SEGA has been everything but quiet about Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice since its unveiling earlier this week, and the upcoming Nintendo 3DS game has become a topic of heated debate between fans and skeptics alike. RubyEclipse, also known as SEGA of America’s Community Manager Aaron Webber, recently talked about how Sanzaru Games has been implementing fan and press feedback gathered from last year’s Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal into the new game. In a recent USGamer interview, SEGA Producer Omar Woodley speaks out about the 2.5D platformer in much greater detail, including its story and gameplay mechanics, and gives us a better idea as to what to expect from the Sonic Boom title later this year!
The game’s plot is as follows:
“Basically, Eggman has found a new element called Ragnium, which he melts down and combusts as fuel. These bots, which are henchmen in the animated series, have been brought into this game as rival racers. Eggman’s goal is to humiliate Sonic by making bots that are faster than him. Of course that whole plot fails… but to do that you need to beat all the bots in the game to prove Eggman is wrong – there’s one on each island. As you progress, you unlock character bots that can then be used to race your friends in local play on the crazy courses we’ve designed.
“The main story follows a henchman called Defect. He’s been designed by Eggman to find Ragnium and mine it. He has these eco magnets that are supposed to enable him to raise it out of the ground. However, when Eggman turns him on, it totally fails – which is why he’s called Defect. However, it turns out that he can magnetize everything other than Ragnium, so he begins to use his powers to build himself up so he can beat Sonic. Also, part of the storyline is that as Eggman collects Ragnium, he’s polluting the environment. So part of the game is restoring the environment – which is an homage to the original Sonic games.” —
As it stands, Sanzaru has already taken steps to ameliorate
Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice in order to make it a much more streamlined experience, and they’ve done this by addressing many of the concerns raised from Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal. More emphasis will be placed on speed, exploration will be toned down, and a lack of collectibles will no longer hamper the pace of advancement. While gameplay between the core characters remains mostly the same, Tails now wields a blaster whose shots can reflect off of mirrors, and Amy’s hammer can break things as well as alter level terrain.
Woodley also spoke of the titular ability and likened its instantaneous toggling to switching gears in a racing game. Some situations will call upon this notion and have players change between fire and ice abilities very quickly in order to navigate levels properly, or else.
The main takeaway from the interview is the roundup of information that follows:
- There will be a grand total of 7 islands to explore;
- 6 of these islands are the main exploration stages, featuring 4 levels and 2 bonus stages;
- The seventh island, Thunder Island, allows for 2-player local racing between Eggman’s robots;
- Challenge Rooms were designed with hardcore fans in mind – while optional, they are necessary for 100% completion;
- One of these Rooms features rail-grinding akin to Sonic Adventure 2;
- Aggressive enemies will give chase;
- There are a total of four bosses in the game, in which Defect constructs a monster out of the environment;
- Boss battles will utilize both 3DS screens;
- Bosses will be fought with Sonic and a partner character whose special ability will be of use;
- One battle features a creature made of tar and dinosaur bones that will attack Sonic on the bottom screen, and blow tar bubbles that Tails will have to avoid, before being open for attack;
- Bonus stages based off of the 3D tunnel Special Stages from Sonic the Hedgehog 2;
- 2 other types of bonus stages;
- One of these feature the Sea Fox from the Game Gear title Tails Adventure to look for collectibles;
- The other will take place on a hovercraft, avoiding and shooting icebergs while looking for collectibles
All in all,
Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice sounds like it’s shaping up to be a definite improvement over its predecessor!
What do you think? Did SEGA and Sanzaru Games truly step up their S-game, or are you not yet convinced? Let us know in the comments!