Reviews: Sonic Lost World

Nice Game....Then What?

Sonic Lost World is something of an oddity. Kind of like a modern day Sonic Labyrinth, the game slows Sonic down to focus on some other element. Puzzles for Labyrinth, Platforming here. It seems stupid on paper and in practice it's a solid, if not a bit underwhelming game...Except for one element...

The story is as barebones as it's ever been with Pontac and Graff at the helm, though there is a bit more conflict this time. Basically Sonic and Tails go to a new planet A-La Sonic CD known as the Lost Hex and they encounter Eggman and the Deadly Six. Who are the Deadly Six? What's so special about Lost Hex? Why is Eggman even there in the first place? Those are good questions. Tell me when you find out because I'd like to know too.

But I digress, the gameplay itself is actually rather solid. It takes a while to get used to having a Run button and the parkour can be finicky until you get used to how Sonic reacts to walls, but once you clear that hurdle, you'll find yourself running around, not quite at the speed of sound, but somewhat quickly. The Mach Speed sections really shine here, as they're designed in a way that's both exciting and fairly balanced. A shame that 85% of them are optional bonus routes that, if you're trying for a good time, you'll only see as Sonic soars past them and the camera lingers, as if it's telling you "You could have been running on that floating pretzel over there if you tried harder."

Once you finish the story mode, you unlock the Hidden Zone, five extra acts to clear......and that's it. Only the Red Ring Hunt remains after that.

The reward for getting all the red rings in a zone is a cosmetic Chaos Emerald on the map. Collect them all and you get a rather half-assed Super Sonic appearance that doesn't work in Mach Speed areas and with un-modified carryover animation from Normal Sonic, making him look more like a lazy texture mod than the genuine article at times. This ends up leaving the game with almost no post-story content aside from the time trial grind. After having Colors spoil us with it's 6 act zones and additional Simulator stages and Generations having extra missions and goodies abound everywhere, this along with the rather lackluster ending end up making the game feel rather unsatisfactory in the long run.

I'd suggest it for a weekend rental, but not for a straight up purchase.

Mario: Lost World

More proof Sonic Team has little idea of what to do with their flagship franchise, Sonic Lost World represents a game that had promise and threw it to the side to appease a Mario-centric market.

Controls are a gentle kind of ass; you have to get used to them on both the Wii U and 3DS before you come to realize that the general fear of going any faster than 150 mph on foot has led to a whole-game slowdown. Slowing Sonic down could've proved to be what the franchise needed, as it was more hooked on speed than a druggie for the past few years. Unfortunately, S'Team picked up more Labyrinthian elements than Genesis, and the concept of letting physics dictate Sonic's speed still hasn't punctured through their skulls. You'll wind up spin-dashing just to get back that sense of speed from before. Gameplay is not what you rented this game for. The story is trite and unfinished, again showing that Iizuka is too scared to give Sonic a story any deeper or more meaningful than a two-ply roll of 50 year old used toilet paper.

Some have said that the game is darker than other Sonic titles because of some "extreme" dialogue involving genocide and skinning alive and whatnot. This peaked my curiosity, for I do adore pesticidal fury, and yet upon hearing said obviously hashed-in lines, I now realize that the hype over this "Darker and Edgier" aspect of the game is completely overblown. The game isn't any darker than Colors, and this is yet another point of contention in that Sonic Team has little conscious idea of what kind of brand they're aiming to sell. This terminal confusion and aimless meandering is what will do the franchise in.

That leaves the music, which, true to Post-Colors Sonic form, is decent but a tad too inspired by Mario. That, and the whole damn game. I'd like to believe that mimicry is the best form of flattery, but apparently some Sega execs said "Hmmm. I think gimmickry is the best form of mimicry." And so on. It just doesn't suit Sonic well to be doing this. One minute he's stopping ancient gods; next, he's swearing and brandishing lawyer friendly M16s. Now he's getting his furry leg over Mario.

That's the nature of the game: Sonic Team doesn't give a fuck. I'd give it a 6/10 at best. Another game fans will cry "It's so good" at launch only to foetal up and remember as mediocre for years to come.

Worth a rent.

A good modern Sonic game, not quite great.

After the excellent Colors and Generations, I have to say that this is overall a small step backwards in gameplay. Sonic loses his side-stepping ability from Generations, which makes some of the 3D sections more awkward, though it's a design choice. You also get a new dash button which I'm luke-warm about. I hold it most of the time (like in Mario games). The downside is Sonic will try to run up *any* wall if you dash into it. Also, dashing while on ice makes Sonic skate, and while this can take some getting used to (he is vulnerable if he jumps while skating), it's some good fun once you're used to it.

"Once you're used to it" is a pertinent phrase when discussing this game. There are some sections and boss fights that are just clumsily designed, resulting in unfair deaths. An early level propels you, without much warning, into an enemy which you will kind of "bounce" off of and into a pit if you keep running forward. If you've played the Adventure games, you know what I'm talking about. It's not as bad as the Adventure games, but there are more "why did the game let me die like that" moments than Generations. You won't mind so much after a couple of run-throughs, but the fact is a game in this day and age should not have these problems even with a first run through. Perhaps the worst of these is the boss of world 6, act 4. At least there's a lot of good stuff packed in the levels as well, which will entice you to farm lives and get through the bad stuff.

The presentation is really good. The graphics just look nice overall, everywhere you go you see a bright, fluid world that in most important ways rivals Mario Galaxy, even beating it, especially if you're a fan of the 16-bit Sonic games, in which case this game is great nostalgia trip. I have to laugh when reviewers say it's really pushing the Wii U, but it does look great.

The music has been really good in Sonic games recently; this game is no exception. Possibly one could argue that some of the songs are generic exploits of certain genres of music, it's a matter of opinion but in mine this music is great.

Overall, I would say the high-80s reviews of this game are about as far off the mark as the 50s ones. I give it 2.5 out of 4. If you're a fan of recent Sonic games and you're not too tight for cash, it's worth picking up, but lower your expectations a bit.

Fun Game and Beautiful Music

Just bought it Today and having a lot of fun playing it. All frustrations of gameplay are from me being unfamiliar with it with more time and practice I'll play it much better.

The music is beautiful. 15 minutes in and all ready Windy valley is now my favorite track from this game. Despite mixed reviews this game is another win in my book and I recommended it to people who have a 3ds or Wii.

If you plan on getting a 3ds or Wii for birthday or Christmas get this game to go with it you won't be disappointed.