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 in Sonic Gems Collection. It was initially released for the Sega Saturn but was later ported for Microsoft Windows.
- With only five courses, the game is short and can be beaten in less than an hour.
- The ports of the game barely improve the graphics, outside of a longer rendering distance. Everything looks like glass!
- It is riddled with glitches, like characters sticking to the walls and passing through the ground.
- 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 mid-air.
- The level design makes the courses feel more like mazes.
- 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.
- Steering the character you play as is difficult as if you're running on thick, slippery ice. Controlling Tails is the worst, as he slips and slides all over!
- Speaking of steering, the same button also controls the camera, which is very slow and can cause you to lose a race.
- When running on a loop, you can sometimes get completely stuck and it can be extremely difficult to escape.
- The unlockables (aside from Dr. Robotnik) are all robot clones of the main characters (except Super Sonic).
- 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.
- You must to be in 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.
- Network multiplayer was almost completely removed in the 2004 PC re-release!
- 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.
- No character balance, Super Sonic moves much faster than everybody else, and then there's characters like Tails Doll and Amy who are pathetically underpowered.
- Despite being cheesy, the music is pretty good. You can even consider it to be a toned-down version of Eurobeat.
- 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.
- Another thing to slightly make up for only five tracks is the day-to-night transitions and the weather effects in the PC version. The weather effects even effect gameplay.
- The PC version has mod support.
- The Sega Saturn version featured a transparent layout for Radiant Emerald, something that the later ports could never replicate.
- A Sonic R Improvement Mod which fixes all the problems with the Game can be found and downloaded here.
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." 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.
- This game is notable for the Tails Doll creepypasta, which has become quite popular on the internet.