Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (Wii U)

SONICWIIU_BOXOne day, Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends were being chased by the villainous Dr. Eggman and Metal Sonic.  To escape, they hid in some ancient ruins, and unwittingly freed an evil cybernetic snake named Lyric from his 1,000 year slumber.  Now Sonic, Tails, Amy, and Knuckles must work together to stop Lyric from taking over the world!  Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric is based on the new computer animated Sonic cartoon airing on Cartoon Network.

Let’s get this out of the way right now.  If you’re expecting a typical Sonic game full of speedy action, you’ll be very disappointed.  Since this is based on a cartoon show, the game has more adventure elements and teamwork-based puzzles.  In a way, it’s kind of a cross between a Sonic game and the original Jak and Daxter.  And since you really don’t see too many colorful 3-D platform adventures anymore, it was kind of a welcome change for me.  But then, I’m not the biggest Sonic fan out there.

During most of the game, you can choose between the four characters to play as on the fly.  Sonic can spin dash into enemies.  Tails can glide and use long ranged bombs and mini-robots to attack.  Amy smacks around baddies with her hammer and can triple jump and balance on special pink bars.  And Knuckles can climb certain walls and burrow underground.  You’ll need to use each character’s abilities to find all the secrets.   Everyone can use an ‘enerbeam’ that fires out electricity like a cord, and it can be used to grab and throw enemies, swing on certain objects, and slide down rails like a zip line.

As you explore the land, you’ll find all sorts of things to collect.  Rings help keep you alive.  As you take damage, you’ll lose a few.  Lose them all and you’ll fall over, but most of the time I restarted exactly where I left off.  But you’ll still want to collect as many as you can.  Scrap parts can be used to buy upgrades and goodies, as well as help build up the villages and camps in the levels, which usually lead toward more secret items to find.  Your main goal is to find all eight crystals.  These help you unlock new parts of the world map and other levels.  You can even find sidequests that you can complete to earn you special glyphs that you can equip to give you a boost.  If you have the 3DS Sonic Boom game, you can connect it to the Wii U version to unlock even more upgrades.

The game is mostly a 3-D exploration adventure, but there are some 2-D sections, too.  Every so often there will even be 3-D speed sections like other Sonic titles, but these parts aren’t near as good.  Two people can play at the same time in co-op mode, with one person using the Wii U gamepad screen to view their character.  Unfortunately, this isn’t as fun as it sounds because if you wander too far off from your teammate, you’ll warp back to them and it can be very jarring.  It’s actually way easier to just play the game in single player.  There are also some four player mini-game challenges, and you can unlock and view concept art and other goodies, too.

The game isn’t without its problems, though, and some are pretty glaring.  The framerate can get very choppy, which is inexcusable in this day and age.  Like most 3-D adventures, there are some problematic camera angles as well.  Goals and objectives aren’t always clear, and it can be a pain to backtrack if you want to get all the secrets.  I’ve heard the game is glitchy, too, but I didn’t see any game-breaking bugs myself yet.  And again, die-hard classic Sonic fans may not like the drastic gameplay changes.  But if you can look past all this, the game itself really isn’t THAT bad.  It’s not great, but it is nice to see another colorful 3-D platform adventure like back in the N64, PS2, and GameCube days.  If you enjoyed those types of games, Sonic Boom may be worth a try.  The 3DS Sonic Boom game is a totally different kind of game, so stay tuned next time for my review of that, too!


Kid Factor:

Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Cartoon Violence.  While you do attack enemies, they’re pretty much all robots.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the menus, but most of it has spoken voice.  Younger players might get frustrated with some of the tougher areas and unclear goals and may need a little help.  Kids love Sonic, and even though this game has problems, I think kids would enjoy this game anyway.  Kids usually don’t worry about things in games like choppy framerates and cheesy dialogue; they just play what they like.  In that way, I think kids are better gamers than adults sometimes.  So if your kids love anything Sonic, they may enjoy this game, too.

One Response to “Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (Wii U)”

  1. Aside from those framerate issues you mentioned, this doesn’t sound like that bad of a game. I’d probably give it a shot if the price was right.

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