EGX Coverage - Sonic Superstars
Article by Adam Ray
Sonic the Hedgehog has a marmite level of fandom in the casual gaming community. It set the tone for platforming goodness alongside Mario in the early nineties, but the 3d ventures in the early 2000s left many fans baffled and confused.
Many titles featuring Mister Needlemouse went on to try and recreate the charm of those old school side-scrolling platformer. Sonic Generations was very close to that charm, and this new title, Sonic Superstars, has everything to add itself into that pantheon of games, plus approximately one litre of LSD. I had the fortune of playing this game a few times at EGX this year, and this is how it went.
Sonic Superstars has a lot of elements that keep it looking and feeling of classic Sonic, with the benefits of shiny new graphics possibilities. There are elements that play with perspective while you run, shooting you forward or backwards in relation to the rest of the platforms.
The retro flair comes also from the choice of characters and character design. The classic four characters are back and each one feels reasonably unique. Sonic is fastest and dashes longest. Tails has a very forgiving length of time that he can fly for. Knuckles has his signature gliding and wall climbing. Though Amy's spin dash is a little diminished, she can bash most enemies and the environment with her hammer.
New elements to the game are what keep it fresh by comparison. The crafty purple fox makes for an enigmatic new villain, thus spicing up the story further than just bashing Eggman's latest robot minions.
It's hard to reinvent the wheel. Sonic the Hedgehog platforming has been a fan favourite from 1991. There are enough elements for it to feel fresh, but this game features the same high speed sideways gameplay that can be cleared in an afternoon. Sometimes, that's enough, and I'll relax with it between sessions of a more intense game.