SEGA’s Sonic Boom event took place this past Saturday in New York, and I was able to attend, representing both Sonic Retro and SEGAbits. The whole night was a lot of fun, and it was great to meet so many people responsible for one of my favorite SEGA franchises. Stephen Frost did an excellent job hosting the show. All the guests were friendly and willing to go above and beyond for fans, most notably Ted Poley and Mike Pollock who were able to stick around and sign additional autographs outside their sessions. If you’re interested in reading how the night unfolded, make sure to check out my impressions over at SEGAbits.
What made this year’s Sonic Boom unique from previous years was the focus on SEGA West’s Sonic Boom franchise. Outside of the live music, which featured tracks from Sonic Adventure through to Sonic Lost World, and Iizuka being present, the night was mostly about Sonic Boom. All the bases were covered, with Archie Sonic artist Tracy Yardley manning a busy table featuring a convention exclusive Sonic Boom poster for sale, and guests from TOMY, Sanzaru Games Inc., BigRedButton Entertainment, and the full voice cast doing interviews and signing autographs. Fans expecting a peek at what Sonic Team are up to were out of luck, but for those who wanted to learn more about SEGA’s new branch in the Sonic franchise, the night did not disappoint. I can easily say that I am far more excited for the 3DS version and the cartoon show now, though the Wii U version and the comic book are still a gray area. Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric looks far better in person, however I’m not sure how well the game will be paced, and the camera in the speed sections needs work. The comic book is sure to have great art, but I’m not sure how the stories will play out. Still, following the event I am more sold on Sonic Boom now than I was before.
Being the only Sonic Retro writer in attendance this year, I’ll admit to feeling a bit like a lone wolf for the first half of the night. Thankfully, I came across several Sonic and SEGA fan site and YouTube channel owners which included SEGA Driven‘s SonicYoda, The Sonic Stadium‘s T-Bird, Tails’ Channel’s Matt, SomeCallMeJohnny, and the Find The Computer Room team. It was great to meet these guys in person, and I was glad to find such a large pocket of people at Sonic Boom who liked seeing Shadow getting kicked in the face, thought mid-20s hipster Chris Thorndyke is the greatest idea for a cosplay, and believed Big the Cat deserved his own game (okay, maybe I’m the only one who believes that last one).
After the break, check out a gallery of photos from the night, and there’s also those additional impressions I mentioned *cough cough*.
According to Nintendo World Report, a demo of Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal will be released on the eShop on November 4th. It isn’t known if or when a demo of its Wii U counterpart Rise of Lyric will also be released or if this is the same demo that was playable at events like Sonic Boom or PAX.
The site also recorded a playthrough of the Sonic Boom demo with direct feed audio, so you can also listen to what the game’s music is like. They recorded some gameplay of the Rise of Lyric demo as well, which can be seen after the jump.
The most notable thing this trailer shows is more of Shadow and Metal Sonic, who appear in both games as either bosses or rivals to race against. Also it has overly dramatic music and an ancient evil because why not.
So SEGA showed some new gameplay of both Sonic Boom games at Tokyo Game Show today. First up is the new Shattered Crystal level they showed off:
The video shows a new tropical-themed level, with the player once again dashing through blocks, swinging over pits with some electric whip thing and switching characters to get past certain obstacles. Overall it’s not really that different from what has been shown in other demos already aside from the setting.
The Rise of Lyric gameplay however shows a side-scrolling level in which Knuckles and Amy go underground to save some mine workers. Each character explores a different part of the level, with the player being able to switch between them at any time to use their special abilities whenever it is necessary. Also there’s some more fighting.
[Source: Woun from Sonic Stadium]
While we got a new trailer for Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric during Gamescom, we’ve gotten one for series’ handheld entry Shattered Crystal from PAX Prime. This trailer primarily shows off the game’s CG cutscenes, which shows Amy being kidnapped by Lyric, along with small snippets of gameplay showcasing a variety of levels.
And like how Metal Sonic popped up at the end of the Rise of Lyric trailer, Shadow makes an appearance in this one. Unlike Metal Sonic, his design has been affected somewhat by Sonic Boom’s style. It also seems like he has a new voice, because who cares about consistency anyway?
It looks like SEGA has reversed their decision to keep Sonic Boom as a Western-only series, as Nintendo Everything reports, the latest issue of Famitsu revealed that the Wii U and 3DS titles will be releasing in Japan under the name of Sonic Toon. No word on whether the TV series will also see release in Japan, but given the new title of Sonic Toon it is possible that the TV show will also be localized and the whole franchise is to be seen as a cartoonish Western branch of the series in Japan. Hey SEGA, as long as you’re sending games Japan’s way, why not localize some of the Japanese SEGA titles for us Westerners, we can consider it a trade.
More news on Sonic
Boom Toon as we hear it!
It’s pre-E3 week, meaning that publishers who aren’t sure if their game will get noticed during E3 are revealing their games early. And SEGA is doing this with its two Sonic Boom games, which have suddenly gotten a bit of a name change.
First up is Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for Wii U developed by Big Red Button Entertainment. The video above shows gameplay of normal Adventure-style levels, one speedier stage and boss battles. The normal levels are slower-paced than your usual Sonic game, seemingly playing more like a PS2-era platformer with beat-em-up sections and character switching. There’s also the new Enerbeam which can be used to find alternate paths, grab and throw enemies, and zip-line across gaps. The speedier levels look a bit more like something you’d play in Sonic Unleashed or Generations, though a bit more automated. The boss battles have all four characters (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy) battling either Eggman or a robot. Like the name suggests, the primary villain isn’t Eggman but rather a cyborg reptilian named Lyric.
Then there’s Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for 3DS developed by Sanzaru Games. Unlike the Wii U game this is a 2D Metroidvania with levels which focus on exploration along with some 3D levels where you use the quickstep and swing around with the new Enerbeam. You’ll be able to switch between Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and the recently introduced Sticks, all of whom have unique abilities. Amy couldn’t make it on account of being kidnapped by Lyric. There used to be a video preview with gameplay footage from GameXplain, but apparently SEGA wasn’t so keen on gameplay being out there already. You can still find it along with a bit more Rise of Lyric gameplay footage if you look in the right places though. (*coughforumscough*)
Beyond the jump you can also find screenshots and concept art of both games along with a list of previews from other sites.
The first new character for Sonic Boom has been revealed. This character had already been spotted in a leaked poster and concept art and at the time some thought that she may be Marine the Raccoon from Sonic Rush Adventure, but it turns out that she’s just called Sticks. And no, her name doesn’t end with “the Something”, though she is a badger.
This new character is voiced by Nika Futterman, who describes her as really intelligent, but that the things that she says just come off as really strange. Or in other words, she’s the crazy character who comes up with conspiracies that don’t really make sense and puts sports tape around her boomerang. She’ll pop up in both the Sonic Boom games and TV show and will be best friends with Amy Rose. You can read SEGA’s official announcement and see some more art of her after the jump.
It’s not often that we get a look at how Sonic games are made, so it’s surprising that SEGA suddenly released a behind the scenes video for Sonic Boom. While there’s not much new info, it does show a lot of new concept art for the game and a couple of voice recording sessions for the TV show. There’s also one very small bit of new gameplay that you will probably miss if you blink.
The cast for the game and TV show was also revealed, which confirms that Orbot and Cubot will be present in this spin-off. It also shows that Tails now has a new voice actress, with Colleen Villard replacing Kate Higgins. This isn’t the first time Villard voiced a Sonic character, as she is also the current voice of the beloved Charmy the Bee.
[Source: SEGA Blog]