Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, known as Sonic Toon: Fire & Ice (ソニックトゥーン ファイアー＆アイス Sonikkuto Tūn Faiā & Aisu?) in Japan, is a 2.5D side-scrolling action-adventure platform game, developed by Sanzaru Games and published by Sega. It is the third video game based on the Sonic Boom TV series and the sequel to Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal. It was released exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS in 2016. Nintendo of Europe is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of the game throughout Europe, while Sega of Europe remain as publisher.
Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice was first announced on June 9, 2015. Since Sanzaru Games already focused on the 3DS and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal proved the stronger title over Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, it was decided to solely focus on the 3DS. Sega producer Omar Woodley has stated both Sega and developer Sanzaru Games have been learning from their experience with Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal. One of the problems they identified was how, even though the game was targeted towards children aged 7-11, fans of classic Sonic games picked up the game and had a harder time getting into Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal's lengthy exploration-based levels. As such, levels were made about 40% shorter and include a linear path (which the developers based on earlier Sonic game stages) through the levels to better suit gamers who prefer speeding through levels, in addition to exploration-based elements to keep it in line with Sonic Boom's gameplay style. Likewise, the game's plot was more closely tied to the animated series to make it more appealing to fans.
On September 15, 2015, Sega announced that Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice which was planned for a release in Fall 2015, would be delayed to 2016 to allow more development time and coincide with the series' 25th anniversary. Sega announced that the game will launch with a special edition containing a DVD that has three episodes from the cartoon. Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice also made an appearance at E3 2016.
The story begins with Dr. Eggman having discovered a new supercharged element called Ragnium on the mythical island of Ragna Rock which can fuel his robots and make them faster than Sonic. Eggman then promptly commands his mining robots to search the island for Ragnium for his henchmen in an effort to discredit his blue arch-nemesis. However, one of Eggman's mining robots called D-Fekt, who was designed to find and mine Ragnium using his magnetic powers, malfunctions and becomes able to magnetize everything other than Ragnium. With this capability, D-Fekt begins to gain more power. Meanwhile, Eggman is polluting the environment by piping the by-products from his mining operation off to adjacent islands, creating fire and ice elements that damage the environment, with D-Fekt aiding the doctor in his endeavor by keeping fissures open.
With D-Fekt driven to defeat Sonic using his new powers, Dr. Eggman makes him one of his Island Defenders for him and his army of bot racers' confrontation with Sonic. It is thus up to Team Sonic to reclaim the islands from Eggman and his armies, reverse the flow of the elemental tubes, and restore balance to the environment. It all culminates with an epic battle on the island of Ragna Rock where Sonic may just have to save Dr. Eggman from his own creation.
Like, Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice is a side-scrolling platform game, with focus on speed and optional exploration, where the player has to get through various levels with Team Sonic. Over the course of the game, players controls, Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Sticks, and newcomer to the 3DS Amy. For this game, the characters' movesets have been revamped from Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, retaining the same moves from before and are given new surprises as well. Like in the previous game, the player can instantly switch between the characters during gameplay using the touchscreen, with each character having their own unique abilities such as Sonic's mid-air dash, Tails' flight, Knuckles' burrowing, Sticks' boomerang, and Amy's hammer for progressing through the levels, along with common skills such as the Homing Attack to home in on enemies and an Enerbeam for traversing. Like in the previous game, this one also contains a variety of collectibles.
The game includes six bosses, including the final boss, during which both of the 3DS’s screens will be utilized in some way. Sonic fights all of the bosses along with one predetermined teammate.
The game also includes three types of bonus stages. The first takes the form of a halfpipe run, much like the Special Stage from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The second is a calmer underwater stage where the player pilots the Sea Fox and looks for collectibles. The third requires the player to pilot a hovercraft and dodge icebergs.
A unique gimmick in this game is the addition of Fire and Ice Mode, which apply both to the level environments and character abilities. For example, Sonic can infuse himself with fire to melt ice blocks and blast enemies or surround himself with ice in order to freeze water and enemies, alternating between the two at will. The game also features various Challenge Rooms and a local two-player mode using the Bot Racing feature where a user can unlock character themed Bots to challenge friends to races.
The main game contains five playable characters: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Sticks, and newcomer Amy Rose, who can be switched to at anytime during normal stages. All five of the playable characters have access to the same moveset, though each one has their own special abilities:
- Being able to use Sprint to traverse the stage faster.
- Jumping/performing a double-jump.
- Using the Homing Attack.
- Making use of the Enerbeam to swing from floating mechanisms.
- A Ground Pound during which the user launches a downward attack.
- Can coat themselves in an aura of fire to break ice and an aura of ice to freeze water.
The abilities exclusive to each of the five characters are shown below:
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Can use a special air dash. He can also perform a Spin Dash to move faster than sprinting.
- Amy Rose: Can break things and alter the terrain of a level using her hammer.
- Miles "Tails" Prower: Can hover and fly by using air streams and wields a blaster that can reflect off mirrors, evaporate special blocks, and destroy enemies.
- Knuckles the Echidna: Can punch targets and burrow underground to reach parts of the landscape no other characters can access. While burrowing, he can cause an explosion by looping around an area.
- Sticks the Badger: Can throw her boomerang in any direction. She can also take complete control over its path mid-flight. This can be used to hit far-away and out-of-reach targets. Also during a guided boomerang, she can cause an explosion by looping it around an area.
In addition to Team Sonic, the Bot Racing offers eleven additional characters, which are unlocked over the course of the game, to be played with. These characters possess the same common skills as Team Sonic and the Air Dash:
Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice is divided into seven overall worlds, each taking place on a different island. Six of these islands are exploration-based and feature four main stages (with the exception of Ragna Rock), one boss (with the exception of Seaside Island and Gothic Gardens), one Fissure Tunnel, one Hovercraft stage, one Sea Fox stage, and one bot race. The remaining island features the new Bot Racing mode. The game's levels include:
- Kodiak Frontier
- Seaside Island
- Paleo Tarpits
- Cutthroat Cove
- Gothic Gardens
- Ragna Rock
- Thunder Island
|Nintendo World Report||7/10|
Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice received generally mixed reviews with a current Metacritic score of 62%, while getting notably more praise compared to previous games in the spin-off series Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal. Jared Petty of IGN describes the game as fun adventure, while praising optional stages with vertical shooter-style mechanics and conceived exploratory structure of the game. Jed Whitaker of Destructoid praises the game's platforming gameplay and boss battles, while stating fire and ice mechanic being functional, but not adding a lot to the gameplay. Daan Koopman of Nintendo World Report states the game being "well-paced platformer, with the right mix of stages when I’d get bored of the basic platforming." He praises the game's unique flavors of each playable character and variety of stages. While James Wynne of GameZone praises the game as "huge improvement over Shattered Crystal", while Mike Fahey of Kotaku noted the game for combining the wit and charm of the cartoon with the speed and simplicity of old school Sonic the Hedgehog games.
The game received common criticism towards its presentation. Thomas Whitehead of Nintendolife describes the game as solid effort with slightly disappointing downsides, as stating art design being a dull and unimaginative at times. While criticizing the plot and in-game cutscenes, Daan Koopman of Nintendo World Report describes bosses being one of the more graphically impressive parts of the game.
Most criticism aimed at the game's short length, the stages and the overall elements getting repetitive while playing, the control schemes, and its simplistic storyline.. The SixthAxis added "that the fans of the Sonic Boom animated series will still likely find something to enjoy, but younger gamers may struggle with the new-found emphasis on multiple abilities and gated areas.", in a similar fashion to Destructoid, who said "that hardcore fans of the series will probably get some enjoyment out of this, but for the full price of $40, it is hard to recommend the game to anyone else."
On 1 June 2016, it was announced by Sega that those who got their hands on a launch edition of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice would receive a free DVD that includes three episodes from the Sonic Boom cartoon series. The DVD contains episodes from the first season of Sonic Boom.
- This is the first game in the Sonic Boom series to have all five members of Team Sonic playable.
- This is the first handheld Sonic platformer to have Amy, in any of her incarnations, as a playable character since Sonic Advance 3.
- The Bounce Pads were redesigned to resemble the modern Spring in the main games.
- The announcement trailer for Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice uses clips from the episodes "Buster", "Guilt Tripping", "Cowbot", and "Aim Low" in the Sonic Boom television series. The E3 trailer used clips from the episode "The Curse of Buddy Buddy Temple".
- In the game's announcement trailer, the song "Porta Vista" by Hyper Potions, a Monstercat-released song, plays in the background.
- This game was first set for a release for the Holidays in 2015 but was later delayed to 2016.
- Because of this, it is the only Sonic game not to be released in the year it was announced.
- Accordingly, Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice contain teasers for the second season of the Sonic Boom television series.
- According to Bill Freiberger, Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice takes place sometime during the second season of the Sonic Boom television series.
- Unlike Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, the non-CGI cutscenes in Fire & Ice feature full voice-acting instead of just on-screen text, gestures, and grunts.
- During the first encounter with D-Fekt, Amy breaks the fourth wall by alluding to Sonic Boom's merchandise.
- In each boss fight, Sonic pairs up with a different member of his team: Amy for Unga Bunga, Tails for the Paleo Tarpits boss, and Knuckles for the Cutthroat Cave boss, and Sticks for the final boss battle.
- On the gallery of concept arts of the TV show, the description for the concept art of Knuckles' fantasy in "Dude, Where's My Eggman?" mentions that Knuckles' power level might be over 9000, which is a reference to a popular meme from the Dragon Ball Z anime.
- Each playable character has the same sprinting speed.
- ↑ SSF1991 (February 4, 2016). Aaron Webber: Ken Pontac Listing Is “Referencing Fire & Ice. Retrieved on 5 February 2016.
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog on Twitter. Twitter (9 June 2015). Retrieved on 9 June 2015. “Sonic the Hedgehog: Actually, Richard Jacques -is- working on the soundtrack for Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice! (Surprise!)”
- ↑ SSF1991 (21 February 2016). Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice To Release Fall 2016, M&S 2016 Wii U In June. TSSZ News. Retrieved on 22 February 2016.
- ↑ Announcements at SXSW Sonic Panel 2016. Youtube (March 19th 2016). Retrieved on March 19th 2016.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Speeds To Europe On September 30th. Retrieved on 30 March 2016.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Sonic Boom Fire & Ice 3DS Interview (E3 2015). Nintendo World Report TV (June 18, 2015). Retrieved on June 20, 2015.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 RubyEclipse (14 September 2015). Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice moves to 2016. Sega. Retrieved on 15 September 2015.
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog (9 June 2015). Sonic races to Nintendo 3DS in Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice. Retrieved on 10 June 2015.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 RubyEclipse (9 June 2015). Announcing Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice!. Retrieved on 10 June 2015.
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog on Twitter. Twitter (9 June 2015). Retrieved on 10 June 2015. “Sonic the Hedgehog: Purely 3DS! It's getting all of our love and attention this time.”
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 Haywald, Justin (June 9, 2015). Sega Isn't Abandoning "Classic" Sonic, But It Wants to Make Boom Better. GameSpot. Retrieved on June 9, 2015.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 12.9 Rignall, Jaz (9 June 2015). What's Next for Sonic the Hedgehog (and friends)?. USGamer. Retrieved on 10 June 2015.
- ↑ Jenni. Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Launch Edition Includes Episodes From Cartoon. Retrieved on 1 June 2016.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Sega. Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice - Nintendo 3DS. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 22 June 2015.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Sega. Sonic Toon Fire & Ice. Play-Asia.com. Retrieved on 21 April 2016.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Klepek, Patrick (June 9, 2015). Sega's Not Giving Up on Sonic Boom. Kotaku. Retrieved on June 9, 2015.
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Sega. ソニックトゥーン ファイアー＆アイス (Japanese). Characters. Retrieved on 10 June 2016.
- ↑ Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice. GameRankings. Retrieved on 28 September 2016.
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice. Metacritic. Retrieved on 28 September 2016.
- ↑ Shea, Brian (27 September 2016). Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice. Game Informer. Retrieved on 28 September 2016.
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Wynne, James (27 September 2016). Review: Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice is way past cool. Nintendo World Report. Retrieved on 28 September 2016.
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 Petty, Jared (27 September 2016). Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice Review. IGN.com. Retrieved on 28 September 2016.
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 Koopman, Daan (27 September 2016). Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice (3DS) Review. Nintendo World Report. Retrieved on 28 September 2016.
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Whitaker, Jed (27 September 2016). Review: Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice. Destructoid. Retrieved on 28 September 2016.
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 Whitehead, Thomas (27 September 2016). Review: Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice (3DS). Nintendolife. Retrieved on 28 September 2016.
- ↑ Fahey, Mike (27 September 2016). Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice: The Kotaku Review. Kotaku. Retrieved on 28 September 2016.
- ↑ Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice. digitalchumps (27 September 2016). Retrieved on 29 September 2016.
- ↑ Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice (3DS) Review. nintendoworldreport (27 September 2016). Retrieved on 29 September 2016.
- ↑ Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Review. TheSixthAxis (27 September 2016). Retrieved on 29 September 2016.
- ↑ Review: Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice. Destructoid (27 September 2016). Retrieved on 29 September 2016.
- ↑ Natalielevig (1 June 2016). Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Launch Edition Will Include Episodes From The Cartoon. Retrieved on 3 June 2016.
- ↑ Koopman, Daan (6 September 2016). Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice (3DS) Hands-on Preview. Nintendo World Report. Retrieved on 16 September 2016.
- ↑ Bill Freiberger on Twitter. Twitter (18 September 2016). Retrieved on 20 September 2016. “Tailooey Fan: Season 2 is after or before of the new game (Fire & Ice)? / Bill Freiberger: Both. / nina: but that means that it comes out this Saturday. doesn't it? / Bill Freiberger: No. Some stories take place before the game, some after.”