‘Years of Success: ‘Sonic Superstars’ Reigns as the Franchise’s Biggest Hit’

‘Years of Success: ‘Sonic Superstars’ Reigns as the Franchise’s Biggest Hit’


The Sonic game franchise is remembered with great affection by fans, especially those who saw the saga born in the Mega Drive video game, released in 1988 by Sega. But, despite having a consolidated initial trilogy, the blue hedgehog’s games would go through several moments of uncertainty, with games of questionable quality and little prominence in the industry. Next Tuesday (17), “Sonic Superstars” arrives to make up for lost time and show that the famous mascot still has a lot to offer.

For this episode, Sega opted for a traditional structure, with 3D graphics, but with a 2D camera style that harks back to the series’ origins. The title is not intended for those expecting a detailed story or character development, as it is just another journey of Sonic, against the villain Robotnik; focused solely and exclusively on gameplay. LeiaJá had the opportunity to test the game in advance on the PS5 version.

Although “Sonic Superstars” rescues several classic elements of the franchise, anyone who thinks that the title is based solely on nostalgia is mistaken. Unlike “Sonic Generations” (2011), which focused on revisiting known maps from the series; The new game has a total of 11 worlds and they are all made up of new stages, which finally convey a sense of continuity and show that the saga is ready to move forward.

The cast of playable heroes is made up of the already known Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy Rose, but after beating the game for the first time, the character Trip also becomes playable. Each of the hedgehogs has different abilities, which can change the way you play: Sonic is the fastest of all, Tails can fly for a few seconds, Knuckles is able to climb walls, Amy Rose uses a hammer and Trip can turn into a cogwheel.

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One of the biggest attractions is that the main campaign of “Sonic Superstars” can be played cooperatively with up to four simultaneous players. Unfortunately, this feature is only available in local mode and cannot be used online.

A true sequel to “Sonic 3”

Although the franchise has some successful 3D titles, such as “Sonic Frontiers”, released last year; many fans were clamoring for something that brought the essence of classic games back. Until then, the closest thing to this had been done in “Sonic Generations” and “Sonic Mania” (2017), however, these came with the idea of ​​celebrating the franchise and did not give the impression of being new games.

On the other hand, “Sonic Superstars” can be considered as the real sequel to “Sonic the Hedgehog 3” (1994); as it brings gameplay similar to Mega Drive games, while evolving some concepts. The structure boils down to walking forward (or running most of the time), collecting rings to strengthen Sonic, dealing with enemies and other obstacles that appear along the way.

The game’s physics is one of the factors that qualify “Sonic Superstars” as a true hedgehog game. Unlike what was seen in “Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I” (2012), here everything occurs in a way that does not harm the gameplay, with a satisfactory time for the character to gain speed and start the race; precise jumps and slides on slopes that match reality. All of this is combined with intelligent level design, which makes the game experience very satisfying.

The difficulty level is balanced for most of the adventure, with small challenging sections. As the game does not use the lives system, the player will not need to worry about redoing long sections, in the same way as in old games. The boss battles, although well constructed, do not present a high challenge, with the exception of the last boss, which has two forms and high-risk attacks.

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Upgrade on chaos emeralds

There are some giant rings scattered around the scene, which transport the player to a mini game, which rewards one of the seven chaos emeralds; item present in the franchise since “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” (1992). By collecting all the emeralds and gathering 50 rings, the character can assume the “super” form, where he becomes golden and vulnerable to direct damage from enemies.

One of the big differences is that this time, each chaos emerald has an individual power; something very similar to the concept of the Infinity Stones in the Marvel universe. The dark blue emerald can create clones of the character; the rose allows you to view invisible objects in the scene; the light blue one turns the hedgehog into liquid; the green one makes plants grow from the earth, which help to reach high places; yellow slows down time; the red one grants fire powers; and silver makes the character make a stronger spin.

The way the emeralds’ powers work is very reminiscent of the Wisps from “Sonic Colors” (2010). However, despite being interesting at first glance, these skills are treated secondary and often become dispensable during the journey. As a result, the main focus ends up falling on the “super” form of each character.

Unlike “Sonic the Hedgehog 3”, here the hedgehog does not have elemental shields, which could grant advantages in certain phases of the game. The only option that can be collected throughout the adventure is the simple shield, which protects you from direct damage from enemies.

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During the journey, the player will also collect some golden coins, which can be obtained along the stages, or in bonus areas, accessible at all checkpoints. With these coins, it is possible to purchase some cosmetic items in the game’s store. Additionally, for every 100 rings collected, a new coin is added to the inventory.

“Sonic Superstars” is a title that lives up to the blue hedgehog’s legacy and presents a solid and consistent adventure from Sega’s mascot. Despite making some mistakes, such as the absence of an online multiplayer mode or the fact that it does not adequately explore the individual powers of the chaos emeralds; the game can be considered a love letter to fans of the franchise.

The game is available for Playstation 4, Playstation 5 for R$299.90; Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch for R$279; and PC for R$289.

Collaboration by Alfredo Carvalho for LeiaJá