Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric is an action-adventure video game developed by Big Red Button Entertainment, Rebellion Developments, Raven Software and High Moon Studios and published by Sega, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Activision for the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One console systems. Along with Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS handheld systems, the game is a spin-off of Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series and is a part of the Sonic Boom franchise, which also consists of an animated television series by The Weinstein Company & Warner Bros. Animation and Saban Brands (whose game serve as a prequel), a comic series by Archie Comics, and a toyline by Tomy.
The two games together formed the third and final part in Sega's exclusivity agreement with Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, following Sonic Lost World and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games in 2013. Both games were released in North America, Europe, and Australia in November 2014, and in Japan the following month. The game was retitled as Sonic Toon: Ancient Treasure for its Japanese release.
Rise of Lyric was met with very negative reception from critics, where it was heavily criticized for its numerous glitches, camera system, controls, combat, story, dialogue, and character development. The game did not perform well commercially, with the combined sales of Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal totaling 620,000 copies by May 2015.
The game begins in the alternate universe in which he defeated Ultraman Belial many years ago, Ultraman Zero (voiced by Kiefer Sutherland) receives a distress call from an unknown voice as he is battling a hoard of Legionoids and proceeds into the multiverse after making quick work of the robots. Upon arriving to the universe where he received the distress signal, he goes towards the Earth in aid, which is revealed to be the same universe in while Ultraman Dyna (voiced by Mark Hamill) took place. Shortly before Zero departs, the hosts and Human forms of Ultraman (voiced by George Clooney), Seven (voiced by J.K. Simmons), Jack (voiced by Liam Neeson), Ace (voiced by Patton Oswalt) and Leo (voiced by Josh Robert Thompson) comment on something unusual taking place in the multiverse, referring to the universe in which Zero is headed for.
Later in Planet Earth at Sonic Boom Universe in January 15, 2028, Sonic the Hedgehog Jr (voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas) (who defeats and send Kaos back to The Phantom Zone and later sent by Sonic Jr's parents, Sonic Sr (voiced by Dick Van Dyke) and Cynder (voiced by Jennifer Love Hewitt) to chase after Eggman) and his friends Miles "Tails" Prower (voiced by Colleen O'Shaughnessey), Knuckles the Echidna (voiced by James C. Mathis III) and Amy Rose (voiced by Mae Whitman) pursue the Doctor Eggman (voiced by Phil LaMarr) (who revived by Alien Bat (voiced by Hakeem Kae-Kazim) after 17 years since the 2nd death of Dr. Eggman) in the city of Baltimore until they encounter an ancient tomb in Baltimore, with carvings of Sonic Jr and Tails on the entrance. When Sonic Jr goes to open the door, he is stopped twice by an anxious Amy in which he later refused to help them and tries to open the door for himself, but when Metal Sonic ambushes the group, Sonic Jr opens the door and the group escape. Inside, they encounter an imprisoned, but powerful snake villain named Lyric the Last Ancient (voiced by Keith David). Lyric claims to have known Sonic Jr from events transpiring one thousand years ago and captures the group, but Tails deactivates the shackles and turns them into beams named Enerbeams for the group to use. Ultraman Zero is wondering what happened to Team Sonic while standing on the top of a building. Suddenly, Lyric appears and summon its familiars to attack Zero. Ultraman Zero battles the fleet of spaceships that were released by Lyric. Sonic Jr's Team gets knocked off by Lyric except Sonic Jr who is killed by Lyric, but he was saved and resuced by Ultraman Zero from his body. Once Sonic Jr (who is revived by Zero) reawakens and later reunited with Tails, Knuckles and Amy, he discovers that Ultraman Zero saved him and is happy to be joined and meeted with the Ultra.
Later in Washington, the group then meet up with General Cliff (voiced by Michael Kenneth Williams) of the United States Army along with U.S. President George David King (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson) and Vice President Dave William (voiced by Michael-Leon Wooley), who tells them that Lyric planned to power his army of war robots with the Chaos Crystals in order to create a world of twisted metal and robots, but was imprisoned by The Ancients when they discovered the plan; The group teamed up with the BSAA members Chris Redfield (voiced by Roger Craig Smith) and Sheva Alomar (voiced by Kimberly Brooks) then set out to retrieve the Chaos Crystals before Lyric, Alien Bat and Albert Wesker. At an abandoned research facility in Greenland, they encounter MAIA (voiced by Susanne Blakeslee), a robot who rebelled against Lyric, who assists them by creating a portal that allows Sonic Jr and Tails to go one thousand years back in time to retrieve a map that shows the location of the Chaos Crystals. Sonic Jr and Tails are attacked by Shadow the Hedgehog (voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch) before entering the portal, Zero later volunteers him to transform but he agreed and transformed into Ultraman Zero and battles Shadow and later successfully defeat him and enter the portal, where they successfully retrieve the map from inside Lyric's weapon facility and trap him inside for future imprisonment by The Ancients.
Shortly after encountering Ultraman Cosmos's (voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes) human host, Musashi Haruno (voiced by James Arnold Taylor), both Ultras were continuing to stop Lyric's plan. Sonic Jr and Musashi learn that Team Sonic, the US Military and the children were the last survivors on planet Earth after the world was invaded by an evil alien known as Alien Bat, who was revealed to have abducted all life on Earth, including nearly the entire human population. Lyric reluctantly forms an alliance with Eggman and Alien Bat, but after no success, Lyric programs Metal Sonic (voiced by Crispin Freeman) against Eggman and Alien Bat, but the group defeat him. Shortly after the introductions, Alien Bat reveals himself to the survivors and the US Military and unleashed Gubira and the monster, Gomess to attack them. Sonic Jr realized that Zero's power was needed as he transforms. With the help of Ultraman Cosmos and Ultraman Zero (the latter being only 5 meters tall due to Sonic Jr's problem), defeated Eggman and the monsters are turned gentle once again, only to be murdered in cold blood by Alien Bat for failing him, but Sonic Jr saved both Gomess and Gubila by changed them into Spark Dolls. Alien Bat then announces to the survivors and American Soldiers that they will all be killed by his greatest weapon: Zetton, but Sonic Jr interrupts him that he will try to kill Alien Bat and avenge Old Sonic Sr's death.
As Sonic Jr and Musashi bond with Team Sonic, Chris Redfield, Shevva, BSAA, the US Military Personnel and the children, it is revealed that the reason for Sonic Jr's general dislike towards Ultraman is due to Old Sonic Sr believed to be killed by accident during one of Ultraman Dyna's fights against a monster, thus forcing him to live a very lonely lifestyle growing up. It is also revealed by Team Sonic that Ultraman Dyna and his human host Asuka had once stayed with the team and protected them, but was lost in battle against Alien Bat's Zetton. The next day, Alien Bat reveals his customized Zetton and what remains of Ultraman Dyna, whom has been turned to stone. With his creation complete, Alien Bat unleashes Zetton onto Team Sonic and the American Soldiers along with survivors, destroying their shelter and leaving them all in despair while Sonic Jr swears his revenge on Alien Bat for the death of Sonic Sr. In their depression, Team Sonic is exposed as being frauds, not associated with Earth's Defense Force and the United States Military but instead are a group of amateur mechanics who took it upon themselves to protect the surviving children by lying to them. Touched by Team Sonic's bravery, and now realizing the seriousness of the situation this Earth is in, Sonic Jr puts his differences with Ultraman aside and transforms into Ultraman Zero, where he and Cosmos head off to destroy Zetton.
Arriving at the Zetton's birthplace, Zero and Cosmos manage to hold off against the monster, but Alien Bat's Zetton is too big in size and strength for the combined Ultras to stop him. During the crossfire Cosmos is knocked out of commission, leaving Zero to face the Zetton by himself. With the Ultra fighting Zetton, Team Sonic and Silver arrive to help him when Amy digs up the object that can revive Ultraman Dyna, Dyna's Reflasher. Despite some interference by Zetton, the Reflasher reunites with the statue of Dyna and Ultraman Dyna is revived to assist Zero and Cosmos, (whom had been revived by Dyna and Zero) in destroying Alien Bat's Zetton. However just as it seems the Zetton has been defeated. When Ultramen and Team Sonic retrieved the final Chaos Crystal, but are then surrounded by Lyric and his robots along with Alien Bat and Albert Wesker (voiced by Steven Blum). Lyric demands the Crystals; Ultraman Zero, Cosmos and Dyna and the U.S. Military refuses to give them up, but Tails, Knuckles and Amy agree to do so. Ultraman Zero is then attacked by Lyric's robots and buried under rubble, but Ultraman Cosmos, Ultraman Dyna and the U.S. Military destroys Lyric's army which forces Lyric and Albert Wesker to call Alien Bat to retreat back to San Francisco and recovers Ultraman Zero (who came out of the rubble) and the group set out to Lyric's Lair in San Francisco to stop him, Alien Bat and Wesker.
Later, the group arrives as Alien Bat merges both his fortress and himself with the remains of the Zetton to reveal his creation's true form: Hyper Zetton. Now with enhanced speed and power, Hyper Zetton easily defeats the three Ultras, leaving the group of heroes hopeless in stopping the crazed alien and his weapon. Unwilling to give up their home and the lives of their friends, Sonic Jr, Musashi, and Asuka merge to form a new Ultraman known as "Ultraman Saga" (voiced by Malcolm McDowell). Ultraman Saga confronts Hyper Zetton, but both Ultra and Monster's abilities are evenly matched with both combatants unable to best each other while Lyric tells Alien Bat and Hyper Zetton to summon the five monsters (Antlar, King Pandon, Black King, Verokron and Tyrant) to fight Team Sonic, but were defeated by Ultraman, Ultraseven, Ultraman Jack, Ultraman Ace and Ultraman Leo who arrived to help Team Sonic to stop Lyric's plan while Shadow, Chris Redfield and Sheeva Alomar saves Jill Valentine (voiced by Patricia Ja Lee) by subduing her and removing the mind-control device before she orders Chris to follow Wesker. Motivated by the Ultra, Team Sonic assists Saga when the battle is taken to the ruined city of San Francisco.
During the battle, Lyric reprograms Amy's Enerbeam to ensnare the group, but before he can take advantage of the situation, United States Military Forces and the National Guard ambushes Lyric from behind, freeing the group. Ultraman Saga ties up Lyric with assistance from his friends and removes Lyric's technopathy device to incapacitate him; Knuckles discards it and Shadow, Chris and Sheeva defeats Wesker by injecting him with additional doses. While leading Hyper Zetton to a trap that was set for Earthtron and Gigan, Ultraman Saga takes advantage of the distraction by slicing off Hyper Zetton's wings, the source of Hyper Zetton's abilities. With Hyper Zetton crippled, Ultraman Saga takes the monster into the Earth's Atmosphere and finally destroys Alien Bat with an energy-powered punch, avenging both Sonic Sr and Earth except Hyper Zetton reverted back into spark doll and retrieved by Tails after the battle.
With Alien Bat destroyed and Zetton reverted back to Spark Doll, all those abducted by the alien return to Earth to live their lives in peace before splits into three and Ultraman Zero kills Lyric with Wide Zero Shot after Zero (with help of Cosmos and Dyna) helps Chris and Sheeva to fire rocket-propelled grenades at Wesker while Zero uses Final Ultimate Zero Trinity with the help of Cosmos and Dyna, killing him. The group celebrate in Washington, D.C. along with Musashi Haruno, Shin Asuka, Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Sheeva Almoar, Josh Stone, President George David King and Vice President Dave William and later Old Sonic Sr (who survived the accident by faking his death) and Old Cynder, Sonic Jr's parents along with Sherry Birkin (voiced by Laura Bailey), Leon S. Kennedy (also voiced by James Arnold Taylor), Terrador (also voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson), Cyril (also voiced by Roger Craig Smith), Volteer (voiced by Gerald C. Rivers) and Chronicler Ignitus (also voiced by Roger Craig Smith). Chris wonders if the world is worth fighting for. Looking at Sheva and Jill, he decides to live in a world without fear.
In a mid-credits scene, Eggman discovers the device and uses it to revive Metal Sonic, but was stopped and surrendered to the US Armed Forces and FBI Agents, he was found guilty for the attack on Baltimore and was sentenced by Judge Johnson (also voiced by Hakeem Kae-Kazim) to spent life in prison for 3 year term until his death sentence by electrocution in the late 2035, and Metal Sonic is recovered and taken to the U.S. Military Base in Arizona by the joint United States Military and BSAA Security Forces. In a post-credits scene, Musashi returns to his home planet on Juran, Asuka returns to his home dimension briefly to inform his old teammates on Sonic Jr's status and says that he will wait for them catch up to him before resuming his journey through space, while Sonic Jr continues to celebrate with Team Sonic and the other Americans in planet Earth before being enlisted by the United States Marine Corps 7 years later. Ultraman Zero separates from him and returns to his own universe.
The Legend of Sonic Jr DLCEdit
Just before Team Sonic pursed Eggman. Sonic Jr is sent by Sonic Jr's old parents, Sonic Sr and Cynder to follow Tessa's (voiced by Cristina Vee) Whiskers (vocal effects by Dee Bradley Baker for Normal vocals and Frank Welker for Evilized vocals) in the heart of New York City along with Tails (voiced by Colleen O'Shaughnessey), Amy (voiced by Mae Whitman) and Knuckles (voiced by James C. Mathis III), only to be encountered by Tessa, mistaking Sonic Jr for a Skylander at first in which he is not a Skylander but son of Sonic Sr and Cynder, but the conversation was cut short when a few Greeble Airships managed to track Tessa down when the U.S. Navy Carrier is under attack at New York City. With the help of Team Sonic, they managed to help the Americans to fight back the invaders until the Greebles launched the missile to sink the U.S. Navy Carrier which forces Team Sonic and Tessa to escape their pursuers from New York City to Woodburry with the Blackhawk Helicopter, but the Blackhawk Helicopter took heavy damage in the process.
After Team Sonic (who were greeted by Rufus (voiced by Kevin Costner), village prior) defeated the Greebles and saved the Woodburrow villagers with the help of the American Forces who rescued the Chieftess (voiced by Linda Hunt) and the Councilors (Gillman voiced by Sylvester Stallone and Yeti voiced by John Goodman), Tessa helped the heroes on their mission to save the Ancient Elementals from Kaos's (voiced by Gary Oldman for Normal and Dee Bradley Baker for Evilized) clutches. Once they drove off Baron von Shellshock (voiced by Wayne Knight) (who is killed by Sonic Jr for a treason), she remained in Woodburrow to assist the Chieftess. When all the Elementals were gathered in Woodburrow and Kaos is overthrowned by Sonic Jr, the Chieftess proudly announced Tessa as the new Chieftess of the village just as the Volcano Celebration was beginning while Sonic Jr puts Kaos back to the Phantom Zone just like his father did 10 years ago. However Kaossandra (voiced by Rosario Dawson) interrupted the ceremony, stopped Sonic Jr from putting Kaos to the Phantom Zone and kidnapped Tessa, forcing Team Sonic to venture to Kaos' Fortress in New York City to save her and stop the evil Portal Master mother while Sonic Jr swears his revenge on Kaossandra for the deaths of the Americans and sends the American Forces to take back New York City. While Knuckles, Tails and Amy dealt with Kaossandra, Tessa was forced to tackle Bubba Greebs until he was called to fight Knuckles, Tails and Amy in which the Battle of New York is won by the Americans (who destroyed Kaos' Fortress).
Kaossandra was soon defeated and New York City is liberated by the American Forces in which they rescued Buck (voiced by Chris Pine), Veronica (voiced by Amy Adams) and the Navy SEALs (Mickey voiced by Roger Craig Smith, Dutch voiced by Travis Willingham and Romeo voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson), and both Tessa and Team Sonic proceeded to go to the Cloudbreak Volcano to stop Kaos from spreading darkness throughout Earth. After Team Sonic defeated and overthrowned Kaos a second time and also sending Kaos to the Phantom Zone for a treason once more, Team Sonic, Tessa and Sharpfin (also voiced by John Goodman) were able to escape the volcano eruption in time to celebrate in Woodburrow. But the celebration is too short when Sonic the Hedgehog Jr saw Dr. Eggman (also voiced by Travis Willingham replacing Phil LaMarr) (who is revived by Alien Bat after 17 years since the 2nd death of Dr. Eggman) heading to Baltimore, he and his friends Miles "Tails" Prower, Knuckles the Echidna and Amy Rose thanked for helping them before they left Woodburry to pursue the Doctor Eggman all the way to Baltimore.
In the post-credits scene which sets in the alternate universe in which he defeated Ultraman Belial many years ago, Ultraman Zero (voiced by Matthew Mercer) receives a distress call from an unknown voice (voiced by Bill Hader) as he is battling a hoard of Legionoids and proceeds into the multiverse after making quick work of the robots. Upon arriving to the universe where he received the distress signal, he goes towards the Earth in aid, which is revealed to be the same universe in while Ultraman Dyna took place.
Sonic Boom is an action-adventure game with a stronger emphasis on exploration and combat compared to previous Sonic the Hedgehog installments, featuring four main characters whom players control: Sonic Jr (as Ultraman Zero), Tails, Knuckles, and Amy as well as the new characters Ultraman Cosmos and Ultraman Dyna. Each character has their own unique abilities and gameplay mechanics: Sonic can use his speed and homing attacks, Tails can fly and use various gadgets, Knuckles can burrow underground and climb on walls, and Amy can use her hammer to swing on poles. Each character also possesses a whip-like weapon called the Enerbeam, which allows them to perform various actions such as hanging from speeding rails, removing enemy shields, and solving puzzles. There is also a focus on collaboration, with player's switching control between multiple characters and using their abilities to progress. The game will support local co-operative multiplayer for two players, with additional modes for up to four players locally.
On May 17, 2013, Sega announced a worldwide agreement with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo for the next three games in Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series to be developed exclusively for Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo devices. This included Sonic Lost World and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. On February 6, 2014, Sega announced Sonic Boom as the official title for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The game ties in with Sega's Sonic Boom franchise, which includes a television series and other merchandise, and is the third release in Sega's exclusivity agreement with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. The franchise is designed for Western audiences and serves as a prequel to the television series. Sega announced the game to feature Sonic's traditional speed alongside a new exploratory game mechanic called "Enerbeam". Sega of America's marketing director Marchello Churchill explained that the new franchise was not designed to "replace modern Sonic Sr". The Western developer's CEO explained that Sonic Boom's Sonic Jr is "very different ... both in tone and art direction".
Los Angeles based game studio Big Red Button Entertainment and the London based game studio Rebellion Developments developed the game under supervision by Sonic Team, Vicarious Visions and long-time Sonic game designer Takashi Iizuka. The game was built on CryEngine and is centered on "combat and exploration". Sega outsourced the game to Western developers in order to increase the game's appeal in Western markets, culminating in a separate westernized Sonic franchise. The video game concept came after the television series plan. Big Red Button was chosen due to the studio's adventure game portfolio and leader, Bob Rafei of the Crash Bandicoot, Uncharted, and Jak and Daxter series along with Christopher Nolan, who directed the films include Batman Begins, Inception, Insomnia and The Dark Knight Rises. Portions of the game were co-developed by Illfonic, who assisted with some of the game's level design, art assets, and code. The game remains a separate continuity to the main series, and was originally not intended to be released in Japan. However, it was later revealed that the games would be released in Japan, under the name Sonic Toon.
- Main article: Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (soundtrack)
British composer Henry Jackman composed the music while Richard Jacques composed the main themes. Jackman was selected with Jacques because of Jacques' experience with previous Sonic games by Sega and Activision, including Sonic 3D Blast (with the late Elmer Bernstein) and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (who did special thanks). The additional music was later composed by Dominic Lewis, Matthew Margeson and Tom Holkenborg with the additional music arrangements by Stephen Hilton and Andrew Kawczynski.
After the game's release, Toro and Rafei announced that Zimmer would be replacing Henry Jackman by composing the music for the new DLC content (called "The Legend of Sonic Jr") which takes place before the beginning of the game "Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric", without Richard Jacques. On October 25, 2013, Pharrell Williams revealed to Billboard that he would co-compose the score with Zimmer. Nolan, Rafei and Zimmer (who is previously helped with Marc Webb) formed a supergroup with Williams, Johnny Marr, Mike Einziger and former Eurythmic, David A. Stewart, to create the music for the DLC content. Eventually, Stewart did not participate in the DLC of the video game's music, and the supergroup, credited as The Magnificent Six was composed of Williams, Marr, Einziger, Junkie XL, Steve Mazzaro and Andrew Kawczynski assisting Zimmer. Also the additional music was later composed by Arturo Sandoval, Czarina Russell, Andy Page, Adam Peters and Ann Marie Simpson. Later the song appeared in the end credits which is called "It's On Again" which features the vocals by Kendrick Lamar and Alicia Keys. Keys announced the song on Twitter and credited Zimmer and Williams, along with Lamar and herself for the song, indicating the song as a part of the DLC for the video game's soundtrack. Nolan and Rafei described the song as “upbeat and exciting”.
Unlike with previous games, Sega and Warner Bros. did not provide reviewers with advance copies of either Shattered Crystal or Rise of Lyric; they could only begin reviewing once the game was on sale.
On the first day of release, a glitch was discovered that allowed players to jump to infinite heights by pausing the game during Knuckles' jump, which could be used to bypass most of the game. Speedrunners managed to beat the game in under an hour using the glitch. In January 2015, a patch has been released to fix a few problems with the game, including the "Knuckles Jump" glitch.
Pre-release demos featured at E3 2014 received mixed reception from journalists. Destructoid nominated Rise of Lyric for "Best Platformer" and "Best Nintendo Exclusive" for their "Best of E3" awards. In contrast, GameCentral was much more negative in their preview stating, "the very worst game in the line-up was Sega's Sonic Boom, which was so unspeakably awful we couldn't even force ourselves to play through the whole demo".
The game's final release was critically panned, becoming the lowest scoring game in the entire series and is notable for its exceptionally negative reception from critics. It has a Metacritic score of 32/100, the lowest for any Sonic game so far, and a GameRankings score of 33.15%. Don Saas from GameSpot panned the game for its repetitive level design, dull puzzle-solving, numerous bugs, and uninspired combat system. He stated that "Through a combination of unwieldy controls, a broken camera system, and a total lack of responsiveness, the platforming and exploration elements of Rise of Lyric are totally unworkable". He summarized the review by saying that the Sonic name deserves better than Rise of Lyric, and so do consumers. Similarly, Tim Turi from Game Informer criticized the poor visual quality, framerate and dialogue, unfunny jokes and shoddy level-design.
Mikel Reparaz from IGN was slightly less negative, praising its multiplayer gameplay, but criticizing the game's simple and tedious combat, stating that "Rise of Lyric isn't fundamentally broken or unplayable; it's just thoroughly disappointing and unpolished, and while it does have some fun to offer, it's fun that's been done better in countless similar games. Rise of Lyric falls well below our already-low expectations". Sam Gill of the Independent called its graphics "bland" whilst criticizing its poor gameplay and irritating glitches but praising its soundtrack. He concluded the review by stating while it could be argued the game is primarily aimed at children, it "doesn’t excuse the general lack of quality apparent in this poorly executed piece of software".
David Jenkins from GameCentral was overwhelmingly negative about the game, citing a "terrible camera", dull combat, "insipid" level design, "broken" graphics and "serious" bugs. He stated it is "definitely the worst game of 2014". GameCentral was appalled with the E3 demo of the game, and David stated one of the positive things about Sonic Boom is that "it proves previews do give a relatively accurate impression of a game’s final quality".
Sega announced that the total sales of Sonic Boom (includes both Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal) has shifted 620,000 copies as of May 11, 2015, making it the lowest-selling game in the franchise.