Sonic Superstars

released on Oct 17, 2023

Adventure through the mystical Northstar Islands in this all-new take on classic 2D Sonic high-speed action platforming. Play as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy Rose and harness all-new Emerald powers to move and attack in dynamic new ways. Navigate gorgeous, never-before-seen environments solo or with up to 3 other players and stop Dr. Eggman, Fang, and a mysterious new adversary from converting the islands' giant animals into Badniks before it's too late!


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Sonic is back in glorious 2 dimensions! And he's brought all of his friends along for the ride! And some new ones you'll likely never care about!
Sonic Superstars, developed by Sonic Team and developed Arzest, previously best known for.....Balan Wonderworld, is the latest 2D platforming entry in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. It focuses on traditional Genesis-era platforming with the new added twist of abilities granted through the acquisition of Chaos Emeralds, as well as a new 4-player co-op mode that allows you to zoom through each level in a manner similar to that of the New Super Mario Bros. titles. It feels as progressive as it does a little bit....off?
The key to cracking a great Sonic experience is its level design; the best Sonic titles are well known for their memorable level maps - think Chemical Plant Zone in Sonic 2, Flying Battery Zone in Sonic and Knuckles, Studiopolis Zone in Sonic Mania, and any of the tight, tasty morsels of levels sprinkled throughout Sonic Frontiers. These levels are all intuitively designed maps that keep you moving fast as much as they do challenge you to seek out new pathways and explore each environment to its full potential. These levels also appear early, and set the tone for excellence - the first zones in Sonic the Hedgehog titles are often solid, but the 2nd level will tell you type of craftsmanship you're about to dip into.
Sonic Superstars doesn't really give you that shot of confidence until maybe 5 or 6 levels in, which makes for an awkward experience. It's opening levels have weird music, a camera that occasionally feels too close, and far too many obstacles sitting in just the right place to kill your momentum in a first time experience. It all adds up to a big ol, "hmmm," feeling that will struggle to grab some players.
Fortunately for those willing to persevere, the latter half of Sonic Superstars finds its footing; levels start to better reward you for speed and exploration, and boss fights stop feeling trapped in Sonic's past and begin to expand the horizon for 2D platformer Sonic titles. There were a few surprises in this portion of the game that really feel like an exciting evolution of what one can do with a Sonic the Hedgehog game when you're not terribly worried about it feeling like a Sega Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog game. The boss encounters in this game feel particularly rewarding for those willing to learn patterns and stick with the surprisingly challenging experiences the back half provides. It's unfortunate that its early levels feel reluctant to experiment in the same way.
The rest of Sonic Superstars presentation is fairly standard; players can revisit levels, hunt for hidden bonus stages and alternate paths, and can also earn medals through gameplay that allow them to purchase items from an in game shop. The new co-op mode is more functional than it was fun to me; Sonic games move fast. This makes it incredibly easy to leave behind the players that can't keep up with the lead player's momentum. This worked in previous titles, such as Sonic 2, because the momentum always followed Sonic in level scrolling and otherwise. It does not work for me in Superstars because it just....seems to follow whoever is at the farthest edge of the screen. Some might be able to manage it, but I felt it overwhelmingly chaotic.
Ultimately, Sonic Superstars feels like a promise for future potential rather than a new, exciting idea. Everything about it needs maybe another set of revision and tightening to make it something truly exceptional. As it is, its an acceptable experience. I'm glad I played it. Shame about it debuting against that new Mario though. lmao.

A very 'just ok' Sonic game. I'll give it that it has good challenging boss fights and some interesting level concepts, but aside from those there isn't much else on offer here. Oddly enough, I found the soundtrack to be one of the game's weaker elements which in uncharacteristic for a Sonic game.

Another 7/10 sonic game. I liked it

I was hoping this was going to be good... but it turns out that it's only okay.
The actual levels are fun and the controls are great but the boss fights totally sour the experience for me. There's a boss fight in every level and almost all of them require waiting. Too much waiting. An agonizing amount of waiting. A casual playthrough of the game becomes pretty boring because of this so I don't think I will be revisiting this game anytime soon. The ideal way to play this game is to play up to the boss fight in each level and then exit out to the world map and skip to the next level. That's ridiculous. It shouldn't be that way.
I actually do appreciate the challenge that the final bosses of both Sonic & Trip's story bring, but way too much time in this game is spent in boss fights in general so it becomes harder to see the final bosses as a good thing.
Literally that's the only thing I hate about this game. The boss fights. It ruins so much of the experience for me to the point where I don't really want to play the game again. The artstyle and music of Superstars are controversial in the community but they're not dealbreakers for me. I could be giving this game a 3.5 or 4 star rating on this site if it wasn't for the boss fights.
Plenty of good stuff about Superstars. The controls. The different playable characters. The animated cutscenes. Some of the music is great (not all of it). But man, they just had to throw in an unfun segment at the end of almost every level that makes going through the whole game a chore.

This review contains spoilers

I'm not done with the game at the moment but I'm gonna put my thoughts out here.
The main campaign is an 8/10, great levels that are original, bosses are ok, trips true appearance is cool if you weren't spoiled several times due to twitter (me)
The final boss can kiss my ass for how dumb as shit it is.
The OST is a hit or miss, some music like sky temple, bridge island, speed jungle are great but then you got the mini and early game boss themes, press factory, fangs theme (both versions) are really.......Eh.
The special stages are ok but I had more fun with several other special stages from the other sonic games.
Trips story..... is an afterthought. It's 100% the worst part of superstars that isn't the bosses, it's the Knuckles version of superstars but there method of difficult is dumb as shit. Putting spikes everywhere, making the bosses even more frustrating, and adding enemies in really stupid places isn't making the game difficult fun, it's making it extremely frustrating.
Trips story sucks ass. 1/10
The stages were 100% not made for super trip since she can just fly and clip over certain places. And can cause her to skip bosses.
Gameplay is good tho (thank god) they just ported the mania physics into the engine so I'm glad they gave a good controlling classic sonic game.
Don't spend $60 on this game.