So, Sonic SEGA All Stars Racing Transformed. As you might have guessed, it's a kart racing game featuring a colourful cast of characters lifted from SEGA's illustrious back catalogue including, of course, Sonic, AiAi from Supermonkey Ball and even B.D. from Crazy Taxi. But then there's…Danica Patrick.
For the unacquainted, i.e. the vast majority of people outside of Americaland, Danica is a NASCAR driver best known for being the first female to win the Indycar championship. She also flashes flesh in her modeling career, just to reinforce the stereotype that female racing drivers are nothing but glorified sex objects. In fact, SEGA's partnership was announced a few months back, but this new trailer presents the first glimpse of her in-game incarnation: say hello to digital Danica.
You would have therefore thought that digital Danica would appear in some sort of modified version of her real-life racecar from NASCAR. But no. In actual fact, she's in the game to promote yet another of SEGA's partnerships: Hot Wheels.
Indeed, Danica's own ties with Hot Wheels has meant that SEGA couldn't resist plonking her inside a a toy-friendly, six-wheeled, F1-style car brandished with promotional Hot Wheels and Go Daddy stickers. And just when you thought the whole scenario couldn't possibly get any more cheesy, wait until you hear the name of her custom car: get ready to drive the Danicar! Ugh.
Of course, since this is a Hot Wheels promotion there couldn't not be a toy tie-in. And lo-and-behold, Hot Wheels have confirmed that a diecast model of the Danicar will be available as a bundle with the game in participating retailres, although we can't see this happening outside of the US. Sadly, unlike in the game it won't transform into a boat or plane at the push of a button which is a bit of a cop out.
It's clearly a malevolent marketing attempt on SEGA's part to appeal to American audiences, but it's undeniably jarring to see a real-life NASCAR driver pulling alongside the untouchable Sonic.
Despite this slightly inapt cameo, we still have our hopes up for Transformed. It certainly looks like a valiant competitor to Mario Kart, and we're interesting to see just how it performs in the karting race of 2012 against LittleBigPlanet Karting and F1 Race Stars. Like I said before, though, each title seems to offer its own unique slant on the karting genre, so perhaps everyone's a winner for a change?