Sonic the Hedgehog has a long history in gaming. The characters of this franchise are equally recognizable as Mario’s characters. When they first came out both Mario and Sonic games were considered fun classic 2D platformers. As technologies advanced they both created 3D games. Unlike Mario, Sonic’s transition to 3D platforming didn’t go so well. Some 3D Sonic games have game-breaking glitches and bugs, stories that are bizarre in a bad way (Looking at you Sonic ‘06), and broken speedy tracks that can cause motion sickness. While Sonic fans argue about which games are good, Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric is a true gem of a game universally hated by all players.
Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric (Wii U): ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
This game is a hot mess. It’s a buggy, unfinished beta test. I would never recommend this to anyone. Don’t waste your time or money.
Sonic Boom is the only Sonic game I have ever played. By the time finished that game I had a newfound hatred of Sonic. I never wanted to play another game with “Sonic” in the title. I still don’t want to play any Sonic games. To this day it is still the worst video game I ever played. It’s broken, the story is bland, the graphics have noticeable problems, and the characters are annoying.
Despite all this, Sonic Boom has a special place in my memory. Back in the fall of 2015, my boyfriend (now husband) and I had just started dating. Take a wild guess at the first co-op game we ever beat together? Correct, Sonic Boom! Yes, I married him anyway. He wanted to play this game to experience all the glitches, bugs, and brokenness of this game. Naturally Shaggy wanted someone else to experience all this with him. So he picked me. And you know what? It was a really fun time. While playing the game we talked about how bad it was, made fun of it, and actively tried to see how we could break the game. The game was so spectacularly bad that playing it with Shaggy was a unique experience that we both ended up enjoying. At the very least, it made for some weird and entertaining date nights.
You would like this game if
- You like playing bad games and watching bad movies to laugh at them.
- Are a big Sonic the Hedgehog fan who loves the characters so much they will overlook everything else.
It’s been so long since I’ve played Sonic Boom. The plot was bland and forgettable. Give me a few minutes to read an online summary to refresh my memory. Right now all I remember is fighting Dr. Eggman, Metal Sonic showing up multiple times, and some time travel stuff.
After reading the Wikipedia summary, it turns out I summed up the plot in one sentence. Yay? You would think I’d remember the giant snake called Lyric who is part of the game’s title. But no, it was that forgettable.
The game starts normally enough, Sonic and the gang are fighting against Dr. Eggman. Suddenly they come across a doorway with ancient carvings of what appears to be Sonic and Tails. They get ambushed by Metal Sonic and are forced to go through these doors. There they find a giant evil snake called Lyric who remembers Sonic beating him a thousand years ago. They escape and find out that this big snakey boi tried to build an army to take over the world. A rebel of Lyric’s so-called army helps Sonic and friends travel to the past to defeat Lyric. Thus closing the time loop. Then in the present day, Lyric joins forces with Eggman to defeat Sonic. Once they find out the good little critters attempt to stop these villains.
Sonic Boom had several different types of gameplay. It didn’t do anything well, but it did do a lot. Each of the four playable characters has different fight styles and tricks. Combat is so easy that it doesn’t matter which one you main. There are puzzle sections in the game with fixed camera angles. In these sections, you have to play as different characters and go through their sections. Each section requires unique character skills to progress forward. There are open-world exploration sections. You wander around trying to find things in an empty, buggy overworld. Whenever enemies show up you punch them with whatever character’s gimmick you feel like using. Then there are the running sections that Sonic games are famous for. These Hotwheel tracks on cocaine are filled with obstacles and enemies to destroy or avoid. It’s during sections like this where “Gotta go fast” is taken to the extreme.
- Playing the game.
- Motion sickness. I’m not even joking. There were a few sections of fast-moving chase scenes along tracks that were so jarring they caused motion sickness. Not just for me either. Shaggy experienced it too.
- “BoUNce PaD!!” every single time you used a bounce pad. Never have I wanted to murder talking animals more than while playing Sonic Boom.
- I’m not sure how a story about time traveling to defeat a humungous megalomaniacal snake and his army could be boring. Somehow Sonic Boom made that happen.
- The world around Sonic is pretty much empty of life except for the characters that show up in cutscenes. It’s rather eerie. Did they all die? Are they the only ones to ever exist in the first place?
- I broke a cutscene! I was playing Knuckles and somehow I ended up significantly farther ahead than my husband (I forget who he was playing as) on one of the speedy tracks. I got to the end, triggered the cutscene, and Knuckles was the only one of the four main characters standing there! The rest of them were invisible somehow. Because despite not being able to see them, they still said their lines! We laughed so hard at that. It was so funny! Most memorable part of the game.
- Mocking the game while we were playing it.
- Breaking the game. Both accidentally and on purpose.
- Telling gamer friends this was the first game we beat together. Their reactions are hilarious every single time.
*Image belongs to Sega, screenshot from Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric game.