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SEGA News Bits: Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice First Impressions

It’s here, the brand new side-scrolling Sonic game! No, not Sonic Mania. It’s Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice for the Nintendo 3DS! In this SEGA News Bits, Barry shares with George, and our viewing audience, his thoughts on the game. Did SEGA and Sanzaru Games learn their lesson from Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal? In the comments below, let us know what you think of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice! Also, don’t hate Barry.

SEGA News Bits is a production of SEGAbits, covering all things SEGA and Sonic the Hedgehog. When we touch on Sonic stories, you’ll be seeing them here on Sonic Retro as well. If you enjoyed this episode of the SEGA News Bits, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and never miss an episode!

Game News

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice releases today in North America

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SEGA’s Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice releases today for the Nintendo 3DS in North America, and will release a few days from now on September 30th in Europe. The game is available both digitally on the Nintendo eShop and physically with a special Launch Edition for the Americas which includes a collector’s box and a DVD of select Sonic Boom TV show episodes featuring Metal Sonic and Shadow. While reviews have started to appear elsewhere on the web, expect a Sonic Retro review soon.

After the break, check out the full press release from SEGA!

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Game News

Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives 2 to Include 3D Sonic the Hedgehog (Updated)

Sega 3D Fukkoku Collection 2 cover art

Sega has so far released plenty of fine ports of their classic games for the Nintendo 3DS under the 3D Classics label, including a physical collection in Japan called the Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives. And now Famitsu has reported that Sega is going to release another one of those, this time featuring 3D Sonic the Hedgehog.

The cover, drawn once again by Pokémon artist Ken Sugimori, features some nice new art of classic Sonic running alongside a character from a game they clearly didn’t want to reveal yet. While we don’t know the full list of games for the collection yet, we do know that it’ll include:

Aside from that, we may know more about which other 3D Classics Sega is planning on putting out. GBAtemp user ninb found in the RAM of 3D Gunstar Heroes a list of unreleased Sega ports M2 may be working on, including a port of Sonic Spinball. And more importantly: Puyo Puyo Tsuu. You can see the full list of games here, though you should keep in mind that we don’t know for sure if these ports are actually going to be released.

Update (September 9th) – The latest issue of Famitsu revealed more info on the collection including the full cover art for the collection, and that 3D Power Drift and 3D Puyo Puyo Tsuu (yessss) will be included with the collection. The latter of which was found in the leaked list of games by the GBAtemp user. [Source – Nintendo Everything]

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Game News

Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Announced for Wii U and 3DS

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Surprise! SEGA is still making sequels to their best selling Sonic spin-off that likely nobody here cares about. Nintendo announced Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for Wii U and 3DS on Nintendo Direct earlier today. The gameplay footage showed two new sports: Rugby sevens and Golf. The former of which will be exclusive to the Wii U version, while the latter will only be on the 3DS version. Also it has Eggman going faster than Sonic by fabulously spinning around.

Various new playable characters can also spotted, including Rouge, Zazz, Jet the Hawk, Nabbit, Diddy Kong, and Birdo. And as usual with these Mario & Sonic games, we can probably at least expect some good remixes of music from both franchises.

But more importantly: Nintendo is making a new Chibi Robo game! And there’s gonna be a Chibi Robo amiibo! Chibi Robo!!!

Game News

NIS America Bringing Yuji Naka/Prope’s “Rodea the Sky Soldier” to the West


Before we get to the announcement here, let’s go over the history of this game’s development cause chances are you might want to know whatever happened to it: So four years ago, Yuji Naka and Prope revealed a game called Rodea the Sky Soldier for the Wii and 3DS. Since then, it’s undergone some pretty big changes as their collaborator, Kadokawa Games, seemingly took their sweet time publishing and advertising the game. While Yuji Naka said that the Wii version was finished, Kadokawa hadn’t given any updates on when it’d come out aside from them giving more information “in the near future” and the 3DS version supposedly still being worked on.

It wasn’t until late last year when the game was re-revealed that we’d actually get more information. It turned out that Kadokawa and Prope had pretty much been making an entirely new game for Wii U and 3DS, with them also releasing the original Wii game in a bundle with the Wii U version. As for the differences between the new and old versions: it seems like the original game is more arcadey and score-based, while the new game has a bigger focus on adventure and story. Both versions will be released in Japan on April 2nd.

So now that we know that the game is still being made and coming out soon in Japan, the question was if western countries would get the game as well. This is where NIS America steps in, as they announced today that they’ll be bringing the Wii U and 3DS versions of game to the US and Europe this fall. As for the original Wii game, there’s no confirmation yet but an NISA representative did tell Nintendo World Report that they do want to release it as a pack-in with the Wii U game like how it’s being sold in Japan. So, you know, hopefully that happens.

Game News

Sonic Boom Is The Worst Launching Sonic Game Yet

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If you frequent around the Sonic community a fair bit, you’ll know that the reception of Sonic’s latest foray into marketing gimmicks didn’t exactly take well with the fans (though the TV show is worth your time for some good mindless fun.) With the release of sales figures from SEGA, we can now see how this new splinter brand performed, and the news is quite dreadful with the games pulling in over a combined 490,000.

Yes, both Shattered Crystal and Rise of Lyric combined could barely claw their way to over a half-million units, making them some of the worst performing Sonic games, possibly of all time. A hard metric to gauge given strange releases on Game Gear, NeoGeo Pocket Color, and even taco-shaped mobile the N-Gage, but easily the worst in modern times.

Of course, the lukewarm-to-negative reception of the Wii U and 3DS variants, as well as (now-patched) goofy levels of glitches certainly didn’t help the matter, drawing Rise of Lyric frequent contention with Sonic 2006 for the worst in the series.

Worse still is the figure is in the nebulous realm of units actually sold to customers or the total combined units sitting out on store shelves or boxes in the back. So the 490,000 figure may very well be a “best case” scenario.

Previously, Sonic Lost World sold 718,000 units combined, as a marker of the series trend on the Wii U and 3DS and were lukewarmly received. Prior to Lost World, Sonic Colors performed better at over two million units sold, but with the caveat that the Wii and DS had monstrous consumer bases by 2010.

The current downtrend for Sonic and the continued diminishing returns in quality are signs that maybe it’s time SEGA seriously considers putting the Sonic brand on hiatus for a few years (see Capcom with Mega Man… hopefully) or completely overhaul the creative process at Sonic Team (read: fire some people, even the studio head.) But, with the likes of Sonic Runners already on the horizon, it looks like regardless of reception, SEGA will run Sonic full speed right off the edge and into one of the series’ infamous bottomless pits.

Source[Eurogamer]

Reviews

Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal – The Retro Review

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While the verdict on Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric is pretty clear at this point, not much attention has been given to its 3DS counterpart Shattered Crystal. Made by Sly Cooper developer Sanzaru Games, this title tries to add kinda-Metroid-like elements while having a hero switching mechanic similar to Sonic Heroes. Unlike the Wii U version, SEGA was confident enough to put up a demo of the game on the eShop before release. And while it wasn’t particularly impressive, the sample given was pretty decent. So the question is if the full game holds up.

So here’s the deal with this Sonic game: it’s not really much like a normal Sonic game. Rather than being about trying to take the fastest path to the finish, a lot of time is spent exploring the levels as you can collect a bunch of crystal fragments and blueprints in most of them. These also take a lot longer to finish than your usual Sonic stage, as they can easily take up to 15 minutes to complete if you’re looking around for collectables. You can also switch between four characters in these stages: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and newcomer Sticks, all of whom work very differently from past games. Continue Reading

Podcasts

SEGAbits interviews Mat Kraemer of Sanzaru Games, developer of Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal

This week on the Swingin’ Report Show podcast Barry and George are joined by Mat Kraemer, Lead Designer at Sanzaru Games, developer of Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for the Nintendo 3DS. Topics covered include the development process of the handheld title, how Sanzaru interacted with various teams including the TV show crew and the team at Big Red Button, what Sonic games Sanzaru looked to for inspiration, and Mat’s favorite classic SEGA games and consoles.

There has been a lot of talk about the Sonic Boom franchise this past week, so it was great to sit down with Mat to learn more about how the 3DS game came to be. Hey! Why are you still reading this when you should be listening?

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