Sonic the Hedgehog, one of the most recognisable figures in video game history will be speeding his way back to fans – both old and new – this November. Today SEGA announces that in Europe both Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for Wii U developed by LA-based Big Red Button, and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for Nintendo 3DS developed by Sanzaru Games of San Francisco, will be released on 21st November.
Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal star the electrifying team – Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and newcomer Sticks – who will band together to defeat both familiar and new powerful enemies. The games are part of the brand-new Sonic Boom initiative, an all-new Sonic experience that will usher in new gameplay based on action-adventure combat, new characters and environments as well as new storylines that will carry through the franchise’s first CG-animated series.
Good news for Sonic fans in the United States as US retail chain GameStop has announced that those who decide to pre-order Sonic Boom with the retailer on the Nintendo 3DS or the Wii U will be eligible to get a free Sonic figurine. The figure comes at no extra cost, so if you’re thinking of getting the game then it’s worth pre-ordering with GameStop.
A brand new stage for Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric on Wii U was showcased at this weekend’s San Diego Comic Con event. As you can see from the video posted above it’s an ultra fast stage showing Sonic and his famous companions jumping, running and swinging their way through the stage. Sonic’s latest adventure is due out this November.
SEGA and Nintendo of America have announced that Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for Nintendo 3DS will be in North American stores November 11th. Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric will be available on Wii U on November 18th. You can see the box-arts above and below.
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Online gaming publication VGS tried out Sonic Boom at this year’s E3 event and didn’t entirely come away enamoured. In fact, the writer claims that Sonic Boom is the worse Sonic game that he has ever played and he has played Sonic 06 and Shadow the Hedgehog. One of the writers biggest gripes with Sonic Boom is the game’s pacing which he claims is slow. Like, Werehog stages slow. You can read his opinions about the latest Sonic title for Wii U and 3DS, below.
“Let me be clear by saying that I’ve played nearly every single Sonic game. Yes, even the bad ones. As a Sonic fan from the early 90’s it’s hard to pass up any of his games. And even though people claim his 3D adventures sucked I actually enjoyed many of them especially SA, SA2, and Generations. Up until now though it’s been well known that Sonic 06 and Shadow the Hedgehog are the worst things to ever happen to the Sonic universe (Spinball for me). Well, after my time spent with the Sonic Boom E3 demo, I walked away frightened and shaken feeling that this could very well be the worst Sonic game made to date.”
“My E3 demo allowed me to explore a few of the game’s different themed levels. There was platforming, running, and a boss battle—each showing the unique aspects of Sonic Boom. The first platforming stage paired me up with Knuckles and it was sort of a brawler type stage. Straight from the get-go I felt something was incredibly off. The timing and precision when attacking enemies felt very clunky and some of my attacks barely registered. This also applied to many of the segments that involved jumping. Then came the lasso. Oh, god. Every time your character needs to pull something they would use this energy lasso, which in concept sounds interesting but ends up feeling dull in practice. It’s basically a web shot mechanic we see in Spiderman games except it’s highly broken and requires a lot of effort to get something simple accomplished. For example, when trying to move the box I had trouble trying to get the lasso to register properly and even when it did it required me to keep pressing down on the A button and move in a certain direction. The one before me (who was playing Sonic Boom at the Nintendo booth) gave up entirely because the lasso didn’t work half the time. I only did it because I wanted to see what was at the end of the demo. Turns out it was a mini-boss which can only be defeated using the lasso by throwing enemies at it. The only problem with was the throwing distance felt off. At times the enemies I threw landed close to where they were supposed to causing more frustration.”
“This leads to my next biggest problem with my Sonic Boom impression, the pacing. This game is slow. Like, Werehog stages slow, maybe even slower considering the lasso takes forever to get something done. I understand that this is an adventure take on the Sonic universe and I honestly don’t mind that at all. But between the long fights, and moving objects around, it just felt kinda boring. There were diversions that broke up the action. For instance I used the Wii U’s gamepad screen to scan the level for items and then dig them out using Knuckles.”
“Sonic Boom needs a lot of work. When I completed my demo I asked one of the reps at BigRedDot if these levels were final and to my horror he acknowledged it with a firm yes. I’m worried what will become of Sonic Boom and if it does turn out to be the next Sonic 06, then that’s a shame because there were some elements I enjoyed. I liked how the characters finally have personality, I enjoyed swapping characters on the fly, and the adventure elements really brought back the Sonic Adventure feel (which is something I haven’t felt in a long time). I want Sonic Boom to succeed but judging by my E3 impressions I fear it will be destined to fail.”
Sega has revealed a brand new character called Sticks for Sonic Boom on the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U. Sticks is described as a jungle badger who has spent most of her life living alone in the wilderness. Sticks joins Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy to form the core ensemble featured throughout the Sonic Boom franchise.
“Sticks is new to Sonic’s circle of friends– actually new to friends in general– and as the most primal character in the Sonic universe, she is a force of nature in every way. Sticks is wilder than the other members of Sonic’s team with unparalleled animal instincts and extremely sharp survival skills. She’s a fearsome combatant and a tenacious hunter who’s armed with handmade weapons at all times, most notably a handmade boomerang that she keeps in tow.”
“Her wildness means that her social skills need plenty of work and she’s not the most trusting individual. Full of outrageous suspicions, Sticks’ instincts often prove to be accurate. While the concepts of sharing, compassion and friendship are foreign to her, Sticks has a good heart and a genuine desire to get closer to her new friends, particularly Amy, who helps Sticks adapt to civilization. Sticks and Amy quickly become best friends, with Sticks willing to go to extremes to protect her new pal, a quality that will play out through new Sonic Boom content. Her eccentric character adds an endless amount of humor and surprise to the Sonic team.”
Sonic Boom producer Stephen Frost has revealed to Sonic Stadium why the development team have been so quiet regarding Sonic Boom for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Frost says that the developers have had to work carefully with partners and things need to be planned and organized carefully. Hopefully they can break the silence at E3 in Los Angeles next month.
“I’ve been asked to chime in a bit here so I’ll do what I can to share some info with you all. I’ve said it a few times in the past, but there were key reasons why we announced the Sonic Boom initiative when we did. Along with that, there are a lot of partners involved with Sonic Boom so we have to be mindful of their timelines and requirements for their respective fields. It’s not just about a game anymore… This is a large group effort so any announcements and information shared publically needs to really be planned and organized carefully. We need to make sure that things we reveal don’t impact other parts and vice versa.”
“I completely appreciate the fact that you fans are hungry for info specific to the games, I really do. And that’s why we all work these endless late nights and weekends… It’s to get all the pieces in place for when the campaign does really kick off. We still have a ways until the cartoon and game launch, as well as the new toy line, so we need to pace all the info appropriately. And it all starts as we head into E3. You’ll learn more, for sure, but not everything. And the reveal of new assets and info should be more frequent from that point on. But trust me when I say there is no lack of effort by anyone involved with Sonic Boom. This is, by far, the biggest united effort I have personally ever seen Sega be involved in. We want to share everything with everyone because we are so excited… We just can’t… Yet.”
“So, please be a bit more patient. I’m working on screens and commenting on releases so stuff is coming. We will even have a bit of a surprise in there for you, as well as the first info and assets for the 3DS version. There is quite a bit of cool stuff ahead so hang in there.”