Preview: Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal @ EGX 2014

Sonic’s latest adventure was playable on both the 3DS and Wii U at EGX14, and thankfully we got the chance to play them both (earning ourselves rather swanky Sonic hats in the process). However, given the nature of the site I will be focusing on the 3DS version in this preview.

Unlike the previous 3DS/DS Sonic games, which were developed by Dimps, Shattered Crystal is being developed by Sanzaru Games who are known more for the HD Collections of Sly Cooper and God of War which were released on various Sony consoles.

The only level I got a chance to play on the EGX14 demo was Seaside Jungle (didn’t actually realise there were other playable levels until afterwards). However this was more than enough to both show how this game uses the abilities of the characters and the impressive detail of the surroundings.

 

Boxart for Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal

Boxart for Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal

 

This level is traditional Sonic in that it features side scrolling towards the goal. As has become the norm, along the way our hero encounters such level components as booster pads and loop de loops. However, there is an extra component here that helps set the game apart from other Sonic titles, and that comes from being able to shift between the game’s 4 characters at virtually any moment. The four playable characters are Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Sticks, who is a female badger with a strong resemblance to Marine from Sonic Rush Adventure (did you really think we wouldn’t notice, Sega?).
The graphical design of the level I tried was similar to the handheld versions of Sonic Generations (3DS) and Sonic Colors (DS) ; a 2D setting with 3D backgrounds. The graphics themselves look really polished and stunning, especially with the 3D mode on.

As stated before, the player is able to switch between characters at most times, even (impressively) while in the air. While all four characters are controlled similarly, they each have their unique moves. Sonic can air-dash jump, Tails is able to hover on the wind machines (but not fly?) plus throw grenades, Knuckles can burrow through certain walls/punch enemies while Sticks is able to throw a steerable boomerang that can be used to activate hard-to-reach switches. In addition ; each character can grapple beam to reach platforms and destroy the shields of certain enemies by using homing attack on them.

 

Fans of Tails and Knuckles will be pleased to know they both play a large part in this title...

Fans of Tails and Knuckles will be pleased to know they both play a large part in this title…

 

Controlling took a bit of getting used to as the A button is the action button, while the B button is used to jump (in most games it is the other way round). On the touch screen there is a handy map just in case you get lost (which can easily happen, especially when trying to reach the lesser known paths!).

I must confess that the level felt slow at times due to its emphasis on puzzles, as opposed to the usual Sonic way of speeding through the levels. However HelenBaby assures me that other levels playable in the demo had a bigger emphasis on speed, hence creating a nice variety.

I asked the staff at EGX if there would be any multiplayer on Sonic Boom : Shattered Crystal, and they said it would not unfortunately. However they told me that there would be StreetPass functions in which you can collect coins to purchase figures of characters and items in the shops on the world map. I would have liked to see multiplayer in the title as I think it would have been fun to race fellow players to the goal.
Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal is definitely a game worth checking out, even if you’re put off by its change in character design and being in separate timeline from the other games. Shattered Crystal as well as Rise of Lyric (Wii U version) are slated for release for the 21st November 2014.


Official website : http://www.sonicthehedgehog.com/boom/en/

  • nintyfandavif says:

    Just a note to say the Wii U game uses local co-op (I know this was about 3DS game but just thought I’d leave comment incase anyone interested in both games

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