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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.
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