Sonic Superstars

Sonic Superstars

released on Oct 17, 2023

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!

Also in series

Sonic Dream Team
Sonic Dream Team
Sonic Frontiers
Sonic Frontiers
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles
Sonic Colors: Ultimate
Sonic Colors: Ultimate
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog

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this game is so mid id rather play a bad game

This is MY Princess Peach Showtime <3
I'm so happy they gave Amy her own game!! (they even let you play as the boys as an optional extra).

For real though, Sonic Superstars rocks. I think it's sometimes forgotten that companies don't create games, people do. Any dev studio that's been around as long as Sonic Team will hardly have any of the same staff working now then they did 30 years ago. So it's really cool seeing Naoto Oshima back working on a brand new Sonic game with Takashi Iizuka, one of the few staff still around that worked on those old Mega Drive games. In a way, Superstars is much more of a sequel to Sonic 3&K than Mania ever was (or Sonic 4 lol), and I think you can really feel that creative energy.

Every level has fun, unique gimmicks, the bosses are actually interesting, the chaos emeralds serve more of a gameplay purpose, they expand on the storytelling from 3&K, and Trip is a wonderful new edition to the cast. They brought back the Sonic 1 special stages and gave them actual level design. The medals are a neat replacement for lives as customising your little robot is a lot of fun. The levels have good pacing with a nice mixture of fast and slow sections. You can see other characters doing their own thing sometimes in the background.

Yes, some of the music tracks aren't good. Yes the co-op multiplayer doesn't really work (but that's the same with any of these multiplayer 2D platformers). Yes, I might have had a glitch in the 2nd zone where I fell through the entire world. BUT that glitch was really funny, and if you can't enjoy funny glitches we can't be friends (plus it was the only one I encountered in the whole game). The only thing that actually matters is the level with Amy and Trip. It made me squeal with pure joy. Peak Sonic.

Tirando o último boss, o jogo é bem legal. as animações são bem bonitas e as fases criativas.

I really like this game. I think this is the best 2D sonic has gotten in years. I like it more than Mania. I think the levels are really inspired and the gimmicks associated with them feel like something out of classic sonic. The levels are fun and mostly brisk. I think they are great to explore and finding the rings even after you get all the emeralds is very rewarding. I think the emerald powers are fantastic and a great addition to the classic formula. I don't think all of them are equally useful but they add more to the game than I thought they would and I love how much use you can get out of them outside of the specific times they tell you to do them.

Not mincing words here, the bosses threaten this games quality constantly. I think they are easily the worst bosses in the series. I really don't know what they were thinking with these. They are boring and at worst boring and frustrating. They are a textbook example of how to not do sonic bosses. Just awful. That final boss in egg fortress is cock and ball torture and I heard the trip one is really bad, so I'm not looking forward to that.

I think this game aside from the bosses is a really solid time all around. Part of me wishes this had more of a budget, it still feels rushed like most sonic games do, and I'm not sure how much I'll be replaying the game due to the bosses, but it mostly fills my classic sonic quota. It's meaty with big and fun levels to explore and now it's easier to just select whatever character you want for a different flavor of the gameplay. I'd highly recommend this if you have a high tolerance for Sonic bullshit, otherwise, maybe just get this on sale and see if you like it.

This was supposed to be a much angrier review. I was ready to pick some fights and start calling people names, because I truly feel like I played a completely different game from nearly everyone else. Some of the shit I read here and on Steam's forums made me believe there's an anti-Sonic Superstars psyop going on and thousands fell for it. What ranty, dunkey ass YouTuber did this? Is it just because Mario Wonder came out on the same week? Is it just because the Balan guys worked on it? Why is this one getting so much vitriol when this very series is home to some truly dogshit games with far less competency than it? I literally played through 50 or so games in this franchise back to back over the last few months, they're all fresh in my mind.

But it's not worth it. I've always firmly believed that there's no such thing as objectivity when it comes to games(or any other form of entertainment), beyond saying something like "This game came out for <x console>" or "<y person> worked on it". Everything else is purely subjective, and we can experience and interpret them in numerous ways; that's the beauty of art. Why spend time and energy bitching and moaning at strangers with a different opinion than mine, when I can instead share the love I found here and at least bring a drop of positivity to this sea of opinions?

Now, unlike most of my reviews(and contradicting what I just said lmao), I'll start with some negatives. As positive as my experience was, there were some bumps.

The soundtrack has some pretty abysmal lows, thanks to Jun Senoue being allowed to touch anything that's not a guitar again. Fucking stop, no one liked it back on Sonic 4, why would they like it now? If the team REALLY wants to use a Mega Drive-esque sound for classic Sonic inspired games, why not bring someone like Yuzo Koshiro in?
The camera is also way too close. It still works, I managed to play the game just fine, but there were instances of bullshit due to the proximity. It becomes really apparent when using a FOV mod, which I installed for my second playthrough in Trip's story. The better FOV does wonders for these levels.
Finally, I found the medals to be a pretty weak reward for exploration. I still went for them since y'know, "shiny things, gotta get 'em!", but I wasn't too interested in multiplayer or the bot customization. Now, if you could use them to buy customization options for Sonic & friends, like different colors or accessories, it would've been sick. Maybe on a future game.

With that out of the way, Superstars was a great time. It caught my attention even before I started this marathon. Classic Sonic in 3D is nothing new, but playing as the rest of the cast including Amy? Sign me up!
I love the way it looks. Do I prefer Mania's spritework? Absolutely, but the 3D here is pretty. Sonic 4's plastic days are far behind us.
Animations are cute as all hell, too. Characters are super bouncy, their quills jumping up and down to the beat as you start to run. Little details like Trip's neck moving backwards when you touch a wall during her dragon transformation, characters going for a "battle-ready" stance during boss fights, there's a lot of love placed here. Cutscenes provide a lot of charm without any dialogue thanks to these animations, Amy helping Trip after she falls and then carrying her during Lagoon City had my heart melting.

I previously mentioned how the soundtrack suffered greatly from Jun Senoue's special "Not-Genesis: 2nd Impact" approach, but the bad tracks don't invalidate all the quality here. He wasn't the only one composing and arranging music for the game after all, so we still have some bangers. Shocking, I know! You'd think that Jun arranged the whole thing a la Sonic 4 judging by how Superstars' detractors(and pessimistic Sonic fans in general) love to generalize shit. So instead of that, how about I showcase some of the really good stuff?
Sand Sanctuary is such a good theme for a desert, the section that starts at 0:59 made me stop everything to groove fr. Speed Jungle Act 1 is exactly what it says on the tin, a high energy track that perfect fits all the Ivy rails and loops. Act 2 deserves a shoutout too, it has this Megaman quality to it at points. Pinball Carnival Act 1, my goodness! As noted by one comment in the video, this is a mix between Collision Chaos and Studiopolis, so you know the funk is strong. Act 2 is even funkier, leaning more towards the "fucked up carnival" aspect. (Seriously, Tee and Rintaro should compose and arrange for a whole game together. Jun is very important for this franchise and he did a lot of good stuff, but let the new blood take care of things from now on. They CLEARLY know what they're doing, especially considering Rintaro's Sonic Frontiers contributions.)
The Super transformation theme! It's probably my favorite one for the classic games, even if I do prefer to listen to the actual stage BGM when transformed.
GOD, the Final Boss themes. All three of them! Eggman and Feng's in particular are amazing, a perfect fit for what I consider to be the best bosses in the entire series. Yeah, I said it.

Like I mentioned before, I just played through 50 of these games in a row. Almost none of them gave me any sort of challenge when it comes to boss fights. If anything, I consider bosses to be the gameplay low point in all Sonic games, and that applies to most of Superstars as well. In terms of raw gameplay, mind you! When talking presentation, they're usually hype as hell, and that's where the fun comes from.

Nearly every boss before Eggman and Feng are your usual Sonic boss encounters, only taking a little while longer. (Emphasis on LITTLE while. A ton of reviews made me anticipate Sonic 4's Death Egg Robot levels of tedium, but it never gets to that point. TikTok Subway Surfers syndrome is real for a lot of people, it seems.)
Identify pattern, dodge attacks, rinse and repeat. But Eggman and Feng are different: they have multiple instant kill attacks or put you in situations where you'll die if you don't act/run. And where others see unfair, trial and error fights, I see actual challenge for once.

Cause let's face it, the entire franchise suffers from one fatal flaw when it comes to enemy encounters or stage hazards: Rings, these golden trinkets renders all of them meaningless. If you have at least one ring, you're virtually invincible, save for bottomless pits, crushing pistons, or in special situations, instant kill attacks. Who cares if you're walking on lava or a bed of spikes? As long as you hold on to that Ring, exploit the iframes all you want! Boss patterns? What about them? You can attack whenever you want if you don't mind picking your solitary Ring back up after every hit. It's the reason why the Death Egg Robot in Sonic 2 was such a hurdle for so many; no Rings, two bosses, fucking go for it. But even then, their attack patterns are simple enough that they're not too hard to take down even with the threat of one hit KOs. There are other examples of 0 Ring/instant kill bosses(Sonic Advance 2 comes to mind), but Superstars' final bosses are the only instances where I felt the high difficulty was carefully considered, especially if we take the infinite lives into account. Their attacks are not random, they have set patterns that you can handle properly once you learn them, and they keep you on your toes. Feng's web+bullet combo was particularly intense, and felt super satisfying to get down.

"Ok, but what about Feng's FUCK YOU headbutt that comes out super fast?" I swear this isn't me trying to flex, but I dodged that shit first try, with a little help from my new favorite mechanic.

EMERALD POWERS! YES! OF COURSE! SO MANY GAMES IN THE SERIES KEEP YAPPING ABOUT HOW THE EMERALDS ARE SUPER POWERFUL. YOU LITERALLY PUT PIECES OF THE WORLD BACK TOGETHER WITH EVEN A SINGLE ONE OF THEM DURING UNLEASHED! It makes perfect sense that we are able to make use of them individually, I'm honestly shocked that this didn't happen earlier. They are Wisps done right, permanent upgrades to your arsenal that you can use at any time after picking them up to either take a different path, skip a section that's giving you trouble(be it on stages or boss fights), or score extra hits earlier.

They're not all perfect, Vision and Water are pretty forgettable, but I got a ton of mileage out of the other ones. I really hope future games in the series, 2D or 3D, continue to let us use Emeralds individually.

Speaking of Emeralds! I really like the new special stages! Once I figured out that you can tether yourself to a bomb and let go before it blows up, letting you reach the Emerald faster, that was it: every Giant Ring turned into a free Emerald. (Shoutouts to the Special Stage theme too, that trademark Tee Lopes swingy goodness. 0:42 is my favorite section, extremely feel-good)

I know I said I changed my mind on talking shit during this review, but allow me to betray that decision real quick. To the guy on Steam who said this game's physics are somehow worse than Sonic 4's: I hope you stub your toe really, REALLY hard when grabbing some water at 3AM.

Great presentation even when considering the stinkers in the soundtrack, fun stages, beautiful 2D cutscenes, a super cute newcomer in the form of Trip, playable Classic Amy with a double jump, and my favorite final bosses made for a wonderful experience. Superstars is fun, and I'm excited to go for all achievements.

Easily the most overhated Sonic game. I'll be your strongest soldier, lil bro. 💪💪💪💪

Why’d they make it so ungodly hard around the end