In Defense of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric

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During E3, I came away with an opinion of Sonic Boom that was a little sunnier than most. It didn’t blow me away like Lost World’s crazy cylindrical stage had the year before, but I came away from it smiling and entertained, but not blown away. As I was writing up my preview, Ben Burnham (who wrote the Anatomy of a Bad Sonic Game article, which you should check out) contacted me on Skype and we began talking about the game’s quality. His opinion, based on the various previews he had read, was very bleak. “It sounds like it’s going to be an awful game, man”. I disagreed, but not strongly. Though I didn’t find the demo to be particularly great, I certainly didn’t find it to be awful either. Towards the end of our discussion he asked “How can you defend mediocrity?” It was late, I was busy and tired, and I wasn’t quite sure how to address that.

Last night, after we finished recording our latest, biggest episode of Sonic Talk yet (seriously, we had four guests on) to celebrate #Sonic23on23, it came to me as two of the guests stayed up afterwards debating the game’s quality in the chat. Ben brought up the question again, “How can you defend mediocrity”. As GX and he really got into it, it finally came to me.

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Gamers these days, I think, get a little too caught up in the idea that every game needs to be a “triple A, top quality game”. Certainly, it’s not a bad standard to have. When you’ve got a limited time and budget, why settle for anything less than the best? But then, I would need to ask that person: why are you even playing a Sonic game to begin with? Sonic Generations and Sonic Colors are fun games to be sure, but why play those games when you could be playing Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario 3D World, Ratchet and Clank Future and other superb platformers currently available either physically or digitally? Even the best Sonic games of the last several years have been considered only “good” at best in the face of other triple A platformers, not to mention the numerous other triple A games being released in other genres every year.

Again, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have high standards and that you should excuse games for being less then what they could be, but not being as good as some of the best rated games in the genre doesn’t really make a game “bad”. I have played and enjoyed numerous games over the years that have had serious flaws. Among them have been Rhythm Thief, Shinobi 3DS, Batman Arkham Origins, Resident Evil Mercenaries, and most recently Entwined. Criticisms have ranged from these games being too hard, too shallow, or too much of the same. You know what though? I had fun with these games. I don’t regret the time or money I expended on them. In the end, whether or not I had fun, regardless of the quality, is what matters to me. For the record, Shinobi 3DS stands as one of my favorite games on the system and I’m glad I gave the full game a chance despite the somewhat tepid response it got from the gaming media.

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Really, the same was true for the Sonic Boom Wii U demo. I did not regret the time spent with it (well, aside from the fact that it ate up most of the time I was supposed to spend writing my preview) and I came away a bit happier with it then I thought I would. Sure, the graphics were average, the combat was typical and the stage layout was ho-hum. The demo had its flaws, but it also had one very important element that separated it from numerous other Sonic games I’ve played: it was at least entertaining.

I loved beating the crap out of enemies as Sonic. He has an awesome spin move that jets him quickly around the battlefield and lets him slam into enemies, which can be followed up with a series of quick jabs. Enemies could be dispatched quickly, which allowed for a certain flow from battle to battle that seemed to at least move faster than Unleashed’s werehog stages, which had a tendency to really drag with the amount of enemies that would spawn in a given area.

I loved exploring the demo as the various characters, since each stage on display had completely different methods of traversal for each character, which gave me more to see then I was used to for an E3 demo. I liked digging around as Knuckles and popping up under enemies, I liked hitting them with Amy’s hammer and I liked tossing the smaller enemies around with the enerbeam, which worked well. I enjoyed the funny banter between the characters, which probably stands as some of the best dialogue I’ve heard in a Sonic game outside of Robotnik’s Sonic Colors quotes. It’s all simple, story driven beat-em up fair, but it’s functional and it’s fun.

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So for me anyway, the Sonic Boom demo did its job. Should it be aiming higher than “just okay”? Should it be aiming for Super Mario Galaxy? While that’s certainly a noble sentiment to have, it’s also an unrealistic one. There can only be so many games that have the talent, budget and time put into them to become Super Mario Galaxy. The very reason games like Galaxy are held so highly is because there can’t be many of them. I think that when it comes to Sonic Boom, it’s good to approach it for what it is: an okay beat-em up platformer (that will have a variety of speed segments, according to the game’s developers) that aims to make itself accessible to a new generation of Sonic fans. So as far as I’m concerned, I’m not “defending mediocrity” because I don’t need to. The level of fun in a game, for me anyway, is irrelevant. The game just needs to be fun.

When it comes down to it, fun is all a game really needs to be. If you have higher standards then me, I respect that. Just remember that there is a much bigger difference between a game that isn’t fun and one that is, then there is between a game that is amazingly entertaining and one that just provides an okay experience. That is the difference between an awful game like Sonic 2006 and an okay game I actually enjoyed like Sonic Unleashed. That is also, in my opinion, the difference between this game and Sonic 2006, or Shadow the Hedgehog, or (shudder) Game.Com’s Sonic Jam. I can’t speak to this game’s final quality, but if the demo is any indication it will at least be okay. When the game does finally come out, just be sure to look to reviews from critics you can trust, or friends whose tastes you know well, or even better try the game for yourself before you buy. Another man’s trash can and often is another’s treasure, after all.

55 Comments

  1. This was well written.

    One thing I think a lot of people dont realize and something I particularly look for in a game
    is being surrounded by characters you love and can relate to.
    So even if Mario games may be more polished and even almost objectively “better”
    I have more fun playing sonic games because I love the characters personalities and character designs.
    It boosts the games fun factor to me because playing as characters you love makes you feel like the game play is more meaningful.
    Just a thought.

    1. THANK YOU YES I AGREE~! I play Sonic games because I can relate to the characters and to me, they are fun! Sure, most people prefer Mario and talk about the superior game quality, but it’s the characters that matter most to me.

  2. Yeah, pretty much. I think this may be one of the major reasons why, for me, Mario Kart 8 just doesn’t touch Sonic Transformed. In MK8 half the characters are babies, generic game enemies, and metal reskins. In Transformed the roster is jam packed with memorable,individualized characters. Well, and Danica Patrick. XD For the record I do love MK8.

    And really, going by the demo, Boom has more character then most Sonic games.

    1. The more i read your articles, the more i can’t help but respect you as a fan more. Once again, i agree with you. However, dispite it’s flaws I actually like 06. But does that mean i’m a mindless, ball licking, sonic loving, drone? Nope. I’m just optimistic. I’m not saying you said that in your article. I’m just pointing it out. But i think all Sonic games have plenty of room for improvement.

      I for one love Boom. I can find a few things wrong with it though. But aside from that, i love that Sonic’s friend’s aren’t on the side lines and are actually a part of the game.

      Here’s to hoping for a great future for Sonic.

      BTW What do you think of the cartoon?

  3. You’ve hit the nail on the head there for me, @nuckles87.
    As I’ve said before, I have a lower expectation of quality for games, due to growing up on a diet of tie-ins. I’m liking what I’ve seen of Sonic Boom so far, although it doesn’t blow me away like a triple A title, it’s still something I’d like to pick up and play. Would I pay £50 for it at launch? Uh, no. Will I pick it up after the inevitable price drop? Absolutely.

  4. i too enjoy playing as a character i know and love despite what they may be doing, when i first got SSBB – i tried to unlock sonic first because everyone else was alien to me.
    i love the characterizing of these versions – sonic likes being the main character and thinks everything is done by him, the other 3 are annoyed by that.

  5. By far the best article about Sonic Boom I have ever read. I have basically thought the same thing about the series. Each game is what it is, and comparing it to other franchise’s installments seems to be rather redundant to me, unless it’s noticeably derivative like Sonic Lost World or Sonic Shuffle. From what I’ve seen so far, at the very least the game will be “okay”. For me, I think it will be very entertaining and the freshest Sonic experience I’ve had in a long time. Others may or may not regard it the same way, but that’s how it’s always been. I would say more, but this article has basically said it all for me. There’s no need to defend mediocrity because it does that well enough on it’s own. One of the best things about having decently sized expectations is that more often than not, you tend to be pleasantly surprised. Great article nuckles87, you’re my new favorite! 😀

  6. “Sonic Generations and Sonic Colors are fun games to be sure, but why play those games when you could be playing Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario 3D World, Ratchet and Clank Future and other superb platformers currently available either physically or digitally?”

    Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because we don’t think Colors and Generations are less than great?

    Get off your high horse, seriously. Your opinion doesn’t dictate fact. I enjoyed Generations and even Unleashed much better than any R&C game and nothing you say is going to change that. As mediocre the Werehog and Classic Sonic stages were, the Day/Modern stages were pretty intense and far deeper than anything R&C has to offer as far as I’m concerned.

    1. You need to calm down. You clearly didn’t read the entire article correctly and completely missed his point.

  7. Oh God! I’m not the only one who remembers Sonic Jam on the Game.Com! I can say I am a bit iffy still on Rise of Lyric’s gameplay, but in terms of playability, I think it looks just fine. After all, Stephen Frost assures us that the demo does not at all reflect the final product, and with the comforting things he’s said so far, I’ll try to take his word on it. It certainly looks a lot faster than the Werehog in terms of combat, and who knows? Maybe Sonic’s spindash will allow us to do some cool things like the Adventure days. Or perhaps the developers will yet again listen to us fans and try increasing the running speed. Even if those things don’t happen, I’m pretty optimistic here, as I see a lot more good than bad for this Sonic continuity.

  8. I love platform action/adventure games, this one litrally ticks all the boxes for me, can’t wait to play it. I really don’t see what the big deal is that people hate with on Sonic games, everyone I talk to (outside the internet, yes that strange world) have all loved the new Sonic games… Sonic Unleashed is like the boss of all games.
    Just saying, the majoraty of people who love these games aren’t always on the internet… and don’t care enough to log on and defend them… I tried, they refused T^T

  9. “When the game does finally come out, just be sure to look to reviews from critics you can trust”.
    THAT’S starting to get harder and harder to find these days, as critics are starting to either be hypocritical, or make themselves look dumb. A good example of make themselves look dumb is this one site that did a top 10 list of the worst Sonic games and they put SADX on the list because “they changed the treasure hunting stages to where you have to get them in order” and a YouTube video pointed out that you CAN get the treasure in any order (the examples he showed were: The radar beeping twice and the last piece before the second one). I can think of really good examples of bieng hypocritical.
    1. GameTrailers said “Sonic Colors is an improvement over recent Sonic Outings”. Oh, REALLY!? Then, WHY did you you give the game a “6” compared to the outings BEFORE Sonic Colors, which high review scores from the than SC.
    2. GameInformer gave Klonoa (wii) a 7 but said it was “behind in the times” yet they praised New Super Mario Bros Wii, which is a 2.5D side scroller for it bieng 2.5D. The problem: Klonoa FEELS linear but throwing objects in between the foreground and the background to interact with the environment.
    3. GameInformer gave The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon a 2 because “it “rips off” God of War and there’s some audio Chopping”. In the gameplay footage I’ve seen of the console version of TLOS:DOTD I have found no audio problems and plus, they gave Sonic Unleashed a 6 because “the night stages “rip off” God Of War”. How can you bash Spyro and Sonic for “ripping off” God of War when in their review of Dante’s inferno they praised it and said, “Who disen’t want a game that’s god of war in and out?”. And I think you guys can see what I’m getting at here. So, you see, critics are becoming less and less trustworthy and you can see why. Therefore, there’s only ONE way to see if a game is good or not, and that’s playing it for yourself.

    1. Well, I was actually referring to individuals, not websites. This is an argument I like to make too, because I do feel like reviewers tend to forget that the last Sonic game released was actually received positively by the overall press. This may be hard on websites that don’t name specific authors like GameTrailers, but I’m talking about places like Destructoid, Giant Bomb, or hell….SEGAbits and Sonic Stadium. The tastes of the author are more important then the scores of the website.

      1. Go look at SomeCallMeJohnny, he is pretty good at reviewing Sonic games, he says in most of his reviews that “Some things in the game are not his cup of tea but if you enjoy it by all means go ahead”.

  10. Thank you. I don’t really think there’s much else for me to say about this since you and everyone else hit the nail on the head, but I’m just glad to finally see someone level-headed seeing this game solely for what it is versus what it isn’t or what someone personally wants it to be or become.

    Granted, in my case, Sonic Boom has literally everything I’ve always wanted out of a Sonic game and will probably be the first game to really be a top favorite that I can call lots of fun since Heroes and it definitely has some of that charm character wise considering how everyone interacts.

    The Sonic Boom franchise looks to be a fresh, new Sonic series that’s a lot of fun to me and that’s all I need. I’ve kind of grown tired of the old/”main” series anyways.

  11. You know, I have never agreed with a person more on this site than I do with this article. Very well said.

  12. I can’t really type much here without repeating what the other commenters have said, (Robbie notwithstanding,). So yeah, I agree with everything here.

  13. I’ve also been a fan of games that have been mediocre or bad to a lot of people. And not even to really just to force myself to like it because everyone else hates it, I end up accidentally liking games that are considered bad. Murdered: Soul Suspect, Thief (the new one), Sonic Unleashed, and other lukewarm titles I ended up liking for various reasons simply on my own tastes. When it comes down to professional criticism and such, then you do need to be a little nitpicky for the sake of giving the game an adequate score. But for just sitting down and enjoying a game, the only thing important is it being fun, and that’s REGARDLESS of how well the game did in sales or reviews or even consumer reception (which is so jaded nowadays it might as well be useless info). That’s why the only way to truly know if a game is fun or not is to test it out yourself.

  14. I should say this well Sonic Boom, is okay sonic game but its not the best Sonic game of all for Wii U also the 2 player story mode is fun! And I am not looking forward to purchase Sonic Boom on Wii U, only Sonic Boom on 3DS, because it has blueprints & StreetPass muitplayer which is interesting or awesome then it compared to Sonic Generation on 3DS also one more thing is rival racing some Sonic Characters like in Sonic Rivals, or Sonic Rivals 2.

  15. You sir earn a cookie for this article. People need to understand that we all have different tastes. For an example, I find the Halo series to be extremely boring games. However, I do understand why people enjoy it, I fully respect them, and I don’t talk down on them for liking it. One of my favorite games on the PS2 was Spongebob: Battle for Bikini Bottom. It’s a very average game I admit but the reason why it’s one of favorites is because I had fun playing it. There’s nothing wrong for having higher standards when it comes to games, it’s your cup of tea. But for me, I much rather play a fun average game than a boring high quality one.

  16. You know, it’s funny, the anatomy of a bad game touched on a lot of bases. Bases about getting a whole of an experience down right. To have it feel right in your hands instead of a clunky mess. Not saying that Boom is that for everyone, however it is just as silly to say it’s an unrealistic expectation for the developers to give a damn about making a game that could be exceptional just because someone else is already doing an exceptional thing.

    This is not how it works. You are to attain your own idea of what makes you shine, what makes you click. And it’s clear the team is doing what they know they can do. As much as I feel that my assessment on the forum that this was Sonic the Fighters in Sonic Adventure still holds up, I can’t ignore the feeling that the game is still leaves a lot to be demanded from. The game albeit somewhat faster than other games of its genre, is still button mash heavy and there’s not exactly a ton of variation in the attack patterns from what we’ve seen. Now, granted, classic Sonic bosses were defeated by means of finding the weak spot and jumping into it, but by the time we reached Sonic CD and 3, we surpassed the obvious target and even hid the weak points, making some, in CD’s case ALL, bosses puzzle bosses. For the first time, you had to strategize how to beat the boss besides jumping around the arena to avoid attacks and get in hits on the guy. And that makes for an adequate boss as well just not a very interesting one.

    However, repetitive gameplay can become a chore. This is why levels are supposed to have different layouts and the like and why even with the same physics engine, Knuckles Chaotix was a horrid steaming pile. This is why if you don’t have the right execution, things fall apart. You can even have the best level design in the world, but if the engine’s crap and the character controls shitty then you should have recoded the damn thing. Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric looks fine, it has the idea of all of the characters being in the same gameplay style but with their own unique paths and abilities, but also? The game looks to play it SUPER SAFE. The speed sections are Sonic Dash drivel, which I DESPISE WITH A PASSION, and the rest looks to be par the course. The graphics are great, the animations and character dialogue soar, the story is probably going to be the best the game series has had period, but I’m really not feeling what’s special about this from everything else.

    So when he says stop defending mediocrity he means, stop making excuses for them to not fucking try harder than usual. What the fuck is wrong with actually trying to soar for the higher ideal in quality? I know this is their job and all, but a little more effort than making Sonic a fighter and having a little par the course Sonicky spindashing and rings and obstacles will not fix what looks like an average game and that shouldn’t excuse this just because someone might find it fun.

    You can go ahead and like the game! Love it even! But for one second, if you tell anyone else with a dissenting opinion to not speak up but hold it back just because you enjoyed it, you’re being silly and unrealistic. Go ahead and say it’s fun. But when people question you about why you defend this or that, you better be ready to answer the question and strongly uphold your position. Not dance around it. You can say you liked a game people didn’t like, but you better defend your position instead of “WELL PEOPLE SHOULD LEARN TO BE MORE REASONABLE”. Yeah? Developers should stop using the excuse that the game is “aimed at children” and that that’s why the game is repetitive and not particularly engaging. When I hear that they’re aiming for kids then see a stilted, not particularly impressive game, I get FURIOUS. This kind of bullshit should be called out more. You know who also aims to kids? Nintendo. But guess who actually cares to give a damn to not dance around and use the “we don’t want to put in an extra effort to do something special” card.

    What fans like myself have been sick of for fucking years is people making excuses for the developer to not try harder. There should be no excuse. Excuses make one lazy and complacent. This is exactly what Triple A devs go for is to make complacent games instead of trying to innovate. To do more than aspire, but to actually FUCKING do it.

    You know what happens when developers and artists get complacent? They stay the same. Their work stagnates. The musty odor of their sweaty socks ferment and grow stench. That’s not something we should encourage. If we allowed companies to do whatever they want, there’d be more EAs and Ubisofts. Is that something that you really want? Really? Questioning their methods, to get them to defend their stance, is how we get them to show some integrity.

    Not accusing Sonic Boom of being a bad game, I might even enjoy it in all it’s averageness, but you can’t help but feel, “hey, Sega, you didn’t exactly have good games in the 2000s, just because they’re not broken doesn’t mean that’s all the effort you can be making”. I’m just saying.

    1. That is true, at times to me it seems like SEGA really cared for Sonic after/ during Sonic Unleashed. They did not want him to have the same game-play style all the time, and that is what I see in some artiest, they care about their art and they do not want him to be the same. They want him to explore new horizons,BUT SEGA could have done it in a BETTER way. Sonic has had some fun games in the 2000s (in my personal taste), Sonic Heroes was fun, but they could have handled that a LITTLE better, Sonic Riders was fun, the handheld games were fun, and Sonic and the Black Knight could have been handled better, and what I mean about that is that Sonic can hold and fight with a sword, but not in that way. Sonic and AllStars Racing/ Transformed was fun. And with developers and artists who get complacent, Sonic changes alot, so them getting complacent over Sonic’s current game-play style (which most of Sonic’s fans want him to be ether Classic or Adventure-ish) would be quite weird. I wish people would stop saying that, this game is bad or this game is perfect, NO, what is bad about the game what certain parts could they improve in their sequels. I am not defending the game nor am I calling it average (if so I would have to call ever action-adventure game average), I need the game for myself to actual take a stand on it and to POINT OUT it’s strong points and it’s weak points. IF SonicBoom IS good I would say “Yeah it was a good game, but you could improve on this or that a little more”.

    2. Nowhere did I say it was unrealistic to expect the developers to WANT to make a great game. In fact, I think these developers do want to make a great game, going by my experience with them at E3. I certainly never said that they shouldn’t because great games already exist. My whole point was that not every game has the time, talent and resources behind it to BE a great game, and the only reason why games like Galaxy exist is because there are really only a handful of games released any given year that do.

      Don’t really have much to say about a lot of this. I will say that the speed section in the demo isn’t indicative of speed sections throughout the rest of the game. We were told this was just a small, little thing to get to a hubworld, and it was included to give more casual players a quick look at the game.

      I’m not making excuses for them “not trying harder”. I’m not even implying there is a lack of effort here. Making a great game isn’t just about “trying really hard”. I touch on this in my article. You can try REALLY hard to make a great movie, a great game, a great book, or a great piece of art, but if you don’t have the talent, time, or budget you need to do that it WON’T be great. I think a lot of people underestimate just how hard it is to make a game, how much effort goes into even the BAD games, because it’s so often assumed that developers that make bad games just “didn’t try hard enough” when the real story is so much more than that (and often more tragic). I am NOT making excuses for a lack of effort. I’m not even going to pretend to know the mindset the developers have with this game, simply because only they really know that.

      And hey, I get what you’re saying about developers using the “demographic” excuse. Though I would also argue that Nintendo simply has the best talent and most experience geared towards making those kinds of games. They’ve been making these types of games since the before a lot of these developers were even born and never stopped. Nintendo’s special (and hey, they’ve made their share of simplistic kids games that weren’t necessarily all that great).

      I am also not advocating that people who disagree with me should keep their opinion to themselves. To be completely honest, one of the main reasons I wrote this article because I wasn’t seeing any good articles advocating for games of this nature in general. We’ve already had some prominent people on this website tear this game apart, and I have no problem with it. All I am doing is making an argument for the other side.

      And hey, I appreciate that you expect more from your games. As I said in the article, it’s a good sentiment to have.

      1. Some people say that the WiiU itself is holding back the game from being great, do you think so yes, no, maybe?

        1. I know I am not the person being addressed here, but this is quite the interesting bit you’ve brought up here, Larry.

          In my own opinion, no, I don’t think the Wii U has anything to do with this game’s quality. If this were released on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, I believe I would judge it just as I am now. So far, I think it’s looking alright, and its shortcomings are certainly not because of the console it lies on. Maybe I am not reading into this correctly, but I do not know. In terms of sales, yeah, the Wii U may not be the best thing, but in terms of how the game seems… I would have the same issues as I do now if it were on the much prettier-seeming PS4 or One. Though, let me tell you, if this were a Microsoft-exclusive game for some reason, I am sure many SONY fans would be torn at the insane irony of this game’s developers shifting gears to the main rivaling console for Sonic.

        2. People who say that are just fanboys still a little bitter over Sonic’s three game exclusive deal with Nintendo.

          Wii U has PLENTY of great games on its hardware, and all of the best games ever made have been produced on hardware equally or less powerful then that. So no, Wii U isn’t holding anything back. If anything, it’s the talent of the developers. Being on a Playstation or an Xbox wouldn’t change that.

          1. I have a dream(cast)that one day,people will live in peace with the types of games they have, and not be judged by the system they behold.

          2. “So no, Wii U isn’t holding anything back. If anything, it’s the talent of the developers. Being on a Playstation or an Xbox wouldn’t change that.”
            Kinda of right and wrong here. The WiiU does hold it back but not by quality, but by just being an unappealing console that’s could only sale due to MS jacking up the Xbox1, but even then, there’s still a lot of sales loss because you still get a lot of people who barely pay attention to 3rd party titles on Nintendo consoles. What you said about the developers though, I fully agree on this, especially when you have people blame past games’ failures on being too dark and having too many characters, then you turn around and see what happened with that Sonic 1 GBA port, Sonic 4, and Lost World.

  17. I find the fundamental flaw with the opening argument to be simply this: This looks like a bad SONIC game, not just a bad game in general. Comparing Generations to SMG is apples to oranges, despite the fact that they’re both “platformers”. It’s a different type of experience.

    Of course, that opens the door for people to say Boom is a “different experience”, but Boom appears to be copy/pasting standard elements from a lot of familiar genres, none of which it can hold a candle to.

    1. Another thing to note, at least for me personally, is that frequent exposure to triple A titles of the highest quality makes it more difficult to enjoy the titles that pale in comparison. You end up playing those games finding something fundamentally lacking, because it’s often nearly impossible not to compare them to the games they’re emulating (and emulating poorly). Unless you’re hopelessly devoted to a franchise or deeply engaged by the game’s plot, there’s nothing in these so-called “lesser games” to encourage you to play them through to the end as opposed to simply putting in a higher quality title that will provide you with MORE entertainment. Unless, I guess, you’re hard up for new games to play and have nothing better to do.

      1. I want to chime in on this part that I agree with so much:
        ” Unless you’re hopelessly devoted to a franchise or deeply engaged by the game’s plot, there’s nothing in these so-called “lesser games” to encourage you to play them through to the end as opposed to simply putting in a higher quality title that will provide you with MORE entertainment. ”
        Very true, but it doesn’t even have to be AAA titles. This is one prime example of a lesser title that looks far better then anything even Nintendo has made in a long time, let alone recent Sonic titles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJmtn6JP7Ug
        And this:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmSAQwbbig8

        These are cheap XBLA games that most Sonic games these days still feel lacking in comparison, unlike games like SA1 and 2, SA2 making it on the top selling charts for both XBLA and PSN for multiple months.

        1. In this context, when I say Triple-A I really just mean “top tier” titles, ranked by their quality, not budget or amount of marketing spotlight

    2. Sounds a lot like Sonic Lost world. It was described as a new direction for the Sonic franchise that turned out to be nothing more then a mish mash of concepts and ideas hijacked from other platform games with a think layer of Sonic style gameplay sprinkled in to make you think it was a Sonic game.

      1. That doesn’t really describe Lost World at all. Lost World didn’t have a “thin layer of Sonic game play”,it WAS a Sonic game, and the only idea it “hijacked” from other platformers was the concept of 3D spherical worlds, which really did originate in a Sonic game anyway.

        1. “That doesn’t really describe Lost World at all. Lost World didn’t have a “thin layer of Sonic game play”,it WAS a Sonic game”
          It’s laughable that anyone would consider that a Sonic game. Even the majority of classic titles looked better then that form the get go.

          “and the only idea it “hijacked” from other platformers was the concept of 3D spherical worlds, which really did originate in a Sonic game anyway.”
          And outside of that, just about everything else was horribly executed.

        2. Have you played Lost World. Its like they took a Mario and rachet game then slapped a layer of Sonic gameplay on top.

          Several of the bosses are directly ripped from Mario galaxy and merely reskinned to fit the Sonic style.

          1. I have played Lost World, which is why I know this is a gross overexaggeration. This game is about as “Mario” as Sonic Adventure 2 was. Spherical worlds and run button aside, this game has very little in common with Mario. I don’t even know where the Ratchet comparison is coming from when this game doesn’t even have weapons, which is Ratchet’s signature.

            Yes, ONE boss was definitely similar to Mario Galaxy’s Bowser boss fight, but that doesn’t really equate to a whole lot in the grand scope of the game.

  18. My biggest thought about this game is that I think the only real reason for skepticism is the fact that it’s Sonic. If this had been a totally different IP I’m not sure it would have gotten as much flak as it did. Now I’m not saying it’s a perfect demo. I know it runs like shit, and I know the graphics are meh, I don’t even think the combat looks particularly interesting, but I don’t think that it qualifies for “WURST GAM E4 LOLOLIGNLOLOL” or anything. If this had been a totally new IP, it would have been seen almost unanimously as “eh, it’s okay, I guess I’ll check it out”. But the thing is that it IS a new IP, with different characters, story elements, personalities, artstyle, gameplay, music, everything. The only constant is that it has Sonic characters and rings. And I think that’s fucking genius. For years now Sega has had a problem of releasing Sonic games with a very vague idea of what the fanbase as a whole wants, because there is no cohesive answer to that question, because this fanbase has no idea what the hell it wants. BigRedButton, on the other hand, has taken a different approach. They’ve stuck to what they’ve known, making solid 3D platformer action games, and taken far less regard to the completely broken and dysfunctional fanbase that they know is completely broken and dysfunctional, instead creating a game with a wider appeal. Unfortunately by the fact of the game being Sonic, there will inevitably be skepticism, because nobody can seem to comprehend that it’s been five years since the last bad Sonic game was released. There isn’t any dark age left, it’s the past, but nobody looks at Sonic as a game, they look at it as a Sonic game. And because games like Sonic 06 or Shadow the Hedgehog have tarnished their views of Sonic games, stuff like Lost World and Sonic 4 get thrown under the bus despite being essentially decent games with a little bit of mud splashed on them. And the same is happening here. Again, I’m sure the game isn’t great. I know it as a fact. They seem to have chosen the most dull levels to show off in this demo. But I am hopeful, and I am optimistic. People say “generic” but how many other games have been exactly this and gotten absolutely no hate? I’m not saying you have to like this game, you don’t even need to give it a chance if it isn’t to your taste, but stop trying to pass this off as another Sonic 06 that it isn’t.

    1. I can most certainly agree with you, sir. … Or ma’am. This is nowhere near Sonic ’06 fundamentally, I think. For Sonic, I think this is a very welcome change as a new branch. To my understanding, most are having the kneejerk reaction Sonic fans are known for when they spot change. Even I had raised eyebrows when I saw that Sonic was wearing sports tape and Knuckles had received tips from Vector on working out, but I have grown to realize that this grounded approach is alright. Sonic having blue arms is not anywhere near Eggman being a “super-serious” realistic bad dude with golden nipples on his jacket in Sonic ’06 for me. Fundamentally, yes, it does look very much like other projects BigRedButton has worked on, but I feel that people only complain because it is Sonic. You want an example of something people are not complaining about that takes inspiration off of another series? Destiny. Destiny looks like it has many nods to Halo, but seems to be getting mostly positive reaction. This may be a completely different thing, sure, but as far as gameplay goes, I feel that the fanbase is a bit divided once again, just like Sonic Heroes or Sonic Lost World.

      1. I think that even if the game ends up sucking, it’s not gonna be Sonic 06 again. The thing about hitting rock bottom is that you aren’t going to do it more than once. Even the worst Sonic game since 06 could only be as bad as Sonic 06. I know this game won’t be that. But the main idea is that even if this game does bomb, and end up selling 2 copies or getting a 2/10 or whatever, they can simply return to the main series and still learn from any potential mistakes the game could make.

        (also yes, i’m a he)

        1. This is very true. SEGA has long since learned from that mistake, it’d be an impracticability if Sonic ever got that horrible again. And even if one doesn’t compare this to 06, I look at it this way: is this really worse than Sonic turning into a werewolf or looking “realistic” once?

  19. You know, I always tell people that “not as good” doesn’t mean “bad” when talking about movies or anime with my friends, but I seem to ironically forget it myself when reflecting on Sonic games. This is the first article, ever I think, to make me feel a little better about the Sonic Boom games (which I’ve been on the fence about) and even Lost World (which I like). Thank you for writing it.

  20. I’ll take Generations over a banal Ratchet game any day of the week, thank you very much. Also I found SMG too linear, easy and puzzle-oriented. I enjoyed previous 3D Mario far more, with their exploration, freedom and high difficulty. Even SMG2 was (for the most part) too easy. As for Mario 3D World, I haven’t played it yet, but if it’s as bland as 3D Land, I’ll pass.

    1. I’ll take a Ratchet game over generations any time of the week, at least the ratchet games provide me with an actual plot, a challenge and fun jokes in contrasts with generations complete lack of anything but flashy graphics and boosting.

  21. The only thing I’ve noticed from people complaining about this game is that its not like the older Sonic games they love as kids, which, is par usual for the Sonic fan cycle of idiocy. For years I had to sit through a shit load of complaints on forums and blogs that Sega should let a western developer have a crack at the series, that it need a more western style approach, that the other characters should play like Sonic with slight add ons to make each of the them different, that it needed to take hints from Mario, Ratchet and Clank and so on.

    Well, now we have a game that does all of that and they hate it anyway cause its too different from the standard Sonicteam of games.

    It’s like the whole SLW thing again, SEGA makes a changes to reach a wider audience and the entitled bastard minority of fans feel that Sega is ruining the games for them and they can’t shut up about it. Well, though luck, giving the old fans what they wanted have resulted in sales nose diving for years on end so frankly, I welcome this change cause the old fans getting what they wanted drove me away from the Sonic franchise in the first place.

    1. “It’s like the whole SLW thing again, SEGA makes a changes to reach a wider audience and the entitled bastard minority of fans feel that Sega is ruining the games for them and they can’t shut up about it.”
      Um no, they made that game for kids and Nintendo fanboys primarily. Even if you don’t believe that, if you think a game like that was going to reach a wider audience, then you really learn what appeals to a large group of people.

      “Well, though luck, giving the old fans what they wanted have resulted in sales nose diving for years on end so frankly”
      What resulted in the nose dive was Sega make Sonic game primarily to cater to kids.

      “I welcome this change cause the old fans getting what they wanted drove me away from the Sonic franchise in the first place.”
      It most likely didn’t if you’re here commenting on it now. It’s not just old fans, it’s fanboys who think they’re fans and think they know what made Sonic popular, many of which are sadly mistaken and too delusional to see it.

  22. Bashing 06 and ShtH again. People won’t ever give up the chance to do that.
    The gameplay of that game can be whatever. That was never an issue with me.
    However, praising it for the dialogs and for liking the characters, that is absurd. The characters have nothing to do with Sonic characters Sonic fans actually liked in the past. And if you disagree, than I doubt that you ever liked Sonic characters… like ever. Dialogs, humor and the characters in this game are exactly like those are from Colors up. And those game were losing sales and people’s interest really quickly. The supposed glory of those games is only an Internet myth.
    This game looks like a game that is made for Sonic haters. People, who hated Sonic characters as depicted in SA games. Hated SA stories, hated SA tone, hated Sonic’s friends, attempts to be cool and serious. That is all that Sonic used to be. And those games sold much more. However, ever since Sega derped and lost it’s way, people no longer seem to stand for this Sonic of old. Even though the sales are dropping, the glorification of modern Sonic is undeniable. We got only games that fight the established settings, laugh at people who enjoyed the original premise Sonic set up and we only get games that make fun of themselves, their essence and their cool factor.
    It is so bad that if you are a Sonic fan, you no longer can confess that you like another Sonic than this Sonic the select few glorify. If you don’t hate 06 and Shadow, you are a bad Sonic fan. If you don’t like this new kind of content that is extremely shifted from what it used to be, you are not a Sonic fan. That alone made me realize that Sonic fans no longer exist. All of them are forced to quit the series and be completely silent. They were all replaced by other people who are from completely different group that was never here with Sonic. But they now got their justification for calling THEMSELVES Sonic fans, and so they completely destroyed what was left of Sonic.
    Instead of a powerful cool character that amazed so many people around the world, we have self aware joker, who travels in a company of other self aware jokers to defeat another self aware joker and all that while breaking 4th wall and rejecting the importance of their own universe, giving up on believe in their world and laughing at the audience, who would dare to enjoy something, that looks silly for, a new person, who never experienced a story with athro animals in it.
    I am incredibly sad that I have to see Sonic so far away from his former self. Believing that his former self was any bad is laughable. He started as being cool and he used to be famous and successful because of that. So many more people used to love Sonic. Now he only broke their hearts. And game and Sonic universe of this type ain’t helping.

    1. Dude, that’s a pretty narrow minded way of looking at things. You’re basically saying that if someone likes Sonic Boom, they automatically hate the old games. That’s not what this article is about. It’s about how so many people in the fanbase set their expectations way too high, and then complain when they get dashed.

      Also, you seem to see sales as an indication of a game’s quality, but that is not the case. If it were, then games like Shadow of the Colossus, Okami, and Xenoblade Chronicles would be considered terrible.

      You know, people always seem to praise the writing of the SA games as brilliant, but I just see dodgy translations, (“Is that what Chaos Control is?!”) and shoehorned in American phrases. (“Aw yeah! This is happenin’!”)

      As for character, I think I would rather have the more recent Sonic than the old. Sonic in the old days was just the guy who loves adventure and helping people. But the newer games give him more of an attitude that I personally saw Sonic having. Cocky and wisecracking, but still wanting to do the right thing.

      Sonic Boom isn’t trying to make a game that appeals to the old fans. It’s trying to appeal to a younger generation. Are you saying that’s wrong?

  23. thank you i am tired of people bitching that it isnt fast and not sonic game well jeez people it is not supposed to be a speed game it is a action beat them up game and exploration game maybe if you complainers would listen it matches perfectly what it says it is and dont say well do’nt change our opinion well thats what people have been doing saying its bad and people shouldnt play it and complaining its so different from other games when mario zelda halo pac man make a huge change its no biggey but when sonic does it its huge.and dont tell me to stop complaing well thats what people do to sonic games complain

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