Shadowunleashed13 has asked me to write a review on Sonic's latest game, Sonic Lost World. I haven't written a review of anything in a long time and so amateur about reviewing itself, but will try and review it as honest as I can to myself as a Sonic the Hedgehog fan than just general Sonic fans.
Please keep in mind the follow:
- Perhaps a poor review, as I rarely review or criticize anything (unless I am really short and blunt about it.)
- I have yet to complete the game (I am at Frozen Factory during the writing of the review.)
- While I do have Deadly Six Edition, my Wii U is not online which is needed to unlock it's features
- I cannot review the additional NiGHTS stages and bosses, even though I would really like to play them.
- My oppinions may change as I progress through the game some more.
Since I was never too good at explanation, I may have missed some details out or may have ballsed up the proper review, I have rated each category out of five for better accuracy on how I generally feel of the game, ending with a general grade I feel to give to the entire game.
The story is set on a location called Lost Hex. A planetoid consisting almost entirely of hexagon shaped land. Lost Hex is never confirmed to be a world over Earth like Little Planet or another floating landmass like Angel Island nor how such a huge thing remained unnoticed all these years. Lost Hex has natural inhabitants like sandworms in Dusty Dessert and yeti sleeping in Frozen Factory but it's main inhabitants are a group of Zeti known as the Deadly Six.
The game itself though reference lots of nostalgia from Sonic's older games such as the return of Dr. Eggmans first line of robots, the Badniks. Dr. Eggman even goes as far as to show how animals applied in Badniks and from the old concept of life powered machines from the classic era is brought on to be an important part of the main story in this modern game with the construction of the Extractor.
All in all, the story itself is More than just a standard story for a Sonic game. Yes the Deadly Six can be comparable to the Koopalings as each govern a zone and Sonic must beat them to proceed, but throughout this adventure we learn more on the Six that they're not just a bunch of monsters and have there own motives for there actions. With Dr. Eggman having to reluctantly work with Sonic, Tails awkwardly hits puberty and argues why need him around when he is a better engineer. Depends how the story goes could be a passage of maturity for Tails. I've still yet to see the conclusion of the story or the outcome of everyone, but while the story is rather standard, it is above average. Not as good as most stories on past Sonic games but good for standard Sonic games.
Tomoya Ohtani knows how to compose music for Sonic games and Sonic Lost World is no different. He certainly brought rhythm and character to the very zones on Lost Hex. (I pretty much dance to the first bosses theme). When I reached Frozen Factory, I couldn't help but be reminded of Christmas because of the music, which is perhaps the second most festive theme next to Diamond Dust for the Saturn, only more cheerful and happy than just "Merry Christmas 8!7¢#" as Saturn's Diamond Dust was. I also notice the boss music changes when we move onto the more severe of the Deadly Six and can only imagine what the last few bosses themes shall be. The music fits the locations wonderfully and really sets the atmosphere of certain locations, themes changing depending on the locations such as Dessert Ruins or the Casino in Frozen Factory.
Level design, layout
The texture and themes of the zones of Lost Hex remind me specifically of the 8-bit versions of Classic Sonic games. Such Game Gear games as Sonic 2 and Sonic Chaos. It certainly contributes to the previously mention nostalgia feel but only to Sonic fans who had a Master system or kept their Game Gears. However it could also be that the designs were inspired from Mario games as Windy Hill certainly feels the most like Gusty Garden Galaxy or Dessert Ruins being more like Sweet Sweet Galaxy than Sweet Mountain Zone. Tropical Coast reminding me at most of Isle Delfino with it's bright seaside colours and glow.
The level select allows you to explore the hexagonal land of Lost Hex, some of these hexagons have circuses which allows you to free animals and earn points minigames and also you will meet Omochao who has various missions for you, such as collect rings, do stunts etc. The level select is certainly better than Sonic Colours as you can freely explore the land, albeit limited only as a dsplay board for level select. Also secret levels can be discovered on some of these hexagons. If Sega wishes to add DLC additional stages for the game in the future then these hexagons can serve as placeholders until then.
The zones appearance is also heavily reminiscent of Super Mario Galaxy itself. The observation can simply not be avoid (and I hate it when Sonic games are considered the "answer" to Mario games). However it is still it's own style similar to Sonic X-treme as many Sonic fans have notice, despite the developers unaware of the canceled game at the time. With some stages of the zones, you're able to go underneath for alternate routes on the other side of the land and make up your own way to the goal. The stage layout tends to change however as some variations are classic side scrolling and other stages are Super-Speed Stages, but unlike the '06 processors, much more better controls. But most of the stages, even Mario himself can do with his standard abilities.
Sonic Lost World introduce new gameplay to the Sonic series replacing the previous modern era's. And I find it pretty disappointing. While Sonic had two mode of speeds before, which was fast and faster, now has standard Mario speed and to go faster you must hold the left trigger button. Why is this necessary I am unsure other than the fact that Sonic can be just as difficult to control in certain areas, such as bouncing on clouds which is less fun as it was in Sky Sanctuary in Generations. Apparently since Dr. Eggman has reinforced his Badniks, Sonic now has two modes of jump attacks, Homing attack has become rather awkward as you need to time and aim Sonic just right to achieve a successful three-hit home attack and for tougher enemies the bounce attack can turn to kick his enemies. If you are not successful with your attack, you could end up exhausting Sonic during jump leaving him easily vulnerable for enemies he's been trying to attack to hurt him.
You can also spin dash which is useful if you want to go faster than your speed-trigger button and you can also make Sonic run in place which I don't know what that is suppose to do. Either which even for the veteran Sonic player they will need time to get comfortable with the dodgy controls as even the first zones is not as easy as most first levels on Sonic games. you will die a lot. Also, as I mentioned before, the layout of the stages may vary and so will the gameplay. While gameplay can generally be the same you may have to rethink how things go depending on your stage. You will even need to figure out carefully how to attack bosses as even if you can overcome their defences, it is easy to trip on them which could cost a life.
Also, while many have complained on Sonic's camera functions in the past, it seems Sega has given up on them entirely. You do not have the option to observe your surroundings which makes navigating over certain obstacles difficult (such as the capsules in Windy Hill surrounded by spike traps.)
The gameplay function is disappointing and can be comparable to Mario's standard gameplay in most of his games where he manages fine with standard speed and attacks. Sega tried to do something new with old but I don't believe they were successful and accidentally became too Mario like.
Frozen Factory was pretty fun as due to the ice, gameplay was more like Sonic's old style, such as speed, momentum and style.
Sonic Lost World is a good game for fans seeking a bit of nostalgia while keeping up with a decent story. However what reminds me of Mario trumps what reminds me of Sonic more, in which Sonics nerfed speed and new controls isn't good for Sonic. However Lost Hex and what happens on it expands Sonic's world lore more such as Badniks and history. The game can be satisfactory for most Sonic fans, especially the casuals. But if Sega really wanted Sonic to have an older style of gameplay to make new and modern, I would of recommend the Dreamcast era. It's a pretty good game but could of been better gameplay wise.
These are two separate reviews, written by SNN users Toxice and BlueFlametheAman. Here are their opinions.
Sonic Lost World's gameplay is definitely a new course in the Sonic series that doesn’t ring the actual “Sonic” feel most of his games had to offer. I’m not entirely impressed with the game’s gameplay due to it’s lack of thrill and excitement. There are too many areas where all the fun stops and you are forced to die. Most levels sort of feel the same, each with a special gimmick that can be exciting or at some parts, awfully frustrating (I’m looking at you, snowball). The 3D sections of the game, are confusing with it’s camera when it comes to platform and dizzying when you are supposed dash left and right. Surprisingly, Sonic feels a little clunky and slow when you are supposed to dash forward but too uncontrollable when it comes the small puzzles of mindless “falling to your death” areas that break the patience sphere. Level designs are flat and sometimes it feels like a "ball controlling" game, not a solid platformer. The controls are a little “get used to” and a few of Sonic’s moves like the halt when he punts enemies mid-air can ruin gameplay experience. But overall experience ain't as bad as it sounds.
There is a bright side though. The 2D sections of Sonic Lost World is almost another game. They are enjoyable, fun, free and thrilling. Meaning, the levels seem unbalanced, as some of it’s part (even 3D) is actually really fun and the other part is tiring. Much like Sonic and the Secret Rings. Lost World has it’s fair share of difficulty but most of it seems unfair.
The Boss Fights are rather imbalanced too, since all the boss fights are too easy and familiar besides the Sky Road one. In fact, everything about Sky Road rules, one of the greatest aspect of the game. The ending boss plays too much like the Sonic Colors one too, so it doesn’t feel “grand” as it should. On the other hand, the wisp are alright, but for some reason didn’t feel like they were in the right place as they did in Sonic Colors.
The absolute best thing is the amount of alternate paths that makes you want to explore the level much more but some of them make the levels too easy and uninspired, increasing replay value. 5/10
Graphics and Presentation
Big bonus. Absolutely charming and stunning visuals on any TV setting. Great Landscaping and vivid colors. 3D and 2D worlds are both in-depth and there are no texture issues. The selection screen is helpful and the map is easy and familiar like the one from Sonic Rush. One of the best looking games to date. Sadly, there are some big display glitches and bumps, but very rare. 9/10
The Story is.. ho-hum. Eggman gets the Deadly Six out of nowehere, the conch comes out of nowhere, Sonic falls to the Hex out of nowehere, The Hex is a hex for no reason and has different places for no reason. The cutscenes make it worse. There are too many little cutscenes with no importance but to say the least, they are entertaining. Lost World’s humor can be really funny at time but other time, you want to get a pot and smash it on your head as Sonic uses too many forced lines too his aid. The Deadly Six are awful and bland villains that make the story no better.
Around the end, the game takes a serious turn, and you really start to enjoy Sonic and Eggman’s interaction. Eggman is an absolute beast in that game! An amazing character, full of life and fun. Infact, he outshines the hero, himself. Sadly, he turns into O’ silly robotnik and betrays Sonic.. and falls off a cliff.. That’s the ending.
Overall the Character portray Is poor. Sonic is kind of a mean and “oh look at me I’m so funny” guy, Knuckles is too.. cocky. Amy is Amy and Tails is a little off character with his anger and over-confidence. 4/10
The Music is THE BEST ever introduced in the Sonic franchise, form catchy too soothing. It’s got everything. Really keeps the player going. Voice acting is good too. 9/10
The game has much to offer, around 20 hours max if you want to achieve and once you get pro at the game, it is definitely better since the game is not very “user friendly”. 6/10 Overall score: 6/10
Sonic Lost World is, in my opinion, one of the best looking Sonic games to date. The controls of this game may take some time used to because of how different this game is from preavious games like Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, but once you get used to it, the game becomes a blast to play.
The gameplay itself is bit slower than Colors and Generations, but focuses a lot more on traditional platforming, which I really appreciate. It offers many classic moves like the Spin dash and the Bounce, but also adds a lot of unique features like the new Parkour System. The level design is some of the best I've ever seen in the series. It offers numerous ways for players to beat the levels, which range from using the Parkour System to using the Wisps, giving a lot of replay value.
The Wisps themselves are a little hard to control, but they can still get the job done. The graphics in this game are beautiful as always and the music is very sweet and catchy. The story is nothing to write home about, but it's still on par with Colours and Generations.
The only complaint I really have with this game is that the boss battles are a little bit too easy for me (except the ones against my favorite Zeti Zavok). However, I never had high expectations for them. So, that's only a minor nitpick. The Zeti themselves are pretty entertaining villains. They're not masterpieces of writing, but they clearly aren't supposed to be.
In the end, Sonic Lost World is a awesome game and I definitely recommend this game to Sonic fans and Wii U owners. If you're also a fan of Nights into Dreams, you should get the Deadly Six Bonus Edition. Because of how much fun I had with the game with very little to complain about, I'm proud to give Sonic Lost World a 9 out of 10.