The latest iteration of Sonic, Sonic Boom, has made some big waves in the television and gaming world over the past few years. As a part of the Sega/Atlus booth at this year’s E3, the blue blur and friends were featured in an upcoming 3DS game called Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice. The game had a playable demo, featuring several stages and one major boss fight. Fans of classic 2D Sonic gameplay will feel right at home with this new title, which takes typical Sonic conventions and throws a few new elements into the mix.
The game is being developed by the same studio as Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, and features the Sonic Boom incarnation of the Sonic characters in a new conflict. After discovering an element known as Ragnium, Doctor Eggman begins to harness its power by creating powerful robots that can damage the environment. Meanwhile, D-Fekt, a rejected robot Eggman created to search for Ragnium, starts using his magnetic powers to try to become more powerful. Sonic and the rest of the cast must stop Eggman and D-Fekt at all costs, to restore balance to the environment.
As its name implies, the game revolves around the elements of fire and ice. Each playable character in Sonic’s crew can switch between each element at any point in the level. By equipping these elements, the player can overcome various environmental obstacles. For example, there are long patches of water that can be frozen in place for Sonic to run along. Ice barriers can be melted by equipping fire, allowing the player to pass through. Each character also has a unique ability that allows them to traverse special obstacles. Sonic has a midair dash, Tails can fly, Knuckles can dig, and Amy can use her hammer. These abilities give the player more options for both platforming and attacking enemies.
Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice is a traditional Sonic-esque platformer with a focus on speed. The top speed of characters felt just right on the 3DS screen. Players can keep their speed topped out by quickly switching between elements when they need to. Sonic also has a grappling hook that he uses to swing over obstacles. The primary environment featured in the demo was a snow-filled winter forest. The developers stated that the player will experience different climates as the game progresses. Expect worlds to become more difficult as you progress through the game. There are some stretches of levels that require the player to swap back and forth between the two elements very quickly to survive.
The demo also included a major boss battle, which was frantic and well designed. D-Fekt gets into a large, towering robot that spans both of the 3DS’s screens. Most boss fights in Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice will feature a team of two playable characters that switch out to damage the boss in different ways. In this boss battle, Sonic and Amy were the two heroes fighting the giant robot. Sonic had to use a homing attack on one of the robot’s giant arms. The attack causes the arm to detach from the robot and sink into the ground. Amy tags in and then uses her Piko Piko Hammer to pound the ground, causing the arm to raise up and become a platform that Sonic can then scale with help from the elements to deliver a homing attack onto D-Fekt.
The game will also feature various special stages, bonus minigames, challenge rooms, and local two-player modes. Players can expect plenty of replayability, as stages will be surrounded with obstacles that only specific characters can bypass. Players will need to progress through the game to unlock the full roster of characters, and then return to early levels to find any possible secrets they missed. The developers confirmed special concept art will be available to unlock in the game, as well.
Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice will be released Sept. 27, 2016 for Nintendo 3DS.