This is probably the only good design they have… and it’s a completely new character, of course.

Bout time E3 got here.

Siliconera (and every other gaming site) asks very dumb questions to the team who’s heads are clearly up their own asses. Pay close attention to everything said. The idiocy will be very clear.

What was the biggest takeaway you got from fans after Sonic Boom was announced?

Bob Rafei, CEO of Big Red Button: That’s easy. What a strong fanbase and a vocal fanbase this franchise has.

The most important feedback was from Sega and Sonic Team. This is something they are exploring in terms of a different approach for Sonic. That was the most important guidance to us.

In terms of your first question, having that strong reaction to me validates we were on the right track. The majority of it was strong and positive so we know we are hitting the right chord. Also from my personal perspective is if we didn’t foster such a strong reaction we wouldn’t be giving Sega their run for their money by having us really explore a different approach with the franchise. We ultimately believe we are on the right track and we are happy and comfortable with the direction that Sonic Boom is going in.

In the word’s of evil Clank: What a load of bulls

Where this positive reception came from, I’ll never know. Considering people are on a “shaky optimism” phase in which they want to make believe the character designs don’t even matter and lie to themselves about the “importance of gameplay”. What he’s really done was make Sonic fans uncomfortable with the changes. So far, the only people who are pleased with it are the dregs of Stadium. And I’ll be damned if they represent me.

Secondly, if feedback from Sonic Team was important, why didn’t Rafei take into account that even THEY were uncomfortable with the designs? And giving them a run for their money means you’ve “defeated Sega” somehow. Perhaps manipulating them to accept shitty character designs for the sake of selling toys is what he’s referring to?

And if that is the case, then Amma help us.

Lastly, Rafei’s claims of being happy with the product is just that. His ego. Everyone always believes they are on the right track with their decisions (especially the creative types). That means jack shit in the long run.

What part of Sonic Boom surprised Sonic Team the most when you showed it to them?

I would say combat. That was a bit of a head scratcher for Sonic Team, but the more they saw what we were doing the more they helped us hone it. We knew it had to have speed elements because it is a Sonic game. That sense of exploration is going back to a Sonic Adventure feel.

[Feedback from Sonic Team] was really in terms of balancing and tuning. Part of the mission mandate at Big Red Button was to expand on Sonic. I would say that is something we brought to the table and Sega really digested and agreed it was a good approach.

I’d have to be really confused. Didn’t they make the fucking Werehog back in 08? By the looks of Boom, it seems to be “Sonic Unleashed done right”. You have the speed sections, then you have the slog fest of combat and “EXPLORATION” which will no doubt be centered on fetch quests and puzzles. It wasn’t Sonic Adventure then, it won’t be now.

Besides that, all people liked about the adventure games were the speed stages and story (AND CHAO!). No one liked the parts where they had to WORK. The working portions are considered the Adventure game’s biggest vice, so bringing those elements back and refining them for w/e reason serves no fucking purpose.

Again, think about why Colors had (short lived) positive reception for the first 2 months. They took what people liked… and improved upon it. just because people want more Adventure games doesn’t mean they want the bullshit that came with them. If they do, then Amma help us.

Sonic is an interesting series since there are kids that grew up with 2D Sonic and there are kids that grew up with and prefer 3D Sonic. And now, there are going to be kids that will grow up with Sonic Boom. There are three different kinds of games with one starring character. When you look at your style in Sonic Boom what are the tenets of this kind of Sonic game?

Siliconera’s question seems loaded. We’ve heard a million times that Boom is not a reboot, yet there’s all these friggin implications of the exact opposite. Rafei not bothering to correct the interviewer on the matter is telling. Or perhaps BRB is so cocksure of themselves that Sonic Boom is “the shit” that it might as well be a reboot.

Primarily, it is a character action exploration. It’s an epic adventure story. It’s all about exploration. We introduced combat in a way that is kind of new to the franchise so it was very important that we do that right because it is such a different approach. And certainly speed is part of the equation. The speed component for us is tapping into joyous movement, the sense of rollercoaster and exhilaration of movement.

I dare not use the G-word, but this fool is pushin it with this joyous movement nonsense. What, did he look at Sonic Generations and see the “trick sections” as Joyous or something?

Combat emphasis is NOTHING new to the series. We’ve had 2 fighting games for pete’s sake. And then Sonic Heroes, which is really the precursor to bad Sonic combat anyway. And again, werehog. The only difference is that both players have to “work together” to take down one or 2 enemies, but the basic ideas are the same from Heroes.

In terms of the main project pillar, it was cooperative play. We wanted to have an experience where friends and family sit down on a couch and are able to play the game together. That kind of relationship people will bring to it, we wanted to have the characters display that in their banter. Personality was another big important part of it, in terms of how the characters emote and how it reflects into the mechanics as well.

…..Dat’s ga-… oh, had to stop myself there.

I don’t really care about character banter as Sonic games have had this for years. I can’t help but feel it will be just as soulless and unfunny, but it’s definitely not new territory.

What puzzles me is his desire to reflect “family and friend time” in character banter. Maybe this is where people who can’t get enough of their own shit smell start saying illogical things, but isn’t the relationship that people “bring to a game”… supposed to be special to themselves and not be co-opted by video game characters?

Eh, it was fine in A4O, but mostly because it was funny. I don’t think that same kind of comedy will be present in Boom.

For example, Sonic is all about speed. His navigation and combat are centered around fast rapid movements. Knuckles is a big bruiser, he’s a power character. Tails is the inventor on the team and Amy has agility. She has a triple jump. Knuckles has burrow and wall climbing. Tails has a buddy bot, which he can release onto enemies or unlock gates for him. That kind of characteristic that comes out in their persona also come out in how they speak to each other in the story. These guys known each other for a long time that means we can have some fun since they don’t always agree with each other.

Translation: No one but Amy has gotten any real improvements. Infact, we’ll just make Tails a friggin bore.

How much you wanna bet Tails will be for “expert players” because he has to use ranged attacks and status attacks to do more than tickle his enemies? My word, I’ve bitched more about Tails than I have with Knuckles!

Is it hard to do joyous movement in 3D space compared to the 2D Sonic games where Sonic had one less plane to worry about?

Oh lawd, I don’t even know what Joyous Movement is, and they’re going on about it like it’s been in the series since the “good ol’ days.” As far as I can guess. Joyous Movement would be like dancing.

…….Wait. Sonic has breakdance moves… and Amy is “graceful” like a Ballerina… and the main villain is called “Lyric”. Is the theme of this game some sort of musical? Synergy and all?

I think Sonic Boom has found a good formula for that. We tried to make a subtle variation by having lane changing and the obstacle course. There are a lot of different paths too. Classic Sonic has the main path and for the more skilled players you can access the higher levels. That is also something we wanted to tap into as well.

What the hell? Finding a different route didn’t take “skill”. It took curiosity and a little bit of velocity. Skill to find a different path is in bullshit like Sonic Unleashed where you had these “one in a lifetime” jumps and/or sections where you had to quickly access before you passed the one only device that would propel you into those areas. For shit like Sonic 2? You take shit slow and find other ways around. No more skill than merely diverting away from the original course.

Has this guy ever played a Sonic game before Adventure!?

In terms of navigating in 3D space, yeah it is more difficult because spatially you have to understand what is happening. That’s the challenge of any driving game has or flying game has. That is something we were also very aware of when we developing the course in Sonic Boom.

How did you solve the problem?

It’s the progression of challenge and that’s through introduction and mastery of a mechanic.

Iz diz fool srs?

Iz dis fool srs?

If lane changing is anything like we saw in the video where Sonic and friends are merely “sidestepping” to avoid obstacles, there isn’t much of an issue. I don’t see how “lane changing” could be done otherwise, unless they have some psychotic new mechanic that takes advantage of the crap pad.

Sonic is known for having an attitude and in the old cartoons he made a lot of one liner wisecracks. When you were writing the story, what are some of the jokes and catchphrases he has in Sonic Boom?

…..That might be a stupid question. 😛

There are so many. We wanted to find a balance between making the character appealing and not being so repetitive by saying the same one liners.

Oh, so they hate PontaGraf’s writing too?

What we love about his personality is we wanted to build on his attitude of rushing into action sometimes without thinking about it. Tails, a lot of times, is telling him, “We got to check this out” or the other team members will say, “I don’t know if we need to go there.” That’s the fun aspect of having Sonic rush into action and then have to backtrack to see if he got into trouble or not. That plays a big part in the story which will we reveal more at E3.

I’ll ignore the bad syntax in the first portion, but why would we want more of Lost Mind’s crappy narrative? Honestly…

What about Amy? It seems like she’s changed the most.

We wanted to have a strong, able-bodied female character. We didn’t want her to be fawning after Sonic. The goal was to have her be appealing on her own. She is very agile, she is very acrobatic, and very graceful. She’s the only character, from a pure mechanics perspective, that has a triple jump. There are some places that only she can get to.

TOO LATE! Amy has had loads of screen time devoted to not fawning over Sonic. While not recently considering the pandering to retards for “SAWNIC ONLY”, but if Adventure 1+2, Heroes, Battle, Zero Gravity and the like, she actually shows a girl with a back bone. And she STILL sucks!

I like how they assume we’ll up and like the character because she’s not fawning over Sonic. That wasn’t her problem. She was a generally irritating character, very pushy, and seems to solve all of her problems through aggression. You know, the thing people accused KNUCKLES of freely even though it’s a light threat. Not to mention she acts like a complete valley girl half the time.

Amy isn’t unappealing because she wanted Sonic to get in her skirt, she’s just a complete bitch. Think Misty as a Fairy Pokemon with a hammer. On second thought, don’t. People actually LIKE Misty for no other reason than the episode where she dressed up like a mermaid.

And wow! A triple jump! Certainly it will propel to me to places that Tails couldn’t traverse! >_>

And Knuckles?

He’s the most fun character to write for because he’s a little slow on the uptake. A lot of times, the things he is saying tend to be funny because he is trying to process what is happening. He’s our go to guy for the punch line and I think the show does that as well.

Yep! He’s more retarded in this series folks. “We can’t have this filthy ni- have any redeeming qualities beyond physique and comedy relief!”

In collaboration with the TV writers, we wanted to have a consistent approach with their personalities and the show really plays up on that.

It’s supposed to. It’s a fucking prequel after all. We live in an age where characters don’t arbitrarily change their persona’s between films without character development. Wouldn’t want to have any fuck ups like you did with Jak.

How does Eggman fit into this since Sonic Boom has a new main villain?

We wanted him to pass down the torch in terms of introducing a new villain. That’s a very fun dynamic that was very cool to create, these two guys have an uneasy partnership and we’ll be talking about that more at E3.

It’s not at all fun. If you’re not gonna have Robotnik as the main villain, don’t lump him into the games out of obligation. Since all you’re going to do is turn him into a clown, it would be more of a disservice. Hell, we had a robot pirate in Rush Adventure, I don’t recall buttnik being a relevant. Hell, we had Black Doom and Mephiles, and Mephelis wasn’t even needed as Robotnik was treated as a threat.

Damn, looking at this, all Sonic characters got derailed after Heroes. Robotnik is the Team Rocket of Sonic games these days.

We will still see a decent amount of Eggman in the game?

Oh yeah, absolutely. We wanted to tap into the best parts of canon and build on top of that. Eggman is in the game and there is a boss round with him here. Part of the narrative arc is being stronger with friends, which is what are team represents and that kind of discord the antagonist team goes through. They can ultimately never be able to work together, so that becomes their undoing. Versus the team, which learns to mesh together and use their individual skills to their best advantage.

For a company that wants to “surprise” people, Rafei has no idea that he spoiled the plot just now. Great, I have zero reason to invest any interest in the game unless this is a carefully worded lie.

It seems like there are more collectables in Sonic Boom like all of those robot parts in the demo.

Because we chose to do a character adventure, part of the genre is the ability to explore and to find these rare items. That’s where that comes from, to be true to the genre blending, taking those parts of Sonic that we love and putting a twist on it by giving it a classic character adventure feel. You go to the hubs, you meet NPCs, there are unlockables there, there are missions that they give you. There are home improvement missions you’ll see at the hubs and those are satisfied by collecting robot parts.

Damn, he just listed everything I hated about modern gaming. And HOME IMPROVEMENT MISSIONS!? Fuck right off with that mess!

Rafei is honestly convinced that he’s doing something ground breaking with Sonic Doom, when all he’s done was take the elements that people HATED about the modern games and is multiplying them by six.

The one thing that really needs to be abolished from games are the concepts of hub/overworlds unless it is strictly an RPG. They serve zero purpose beyond sluggish transitions between levels. There is usually nothing to do besides shoddy minigames that no one will like, and for Sonic, missions have never benefited the series. These are things that people do not want in Sonic games. Amma knows I’m tired of these goddamn fetch quests.

And what the fuck does “character adventure” mean? What’s the point of an adventure if there isn’t a character to partake in it? I make up my own terms in this blog, but at least I define them so the readers who haven’t been turned off by now would know half the shit I’m talkin about. Joyous movement still makes no goddamn sense.

Between this and that turd piece 3DS version, I don’t know what’s worse. We have a development team who has displayed their arrogance in the face of criticism (don’t bash without playing!), and picking and choosing what type of fan reactions to showcase, as well as going on to say that w/e their employer’s want is more important than what the fans want when Sega couldn’t give two fucks about this series to NOT outsource the damn series to people that clearly have no idea what the hell they’re doing, rather than the people who still clinges to the hope of seeing this series not get raped any further. All the design mistakes that have plagued this series and many other platformers are all here, “introduced” as though they’re completely new ideas that Sega hasn’t tried and failed to profit from.

You know what’s worse? Ed Boon talking about wanting to make a “cinematic” fighting game out of Mortal Kombat X! W/e the fuck that means, I fear for the worst! Injustice was cinematic enough, and it’s shit! Eh, I’ll wait for more info on that one. Why is Scorpion always kicking Sub Zero’s ass?