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Sonic Lost World (Wii U) - Second Opinion

    Every time Sonic Team tries to do something new with the Blue Blur it tends to fail in a big way. With a new way to play and a new look can this game run alongside some of the great 3D Sonic games or fall behind to the back of the race with the other monstrosities we dare not mention?

Game:  Sonic Lost World (Wii U)

Developer:   Sonic Team

Publisher:  SEGA (JPN, NA), NINTENDO (EU, AUS)

Released: October 2013

 

STORY

     Out of all the games the Sonic franchise manage to create in its 20+ year history, not one game has had a decent story to tell. Not One. Lost World continues this trend with probably the most forgetful story yet that feels like it belongs in an 80’s Saturday morning cartoon.

  Dr. Eggman took over a hexagon shaped planet known as the “Lost Hex” while enslaving a bunch of little forest animals turning them into robots to take over his home world. In the process he also enslaved a group of strong mystical evil Yetis called “The Deadly Six” to capture the cute critters for his robot army by controlling them with some odd conch shell. It’s up to Sonic and Tails to save the day. During one of Sonics and Eggmans encounters the Blue Blur gets rid of the conch shell the doctor was using to control the Yetis who then turned the robot army against him and begin to destroy Sonics world.

   The story is told with scattered cutscenes betweens levels and is obviously geared towards a younger audience with some of the cheesiest dialog the franchise has to offer with only a small handful of amusing moments. Once in awhile though the dialog would get very aggressive and feels so out of place compared with everything else with characters sending death threats and some abusive behavior.

GAMEPLAY

     One of the new things Sonic Team been bragging about with “Lost World” is its new control scheme that gives the player more control over Sonics movement. Ditching the popular Boost Mechanic, Sonic Team slowed the blue blur down to allow the player explore the level than just boost through, missing all the secrets and hidden paths. You control Sonic with the left analog stick but instead of Sonic building up his speed it’s replaced with a slow jog. The only way to speed up is to hold down the right trigger which will make Sonic run. This concept actually works really well with very responsive controls. In past games when trying to turn while running it felt like turning a semi-truck, now the hedgehog makes sharp smooth turns always facing and moving towards the direction I want him to go. Of course this new slower mechanic might turn off some players that are used to the boost from Colors or Generations, but they shouldn’t worry. Sonic Team brought back the Spin Dash which works quite similar to the boost , to activate the dash you hold and charge your spindash with the left trigger and if you hold down the trigger Sonic will stay in a ball going full speed through the level.

    Another new mechanic they added to the game is the “parkour” system which allows the player while running to jump over obstacles and run up walls without coming to a complete stop like in previous games.  This mechanic is fun but will defiantly take some time to get used to in most 3D segments, especially while trying to run alongside a wall. Another problem this mechanic has is during some 2D segments in some tight corridors. Sonic will stick to a wall automatically when all you were trying to do was jump onto another platform and this issue could lead to some frustrating cheap deaths. While other times the system will just stop working in some heavy moments which will make Sonic fall.

   Few of the remaining moves is the bounce, homing attack, and a new kick move that works similar to the homing attack but will make badniks fly, sometimes destroying others. One move that returns from Colors is the double jump and this is probably the biggest flaw in the controls along side with the homing attack. The reason is because they both share the same button and once Sonic is in the air you can barely control his movements. You will find yourself trying to double jump onto a platform on the right side of the screen but instead Sonic will do a homing attack to an enemy on the left side of the screen then falling down a death pit. If the homing attack was a different button like in Unleashed this wouldn’t be such an issue but because of this get ready to die. A LOT.  

   It’s no secret this game resembles a few Nintendo franchises from the Mario Galaxy series to Donkey Kong Country. The levels vary from floating tubes and planets to classic 2D segments with lots of hidden goodies. While the different variations of levels are nice, never imagining what’s coming next it’s still a mix bag in which some levels you’ll love while others you’ll hate immensely.  Some levels are quite fun with some of the best platforming the series had in awhile which feels challenging to relaxing but unfortunately most feel obnoxious with some terrible level designs that doesn’t compliment the new movement mechanic at all. Probably the worst levels the game has to offer are the tube-like levels which are scattered with random obstacles and terrible enemy placements design to stop you which make the parkour system pointless in these.  Also because of these variations of levels the game has terrible pacing, bad enough there’s pointless cutscenes stopping you from going to the next level, the games difficulty jumps everywhere from easy to hard to easy. Another pacing issue are the tutorials, when activated the game pauses and requires you to look at the gamepad to read how to learn to do a move which takes you out of the game completely, it makes me wish I can hear omochao annoying voice explaining everythin. Another gimmick they brought back from Colors are Wisps which give you temporary powers using some of the gamepads functions. Most of the time they are completely pointless that don’t add anything special to the game, and are only in a few handful of levels.

   Now lets talk about bosses, for a group called “The Deadly Six” they are far from deadly. These boss battles are probably the easiest in the history of the series. With only about two that stands out, most of them just require two to three hits to defeat them.  Sometimes the homing attack will lock a few times in a row allowing you to defeat them before they even attack you! They’re boring and anti-climatic making the terrible bosses in Sonic Generations look good in comparison.   

   The game is pretty short clocking in about three hours but thanks to red rings and some mini games it extends the life by a few more hours. Just like in Sonic Colors, in every level you can collect 5 red rings and if you collect them all you can unlock Super Sonic, and in the World map you can play minigames throwing sonic in the air popping balloons to rescue forest animals. The game also offers some multiplayer which you can race a friend or a friend can help you beat a level with a co-op segment. You can compete in global time charts to beat your friends score or try to be number one globally.

PRESENTATION

      One thing this game gets right from beginning to end is defiantly its presentation. The game is bright, colorful, and cartoonish which I expect in a Sonic game. Levels look excellent with its bright colorful graphics making every level a pleasure to look at, with some of the best music the series had playing in the background fitting every levels personality. Thanks to the simple cartoonish look the game has a steady 60fps throughout the game only dropping for me in some loading segments.  You can defiantly feel the love and care the developers put in these levels from the enemy designs and backgrounds to little things like dancing flowers/grass and the wisp icon falling asleep when you don’t use it.  

 

VERDICT

   The best way to describe this game is a mix bag, it’s not a terrible Sonic game but its defiantly not a great Sonic game. It’s an experience I enjoyed having but it came with some headaches I had to deal with, hidden underneath some of the flaws is a good game that could have stood over some of its great predecessors. If you are looking for an average platformer or just been itching to play a Sonic game then this game is for you, other than that though I would tell you to wait till the price drops.

 

PROS 

  • ·Presentation
  • ·Music
  • ·New Running Mechanic
  • ·Replayability
  • ·Level Variations

CONS

  • ·Level Design
  • ·Control Scheme
  • ·Cheap Deaths
  • ·Boss Battles
  • ·Pacing

7th November, 2013 - 21:34 GMT RWDebara Article viewed 2966 times 0 Comments

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