One can expect the response that occurred when IGN gave the Wii U version a 5.8, and then GameSpot gave it a 5.
Review scores are so all over the place that it's not even funny. Most are not surprised that Game Informer gave the game a 5/10 (GI is infamous among Sonic fans for hating even fan favorites like Sonic Generations), but some were surprised when Destructoid's Jim Sterling, who infamously gave Sonic Colors only a 4/10, gave Lost World a 7.5/10 score. There is also some backlash regarding the review sources, such as IGN complaining about "speed," only to show in the video review they weren't even using Sonic's run button properly.
Are the Deadly Six genuinely as malicious as their title implies, or are they a bunch of Jerkass Woobies who were mistreated by Eggman and are just enacting some Disproportionate Retribution against the doctor by destroying his world? Did they die in their final encounters with Sonic, or did they survive?
Anti-Climax Boss: After being built up the entire game as the ultimate threat that need to be stopped, the Deadly Six are ultimately defeated with no real closure or fanfare after their final battles with Sonic. There's not even a cutscene explaining what happened to them after their defeat, they're just gone with no explanation and no further references are made to their whereabouts or fates.
Author's Saving Throw: Sega released a patch for the Wii U version that addressed concerns from fans. Collecting 100 rings grants you an extra life once more and Sonic now starts with double the amount of lives that he did previously. Furthermore, the Wisps that had to be controlled with the gyroscope can now be controlled with the analog stick and buttons.
Best Boss Ever: The final battle with Eggman is easily the most exciting boss fight in the game, easily resembling the final fight from Colors, and is accompanied by awesome music. Especially considering it follows the lackluster boss fights against the Deadly Six. The only downside is that the final boss is still incredibly easy, but it's still the best boss this game has. It is, however, more difficult and involved in the 3DS version.
Desert Runs Zone 2, for capturing the appeal of Generations while also awesomely integrating the features of Lost World, complete with an awesome song and unique boss battle.
The Legend of Zelda Zone, due to all the Zelda Mythology Gags, the amount of detail put into it, the music, and Sonic wearing Link's outfit exclusively for the level.
Tropical Coast Act 1. Out of all the "normal" levels in the game, this one has the most diverse environment, with a ton of alternate routes and platforming to do. Plus, if you're really good at the controls, it's massively fun to just spin dash past everything.
Hidden World act 3. The only Hidden World act without a gimmick to it, it is instead a surprisingly challenging Bonus Level of Heaven. Nearly every single surface is temporary and nearly every single surface is also covered in rings and animal capsules. Easily one of the most rewarding and cathartic stages in the entire game, with a snazzy soundtrack to go with it.
In the 3DS version:
For people who like the Special Stages, the controls are surprisingly accurate — they are some of the most immersive Special Stages in the franchise for this reason.
Windy Hill is easily the best Zone, as it features very few strange gimmicks, almost no game-halting puzzles (focusing instead on the parkour itself), and Wisps that aren't offensively difficult to control (Asteroid, Burst, and Laser). Each level is refreshingly different from one another, and as a bonus there's an extra Tutorial stage which easily counts as a great main stage. It's the Lost World system at its best, and had the entire game been built like that, it would've been one of the better Sonics.
Silent Forest Act 2 is pretty damn fun when Sonic's busy zipping down rails, switching between them in a 360º layout. The music is even taken from the Wii U's Desert Ruin Act 2 (Honeycomb Highway). That said, it also has moments of That One Level...
The 2D levels (1 per zone) are pretty good in general — the only problems being the somewhat labyrinthine level design and zoomed-in camera. It's simply down to easier platforming and better control over the parkour.
Broken Base: As per the usual reactions to modern Sonic games, various things about this game have been debated; from the Nintendo exclusivity, to the change in art style and gameplay, to the plot and characters, and almost anything else you can think of. It doesn't really help that this game shook up the Sonic formula with its new controls.
By and large the criticism aimed at the gameplay often stems from people comparing it to games like Super Mario Galaxy with the game's focus on environmental movement and the topsy-turvy level design where you can stand 360 degrees (similar to Galaxy's planetary gameplay). Some say this is okay because the franchise had burnt out on its extreme focus on speed that started with games like Sonic Advance 2 and Sonic Rush, while others argued this is not in the spirit of Sonic and they are simply latching onto gameplay concepts that do not fit the character in an attempt to reinvent the franchise yet again.
Amy, surprisingly enough. In a leaked cutscene, Amy is seen comforting the animal friends that Sonic has recently freed. In games like Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, Amy can be shown being a caring person in cases like the Flicky from Adventure 1, and this aspect of her character was nearly forgotten due to the character's Flanderization. Not once has Amy gushed about Sonic in the entire cutscene, and she was even seen having a normal conversation with him through the MilesElectric. Over the course of the entire game, Amy never even mentions her crush aside from the scene where she appears to die during the Deadly Six's world-draining.
Tails, likewise, gains a bit of independence towards the end of the game that he hasn't had since the days of Sonic Adventure.
Although it already happened in the previous two games, fans are pleased that SEGA is continuing to treat Eggman like a credible villain even after he gets betrayed by the Deadly Six. He even wins back his status as Big Bad at the end of the game!
Critical Dissonance: IGN gave it a "mediocre" rating of 5.8 while the community review is "amazing" rating of 9.0; though other sites have given it negative reviews, fans take this as either Follow the Leader or bias towards Sonic or Nintendo.
The ability to lock on to certain enemies multiple times before delivering a more powerful Homing Attack makes a joke of most of the bosses in this game.
The Yoshi's Island DLC. Each Yoshi saved gives you three extra lives. Combine that with the abundance of coins, and you can easily get over thirty lives in one run of the stage.
The patch that was released re-instated the ability to gain lives for every 100 rings. This ends up destroying the game, as ring collection is more to the tune of Sonic Unleashed, with you typically gathering rings in large clusters with totals reaching the THOUSANDS in some zones. Nightmare Zone, Desert Ruins 2, Silent Forest 1, Sky Road 1, and Hidden World 2 stand out as the most beneficial, and one of those can be accessed as early as when you get to the world map!
The extended Spin Dash, which is faster than simply running and can destroy enemies on contact. Unlike the Sonic Boost in Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Colors, and Sonic Generations, the extended Spin Dash never runs out of power. This was used to absolutely annihilate most of the S-Rank times in Time Attack and makes some stages much easier than intended, like Frozen Factory Zone 3 and parts of Lava Mountain Zone 3. In addition, enemies were definitely designed with Sonic's normal running speed in mind, such as the timing of the Ball Hogs in Silent Forest Zone 2.
Goddamned Boss: Zeena's first fight in the Wii U version is not too terribly difficult (none of the bosses are, actually), but it makes up for it by being a Puzzle Boss. Zeena hides in snowmen during the fight and Sonic must destroy them all to draw her out. If he takes too long or hits a snowman with a bomb on it, the snowmen will reset and he'll have to start over. Compounding the difficulty is that he has to do this while trapped in a snowball himself, restricting his movements to running, jumping, and the Spin Dash. It's frustrating as hell for first timers.
Sonic's line after Tails gets captured: "I'm supposed to be the fastest, but I was too slow to save my buddy." takes on a darker context come Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where he fails to save Pikachu from an attack that turns everyone into puppets, including Sonic himself. It doesn't help that Tails (who is even obtainable in World of Light), Knuckles, and Amy are among those turned into spirits, while the Deadly Six are not.
Zavok's words to Sonic as he sees his friends dying and his despair at being unable to contact anyone or have Tails by his side has a lot more impact when the movie shows a Sonic who is lonely and without any friends being incredibly miserable.
He Really Can Act: In a franchise not exactly known for stellar English voice acting, Mike Pollock pulls off a genuinely badass, and threatening, sounding Eggman in various parts.
It's Hard, So It Sucks!: A somewhat common complaint. It's a step up in difficulty from previous Sonic games, and when combined with the new gameplay controls and the fact that the game is very stingy with extra lives (before the patch at least), this game has proven to be very frustrating for some players. Better start grinding for lives in Windy Hill Zone 1!
Magnificent Bastard: This version of Eggman starts off with complete control of the Deadly Six through the use of the Cacophonic Conch and only loses them due to Sonic's recklessness. Now stripped of his machines and resources, Eggman decides to ally with Sonic and Tails and take advantage of his past habit of uniting against a stronger force. He even goes so far to save a suspicious Tails's life to make his alliance seem completely altruistic. In the climax, Eggman seemingly sacrifices his life so Sonic can defeat the Deadly Six, but Eggman faked it by using a jetpack to break his fall. Spending the time beneath notice building a mech powered by the energy the Extractor had absorbed, Eggman claws his way back to Final Boss status in a stunning display of manipulation and patience.
Moral Event Horizon: The Deadly Six cross it when they activate Eggman's Extractor to drain the world completely of its energy, destroying it outright if not stopped.
Play the Game, Skip the Story: The general feel for the game. While the gameplay isn't flawless, and certainly not as good as the gamesbefore it, when it works, it works well. But everyone agrees that the story is garbage (and one that wasted a lot of great ideas, at that).
Porting Disaster: The PC version. While it runs fine on sufficiently powerful hardware, it still commits one of the cardinal sins of porting to the PC, which is that the actual speed of the game is tied to the framerate. This means that if the framerate ever dips below 60 FPS, the gameplay itself will slow down, not just the rate at which the graphics render, making slowdown much more noticable. This is rather lacking in comparison to the Polished PortGenerations received.
Scapegoat Creator: Some fans have blamed Nintendo for the game's shortcomings all because the game was made under an exclusivity contract. Nintendo only put the game under contract; it did not get directly involved.
There are some who believe that the game's subpar design is due to it being developed by the "B-team" of Sonic Team, which is supported by data-mining showing that its file structure was similar to that of Colors. As it turns out, though, while the game's preliminary structure was the work of some of Colors' staff, the game was a whole-team effort by the studio, with development beginning in earnest once Generations finished development.
Holding down the run button forces you to run up walls that you don't want to. This isn't so bad in 3D sections, but in 2D sections, it gets aggravating when the game forces you to go at walking speed just because you don't want to run up a wall. This applies to almost any wall, even ones the same height as Sonic that you would have no reason to want to run up.
Many of the Wisps are controlled by motion, instead of the more intuitive, simple scheme used in Sonic Colors. Complaints got so great that eventually Sega fixed this by allowing you to control with the analog stick and buttons just like in Colors. 3DS owners weren't so lucky, and motion controls extended far beyond Wisps in that version — the Special Stages and a few level gimmicks also use them.
Holding down the run button on ice makes Sonic skate similar to Super Mario Galaxy. Unfortunately, jumping while skating gives you a fixed momentum that you can't change, making you jump into obstacles or enemies a lot of the time. note The Mach Speed sections in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) were infamous for exactly this reason, among others. Like the automatic parkour with the run button, being forced to go at a snail's pace just to have better control can be aggravating. This doesn't happen on the 3DS version.
The run button in general is good for 3D sections of gameplay, but the moment you hit 2D, it's like it's completely different physics in play. Jumping while running in 2D will send Sonic flying forwards with little to no control unless you double-jump out of it (which is problematic if enemies are around, since double-jumping causes Sonic to uncurl), and since the 2D sections tend to have tighter platforming, one mis-timed running jump can result in Sonic flinging himself to his doom if there's no walls to catch. The only way to circumvent this is to basically release the run button just before you jump; jumping while simply walking results in a jump that barely crosses any distance and is almost functionally useless.
Auto-scrolling levels. In most other platformers, they're tolerable, but in a Sonic game of all things, they're just out of place and painfully slow.
The sheer amount of intrusive gameplay changes/gimmicks rivals that of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). Although it's much less glitchy than said game, it still gets the same amount of flack for destroying the flow of the game as well as not being very fun in general.
The 3DS version's Special Stages. Like Sonic Colors (DS) and Sonic Generations (3DS), the handheld version allows Sonic to actually collect Chaos Emeralds in a manner similar to the Classic titles (the Stages themselves are mostly similar to the Sonic 3 and Knuckles Special Stages, only set in an area with no gravity). Unfortunately, the developers saw fit to make the Special Stages rely entirely on the 3DS's gyro sensors and camera, meaning you actually need to stand up and literally spin around trying to angle Sonic (and the camera) at the various spheres needed to complete the stages. This alone is annoying enough (especially if you're playing someplace where you can't stand up, such as a car), but it's also possible to make yourself dizzy if you aren't careful, especially with the last couple of Emeralds taking a bit longer to clear.
Self-Fanservice: Zeena might not have any feminine "attributes", but that hasn't stopped the fanart from pouring into the Internet.
So Okay, It's Average: The overall opinion on the game seems to be that it fails to measure up toSonic Colors and Sonic Generations, but still manages to be better-received than Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and Sonic Unleashed — more specifically, it gets a few things right, for multiple reasons, but a lot of other things it manages to screw up, leading to a very mixed bag. Opinion is similarly mixed on the 3DS version, but on the whole, slightly lower than the Wii U version due to questionable design in certain levels and some technical issues, including frequent frame drops and rampant pop-in.
Lava Mountain. It's nearly Eggmanland levels of difficult, and even has a similar appearance. Especially Zone 2, which requires you to be precise with the jumping, and Zone 3, a brutal Marathon Level with rising lava segments and That One Boss.
The second stage of Frozen Factory. It's a long stage where you control a large snowball with annoying controls through a maze full of holes and enemies that bounce you all over the place, before finally confronting the significantly less annoying boss.
It gets even worse if you're trying to collect all the red rings. While most of them are rather easy, the ring in the second pool table is incredibly difficult to obtain — due to the way Sonic bounces in the snowball, you have to gently nudge him in the right direction, which can be hell. To make matters worse, there's a checkpoint right after this section, meaning if you fail it, you have to try and jump off of the table and kill yourself. If you fail this, then you're propelled right into the checkpoint and have to restart the entire stage. Tip: if you fail to sink any of the pool balls, jump over the side as soon as possible; the speed ramps' trajectories aren't hard-coded, so you can kill yourself and try again without restarting the entire stage.
Silent Forest Zone 3. The final Red Ring requires the parkour skill and jumping. Prepare to die and curse the game designer's descendants. A lot.
The 3DS version gets a lot of flak for its long, gimmicky levels that only get worse as the game goes on. Famously, cobermani actually gave up on the game and ragequit his Let's Play of it! Let's cover the special offenders:
Desert Ruins Act 3 starts out with an annoying maze floating in midair, with locked gates taunting the player right at the start. The next section involves dodging a giant laser beam that's practically impossible to avoid, even with Super Sonic. The final section of the level is a planetoid maze that can easily send the player in circles.
Tropical Coast — the entire zone, due to its tedious puzzles, but especially Act 3. Act 3 is groundbreaking for being the first fully-3D water level in a Sonic game, but most navigation is done via Yellow Drill, which does not translate to 3D well. at. all. Bonus(?) points for severe framerate issues during the whirlpool segment near the end- the game chugs to the single-digits if Sonic loses his rings.
Frozen Factory Act 3 has practically reached memetic status for being hair-tearingly frustrating. It taunts the player with 3 paths and 3 locked capsules right at the start. The player is then treated to 3 puzzles, each involving solving switch mazes, rolling snowballs until they are large enough, and guiding them into holes, while slipping around the ice, being shoved around by Goddamn Bats, and eventually facing the ultimate: a sentient, malevolent snowball head that stalks Sonic relentlessly, destroying his snowball if it touches him and damaging him. The time limit is 25:00. Have...fun! And in case you get any ideas, Super Sonic won't help at all here due to the nature of the level.
Silent Forest Act 1 features the finicky Gray Quake and its annoying motion controls, not to mention labyrinthine level design which is again easy to get lost in, and annoying switch puzzles.
Silent Forest Act 2 features the unique distinction of being the fastest level in the game, and is quite exciting with full 360º rail-switching action...until it periodically grinds to a screeching halt with frustrating enemy ambushes taking place in deep "sticky" grass. Later parkour sections and electric rails — some mandatory — only serve to amplify the "fun".
Sky Road simply sucks throughout, though Act 1 is passable. Still, this game managed to take the casino park trope and take all the actual mini games out of it. Act 3 features extra pain in the form of motion-controlled rockets that permeate the entire level.
For a lot of people, the Special Stages all become this automatically due to being motion-controlled (noticing a pattern here?). They're actually quite good, but the controls just dampen the package.
A nice 3DS-exclusive feature is that once all Red Rings in a Zone are collected, an Extra stage opens up. This stage is a remix of one of the main stages, but with extra gimmicks usually involving a specific Wisp. The only problem: none of them are enjoyable whatsoever. Some, like Silent Forest Extra, are so hideously broken that practically the only way to perform even decently well is to abuse the hovercraft RC vehicle. It says something that these stages feature oodles of extra lives just floating in the open.
Sonic. He was already feeling pretty bad about endangering the world because of his recklessness, but things just get worse from there. His best friend gets captured and is planned to be roboticized, his other friends presumably get the life sucked out of them, and the last thing he sees of his only remaining allies is them falling towards a river of lava. No wonder Sonic is so distraught throughout the second half of the game.
Tails counts too. He gets injured AND captured due to Sonic's recklessness, gets converted to a robot (well, faking it anyway), and feels hurt because his best friend seems to trust the egomaniacal madman who tried to kill them for years over him.
They Copied It, So It Sucks!: Just like Colors, this game gets some bile for copying Super Mario Galaxy's aesthetics, although this game got it far worse due to copying the simpler aesthetic of that series, and more controversially, the slower pace of the Mario series, going as far as to add a "run" button. The final boss also got bashed on for being practically identical to the final boss in Colors.
The plot in general is considered a large step up from the last twogames, by actually developing the conflict this time, but is generally still considered pretty poor. This is due in no part to the execution of certain plot points, the lack of context to some story elements, and what is generally considered a very lackluster third act. The consensus seems to be that it starts off well enough before dropping in quality halfway through.
Amy spends the story taking care of animals on Sonic's World, so to some degree she's not wasted. Knuckles isn't even there long enough to count as comic relief: He gets all of TWO LINES in the entire game.
Likewise the Zeti. They could've made very interesting and memorable villains, and while their character interaction is great, despite their clichéd personalities, everything else is wasted. We know next to nothing about them, why they became the Deadly Six, where they came from, why they were sealed away, why the conch controls them, or what a Zeti even is! Not to mention their fate was VERY anticlimactic and ambiguous. The most we get is some vague little snippets of their relationship to each other and that's about it. Here's hoping Sega rectifies this if they plan to bring them back for future installments. (Zavok coming back by himself in Sonic Forces doesn't even count, since it was a duplicate created by Infinite.)
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: A major conflict in the game is how Tails starts feeling like Sonic is beginning to lose faith in him in favor of Eggman, and just wants to be of use to his hero. However, this ignores the fact that Eggman is the only one capable of disabling the machine since he was the one who made it, and that Tails makes no objections to even allowing him to help in the first place. In fact, this has the side effect of making Sonic Unintentionally Sympathetic, as he's treated negatively for his earlier actions that kicked off the plot despite his genuine remorse and trying to make amends. The plot is firmly on Tails` side of the conflict. and in the end, Sonic apologizes for "not trusting him enough". The whole conflict ends up being moot anyway when Tails just randomly disables Eggman's machine to begin with.