Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal
Top Critic Average
The story is awful, the progression is inconsistent and the game is way too short to even consider it right now. With more polish and a longer development cycle, Shattered Crystal could have been very enjoyable. Now it is just what it wants to be: An okayish tie-in to a new Sonic cartoon.
Approach Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal with an open mind and there's a good portion of fun to be had here. As easy as it is to dwell on flaws, it's also worth calling out the good points and Boom has them aplenty. It's short, uninspired and plays it a bit too safe, yet Sanzaru Games has recognised what makes Sonic tick and played to his strengths, with a new twist on a classic formula. It is fun whilst it lasts and is definitely deserving of a play through. This is Sonic, just not quite as he was previously known.
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.
Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal isn't the game that is going to save the franchise by any means, but this isn't another Sonic '06.
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.
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.