Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed hits 3DS in Europe on 16th November — we expect the North American release to be similar — and promises to offer a different experience from Nintendo's own Mario Kart 7, with flying and underwater stages having their own vibe. When it come to kart-racing style titles, however, one thing that always gets plenty of attention is the number of characters in the roster.

Sumo Digital’s Steve Lycett has taken to the official SEGA forums to tell fans that there are 29 characters across all platforms, but that the rosters will vary due to system-exclusive characters.

Over all the different platforms, this totals up to 29 actual playable choices. But that doesn’t mean that there are 29 playable choices in all platforms (in fact no single platform has all 29). Some drop down to the low 20′s, some instead have high 20′s.

Why is this? Well some platforms have characters that are unique to that platform. I’m not going to say which, that’s part of the fun of the reveals! Some are SEGA characters, some are not. Don’t bother asking.

Playable choices doesn’t necessarily equal drivers either. Not as we’re talking passengers or hood ornaments, counting those would indeed be cheap, but you know this is game all about transformation, we are doing things with the vehicles that we’ve not shown you, that are going to really surprise you.

So yes I get that it’s fun to debate who is right and who is wrong, but at the end of the day, you can measure what’s there in loads of different ways. Across all the playable vehicles, there are currently more than 90 different forms (as each vehicle has a land, air and sea mode + you’ve not seen anything on the All-Stars…) and who said each vehicle was limited to a single driver… Or indeed vehicle type per surface.

Wait and see. This is why whenever you ask us anywhere, we can’t give you a straight answer. Well that and the NDA’s.

Despite being in standard tease mode, the news that there are at least 20 characters is positive, while over 90 vehicle 'forms' sounds full of promise. As for 3DS-exclusive characters, let's all jump into the guessing game: who'll be included?

[source, via]