Last week, the first trailer for the Sonic Boom TV series was released, and it seems that Sega is finally planning to shake things up. The trailer showcased the new designs for Sonic and his friends. The Sonic Boom TV series is set to air on Cartoon Network in America in the autumn season. In addition to that, they’ve also announced a video game tie-in for the Wii U and 3DS systems, effectively finishing the trilogy of Nintendo-exclusive titles.
I’m probably not the only one who thinks this way, but I think that this the radical change that the Sonic franchise desperately needs. It’s actually sad that Sega isn’t intending for this version of Sonic to replace modern Sonic, because the franchise has been going in a questionable direction for the past few years now. Currently, the Sonic franchise has been playing it too safe, and the release of Sonic Lost World was ultimately disappointing.
Of course, not much is known about the TV series or the game, other than the fact that the TV series is primarily aimed at kids, and that there are no plans to release the TV series or the game in Japan, since this is a heavily westernized take on the franchise.
I think that the Sonic Boom direction has a lot of potential, but since such a change is radically different to what audiences are used to, Sega seems hell bent on preventing it from reaching its full potential. They’ve outsourced the Sonic Boom video game to Western developers, while the Japanese branch of Sonic Team will continue making “traditional” Sonic games in parallel to Sonic Boom. What this means is that Sonic Boom could mark the beginning of a separate, Western Sonic franchise.
With Sonic Boom, they’re doing everything right, except for separating it from the rest of the series. Is it really that hard to accept change? This new direction is going to give the Sonic franchise the booster shot it needs, but it appears that Sega still wants to please the fans. It also doesn’t help that some people are comparing this move to Loonatics Unleashed.
Let me explain why it’s unfair to compare Sonic Boom to Loonatics Unleashed, and I can say this because I actually used to watch that show briefly when I was a kid.
Sonic Boom basically opts for a more westernized style that is geared towards a young audience, and Sonic Boom didn’t deviate too much from what we know and love. Loonatics Unleashed, on the other hand, deviated drastically from what Looney Tunes was, complete with a dark tone and post-apocalyptic setting, with Warner Bros. trying to copy popular Japanese anime shows. What we ended up with was a barely watchable piece of crap that doesn’t stand the test of time. It was the result of committee thinking, and nothing more. With all that in mind, you can’t compare Sonic Boom to Loonatics Unleashed with any credibility whatsoever.
With that crap out of the way, let’s get back to the point.
I think that Sonic Boom will do great. With any luck, the new Sonic might just surpass the modern Sonic we’ve grown used to for the past 6 years. All Sega has to do is to make sure they don’t f**k it up. They have a real opportunity to change the direction of the franchise, and if they mess it up, then there’s no hope of the Sonic franchise ever being truly revitalized.