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Sonic Superstars Emerald Powers Freshens Up Some Classic Gameplay

Sonic's latest outing will make individual Emeralds a lot more useful.


Sonic Superstars is changing up the Chaos Emeralds a bit, as now each individual emerald will have a unique power-up.

In the original Sonic the Hedgehog games, a single Chaos Emerald was mostly useless, as you'd need all seven of them to turn Sonic into Super Sonic. The Super form is back with Sonic Superstars, but in a recent interview with Game Informer, Sonic Team creative officer Takashi Iizuka spoke of the new powers that come with each of the Chaos Emeralds. Speaking of how you'd only get something from the Chaos Emeralds through collecting all of them, Iizuka said, "We wanted to say, 'How can we reward someone for getting just one?' And if we reward someone for getting just one, that will motivate people to get each individual one and see what they are."

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Now Playing: Sonic Superstars Hands-On Impressions

According to Iizuka, the idea for Emerald Powers took some inspiration from the Wisp mechanic introduced with Sonic Colors. The big difference between Wisps and Chaos Emeralds is that you'd need to use the Wisps to beat the game. "But we didn't want that to be a part of the Superstars game," Iizuka said. "We wanted the Classic Sonic gameplay to still remain true, so when we were looking at the Emerald Powers and the Wisps, we wanted to make sure you could still beat Superstars without having to use any of the powers, which is what we needed to balance during game design."

With there being seven Chaos Emeralds, there are of course seven new powers, which you can learn more about below:


  • This ability lets you make clones of your character that you can spread across the screen, defeating almost all enemies in the way, and is also apparently useful against bosses too.


  • Bullet is quite simple, as it simply shoots your character in your chosen direction, an ability that's good for tricky platforming sequences and boss battles. "It's an extremely useful action; it's probably the most useful action for this kind of game," Iizuka said.


  • Possibly the most useful sounding ability for those who have a fear response to the track that players when you're about to drown, Water will let you move more easily underwater areas, and climb up waterfalls too.


  • Ivy quite simply grows vines from wherever you're standing, allowing you to get up to high, out of reach places. This one's quite useful in multiplayer too, as you can help your teammates get higher up too.


  • You might have already noticed some glowing purple environments and rings in the trailer--these can only be seen with Vision, which reveal hidden platforms and more. "It's really great for stage exploration, so even after you've gone through the game once, going back and playing again with Vision allows you to see places you didn't know existed before and find these new areas and locations to get because you're using the Vision Emerald Power," Iizuka explained.


  • If things are moving a bit too fast for you, just use Slow, which unsurprisingly, slows down everything in the game--again, useful for tough bosses or platforming sequences.


  • This last one is the most unique of the lot, as with this ability each character gets an ability specific to them. Sonic gets his homing attack from the modern games, Amy can throw her hammer to attack enemies, Knuckles can punch, and Tails can pull off a tornado spin, which literally shoots out a tornado taking out enemies in the way.

As mentioned, collecting all seven of the Chaos Emeralds still lets you turn into a Super form of the character you're playing as, but you don't have to turn into it if you don't want to. There's an Emerald Power wheel that you can choose the different powers from, giving you a bit more flexibility.

Sonic Superstars is out this fall, and will be available on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka was recently handed a two-and-a-half-year sentence for insider trading, though is able to avoid jail time as he was also given a four-year-long suspension.

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