[Updated: Game details and Western exclusivity]
So today was a bit of a big deal in the Sonic franchise. After all the rumors, leaked photos and a leaked trailer, we finally have solid info on this Sonic Boom thing. First off: it’s not a reboot, but a spin-off franchise that will co-exist with the modern Sonic games, Boom providing a different take on familiar faces. A TV show, two new video games and toys are being developed and will be released later this year. So let’s dig into this thing! First up: the TV show. Originally announced last year, we now actually have details of how it will play out. The series is being produced by OuiDO! Productions and will air on Cartoon Network during the 2014/2015 season. The 52 episodes ordered will each be 11 minute self contained stories, with no over-arching plots. Among the situations the cast will get wrapped up in are “Knuckles becoming mayor” and “Dr. Eggman faking an injury so he can take Sonic to court.” The primary characters all play their own roles, such as Tails being the go-to Mr. Fix-It and Amy being an archaeologist, using her knowledge to help out the group as they explore new lands.
Then there is what a lot of you might care more about: the new video games. The first game is for the Wii U, and is the final of the three exclusive Sonic titles for Nintendo systems. Unlike every major title over the past decade and a half, Sonic Boom is not being developed by Sonic Team, but by Big Red Button Entertainment. The studio consists of ex-Naughty Dog staff, including Christian Senn. Known around these parts as lead designer on the cancelled Sonic X-treme for the Saturn, Chris’s official title at the studio is Lead Level Implementer. Sure, it’s almost 20 years later, but Chris finally gets his crack at the Sonic franchise.
Led by Bob Rafei of Jak & Daxter and Uncharted fame, Sonic Boom is being described as a “wide linear” game, with interconnected levels branching out from central hub worlds. Focusing on more than just speed, Naughty Dog’s heritage will have some influence on how the title will play. Also, for the first time in a long while, the core four will be playable, with at least two on screen at all times, and all four being involved in boss battles, each character having their own unique attributes. Other known details: Funky Rustic is contributing sound to the game, it uses CryEngine 3, will feature four player co-op and the most important detail of all: the trailer uses Skrillex music.
The other announced game will land on the Nintendo 3DS and is being made by
Dimps Sanzaru Games, known for the latest Sly Cooper title. There aren’t really any details for this game yet, but apparently Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is a pretty solid game, so it seems to be in good hands.
In the wake of these announcements, gameing site Polygon interviewed Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka, who revealed that the entire Sonic Boom line was designed with a Western audience in mind. While Sonic Team still has a supervisory role, Big Red Button has creative control, and as such there are currently no plans to bring either the show or the games to Japan. Could this change in the future? Maybe, but for now Japanese Sonic fans are going to have to deal with the import shops if they want to check out this new take on the hedgehog.
There’s also a toyline in the works, which is being made by Tomy. While no imagery of the toys were released in the media frenzy, you can see plenty of screenshots and concept art for the game and TV show after the jump.
[Source: SEGA Blog]