantage in the race, like a speed up whisp or a block whisp. Different whisps do different things so experiment and find which ones work best. However, you can use your teammates if you don’t have a whisp or need one. Here you can request a power up from a teammate that has one and they can give you one and you can do the same if you don’t need the whisp power up by giving it to your teammate. You can also perform stunts while driving by doing jumps/flips over ramps/cliffs as well as getting/giving speed boosts from your teammates. That speed boost could be the boost you need for victory so learn how to do it quickly!
You’ll also have the ability to upgrade your cart by using Mod Pods. Mod Pods aren’t free though as they’ll cost you ten coins each but you’ll earn coins during races so they practically grow on trees. In these Mod Pods, you have the chance to get pivotal parts for your cart to help you win! You might be able to get a new engine that will add a new speed boost to your ride. You might be able to get new wheels or a bumper that will protect better than the last one you had. Getting the best custom cart is going to cost some coin but it will be worth it in the long run as you’ll be steamrolling the competition. There are 5 teams of three to choose from and range from Team Sonic to Dr. Eggman’s (still Robitnik to me) team as well as the likes of Amy Rose’s team and others!
Now with every game, there are good points as well as not so good points. Team Sonic Racing has some bumps in the road so time to hit on those. The controls aren’t as tight and responsive as a racing game should be as well as being complicated for no reason in terms of scheme. I found myself drifting when I wasn’t trying to as well as having trouble steering/going in one direction from time to time. It was tough to request items from teammates and perform a team combo. If the control layout was a little better, this problem wouldn’t exist. The dialogue got a little tedious at times too as it felt like each character had only one or two lines and said them over and over again during each race. The voice acting was really good but the variety of lines and amount per race could have been varied more. It’s these reasons that I’m giving Team Sonic Racing for the Nintendo Switch an 8/10. I’d like to thank Sega for the review code.