I am so tired of buying sequels to racing games and being disappointed by them. First was Mario Kart Double Dash. Then one of those Need For Speed games. Next, Zero Gravity, REALLY anticipated this game only to be horrifically let down. And now, it looks like Transformed is going this same route.

Granted, the game is an improvement over the original in various areas. All of the tracks are not triple repeat variations of the same level, Sonic Heroes is not over-represented, And Sega decided on more diverse franchises for courses. Though I assume why there aren’t 3 different versions of the same track is because the tracks themselves change per lap. The game feels like more of a Sega celebration game than the last entry. Panzer Dragoon, Shinobi, Golden Axe, After Burner, wow. They put out the REAL SHIT that Sega is known for. Yet they still keep Billy fucking Hatcher.

Still, all the spectacle in the world couldn’t prevent some major design flaws of the game that just…. brings down the fun factor by a large percentage.

1. Stupid control set up.

Sega continues to piss me the ever-loving fuck off with the lacking ability to customize your controls. I’m not used to the Playstation brand controller, so I would enjoy a layout that doesn’t hurt my hands. Instead of that, you can only change the shoulder buttons. And those are used for gas and drifting. First off, I’m aware that most racing games out now have used the shoulders for gas, but it’s so uncomfortable! Especially since the sticks are not in the dominant thumb positions, so it feels like you’re stretching your fingers and thumbs apart to play the game. I hated that bullshit the most, one of the reasons I stayed away from the Playstation brand and one of the major reasons playing God Eater is a pain in the ass. Developers just won’t stop forcing you to use the fucking sticks. Call me a D-Pad purist, but D-Pads don’t break on me. They feel more controllable than sticks do, especially since the stick is in a position that confuses my muscle memory.

For example, hold a Playstation controller with both thumbs on the face buttons, D-Pad and all. Look at your thumbs. They’re pointed straight, right? This is the natural position your thumbs would be when playing games like this. If you wanted to turn left, you direct your thumb to the left. It feels natural, no? That’s how I felt playing GCN games.

Now, put your left thumb on the left stick. Look at the position of your thumb now. It’s slanted slightly. Now, if you’ve been playing games in the dominate thumb positions, muscle memory dictates that turning left would be “natural”. However, your thumb is slanted, so it would be more like turning “upper left” instead. If that’s hard to grasp, then TLDR, I fucking hate this bullshit. I wanna use the D-Pad. It’s not like I race in the air that much in the game. I wanna use the face buttons for gas. But then that would impact the “trick” stick. Fuck the trick stick. Just do like you did in the previous game and stick the brake, drift, and trick shit on the same damn button, and let me use the left stick/D-Pad to enter the directions for the tricks.

Playing the game feels pretty cumbersome with these controls. It’s just very uncomfortable for my tastes.

2. Tricks don’t work right.

Simply put, if I let go of the right stick, STOP FUCKING SPINNING AROUND KNUCKLE HEAD!! This shit has happened so much and cost me so many races. I left that shit go 4 seconds before I touch the damn ground and sometimes, they keep twirling about trying to impress the other racers with their Olympic level BS. And I bought a brand new controller for this game, so it ain’t fucked sticks.

3. Transformations are not easy to control.

The jet ski portion is a more sea-sick variant of the car, but it seems Sega once again goes the realism route and applies “physics” to how your jet ski flows. It turns slowly and/or goes all over the place and helps you crash into walls. Not to mention pulling off tricks is a little more difficult as some levels make it difficult to see how close or far from the water your character is hovering over. A lot of times (and this REALLY pisses me off), is the occasions where if your jet ski drives up on the side of a ramp, it topples over and turns you the fuck around, pointing the wrong way. This has happened on so many occasions, it’s infuriating.

But hey, at least you can improve using those jet ski’s! That ramp shit hasn’t been a pain in my ass the last few days. But FUCK YOU when it comes to the planes! Flying in a racing game has NEVER worked since they first tried it with Diddy Kong Racing. First off, it feels like you can’t even speed up very well. Tricking is stripped away in favor of Barrel rolls, and drifting feels completely fucked up. You don’t even have a true sense of direction as to where you’re supposed to go half the time. Yeah, you may get some of those blue arrows, but other courses (that creepy ass NiGHTS course especially) gives you no real sense of direction. Instead, you get those nightmare fuel goats and… shit. It’s like all the rules that apply to the car and the ski were removed in favor of trying to turn these segments into mini-piloting simulators. It’s a mess.

4. Fuck Mimi.

This bitch is getting on my last nerve!

5. Wretched-Ralph is not important in this game.

You know, usually when a game produces a guest character, the game gives those characters some kind of hospitality. Link gets his theme and win theme, sets of weapons, everything. Darth Vader gets his Death Star. Sonic and Snake both got their own stages, music themes, trophies, stickers, etc. They tried to make those characters feel like they always belonged in some way.

…..Eh, I don’t really care that much. Ralph is Disney’s attempt to brainwash gamers into becoming bigger Disney fans than need-be. So fuck him. 😛

6. WHY did you change unlocking requirements!?

I bought this game to get my hands on Joe Musashi…. only to have Sega’s balls in my mouth. In order to unlock Joe Musashi, I have to pay in stars. How do I get stars? I must complete some of the most blood boiling challenges I’ve ever had the misfortune of taking a part in for racing games, second only to F-Zero GX in sheer frustration. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t need at least 85 fucking power stars to unlock Joe. Son of a bitch, man! In the previous game, the system was simple. Just grind race for tickets and buy your characters, courses, music, etc. You didn’t have to do all of this crazy shit and passively require the player to complete A-Ranks in each mission to get all the characters. To get everyone, you’d need at least 165 stars. See, I lost interest in trying to unlock Green Hill and cracked SA2 with a gameshark. But I’d have to hack my damn PS3 just to unlock anything. Fuck that! I want my characters NOW you son of bitch!

If you have a decent system for unlocking characters in a previous game, don’t fucking change it! Since Sonic is for the kiddies now, make sure THEY can do it too! Shit man, this is why I hated having to unlock things in racing games. Developers always seem to put some asinine conditions for you to go through just to unlock anything, now I have to buy my characters with shit that’s literally hard to come by and replenish. Especially with the taunting of C and B ranks only needing you to be in 3rd place, but A rank mandates 1st place. What the fuck, Sega!?

Last time I buy a racing sequel…. ever.