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Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

A random game has joined the Nintendo Selects line in North America. The title in question is Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, which launched for Wii U way back in 2012.

Usually when a game is given the Nintendo Selects treatment, Nintendo makes an announcement. It’s also fairly rare that a third-party game is added to the line, especially in North America. It’s interesting that this came out of nowhere, though as you may recall, something similar happened with Frozen: Olaf’s Quest last year.

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Sumo Digital worked with SEGA to release Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing in 2010. It was a racer starring Sonic and a bunch of other characters based on SEGA’s various franchises. The game was well-received, and the two companies then returned in 2012 with the sequel Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. The racing was just as good, and Sumo did everything it could to make an even bigger and better game.

While reflecting on the sequel in last month’s issue of EDGE, executive producer Steve Lycett told the magazine:

“It was basically, ‘What if we had vehicles which transformed and [travelled across] land, air and sea?’ That was the initial back-of-a-fag-packet idea that became the basis of Transformed.”

“We made everything fourplayer; we made sure every single track had its own individual [style]. In a way, we almost didn’t care what Sega thought, as long as the fans were happy. We said we wanted to deliver absolutely everything we could, and we never pulled back from that, to the point where we were sneaking updates and various bits and pieces under the radar.”

Sonic Stadium recently came across a bunch of concept art for Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. Art ranges from the very early stages of development up through the initial pitch for Transformed. We even get a look at the Gilius Thunderhead on Chicken Leg concept Sumo Digital’s Steve Lycett spoke about previously.

View the concept art below:

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4Gamer recently caught up with Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed producer Steve Lycett with the game having been released in Japan last month. We already heard that Lycett had hoped to include Ristar as a playable character, but as it turns out, this wasn’t the only franchise he hoped the game would represent.

Lycett stated:

From three big SEGA classics, I think, “Space Harrier”, “OutRun”, and “After Burner”. Because these three are so popular around the world, I was thinking I wanted to find a way for them to work somehow. For “After Burner”, since there is no emerging main character, both it an “OutRun” both got full courses. But unfortunately, “Space Harrier” only got a song in the soundtrack on one of the stages. Even though it wasn’t convenient to include the hero of “Space Harrier”, we just couldn’t abandon the recording.

Lycett continued by elaborating on his interest in featuring Space Harrier one day:

Well, the truth is, I wanted to include the running character riding the dragon. But I won’t give up! If I ever get the opportunity, I absolutely want to see this happen.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed finally reached Japan very recently. With the game’s arrival, 4Gamer caught up with a couple of the game’s developers, including executive producer Steve Lycett.

One of Lycett’s more interesting comments came about when 4Gamer mentioned how choosing the characters must have been tough. Lycett said in response:

Selecting the characters really was difficult. Basically, one of the premises we wanted to represent in the game was a correct balance between old and new IPs from SEGA. From such a wide range of material, as well as a balance between male and female, animals, and robots, I chose not to be biased.

Lycett followed up by discussing what the criteria was in selecting characters. While talking about this, he revealed how he originally wanted to include Ristar on the roster, but things sadly didn’t work out.

There hasn’t been much Wii U news coming out of Japan these days, but this week’s Famitsu does have a release date for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.

Leaks indicate that the title will be available for Wii U and PS3 on May 15. Pricing is set at 6,980 yen. The latest leaks don’t mention any of Transformed’s other versions such as 3DS.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed originally launched for Wii U on November 18, 2012, so this has been a long time coming for Japan.