Sonic Superstars Review - Reaching for Stars
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Sonic Superstars Review - Reaching for Stars

Sonic as a franchise is notoriously inconsistent, offering up some amazing highs, some truly dire lows, and a fair few games that are forgettably mediocre. But then there's that one weird category several Sonics fall into: games that are obviously, undeniably flawed in some way, but still have that something that makes a Sonic game feel special. Maybe not everyone can feel what makes them great, but for others, those qualities will overshine all of the negatives. Sonic Superstars is one such game, one with glaring flaws that I happen to like a lot.

We all know how it goes by now: Sonic's arch-nemesis Dr. Eggman is up to no good, and he's got his eye on a new locale whose resources he can exploit for evil schemes. It's up to Sonic and his BFFs, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy, to stop the Doctor, recover the Chaos Emeralds, battle the returning but obscure fan-favorite villain Fang the Sniper, and meet a brand-new buddy to save the day. Accomplishing this task involves zipping through 11 themed side-scrolling zones while collecting rings, bonking Badniks, and dealing with each area's distinct gimmicks and threats. No melodramatic story scenes, RPG or sim elements, or awkward romances here: It's pure, classic Sonic platforming.

That doesn't mean it's entirely devoid of new ideas, however. All of the zones are brand-new: Familiar elements from previous games like gimmicks and enemies might return, but every stage is an original. Collecting a Chaos Emerald now grants a special Emerald Power players can put to use at almost any time, provided they have the energy for it. And--perhaps the biggest new twist of all is that Sonic Superstars now supports four-person couch co-op multiplayer. Sure, somebody could pick up the player 2 pad and flail around as Tails in Sonic 2 and 3, but that was extremely limited; what we have here in Superstars is a unique kind of controlled chaos (pun intended).

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