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Sonic R

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Sonic R
Not everyone will go Super Sonic Racing while playing this game.
Genre(s): Racing
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
Sega Saturn
Nintendo GameCube
PlayStation 2
Release: Sega Saturn
NA: November 18, 1997
EU: November 21, 1997
JP: December 4, 1997

Microsoft Windows
NA: November 11, 1998
EU: November 15, 1998
JP: December 11, 1998

Nintendo GameCube
JP: August 11, 2005
NA: August 16, 2005
EU: September 30, 2005

PlayStation 2
JP: August 11, 2005
EU: September 30, 2005
Developer(s): Traveller's Tales
Sonic Team
Publisher(s): Sega
Country: United Kingdom
Series: Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic R is a racing game co-developed by Traveller's Tales and Sonic Team for the Sega Saturn and Microsoft Windows, later being ported to the Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2 as part of Sonic Gems Collection. It was initially released for the Sega Saturn but was later ported for Microsoft Windows. This is the third racing game in the Sonic series, after Sonic Drift 1 and 2 for the Sega Game Gear.

Bad Qualities

  1. With only five courses and six unlockable characters, the game is too short and can be beaten in less than an hour.
  2. The ports of the game barely improve the graphics, outside of a longer rendering distance. Everything looks like glass!
  3. It is riddled with glitches, like characters sticking to the walls and passing through the ground.
  4. It looks unfinished with a poor rendering distance, and textures and backgrounds just missing. It also tries to simulate water reflections by just flipping the skybox, which ends up making it look as if the courses are floating in midair.
  5. The level design makes the courses feel more like mazes.
  6. Finding collectibles often require taking detours, slower routes, and outright stopping for a few seconds (in a racing game, by the way), and you still have to win the race to keep them.
  7. Steering the character you play as is difficult as if you're running on thick, slippery ice, which makes maintaining a straight trajectory sometimes complicated, controlling Tails is the worst, as he slips and slides all over!
  8. Speaking of steering, the same button also controls the camera, which is very slow and can cause you to lose a race.
  9. When running on a loop, you can sometimes get completely stuck, and it can be extremely difficult to escape.
  10. The unlockables (aside from Amy) are all robot clones of the main characters (except Super Sonic).
  11. Unbalanced gameplay. Most characters are too overpowered (mostly Metal Knuckles, Super Sonic, and Metal Sonic) or completely useless. Super Sonic is nearly an automatic win, and Amy, Eggman, Tails Doll, and Eggrobo are too slow to be useful.
  12. Like most attack costumes in Balan Wonderworld, Amy and Eggman cannot jump.
  13. You must be in the first place if you want to get a Chaos Emerald, and if you don't, the game insults you by saying you didn't get it[1].
  14. Network multiplayer was almost completely removed in the 2004 PC re-release!
  15. The 2004 PC re-release also removed the graphics option.
    • You can still use F1 and F2 keys to adjust draw distance. The game doesn't tell you about this.
    • You can work around most other missing options by using the Sonic R Mod Manager.

Good Qualities

  1. While the draw distance is kinda poor and the graphics are clippy, it does look pretty good for the Saturn. It has a lot of detail and the characters look very cute. It also has transparency effects and fading which makes the draw distance problem a bit less important (except for Radiant Emerald due to technical problems with the transparency).
  2. Despite being cheesy, the music is pretty good. It was composed by Richard Jacques, the same person behind the soundtrack for the Saturn/PC version of Sonic 3D Blast, another Traveller's Tales game.
  3. Despite the negative reception to the maze-like layouts of the tracks, this does add an element of experimentation where you must find the best path to win, making up slightly for the only five tracks available in the game, Resort Island and Radiant Emerald do not feel too much like mazes while still having alternate paths and thus add a grade of replayability, too.
  4. Speaking of replayability, the A.i. becomes more wild and learns new shortcuts as you progress through the game.
  5. Another thing to slightly makeup for only five tracks is the day-to-night transitions and the weather effects in the PC version. The weather effects even affect gameplay.
  6. The PC version has mod support.
    • A Sonic R Improvement Mod which fixes all the problems with the game can be found and downloaded here.
  7. The PC version supports up to 4 players, while Saturn only supported up to 2.



AVGN Enraged.jpg "What were they thinking?"
The Shit Scale
Games that are debatably bad High level of shit contamination The very high category The severe zone Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Major code red
This game/console belongs to the "Games That Are Debatably Bad" category of the AVGN's Shit Scale.

Sonic R received mixed reviews from critics. Ryan MacDonald of GameSpot commented positively on the graphics and audio, but said that the game is "so short that you'll probably finish it the day you rent it."[2] Game Revolution noted that the game was "a little different" from normal racing games, but was highly critical of the music (remarking that "With lyrics like "Can you feel the sunshine brighten up your day," you feel like Disney has suddenly taken over the world and Gestapo mice are forcing you to smile all the time") and the "wily and inexact" controls[3].


  • This game is notable for the Tails Doll creepypasta, which has become quite popular on the internet.
  • Every course begins with the letter R,this is because of the title of the game.
  • This is the final Sonic game that was released for the Sega Saturn.


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