TSS Review: Sonic Lost World (Wii U)

Without a doubt, Sonic the Hedgehog has been making something of a comeback in recent years. After falling to his lowest point in the mid-2000s, SEGA’s blue mascot has slowly but surely been climbing his way back onto the pedestal he proudly stood upon in his early days. Sonic Colours propelled him into relevance once more, while the time-travelling anniversary adventure of Sonic Generations cemented his newfound return to form. The question is – with a brand new gameplay style to show off, does the Nintendo-exclusive Sonic Lost World see the hedgehog grab the edge of success with a well-executed parkour move? Or does it buck the trend and see him stumble, falling back down towards the depths of mediocrity from whence he came?

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For the very few of you out there who are unfamiliar with the game’s premise, it sees Sonic and Tails chasing Eggman onto a mysterious world called the Lost Hex where they encounter a villainous group of indigenous Zeti known as the Deadly Six. These new enemies are initially under Eggman’s control but, after an unfortunate series of events, they rebel against their master and threaten all of Sonic’s world. Cue one of the most unlikely team-ups in gaming history, and the stage is set to rise up against these dangerous foes. It’s certainly a new twist on the usual Sonic story, and it’s one that is pulled off much more effectively than the plots of the previous two main series entries. The characterisation is excellent, the humour is much more consistent, and it gets genuinely quite dark in places. It never reaches Shadow the Hedgehog levels of apocalyptic, but there’s a definite mix of light-hearted moments and much deeper storytelling. Couple this with arguably the best vocal performances seen in a Sonic game to date – Roger Craig Smith and Mike Pollock being particularly on top form – and you’ve got yourself a collection of cutscenes that you’ll actively want to sit through rather than hit the skip button to rush straight into the next level. It’s by no means a perfect tale, with plenty of extra detail they could have added in to flesh out certain aspects, but it’s still a noticeable step in the right direction.

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In fact, the presentation all round is something to behold. The visuals throughout the game are bright and colourful, and most importantly they look stunning coming out of Nintendo’s new high definition console at a solid 60 frames per second.  There’s definitely a more simplistic art style on show here compared to the rich detail of Unleashed and Generations (as well as some clear inspiration from another gaming icon when it comes to the level tropes) but on this occasion less can be said to be more. Lost World is perhaps the closest a 3D Sonic game has ever felt to being like the classic titles, helped in part by the fact that more or less every enemy you’ll encounter is a familiar face – Motobugs, Buzzbombers, and a plethora of vintage badniks from Sonic’s 16-bit outings all put in an appearance to get in the hedgehog’s way. The Deadly Six are the only real recurring newcomers, and they suitably step up to the mark as the game’s antagonists, bringing with them not only personality but also a deep sense of menace. Forget Black Doom and Dark Gaia, these are hands down the best villains to have graced the series for a long time, and it’s quite refreshing to face off with something that isn’t a robot or a mech suit, even if their boss battles are not always as creative as they could have been.

What of the game’s music, I hear you ask? Well, Sonic Lost World’s soundtrack is nothing short of amazing. There’s a vast range of styles to match the various level themes, many of which will surely become instant favourites among the fandom. Whether it’s the jovially orchestrated main theme “Wonder World”, the fast-paced Windy Hill Zone 1, or the painfully catchy Deadly Six theme, there’s something here for everyone. Say what you want about the rest of the game, but in typical Sonic fashion, the music is more than up to par. If you haven’t already got the “Without Boundaries” OST on pre-order, you’ll surely be tempted after spending some time on Lost Hex.

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So – eye-catching visuals, check. Top-notch soundtrack, check. All we need now is for the game itself to be up to snuff, and there’s certainly plenty to do in Lost World, featuring an untold amount of variety for a Sonic game. There’s wide open 3D areas, classic 2D platforming, auto-running sections, and even a couple of rail-grinding stages that are reminiscent of Donkey Kong Country’s minecart levels. But it’s with good reason that we’re five paragraphs in and I’m only just touching on the gameplay now, and that’s because to put it simply, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. After three games that have heavily emphasised Sonic’s intense speed, SEGA have slammed on the brakes and slowed the hedgehog down immensely – which, for all intents and purposes, is a good thing. The new tiered speed works well to balance the need for both precision platforming and fast gameplay, and the parkour system adds a whole new level of depth to the series once you get the hang of it. It’s hard to imagine going back to an older Sonic title now and not being able to gracefully climb up ledges or bounce back and forth between wall runs. There’s a lot of potential to be had from this new style, and I for one hope we see it again in the future.

One way in which the game does trip up on itself though is that it does such a poor job of teaching some of these new mechanics to you. If you’re someone who has been following the game and knows all about the controls, you’ll be down with the basics by the end of the first world. For complete newcomers or casual players though, I can foresee the game being overly complicated purely because there’s a distant lack of a tutorial at the beginning. The game would have benefitted greatly from an explanatory opening stage showcasing the different speeds, the more strategic combat, and the all-new parkour moves. Sure, hint icons can be found along the way but the actual text they provide appears on the GamePad screen, meaning it’s out of your line of sight and therefore rendering it worthless. It’s possible that you could play through the game without ever realising there’s a run button, though people who do struggle through in this manner will surely grow tired of Sonic’s apparent slowness long before reaching the credits. It’s frustrating to see the game inflict problems like this on itself, as they need not exist and would have been easy to fix.

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The lack of signposting extends into other parts of the game, too. As annoying as Omochao has been in previous titles with his constant advice on how to play, you’ll wish he’d pipe up once or twice to provide a hint about what to do next (even if it’s terribly cryptic). There were at least two boss battles that took far longer than they needed to because it’s not made clear what the game expects you to do. Take one instance where a boss chases after you – the natural reaction is, of course, to get away from it. Doing so actually leads you to a dead end and inevitable doom, and it’s only after much trial and error that you figure out what you’re actually supposed to do. The solutions seem stupidly simple afterwards, and admittedly the game does introduce the mechanics in an extremely subtle manner, but unless you pick up on them first time round you’re going to struggle over and over again until you’ll want to throw your Wii U GamePad across the room (though don’t, of course – those things are expensive!).

This leads me onto another area where the game falters – its uneven difficulty. The first half of the game has a real sense of joy and wonder as you get to grips with Sonic’s new skills and journey through some exciting environments (Tropical Coast is especially brilliant, even if it does appear to imitate Super Mario Galaxy a little too much – though if you’re going to copy something, copy the best!). Once you hit the halfway mark however, things start to get a bit awry. Gimmicky levels become tests of patience while later levels throw cheap death after cheap death at you. Funnily enough, this likely wouldn’t be such a problem if it weren’t for the game being so stingy with lives. Against all known Sonic lore, collecting 100 rings no longer grants you an extra life, and the 1-Ups that are scattered around are few and far between. Seeing the Game Over screen is a distinct likelihood (if not inevitability), and having to restart entire 5-10 minute stages purely because you’ve fallen one too many times at the final hurdle is something that grows old fast. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to see a Sonic game with a bit of challenge for a change, but if ever there’s been a case for scrapping the lives system in platformers, it’s Sonic Lost World.

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The Wisps are also a controversial feature. Yes, those crazy alien critters from Sonic Colours are back, though they’re rather lacking the sparkle they initially had in 2010. It’s not that the Wisps are bad in concept, but their implementation in Lost World is absolutely baffling. At best, they feel pointless and add hardly anything to the game as a whole, and at worst, they are a right royal pain thanks to the GamePad control schemes that have been forced upon them. No doubt in an effort to showcase the Wii U’s capabilities, dodgy gyro and touch controls are required to use the majority of these powers, which either function imprecisely or completely interrupt the flow of the game. Only a couple of Wisp powers – such as Laser and Drill – retain their traditional button-based control schemes (not that the game ever tells you this) and it should come as no surprise that these are the most fun and most useful of the lot, but their short screen time hardly makes the inclusion worth it. With practice, there are some small intricacies you can discover to master the other Wisp controls, but it’s yet another unnecessary and user-unfriendly learning curve that the game could do without.

Despite all of these glaring issues though, and as much as I’ve wanted to tear my hair out as a result of some questionable design choices, I’ve still come away from my experience with Sonic Lost World feeling generally positive. The reason for this is, primarily, because of the sheer promise for the future that’s on display here. If I’ve come across as negative in this review, it’s only because of how agonisingly close Lost World comes to being something truly remarkable, and how much I wanted it to go that extra mile. The presentation is superb, the majority of the levels are entertaining, and you’ll never be doing the same thing for long. Sonic’s new gameplay style really does have the potential to be moulded into something great – it’s just a shame that a few annoying problems hamper it this time around and prevent it from reaching those lofty heights already. But, on the flipside – when it’s good, it’s really good.

The game’s heart is undoubtedly in the right place, and it so clearly tries its best to be the definitive 3D Sonic experience – yet, as much as it does right, it’s hard to shake the feeling of it being so near yet so far. As it stands, Sonic Lost World is a decent effort that places the blue blur halfway up the proverbial pedestal of success. Whether he spin dashes his way up to grab the top, or whether he slips back down to the very bottom, is something that remains to be seen. The ball’s in your court, SEGA.

You’ll Love:

+ Consistently excellent presentation throughout

+ One of the best Sonic soundtracks to date

+ The first half of the game is full of promise

You’ll Hate:

– Uneven difficulty spikes plague the later levels

– Severe lack of hints and signposting

– Wisps feel out of place and poorly implemented

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Second Opinion by Shadzter:

Sonic Lost World is a refreshing change of direction for the Sonic series following Unleashed, Colours and Generations. The new gameplay style gives you more control over Sonic’s speed than ever and the new parkour moves keep the pace going. The soundtrack is another impressive addition to the series and the scenery is beautiful and filled with colour. But with all of these good things said, the game has some downsides.

While the first few worlds are pretty fun, the later levels have some steep difficulty curves, which aren’t helped by a lack of hints and tutorial at the start of the game. Some of these later levels can be extremely frustrating due to poor level design and the lack of lives obtainable. The Wisps return in Lost World, but do nothing but add to the frustration with poorly implemented GamePad controls. Overall, Sonic Lost World is a good game, but has a lot of missed potential.

Sonic Lost World is out now in Europe and on 29th October in the US. Stay tuned for a review of the 3DS version in the near future!

Published by

Doctor MK

Tally-ho! Doctor MK is a writer and English Language enthusiast with a love of gaming, especially when it comes to Sonic! He's known for being fond of puns, so provide opportunities for wordplay at your peril. Founder of the Sonic Relief fundraising campaigns (2009-2011).

91 Comments

  1. This is absolutely the best review out there – nailed my view on it. Loads of potential, and only some of it used. I’m loving it so far, but the last level in World 6 tested my patience…

    1. This new gameplay has me wondering what future games that, well… do their own thing more, will have to offer? I mean, certain levels from other Sonic games I could have seen benefiting from the Parkour abilities and having a run button. Hopefully Sonic Team will improve it with the next Nintendo Exclusive title!

  2. Actually I like this review. First it’s nice to see a site not afraid of not having an abritray number. It completely states the good and the bad without either bashing Sonic because that’s the cool thing to do or being overly zealous Sonic fans liking it for just being a Sonic game.
    It does seem like the biggest issue is learning the controls especially after everyone got used to the setup from Generations and Colors. But some other sites reviews seemed all over the place. IGN said it was “too slow.” GS said it was too much like Mario Galaxy but The Escapist was most bizarre in they said “it looks good. It plays good, but it doesn’t do anything new so it’s dull.” Go figure.

    1. The game changes their own mechanics and level structure entirely, and they say it doesn’t do anything new? Well give them another werehog or story about beastiality, that’ll prove them that sometimes sticking with the old tropes is the best way to go (Don’t tell Nintendo that, Mario 3’s dick has been sucked dry now)

  3. Having played through the game myself, I agree with this review 100%. It’s problems hold it back from being fantastic, but it’s fun for the most part, and it offers plenty of promise for the future.

    Whatever happens to Sonic in future titles though, I sincerely hope the writers for this game come back for more installments! They handle the characters so damn well!

    1. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to try it out before writing this review – hopefully someone else can offer some opinions on it!

    2. I too couldn’t test multiplayer, because there’s no one I know that would want to come round my flat to play some Sonic. If online multiplayer had been included, I could have tested it.

      1. OH! About that, how is the leaderboard system? Still no Time Atack Ghosts?

        Racing against a Ghost in Sonic probably would fell almost exactly the same way as an online multiplayer mode.

    3. The Sonic bot race is fine. The framerate goes down to about 30fps (and the differences look glaring compared to the main story and its 60fps) but it’s more than playable. You also don’t have access to every Sonic Lost World level, You’re only confined to 5 levels per mode (Normal Race, Expert Race, and Ring Race) I found them enjoyable.
      The RC vehicle co-op thing.. oh god. It will make you wish you were playing Sonic 2’s co-op. It’s horrible. The other player has almost no input what so ever aside from begin able to slightly move the RC vehicles (which manually hovers over Sonic) and trigger some sort of half-baked affect.

  4. It’s funny cuz both sound like “It’s got some good stuff but the bad stuff… oh there’s this, this, this, this, this AND THIS! ….Overall it’s a good game.” lol

    I think maybe the “good game” aspect is probably simply from being new and different so it’s interesting and it just came out. But those bad things will eventually overshadow the good like in the past. Lost World will be loved by some, hated by others, and to the many just an okay Sonic game. Somewhere along the lines of Sonic Heroes and Sonic Colors. To be fair, all 3 titles seem to be the most wacky and colorful so I can see that. lol

    1. They both sound like that, because it’s true. Doctor MK pretty much nailed my thoughts on the game, so there wasn’t really much I could say differently, even with a small second opinion.

      1. Nah, I know it’s true. I even stated why it’s true in the second half. I really like these reviews. I just think it’s funny. lol

        That the negative is technically at least half or more than the positive, but we still have the urge to think of it as a great game simply because it’s new. As in the positive sinks in more than the negative. But over time, that negative will consume a lot of people like many past once-praised titles. The Genesis Era, luckily, has nostalgia and the record of being the firsts of the series to save them. But there are many newcomers without that influence who would see it differently. And many non-Sonic fans are still non-Sonic fans for a reason.

        Oddly. for me it feels the opposite. Like you’ve probably seen me state a lot in the past in my stupid rants, lol, I have a LOT of issues with the game. More cons than pros. However, I quickly admit every time that these issues are mere nitpicks and that I don’t hold them against the game. So for me, it’s like the game is a really well-made game and really fun. I’m just constantly annoyed by some of the design choices. XD

        I wanna make a review too, and I won’t even count my pet peeves against the game. ^^;

    2. I actually don’t see how the bad stuff in Sonic Lost World can overshadow the good, at last for us hardcore gamers :v
      If I got it right, with a bit of experimentation and a lot of practice, the game can be as enjoyable as if there where no bad stuff.

      1. I know you can’t…. because it’s still a new release. Come back to me in 2 years for an update on how the game is responded to. C: lol If you are still fond of the game, that’s great! I, most likely, will be as well. X) lol

  5. Thank you 🙂 I was very scared of the reviews that would come from here and ONM. But both are very fair. sega listens to it’s fans, so they’ll be handling the ball that’s in it’s court with love and care. After all, the ball is blue, and it’s name is Sonic

  6. You have a really good point about the wisps, they aren’t even part of the story or even given a reason why they’re there

  7. Unfortunately I can’t play the Wii U version so I’ll be waiting to see a playthrough of it. It sounds like a much more positive experience than I’ve had with the 3DS version.
    It’ll be interested to see the 3DS review.

          1. I don’t know if you’ve seen any of my previous comments over the last couple of days, but basically it has a really steep learning curve, hint rings are everywhere but aren’t always too specific.
            Classic Dimps style levels with unfair bottomless pit/enemy combo placements. Awkward gyro controls for both Grey Quake and Special stages. (Oh God the special stages…)
            Controls feel somewhat floaty and the homing attack is way too sensitive, throwing you off screen (quite often you’re safe, but it’s very concerning). Running is too fast, walking is too slow and the spin-dash is rarely used.
            Parkour will take a lot of getting used to, what lets it down is that the speed boost and bound attack are attached to the same button, hilarity/frustration ensues.
            There’s no shortage of lives funnily enough, I’ve managed to rack up about 80 odd, but you will lose them a lot.

            The story is great, but disjointed, characters will point out seeing Sonic previously when you’ve not so much as seen them (It’s alright for Wii U players as they see the “whole” story, where as the 3DS seems like it’s just been shoved in at odd intervals eg, Zeena will comment on fighting you prior to her boss battle)

            It’s a very polarising game, some acts work fine others just don’t. Having spent a bit more time with it I can say that the parkour is a nice addition that I hope can be implemented in future, albeit slightly fixed up. My opinion has gone from outright hating it to it’s ok, but needs improvement.

            Personally didn’t care for the music much nor the visual style, far too Mario-esque, I’d rather see my Sonic games Unleashed/Colours/Generations style.

        1. I’ll say I got the 3DS version of Generations and it really felt like a quick cash grab because Sega wanted something on a Nintendo console and didn’t want to wait for a late WiiU port. But the 3DS game isn’t worth anyone’s time. Classic Sonic has the homing attack for some reason and modern Sonic’s gameplay is just Sonic Rush 4. It also has less levels with the modern era having a Sonic Rush Stage and Tropical Resort from Colors. Seriously no love for any Advance games? Also for cutscenes, you just have Sonic and Tails with stills from the console scenes while rival battles are just like Sonic Rivals (that no one remembers). It had special stages to show off the 3D remaking Heroes special stages but they actually control well.
          But yeah, unless you’re a die hard fan, the 3DS Generations is average at best.

  8. “You’ll Hate:

    – Uneven difficulty spikes plague the later levels

    – Severe lack of hints and signposting

    – Wisps feel out of place and poorly implemented”

    Difficulty spikes in later levels, eh? Well, it cannot be as bad as Eggmanland……RIGHT?!

    Severe lack of hints? Does the game get hard to the point of not knowing what to do, or is it just that casual players will need help in this game? Either way, It’s going to be fun getting challenged!

    I’ve seen most of the cutscenes, and I agree that the wisps feel completely out of place in this game. There is no reason as to why they are even there in Lost Hex. It stinks that the wisps were not implemented well gameplay-wise either. Sonic needs simple power-ups, like Mario.

    Overall, it seems like the main complaint was bad level design at times. I’ll have to see this for myself when I play it on the 29th, but so far, this game is looking great! 🙂

    1. The difficulty spikes we’re talking about have to be experienced to understand what we’re talking about. As for the hints, the game features many gimmicks that leave you stumped until you work out what the game wants you to do. It’s frustrating and would have been less so if the game gave you some hints or a tutorial.

      1. I guess we’re just used to not having that challenge anymore.

        On the bright side, it really forces you to think productively. lol

        Also, I usually won’t ask anything about the game itself but… with the Wisps not seeming necessary and all… I don’t HAVE to use them, right? Like you do you ever need them to progress even if it seems pointless or are they just optional gimmicks?

        1. There’s a couple of occasions where you’re forced to use Wisps, but luckily they’re the exception rather than the rule.

    2. “Difficulty spikes in later levels, eh? Well, it cannot be as bad as Eggmanland……RIGHT?!”
      It’s worse. Eggmanland is one level at the end of the game. Sonic Lost World has several levels that are harder than Eggmanland if only because of CHEAP bottomless pit / enemy / wtfamIsuppousedtodo

      “Severe lack of hints? Does the game get hard to the point of not knowing what to do, or is it just that casual players will need help in this game? Either way, It’s going to be fun getting challenged!”
      It’s just stupid. It’s not a challenge when you don’t have shit. It’s only a challenge when you have the necessary tools and are challenged to utilize them. Sonic Lost World throws random shit you wouldn’t EVEN know exist or how to execute them. Also, the checkpoint placement is horrible. Believe me, when you get the game, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

  9. *best review ever* This is a much more fair review, rather than some others that should not be mentioned. Keep it up.

  10. A lot of good points here, although I’d feel inclined to disagree with the uneven difficulty spikes being a con. If anything, I’ve grown to enjoy when a game plays with the difficulty in an unstructured manner. Hell, the very first Sonic game had such difficulty spikes, and it’s part of this that established some of my love for the gameplay Sonic games has to offer. Whether SEGA does it intentionally or not is beyond me, but I’m rather fond they are doing it.
    I personally think it’s nice to experience a brief sigh of relief inbetween stages, and I honestly can’t pick an exact favourite stage because I think the mechanics and difficulty of near all acts are just fine.

    To be fair, Sonic Generations was too much of a breeze – save the last boss and the length of Planet Wisp, pretty much all levels didn’t take much effort or time. To explore them fully and master their layouts, took a while – but that’s a matter of how much time you’re willing to put into something. Looking back at that, I’m more than thankful they decided to make it a little more chaotic this time around.

    That said, I agree with most other statements in the reviews. And while I enjoy getting thrown into a game with no hint as to what button does what, much appealing to my love for old school platformers, it’s obvious that it’s a mistake not offering the proper help to the player that needs it. The implementation of wisps isn’t something I can properly discuss, as I never had the oppurtunity to play Sonic Colors and therefore can’t make the comparison – the controls however, were downright horrible, and I despised the sections where you were forced to use the damn things.

    Pointless banter aside, you guys made two really good reviews that aren’t biased at all – which is an achievement in its own right with the sad excuse of game reviews we’re forcefed with on a lot of popular gamesites these days. And while my personal experiences may have varied, I can very much understand your general outlook at the game. Good stuff!

    1. I’m with you, I don’t see cons in the difficulty and I actually like bosses where I have to think before finding a way to damage it.

    2. “I despised the sections where you were forced to use the damn things”

      SON OF A FLICKY! DX
      I found out that the Wisps most likely would have some sloppy controls a while back (someone reviewed the demo at Sonic Boom I think… or some game convention of some sort…) but even BEFORE that, watching the trailers, I was thinking that with all the changes PLUS the Wisps it was just too “in the way” to go through not simply PLAYING the game. Maybe I could use the wisps later when I felt like doing something different but for my first run somehow ignore them as much as possible and just PLAY.

      I asked Shadzter in a comment above somewhere if you had to play as them or if they were optional but now I guess I know. OnO Oh well… lol

      1. In the 3DS you are definitely forced, the two that come to mind are Ivory Lightning over bottomless pits (fiddly controls) and Yellow Drill in 3D underwater, again bottomless pit with no alternate route.

  11. No game is ever perfect, there will be some mistakes. But those mistakes can teach the makers of the game and they will fix those problems and create an even better game.
    Remember, mistakes are good.
    Even Sonic 06 taught the game designers to slow down.

    1. Well I kinda saw this coming when Colors came out.

      You see, it was based on the positives from Unleashed and influence from many other games throughout the history of Sonic. That said, Sonic Colors was like a prototype. I noticed that it had very little actually BAD about it but not a lot to PRAISE either… except that it wasn’t bad and would be hard for even the fanbase to complain about.

      That said, I realized that this probably meant they were holding back. That they could make a game like Colors WITH the extra spark, which turned out to be Sonic Generations. But like S3&K or SA2, they would likely hit a cap where the games immediately after wouldn’t be able to compare quite as easily. Maybe a little, but it’d be hard to take what the previous had and advance on it, so they’d try something different to see if it worked on it’s own.

      Sonic Lost World continues my prediction with it’s VERY different gameplay. And fortunately it does very well. But they just need to advance on the way they did with Unleashed to bring us Generations. And here’s to hoping it keeps going up instead of dipping for a little bit first. o3o lol

  12. Overall, a pretty balanced and fair review. Though I am disappointed that Unleashed never seems to get the praise it deserves (so there was a Werehog, GET OVER IT!!). I’m still looking forward to playing this game, but I hope that SEGA will take something from reviews like this. One of those things should be to GIVE SONIC MORE SPEED NEXT TIME. I think the idea of controlling his speed is pretty cool, and I’m already used to holding a button to make Sonic move faster, but did they have to nerf his speed so much? Unleashed speed would probably be a disaster in this game, but at they could have at least turned his speed up a peg, like closer to the non-boosting speed in the last couple of games. I love the idea of the button, it makes precise platforming easier, I hope they keep that idea, but they seriously need to bring his speed back to its full potential. The parkour looks pretty cool (though I’m pretty sure what Sonic’s been doing so far in these last few games could still be considered “parkour”) and I hope they keep that in some shape or form and I’m pretty happy that the spin dash is back. I just hope that after this game, there won’t be anymore Super Mario Galaxy based gameplay, at least, not as a whole. I mean it works for this game, but I’m going to be sick if it’s going to be the new gameplay style for the next 5 years. This game should prove to be fun and I’m definitely getting a Wii U for this game, but I also hope that after the third Nintendo title is announced, the series can return to the Playstation so that I can experience some real next gen Sonic action, inspired by both Sonic Unleashed AND Sonic Lost World.

      1. It’s the same thing. Only instead of running, he jogs. And now instead of boosting at a greater running speed… his boost is just running.

        The game allows more control over the speed in 2 contexts. 1) Because you can turn it off. And 2) because it’s slower than even before the boost. lol

        On the bright side… the figure 8 peelout is back! : D

        1. I think what he means is that like in the Genesis games, the more experience and the more skill you have, the faster you can get through a level. It’s not like Generations, where even the biggest noob can speed through and get at least an A-rank in Green Hill. (That was me in a nutshell when I got Generations)

          1. I can kinda see that. I think it’s the same in a way.

            Like you can still get an A or even an S rank. But in terms of speed running it’s the same only the standard speed is higher than before. I think if Generations had a parkour system it’d be worse because then you’d be able to just not platform pretty much.

            But the biggest noob would probably constantly come to a stop due to the lack of reflexes gained by doing exactly what you and the other person are talking about and actually practicing your skills and mastering the stage. Though I do feel Generations was all around easy to do. I mean the levels had more traps for ya but no particular difficulty in obstacles due to the levels actual design like in the classics and Adventure series. I think this started with Heroes onward.

            Cuz EggmanLand definitely did that but the stages before that didn’t steadily lead up to that difficulty. Colors and Generations don’t either and never even reach difficulty in that sense. So I guess if you mastered the first half of the game you’ll have pretty much already mastered the second half. lol

          2. “I think what he means is that like in the Genesis games, the more experience and the more skill you have, the faster you can get through a level. It’s not like Generations, where even the biggest noob can speed through and get at least an A-rank in Green Hill. (That was me in a nutshell when I got Generations)”

            This!

  13. Also one more thing I love the Spin boost of speed running though the acts of the stage! like I did it at a lot of times Sonic Adventure for Xbox live arcade for playing as Sonic The Hedgehog to press the x button of the Xbox 360 controller making Sonic to do spin dash spin dash spin dash spin dash is super faster than I thought it I’ll be.

  14. See, Game Informer and IGN, THAT is how you write a review.

    I can’t wait to try this game for myself, I have been keeping away from spoilers as much as I can, but I’ve checked here quite a few times to see what news is being posted. According to this review, the game looks almost exactly how I felt it may be, but I must try it for myself. I also hope to attempt the 3DS version too.

    Also, I haven’t seen much of them yet, but honestly, I will probably keep with my mentality on video game villains in the sense that they may be odd, but if they do their job well and make their oddness work well with what they do, then I’ll like them, The Deadly Six. Hopefully they do their job right, unlike Mephiles. Most people I know despise them at this point, but I’ll see.

  15. This Review is just amazing!!!
    Mentions all the negatives points, with due respect to the positive ones!!
    Now that’s journalism!!

    1. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to try it out – I’m sure other people can give you some opinions on it though!

      1. I’m sure, from the looks of it, if the Sonic androids play just like Sonic that it’ll be up there with the other 2 most praised multiplayer for Sonic (given that there’s not a lot to choose from) Sonic 2 and Sonic Adventure 2. Simply racing. haha

    2. We didn’t forget it, we just haven’t been able to try it. No one I know would want to come round my flat to play some Sonic with me, and there’s no online option.

    1. No explanation at all. Sonic doesn’t even so much as go “hey it’s those guys again!”. They’re just power ups in Lost World, nothing more.

  16. **Spoilers Past Sonic Games**
    Hi Everyone,
    Interesting review Doctor MK, while I would have to agree that the game is decent and pretty much for all your other points regarding the frustrations with the controls and lack of tutorials or information (especially considering that modern games don’t come with a decent manual anymore) I suppose I differ on my appreciation of the soundtrack and story. I didn’t really care for the soundtrack but it might have been soured by some annoyances with the gameplay so I’ll give it time.

    However, I did find the story writing lazy and stereotypical especially when it comes to the Deadly Six. It’s a shame because I though with just a bit of tweaking and the characters being a bit better on the comedic timing (less is more, rather than they have to verbalise EVERYTHING) it could have been much better.

    Also I personally don’t find the team up of Sonic and Eggman original as its been done many times before (SA2, the end of SH, a bunch of times in the comics and TV series, to an extent in the end of Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic 06) maybe not in this exact way but they have worked on the same side many times before and Lost World’s team up didn’t really seem to have enough to warrant a separate mention.

    I would personally much prefer for gameplay to return to a mixture of the classics (more emphasis on gaining momentum & inertia) and that which was established in Colours and Generations. But I understand this is a personal preference.

    **End of Spoilers**

    With that being said, DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO USE THE ITEMS?! It may make me sound like a complete n00b but I can’t for the life of me find how to use the items on the Wii U version, the ones that you have in the little bag on the main world map.

    1. Start a level, look at the Gamepad, Tap the suitcase icon, Tap on whatever item you wanna use, and Voila!

  17. Nice review Doctor MK, I agree with your points that it’s a decent game though I’ve had my fair few frustrations with it to lol

    With that being said, can anybody tell me how to use the items in main world map? It may make me sound like a complete n00b but I can’t for the life of me find how to use them.

    1. He should just be an option like in Generations as well as those bottomless pit signs. Something you can turn on and off at any time.

    1. Oh, I forgot to mention Omochao-missions.

      The reason why I mention red star rings, time attack and omochao-missions is that I think that a special aspect of Sonic games is that they are usually not games that you just play through the story. There are almost always incentives to replay stages and by doing so, you discover new things about the stages and the overall design. For example, I guess that the items you unlock from the omochao missions could significantly help you through your journey, such as shields, for example. Or the bonus levels unlocked by the red star rings can give you a lot of lives. Time Attack on the other hand, challenges you to play each stage in a completely different way and it is usually in such challenges that the design of Sonic stages truely shine.

  18. See, this is a better review than IGN or Gamespot. It identifies the positive and negative points of the game, gives an opinion on them, and then gives an opinion on the overall game, without excessively comparing it to other video games. And by giving us the pro and cons, described in detail (but not too much detail), I can guess how they will affect my enjoyment of the game. This is going to affect my opinion on Lost World way more than Joystiq or Eurogamer. Thanks so much!

      1. That was an excellent review. Probably the best one I’ve read. When TSS complains about how some players might not know what to do for the game poorly teaching you through hints, it kinda makes me wish that SEGA would take a small note from the old school MegaMan games and figure out a way to teach the player the gameplay with its level design.

  19. Well this is incredibly disappointing. After hearing the complaints about the demos not telling you the controls I thought “Oh, well if that’s the biggest issue then when the game ships with a tutorial I can’t wait to hear how great it is.” The idea that Sega would be foolish enough not to put in anything that could tell you how to play a completely new control scheme didn’t even occur to me. This would have been so easy to remedy! Ah well.

    Hearing that the wisps are given no explanation either is probably the other biggest disappointment I’ve heard about this game. I’ve been wondering if they’d try to justify Lost Hex as being a lost part of Planet Wisp or something equally strange and was really intrigued by the idea that these new Zeti and the Wisps had some sort of connection. To hear that they are just a power-up a la Mario’s mushrooms and suits is disappointing and really seems to cement that they were mandated by Nintendo to show off terrible motion controls.

    Still, the game seems competent at least. I’ll have to give it a try.

    1. “to show off terrible motion controls”

      I’m pretty sure it wasn’t TO show off terrible motion controls but to simply show off motion controls and just did so in a poor way. I’ve had very little experience with the GamePad so far but what experience I have had (Not with Sonic Lost World) the motion controls were pretty good. But this was just NintendoLand!! XD If other games can just do what NintendoLand did it’d be awesome. Cuz… that’s one heck of a fun game for just being full of pointless mini-games. lol

  20. A very good review of the game, I’d agree with it 100%. As you said there are couple of bosses that caused some problems. The first one didn’t cause too many problems. But the second one where I thought you had to escape it caused many lost lives & many swear words. As with the levels when they get them right they are very fun to play but some levels are quite unforgiving ie. the 2nd rail level. Also some of the red rings are quite challenging to get, especially the wall running ones in later levels. And if you forget to move your control stick before jumping for some of them you can feel quite frustrated.
    Overall though the game is very good and the music is awesome. Some of cutscenes even had me laughing and some had my heart racing.

  21. The Wisps seemed like a poor idea from the get-go. I suspected their integration in the game would be shaky at best. I don’t even know why they were brought back.

    1. I would say that it’s longer than Generations. Also the cutscenes are worth watching. It has more levels (32) but no seperate mission levels like Generations. You can make it last longer by getting the red rings & doing the omochao missions.

  22. I just hope that Sonic Team can take what they did wrong with this game and actually learn from it, and don’t throw out this gameplay style: merely design all the levels more like the stellar first half and tweak the gameplay style and wisps some more.

  23. I’m kinda hoping Wisps aren’t used anymore with the next games, bringing them back in here seems rather pointless. If Sonic has parkour, why not focus making levels that completely take advantage of his new power? I think they were best as a Colors-exclusive feature, not as something to have constantly returning now.

  24. I think that fact that the this is first Sonic game to ever run at a smooth 60 frames per second deserves praise. I played a demo at a convention and it played so smooth that it almost felt like it wasn’t a Sonic game. Sega really did a good job on this game and I learned to appreciate the new change of gameplay style.

  25. Yeah, I kinda agree with this review. I didn’t get truly, truly, unfairly frustrated until Lava Mountain, but when I did, I really really did.

    Mind you, then I find the one place where you can easily farm lives, which dials the frustration down a lot and basically turns the game into Rayman Origins. I managed to rack up enough lives for the whole of Lava Mountain in about 20 minutes.

    So yeah, I have a lot of hope that the next game uses the same gameplay mechanics and just has less cheap deaths. Or far more lives. For starters they can bring back extra lives for 100 rings.

  26. I will write this here because I know sega reps WILL READ THIS.

    WHY NOT A BREAK BUTTON?
    I mean. Why force the player to keep holding a damn button all the time?
    Sonic natural is to speed up, not slow down… and I also think his top speed running is a bit too slow.

    Also, the parkour system. I remember when unleashed was released I was ranting at kotaku about how the werehog was wrong in so many ways and sugested that you could make Sonic parkour through the stages. I think it’s the obvious thing… the great fun of classic Sonic is to keep his momentum while platforming. That’s basically the concept of parkour. But I think it was implemented in such a lazy, automated way. Yeah, great, Sonic can run up walls and stuff. But I think there could be action buttons for him to be a little more acrobatic. Like hop over enemies to get past them without loosing speed, or obstacles or whatever… jump on a flying enemy to make him a platform before destroying him, or combine acrobacy after certain attacks in order to avoid the lost of momentum. It’s about platform and about keep moving.

    Sega, please, let me play with Tails and Knuckles again. I miss them. And make their gameplay different from Sonic. I think Knucks would be awesome in a kratos/werehog style. For Tails you could go for a explorer/platformer/puzzle solving thing… the fact that he has 2 tails could be an excuse for him to have way more balance than Sonic, and as such being able to not only fly, but perform all kinds of complex jumps and stunts. Also, being a genius, he could interact with lots of gadgets. Do you see the picture being painted? Its a fun puzzle-platformer. This could be in a Sonic game but also smaller spin-offs as well.

    ** Chao garden solo game for iOS/Android would be awesome, cheap, please fans, appeal to a new audience and have tons of in-app purchases.

  27. To any moderator who sees this, the US Sonic Lost World commercial just debuted! Please make this an article, cmon!

  28. “+ One of the best Sonic soundtracks to date”

    I haven’t really seen a Sonic game (Sonic R notwithstanding of course) with a “bad” soundtrack. Glad that the music is awesome as always.

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