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Dcubed

Sonic Superstars

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Finished this today.

Spoiler

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Yeah, I think I enjoyed this more than Mario Wonder. There's certainly more to do in this and it actually offers a bit of a challenge, not to mention has proper boss fights.

If you just play through the story and leave it at that then it will be a pretty short experience but if play the extra content then you will certainly get your monies worth.

In each of the stages there is a hidden gold enemy. Not only do you have to defeat it but once you have finished it off you then need to complete the level without dying. This is a hefty challenge, especially given that a lot of stages have boss battles. I'm currently working my way through all the levels but decided to go through them from last to first. Figured I would get the hardest ones out of the way and hopefully they will get progressively easier. Doing the final stage without dying was a doozy.

Once you complete the game you will unlock another story to play that has you control a different character that can't be switched out. This is another thing that offers a decent challenge. It's essentially another run through the game but on a much harder difficulty. Bosses take more hits to bring down and there are more enemies in each of the levels. I'm currently a few levels into this.

I quite like what they've done with the Chaos Emeralds. Once you collect one of them it will grant you a power up. These seem to take the place of Wisps from previous games. Getting the Chaos Emeralds requires you to find a giant golden ring that's hidden in the level. Jump through it and you will be transported to an area where you must chase the emerald and catch it to obtain it. It's kinda like a new version of the Sonic CD bonus stage. Instead of running after it, you now grapple through the air and swing towards it. It's definitely one of the better Chaos Emerald mini games in the series.

I've played with a couple of the characters now and I like how different they are. Using each of them you can find different paths to take in each of the levels. Tails comes in handy when looking for the golden enemies due to his ability to fly. Same goes for Amy who can double jump and gain that extra height and distance.

Yeah, there's a lot to like here. I imagine I'll be needing to put a fair bit more time into this before I pop the platinum trophy.

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I completed the extra story this evening and then it unlocked another story to play through. The game just keeps on giving. According to the PS5, I've clocked 20 hours on it so far. It's easily giving me more bang for my buck when compared to Mario Wonder.

The story I just finished was pretty tough at times. I liked how the levels were changed ever so slightly to increase the difficulty. The boss fights reminded me of older games where it came down to practice and memorization. This was certainly the case with the final battle, a fight that took me well over an hour of practice and patience before I was finally beat it. Definitely one of the hardest bosses I've fought in a platformer in a very long time.

I'm also still working my way through the stages trying to get all of the golden enemies. I think I have 7 left to find...

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Success.

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The true final boss was a decent battle. It wasnt as hard as the one I tackled yesterday but it still took a few tries.

Honestly, this is a GOTY contender for me. I simply loved my time with it. It was fun, offered a challenge, had a great trophy list and offered plenty of content. Very happy with my experience and having now completely finished it, yeah, I found it much more enjoyable than Mario Wonder.

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Just started my playthrough (playing the PC version on Steam Deck docked onto my TV) and I’ve just finished the 3rd zone.  What a lovely little game this is so far!

The physics are spot on (obviously copied basically 1:1 from Sonic Mania, which is exactly what I wanted), the level design is great so far (plenty of new mechanics, well hidden secrets, good structure and pacing with faster paths as rewards for good play), the new emerald gimmicks are well implemented; even the much maligned bosses have all been fun and enjoyable, with some cool gimmicks that haven’t outstayed their welcome yet (though I can see future bosses likely suffering from a bit of Kirby 64 syndrome, where they spend too much time invulnerable in the background).  The bonus/special stages are also great! And I can definitely see myself going back for all of the medals too.

Really, I have nothing to complain about.  It’s all great so far!  I hear that the multiplayer battle mode is a bit pants, but that’s just a sideshow to the main game anyway.  This is brill! :D

Easily Arzest’s best game to date, feels like they’ve truly come home!

Edit: Ok, if there is one thing to complain about, it’s that the music is a bit hit & miss.  Some of it is really great, while other tracks are just ok.

Edited by Dcubed
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Just seen the credits roll... Yeah, this is real good!

I'll save my big, epic Wall of Text review for when I 100% the game (or close enough to it, more on that in a bit), but I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the game.

Now, it's certainly not perfect, in particular there are a couple of flaws I need to address... first of them is the boss fights.  Now yes, I have previously said in my last post that I didn't mind the bosses thus far, but that I could tell that Kirby 64 Syndrome was on its way... and I was right.  Now, I will say that I do feel that the issue has been blown well out of proportion online and that it's generally nowhere near as bad as its being made out to be; it's certainly not game ruining or anything stupid like that.  But the last couple of bosses do really start to take the piss, and the last one in particular is an outright slog.  It's literally twice as long as the entire stage that precedes it, and it's just an utter marathon that I desperately wanted to end.  Worst of all with these bosses is that there's basically nothing you can do to speed them up, there's no strategies available to skip phases; you're just stuck waiting for the bosses to get out of the background and end their interminable invulnerability phases.  That Kirby 64 PTSD is flooding right back here!

My second complaint is about the medal system... This game features a similar system as seen in Sonic Mania, where you can earn medals in the bonus stages, only that its taken to a logical extreme, as these medals are now scattered throughout stages too, and also awarded each time you earn 100 rings (the Lives system is gone completely now).  In Sonic Mania, the medals were a nice incentive to try and conqure all of the various bonus stage levels, as you had a bunch of cool unlockable modes tied to how many medals you earned.  Here in Sonic Superstars however? The medals are tied exclusively to cosmetic unlockables in the game's multiplayer battle mode... and the battle mode is utter pants; a total throwaway mode that you'll probably only try once and never touch again (its online mode is also completely dead already).  This not only means that the development team wasted a ton of time and resources that would've been better spent on improving the main game, but it also means that the medals are completely pointless now.  There is no reason to collect them, and thus, no reason to go back and play through all of the various bonus stage maps.  A lose-lose situation all round, and it's a real shame, because the bonus stages are actually really fun (even if they revisit the wellworn Sonic 1 Special Stage concept yet again).

I do have some other nitpicks, but they are just that; nitpicks.  Overall, this is a very solid Sonic game.  It's still gonna be a while before I fully complete it, as the post-game content seems to be pretty substantial...

Spoiler

A brand new playable character (Trip), newly designed by Sonic's original character designer Naoto Oshima! She's pretty fun! She has a double jump and a weird sort of spiky circular thingy move that is reminiscient of Kirby's Needle ability.
A Hard Mode of sorts called Trip's Story where you play through remixed versions of the main game's stages with Trip only.
An additional Final Story after you beat Trip's Story (no idea how long this one is - I'd assume that it's a True Final Boss thing with Super Sonic though, as is tradition in post-Sonic 3 games)

I think it's safe for me to say that this is my 3rd favourite 2D Sonic game at this point though.  Not quite on the same level as Sonic 3&K or Mania, but better than Sonic 2 or Sonic 1; and certainly way better than any of the other 2D entries in the series.  Well worth your time :D

Edited by Dcubed
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SEGA admits that the game's launch was badly timed - the game sold less than expected, probably due to it launching at the same time as games in a similar genre.

Quote

“Although Sonic Superstars has generally been well received by those who have played it, the timing of the
launch coincided with competing titles in the same genre, and it has been short of the initial forecast. The
strategic expansion of Sonic IP is progressing well, and we will continue to work to increase repeat sales of this
title.”

https://nintendoeverything.com/sonic-superstars-fell-short-of-initial-forecast-sega-points-to-competing-with-other-games-in-the-same-genre/

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802.jpg

No-one is shocked by this. Everyone was screaming to change the date, but Sega insisted they can still go toe-to-toe with Mario.

A real shame, too.

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It seemed common sense not to release this at the same time. I know Sega’s advertising has made some questionable decisions over the years, but it should never have been released that week, regardless of whether it was Nintendo or Sega that picked the date first.  

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