Just because you see the name Sonic in the title, please don’t think (like I did) that this is going to be like the Sonic games you’ve played previously. Within the first few minutes of the game’s opening I thought I was in for the usual high-speed dash through levels collecting rings and defeating Dr. Eggman. Unfortunately, the gameplay changed when I reached the end of the stage and I found myself bashing robots, whilst I plodding through a jungle at a canter. My experience further changed moments later when I got to trial the first 2D platform level.
As I said in the previous review for Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, both these video games very much feel like licensed products for the T.V. show, which is due for release on Cartoon Network UK in late 2015. The style of play doesn’t pay homeage to Sonic from his heyday, it’s very much like Ratchet & Clank, which is easily explained by the fact that the developers did work on that series many years ago.
So what’s ‘Rise of Lyric’ all about? Well the game serves as a prequel for the T.V. show and the 3DS title, ‘Shattered Crystal’. Whilst being chased by robots, Sonic and friends discover a secret tomb and accidentally awaken the evil villain, Lyric. A sort of cyborg lizard. Players then need to stop Lyric from executing his evil plan using the ‘Chaos Crystals’ by entering the different worlds and getting to each crystal before Lyric can.
The game features a central hub, which you can walk around and interact with a handful of other characters. You can play as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy, and you can freeWhen playing one of the four main levels you will find that it contains the same three gameplay styles. You have a speed/dash level, an adventure level and a boss fight. In the adventure levels each of the four selectable characters has their own unique ability, which helps them take different routes and collect those hard to reach collectibles. Sonic can cross large gaps using ‘Homing Attack’, Tails can fly, Knuckles can smash objects and Amy can use her special ‘triple jump’ move to reach high platforms.
When playing through the game the characters can offer hints and tips through conversations between the characters. This is very helpful for young gamers who may forget their objective, however, it became extremely annoying for me very quickly. Also, collecting rings, which use to mean something in Sonic games (it counted towards your score when completing a stage) now represents your health and is capped at 100 rings. So you can reach the magic 100 in a few minutes and then forget about the rest?
Rise of Lyric can simply be described as a slow version of Sonic, where you can also play as his friends. It’s not something that will appeal to old school Sonic fans like me, but should be a real treat for those kids who become ‘die-hard’ fans of the Sonic Boom T.V. show. Whilst it is a game that has some fun moments, your young gamers could have loads more fun playing other games on their Wii U, such as Super Mario 3D World.
Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric is available from most online retailers. The game is PEGI rated 7 with a RRP of £32.99. You can also download the game from the Nintendo eShop for £39.99.