Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Concepts Found

The Sonic Stadium has discovered even more Sonic Boom concept art, but this time for last year’s Nintendo 3DS release Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice. The images were found on the portfolio of Casey Holtz a contract designer who worked on the game’s level and system design.

Responsibilities:
Level layout on 12 Race levels
Level layout on4 Adventure levels
Boss battle design, tuning, scripting
General systems tuning and support.

The concept art gives us a look at early stage and boss level sketches. In the original image files we can see they date back between November 2014 and early 2015 telling us the game was still in the very early stages not long before it was announced in June 2015, so it’s no wonder the game was delayed until September last year.

Check out the images in our gallery below and share your thoughts in the comments.

Source: Casey Holtz’s Portfolio

HoL’s Musings: Sonic’s Future and Potential on the Nintendo Switch

What seemed to be an eternity of waiting since its announcement on March 17th, 2015 has finally passed on October 20th, 2016, as Nintendo had at long last lifted the curtain on the “NX,” or should I say the Nintendo Switch. Even before that day, Sega officially announced that Sonic would indeed be making an appearance on the system. It won’t be just any game, but the even longer-awaited next main game from Sonic Team called Project Sonic 2017provided the Switch version is the same as the PS4/XBO/PC versions. Continue reading HoL’s Musings: Sonic’s Future and Potential on the Nintendo Switch

TSS Review: Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice for 3DS

Title: Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice
Platform: Nintendo 3DS (played on 3DS XL model)
Developer:
 Sanzaru Games
Release Date: September 27th, 2016 (NA), September 30th, 2016 (EU), October 1st, 2016 (AUS), October 27th, 2016 (JP)

Review copy provided by Sega

Here we are at last. It’s been almost two years after the Sonic Boom branch of the series launched with the TV show and the accompanying Wii U and 3DS games. We now have the second main Sonic Boom game (depending if you view Rise of Lyric on Wii U and Shattered Crystal on 3DS as a sibling pair of games), and this time it’s only on 3DS. Like Shattered Chrystal before it, Fire & Ice is once again developed by Sanzaru Games, who is also known for the Sly Cooper HD trilogy remaster and the fourth Sly game a few years back on PS3 and Vita. While Big Red Button’s Rise of Lyric launched in a poor and buggy state on Wii U, Shattered Crystal on 3DS was considered to be at least decent, though it had issues of its own. The question is, how does Fire & Ice fare?

Continue reading TSS Review: Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice for 3DS

Check Out the Launch Trailer for Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice

It’s been two years in the making, but Sanzaru Games’ Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice for the Nintendo 3DS is finally upon us. Having launched for the Americas just yesterday, the third installment of the spinoff series will be arriving in Europe this Friday while Japanese hopefuls will have to wait another month. Promises were made about the game shaping up to be better and faster-paced than the preceding Shattered Crystal, and according to most critics, Sanzaru certainly delivered.

You can check out the launch trailer above, as well as a review roundup below!

Continue reading Check Out the Launch Trailer for Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice

The Creative Director of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Speaks Out on Changes Over Shattered Crystal

We’re less than two weeks away until Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice launches on the Nintendo 3DS, and new information and footage from the game is dropping nearly by the day. That said, there is still an air of uncertainty and apprehension surrounding the new Sonic Boom-branded game, despite its one year-delay and SEGA’s promise to uphold a higher standard of quality in all of their games.

This scrutiny isn’t without grounds and neither is it be unexpected, considering the disastrous launch of Big Red Button’s Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric on Wii U, which was received poorly by critics, and Sanzaru Games’ Shattered Crystal on 3DS, which didn’t live up to fans’ expectations for a 2D Sonic game. With Sanzaru once again at the helm, however, the team aimed to improve on Fire & Ice where Shattered Crystal went wrong, as the game’s creative director Mat Kraemer explains in an interview with GameSpot.

Continue reading The Creative Director of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Speaks Out on Changes Over Shattered Crystal

Free Sonic Hat with Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice at Nintendo UK

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, the sequel to Sanzaru Games’ Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal from 2014, races onto Nintendo 3DS in Europe on Friday 30th September. With only a few weeks to go until the release date, UK gamers can now put their pre-orders down on the Nintendo UK Online Store and get a nifty Sonic hat for free!

Admittedly it’s not the most exciting pre-order incentive in the world – the site openly admits that these are the same 20th anniversary hats that have been floating around and given away at events for the past five years – but it’s certainly better than nothing! If you’ve ever wanted to look like your favourite blue hedgehog and never managed to nab one of these beauties, now’s your chance.

Continue reading Free Sonic Hat with Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice at Nintendo UK

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice and SEGA 3D Archives 3: Final Stage Will Both Be at Tokyo Game Show 2016

This year’s Tokyo Game Show kicks off on September 15th, and with it will come plenty of big reveals from some of the industry’s biggest developers and publishing giants, as well as over 200,000 people expected to be on the show floor to try out upcoming titles.

SEGA will be attending the event with livestreams going on throughout the show, showing off the likes of Yakuza 6, Persona 5, and the new Puyo Puyo Chronicle among other wares. The latest SEGA 3D Classics compilation title from M2, SEGA 3D Fukkoku Archives 3: Final Stage, and Sanzaru Games’ Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice will also be present, complete with new gameplay footage and a live stage event featuring special guests like M2 President Naoki Horii and Sonic series director Takashi Iizuka respectively.

Check out SEGA’s complete TGS 2016 schedule below!

Continue reading Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice and SEGA 3D Archives 3: Final Stage Will Both Be at Tokyo Game Show 2016

New Footage of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Gives Us Another Look at Bot-Racing

There’s not much time before the launch of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice for the Nintendo 3DS. Come the end of September, Sonic fans in the West can get their hands on the third playable instalment of the Sonic Boom series, helmed by Shattered Crystal developer Sanzaru Games as the studio aims to improve where the previous game went wrong – with SEGA going so far as to delay it by a whole year as part of their pledge to aim for a higher standard of quality for all of their games from here on out.

SEGA of Japan recently hosted a near-two hour long livestream showing off several of their upcoming games, including the latest Yakuza, the recently revealed Puyo Chronicle, and Atlus’ highly anticipated Persona 5, but not without kicking things off with a sneak peek at the localized Sonic Toon: Fire & Ice. Gameplay featuring Sonic, Knuckles, and Sticks was shown off in the segment, as well as another look at the Sonic Rivals-esque Bot-Racing. You can check out the interview in full, or watch just the gameplay with footage spliced together by BlueParadox, after the cut!

Continue reading New Footage of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Gives Us Another Look at Bot-Racing

More Sonic Boom: RoL Concept Art Discovered

Jason Norton Sonic Boom 18

The Sonic Stadium has discovered even more concept art from Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and a few pieces from Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal. The images were among the portfolios of artists Oscar Ponce and Jason Norton who used to work at Big Red Button Entertainment. The latter’s artwork is especially intriguing as it reveals scrapped ideas for Eggman’s mech, a ‘battle mode tank’ and what we can assume is a golem boss battle. Check out all fifty seven of the images in our gallery below and give us your thoughts in the comments.

Continue reading More Sonic Boom: RoL Concept Art Discovered

(Update: Confirmed) Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Delayed to 2016

SBFI_3DS_Packfront_high

Update: It’s officially delayed to 2016! Thank Aaron! 😀

Perhaps someone’s listening eh? 😉

The online game rental site GameFly is now listing the game for a Dec 31 2016 release date at least in North America, however this is just another way of saying it’ll be out in 2016 at some point. This change is very recent, as looking through a Google Cache of the site, it showed that as recent as September 8th that the game was still listed for November 3 2015.

If this is indeed true, we may just be in a very rare turn of events where we go a whole year without a retail Sonic game. Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Rio Olympics are also scheduled for 2016 as opposed to their usual release being in the year prior to said Olympics.

Wonder what’s up with this? I’ve wondered if the NX has anything to do with this, specifically for M&S if they want to do a premium NX version of the game, and also maybe they think releasing the game closer to the Olympics will give it more fanfare, what with the Olympics being the talk of the town at that point of course. 😉

For Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, I dunno, there’s never been a cross-gen handheld release (being released on a current handheld, and also it’s successor at the same time, like if for instance Sonic Advance 3 was delayed on GBA for a few months and appeared on both GBA and on DS at launch), but this IS a great sign that they want to take more time to give it a nice extra layer of polish and/or to try better things with it. Maybe this is going to be better than the first one after all. 😉

 

The Spin: Can a Sonic Boom game be done right? I think so

spin

In today’s edition of The Spin, I want to talk about something I think that, despite being a question no one will ask; if a Sonic Boom game can be good let alone should be made, is that if such a game period can be good or even GREAT. Short answer? Of course it can!

The long answer? I have some ideas.

Continue reading The Spin: Can a Sonic Boom game be done right? I think so

Sonic Boomcast Episode 9 “Boom to the Future” Includes Interview with Matt Kraemer from Sanzaru Games

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpxRcfA4MSA[/youtube]

Welcome to the ninth episode of the Sonic Boomcast! In this week’s episode, join me, Lidice, Christian and Johara Finley as we look towards the future with a sneak peek into the plotlines of the second half of the first season and talk about the Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice reveal trailer and much more.

Speaking of that game, the second half of the show has a full interview with lead level designer, Matt Kraemer from Sanzaru games! We talk all things about Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice (and Knuckles) for the 3DS. Who’s writing it? What do the fire and ice elements do? What about multiplayer? Speed runs? Voice acting? All that is revealed and more in this special episode of the Sonic Boomcast. So listen in and enjoy.

P.S. Sorry for my horrible photoshop skills. Also, they are NOT changing it to “Fire and Ice and Knuckles” just to be clear.

NOTES: First Half was recorded on 6/15. Matt Kraemer Interview was recorded on 6/23. Takes me awhile to edit audio. XP

TSS@E3 – Interview With Matt Kraemer (Sonic Boom 3DS)

[youtube width=”600″ height=”340″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUZ1KtEE_Q8[/youtube]

Sometimes when working for two sites at an event, it’s easy to get your wires crossed. In this case, I refer to myself as Shigs from Segabits after Alex informed me that this interview was meant for Sonic Stadium. Oops!

Anyway, this is my interview with Lead level designer from Sanzaru Games, Matt Kraemer. Matt was incredibly friendly and I gotta admit, Sonic Boom:Shattered Crystal (3DS) was by far my favorite of the two Sonic Boom games. Here, we discuss collectibles, second goals, Streetpass features and more! So why are you still reading this? Press play!

The Sonic List: Why Sonic Boom Will Be Awesome (And Why There’s Still Room For Concern).

Sonic Boom Logo

 

I truly believe Sonic Boom will be great. While the game trailer left me more confused than excited, you cannot deny the legacy of the developers working on the game. While Knuckles design has been incredibly controversial, one look at a scene from the show or listening to the recording sessions convinced me that the show is not only going to be very funny, but heading in the right direction. Yes, Sonic Boom has left some fans divided about its quality, but I don’t think there’s no denying that it’s looking better than originally anticipated. That said, if there’s one thing you should ALWAYS have with any Sonic media (except the comics) is caution. If there’s one thing Sonic Lost World taught us, is just because something looks great, doesn’t mean it will be. (I’m not saying SLW was bad, just…disappointing.)

That said, here is my list of reasons why Sonic Boom will be awesome and why you might still need to be cautiously optimistic.

"We're surround by Playstation developers!........Cool!"
“We’re surround by Playstation developers!……..Cool!”

The Game Developer’s Background

Why it’s awesome! – You’ve got former developers and art directors from Naughty Dog, High Impact Games and Chris Sean (the cancelled Sonic X-Treme) all working together to make Sonic Boom happen. There’s some solid talent here including Bob Rafei who was with Naughty dog from its very beginnings such as the Crash series, all of Jak and Daxter and up to the first Uncharted. Not only that, but there are several other Naughty Dog founders here along with staff from High Impact who worked on Ratchet and Clank and J&D games on PSP. It’s like seeing Sonic if he was developed for Playstation! This is their first big break though game under this new company so they know they can’t afford to mess it up. Not only that, but you have the uber-talented guys at Sanzaru games (Sly Cooper 4) working on the 3DS version. I could go on all day, but if you want to know more about these guys, just look at this article.

Why you should be cautious – All that Jak and Daxter talent seems to be leaking into the game itself. Just looking at the trailer, if you removed Sonic and the gang and replaced them with Jak and Daxter, it would seem almost MORE fitting (that “desert-punk” look reminds me a bit of Jak 2). There’s no doubt this team has the talents to make a great game, but do they have the talent to make a great Sonic game? Outside of that, there are some mediocre games in their back catalog including the fairly weak Secret Agent Clank. Still, it’s GOLD compared to some of the stuff Sonic Team’s put out.

"Knuckles is right. That upper-body work really pays off!"
“Knuckles is right. That upper-body work really pays off!”

The Cartoon Show

Why it’s awesome! – There’s been plenty of Sonic Cartoons over the years, but very little of good quality. Sonic SATAM is almost universally loved for its strong dramatic storytelling, Adventures had it’s good moments and watching Robotnik act goofy was always a treat, Sonic X while not that great, was fairly faithful to the games and brought in a new generation of fans and Sonic Underground was liked by a few because………I have no clue.

So many were worried about how Sonic would be represented in an 11 minute comedy-based CGI cartoon. Thankfully, we not only got one 3–minute scene from the show, but a behind the scenes moment of their voice recordings and I’m very happy with what I’ve seen and heard so far. While the jokes aren’t hilarious, the delivery by such superb voice actors as Mike Pollock and Roger Craig Smith help to deliver a very funny performance. Just a few of those moments were funnier than almost all of Adventures of Sonic. As a fan of the very silly Sonic X comic and of the writing in Sonic Colors, I’m very happy with this direction for the show.

Why you should be cautious – Because you’re all into dark drama and hate fun. XP

Okay, kidding aside, there were a few small concerns. Knuckles looks like he’s going to be the big, goofy dumb brute again and his “funny” dialogue sounded like stuff you’d hear on a bad Disney Channel comedy. Also, just from the small sample shown it’s obvious Amy Rose is still channeling her inner Minnie Mouse. “SIGH!” Speaking of…

"C'mon, you Ratchet and Clank reject!"
“C’mon, you Ratchet and Clank reject!”

Amy’s Character Change

Why it’s awesome! – For the longest time, Amy was just a one note character. Following and pining over Sonic with not enough development and growth. This changed over time and she became a little more strong and independent. This was in part thanks to having Cream the Rabbit as a sidekick (albeit that was really shown more in Sonic X and the comics).

With Sonic Boom, we no longer get a boy chaser in a frilly dress, but an athletic, gymnastic and stronger Amy Rose than before. Someone Sonic may be chasing after, rather than the other way around. Someone with less flaws, who’s smart, gymnastic and…..uh-oh. Uuuuhhhh-oooooh!

Because perfection is boring.
Because perfection is boring.

Why you should be cautious – This is part of the problem. Amy was already becoming tougher and more independent while still keeping her character flaws that made her a fun personality. What I definitely DON’T wanna see is Amy Rose become Sally “little miss perfect” Acorn. Sally has become the super-ultra, self-sacrificing, Christ-like Mary Sue of Mary Sues whose only flaw is caring too much and I really can’t stand her!! (Gee Jason, tell us how you really feel. Also, you covered this three weeks ago you idiot.)

In short, it’s cool for Amy to be tougher and more independent, as long as it doesn’t go overboard.

Go home Amy, you're drunk.
Go home Amy, you’re drunk.

“Finally, something interesting!” AKA The New World/Designs

Why it’s awesome! – By now, we’ve all seen the new designs and we all have our opinions on them. Buffles, the sports tape, blue arms, extra quills, you either love it or you hate it but you know what? At least it’s something different. We really haven’t had anything quite this unique and new in the Sonic franchise since “Sonic X” and even that was based mostly off the Sonic Adventure series of games. We’ve got a new design, new lands, new characters, new villains and more!  With all that newness on the horizon, what’s not be excited about? Plus if it doesn’t meet up to your expectations, you don’t have to worry about it replacing your favorite Sonic as it’s just its own thing. “A branch of the Sonic Franchise”.

Why you should be cautious – At best, Sonic Boom could re-ignite the Sonic franchise in a big way. At worst, we could have another Sonic ’06 that ruins the franchise further and we get more stupid “LOL Sonic-Cycle!” posts. Personally, I don’t believe it will go that way at all but you never know.

Also, just look at how ridiculous Knuckles looks. What with those tiny noodle arms attached to giant boxing gloves and don’t get me started on those Lego shoes. Wait, which Knuckles were we talking about?

Jason Berry wraps himself up every night in sports tape for……personal reasons.