News Article

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Comparisons Are Favourable for Wii U

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Yep, Digital Foundry has taken a look

Hooray for happy Wii U news! It's been a tough old week, in the opinion of some, for Wii U, with delays, technical specification revelations and veiled executive-level criticisms swirling around Nintendo's home console. That doesn't mean we need to fear the worst or join in the "Wii U is doomed" chorus, however, as there is still good and exciting news to be found for the system; we're happy to find it.

What we have is actually another multi-platform game comparison from Digital Foundry for Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed, a bit of a critical hit both here on Nintendo Life and with Digital Foundry's masters, Eurogamer. The comparisons between Wii U releases and their equivalents on Xbox 360 and PS3 have gone through a fairly broad range of positives and negatives, but it's transpired that developer Sumo Digital was good to its word of giving Nintendo gamers a version of this game to match — perhaps even exceed — the experience on other systems.

We recommend you read the full article if you're interested in all of the thorough details. In summary Wii U fares well, with graphical fidelity and performance (such as frame-rate) holding up and, in some instances (such as a lack of tearing), outperforming both Xbox 360 and PS3. Microsoft's system does have the most solid frame-rate, but Wii U occupies a "happy middle ground" between that and Sony's console. Digital Foundry then takes account of the extra content and GamePad features to come to a cheering conclusion for the system.

Overall, the Wii U version doesn't disappoint with its generally solid frame-rate in solo play and its permanently engaged v-sync. Evidence of superior textures isn't in abundance, but there are occasions where it surpasses 360 - such as on the Panzer Dragoon stage - and the sub-HD resolution it operates at gives largely comparable image quality to the other consoles. Of course, a high watermark is planted by the PC version's support for superior textures, improved reflection mapping and grander geometry, but the Wii U offering is a unique beast in its own right.

Support for the GamePad, for example, at least works on a surface level, with almost every potential usage of the extra screen being broached. We have the inevitable top-down map display, a nifty rear-view mirror option, and capacity for up to five players. The Wii U exclusive modes are entertaining asides, but don't empower the GamePad user with quite enough privileges to justify the separate screen space. Even so, these are at least cursory efforts at trying something new, harmlessly adding to its overall value.

Side by side with the PS3 and 360 versions, which both suffer from tearing where water physics are involved, it's a strong performer too. Sony's platform suffers the most in this regard, and is also on record for the most severe plummet in frame-rates, though these are a very rare turns indeed. Performance holds close to the 30FPS goal on all three platforms, but it's ultimately the 360 that takes the crown here for sheer consistency. Alas, none of these versions can uphold this standard for split-screen play, with only a serviceable 20FPS available in each case.

Putting the strong PC port aside, we'd pin the Wii U version down as the console version to opt for based on flexibility alone. Despite being a launch title, the range of options it boasts above the competition is commendable, with support for all original Wii control configurations, plus the GamePad and Classic Pro. Once set, all five players can also be taken online as a group, and, best of all, the visuals and performance aren't noticeably cut down in the process of adding these new modes and features. However, if these extras aren't a factor for you, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is also an easy recommendation to make on 360 and PS3.

We'll put this one up with Trine 2: Director's Cut as a positive win in the performance stakes for Nintendo's system. If you've picked Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed up or tried it on multiple systems we'd love to read your experiences in the comments below.


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User Comments (29)



SkywardLink98 said:

Well, the Wii U is a next-gen system right, so shouldn't it naturally perform better, due to having more power, or is that just the PC gamer in me?



HawkeyeWii said:

Who cares about this? When this is the only "really" good news about Nintendo in the past couple weeks, you know Nintendo is stuck in a rut..



C7_ said:

Too bad it's riddled with glitches, such as Alex Kidd derping out for entire races when he's a computer and one his mods being unavailable, as well as some stickers not correctly keeping track of things they're supposed to.

Though despite my nonsense nitpicking, I have enjoyed this significantly more than Mario Kart so I've actually recommended this one to friends.



Burn said:

I'm never going to get 100% completion because of numerous sticker glitches



Auracle said:

This game certainly deserves the praise it has received. It is a spectacular racer and possibly my favorite Wii U title right now.



Kirk said:

The Wii U version should outperform the others in every single area. When you have a "next-gen" console and it can't even CLEARLY outperform the current-gen consoles in every single technical way, it's just a bit sad and pathetic really.



Nintenjoe64 said:

I picked this up for £30 in GAME. Proper bargz!

It's nice to see that not every developer is struggling to get some sort of graphical improvement out of the Wii U. Someone needs to chart this all up properly so we can see which devs can be trusted with ports!.

I remember when the Dreamcast/PS2/Xbox360 were new and their ports weren't generally up to much but the games definitely got significantly better looking than the previous gen quite quickly so I think Nintendo fans have got lots to look forward to. I'm just dreading the intense fanboy war between Sony and MS that is coming soon.



FritzFrapp said:

Permanent v-sync, stable frame-rate and off-TV are THE reasons to go Wii U if you have multiple consoles. It's a fab game. If you loved Diddy Kong Racing and despise blue shells, get this.



aaronsullivan said:

No mention in that quote of two players each getting their own screen on Wii U. It's an interesting bit of wording there that they all drop to 20 fps when going "split-screen" but I don't notice that much of a drop when going two player on the Wii U and one player is using the GamePad. On the other consoles 2-player HAS to split the screen, but on the Wii U, it's TWO screen when you use the GamePad. It's my favorite feature beyond the fun game play.




Adding the Gamepad has really made the game dignificantly more interrsting to play. Though its good on all platforms (I own the Wii U version and have played the PS3 version as well)



ShortSleevedNook said:

Gee Nintendo Life, you've been focusing lots on SEGA lately!

I know this is Nintendo Life, but I gotta admit that I'm enjoying the SEGA spotlight.



element187 said:

"The Wii U version should outperform the others in every single area. When you have a "next-gen" console and it can't even CLEARLY outperform the current-gen consoles in every single technical way, it's just a bit sad and pathetic really."

@Kirk Sorry, but how good a port is depends on the developer, not the console. Even the NeoGAF analysis of the onboard die seems to support that at the bare minimum this system is 1.5 times faster than the PS360.... Until we figure out what the other 50% of silicon on that chip is used for. An educated guess is to streamline effects/shaders/lighting that are used the most to leave more processing power for other tasks.

Thus, we wait for Wonderful 101 and Pikmin 3 to arrive to get an idea of how truly powerful this system is.



Shirma_Akayaku said:

I don't know if people see this in the WiiU & XBox versions of this game, but has anyone ever noticed that characters with hair animations have their hair moving, even though the vehicle isn't moving? An example of that is with Sonic's spines--It moves (as if it were being pushed by wind) when he moves his head/steering wheel left or right. It's very odd and it doesn't have that "Nintendo" quality because of it. I asked Steve Lycett about it and he said "there are already enough animations as it is." What kind of effort is that?!



sinalefa said:

I have both a PS3 and a Wii U and I got the latter's version of this game. I am actually preferring this to Mario Kart, even if I am not that much into Sega.

There are tons of things to do and see here beyond the normal races. I personally dig the traffic and the drift courses.



TheAdza said:

I love the Wii U game. I had the first one on PS3 and while it looked stunning 1 player, 2 player was a different story. Playing 2 player on Transformed on the Wii U is great because one person can have all the TV screen to themselves.



SCAR said:

Yes, the Wii U automatically can do better than PS3 and Xbox 360. That's not the PC gamer in you, it's just common sense. It doesn't matter how you come to that conclusion as long as you do come to that conclusion. This is why I bought a Wii U.



SMW said:

Glad to see that my favorite racer of all time does the best on my favorite console! I beat this game on a friend's PS3 and can't wait to see it on Wii U!

I STILL haven't bought this game yet. Its been my most-wanted game for a long time, but I've been poor after getting a Wii U! Once I get enough money, this game shall be MINE!



defrb said:

This title suprised me most, deserved all the praise. Never liked sega that much, but this game changed my opinion GG sega!
To bad the wiiu dont have the best test results. But nothing to concern about, sinds the big releases still need to come.



capitalism said:

The Wii U has 2X the power of the 360 along with an innovative gamepad that has a geomagnetic sensor in it. It also had one of the best launch software line ups probably ever. Am I happy with my Wii U purchase? Hell yes I am. You have fun paying $500 for a machine that has better lighting effects and wont be able to play used games.



Cranky said:

I love the game on the Wii U but it is worrying that it does not have a better frame rate than a console that is 7 years old. I have always been a huge Nintendo fan and will always look to positives, but I fear that this console is just not powerful enough to last more than a few years.



Lyndexer said:

I have this on Xbox 360 and it has a great roster and a fun pack of stages. Though, timing the turns with drifting was complicating and sometime unpredictable. Anyone that is use to Mario kart will struggle on this game. But, if you manage to get use to this game, you'll be in shape.

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