New initiative, new look
Some months ago, SEGA revealed a new animated television series titled Sonic Boom, bringing its well-known mascot back on air. A few days back the company sent out invitations to a media event centered around Sonic the Hedgehog, also declaring that 2014 would be the Year of Sonic.
Well, news has been slowly unfolding from this event and we’re now able to share some of the details. First off, Sonic, Tales, Knuckles and Amy are all sporting new models for the Sonic Boom animated series, but in potentially more exciting news, the game is also being released exclusively on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
SEGA: “For more than two decades, Sonic the Hedgehog has been one of the world’s biggest gaming icons, with over 70 video game titles, four animated series, and an extensive global merchandising line to his name. This year, SEGA is excited to introduce a new branch of the Sonic universe, entitled Sonic Boom, that will debut a new look for Sonic and friends and launch their first-ever CG animated television series, new video games for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, and a new toy line. The creative driving forces behind these projects are working together with SEGA to kick-start a global campaign for Sonic Boom that will excite and engage new and existing fans across a variety of platforms.
Sonic Boom’s visual identity includes character designs inspired by the abilities and unique personalities of each of the characters, while still maintaining the core identity and values of the Sonic brand. The rich worlds of the TV series and videogame will share a common narrative and a number of location and stylistic similarities reflecting full collaboration between videogame, TV series partners and SEGA from the outset.”
Sonic Boom: The Game will serve as a prequel to the television series and is set to deliver a “totally different experience” compared to previous games in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise while also delivering “collaborative gameplay” at its core. The Wii U version of the game is being developed in the United States by California-based Big Red Button Entertainment, a newly formed game development studio consisting of employees such as Bob Rafei, former top dog at Naughty Dog and Jeff Lander, founder of Darwin 3D. The Nintendo 3DS version, on the other hand, is being handled by Sanzaru Games, known for it’s recent work on Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time in collaboration with Sonic Team. SEGA has also now confirmed that Sonic Boom is the third title to be released as part of the three game exclusive deal with Nintendo.
The the game is developed using CryEngine (not the latest version), runs in 1080p (according to the trailer), supports co-op, and will “operate in harmony with the television series and act as a prequel to the series.”
SEGA: “Sonic Boom will take advantage of the innovative hardware of both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, with traditional elements of Sonic games, such as speed, also featured. The videogame will also introduce exploration, combat and a new Enerbeam tether mechanic that will allow the Sonic Boom world to be discovered in totally unique ways.”
Sega of America president and COO John Chen also made it clear that “Sonic Boom will not be replacing the original franchise.”
SegaAmerica released a reveal trailer for the Wii U version of the game, which can be found below. For long time Sonic fans, your first reaction might not be a positive one, as a lot of changes have been made to appeal to western culture. My advice? View it with an open mind… if that helps.
And the TV show trailer…