Back in February, SEGA teased something they dubbed “Year of Sonic” going off of Nintendo’s previous Year of Luigi. What resulted was something that rocked the internet. New radical designs, a TV show, two games, toys and comic books. The effort to push Sonic in a new direction and towards a younger audience was a huge risk so did it pay off?
Sonic is a gaming Icon so the first place to start is with the games released back in November. Needless to say, it was not a good year for the Blue Blur in this category. Rise of Lyric (Wii U) and Shattered Crystal (3DS) received less than desirable scores and were not up to par when it came to Sonic titles. Poor graphics, bugs, and monotonous gameplay were strew about the two games and it’s reflective in both scores and sales. With the past Sonic titles being progressively better each year, Sonic Boom put a dent in the recovering veteran.
From the worst to the best of the Sonic Boom initiative, the TV show is great (in my opinion). Good CGI, funny dialogue and character interactions and decent scripts. Airing on Cartoon Network on Saturdays, Sonic Boom does a good job with both humor and action but it can be hit more miss depending on your tastes. It’s a fun time to sit down and watch a quick episode or two and have a good laugh. Definitely the high point of the Sonic Boom movement.
One of the more quieter aspects of this movement, the toy line by Tomy has been relatively decent. Plushes, action figures and play sets were included in the first line of toys. I own a few myself, they’re decently made and cool to own but obviously not for everyone. The entire Boom push is aimed for kids ages 11-13 so that’s the market action figure toys would be good for.
The Archie Sonic comics have been going since the early 90’s and they decided to create a new series based on the new designs and world of Sonic Boom. Honestly, next to the TV show, this is the best branch of the Sonic Boom package. It has the feel of an old Saturday morning cartoon, with fourth wall breaking humor and a good art style. The first few issues were great and I can’t wait for the rest to come out in the months to come.
Ironically, if it weren’t for the Sonic Boom video games this would have been a cool year as a Sonic fan. Unfortunately, what was intended as a breathe of fresh air for an old franchise became a joke that ran rampant throughout the internet. The titles, specifically Rise of Lyric, were broken and unpolished to the point where it became the butt of every joke for a while.
For someone who enjoys his fair share of Sonic The Hedgehog, I was extremely excited for this year. I’m happy I got to enjoy a good TV show and read some awesome comics, but the games were what I was hyped about and it was disappointing to see how they turned out.
With Sonic Team’s next game planned for 2015, only time will tell on if SEGA’s mascot can dig himself out of another hole yet again.
Images sourced from NintendoLife and Sonic Stadium
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