SONIC has really struggled to find his footing in 3D, and Sonic Team seemed to not understand what made the blue blur so great.
There were some passable games like Sonic Generations, and Sonic Colours, but these could not make up for disasters like Sonic Boom, and the worst of all Sonic ‘06.
When Sonic Frontiers launched last year, it was a hit with both fans and critics alike, though we’ve become used to a gem every now and then.
But now that Sonic Superstars has proved to be another excellent addition to the series, it could be that Sonic Team has finally cracked the code.
While being a classic 2D platformer, the new graphics provide a striking change, and each level adds a different style, all with plenty of colour.
There is a different theme and plenty of personality added into each level, with small details that help make the most of the 3D mechanics.
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The 3D animations also help to separate the four playable characters and bring them to life, separate from their unique abilities.
Sonic has his drop dash from Sonic Mania, Tails and Knuckles fly, glide and climb as they always have, but Amy has been given a significant buff.
If you played Sonic Origins Plus, you would have noticed that Amy’s hammer, while big, didn't offer any protection.
Now not only does Amy’s hammer make you invincible, but she also has a handy double jump.
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You can choose any of the four to play the main stages with, but there are also character specific paths and stages which give you more replayability.
Sonic Superstars has also reworked the way that co-op works, but this probably isn’t for the better.
In the older Sonic games, the camera follows player one, and the second player will return to player one if they stray too far away.
The second player is also invincible, which makes up for the fact that they can’t control the direction of play.
Sonic Superstars tries to accommodate all four players at the same time, which means that the camera pulls out to keep everyone on the screen.
As there are multiple paths in each level which can make it difficult for some to catch up if there is a skill gap between players.
The player that the camera chooses to track can feel random at times, leading faster players to slow down, or slower players to get dragged along in their wake.
While Superstars was clearly made with a single or two-player focus, with the right group, it can still be fun with more players.
That being said, the single-player experience is fantastic, and the level design is just as good as the old games we all know and love.
The heavy focus on momentum is back, and stages are packed with opportunities to maximise your speed.
There is also a time attack mode for those who really want to test their skills.
Sonic Mania is still the benchmark when it comes to modern 2D Sonic games, but Superstars gets very close.
Sonic Superstars is the modern 2D Sonic game we never thought we’d get.
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It has fantastic level design, a striking style, and the fluid physics and heart that we always wanted to see makes a comeback.
Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.
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