TSS Preview: Sonic Lost World

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At this years Summer of Sonic, I managed to get some hands on time with Sonic Lost World. I have to be honest, I’ve been looking forward to trying this one out, if only because ‘it looks so different’ and… it’s the first next gen Sonic game, why wouldn’t I want to try it out?

Fellow TSS staffer Doctor MK also got some time with the game, you can find his impressions in this article too. Our views are based on the Wii U version of the game, running on the SDCC/SOS/Sonic Boom build.

How many times have you seen someone complain about a Sonic game or any long running franchise? How many times have you seen them start their complaint as if they’re standing on a block yelling in a bombastic voice “I’ve been playing games for *insert a year here* and I have managed to complete them all!” You know the kind, and you’ve all seen it before in some degree.

Following my experience with Sonic Lost World, I can see this being said by a great many people. If you don’t include spinoff titles, Sonic Lost World is unlike any Sonic game I have ever played, and the moment I’d finished with it I took a breath and said ‘this game is going to divide a lot of fans.’

I should probably say, I do not own a Wii U, I have never ever played on a Wii U until I touched Lost World, so my experience with using this system is completely fresh. If I were to buy a Wii U, Sonic Lost World is my launch title. But… According to a recent interview with Sega, they see this game as being something that can help save the Wii U, we’ll come back to this later, but it’s something worth keeping in mind, especially when we get onto the part about ‘how easy is this game to pick up and play?’

The day before SOS I was with someone who also hadn’t played on a Wii U before, but also, hadn’t played a Sonic game for a number of years, she’d played Sonic Adventure through to Heroes, but not played Generations or Colours. I have played every main 3D Sonic game, so we had quite the range of expertise, our only common factor was, neither of us owned a Wii U.

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So she has the first go and picks Windy Hill, after a few moments of play she calls me over and asks me a question I never thought I would hear from someone who plays a Sonic game “How do I go fast?” followed by another question I never thought I would hear…. “How do I attack the badniks?”

Before you all mock… If you have to ask that, something is very wrong. Is it with the player or the game? Offering to help her out I quickly discovered why she was having problems.

She wasn’t aware about the whole ‘hold down the trigger to run’ so I showed her that, and sure enough Sonic was running, but there was a new problem, how to attack enemies. Watching this girl play it was near random, she would sometimes do a homing attack, other times it was almost random. Sometimes Sonic would attack multiple targets, other times one. So about halfway through the level, she turned to me and said ‘Do you want to play? I think I’ve had enough.’

I want you to remember this line. ‘Do you want to play? I think I’ve had enough.’ Remember it well. So I took the controller… and instantly, I could see and feel the problems she was having.

Holding down a trigger to make Sonic run feels for lack of a better word, weird, as well as being overly complicated, here’s an example. I want to ‘run’ forward. I hold ‘up’ on the analogue stick (as usual), I start to walk, and I only walk. I want to go as fast as I would do in Generations, Unleashed and most other games without boosting. The only way I can do that is to hold up on the analogue stick, then hold down a trigger button and I can ‘run’ not at boost speed, but at normal running speed similar to Generations and Unleashed, it’s actually a lot slower than normal running speed in past games.

So say I then want to go at ‘boosting speed’ which happens to be the spin attack… I then have to keep those buttons held down and now press and hold another button to do the spin dash/boost.

I am now holding down 3 buttons down just to go at max speed in my desired direction.

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in previous games, I only had to hold up on the analogue stick, and then press and hold the boost button if I wanted to use it… here I have to hold down 3 buttons for the boost, and 2 just to run.

This might not seem like much, but after so many years, this is one hell of a control change, and it’s not user friendly. It makes doing something as simple as running much more complicated than previous. We’ve all heard the joke ‘hold right to win?’ Well here we have to hold ‘up’ a ‘trigger button’ and sometimes a boost button just to get moving.

When you eventually do get moving, a new problem presents itself, that being, why is Sonic moving so slowly? With the run button held down, Sonic feels like he’s running against a force-field, it’s just not fast enough, please increase the speed cap.

Attacking enemies is also much harder than before, and it feels close to random as to how it works. I played both Windy Hill and Desert Ruins 2 (the honey comb level). In both these stages, the homing attack feels like it operates differently. It’s not a universal method of attacking and I still can’t figure it out.

Example, in Windy Hill, there are 3 enemies ahead of me; I jump towards them. Suddenly there’s a lock on target on all three, I push what I think is the homing attack, Sonic attacks only 1, so I try again, this time Sonic doesn’t attack any of them. I try again, he attacks 1, I try again, he attacks all three. It was the same with every cluster of enemies, it was close to random as to if Sonic would attack them all or none at all, there was nothing in the games hints as to what to do either.

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Then you get to Desert Ruins 2. You’ve seen those videos of people doing huge homing attack chains on multiple targets? Yeah… that’s random.  I could perform the huge chains, but I couldn’t figure out how I was doing it, sometimes it just didn’t work at all. At one point I thought, ‘if I jump and hold up at the same time he’ll do the chain attacks?’  But this wouldn’t work every time. There was no clear instruction or method as to how you attack enemies in the mach speed levels or the 3D platforming levels. It felt completely random at times.

And when you do connect a full badnik chain successfully, you don’t feel like you’ve done anything, bringing us back to the age old problem of ‘Am I actually playing this game?’ It feels so automated that which it looks nice, as a player, you don’t get any satisfaction since you didn’t actually do anything, especially when the success rate of performing an attack seems to be completely random.

I’m still not sure as to what you have to do, it’s not a case of ‘double jumping’ and Sonic will auto lock on enemies any more. You do something else, but the game never explains what. At times it felt like in Metal Gear Rising where you have to master the perfect parry. Jump and hold the analogue stick in the direction of the enemies then push jump again at just the right time? Is that how you do it? I don’t know, because it seems to have a random effect each time and there’s nothing in the game that explains what you have to do.

I’m not surprised that the girl who started the game before me had enough, it was so  random and complicated just doing the most basic of actions, actions which have been so easy for years are now drastically different and the game in its present state offers so little to help you.

Like I said at the start, I am not a Wii U owner, this was one of the main reasons I would get one, and according to Sega, they hope this game will help turn around the outlook of the system, but how do you hope to do that if you have made your controls this difficult for new players to both the system and the franchise? It puts you off from continuing because it feels so random, with no ingame help for such a radical change in control I can’t help but wonder why I would continue playing?

You can’t just pick up and play this game; the learning curve is so high I suspect many people will give up on it since it feels far more complicated than it needs to be. Even the werehog combos were not as complicated as this game is. Just something as basic as ‘Why not hold a trigger to walk instead of run?’ would improve this game so much, over holding it to run at a speed expected when one plays a Sonic game.

The control issues don’t stop there either… there’s another very annoying problem in the form of the Wisps.

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I for one don’t particularly mind the Wisps that much, what I do have a problem with is how you use them in Lost World. Who thought it would be a good idea to aim/activate/control the Laser Wisp using the gamepad? This is ridiculous, I have to take my eyes off the screen just to use a wisp, I have to activate it using the gamepad as opposed to a button on the controller itself, (and it’s not like there aren’t any it could be mapped too), I have to aim it using the gamepad screen, and this is not an easy thing to do at all. I saw people flying off in the wrong direction and it took me a while to aim it at the desired target. When I used the power I had no idea if I’d done it right or if Sonic just happened to blast off in a direction which happened to avoid any hazards which meant my time trying to pull off a laser wisp was completely pointless.

It’s not an easy thing to do either, aiming the wisp feels like trying to stack a house of cards on a bouncy castle full of kids going ape after eating all the ice-cream, it’s really difficult, you feel like you’re righting against the game at times just to aim it right and then launch it.

I am becoming really sick of developers trying to convince me of problems that touch pads, motion controllers, kinect’s, touch screens and all these other control schemes are solving, which don’t exist in the first place. Why is such a fundamental part of the game forced onto us by the use of the game pad? What problem exists with the control scheme which means I cannot push a button to trigger the wisp, then use the analogue stick to aim followed by the jump button to activate? The game locks you into using the Wisp once you touch the second screen anyway so why force this onto the player? It solves a problem that doesn’t exist!

The use of the game pad is so badly designed that when a Wisp is ‘activated’ the action of the television freezes in such a way that I thought the game had crashed and was just about to call one of the reps over before I noticed that action had changed to the second screen on the gamepad. But the ‘lock up’ on the main screen is such a mess first time players who had no idea whats going on might easilly mistake this for a system crash. There isn’t even a message informing the player that the action has now gone to the game pad. I could go through an entire thesaurus as to how bad the Wisp activation and useage in this game is.

I don’t know if there’s some kind of Nintendo conspiracy which means all games have to use the game pad in a way, but the way you use Wisps in this game is terrible. This should not be tied to the game pad at all. But hey at least the game tells you how to use them right…? Oh wait… IT DOESN’T! Yeah, the only way I knew how to use a Wisp power is because I happened to watch a random live stream a few weeks prior in which a Sega rep told the player how to use it. Nowhere in the game does it tell you how to use the powers or control them!

It was such a bad experience trying to use the Wisps afterwards I thought ‘it has to be me, theres no way it’s this bad, it’s got to be my inexperience with the Wii U?’ I asked several people, both Wii U and non Wii U owners, every one of them said the same thing ‘The Wisp activation/control scheme is awful.’

There have in the past been complaints about the ‘tutorials’ and Omachao, but if you are going to change a control scheme which has been in place for the past 10 years that has had barely any changes and then radically alter it, might be an idea to tell players what they’re supposed to do?

Continuing with the control problem, though this might actually be a camera issue, wasn’t quite sure. This game sees the return of ‘mach speed’ levels, before people panic, they control so much better than Sonic 06. But they have problems.

You’ve seen how you have to run into the honeycombs that are hollow? Well, think back to a game like Unleashed where you use ‘the quick step’ you know how when you used this, Sonic would jump/move to a left or right ‘path’ and both the camera and Sonic would ‘lock’ to that spot unless you moved the analogue stick or pressed the quick step button? Here you have more freedom… but it brings with it problems.

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Sonic is constantly moving forward in these stages, and when it came to aligning up with a tunnel, I held left on the analogue stick, found myself perfectly aligned and then let go of the stick… Sonic kept moving to the left, and I went crashing into the wall, even though everything from the last 10 years has told me Sonic wouldn’t do that. He would stick and lock to the fixed path I’d just sent him on.

Eventually I imagine you can master this camera ‘drift’ but when you start these stages, you WILL be frustrated. I just cannot understand why there’s this drift, especially when hitting the walls is a 1 hit kill.

There is another huge problem with the game that I admit might just be how I was playing, but when I realised what was going on, I realised that there was nothing in the game to suggest I could do this.  As a fan of Sonic, as someone who watches the live streams and the video demos and the trailers… I know, this game has multiple paths… I know that you can explore the stages. I know this, because I’ve looked it up.

However, if you play this game without any prior knowledge… the game offers nothing to suggest that is the case. The way Windy Hill is presented, your natural sense is to run forward and not change direction. You can change and go down an alternative path quite early on, but the design of the stage means unless you know it’s there, or unless you know the game has multiple paths, there is no reason at all to explore the stage. Due to the design of the stage, you will naturally stick to the default path. There’s no reason at all to explore. Maybe this will change in a later build, but right now had I not known the game has multiple paths or I could explore, I wouldn’t have done as I had no reason to.

The parkour system, the big seller for this game, it’s a nice idea on paper, but in reality, it’s it feels like… I don’t want to say easy mode, but it feels like it was designed not to make platforming more a focus as much as it was made so that everyone has a chance to beat a stage. Even then, the Parkour system has it’s problems. There are apparently people who have complained that Sonic goes too fast so he crashes into walls. The parkour system is designed to keep Sonic moving as well as help him run on walls. Which in theory is a really good idea, we’ve all seen the trailers of it in action and it looks great.

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The reality however is different, imagine you are playing as Sonic and you walk upto a wall, you stop, you hold down the parkour button… you can now walk up this wall without building up any momentum… see that tree, you can just walk up it from a dead stop, that wall, not a problem. Parkour in this game should be renamed ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’s magical anti-gravity shoe mode’ it doesn’t break the game, nor does it make it easier, but it really is just ‘walk on walls mode’ as opposed to being what parkour actually is, using ones momentum to perform amazing stunts and skills.

That said, the parkour system isn’t bad, it’s really satisfying when you do actually use it to perform a stunt or difficult move. It gives the game much more platoforming focus, so if we’ve really been crying out for a slow platforming game, then I guess this one is for you. But for me, it just feels strange how it seems that for years we’ve wanted better momentum in Sonic games, yet now we’ve got parkour which requires next to no build up in speed or movement to be able to defy gravity, hence why I’m going to call this “Magical anti-gravity shoe mode.”

When you run as Sonic and you have ‘Magical anti-gravity shoe mode’ activated, you’re gonna get frustrated, I started off Windy Hill running at a great pace, when suddenly I started running up a tree because I had ‘Magical anti-gravity shoe mode’ activated, I don’t wish to climb this tree, yet due to the nature of the controls, you’re not pushed to the side and continue on, you start to climb up objects if you want to or not unless you release/hold specific buttons during your sprints, again, adds to the controls being very complicated.

There are a number of other annoying things that really need looking at, one such example would be the bells, you know that bell you hit a few times to get a reward? Well, say you knock the bell and it flies forward, you then catch up with it, if the bell hasn’t ‘rested’ even if you hit it, it will not register as a hit. So you are forced to stop and wait for this bell to rest before you can strike it again. It’s not like this is a difficult task, yet it forces the player to stop and wait until it’s ready to be hit again.

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You might have noticed, I’ve not exactly praised the game so far. Before you wonder, yes there is praise to be had, quite a lot. Remember at the start when I told you about the girl who said ‘Do you want to play? I think I’ve had enough,‘ remember that? The problems I’ve talked about are all problems you will face early on in the game, high learning curve, dodgy control schemes, core abilities mapped to the game pad, no help to the player.

Now you might think ‘well I’ve played lots of Sonic games in the past I’ll be fine,’ this game is completely different to past Sonic games, you might be a master at Generations, Colours, Unleashed, but everything you know from that game will not help you here because the game plays so differently. Not just the fact its more platform focused, but basic controls are so different you are learning from scratch, and it’s far from easy.

‘Do you want to play? I think I’ve had enough?’ a quote from someone who Lost World should be appealing to, the first game on a ‘next gen console’ the first chance to win fans which Sega hopes will help save a floundering console. That is the first impression from someone semi new to the modern era of games. And I fully understand where they’re coming from.

This game is going to divide people. Some are going to hate it, others will like it. Some will stick with it because they want to beat it, but an equal number are going to give up due to how random, complicated and inaccessible the controls are to both veteran Sonic fans and new players. Nothing feels right, it feels wrong to hold down so many buttons just to make Sonic run at non boosting speeds.

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So is this a bad game?

No… In fact there’s a lot here which makes this a very good game.

I have been concerned when this game was announced that the ‘tube’ stages would make me feel a tad dizzy from the motion sickness generated by how the camera and the terrain moves. However, playing this in person, it’s not a problem mainly because you’re the one controlling it and you know when the camera and the terrain is going to turn and change.

Another big piece of praise comes from the art direction. Now I’ve not been that big a fan of it. I don’t hate it, but I just don’t like it… but in motion, this game looks fantastic, the complaints about the art style don’t really have any merit when the game is in motion and you’re actually progressing through the stages.

But by far the biggest praise, sixty frames per second! In the PS3 version of Sonic Unleashed, there are parts of the game which do hit this mark, and it’s glorious, but it lasts for a few seconds at the most. But now, the full game, with only tiny drops, oh my… welcome to the future. It looks fantastic and all future Sonic games must hit this mark, it just looks too good not to aim for this mile stone.

Praise also needs to go into the appearance of the levels themselves, each stage looks radically different from the other but maintains a high level of beauty about them. If there’s one thing Sonic Team have been excellent at lately it’s making their stages stand out and look unique whilst maintaining a high level of quality.

The game still has a fair way to go, some of the problems might change for the better, but things like the forced use of the game pad, that’s here to stay. It’s annoying because, there really is an amazing Sonic game here, you can see it crying out for you to love it. But right now, the high learning curve, the frankly random and sometimes broken controls utterly destroy this and will end up causing many people to simply give up or avoid the game altogether.

Would I buy a Wii U just for this game as it stands right now? No, there are too many problems and issues with the controls to justify buying a console just for this game. Far too many problems with the controls, the Wisp system needs to be completely redesigned and Sonic is too slow.

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Second Opinion: But of course, thats just my opinion from what I played. Fellow TSS staffer Doctor MK was also able to try out the Wii U version of the game.

As a devoted Wii U owner as well as a huge fan of Sonic Colours, you’d think Sonic Lost World would be right up my street – and for the most part, you’d be right. I played Windy Hill Zone 1 and the first thing I noticed about the blue blur’s latest outing was just how good it looks. The colours are bright and vibrant, really capturing a classic Sonic feel that harkens back to the days of the Megadrive, yet still somehow managing to feel fresh and new. Not everyone will like the game’s more simplistic art style compared with the more detailed landscapes in Unleashed and Generations, but Lost World most definitely has a charm of its own and when you see it running in full motion, it’s hard not to be at least a little impressed.

The new control scheme for Sonic’s tweaked moveset also left me with a positive impression. If you’ve played the recent high velocity, boost-orientated games in the series then you’ll definitely need a moment to adjust to Sonic walking of all things, but holding down ZR to run and ZL to spin dash feels far more intuitive than it may initially sound. The twisty, tubular level design accommodates for Sonic’s new moves with plenty of opportunities for proper platforming (which the tight controls and double jump more than allow for), and pulling off a successful parkour trick is a very satisfying feat indeed. As far as gameplay is concerned I have faith that this is heading in the right direction, striking a balance between speed and precision that hasn’t truly been seen since the 16-bit era.

However, not all was well in the demo, by which I specifically refer to one very particular fly in the ointment. I may have loved Sonic Colours, but I am certainly not loving the way the Wisps work in Sonic Lost World so far. Put simply, trying to use the GamePad’s touch screen to activate the Cyan Laser Wisp was infuriatingly difficult. The aiming was imprecise and the quick flick used to activate the laser just would not register, however hard I tried. In the end I had to resort to the traditional stick and buttons combo – yes, you can actually use them, though you wouldn’t know it from the game’s instructions – but even then it was slower and more clunky than it was in Sonic Colours. It pains me to find fault with Lost World after it left me feeling so optimistic in every other aspect, but this is too big an issue to ignore. If the other Wisps control as poorly as this one does, the game could really suffer.

All in all though I had a blast with the one level I got to play, and I’m eager to get my hands on the finished product. If the few niggling issues that exist in the demo can be ironed out before release, then the future is looking bright for our plucky hedgehog hero. Roll on October!

Sonic Lost World is due for release this October for both the Wii U and 3DS.

73 Comments

  1. Frankly, I know the feeling. I got a chance to play this game at San Diego Comic Con, and the controls were so bad, I had a SEGA rep hanging over my shoulder trying to tell me how to play the game. And I PLAYED just about every Sonic game that’s out there. Needless to say, there were 3 demo levels and I only played two because I just could not get into the gameplay for this. The Wisp system was very awkward, Sonic felt WAY too slow, even at top speed, and the fact you need three buttons to get to boosting? Yea, I was done.

    1. Though I’ve got to say, I’ve seen multiple previews from many other websites, and they have all been generally positive. Heck, they even praised the controls on how tight they were. Also, saying that Sonic was too slow was not fair at all. Recent Sonic games could not have much platforming due to Sonic’s intense speed and how he was designed to run linear. With the walk button, Sonic can now do more precise platforming. Plus, I feel that a run button is great. It lets me control when I want Sonic to go fast or not.

      Now I’m not saying you are wrong, as everyone has their own take. It’s interesting to see your side of the story though.

  2. Sounds like the lack of a tutorial is killing people playing the demo at a convention. Hopefully the Wisps can be fixed, too.

  3. hog father did you play Sonic Lost World at the summer of Sonic 2013 at London only for Wii U not Nintendo 3DS for helping a Girl out! Also hog father your going to get Wii U and buy Sonic Lost World at GameStop or Target or every place.

  4. I think that people who dont know how to play the game they are reviewing should not be allowed to do it.

    Luckily we already have a decent preview here on the site, the one made at E3, so people can understand how the game feels when you know what you are doing.

    1. I am at a loss at this thinking…

      If the game has broken controls, if the game has a high learning curve, if the game is not easy to pick up and play… you shouldn’t comment on it?

      You should only pay attention to people who had no problem? Ignore all those who said it’s not easy? Basically, you want feedback that is nothing but praise.

      If I had posted a preview which said ‘The wisps work fine, they’re easy to use and the game doesn’t look like it’s crashed when you use them’ or ‘the parkour system works well, the homing attack works fine and the learning curve is very low and easy to do’ that would be what we call a lie.

    2. I’m sorry for being aggressive and rude in the comment above, but I can’t delete it…

      My problem is that I hate to see Previews passing a bad impression of how the experience will be in the final version, either for lack of tutorial in the demo or gaming skills (I’m not saying that this was the case).

      It ends up affecting the opinion of many people that could have enjoyed the game.

      If you frequent this site, it’s almost certain that you will be able to learn how to play it, even if it takes one hour. After overcoming this obstacle, considering the other previews on the internet, this game may even become the new “Best 3D Sonic ever made”.

      1. But what do you propose I do?

        If the demo I’ve played left a bad impression because of bad controls or lack of information on the game, or because the game is not easy to pick up an play.

        Am I to just ignore those complaints and pass them off as ‘well people will learn to play it.’ I can’t and won’t do that.

        1. You could have said, for example, “I don’t know if the problem are the controls or the lack of a tutorial stage, since the gameplay has changed radically from the one in previous games, but I had serious problems to adapt myself to them.”

          …and I’ll stop here, you’re being really cool accepting opinions and the like, I feel bad for being so annoying.

          1. With all due respect to Hogfather. As much as I like to agree with some aspects. The fact of the matter is this. Sega PRESENTED a product to the public. If there is a problem with the product. That is not the fault of the user. THE USER is supposed to be excited for the product when they do have fun and when if they feel they have concerns then they have the right to voice them. SEGA REPS HAD to practice the game to help with that. But in the end is USER EXPERIENCE. Not if the Sega rep had fun, if the PLAYER HAD FUN. This is especially the case as this is a COMMUNITY BASED event. This isn’t a press conference. The way he worded it was fine. Becuase he isn’t trying to sell the game. He is a fan of Sonic.

            Sorry if I sounds aggressive, but to say something “I don’t know if the problem are the controls or the lack of a tutorial stage, since the gameplay has changed radically from the one in previous games, but I had serious problems to adapt myself to them.” feels like PR talk.
            >.<

      2. By “Best 3D Sonic ever made” I mean “your favorite one”.

        I tried to make a reference to the fans who think his favorite game is the best ever made, but my English is VERY rusty.

        Actually I feel that I shouldn’t have even started this discussion because I can’t argue properly due to the shortening of my vocabulary…

        1. Nosnense! Unlike a certain other fellow who tries to shove so much positivity down our collective throats, you at least temper your opinion with logic and reason. Moreover, despite your apparent lack of english, you speak very well.

          As for the preview, I think Hogfather did a tremendous service to everyone for being so critical of the game while it was still in this stage. So many fans (Sonic fans) instantly hop on the hype wagon simply by watching trailers and PR dribble, but this often leads to blind purchasing and later unwarranted disappointment because expectations where so high. Sonic Cycle, nuff said. What critical gameplay impressions give fans is the ability to look at the game with a clear head and now base the game on it’s own merits and their own judgement rather than follow the flock or the brand. This also gives companies like SEGA the opportunity to fix up any of these mistakes within reasonable time. Hell, the whole reason they made a speed-tier system is because the fans complained about too much speed.

          Seeing as Hogfather had a really negative impression of the Wii U version, it just brings more evidence to show how the WiiU is it’s own enemy. The whole design centering around that blasted gamepad doesn’t allow for the system to be enjoyed at it’s fullest; Nintendo just HAD to shove some gimmicky device into what could be a very capable HD device. I honestly can’t think SLW will save the WiiU when the game is suffering because it relies on the system. I hope to get my own impressions when NYCC comes along.

          I implore others to try a demo before they buy, ESPECIALLY if you don’t have a Wii U like me. Because if this game doesn’t shape up, you may have only two options: Get the 3DS version which may be more reliable but it’s being done by diMPS so keep that in mind… or wait for the eventual Sonic PS4/XBOX One game and enjoy a better control scheme.

          1. Owning a Wii U and being quite a strict Nintendo fan, I don’t actually see the gamepad as a gimmick, more of a step up in gaming. Yeah, the game library is something the Dreamcast would be ashamed of, and the controller looks obnoxiously large, but seeing Mario or Pikmin in proper HD graphics is just pure glory. Plus, they’re remaking Legend of Zelda Wind Waker which will look glori-I’m getting off track here.

            What I’m trying to say is, once these Wii U titles give these games a boost (I’m sure Super Smash Bros. will give it a hefty toss in sales) people will start to realise that the Wii U is a capable console.

    3. But according to the review, he knows how to play SONIC and there’s no way around it. You learn to play a game by playing it.

      A review is based on one’s impressions and opinions, so you only want a review after they’ve learned to become experts or something? You’re not making ANY sense! o.O

      1. Do you remember IGN’s original Review of Sonic and the Black Knight?

        They played the game until the fake credits screen. Said the items you collected were garbage that didn’t do anything, that you unlocked Knuckles and friends after beating the game just to play the game again with them, among other nonsense.

        In a way, it was not IGN’s fault, they were deceived by the false credits screen and couldn’t imagine that the game was actually just beginning.

        But the fans who read they Review were affected by it (not that it matters in this case, since the game was bad after all).

        Writing reviews is a job of great responsibility because it is something that really form opinions.
        But I agree with Faz, if anything is Sega’s fault for not including a Tutorial Level or something and not Hogfather’s.

        Sorry for all the trouble =/

        1. Excuse me? Black Knight may not have been the best game ever, but it sure as hell wasn’t a “bad game”. It’s not like it had a buttload of control problems like it’s predecessor, Secret Rings, which in itself would’ve been a fantastic game if not for the motion controls and how Sonic controlled as a whole. Black Knight basically fixed that.

    1. Unfortunately I didn’t get chance to play the 3DS version. I know some TSS staff did so I think they might be posting their thoughts on that one later on.

  5. Had the control system been pick up and play and trial and error then sure, that’s awesome. Judging from this however, the learning curve is on par with Mario Galaxy which was nothing like the original which is to be said right here. This isn’t a heavy speed booster title that we’re all used to and yes, the fanbase may divide as usual but, go into the game not expecting the generic formality mechanics and honestly, I welcome the idea of this I just hope it’s not *too* overbearing…

    1. Except Mario Galaxy had a beautiful intro stage which introduced you to the classic Mario controls on a basic stage. It then sets up a simple rabbit chasing scenerio which introduces the gravity physics. It was one of the most streamlined introductions to a new Mario…nah, any game experience I have seen in a long time.

  6. I think it’s better for a game to have a Large Learning Curve.

    From all the past sonic games we’ve played, we all gotten used to the run and move forward to the point where we expect that Sonic will just be the stay way always. Then this game came to us with such a different control scheme that it’s could baffle us with it’s differences..

    To me, I think that’s good, because you are able to learn a completely new way on beating a stage. And once you master it, you’ll feel successful at it. Somethings change and doesn’t always have to be the same… Like from Mario 64 to Mario 3D World

    I would had been a bit bummed out if the next sonic game was just about Boost filled game, because we had that and now it’s time to move on…

    I just believe this is something we all just have to get used to. Like we all have to get used to Unleashed.

    1. People aren’t accustomed to a major full on change. Hence why they’ll feel mislead without trying to understand the mechs.

      1. Exactly. I feel like the only way we can actually say anything about this game is to play it ourselves… And develop our own opinions about it.

  7. “But by far the biggest praise, sixty frames per second!”
    It’s a sad day when that’s the biggest thing to praise about a Sonic game.

  8. Lol. Nearly complete opposite reviews on the subject aside from the Wisp controls. XD

    I have some confidence that I can work through it. If the gyroscope in the gamepad is as precise in this game as it is in others like Nintendo Land or Zombi U, then its probably just from your lack of Wii U experience. Cant say for sure til then though.

    And btw, when you say that the conversion from Unleashed/Colors/Generations to Lost World took its toll. But how would you compare it to other open movement games like Adventure 1/2 or Heros? Because Ive been playing them recently for that exact reason.

  9. I do think the article is a little short-sighted to not even acknowledge that there’ll probably be tutorials in the full game. Plus it’s easy to compare to the simplicity of the Modern Trilogy’s controls when once upon a time those were strange and new too. I’m sure when played in a non-time-pressured envioronment where players have the time and patience to figure out the controls in the intended way by the developers, they’ll flow naturally. I mean, one of, if not THE most critically acclaimed platformer series of all time, has a run button after all.

    I also don’t quite get the criticism of the game pushing you towards one route. It’s the first level of the game, of course they want you to take a specially created route for your first time experience. The alternative routes are there for replaying.

      1. Haha I thought it was a pretty common term. I also sometimes call it the Unleashed Trilogy since that started it, gameplay-wise.

  10. The problem with playing demos in public is that you know you’ve got a queue of people waiting behind you so you can’t take your time, and also they’re judging your every movement. You can’t experience it the same as you would in the comfort of your living room where you can play with the controls, get a feeling for the game and take things at your own pace.

    I failed to run up the first tree in the demo and murmurs from behind me put me off trying again. However, everything went smoothly pretty much straight after with attacking badniks, the running system etc and it felt like I’d actually played this game before. At one point I took an alternate path that lead to cloud platforms that seemed to excite spectators behind me. These clouds weren’t like the ones in Sky Sanctuary where they had an automatic bounce limit. They required you to jump at the right time to increase bounce height. It wasn’t mentioned on screen, but after a little trial and error it became second nature.

    You can’t expect people to become masters of a new control system from playing a 4 minute demo once.

  11. Hogfather is acting like the controls are objectively bad when not everyone feels that way.
    My first time playing the game it took me a matter of seconds to learn most of the controls.
    (although I agree the wisp was difficult to get used to)

    It felt very natural to me.
    To be fair, I also did know about holding the trigger to run, but thats about it.

    1. He’s acting like they’re bad to HIM. He’s being completely honest and fair, and there’s a review that’s different from his and he’s aware of it. So what’s the problem?

  12. I love that idea of exchanging the walking for running ( hold the right trigger and move the analog to walk and just move the analog to run, with only the left trigger and moving the analog stick to spindash/boost)

    I thought that the homing attack was cool at first, but when i tried it, it was not so good. i see the effect that their trying to do, almost like the light speed attack from Sonic Adventure 2. but that was an extra powerup for good reason. If that was the homing attack it could look hectic ( because of the crazy motion sonic goes through) and unnecssary when there are only 3 enemies (it would be quicker to just use the homing attack rather than sitting there and charging up the light speed attack). if they want to have that effect, then they should make it a part of the extra/helper items or something because it causes too many problems in regular gameplay, especially when there are so many alternatives. for example, on the desert ruins honey comb stage, the game would flow better if you could go into a spindash when your behind the line of bee’s. you would not only go faster but destroy the bee’s while keeping in motion and not having that unnecssary “light speed attack”

    SA2 even discouraged you from using that move by making you slower when you have it charged.

    So if they want to keep that weird homing attack, make it more exotic like the light speed attack and make it a side thing you can do instead of a homing attack

  13. You know, I was playing New Super Mario Bros. U with my cousin the other day, and on multiple occasions, he asked me “how do I run?”

    I think it’s just gamer instinct. We know that if a platformer moves slowly, there’s probably a run button, and it’s either the left face button or right shoulder button. If neither, double tap the d-pad.

    L3 if it’s a shooter.

  14. To me, the part of controlling speed using different buttons is cool to me… I feel it’s better than having an uncontrollable sonic who goes too fast by just a push of a button The part of during the run when sonic still goes left even though you are not pulling left anymore bothers me a bit. The wisps control, I’m not so sure. And the homing attack thing, I think it just could be the way we press the button. I think that even though he locks in on three enemies, I think you still have to rapidly press the button, cause maybe the reason why it locks on the three but doesn’t kill them through one press is because it just shows you how many can you kill, but doesn’t mean you WILL kill them all, but some thought all three locked on so that means one press and all dead, I thought it was as well, until I saw some recent trailers and playthroughs. To me, it affects people depending on how they play platforms and sonic speed games all in all. Example their are two reviews just up there, each having a different opinion. I guess it’s just how the way you play… I am just wondering, maybe the main problem is the fact that their is no tutorial, or in game tutorials to show you how things are done, cause I was expecting that the

  15. So another Sucky Sonic game? fanfriggintastic. Figures Sega would do this again.
    I’m off to drown myself in tequila and lime…

  16. I don’t agree with you very much, but I do think it’s easy to tell that this new direction for Sonic isn’t going to make everyone happy at this point. (Heck just look at all the comments on YT) I personally don’t think you’re looking at the game right, but that’s just me. Others, like you said, may not be able to adapt to the controls but that’s just their skills as a gamer at work. Every time I come across a new control scheme it’s up to the developers and myself to get myself accustomed to it.

  17. I’m sure the controls wouldn’t be a problem for me. I can adapt to a game’s settings VERY easily.

  18. If there is anything I don;t like about this review is that the second opinion doesn’t matches the quality of content in the initial review. Second guy sounded like he was bought off, I would have liked a more critical analysis on his part.

    Also, I’m sure there’s a bunch of sad little Sonic nerds complaining about MOMENTUM and PHYSICS and all that, but even I can tell the Homing Attack could be halting the flow of game and the lack of physics in the parkour system brings a little tear to my eye. Do we have get all Jordan Mechner up in dis b%^$?!

  19. For Hogfather’s review, I have one thing to say. YOU SHOULDN’T REVIEW A DEMO VERSION OF THE GAME AS IF IT IS THE FINAL VERSION! You could at least cut it a little slack for it being an incomplete version! If anything, you should have named this post, “Sonic Lost World SOS/SDCC/Sonic Boom Demo Review” instead of, “Sonic Lost World Preview”. For all we actually know, in the final version, Windy Hill could be littered with Omochaos or floating question marks in order to tell the player what to do. You do make some good points though. The entire wisp section is spot-on, a game mechanic that crucial should be perfected by now. Same thing with the parkour, a game mechanic so important and game-defining should be perfect already. You could be entirely right though so yes, I will remember, “Do you want to play? I think I’ve had enough.” On my first playthrough of the final build. As mentioned earlier in the comments, compared to other people’s given opinions on the internet, yours is the only one that isn’t overall positive. Speaking of being overall positive, Doctor MK’s review basically fits in right with all the others saying, “The game is great! It is just this or that that could be better.” In Doctor MK’s review, I’m pretty sure he states that you can use the wisp power with the analog stick and buttons instead of moving the Gamepad and swiping. In the end, you both gave a good review. It just makes it more interesting considering how this game will turn out. 😉

    1. “YOU SHOULDN’T REVIEW A DEMO VERSION OF THE GAME AS IF IT IS THE FINAL VERSION! You could at least cut it a little slack for it being an incomplete version!”

      Give me one reason why not?

      This is a product that is being shown to people which is supposed to be representive of the final release. If I find that product is lacking in some areas for whatever reason I will bring it up. I do not care if it’s something little or a major feature, if there is what I think is a flaw I will criticise it fully.

      1. While I am optimistic that these problems will be ironed out in the final version, if you didn’t have fun playing the demo, you have every right to not look forward to the full product. A demo is supposed to show the values of a product within a few short minutes. If it failed to do that, I can’t imagine it pleasing you after paying 50 bucks, and playing it for 4-5 hours to get the full enjoyment out of it.

  20. Played it at SDCC.. I dunno, I just don’t know. Did they really have to make it so complicated? It’s a complaint I’ve heard more than once at the convention..

    So what’s the tl;dr opinion?

  21. Urgh… I should’ve expected as much from this site… Spending 3/4 of the preview nitpicking and moaning about trivial things… This is why this fanbase can’t have nice things. Because you people bitch and moan about every little thing and let it stop you from enjoying the overall experience.

    I thought this game would help the fanbase… But I guess I was wrong…

  22. Hmmmm… Very interesting and informative. This is a very different impression than I’ve gotten from others and my experience with the game. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t care for it but always nice to see impressions of the game from a different perspective.

    I agree 100% about the Laser Wisp controls, they feel odd and don’t work the way I want them too. I also hit the wall on the Honeycomb level because Sonic sometimes felt a tad slippery, but I got used to the controls and did better from there on.

    I do take issue with the way you present the basic controls however. You say you have to hold down three buttons to get full speed. That is incorrect. First, a D-Pad/Analouge stick is NOT a button. Never has been. Second, you do NOT need both L and R buttons down for full speed. The R button is used for basic running ad the L button is for spin dash. The basic idea this time around is to give better speed control to the player through this method. Second, you complained about not going as fast as Generations but it’s not a boost fest this time around. Iizuka has stated in the past that the focus is less on speed and more on precise platforming and I feel this game works that way.

    Yea, this game’s controls do take a little more getting used to than other Sonic titles, but in the end I think it works great myself. I love the parkour system once I got used to it. You can’t always jump into a game and know how to play instantly and Sonic Lost World is one of those games.

    BTW, one thing that may have also thrown you off is B button is for jump ONLY and A butting is used for homing attack and jump. Also, some enemies can’t be harmed with Homing atack and require the Y button kicks.

    To everyone else giving Hogfather crap. Have you played the game yourself? No? Didn’t think so. If you did and you liked it, good for you. Everyone is an individual and sees things differently. This is HIS experience with the demo. If he had a bad experience with it, then he shouldn’t be holding anything back. I really liked his different and honest take on the game myself.

  23. Personally I’m pretty sure that when the finished game comes out, the issue of the game not telling you how to play it will be fixed. Past 3D Sonic games have generally had “tutorial” bits in the opening levels (like the messages from Tails in Colours, or Tikal’s light ball things in Adventure), and I’m certain they’ll include some in the final game. They’d be stupid not to. In any case, the game manual should at least explain some things (which is why I always make a point of reading the manual before playing any new game).

  24. The thing I was worried about most was the colour powers in Lost World. They look very fun and inventive but as soon as I heard about the gamepad having to be used I knew problems could present themselves. In Sonic Colours on the Wii the Colour Powers were very easy to use so I was hoping that Lost World would follow that template but it seems Sega could of stumbled here.

    I haven’t had a chance to play the game but it looks like control problems are the main concern.

  25. It seems like the complaints for this game boil down to 1. didn’t understand the controls (or if you prefer controls unintuitive or too hard) 2. Sonic is too slow 3. parkour system not momentum based 4. automation in homing attack and parkour 5. wisps control terribly 6. stages present no reason to explore.

    With a proper tutorial or even an instruction manual I’m sure most of the frustration of 1. would be alleviated. Frankly, I feel that was the bulk of the review, so I’m taking this as a sign that one of the game’s biggest flaws will be corrected for it’s release.

    2. seems is a personal preference. Your opinion on this is valid enough and certainly will be shared with many fans, but for me I doubt this will be the case.

    3. could be one of the bigger deal-breakers for me. While I can understand being able to climb a tree from a dead stop, if you can just as easily climb a wall I’m not sure what to make of it. The parkour system is the game’s core mechanic, and if it turns out that it requires little to no skill with building speed in order to use it then where does the challenge lie? This is what I’ll be scrutinizing most closely in future previews and reviews.

    As for 4. automation in homing attacks is unavoidable. From what I understand, Sega just changed it so instead of pressing the attack button 5 times for a row of enemies, I only press it once. Unless that mechanic is removed from Sonic games completely, automation will always be there. While a valid complaint, it is more or less unresolvable. Parkour automation seems to me like it would be the bigger issue, but this I’m not so concerned about as the alternative is basically to make every trick a QTE. As long as the tricks can indeed be botched without having the proper speed beforehand, I wouldn’t mind the game taking care of the trickier bits of platforming.

    5. is a problem that won’t leave. Nintendo no doubt has such a conspiracy for including touchpad support. Hopefully in the final release it will be better, but it won’t ever be good. A pity, but hopefully not game breaking.

    Of all the complaints 6. sounds to me most like a failure of the player. While in the final product bits and bobs might be added in like red star rings or animal buddies to encourage exploration, I doubt very much that the obvious path is the fastest or most rewarding. Why wouldn’t you try to deviate from the main path? Why should the game put a big sign that says “you could turn here and go a different way” at wall you could run over? Finding hidden paths is the main thing I’m looking forward to in this game, and if they were obvious from the main path where they were a lot of the fun of it would be gone. I hope that this complaint is not addressed much more than I hope any of the other complaints are.

  26. I played the demo at sonic boom, the controls were new yes, but by no means bad.
    I really think it’s a good direction for sonic. Much more control. Don’t let a negative preview stop you from trying it. I thought it controlled really well.

  27. the 3ds version?

    I manaaged to play it at SoS and in two words it felt – “clunky & Slow”**. Love Sonic, but I gave up halfway through windy hill Act 1. The “cloud wisp” eating everything in my path was the final straw – no fun

    (**Considering i’d just been playing genrerations 3ds before it too!!)

    1. Generations 3DS is… OK. The Modern Sonic stages feel redundant(the only difference being a max speed limit and boost ability), and the rival races aren’t as involved as the console ones are, and are much more frustrating.(I hate the shadow race, god damnit the level’s so obstructive!) but the classic and modern bosses are decent, and the only area I didn’t enjoy was Radical Highway (the area where you fight Shadow, coincidence…) and the final boss is a definite improvement over the console version. (odd that the PS2/Wii version of Sonic Unleashed had a better final boss too, this may become a theme, giving the inferior console the better ending)

  28. Every game has an issue, but I can’t judge because I haven’t played it. For example I’ve heard people complain on Shadow’s game that the controls were too sensitive, while I found them great. So I can’t base how I will feel on the game until I actually play it myself.

    That being said, I admit that from what I’ve seen the Cyan Wisp did look hard to control anyway. I always had trouble with it even in Colors. As for not knowing what to do, I wonder if for the demo they took most of the help bubbles out. It wouldn’t surprise me but I would think that would be the worst decision to make when you’re trying to get people to buy your game in the future XD

  29. Am I the only one okay with the fact that Sonic is sliding around all over the place like in the boost games? I like a more manageable speed.

  30. About those problems you said during your hands-on experience, I was thinking “I knew this game should’ve been delayed. Delay it.. NOW!!” Plus. Why would I waste money on a stupid, weird, bad, unreliable console like Wii U, when I would keep my PS3 just because Next Gen is coming WAAAAAY TOO SOON?! Maybe it should come out next year, and go multiplatform. I’d wait and be patient, because “TIME IS MONEY”. And yes, I know they’ve been working on this after Generations came out. But I feel like Sonic Team needs more time man.

    Just like Miyamotos saying “A delayed game is eventually good. But a rushed game is forever bad.” So everybody in the fanbase needs to learn to be ****ing patient for more than a year for a Sonic game.

    And another thing Hogfather. What do you think about Metal Gear Risings game soundtrack? IT’S ****ING AMAZING, And it gets you PUMPED for anything…. Including boss fights, and they’re the best I’ve seen in my life (Metal Gear Ray).

  31. This is not an attack on anyone here, nor is it a defense of a game I’ve not played yet, but… why is it the Sonic fanbase almost seems happier complaining about a game it doesn’t like than enjoying one it does?

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