It’s been a busy week in the TiredMummyofTwo household recently. We’ve seen a lots of video games arrive through our letter box, so please bear with me whilst I play them before posting the reviews. One of the games we’ve received is Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is part of a duo release for both the 3DS and the Wii U (the other game is Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric) but each game has different gameplay styles and separate storylines.
Growing up around the Sega Mega Drive, I’m a massive fan of the Sonic video games series. In fact my favourite Sonic game to date is not even one that was available for the Mega Drive, it’s Sonic Generations for the PS3/Xbox 360/3DS. This is the game that I consider the benchmark for all others to emulate.
Moving onto my experience with Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, I decided to play this game first because I didn’t want to play the Wii U version and then be disappointed that the handheld version didn’t have the same features. However, I needn’t worry about what was missing from Shattered Crystal because I immediately found myself enjoying the gameplay. It’s 2D platformer that’s very similar to previous Sonic games on the Mega Drive, however, there’s also some portions of the game that takes inspiration from the runner games that are now so popular on mobiles.
The controls are simple enough for both adults and children to use. The directional pad moves Sonic and the face buttons perform moves such as jump, spin dash and the new weapon, ‘the enerbeam’. The only time you will be using the touch screen is during the enerbeam portal scenes, which serves as a sort of bungee cord that pings you to the next area of a level.
Depending on which of the available characters you choose (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Sticks) you will have a special ability that helps solve certain puzzles as you progress through the game.
Navigating to the next level can be quite a challenge. Players are presented with an overview world map (like with Super Mario World or Donkey Kong) but in order to progress to the next level you must ensure that you have collected all the available collectables. Even once I understood this I wasn’t able to pick everything up on my second play through as some collectables are in well hidden places.
Lastly, the graphics are ok for the game, however, there are better looking platform games out for the Nintendo 3DS. Super Mario 3D Land and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D spring to mind. You almost get the feeling that as a brand, Sonic doesn’t make his money from video games any more, which is sad really as it has a lot of heritage in terms of video games.
A little research tells me that Sonic Boom is name of a new television program that is due to be shown in the UK on Cartoon Network, so the release of 2 games are probably just a vehicle in which to promote the show rather than make old school Sonic fans like me happy. If your child shows a keen interest in the Sonic Boom series once it’s released, then Shattered Crystal could be the perfect compliment. Simply put this is a fun Sonic game and I did receive lots of satisfaction from completing a level and opening up a new one.
Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal is available from most online retailers. The game is PEGI rated 7, with a recommended retail price of £29.95. You can also download the game from the Nintendo eShop for £34.99.