Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sonic Boom E3 Impressions

I grew up with Sonic. I watched both of the cartoons, the super serious one with freedom fighters versus Robuttnik and the super cartoony one that I remember every time I see a chilli dog. As soon as Sonic started talking in this trailer, it reminded me of the cartoons. Which is no surprise, since they are working on a cartoon to release alongside it, and because Big Red Button Entertainment was founded by one of the lead art directors from Naughty Dog, Bob Rafei. You can really see the resemblance to past works in these character character concepts released on Arcade Sushi. Having wrote that, there is an issue I have with the new look for Knuckles. When I picture Knuckles, I think of a laid back trickster who is heavily implied to have themes related to Jamaica. They changed him over the years to be more like a treasure hunter, with Rogue as his foil, but now he has massive, continent sized pectorals. In my prejudice mind, the first reaction to him is that he looks like a dumb, angry meat head, as is often the case when considering how people with prominently displayed muscles are portrayed via television tropes. The other concern I have is the gameplay. People are parroting "watch out, Sonic 06", but I'm getting more of a Shadow the Hedgehog vibe from this. Shadow was an okay game, except that the level design was terrible. You would go fast until you reached a point where going fast was no longer an option and you had to shoot enemies. The enemies weren't as interesting as going fast, making every time you were stopped an annoying, similar to the feeling of being stuck in traffic. The trailer was short, so it isn't fair to critique the gameplay, but there were fighting segments and going fast segments. The pacing of those will be key.

It will be interesting to see what happens in this story and find out how the characters have changed in personality, but there are some legitimate concerns. Sonic Boom is set to release on the WiiU and Nintendo 3DS in November 2014.

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