Tuesday 23 March 2010

SASAR Saturn Reference Roundup

With Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing hitting the one month mark of being available, I thought I'd give a roundup of references that Saturn fans can find within the game.

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing is an excellent game (a 9/10 in my eyes), but it lacks in the Saturn reference department. To illustrate this point, take a look at the badly designed graph below:

Sega Franchises in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Broken Down By Hardware on Which They Debuted
Note: Some IPs receive multiple mentions when specific characters or sequels debuted on multiple formats, i.e. Sonic on the Mega Drive and Shadow on the Dreamcast

As you can see, not much love for the Saturn. Damn you Dreamcast for winning our hearts and in turn taking most of the IPs! So what does Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing offer for Saturn fans? The most prominent franchise would have to be The House of the Dead, which offers up three exciting tracks taking place in, around and under the Curien Mansion as seen in the Arcade and Saturn version of The House of the Dead. To accompany the tracks are two memorable tunes for the first game, Into the Dark and Aura of Dread.

Up next is the Saturn fighting franchise, Virtua Fighter! Okay, so Virtua Fighter is technically an Arcade franchise. But when it came to playing
Virtua Fighter at home, the Saturn reigns supreme! While the models, animations and voice samples of Jacky and Akira are pulled from Virtua Fighter 5, the All-Star icon for Akira's boost comes direct from Virtua Fighter Kids. Awww, how kawaii!

With Richard Jacques in charge of the music, it wasn't much of a surprise to see some music from Sonic R featured. The main theme Super Sonic Racing appears in the Casino Park tracks while Can You Feel The Sunshine? accompanies Seaside Hill tracks.

Last and unfortunately least is the Saturn's golden child, NiGHTS. Nearly forgotten, NiGHTS slipped into the game after crazed jester fans pushed Sega and Sumo to give him/her some representation. What is NiGHTS role? Why she/he's the flagman!

In my opinion this is the best place for NiGHTS. I think he/she'd look too goofy driving a car and probably deserves a toned down appearance after bringing us the so-so Journey into Dreams.

With DLC on the horizon, Saturn fans can only hope that franchises like Virtua Cop and Panzer Dragoon get some love. Janet in a squad car and Keil Fluge on a dragon please! Skip ahead to 2:15 and tell me that Virtua City would make for an AWESOME track: