As the gaming industry evolves, the next step for beloved franchises appears to be a jump from game to television and film. Companies like Ubisoft are prepping to release an Assassin’s Creed motion picture, while Microsoft is hard at work on getting a Spielberg-produced Halo series onto the television screens of the masses. There’s no denying that the trend of making a cross-media jump for video game series is quickly becoming a trend, and now Sonic the Hedgehog will be making the same move.
Sega recently announced that Sonic Boom, a brand new animated television series, will be hitting North American shores in the near future. There will be 52 episodes created for the new series, lasting a total of 11 minutes each, that will begin airing on Cartoon Network at some point later this year. While Sonic television shows aren’t an uncommon sight, what’s most notable about this new series is the severe change in character design that’s being implemented.
Sonic, Tails, and Amy have all been revamped to appeal to Western audiences, with the most notable changes being applied to Knuckles. The once scrawny echidna has now been given a much larger frame to better represent the strength he utilizes in the actual games — plus he no longer has a neck for some reason. These revamps will come across as appalling to some long-time followers of Sonic the Hedgehog, but Sega has assured consumers that these changes have been made in a completely different universe and will not affect the core Sonic franchise.
Tying in with the new television announcement came word that a Sonic Boom video game will also be released exclusively on the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS. The new title acts as a prequel to the events in the animated show, setting up the entire Sonic Boom franchise extension in the process. Based on the reveal trailer, the game appears to be very different from past installments in the series, but it should be in safe hands with Big Red Button Entertainment — which is home to a handful of former Naughty Dog devs.
Furthermore, Sega confirmed to the press that the game is built utilizing CryEngine 3, which may be surprising considering how powerful the engine actually is. Better yet, Sonic Boom features four-player local co-op on Wii U, which means that gamers can invite friends over and play through the title with up to three buddies — although there is no online multiplayer. Each character, similarly to Super Mario 3D World, also has unique traits and abilities that differentiate them from the rest of the cast. Sonic is the fastest, Amy is agile, Knuckles is strong, and Tails utilizes gadgets. Anyone tearing through the game solo however, has the option of switching between characters on the fly.
A 3DS version of Sonic Boom will also be released later this year, but the only detail Sega released about the portable version is that it’s being handled by the team at Sanzaru. Past accolades for the developer include the PS3 games Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time and The Sly Collection, so they should be able to provide fans with a decent product.
These games will officially wrap up the Sonic exclusivity deal between Nintendo and Sega, as the blue blur has already starred in Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Sonic: Lost World, and is now set to return in Sonic Boom. That said, there’s still a lot more that’s unknown about the final stage of that deal, and fans the world over are sure to be chomping at the bit to see if the Westernized hedgehog stacks up to, or even surpasses, the original.
What do you think about the redesigned Sonic and friends? Does Sonic Boom the television show or game look more intriguing, Ranters?
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