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Sonic Superstars: A New 2D Sonic Game (Fall 2023)

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by DefinitiveDubs, Jun 8, 2023.

  1. Antheraea


    Bug Hunter Member
    hmmm, the level design complaints I've heard remind me of the complaints I have about Sonic Advance 3, a game I didn't bother finishing because I hated its levels. If this game is a lot like that, then I might wait until mods "fix" it or skip it entirely...
  2. KaiGCS


    Some of us actually like it dude, I don't know what to tell you.

    Be critical all you want, but speak to your own perspective and don't worry so much about what anyone else thinks or where the "consensus" will land. That stuff is mostly determined by which group is being the loudest and so it's always changing. I didn't like Frontiers, but I wasn't out here fantasizing about how eventually everyone will agree with me.
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  3. GeneHF


    SEGA-ier than you'll potentially ever be. Site Staff
    Scenic Studiopolis
    Complete Global Conquest
    May be worth it at $30-$40, honestly, and that's feeling generous.

    Thinking about it some earlier, more things clicked into place as to WHY they were done, but it feels like they were done sloppily. With Ohshima-san at them helm, it's no secret there's a heavy Sonic CD influence, both in level exploration and bizarre bosses. That said, I feel to justify the $60 price tag, bosses were made longer to kill to help pass that playtime counter. My issue though isn't that they're challenging (Classic Sonic bosses could use more potency), but that the bosses are "Okay, I get it " style bosses, where they make the player wait 15-45 seconds between hits. It feels a little disrespectful of the player's time, especially in ones where there are tons of one hit kill moves.

    As for stages, I think it's been documented Iizuka isn't a fan of short stages, especially if the game is going to command $60. It makes me think of Sonic Heroes and how long some of those run
  4. Chimpo


    I Gotta Be Me Member
    Los Angeles, 2029
    Don't Forget! Try Your Best!
    If Gene says this is a 35~ bucks game then it's a 35~ bucks game.
    It's as shrimple as that.
  5. Palas


    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    What consensus is that? The physics are as close to that in classic Sonic games for the Mega Drive as it gets. Absolutely everything else, including -- especially -- context, is completely different. If anything, it highlights something people need to understand: Classic Sonic as a) a ruleset for games b) an experience c) a cultural phenomenon cannot be reduced to pinball physics. We beautiful people have said that for years.
  6. DefinitiveDubs


    The Voice Maestro Member
    Cyber City
    Mega Man Zero: The Definitive Dub
    So Classic Sonic is just...a vibe?


    Sadly, I'm kind of there right now. I like Trip as a character, but her campaign is NOT well balanced or carefully designed, it's just pointlessly cruel and too many circumstances you'll get hit or killed in are clearly not the fault of even a skilled player. There's also no satisfying story or narrative anywhere in this to speak of. Events in the game's second half just... happen at random with no real plausible reasoning or explanation. I'm pretty sure a lot of this game was, once again, massively rushed after it was given at least a solid foundation.

    The Frozen Base 1 boss did it for me. There's too much random chance in it to consistently play it well and beat it easily every time. You literally cannot control where the bombs fall and the formation of the conveyor belts as they blow up, which makes the chance of you dying at no fault of your own way, way too high.

    And I liked the core campaign just fine. The levels there were solidly designed, and the bosses, while annoying, were at least okay.

    Trip's campaign makes all of that so much worse, punishing you for even the tinest bit of speed to much more easily, and added a super form that is simultaneously both broken and yet still unfun.

    Oh, it gets so much worse. They spam spikes everywhere and make them cheaply damage you as often as possible. Sure, it's "beatable", but it honestly stops being fun.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2023
  8. Palas


    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    If that will make you happy, yes
  9. Vangar


    Classic Sonic skill issue. I'm glad i can finally put my 30+ years of playing classic sonic to the test.
  10. It came to my attention today that Amy cannot change directions mid-air while doing her Hammer Rush attack (she could do this very well in Origins for all games except S3&K)
  11. astroblema


    my name means "star wound" Member
    It's a secret!
    I feel like the $60 were worth it

    EDIT: never fucking mind, got to the Frozen Fortress whatever thing act 1 boss

    EDIT: never mind again I beat it :3
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2023
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  12. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

    Frozen Base 1, Sky Temple, Golden Capital 2, Lagoon City 2, Press Factory 2, Cyber Station, Sand Sanctuary

    In Trip's story, all of those bosses were either too long, too tediously difficult or both. I would restart the entire act to ensure that I reached them with copious amounts of rings for a super form. You can bet that I absolutely abused the ability to de-transform between hits during lengthy wait times to preserve my ring count too. And that doesn't even cover all of the bosses. For several others, I had to make "strategic use" of Avatar to cheese or a few hits.

    In the regular story mode, I actually thought the Press Factory 2 boss was legitimately really good. Aside from a few unclear I-frames on him, you're basically free to attack him at your leisure and there are no lengthy mid-fight cutscenes to wait-out either. It can still OHKO you which I always feel is a bit cheap, but it's really not bad. The challenge felt pretty legit.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2023
  13. Starduster


    Can bench press at least two Sonic the Hedgehogs Member
    Fighting my procrastination addiction
    …I literally began my piece with a reminder that it’s very difficult to discuss something like this because ultimately nobody is wrong for liking a game? I’m not fantasising about anything, I’m making a prediction on what I think will happen regarding sentiment with the game and exploring a question that somebody else posed. I think it’s pretty clear from everything I’ve posted so far that my opinion of this game is one I hold independent of what everyone else thinks. You don’t have to engage with this particular discussion, but what value does it have to try and shutdown others who are doing so?
  14. MH MD

    MH MD

    Funny thing, "expecting the consensus to flip so hard after the honeymoon" is the exact same thing we heard when Frontiers launched, turned out....not really true, the game from day 1 had those who love it and those who recognized it's issues and still thought it was interesting game, of course there are those who hated it too

    thing is, all that existed day 1, all those things also existed a year later, well maybe the big difference is the existence of free updates , some made better impressions, some worse, but anyway it wasn’t like there is a big shift of “oh this game actually sucks how we didn’t realize before!”

    Superstars isn’t a game that will warrant such a big shift in reception and its weird to think this way

    not like people turned against Adventure games or anything for example, for as much flaws as they had, they are still loved and well recieved in the community to this day
  15. Starduster


    Can bench press at least two Sonic the Hedgehogs Member
    Fighting my procrastination addiction
    You're missing the point. I'm not saying there aren't people who still love Frontiers, or that there won't be people who still love Superstars in a year's time, but honeymoon periods are a thing with games, and I'd argue discussion surrounding Superstars has notably shifted to be taken up more by critical opinions that have existed since day one. It's a natural human thing. Heck, I was one of the people who went with that shift in opinion as the dust settled around Frontiers, I just happen to be starting out at the opposite end with Superstars. Colours enjoyed overwhelmingly positive reception at the time of its release, but now people look back on it and are a lot more willing to discuss its shortcomings (again, myself included).

    And the reverse can happen. Unleashed has seen a resurgence in popularity probably since Forces came out, with some even arguing that's the best 3D Sonic and that nothing since has lived up to it. I'd say we're also kinder now to Forces than we were five years ago (and frankly I expect Forces' reputation to improve further in the next five years as people who played it as kids find their way online with nostalgia for the game).

    Recency bias is a thing, and something that fades over time. A relationship with that phenomenon is pretty much the basis of the "Sonic Cycle" for at least the past 15+ years. And again, I think Superstars is such an odd beast because, on the surface, it's giving people what they've been asking for since 2017 and earlier. That absolutely counts for a lot and it was why I was excited for the game. But I think the Werster video posted earlier sums it up pretty well in that Superstars is a game which you kind of need to see the totality of to know all its issues, because I do think those issues become more egregious the further you get into the game. But again, it's been out 5 days. I'd wager it's a pretty small majority of people who have completed all three stories already (especially with the final bosses being what they are...).
  16. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    I think the point of @Starduster is interesting. He's right that the wider Sonic fandom does change its view wildly in Sonic games over the years. I think it's largely on taste preferences rather than quality, which annoys me. Serious story, open 3D, multiple playable characters. Etc.

    At least, that's what I used to think. I was saying very similar things about Frontiers and I think i was actually wrong about that now. Since the response to the DLC honestly did not go as I expected. Put aside the absurd difficulty, a lot of people were not happy with how the multiple playable characters were executed, and I expected a lot more fanfare at their return than actually happened. I do think at least some (and not a small percentage) of fans do essentially form their opinions entirely around taste. But it's clear that most fans do actually want quality. It's all subjective of course, but they do want designs that accomdate their tastes to be well executed. Not just catered to in any form.

    I mean I'll never really understand the bizarre fandom around Unleashed. But hey ho.

    I think this is the problem with Superstars. In many ways it is a game which is made to my tastes. Classic Sonic, new stages, weird new ideas. But it is also just a bit pants. And when you have Mania, which is better in every single way, it means opinions on Superstars will be less positive out the gate.
  17. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

    Professional Internet asshole Member
    In the case of both the Final Horizon and Superstars, that chip in the mainstream opinion comes from the really annoying difficulty balancing. If it wasn't there, the outcry would be pretty minimal.
  18. Starduster


    Can bench press at least two Sonic the Hedgehogs Member
    Fighting my procrastination addiction
    I'd say the difficulty spikes are probably the biggest issue, but Superstars and Frontiers' base game have other issues, deeper seated in a lot of cases. They're both lacking not inconsiderable amounts of polish to the point where things can end up not working or only work inconsistently or having being held back by general jank, their narratives don't really get the space to be fully explored (I'd say Superstars comes off worse than this, but I do think it's fair to say that Sage's arc really should've had a lot more meaningful interaction with Eggman to fully explore that father/daughter dynamic than her just saving him from some cyber helicopters) and their presentation values leave something to be desired (Frontiers is wores for this but I don't think it's unreasonable to say that Superstars' environments aren't fantastic, and while the majority of the character animation is solid, some of it, particularly transitional animations, look cheap and stiff imo).

    Despite everything I've said, and the fact that I had a much better time with Frontiers, I think Superstars has less wrong with it in a sense. Patching in checkpoints for the bosses is probably relatively easy and they might even be able to change them to better telegraph their attacks or reduce the amount of them that end in instant death. Hell, if SEGA really wants to makes us feel special, they could bring some of the musicians back in to rearrange the Sonic 4-styled music - Pac-Man World Re-Pac did this and it's a noticeable improvement to that soundtrack and the game as a whole. However, the overly long and often messy levels (particularly the single act ones, which I honestly just can't find a way to rationalise), the cheap looking environments and the lacking narrative (particularly giving Trip the presence as an antagonist that the marketing lead us to believe she'd at least start out as, but also explaining whatever the fuck Eggman even wanted out of all this) aren't realistically going to be fixed by simple patches - a lot of that stuff would basically require drastic alterations or outright reimaginings of considerable chunks of the game, which just isn't a reasonable expectation. My point being that, if the difficulty were toned down, I still think Superstars would be a pretty lacklustre game, albeit one that doesn't frustrate me nearly as much.

    Cards on the table, I have more confidence that whatever follows Superstars will be a good Sonic game without any asterisks compared to my confidence in whatever follows Froniters, even if I'm personally more excited about what the latter could be. Superstars is broadly following a tested and proven template. The game feel mostly feels pretty good (unless you're playing as Knuckles, good lord) and I can even respect what they were going for with the new ideas they brought to the table (Press Factory Act 1 would probably be one of my favourite levels in 2D Sonic if its level design was tighter and less padded and the boss wasn't...well, a boss in Sonic Superstars), I just think Arzest needs more ambition to make something that really wows rather than just being a safe entry for a successful IP, as well as a bit of a rethink of design philosophy to make the game tighter overall, with regards to Emerald Powers as much as pacing of levels and boss.

    Conceptually they're a great idea, but in execution a lot of them just aren't engaging. I'd argue for keeping Bullet, Slow and Avatar as they are (with the exceptions of having Bullet carry momentum and making Slow also slow down the level timer - really weird that it doesn't do that), but either revamping or replacing the others. Vine would work better as something more than a poor man's Bullet if it had offensive capabilities (I'd have it function similar to the hookshot-esque attack of the Speed Jungle 2 boss with the player controlling where it aims using the d-pad or analogue stick, rather than it always coming from the ground), Water needs applications in zones without water (maybe it could be immune to crush deaths?), Extra should probably have more firepower in some cases (Sonic and Trip) and Visibility should probably just be replaced with something else entirely. I'd also give each power their own meter like a Mega-Man power as opposed to being on a timer and allow them to be cancelled at will. Above all, for god's sake, don't have them be used up just because the player took a hit. That's probably my biggest annoyance with them.
  19. Zephyr


    All I can give you is "shit Superstars does that makes me not like it as much as them":
    - despite fairly accurate physics, "Badnik Bouncing" has been gimped; honestly, unforgivable to me
    - no Elemental Shields, just the magnet thing which is like a partial replacement for the Lightning Shield (weird for a game post-3K/Mania)
    - some Dimps-ass level design in Trip's story
    - exceptionally tedious bosses
    - Special Stages built around an unreliable mechanic (the energy beam that doesn't lock onto things half the time it should)
    - very sparse Special Stage entrances (weird for a game post-3K/Mania)
    - Bonus Stages that don't give anything that assists you in the level you're playing (like a shield, or lives, or continues)
    - bland art direction
    - mostly mid soundtrack

    There might be more, but I don't have time at the moment to think long and hard and write a long and detailed post. But, given all of these factors, I find the notion that it's merely the perception about the games changing, and not that Superstars is simply of subpar quality on the whole in comparison, to be really odd. Like, when I'm not fighting a boss or playing Trip's story, I am quite enjoying myself, but I've been thinking quite a bit "man, I wish I was playing Sonic 2".
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  20. penBorefield


    Living in my best life Member
    Patching things up
    Y'know, sometimes i'm tired of the "moders will fix this" mentality. I get it, the visuals are not a best, but a simple mod will not make things automatically better.