Sonic All-Stars has zero tolerance for drift dodgers

, | Games

I’m not one to make universal pronouncements, especially when it comes to matters of personal preference. For instance, I don’t generally say things like “turn-based is better than real-time”, “mouse and keyboard is better than gamepads for shooters”, “MMOs are a waste of time”, or even “QTEs suck”. Or at least when I do say those things, I use enough words to confuse the issue and leave myself some wiggle room.

However, after trying for far too long to get past the third event in Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed, a very very good kart racing game that I feel should have at least two colons in its name, I want to go on record with the following comment:

There has never been — nor will there ever be — a drift racing challenge, event, or mode in any kind of racing game — arcade, sim, realistic, sci-fi, serious, comical, or anywhere in between — that isn’t godawful and that shouldn’t be cut from the game.

Controlled drift is something that simply doesn’t translate well into videogame driving. I understand it’s an important mechanic, particularly in a kart racing game that ties drifting and boosting. But it’s always going to be a seat-of-my-pants thing where I’m just as likely to plow into a wall as I am to take off down a straightaway. I’m okay with that, just as I’m okay with rolling dice in a strategy game. So racing game developers, please stop trying to make me get good at drifting by putting mandatory challenges in my way, because it’s simply not going to happen. I will no more be able to drift like Ken Block than I’ll be able to dance like Mikhail Barishnikov.

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