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Sonic Superstars: Fast, Furious, and Occasionally Flawed – A Review with a Dash of Hedgehog Humor

Sonic must be the most inconsistent franchise out there, with games that fall below average and others that are so good they leave a lasting impression. Sonic Superstars falls somewhere in between, showing flaws and a lack of polish that is almost unacceptable for a mascot of Sonic’s caliber. At the same time, it offers incredibly enjoyable gameplay elements that make it hard to stop playing.

Different heroes and unique abilities.

In Superstars, Sonic isn’t alone during the campaign. Throughout eleven zones, players can choose between Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy to play, or even have all four on the screen simultaneously in multiplayer mode, one of the major new features here. There is also a fifth character unlocked after completing the story mode for the first time, which is a new addition to Sonic’s family.

Sonic Superstars
Source: Sonic Superstars

The choice of a character isn’t just cosmetic; it also changes the gameplay. Surprisingly, Sonic is the least endowed with special abilities among the quartet and offers a nostalgic Sonic experience with his familiar spins and jumps. The charismatic Tails can fly short distances, which is useful for reaching certain platforms and escaping danger. Knuckles can climb walls and glide in some situations, while Amy uses her hammer to attack enemies and make high jumps.

Although the experience with each hero is significantly different due to these varying abilities, there are even more options for customizing your gameplay style as you progress through the journey. By collecting Chaos Emeralds, you can unlock new abilities that further enhance the gameplay. Some of these are very useful at all times, such as one that propels your character in a chosen direction or another that creates a multitude of clones to collect items and attack enemies. Others are more situational, like the one that reveals platforms or secret entrances in the levels.

Having all the abilities available is not a simple task. First, you need to find one of the giant rings within the level, often located in hard-to-reach or practically hidden areas, and then participate in a strange mini-game of swinging from orb to orb until you can reach the rotating gem that is spinning frantically within the scenario. If time runs out, you’ll need to repeat the level.

The eleven zones are quite short, and the game can be completed in a few hours, but the replay factor and these small details encourage players to return, at least until the good rewards run out, leaving only the meager avatar customization pieces for online mode.

Uninspired stages

If you’ve played any 2D Sonic game before, you’ll feel right at home and unfortunately somewhat bored with most of the ideas presented in Superstars when it comes to the stages. The visual elements and stage concepts primarily appeal, once again, to nostalgia, with casino areas, something resembling Green Hill in the first stage, and the infamous “Water Stage” that has you searching for air bubbles. It lacks that sense of novelty until almost the very end of the game, which diminishes the campaign’s potential to be memorable.

Sonic Superstars
Source: Sonic Superstars

The significant design merit here is the absurd number of possible paths in each stage. While following the standard path at high speed, there will always be choices of routes via higher platforms, speed hoops that send you back a bit but in different directions, and hidden secrets. This is another reason to replay the stages and have a completely different experience.

What doesn’t change from stage to stage are the bosses, almost always present at the end of the levels. Sometimes it’s an Eggman robot, and in most cases, it’s the mad scientist himself coming to face our heroes. The attack patterns and ideas behind the bosses are interesting and enjoyable, one of the game’s highlights. However, there is only a brief window available to attack, which can sometimes be delayed, making the fight unnecessarily long and occasionally frustrating.

After finishing the adventure, there’s the opportunity to play with a new character in the same stages but with specific modifications to showcase their abilities. Finish the stages again with them, and you’ll face a secret boss with the classic Super Sonic in a cool battle.

Sonic Superstars: Simple and flawed multiplayer

The multiplayer mode in the campaign is one of the novelties, and you can see why it took them so long to implement it in the franchise. With the high speed and the need for players to share the same screen, the game has to make a decision when someone races ahead or falls far behind, and this is where the fun can be undermined.

The developers’ choice was to implement a system where one of the players is the host, essentially the owner of the stage, and the others are there to assist. It’s the host player who determines the progress through the stage, meaning if someone falls behind, their character will be launched in the direction of the leader. This makes it difficult to explore a secret path discovered by someone other than the host and leaves the efforts of most of the team somewhat in vain. Perhaps splitting the screen for each player to have their own path to the finish line would have been more interesting, especially for competitiveness in terms of time and points.

Sonic Superstars
Source: Sonic Superstars

On the other hand, online multiplayer is focused on competitive mini-games, which, at least in my case, didn’t succeed in maintaining my interest in continuing to play. Some are too confusing, and others are rather silly. The rewards are purely cosmetic and not very appealing, so I didn’t spend much time on this mode.

Sonic Superstars: Conclusion

Sonic Superstars is a title that doesn’t hide its flaws and is proud of its qualities. The variety of possible character ability combinations and those acquired during the campaign make the gameplay diverse and highly enjoyable. It’s a shame that the multiplayer mode is so flawed, and the stages are less inspired than they could be.

Sonic Superstars
Source: Sonic Superstars


  • Unique abilities for each character
  • Boss battles are fun and varied
  • High replay value


  • The campaign is too short; it could be longer
  • Online and local multiplayer modes have issues
  • Uninspired stages

Please let us know on our social media platform how much you’re enjoying the game.

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