Retro Gamer

Sonic Superstars »

System: PS5 (version tested), PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, PC » Buy it for: £54.99 » Buy it from: Online, retail

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Sonic Superstars is a return to the classic Sonic formula, a 2D platformer that feels like the inevitable response to the success of

Sonic Mania. This isn’t by the same team though – it has been developed by Arzest, the studio founded by Sonic’s original artist Naoto Oshima, and it doesn’t quite hit the same heights.

That’s not to say that it’s a bad game, mind. Sonic Superstars feels good to play, as Sonic and chums have their familiar moves and generally handle pretty closely to the way they do in the Mega Drive games. The level designs are varied and occasional­ly include some pretty interestin­g gimmicks, such as a stage with mechanical presses that periodical­ly bounce your character upwards. The inclusion of a dedicated stage for each character is nice, as are the Special Stages that build on the original game’s spinning mazes. Likewise, boss battles are generally well considered and will tax you at least a little.

But while Sonic Superstars does the basics well, it falters with its newer ideas. The new Emerald Powers are so forgettabl­e that the game has to highlight when they may be useful, but we rarely bothered with them. Some novel stage gimmicks stay well beyond their welcome, and a couple of the late game bosses are an absolute drag as a result. Co-op in Story Mode would be greatly improved with split-screen support, and though the Battle Mode does offer this, you’re unlikely to return to its basic minigames frequently.

The play experience also isn’t without problems. We experience­d bugs on PS5 and PS4 that required us to quit to the main menu, and experience­d occasional minor frame stuttering on PS4.

Overall, Sonic Superstars is a solid enough platformer that should at least please most fans of the series – just don’t expect it to measure up to the Mega Drive games.

Score 77%

 ?? ?? » [Playstatio­n 5] The classic style has been nailed, although background detail isn’t always this nice.
» [Playstatio­n 5] The classic style has been nailed, although background detail isn’t always this nice.
 ?? ?? » [Playstatio­n 5] Moving Tails around in a bubble reminded us of the 8-bit version of Sonic 2.
» [Playstatio­n 5] Moving Tails around in a bubble reminded us of the 8-bit version of Sonic 2.

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