- Release Date: 17th October 2023
- Developer: Arzest, Sonic Team
- Publisher: Sega
- Platforms: PC, PS5/5, Xbox One/Series, Switch
- Version Played: Xbox Series S
Sonic Superstars is a new 2D Sonic game, but in a wonderful looking 3D visual style. The core gameplay is similar to the original Sonic games, with Sonic’s movement and physics replicated extremely well, making Sonic Superstars feel right at home to fans of the originals.
While the game is designed for local co-op, the levels in the game don’t feel compromised in any way and work perfectly well when playing on your own. You can also swap characters between levels if you wish, and a few bonus acts focus on specific characters, being fully built around their traits.
Level design is great in Superstars, having lots of alternative routes and featuring lots of gimmicks. There is no reliance on blind jumps, although some obstacles can be difficult to avoid. Most missed jumps and falls will send you down to slower routes. You will eventually reach bottomless pits, but they feel well deserved rather than cheap tricks.
Chaos Emeralds have a bigger use in gameplay than in previous games, as each one (found by entering hidden rings and completing a decent special stage) will provide Sonic (or Tails, Knuckles or Amy – plus a new character you can unlock) with a new ability, which can be activated during a stage. These abilities are interesting and fun, but aren’t integrated into the game very well and I found myself completely forgetting about the system – but on the other side of things, it also means they don’t get in the way either (in a way that some people feel Wisps did).
The biggest issue with Sonic Superstars is the bosses. In terms of design, they’re a nice mix of different and interesting bosses, however as the game was designed for co-op, you can only hit them once during an attack sequence – no getting any sneaky extra hits in. The bosses spend most of their time invincible as you wait far too long between potential attacks. To make matters worse, some bosses are extremely long with platforming sections in between each stage, with no checkpoints throughout the entire thing. The frustrating thing is that it wouldn’t take much to change the bosses into incredibly fun ones.
Sonic Superstars is an extremely solid 2D Sonic game and feels like a great modern take on that style of gameplay (as opposed to Mania keeping things more in the past). It’s a shame that the bosses spoil the fun, as if those were improved, Superstars would be among the best Sonic games.
Browse Games By Year