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Everything we know about Sonic Superstars

Everybody's super Sonic starrin'.

People were expecting a lot out of this year’s Summer Games Fest – but what they probably weren’t expecting was a brand new Sonic the Hedgehog title to be casually dropped. Yep, the perennially-popular blur that is blue is back with a bang in his latest adventure, Sonic Superstars. Despite appearances with that name, this ain’t no tennis or racing spinoff. Developed by SEGA and Arzest (who you might recognise from a bevy of Nintendo titles), it’s a full-on new 2D platformer. Though noticeably absent are Christian Whitehead and Headcannon, creators of the acclaimed Sonic Mania, who you’d think Iizuka would be pretty keen to keep around. Business decisions, eh?

Either way, the game promises to take the beloved franchise to new heights, with a pastel-coloured world and a vibrant array of playable characters. Readers, get ready to embrace the thrill of speed and hang onto your chili dogs, as we delve into everything we know about Sonic Superstars!

Hogging the glory

Sonic Superstars is a fresh take on the tried-and-true Sonic formula, blending the elements of classic 2D gameplay, replete with as much processing as you can blast, with four-way competitive/co-op play. Series veterans will nerdishly note that, technically, co-op has been present in such prior titles as Sonic 4 Episode 2 and an obscure side mode of Sonic Colors… but really now. Come on, lads. Who counts those?

Sonic Superstars gameplay
Ah, Seaside Hill. How lovely to see you again. And again. And again.

For the first time, then, players will have the opportunity to choose from not only the speedster himself, but also Tails, Knuckles and (in a long overdue comeback from the Sonic Advance era) Amy Rose. Each character handles a wee bit differently; Tails can of course fly, Knuckles can dig and climb, and Amy? Well, she bashes your bloody head in with a dirty great mallet. Whether you wield these powers against friends and foes, all tastes and corners of the Sonic universe are accounted for, and I anticipate some pretty intense multiplayer matches. Four-player online Sonic? Utter carnage, guaranteed. Choose your favourite character, master their unique playstyle, and leave your mates in the dust!

A diversity of derring-do

Sonic Superstars will transport players to a wide range of breathtaking locations, as is to be expected from a 2D outing for the franchise. From lush tropical jungles – including, sigh, Green Hill Mk. 732 – to futuristic cities and oceanic vistas, each map will undoubtedly be filled with twists, turns, and shortcuts that will put your skills to the test. The trailer in particular highlights the gorgeous up-rez the environments and the Sonic cast have received, with gorgeous, almost Pixar-quality squash and stretch accentuating every movement.

Sonic Superstars roster
Amy, however, needs a wardrobe update. Those clashing colours never sat right with me.

There’ll even be parts of the stages you can only access with a particular character (or team move), so if you’re of a Metroidvania inclination, your fancy will be thoroughly tickled as you’re tasked with returning on multiple occasions.

Time to power up!

Of course, it ain’t a Sonic game without a gimmicky powerup or form change, and Superstars has that covered, too. To gain an edge over the baddies, or indeed your friends, a bunch of reality-warping abilities are afforded by the Chaos Emeralds. Whether it’s slowing time to a crawl, shifting the perspective entirely into 3D, or moving vast chunks of the stage geometry, prepare to have your mind screwed (and for Nintendo’s lawyers to pay very close attention in the run-up to Super Mario Wonder). You can also grab single-use items along the tracks to unleash devastating attacks that just might turn the living room air blue.

LEGO Eggman

Also, LEGO will contribute a DLC pack to the game. If you want, all the character models can be swapped for chunky, plastic ones with limited articulation. Just take care not to swallow ’em. Or step on ’em. To quote Maya Rudolph, the pain’s close to childbirth.

This is all topped off with a suitably manic story. Dr. Eggman once again trifles with cosmic powers beyond his ken, summoning foes from Sonic games both past and present. In fact, the whole Superstars package seems to be an exercise in nostalgia, and you know what? I’m down for that. Any game that can squeeze in a character named ‘Fang the Sniper’ is an automatic win in my book. (Fun fact: he’s ‘Nack the Weasel’ in the comics. The discrepancy has never been addressed.)

Speed into action this winter!

Of course, you needn’t only take my silver-tongued word for it. To get a glimpse of the high-octane action that awaits in Sonic Superstars, check out the trailer.

I guess that “we’ll sure see Classic Sonic again sometime” from the end of Forces finally paid off. Sigh.

To sum up, Sonic Superstars looks, against all odds, to be a must-play title for fans of the hedgehog. With its blend of classic Sonic gameplay and doubtlessly white-knuckle multiplayer action, the game looks promising.

Stay tuned for more updates as we eagerly await the release of Sonic Superstars. The new game arrives this holiday season on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

Bobby Mills

Motor-mouthed Brit with a decades long - well, two decades, at least - passion for gaming. Writer, filmmaker, avid lover of birthdays. Still remembers the glory days of ONM. May it rest in peace.
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