E3 2014 | Sega Missed the Mark With Sonic Boom, and That's a Shame

I grew up playing the Sonic games on Genesis so I look forward to every new entry in the series. This time around, I won’t even be giving it much thought at after my hands on with Sonic Boom at E3.

Sonic Boom for the Wii U and 3DS is based on the upcoming children’s television show of the same name. That’s not really a problem as Sonic has had many TV shows throughout the years. The problem is that not only are these not Sonic games but, even worse, they aren’t even good games either.

Let’s start with the Wii U version. Right off the bat it is clear that there is a much larger combat focus. There is a dedicated punch/kick button as well as a laser whip thing that can be used for various things. There are 2 player levels and 4 player levels and you can switch to the other character(s) at any time. They also have different abilities for combat/puzzles. The problem is that the controls are unfocused and the camera is actively trying not to look at you. I’m pretty lenient on cameras but this one is just awful. Beyond that though, it just wasn’t much fun.

The best part of the demo was a running section that felt a lot like some of the stages from before but the speed and level layout wereall over the place. Quite frankly, both games are just not good at all.

The 3DS version was better in the sense that the sidescrolling level I played was more traditional sonic fare. This version too had a running stage and it was actually pretty good. I’ll gladly take a whole game of those before anything else that was on display. Anyway, the side scrolling level was problematic because of the controls. You’re constantly jumping, dashing, laser whipping and changing to other characters that there was hardly any time to enjoy it. And when there was time, it wasn’t enjoyable.

There was also a race stage that was also pretty good and felt a lot more like Sonic should. I’m pretty sure I just said that the two side mission types are way better than the actual levels in the game.

Sega has missed the entirety of what Sonic was. If you’re a longtime fan, skip these. If you’re not, be glad you never had to see your favorite characters fall so low.

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