Sonic games tend to appeal to people in different ways. There're the good games like the Genesis lineups, that helped lay the foundation of the series, there're the Sonic Adventure games, the Sonic Advance, Sonic Rush games, Sonic Heroes and Sonic Unleashed that help to expand the Sonic universe with insuring lore, there're the questionable games like, well the rest, that only appeal to specific people, yet are still enjoyable in certain ways. It doesn't matter how good or bad a Sonic game is, just so long as it has some appeal to it, otherwise, you'd be stuck with a game like Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.
Now I know what you're thinking, there's a time and a place for a Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric review. Yeah, and that time is while Sonic Boom is still a thing. To correlate with the news that Boom might last throughout the 2016s, I might as well take the time to redo one of my old reviews. But first, a little backstory.
Sonic Boom originally served as an off-cannon spin-off to the Sonic series. As part of the deal, Boom received its own show and two games to boot. Needless to say, practically every Sonic fan praised the shit out of this spinoff. However, skip a few months to the release of Boom, it pretty much spelled the end for Sonic.
Rise of Lyric was developed by Big Red Button Entertainment, an independent company managed by former Naughty Dog employees Bob Rafei and Jeff Lander. To put this into a more grim perspective, this was the only game BRB has ever worked on. I'm not kidding, and considering how the people behind the company has had experience with better developers, that just sad. The game utilized the Cry Engine 3, an engine that only works properly on more sophisticated game platforms (not low powered platforms like the Wii U).
Upon release, the game was met with overwhelmingly negative reviews, and combined with its 3DS counterpart, sold poorly, making this game, not only the lowest scoring Sonic game, but the lowest selling one too. Oddly enough, it got lower scores than Sonic 06, and it sold worse than even a bulk of the spin-off titles. Let that sink in.
The worst part about all this is that there're people who still try to defend this piece of shit, as well as Boom as a whole. Sonic Boom has bred the next generation of Sonicfags people. With that said, let's begin.
For some reason, the game starts off with Sonic getting blasted by enemy fire before his friends, and getting crushed by rubble. I'd say its the perfect representation for how SEGA feels about Sonic these days. In all seriousness, why start off with this? It's rather pointless and it pretty much spoils the story (to a degree). We cut to an adobe after effects time card, and we're then treated to a massive decrease in quality, as Sonic and co. chase after Eggman. This is especially irritating, and here's why.
The game passes itself off as a prequel to the Boom series, a retelling of Sonic lore if you will. How did Sonic and co. know each other? Why are they chasing Eggman? Where are they? Why should I give a damn? It all boils down to shitty writing. Something that has been apparent since 2010. Hey, you know how in every Sonic game, there's a great soundtrack to listen to? Even in 06? Here? They just use a generic orchestral theme. Believe me, when you fuck up something that even another catastrophe got right, you know you've fucked up hard. The chase continues on, as we're ambushed by Knuckles' now warped personality. shitty puns, and then we get a Metal Sonic cameo. I'd be more appreciative of this, had he not shown up only for fan service.
On to the voice acting, it's all the main voice actors from Colors onwards. Sonic's voice has slowly developed into that of an elderly Scott Menville, Amy sounds more bored, Knuckles is more or less the same as before, and, oddly enough, Tails' voice, Kate Higgins, doesn't appear for this game (I guess even she didn't want to take the piss), and instead, Tails is voiced by Charmy's actress, Colleen O' Shaugnessey. They're not terrible, but the San Diego and 4kids casts are still easier on the ears.
We're then treated to one of the major flaws in this game, the speed sections. While speed sections are always fun, they're brought down by the choppy framerate. This woudn't be a big deal, had it not been for the fact that the framerate can cause you to crash into obstacles, due to them appearing too late.
The chase continues until Sonic and Tails are lured into a pit, containing ancient robots Eggman dug up. We then receive the second fatal flaw in the game. The combat. The combat narrows down to endless button mashing, and it remains the same, all the fucking time. After defeating the robots, Sonic and Tails go exploring. I'd like to bring up how poor the environments look. They look bland and rather uninteresting. You know how in games like Sonic Adventure and Sonic Unleashed, you have this wide open and interesting towns to explore, let's get rid of that and make you beg for those Mario like map screens in Colors.
After some boring exploring, Sonic and Tails rejoin Knuckles and Amy, and another combat mission occurs. After that button-mash-fest, the four attempt to escape and they come across an ancient temple, where they see depictions of Sonic and Tails. Probably meant to represent better times. In spite of Amy warning him not to, Sonic opens the door and the four enter, just before Metal could get in. Here, we're treated to a kinda interesting moment with Metal, and him wanting to be the one true Sonic.
But enough of that, we have more worthless exploration to do, but before that, we need to get more of Knuckles' degraded personality. One thing you'll immediately realize about this game is that the characters are almost always talking, spewing out cheesy one liners and stating the most blatantly obvious factors no matter what.
The game from here is somewhat of a tutorial for the characters, as they try to find a way back out. Following that, Sonic and co. discover that they've accidentally released the title villain of this game, Lyric, who's about as threatening as The Deadly Six. He ties up the four and he escapes, planning to kill all life and replace it with machines. Hey, this reminds me of that one guy who wants to roboticize every living creature and kill all forms of nature.
The four manage to escape, and they make electric whips- oh I'm sorry, "enerbeams" out of the beams that trapped them. They exit the tomb and they travel to the excavation site where they meet their friend (at least according to this game, it's so well explained that I wouldn't be surprised if they just decided to have everyone live in pineapples under the sea). They meet Cliff and they tell him what happened. He tells the four that they need to gather five crystals in order to to take down Lyric once and for all.
Now we're introduced to another gameplay mechanic. Along with venturing to specific areas, you also get the option to help out the locals, which won't do much, aside from helping you upgrade your weapons, which is kinda needless, since you could still defeat enemies with no issue. They're first tasked with helping a group of trapped miners, which only serves as another tutorial. they are then sent to a chamber where they find the first crystal.
They soon head off to Bygone Island, where the same old song and dance occurs, with different missions each time. It's so similar, I'll just be focusing on one particular mission between Sonic and Amy, which has the luxury of horning in an unnecessary piece of Sonamy fan service.
After more of the same old same old, the four continue their search, and Sonic and Tails get separated from the others. They soon come across an ancient robot named M.A.I.A., who tells them of Lyric and how they could stop them. She then proceeds to send them back in time, (because it worked SO well eight years ago), but we have more fan service. Shadow makes an appearance and he attempts to defeat Sonic.
Ok, first off, why is Shadow suddenly the bad guy? The disfavor between the two has slowly died down over the years, so why change it now? Second, Kirk Thornton has yet to improve his performance as Shadow. Through more bland combat, puns and stating the obvious, they knock Shadow into an alternate portal, and our two heroes continue on to the past.
More bad gameplay later, they find Lyric and trap him, which would intimately prove to be bogus later on. The two return to the present, and Knuckles and Amy find them as well. Skipping more of the useless exploration, they reach a destroyed village and continue on their merry way. One thing I need to bring up is that throughout the game, it's shown that Sonic has more of a loner dialect, which is why he still hangs around his friends and often relies on their assistance, hello!? But enough of that. The two are then faced by Metal Sonic in an even more boring boss battle. They ultimately succeed and claim another crystal.
I know I keep skipping around in this game, but most of what happens in it is more or less the same as earlier events in the game. After a boss battle with Eggman, the two eventually make it to the Sky Citadel, where they face Lyric. He captures Sonic and forces his friends to hand over the crystals, which they do, but then we're treated to a replay of the very first scene, and of course Sonic survives, thus showing how pointless this scene is.
When 06 did a similar thing, at least Sonic was actually dead, and it provided some emotional weight for the rest of his friends. to put it simply, even if it sucked, it still worked a hell of a lot better than the scene here.
They escape the crumbling citadel and they go to Lyric's lair where they do battle. The two succeed, we're treated to one more Shadow cameo, everyone returns home and we're given a highly lackluster ending.
*Sigh.... do you understand why this is the worst Sonic game of all time? The plot is poorly written and lacks logic, the graphics are horrendous, even by Wii U standards, the music is forgettable (and considering that Sonic is a series that always gears out great soundtracks no matter what, it's all the more insulting), the dialogue is painful to listen to and the gameplay is completely bland and rather schizophrenic. Oh, and like 06, there're plenty of glitches, such as the standard falling through the floor glitch and the more famous Knuckles jump glitch that allows you to skip through portions of the game, which is beneficial, since a bulk of the game is completely worthless.
The fact that many Sonic fans continue to defend this terrible game further makes me weep for the condition of a series I once kinda tolerated, and further confirms my fears over what the series has been reduced to since 2010, a shitty campfest that only idiots and Sonicfags could enjoy. Adding to the horror, Sonic Boom has been confirmed to continue airing, the sequel to Sonic Dash was made only to further promote Boom and another Sonic Boom game is coming out this fall, and this one has Ken Pontac and Warren Graff on the writing team. Great, now we have a bland platformer with writing on par with a Five Nights at Freddy's fan fiction.
It's made worse by the fact that SEGA not only uses Sonic Boom images on their social network accounts, but they're not even interacting with their fans to get their feedback, and are instead shelling out memes, further representing how much SEGA cares about their fans these days, and worse yet, SEGA implies that Boom will still play a key part in the Sonic franchise.
Oh, and to anyone who questions whether or not I'll review Shattered Crystal, I probably won't. There isn't much material for me to work with, and it might apply to the latest Boom game.
Overall, if you want a Sonic game that doesn't pander to the idiots who give fuck all about meaningful content, stick with the Sonic games from Sonic 1 to Unleashed, or just play Freedom Planet, or both.
I'm REM, and until we meet again, good day.