Sonic Dream Team and Sonic Superstars Say One Trend is Here To Stay When It Shouldn’t


  • Sonic Dream Team brings back Dr. Eggman as the main villain and focuses on his attempt to make his dreams a reality.
  • Both Sonic Superstars and Sonic Dream Team introduce new concepts and characters that are not fully explored or explained in the games, and their stories are too simple to be interesting.
  • Sonic Frontiers and Sonic Dream Team have different tones and storytelling approaches, with Frontiers being more serious and deep, and this would be a better direction for the games to go in. Unfortunately, Superstars and Dream Team both telling basic stories suggests a trend is forming.

Sonic Dream Team has easily made itself at home among the roster of games on the Apple Arcade subscription service. After Sonic Frontiers saw Dr. Eggman take a backseat compared to his daughter Sage and the troublesome entity that was The End, the evil genius once again takes center stage as the villain Sonic and friends have to fight against. As Eggman tries to take control of a device called the Reverie, he aims to make his dreams into reality, essentially establishing Eggmanland faster than anyone could blink.

However, fans who come from Sonic Frontiers‘ The Final Horizon DLC into Sonic Dream Team may feel a fair bit of whiplash between the two games. Tonally, Sonic Frontiers takes an entirely different approach, and has more room to explore its storyline and dive deep into its themes of perseverance. Sonic Dream Team, on the other hand, can be more accurately compared to Sonic Superstars. In fact, both of them fall into a common trap with their narratives.


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Sonic Dream Team and Sonic Superstars’ Simple Stories Are Good But Not Great

Sonic Frontiers and the New Sonic Lore Initiative

Last year, Sonic Frontiers served as a massive shake up when it came to what fans could expect from Sonic games. Not only did its open-zone formula resonate strongly with many fans, but it delivered a hard-hitting narrative the likes of which hadn’t been seen since Sonic Unleashed was first released. This was in part due to how Sega and Sonic Team have decided to put more effort into solidifying the timeline and lore of the Sonic the Hedgehog series at large, which Frontiers took charge of establishing and setting up as the new status quo.

With this in mind, Sonic Frontiers sets up an expectation that concepts and stories introduced after its release would also be as engaging and developed as Frontiers‘ narrative was. Though Sonic is a franchise built to keep up with Mario and is mostly targeted at kids, some adventures will be more lighthearted than others, but they still need to be handled carefully. For example, when Sonic Superstars came around and introduced new, individualized powers to the Chaos Emeralds, there was a sense that the new abilities would be explained, yet this was never realized in-game.

Both Sonic Superstars and Sonic Dream Team Introduce New Concepts They Do Nothing With

The Chaos Emeralds are not even close to the only piece of Sonic Superstars‘ story that gets overlooked. The new 2D platformer also introduces a new character, Trip the Sungazer, who may as well be the last remaining member of an ancient race belonging to the Northstar Islands. She may have an overarching storyline dealing with going from being a foe to a friend with a budding rivalry with Fang the Hunter, but she has also broken the rule that only male hedgehogs can go “Super” single-handedly with a special dragon form that goes completely unexplained.

Just like Sonic Superstars, Sonic Dream Team also leaves a fair bit of its lore unexplained, but it does a far better job than the Classic Sonic game does. Dream Team‘s Ariem explains a considerable amount of details about herself, the Reverie, and the Dreamscapes that make up the game’s entire premise and location of the game, but it’s unclear exactly who or what she is by the time the game is over. Other aspects of the lore are left hanging for fans to simply accept as they are, and the lack of exploration into Ariem leaves players to feel more emotions over the characters they already know than Ariem herself by the time the game ends.

Comparatively, lore-wise and in terms of how its story is written, Sonic Dream Team is much more satisfying than Sonic Superstars, which may have a sweet narrative but completely fails to deliver on what exactly is happening with many of its newer concepts. Still, it’s a step down from Frontiers, and the games releasing back-to-back suggests a worrying step backward has been taken by the series in terms of storytelling. Though there’s nothing wrong with more simplistic Sonic stories coming out in-between deeper endeavors like Sonic Frontiers, these tales should still aim to explain major developments as best as they can, as Frontiers has already proven that the franchise is more than capable of doing so.

sonic superstars

Sonic Superstars

$35 $60 Save $25

Inspired by the franchise’s 2D heyday, Sega’s Sonic Superstars is a co-op platformer that features Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, and Amy as playable characters. The game is expected to launch in Fall 2023 on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

October 17, 2023

2D , Platformer