Why did Sonic Superstars fail to have a record launch like Spider-Man 2 and Mario Wonder?

The year 2023 has been a wild ride for gamers all over the world. Not only did critical masterpieces such as Baldur’s Gate 3 and Tears of the Kingdom sweep the floor, but some of the biggest names in gaming made their return. Among them, the most anticipated were Mario, Spider-Man, and Sonic.

However, while Mario and Spider-Man stood true to their hype and are performing phenomenally on the market, Sega’s legendary Hedgehog is way behind.

Why did Sonic Superstars fail to have the same success as Mario and Spider-Man?

In the month of October 2023, three of the biggest games of the year—Super Mario Bros. Wonder, Sony’s Spider-Man 2, and Sonic Superstar—had their official global release. As soon as the titles made their appearance, hordes of fans struggled to get a copy.

The anticipation is very evident on the sales charts. Spider-Man 2 sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide over its first 24 hours, making it the fastest-selling PlayStation Studios game in PlayStation history. Super Mario Bros. Wonder had a successful launch in the UK, ranking as the second-best-selling game in its first week.

It is very difficult to determine why Mario and Spider-Man got success and Sonic got left behind. However, going through many posts on Reddit and X, I have seen that many players aren’t truly accepting the Superstar and a brand-new AAA game.

Sonic Superstars is a 2D side-scroller that mixes classic mechanics with modern features to create a modern-day platformer Sonic game. But looking through the player reports, I can say that Sonic has missed the mark that Mario was able to hit.

Mario Wonder is also a tribute to the classic side-scrolling formula. However, the players claimed that, unlike Sonic, Mario Wonder had been successful in innovating the genre while being very true to the classic style. With new fluid animations and fresh takes on the formula, Wonder won the hearts of fans everywhere.

Sonic mario spider-man

But Sonic feels like any other 2D side scroller that has a Sonic skin on it. In the end, it can be said that Sony took a popular superhero franchise and made a modern RPG around it, and while Nintendo ‘perfected’ the old side-scrolling formula, Sega failed to give anything new or worth while that could win eyes on Sonic once again.

That is why, despite the popularity of the character, the Sonic franchise is lagging behind the Italian plumber and the web crawler in the gaming market.

Critical reviews of Superstars

Sonic Superstars has received generally favorable reviews from critics. Metacritic has given it a score of 76 out of 100 based on 28 critic reviews, with 19 positive, 9 mixed, and 0 negative reviews. OpenCritic has rated it as “fair,” with an overall average score of 74 based on 57 critic reviews.

Critics have praised the game’s platforming, level design, and visuals, but have criticized its inconsistent new ideas, boring boss battles, and lack of rewards. Overall, while Sonic Superstars has some flaws, it has been generally well-received by critics.

Note: We have more such stories in our dedicated gaming section, so be sure to follow them as well.

Feature image source: Sega

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