If you frequent around the Sonic community a fair bit, you’ll know that the reception of Sonic’s latest foray into marketing gimmicks didn’t exactly take well with the fans (though the TV show is worth your time for some good mindless fun.) With the release of sales figures from SEGA, we can now see how this new splinter brand performed, and the news is quite dreadful with the games pulling in over a combined 490,000.
Yes, both Shattered Crystal and Rise of Lyric combined could barely claw their way to over a half-million units, making them some of the worst performing Sonic games, possibly of all time. A hard metric to gauge given strange releases on Game Gear, NeoGeo Pocket Color, and even taco-shaped mobile the N-Gage, but easily the worst in modern times.
Of course, the lukewarm-to-negative reception of the Wii U and 3DS variants, as well as (now-patched) goofy levels of glitches certainly didn’t help the matter, drawing Rise of Lyric frequent contention with Sonic 2006 for the worst in the series.
Worse still is the figure is in the nebulous realm of units actually sold to customers or the total combined units sitting out on store shelves or boxes in the back. So the 490,000 figure may very well be a “best case” scenario.
Previously, Sonic Lost World sold 718,000 units combined, as a marker of the series trend on the Wii U and 3DS and were lukewarmly received. Prior to Lost World, Sonic Colors performed better at over two million units sold, but with the caveat that the Wii and DS had monstrous consumer bases by 2010.
The current downtrend for Sonic and the continued diminishing returns in quality are signs that maybe it’s time SEGA seriously considers putting the Sonic brand on hiatus for a few years (see Capcom with Mega Man… hopefully) or completely overhaul the creative process at Sonic Team (read: fire some people, even the studio head.) But, with the likes of Sonic Runners already on the horizon, it looks like regardless of reception, SEGA will run Sonic full speed right off the edge and into one of the series’ infamous bottomless pits.
While the verdict on Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric is pretty clear at this point, not much attention has been given to its 3DS counterpart Shattered Crystal. Made by Sly Cooper developer Sanzaru Games, this title tries to add kinda-Metroid-like elements while having a hero switching mechanic similar to Sonic Heroes. Unlike the Wii U version, SEGA was confident enough to put up a demo of the game on the eShop before release. And while it wasn’t particularly impressive, the sample given was pretty decent. So the question is if the full game holds up.
So here’s the deal with this Sonic game: it’s not really much like a normal Sonic game. Rather than being about trying to take the fastest path to the finish, a lot of time is spent exploring the levels as you can collect a bunch of crystal fragments and blueprints in most of them. These also take a lot longer to finish than your usual Sonic stage, as they can easily take up to 15 minutes to complete if you’re looking around for collectables. You can also switch between four characters in these stages: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and newcomer Sticks, all of whom work very differently from past games.
Want to give Sonic’s new sports-tape gift-wrapped adventure a go just before its U.S. launch next week? For those that missed Nintendo’s Direct for today, then the good news is you can! Sonic Boom: The Shattered Crystal‘s demo is now available on the 3DS eShop for the U.S. and Europe.
It was also confirmed that a Sonic Boom 3DS theme is planned for release, and a Puzzle Swap panel centered around the game will be piped in to 3DS systems very soon. Let us know what you guys think of the demo in the comments below.
As part of E3 2014, Nintendo put up a new trailer for the 3DS’ Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal. Developed by Sanzaru Games, the game more than enough resembles a passing glance to other Sonic handheld titles, namely anything DIMPS developed from Sonic Rush to Sonic Generations (3DS). The game differs from its Wii U counterpart in that it’s an entirely different adventure where the new villain Lyric has kidnapped Amy. Filling her place in the team is series newcomer
The design of the game is much closer to an exploration style (think a Metroidvania, but not so complex) where using Sonic, Tails, Knuckles or Sticks can unlock new areas to explore. The energy whips also prominently feature as a means of combat or progressing through the stage. The game is set to hit this November.
It’s pre-E3 week, meaning that publishers who aren’t sure if their game will get noticed during E3 are revealing their games early. And SEGA is doing this with its two Sonic Boom games, which have suddenly gotten a bit of a name change.
First up is Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for Wii U developed by Big Red Button Entertainment. The video above shows gameplay of normal Adventure-style levels, one speedier stage and boss battles. The normal levels are slower-paced than your usual Sonic game, seemingly playing more like a PS2-era platformer with beat-em-up sections and character switching. There’s also the new Enerbeam which can be used to find alternate paths, grab and throw enemies, and zip-line across gaps. The speedier levels look a bit more like something you’d play in Sonic Unleashed or Generations, though a bit more automated. The boss battles have all four characters (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy) battling either Eggman or a robot. Like the name suggests, the primary villain isn’t Eggman but rather a cyborg reptilian named Lyric.
Then there’s Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for 3DS developed by Sanzaru Games. Unlike the Wii U game this is a 2D Metroidvania with levels which focus on exploration along with some 3D levels where you use the quickstep and swing around with the new Enerbeam. You’ll be able to switch between Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and the recently introduced Sticks, all of whom have unique abilities. Amy couldn’t make it on account of being kidnapped by Lyric. There used to be a video preview with gameplay footage from GameXplain, but apparently SEGA wasn’t so keen on gameplay being out there already. You can still find it along with a bit more Rise of Lyric gameplay footage if you look in the right places though. (*coughforumscough*)
Beyond the jump you can also find screenshots and concept art of both games along with a list of previews from other sites.