Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric Review

Mark Nintendo, Reviews Leave a Comment

sonic boom rise of lyric coverAs a gamer of a certain age the early nineties were a golden era. Legendary characters born, classic titles released, and more pertinently less buttons to press!

Mario was king but there were plenty of others vying for his crown; and none more so than Sonic.

Fast forward twenty years and time has been far kinder on some than others.

Mario has grown old gracefully. He’s improved with age and remains as relevant today as he ever was.

Poor Sonic however has stumbled from one mid-life crisis to another, visited one too many cosmetic surgeons, and in his latest adventure, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, decided the way to stay down with the kids is to don a pair of snazzy trainers and a snood? Think Paul McCartney in suit and Converse.

The plot, for what it’s worth, revolves around a snake-like creature called Lyric who wants to destroy the world with chaos crystals. To stop this from happening Sonic and his friends must put aside their differences and find the crystals first. I think.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t aware they’d fallen out, but if it was over the direction the franchise was taking I’m wholly behind whoever thought this way was the wrong way.

Remember the speedy platform style that made Sonic feel so fresh and exciting in his earlier adventures? Well keep hold of those memories because the main gameplay here is about exploring, solving puzzles and fighting bosses.

That’s not to say there aren’t still elements of the fast style for which Sonic became synonymous, there are, they’re just so badly executed you can’t help feeling they were a contractual obligation the developers fought long and hard to have annulled right up until deadline day.

And this epitomises everything that’s wrong with the game, because it all feels rushed. From the graphics and level design to the boss fights and puzzles.

The overall feel is one of monotony. Like they’ve created a level and then cut-and-pasted it again, and again, and again, and again …

Each character has their own ability but the level screams out who to use where. And then, just in case you miss the obvious, the characters can’t wait to spell it out in often cringe-worthy sound bites.

The whole script reminds me of when I try and talk to my nephews about dubstep or Snapchat. Like it’s been written by a middle-aged executive who thinks he knows what the kids find cool, the proverbial drunken dad dancing at a wedding.

The cut scenes stutter onto the screen when you least expect them, the camera angles often defy logic, and to say the framerate drops are irritating is being kind.

To be fair to the developers they have got the soundtrack right and I believe some of the later levels do get a little better, but if you manage to play the game long enough to reach them I can only doth my cap.

I appreciate the game is probably aimed at a younger audience than previous games, but even Sonny and Luca found it repetitive and boring.

The frustrating thing is I really wanted to like this game. So much so that I played it with very low expectations, and yet still it managed to disappoint.

I hate to say it but it may be time to put the hedgehog out of its misery. If not, then at least let it hibernate long enough for the next developers to have a clear idea where the franchise is going, and then give them lots more time to get it right.

Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric – £44.99. Wii U, Sega.

{I was sent this game for the purposes of reviewing. All words and opinions are my own}

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