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The Wingspan

The Wingspan

Sonic Superstars review: The stars are back!

Image owned by Sega, taken from
Image owned by Sega, taken from

Released on October 17, 2023, Sonic Superstars is the next 2D Sonic game following up on 2017’s Sonic Mania. The game centers around the characters Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy going to the Northstar Islands to stop Dr. Eggman and his accomplices from turning all of the islands’ critters into robots. 

Sonic Superstars is notable for both bringing back fan-favorite characters and introducing a new face. Returning characters are Amy Rose, a pink hedgehog with a big hammer who is friends with Sonic, and Fang the Hunter, a bounty hunter who was hired by Dr. Eggman to help carry out his evil plans. The new face is Trip, someone who is working with Eggman and Fang as she lives on the Northstar Islands and knows the land better than they do.

As is tradition with 2D Sonic games, the goal is to reach the end of the stage with either a goal post or capsule waiting for you depending on the act being played. Players make their way there by going quickly, completing the levels and collecting rings.

The game puts a unique spin on classic Sonic level tropes. For example, there’s a jungle level with rideable vines, a water level with water spouts, and a factory that is frozen over. This gives Superstars a unique flair that sets it apart from other Sonic games as well as other games that use these classic level tropes. 

Superstars has a lot of unique gameplay mechanics, which spices up the traditional 2D Sonic formula. For instance, the game occasionally messes with the foreground and background, making players switch between them, which keeps them on their toes.

As is par for the course with Sonic games each level has fitting music that immerses you into the game. Some highlights include “Bridge Island Zone Acts 1 and 2,” “Pinball Carnival Act 1,” and “Sand Sanctuary Act 1.” The game’s music imitates the style of the original Sonic games on the Sega Genesis while still having its own feel.

However, the game has a few issues holding it back from perfection. Knuckles’ controls are a bit clunky and his signature gliding ability is not as smooth as it was in past Sonic games. As the game reaches its climax, it also has a massive difficulty spike which can be frustrating. Yet besides those two issues, the game controls well and the difficulty is fair.

Visually, Superstars is gorgeous, using 3D models and environments on a 2D plane, creating a very distinctive look for the title. The boss battles are a visual spectacle and are far more challenging compared to the usually pitiful boss fights found in prior 2D Sonic games.

The game also has a battle mode that allows players to build a robot and use it to compete against other players locally and online. This is a nice distraction from the main game, but it has little substance as there is not much variety in the maps and with what players do.

Sonic Superstars shows the evolution and improvement of classic Sonic gameplay, and how despite a few issues, Sega still can make great Sonic games!


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About the Contributor
Joey Crossney, Design Editor