Sonic Superstars is set to be released by Sega on October 17, 2023. The release date and details of the Digital Deluxe Edition were recently announced at the Opening Night Live event of the Gamescom 2023 gaming event.

During Gamescom 2023, attendees had the opportunity to play a demo version of the game. Let’s now share our impressions from the experience at the Sega booth.

It Feels Like Classic Sonic, But With a Fresh Twist

This game aims to evolve the familiar, classic Sonic experience of 2D side-scrolling by incorporating new elements and transitioning the graphics into 3D. The result is a user-friendly design that appeals to both longtime fans and newcomers.

During the demo, due to time constraints, only two stages were available to play. However, even with that limited experience, there were moments of exhilarating speed, the enjoyment of collecting rings, and challenging boss battles that captured the essence of what makes Sonic enjoyable.

Speaking of which, I believe the recently released Sonic Frontiers from last year, 2022, is still fresh in our memories. For users who began enjoying Sonic from that point and now wish to experience classic Sonic from the past, trying out this game would be a great idea.

Of course, it’s also suitable for those who used to play Sonic and want to give it a try after a long time, or even for those who are interested in multiplayer since it has been added. Motivation can be diverse, I believe.

Now, how would people feel when they pick up this game? To be honest, I’d like to share my thoughts as someone who hasn’t played Sonic for quite some time.

The first thing I noticed is that it’s quite challenging.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that my gaming skills have deteriorated over the years, but when playing this game, it becomes apparent. I find myself wanting to complain about my gameplay that hinders Sonic’s exhilarating speed.

Not being able to collect rings properly, missing jumps, failing to avoid the boss’s gimmicks… I’m making a lot of mistakes. However, even with such gameplay, I managed to clear the levels. It’s impressive how the developers managed to create a game where success is possible even with such struggles. Looking back, my clear times were far from impressive though.

Frustrated yet eager to give it another try, I move on to the next stage due to the limited time of the demo. I attempt to execute actions I couldn’t manage in the previous stage, but things don’t go too well, leaving me feeling down.

Thinking to myself, “It’s frustrating,” I realize that this feeling of frustration means I’m fully engrossed in the game. I also reminisce about how I used to play like this back in the day.

The core gameplay of classic Sonic is incredibly simple: run, collect rings, and reach the goal as fast as possible! I believe this sequence is the essence of it all. The more robust this foundational aspect is, the more it reminds me of how enjoyable it is.

By the way, in this installment, a system called “Emerald Powers” has been added to the straightforward gameplay of classic Sonic. This system becomes available when you acquire Chaos Emeralds (*).

*Chaos Emeralds: These are important items (gems) in Sonic’s world. In Sonic Frontiers, their origin, which had long been a mystery, is revealed.

“Emerald Powers” allow you to use special abilities for a limited time once activated. In the demo version, about four of these abilities were unlocked, but I had the chance to thoroughly test only two of them in the actual game.

Within the stages, there are abilities that allow you to climb waterfalls and dash freely midair in any direction. When used skillfully, these abilities can assist with stage exploration and strategy.

In an interview article about this game, I asked Mr. Iizuka for clarification, and he mentioned that “Emerald Powers” are optional – you can use them or not use them, depending on your preference. This flexibility is honestly appreciated, as it’s not forced upon players.

Since I had the chance to interview before playing, I decided to take on the challenge of playing without using “Emerald Powers”. Of course, I managed to clear stages without any issues. However, I want to add that it’s also a lot of fun to use “Emerald Powers” to climb waterfalls and dash midair.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try the multiplayer mode since Sonic in this game doesn’t split into duplicates like in previous titles. Nonetheless, observing overseas media playing beside me, who were practically forgetting their work and shouting, I’m certain that the multiplayer experience is undoubtedly enjoyable.

Sonic Superstars” successfully incorporates new elements while fully capturing the nostalgic atmosphere of the classic Sonic games. An interview article with Mr. Iizuka and Mr. Ohshima about their enthusiasm for the project and behind-the-scenes stories is currently available and highly recommended for reading, as it provides valuable insights into the development process.

Source: Famitsu

Leave a Reply