Sonic Superstars isn’t holding back the series after the positive reception to Frontiers. It’s more than enough to keep it trucking along. Sega is sensible to be cautious about shedding too much of Sonic’s retro identity, but it needs to realise that none of us have hung around this long for Knuckles’ terrible recovery speed, or the strange instances where a single hit reduces our ring count to zero. Sonic Superstars brings us so agonisingly close to the definitive 2D Sonic game, but for now, it’s a good foundation to build on.
Even with these issues, I hope this isn’t the last we see of a Purple Lamp-developed SpongeBob game. The final level alone - with its wonderfully daft premise and unique mechanics - is proof enough that the folks over there have a lot to offer. Even if I’m not quite ready to take Employee of the Month away from Battle for Bikini Bottom, we have the makings of something amazing here. Nickelodeon needs to recognise this potential, and sets its sights higher with the next SpongeBob game.
There are teething issues and a reluctance to let go of the past, but it’s also a daft Sonic game with a charming story told in the most competent way we’ve seen in years. Sonic might not be back in the big leagues yet, but he’s catching up. Like Sonic Adventure all the way back in 1999, Frontiers could give the series a new lease on life - Sega has to ditch the old ways and let it happen.
It will never not be uncomfortable to see genocide and any kind of game mechanics on screen at the same time. But Gerda avoids this as best it can, offering us a game that puts history at the forefront, understanding that nothing else is more important. It’s an uncomfortable journey, but one that shows what RPG-lites are capable of.
But it still needs more. Very few changes were made from their now non-existent previous releases, so it’s high time Sega dusts off some more titles from its ‘90s library. The gorgeous cartoons in Origins give me hope, as Sega seems to be establishing some kind of Classic Sonic universe completely isolated from his modern counterpart. It’s just a shame that it’s a universe consisting of four games once again.
Right now, All-Star Brawl stands on its own two feet, not trying to be Smash Ultimate now that its DLC has dried up, but trying to show us a good ‘ol nostalgic time. It lulls you in with its lightning flash fights and accessible combat, keeping a grin on your face throughout.
Bursting at the seams with charm, Scott Pilgrim vs the World: The Game makes a welcome return with the Complete Edition, further polishing an already brilliant title and bringing it to a new audience