Last week Sega announced their next game for Nintendo’s WiiU and 3DS. The games will be based on a new cartoon being launched under the same name. The series will be coming in the Fall of 2014, whereas the game, which will reportedly serve as a prequel to the television show, has not yet received a release date, or window. This game will complete Sega’s three game exclusivity agreement with Nintendo regarding the Sonic franchise. From the reveal trailer above, the game will feature Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy in a new land that appears to be very open world-ish.
First things first. Let’s take a look at Sonic and company’s new design.
Well, that’s certainly a new design. While Tails and Amy are pretty status quo, maybe a bit more detailed, but lacking any major differences, Sonic is kind of…leggy. I feel like this is what we’d get if Sonic cross bred with an arachnid but remained bipedal. When he’s standing crouched, with his legs bent, he looks downright spider-esque. For Knuckles, I think we need to go to Twitter.
Knuckles definitely missed leg day!!—
BROWN BEAR (@__THE_BEAR__) February 06, 2014
That about sums it up. I do realize that no one opinion is prevalent about anything. If I said that killing a kitten is a bad thing, someone, somewhere, would disagree with me. That said, the popular opinion that I’ve seen is that these are some really, really ugly designs, and I would agree with those opinions. There’s just a whole lot of leg and scarf and bandage wrapping going on. I feel like they’ve all been put on one of those torture devices that stretches people, except they escaped with no ill-effects other than looking a bit whacky. But, how does this affect the game, Sonic Boom? To answer that, let’s look at another game that created some controversy with character design.
Yep, when unveiled, the Wind Waker was pretty heavily criticized for it’s graphical design. When people played it, however, they found a very well made game. It’s still considered a very popular Zelda title and was recently remade in HD for the WiiU. I would call that lasting appeal.
Now, I’m not saying that Sonic is The Legend of Zelda or that Sonic Boom will go down in history as a title that is equal to Wind Waker. What I am saying is that even though many people may think this is an odd design choice by Sega, ultimately it’s the gameplay that will decide how well Sonic Boom fares. On that front, I must say, the title is actually looking pretty good. There does seem to be an open world quality, which is something that I, personally, find very appealing. In the snippets we’ve seen, the trademark Sonic speed is present, as is a unique play style for each character, which harkens back to the Sonic Adventure games.
Another early plus for the game is that the voice cast from the television show is very strong, based on the short video that was released. Sonic, Tails, and Dr. Eggman/Robotnik all sound appropriate for their characters. As for the dialogue, the little banter heard between Eggman and Sonic is witty and well-written. My assumption is that with this game being a prequel and tie-in to the show, the voice cast and writing team will lend their talent to the game.
Now, again, all of this is based on the barest of details and video, and is therefore very subject to change. That said, even though I still think these redesigns look extremely goofy, I have to counter that reaction with what appears to be, so far, gameplay that appears to be fun, engaging, and interesting. This is a game that I can see myself getting some enjoyment out of. I just need to keep in mind that character and graphical design are only the icing of a video game, the gameplay is the cake.
Brandon Nicholson is a blogger for TMRzoo.com and the founder of Just Another Video Game Blog and covers all gaming consoles and platforms including Sony Playstation 3 and PS4, Microsoft XBOX One and XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, Sony PSP and computer games designed for Mac OS, Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems. Brandon provides his readers with reviews, previews, release dates and up to date gaming industry news, trailers and rumors.