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16 Oct 2023

REVIEW: Sonic Superstars (2023) on Xbox - A Blend of Nostalgia and Modern Gameplay

Review by Jon Donnis
Sonic Superstars, the brainchild of Arzest and Sonic Team, is a delightful blend of nostalgia and contemporary gaming. This 2023 platformer successfully channels the magic of the classic Sonic the Hedgehog games, incorporating side-scrolling gameplay, vivid 2.5D graphics, engaging mini-games, and a stellar soundtrack. However, it stumbles slightly in fully replicating the breakneck speed that characterized the iconic Sonic titles of the 1990s.

One of my favourite parts of Sonic Superstars are the entertaining mini-games, designed to challenge players as they strive to collect the elusive Chaos Emeralds. These mini-games inject excitement and variety into the gameplay, showcasing a different dimension of Sonic's world and providing a rewarding sense of accomplishment. Accompanied by the vibrant 2.5D graphics, reminiscent of the beloved classic Sonic games, the visual experience is both nostalgic and modern, enticing players into a vivid and captivating world.

The auditory aspect of the game is another strong suit, with the soundtrack standing out for its brilliance. It not only complements the gameplay flawlessly but also takes players on a nostalgic trip down memory lane, amplifying the overall gaming experience.

However, where Sonic Superstars falls slightly short is in capturing the sheer adrenaline and intensity of speed that made the original Sonic games a phenomenon. Despite its best efforts to replicate the classic gameplay, the game doesn't quite reach the blistering pace and heart-pounding excitement of its predecessors.

Delving into the storyline, Sonic Superstars follows the familiar narrative of the Sonic universe, pitting players against the infamous Doctor Eggman and his nefarious accomplices Fang the Hunter and Trip the Sungazer. Set across the picturesque North Star Islands, players choose from four iconic characters—Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower, Knuckles the Echidna, and Amy Rose, each boasting their own unique abilities.

In this adventure, players traverse 12 diverse zones, each teeming with springs, loops, collectible rings, and shield power-ups. The zones are split into acts, culminating in exhilarating boss battles. Beyond the core levels, special stages offer an opportunity to swing through 3D environments in pursuit of the coveted Chaos Emeralds, granting players exciting power-up abilities and a chance to transform into their character's super form.

The game further shines with its local multiplayer option for up to four players, a first for the series. Multiplayer modes include races, battles, collection competitions, and last man standing, adding a competitive edge to the Sonic experience.

In conclusion, Sonic Superstars successfully marries nostalgia with modern elements, resulting in an entertaining platforming adventure. The inclusion of engaging mini-games, vibrant 2.5D graphics, and a stellar soundtrack add depth to the gameplay. While it may miss the mark on replicating the lightning-fast speed of its iconic predecessors, Sonic Superstars deserves a commendable 7 out of 10 for its valiant effort in ushering in a new era of Sonic gaming.

Out from October 17th

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