This week on the Swingin’ Report Show podcast Barry and George are joined by Mat Kraemer, Lead Designer at Sanzaru Games, developer of Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for the Nintendo 3DS. Topics covered include the development process of the handheld title, how Sanzaru interacted with various teams including the TV show crew and the team at Big Red Button, what Sonic games Sanzaru looked to for inspiration, and Mat’s favorite classic SEGA games and consoles.
There has been a lot of talk about the Sonic Boom franchise this past week, so it was great to sit down with Mat to learn more about how the 3DS game came to be. Hey! Why are you still reading this when you should be listening?
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Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal
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.
New Trailer for Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal Shows Shadow and Metal Sonic
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?
Gamescom 2014: Sonic Dies in This New Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric Trailer, Also Metal Sonic and Shadow Return
Also there are some new screenshots for this and Shattered Crystal and some concept art that reveals that Metal Sonic and Shadow are in this game with their designs unchanged. So there’s your fanservice. SEGA also confirmed that both games will come out in Europe on November 21st.
SDCC 2014: Box-art and Release Dates for Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal Revealed
We already knew that both Sonic Boom games will be coming out in this November, but now we know when exactly we can expect them to be in stores. In the US Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric will be released on November 18th, while Shattered Crystal will be out a week earlier on November 11th. We don’t know yet when the games will be released in Europe, but this post will be updated when we do.
Along with these dates SEGA released the box covers as well, both of which feature Sonic looking at the customer and doing something potentially threatening. The Wii U box has a Nintendo Network logo on it, meaning the game does have some sort of online functionality.
[Source: SEGA Blog]
(Thanks to Shigs from our sister-site SEGAbits for providing the write up! Go check them out, they’re classy people.)
Nuckles87 and I have been at odds with the Sonic Boom games at E3. While he was more forgiving of Rise of Lyric on Wii U, I found it a dull and mediocre experience overall. However, for Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal on 3DS, I really enjoyed this platformer while Nux was not as pleased. Surprisingly, I agreed with most of his complaints, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the game. So what’s in this game that makes me not only enjoy it much more than Sonic Boom on Wii U, but might be my favorite Sonic game on 3DS? Read on.