It’s quite evident that 90’s era side-scroller platformers are making a big comeback, and while many have enjoyed Sonic Frontier’s open world-styled adventures, there’s no other title (aside from Mario) more deserving of a retro remake other than Sonic the Hedgehog. As such, Sega announced Sonic Superstars, a new entry to the franchise that features classic 2D Sonic gameplay.
It’s a bit more than that actually, and the trailer reveals the new adventure features a gorgeous, 3D-rendered art style and up to four player, multiplayer mayhem that includes the blue hedgehog alongside series favourites – Tails, Knuckles, and Amy Rose. Nostalgia, ultra!
Gameplay appears to mimic the original including; fast paced, ring-collecting traversal courses featuring obstacles, puzzles, and enemies that ultimately culminates in a big boss fight towards the end, except it also features a unique little twist. Sonic and his pals can obtain special abilities known as ‘Emerald Powers’ when collecting ‘Chaos Emeralds’ hidden through out the level.
Some include the squad transforming into Pacman-esque, enemy-gobbling squids, others turn Sonic into a watery version of himself that can swim up waterfalls, and the coolest one of all shows our ring-collecting hero multiplying tenfold to one up Doctor Robotnik mid-boss fight. Additionally, each of the characters has their own unique abilities and the trailer reveals Amy’s special hammer smashing through opponents, and of course, we all know Tails uses, well, his tail as whirly bird.
There are also new environments to discover, including a reimagined Green Hill Zone starting area, a retro-pixelized digital realm, a Space Harrier-styled rail shooter segment, as well as a jungle area with traversable vines to swing on. the trailer only equates to over-a-minute-long gameplay but I’m already loving the direction.
Though this shouldn’t come as a surprise, because the project marks the return of original series designer, Naoto Oshima, and this time around he has a bunch of crazy, and refreshing new ideas to throw at the franchise. Can’t wait to see what else the team has in store for us under his tutelage.
Sonic Superstars will debut on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S later this year.