The full Sonic Boom Shattered Crystal doesn’t come out until next Tuesday, and you can bet I’ll be downloading it at the earliest opportunity. But I just found out that there is a demo out and I wanted to give it a shot. And I’m loving what I’m seeing so far. For one, this game has a lot of similarities to the more original Sonic games. It (mostly) takes place in 2D and there is a ton of platforming. It has times when the game is pretty quick and others when it’s slower, but the platforming is solid all the way around so it’s not a big deal. You can switch between characters on the fly, so when you see something that only Tails can do for example, you simply hit his button and you’re him. See a Sonic challenge? Just hit the button and you’re him. Something else I appreciate about the first type of level in the demo (I’ll call them normal levels since they are the most similar to the older days) is that there are tons of things to do outside of beating the level. Beating it will earn you an achievement, but so will beating it within a certain time limit, getting a certain amount of rings, earning a certain amount of what look like crystal fragments, and a few other things. I had to really dig around to find some of these things and I didn’t completely clear the level in my first playthrough, which is great to me, because it means that there will be challenges in the game.
The one thing I didn’t really appreciate too much with Sonic 4 Episode 2 is that while you had the Chaos Emeralds to go for, you only had one red ring to get in each level in addition. That’s it. This one normal level alone shows that there are several main objectives to aim for while playing. I only completed the one goal, that of beating the level, in my first run. I’m thoroughly looking forward to playing this level over and over to see if I can clear it all, and I really can’t wait for the full game which will obviously have more levels. There are two other level types outside the normal one in the game, one of which I’m playing right now. It is a behind the back 3D running level at full speed where you can also go after a few goals. One is simply beating it, like before, another is getting 250 rings, and another is beating it within a certain time. It in a way reminds me of the tube levels in Sonic 2 and Sonic 4 Episode 2 but there is more action in the level itself. It’s fun and I again love that there are multiple goals to aim for. I’m a sucker for high replay value, and things like this are something I always love. I’m not sure if the third level type is in the demo, but if it is I’ll write about it and how it holds up as well.
Yes indeed they included the third level type. This one has you racing against another character, in this case Sonic vs newcomer Sticks. It reminds me of the Sonic Rivals games and the 2 player mode in Sonic 2. It isn’t a form of gameplay I really ever loved, but I can’t say that I have any complaints about this version. There are multiple paths for you to take and enemies for you to fight along the way. It changes it up in a way and keeps it fresh. After completing the race I must say that I really enjoyed it. The mode was fun to play itself, completely excluding the other goals you have in this set of levels too. In this race you had the goal to win, get 225 rings by the end (I only got 65 my first try), and beating it within a certain time. I don’t have to keep mentioning that replay value is a big thing to me, but I’m thrilled to see that there are completely different level types and all of them have several goals to pursue. This is a Sonic game that I can’t wait to keep playing and make progress on! What about you guys? Are you excited about Sonic Boom Shattered Crystal?