Sonic Boom...Counterpoint


First things first, this is NOT here to "disprove" or say that Arthur's views (found here) on this game are wrong or right in any is just my oppinion and we both have our own on MANY things.  Though I do expect this in a podcast eventually. Could be fun. Now onto the article!

Sega is coming out this year with the last of their exclusive titles for the Sonic franchise on the Wii U that will be connected with a new cartoon series as well.  This has jarred some fans because of the difference in style they have gone with, but the game itself has been something I have greatly looked forward to.  Here are some reasons why I feel this way personally.

1.  The team making the game, Big Red Button Entertainment, may sound like a new company, but they are comprised of people like Bob Rafei and Jeff Lander who helped to form the company back in 2009.  Between them are such games as Crash Bandicoot (1996), Crash Bandicoot II: Cortex Strikes Back (1997), Crash Bandicoot: Warped (1998), Crash Team Racing (1999), Jak and Daxter 1, 2, 3, and X, True Crime New York /LA, Dark Reign: The Future of War, and even Uncharted: Drakes Fortune (2007).  They are quite familiar with how to make colorful and explorable worlds full of character and secrets to find.

2.  The one liners and such are just going to be there...they always have, they always will.  Sonic has been the "edgy" character to contrast Mario since he was thought up back in the early 1990's by Yuji Naka for Sega.  His mannerisms, written, and later spoken, words all tried to show this.  This new version just ties in with the cartoon series they are launching as well, so they will have more "life" to them than most games.  And from the video I saw compared to previous demonstrations the audio mix just didn't seem right as it was focused almost all on Knuckles like they were only getting player two's audio from the gamepad somehow. Now you can go back over the years and see these same kinds of comments from the characters ranging from the different cartoon series, spoken language games, comics, and even movies that have these wilder attitudes between the characters so nothing is new here, it's just a different spin on them as they are all together in this new world and they wanted a wider view on their unique personalities.  Sonic has been calmed down some in favor of his lead role as a character, Knuckles has been pushed down the muslced...but not as smart...route, Tails is still the tech head but doesn't seem nearly as useless as he previously was, and for once Amy may actually be made into a half-way respectable character that isn't just there to be infatuated with Sonic.  The jury is still out on Stick, their take on the "wild child" native, but lets just hope they can work that out better than most writers have over the decades.

3.  The items in the game can help to lend new ways to explore the worlds.  This is also something that is not new to the series either as things such as Super Sonic, running shoes, and even his grinding shoes have been features that have added to the exploration of the worlds.  The difference is now you will have a mix of traditional "Sonic" levels where you just go from point to point along with the explorable "world" that this game will inhabit.  There will be an overworld like in Jak and Daxter that will have items, enemies, and more which will guide into the story which is a precursor to the show coming later this year as well.  The 3DS game will add into this as another addition to the world they are building.  And as for the track sections, those have been there since Sonic the Hedgehog back in 1991 where you would be shot through tubes or sections which, while showing the "speed" of the character, basically took control of the game and showed off.  This will be here in places (they do honestly look good) but I am hoping that I see more of where you can break off from those and take alternate route and such that I have seen from other gameplay trailers and demos.  

Now from their own site it states "Sonic Boom is a different take on the Sonic the Hedgehog universe, with a new look and feel.  Sonic and his friends Tails, Amy, Knuckles, and the newest member of the team, Sticks, must come together as a team to explore a new world full of comedy and adventure." This is not replacing the existing series, but is taking it in a way that feels very much like the current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon and game series, in so much that it does not take itself seriously, but also has great reverence and reference to its past.  I see many touches that go back to the older games while also trying new things which I honestly believe is something a series has to do from time to time.  Zelda has done it recently, as have others.  Mario, Sonic, Link, and most characters that have been out over the years have all seen changes in graphical designs, for better and worse, but the reactions vary from place to place.  Some thought the Wind Waker was the end of the Zelda franchise because it was the largest "jump" in the graphical style we had ever seen, but has become the one I prefer above all others now because it really did something different and used that style to make it its own full world.  I am betting on the skill behind this development group that they can make something interesting and new from this.  Or it could end up being crap...only the game coming out and me playing it will honestly be able to answer that.