Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal
Top Critic Average
Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal attempts to inject puzzle-solving and heavy exploration into the classic Sonic formula, and the result is a mess of gameplay styles that never feel comfortable with each other. Running one minute and clumsily searching for required hidden items the next is awkward and unrewarding, and being forced to retread the same level several times before unlocking the next is a bore. With a heaping helping of poorly written and unskippable cutscenes, Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal is a slog that never finds its footing.
Another unspeakably bad platformer that beyond its more general faults seems to purposefully misunderstand the appeal of the entire Sonic franchise.
Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal offers some fun platforming and treasure hunting moments, but its tedious mazes and poor story ultimately make it a drag. This one needed more time with a level editor and less time spent forcing players to repeat content.
Rather than let you actually play, Shattered Crystal is content to make you wait, wait, and wait some more before you get to the decent (but flawed) platforming. The design is maddening, especially when coupled with the poor dialog compliments of the new Boom universe. If you must pick up one edition of Sonic Boom, make it Rise of Lyric at a price drop.
While not as bad as its Wii U counterpart, Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal is an extremely shallow experience with a level locking system that will frustrate the player to no end.
And the wait for an outstanding, groundbreaking Sonic continues. Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal does not live up to the expectations due to a dull level design, a sub-par outlook and gameplay that is simply not compelling.
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Transitioning from blazing speed with Sonic to awkwardly fumbling with searching for crystals with Knuckles, Tails, or any of the side characters never gels in a way that feels satisfying or rewarding, leaving Shattered Crystal a hodgepodge mess of gameplay ideas that never work as a whole. Sonic Boom attempts to bring the franchise to a new generation with some fresh ideas, but more often falls victim to the past: another body to add to the pile of poor Sonic reboots, and more in a more horrifying sense, probably not the last.
The sorry "story" segments largely amount to random combinations of the four main characters trading bad jokes, such as running the difference between "who" and "whom" into the ground.
There's plenty to enjoy in Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, but it's nothing revolutionary. It's one of the better Sonic outings of recent times, but unfortunately that's not saying an awful lot. If you're a Sonic fan or you enjoy platformers, you can do an awful lot worse, and this may be one to grab should the opportunity or a bargain price arise.