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I can't in any good conscious call this good. The new characters feel awful compared to their Sonic Adventure counterparts which came out 25 years ago, the trials range from braindead to requiring perfect inputs to proceed, and while the Cyberspace levels are imaginative the level design feels like spaghetti with no cohesion. I actually found myself just skipping as much content as I could to get it over faster. After having to repeat the same initial run-up on Wyvern for the 10th time I just called it quits. The base game was actually a lot of fun with a fair amount of promise, this update is so unlike that, that I'm starting to reconsider if those initial feelings were warranted.
It's free at least, but I don't understand why Sonic Team always seems to fumble the ball at the last minute. Being hard is one thing, but it has to be at least satisfying to play. Did they forget this is a game series predominantly aimed at children? This exemplifies all the worst parts of Frontiers, it's the biggest disappointment of 2023.
I swear to god, if Superstars isn't the second coming of Christ...
Edit: Went back to it after reading some cheeses for the boss rush (seriously what were they thinking) and finished the campaign. I've softened on it a little bit but the issues are way too big to ignore. I doubt I'll play this again, the original ending sequence was better anyway imo.
Once you get over the learning curve of the controls (it actually feels really good for 85), you'll find an early example of a precision platformer that treats you like an adult, requiring mastery of its (frankly limited) systems to succeed. You'll be repeating the first few screens over and over, but you'll find yourself getting a little bit further with each attempt. Just don't focus on beating it as quickly as possible, a perfect run is only about 20 minutes long. It's truly the Dark Souls of platformers ;)
Seriously, give it a go. A complete run of the first loop will take a while, but it's really not as intimidating as it might initially seem. There's a reason this game has stuck in the minds of Japanese game fans. I would have been all over this if I was a Famicom owner back then.
Creative Business Unit 3 are masters of the 7/10 experience, creating a streamlined RPG that simplifies so much in the pursuit of accessibility that you wonder why they even bothered in the first place. Everything here feels like it exists because it has to for the sake of convention, its technically competent but incredibly basic.
If you've played XIV over the years, this shouldn't be all that surprising. Removing barriers to entry is what they do best. It'll appeal to newcomers to the genre, but those expecting more depth will be disappointed to find that this game has more in common with Mystic Quest than traditional RPGs.
A fun one and done, but feels like wasted potential.