Thursday, August 17, 2023

I'm Not Really Excited About Sonic Superstars


Sonic Superstars is an upcoming installment for the Sonic the Hedgehog videogame series. It's the newest in the 'Classic Sonic' inspired formula. However, it doesn't have the same pixel-style graphics like Sonic Mania had previously. It's all 3D. Which is nice, for a change. However, there's still a few things that bother me about this game before release. Let's hope my opinions change or these issues get fixed before the game comes out. But knowing Sega's past efforts of patching it probably won't end well. Anyway let's look at some issues regarding Sonic Superstars.

"It's Not Green Hill Zone - or is it?"

For the past decade or so, Sonic Team have been annoying Sonic fans alike by adding Green Hill Zone in at least every Sonic game since 2011's Sonic Generations. We also had different variations of Green Hill in 2017's Sonic Forces, Sonic Mania and even multiple variations all over again for the 2022 effort Sonic Frontiers. It's frustrating and feels like a lazy attempt to rehash nostalgia. Thankfully, Sonic Superstars promises 6 all new levels. Unfortunately, 6 is a small number, but hey at least Green Hill Zone isn't in this game, or is it? From what a lot of people notice, the first stage - Bridge Island Zone - resembles Green Hill Zone a bit but it's all water. Don't get me wrong, the graphics look really good. But the Island area does resemble Green Hill a bit, even if it is unintentional.

Sonic 4 Vibes

2010's Sonic 4 Episode 1 & 2 left a pretty bad taste in many people's mouths. What would have been a full length game was turned into an episodic series with Episode 3 being cancelled. Thankfully, Superstars doesn't go down this route, but pretty  much everything about Superstars is bringing back bad memories about Sonic 4. Sonic 4 was a 3D side scroller just like this one, but more clunkier and was incomplete.The controls were very bad and the gameplay physics were very weird. The music which was composed by Jun Senoue was terrible, Jun never works well in 2D Sonic games....

Jun Senoue & Tee Lopes Collaboration Sounds Awful

Maybe it's just me, but having people like Jun Senoue and Tee Lopes performing the Soundtrack to a Sonic game again should bring joy and excitement to many fans. But sadly, Jun doesn't work well with 2D Sonic music. Just check out Sonic Origin's Soundtrack and those horrible Sonic 3 replacement tracks. The Soundtrack for Sonic Superstars goes directly back to the Sonic 4 influence, with annoying anime sounding synths, and pretty much no guitars. It certainly doesn't slap like Sonic Mania's Soundtrack did, and Jun jumped on a few tracks for that and even played guitar on some of them. So far it doesn't sound so exciting on Sonic Superstars and that's unfortunate. Hopefully when the game releases more tracks come out that may sound better.

Generic Stage Names

Sega have some sort of obsession with Sand lately. In 2022's Sonic Frontiers, there was an entire Open World area covered in Sand. In 2017's Sonic Forces, Green Hill was covered in Sand. Sega brought back Sand Hill from Sonic Adventure in 2019's Team Sonic Racing. I'm pretty sure there was also a desert level in Sonic Mania too, I can't remember. Now there's going to be a new Sand themed zone in Sonic Superstars. Oh boy. Inventively titled "Sand Sanctuary" (if you couldn't tell, I was being sarcastic) it borrows its name from Sonic 3's Sky Sanctuary. Actually now that I mention it, it seems every level in Sonic Superstars borrows its name from something else. There was a Bridge Zone in the Master System version of Sonic The Hedgehog 1. But check out these other highly inventive looking level names:
- Bridge Island Zone
- Speed Jungle Zone
- Sky Temple Zone 
- Pinball Carnival Zone (yawn)
- Lagoon City Zone
- Sand Sanctuary Zone
Although Sega say they are not using recycled old levels anymore, it feels like they still are. Yet again we have another Sky stage and Pinball stage. There have been Pinball stages in Sonic games since the beginning of time. 

The Opening Cutscene Looks Like It Runs On 20fps


I see what you did there Sonic The Hedgehog Youtube Channel. You turned off the comments to this video because they were getting so many complaints about how clunky the opening cutscene looks. While it's fine that they are going back to the cartoon 2D animation, what is wrong with the overall opening cutscene and frame rate? Even the Sonic Origins cutscenes looked better than this hot trash. This video looks like it's running on 20fps with many animation frame mistakes. Remember it is also expected to run like this on an Xbox Series X and PS5 and this looks like it's running on the toilet. The opening cutscene problems sparked a large amount of public outcry from fans expecting better, and rightly so. So much outcry in fact that one of the leading Sonic visual artists, Tyson Hesse publicly distanced himself from the game's opening cinematics and animation, claiming that he did not work on the game at all. Ouch!

Developed by Balan Wonderworld Studio 

Remember Balan Wonderworld? Of course you do. Well the same developers who made that hot mess, are working on Sonic Superstars. While it still currently has Naoto Oshima involved, who was one of the original designers of Sonic the Hedgehog, Arzest's other half, Yuji Naka has currently been arrested in suspicion of insider trading. Naka had no involvement in Superstars, but Balan Wonderworld was a flop and it tanked. I hope the same thing doesn't happen to Sonic Superstars but we'll wait and see.

Those are just some of my gripes I have at the moment with Sonic Superstars. Do you agree or do you think I am over reacting before it comes out? I don't want to hate the game but I also don't want to be disappointed. Maybe i'll get it when it goes on sale.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive