Sonic Superstars Reinvents 2D Sonic Games, But Also Doesn’t

Sonic Superstars is the latest installment in the classic Sonic franchise. Will it hold up to its predecessors?
Sonic Superstars

Sonic Superstars is the latest addition to the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and returns the series to its 2D side-scroller roots.

However, there is a twist this time, as this is the first game in the main series to feature a four-player co-op with Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy as playable characters.

Sonic Superstars 4-player co-op

Each playable character comes with their own distinct abilities that make them different from one another. Sonic is the most balanced of the crew, good for players looking to have a traditional Sonic the Hedgehog experience. Tails is able to fly for a short period of time to get to hard-to-reach areas. Knuckles can glide and climb up walls. Lastly, Amy can double-jump and use her hammer to knock over certain items.

Two things that have been majorly changed are the special stages and the chaos emeralds.

New and Improved Special Stages

Sonic Superstars special stage

To obtain the chaos emeralds the player needs to find these massive golden rings hidden in the stage, similar to Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Once you jump into the rings you will find the new special stage were you must homing attack onto other rings to try and catch the emerald before time runs out.

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Once you collect a chaos emerald it gives you a new ability you can use within any stage. These abilities include making clones of yourself, being able to swim better in water, being able to find hidden locations, and more.

There are also bonus stages very similar to the Sonic the Hedgehog 1 special stages. These bonus stages are used to collect medallions to use in the game’s shop.

Sonic Superstars Battle Mode

The shop is used to collect parts to create your own Metal Fighter which can be used in the battle mode of the game.

The battle mode was the mode I played the least of and I suspect it will be the mode most people play the least of. In battle mode, you play against other players online or on a computer to complete various challenges.

It’s cool to be able to create your own character of sorts and to play with other people. However, the mode doesn’t really do much to make it feel like a Sonic the Hedgehog game mode.

Boss Battles

Sonic superstars boss battle

The boss fights in Sonic Superstars are pretty much the same as they have always been in every previous game in the Sonic series.

All you need to do is hit the bad guy 3-4 times until it goes to the next phase and repeat this process until they are finally defeated. The boss fights in the Sonic the Hedgehog series have really never pose a threat to the play and the boss fights in this game are no different.

The Verdict on Sonic Superstars

Overall I found Sonic Superstars to be a very fun experience. While there are a few things that change up the status quo, which I liked, it still is a very much a cookie-cutter Sonic the Hedgehog experience when it comes to the gameplay.

While I wasn’t looking for Sonic Team to reinvent the wheel with this game, I was found looking for something more. Especially when comparing the game to something like Super Mario Bros. Wonder, which came out at around the same time.

The four-player co-op in Sonic Superstars is also just a complete mess, which is a problem when a lot of marketing revolved around it. The game simply just moves too quickly to have more than one player playing at the same time let alone four. Someone will be constantly left behind and hardly have the chance to play while the player in front will be calling all the shots. This is not a game where you want to constantly be slowing down for the other players behind you.

One cool thing about the game is that there is a secret fifth playable character who has their own side story. Considering this wasn’t revealed beforehand, I thought this was a nice surprise for players playing the game for the first time.

Sonic Superstars is good enough for someone just looking for some good 2D side-scrolling action. For older fans looking for a fresh/new experience the game does offer that in some places. However, at its core this is still just a traditional 2D Sonic game, which isn’t inherently a bad thing.

I give Sonic Superstars a 7/10. There are some parts I really love about this game; however, it did leave me wanting more.

Sonic Superstars vs Fang

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think Sonic Superstars holds up next to its 2D side-scrolling predecessors? Let us know, and be sure to follow The Illuminerdi on social media to be notified of more gaming news and reviews like this in the future.

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Picture of Bryce West

Bryce West

Bryce West is a writer/producer and a grad student at the University of Southern Indiana. West created his first television program at the age of 18 titled, The Film Reel. The Film Reel is a movie and TV talk show that has ran from 2019-present on News Channel 15 in Mt. Carmel, IL.