Sonic Superstars review

Sonic the Hedgehog, the iconic blue blur, is back with a fresh twist in Sonic Superstars. In this reimagining of the classic Sonic gameplay, you embark on a journey through the beautiful 3D landscapes of Northstar Islands. Developed by Arzest and Sonic Team, Sonic Superstars brings a host of new abilities, characters, and adventures to the franchise.

Let’s take a look as we get ready to spin-dash into a high-speed, high-momentum platforming adventure in Sonic Superstars.

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC
Developer(s): Sega, Arzest, Sonic Team
Publisher(s): SEGA of America
Genre: Platform
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

One of the standout features of Sonic Superstars is where the games takes place. The Northstar Islands are a brand-new and visually stunning world. The game’s 3D visuals blend with the classic 2D platform action gameplay. As a result, Sonic Superstars gives you a modern experience that really embraces Sonic’s core qualities: speed and momentum. Northstar Islands are filled with unique challenges and locations that will keep you on your toes.

As expected, Dr. Eggman is back, and he’s set his sights on exploiting Northstar Islands for his sinister plans. Teaming up with Fang, he aims to capture the unique giant animals of the islands and transform them into robotic Badniks under his control. Sonic and friends set out to stop Eggman’s evil ambitions, rescue the island’s creatures, and save the Chaos Emeralds from falling into the wrong hands.

If you are a longtime Sonic fan, one of the first things you’re probably wondering is the new character in the game. Trip is a fresh addition to the Sonic universe, designed by Naoto Ohshima, one of the creators of Sonic and Dr. Eggman. At first glance, Trip appears simple, but her character is complex and unfolds as you make your way through the game. Unraveling the mystery behind Trip added a layer of intrigue to the game’s narrative, keeping me going and engaged wanting to know more.

In addition to a fresh new location, Sonic Superstars introduces a lineup of original Zones. And, these new Zones provide new challenges while staying true to the series’ roots. With new twists on classic Sonic gameplay, these Zones are built from the ground up, that offer unique gameplay experiences. What I really like, and sets these Zones apart from previous games is the ability to take alternate paths using different playable characters. This gives the game a ton of replay value by creating a diverse and dynamic gaming experience. Higher paths reward your skill with blazing speed, while lower paths require precise platforming skills.

Sonic Superstars offers a blend of classic and new Special Stages and Bonus Challenges, hidden throughout the Zones. By completing Special Stages, you can acquire Chaos Emeralds and unlock new Emerald Powers, enhancing your abilities and exploration options. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, if you have played previous 2D Sonic games you’ll see where the inspiration comes from. Furthermore, collecting Medals in the Bonus Stages allows you to customize your experience in Battle Mode, adding another layer of fun and customization to the game.

As I mentioned above, Sonic Superstars features a lineup of playable characters from the Sonic universe. And, each of them have unique abilities. Sonic is your go-to choice for speed and agility, while Tails’ ability to fly using his tails provides a great advantage for exploration. Knuckles, with his wall-climbing and gliding skills, offers a different approach to how you make your way around each level. Amy’s double jump helps in platforming and gives her the power to take down enemies that others can’t.

When I first started my playthrough of the game, I played as each of the characters in the earlier levels to get a feel for them. This was beneficial because as I made my way through the game I was then familiar with each of the character’s abilities and gave me a better idea of who would be the best for a particular level.

To add a new layer of depth to gameplay, Sonic Superstars allows you to use the Emerald Powers you find throughout the game. Each of these powers offers unique abilities, opening up new exploration options and strategies.

Grow climbable vines, summon clones to attack enemies, reveal hidden items and platforms, blast through the air in any direction, slow down time, and even turn into a liquid to swim up waterfalls. I found that these abilities added a dynamic twist to the gameplay and made it so that each time I played was a new experience.

Some of my favourite moments in Sonic Superstars are the game’s boss battles. The game features a variety of challenging and fresh boss fights that pit you against the likes of Eggman, Fang, and their minions. It’s here where you’ll really put the Emerald Powers you’ve uncovered to use.

Each battle offers a blend of using your Emerald Powers and platforming skills to take your enemies down. These boss battles add an element of strategy and excitement to the game, which had me on the edge of my seat.

Sonic Superstars doesn’t stop at the single-player adventure. It offers both local and online multiplayer options for co-op and competitive modes. The cooperative Story Mode allows up to four players to work together. And, Sonic Superstars marks the first time in a Sonic game that you can play an entire campaign with your friends.

The game’s drop-in, drop-out local co-op feature gives you and your friends the ability to seamlessly hop in or hop out of the game. In contrast, the competitive Battle Mode, both local and online play, provides an exciting experience where you face off in various categories such as Racing, Fighting, Star Collect, and Survival.

Battle Mode is customizable using Medals earned in the game’s Story Mode’s Bonus Stages. Additionally, the Time Attack mode challenges really pushes you to prove your Sonic skills by completing levels as fast as possible, with your performance ranked on Superstars’ Global Leaderboards.

Sonic Superstars is more than just a game; it’s an adventure. The fresh gameplay, intriguing characters, and captivating world of Northstar Islands offers a thrilling and memorable experience. If you’re new to 2D Sonic games or a casual player there isn’t a need to worry. Sonic Superstars welcomes newcomers with open arms. And, it retains the classic Sonic charm while introducing new and innovative gameplay elements. This makes Sonic Superstars accessible and fun for all types of gamers.

Whether you’re a longtime Sonic fan or playing for the first time, Sonic Superstars offers an unforgettable journey that embodies the essence of Sonic and everything that makes the franchise great.

+ Authentic Sonic experience that captures the essence of classic Sonic gameplay
+ Beautiful 3D graphics that blends modern 3D visuals with classic 2D platforming elements
+ Both online and local multiplayer provide great opportunities for co-op and competitive play

– Some may find that getting a hang of all the unique abilities and gameplay mechanics of each character could be daunting

Gameplay: 4.5/5
Graphics: 4.5/5
Sound: 4.5/5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5

Purchase Sonic Superstars on Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4 and Xbox Series X|S / Xbox One

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