Sonic Lost World Review
More control over Sonic
Incomplete parkour system
Frustrating level design
It should be no surprise to anyone that Sonic Lost World has garnered mixed reviews: some reviewers despised the game while others thought it was decent. For the purpose of this review, all other views are irrelevant, though I will say that Sonic Lost World is a good Sonic game, though a bit different.
From the get-go we’re introduced to the game’s plot which, like most Sonic games, has Sonic and Tails chasing down Dr. Eggman to rescue animals, that the evil doctor plans to use in his Badniks. Sonic and Tails fail to rescue them as they are shot down onto the Lost Hex. From there we’re introduced to the Deadly Six Zeti, which are currently under Eggman’s control, who out to stop Sonic from foiling Eggman’s plans of utilizing Earth’s energy (at least I think Sonic still takes place on Earth). Sonic eventually disrupts Eggman’s control over the Deadly Six which allows them to now control Eggman’s robots and work on draining all of Earth’s energy, effectively destroying it. The plot really isn’t all that great, due to various plot holes, but for what it offers it does have comedic dialogue–Sonic isn’t necessarily known for fantastic plots anyway.
Something Sonic is known for, though, are beautiful, colorful worlds. Each world, from beginning to end, is absolute eye candy and you can tell Sega put a lot of work in the graphical fidelity. The game runs at a smooth 60 fps with little to no slowdown and very little screen tearing. It runs at native 1080p and actually looks slightly better than Sonic Generations. The game also features a very Sonic-like soundtrack though it’s not as memorable as previous 3D outings. Despite that, the soundtrack is still pretty good. Overall, it’s truly a beautiful world to explore and this time we’re able to savor the beauty.
Sonic now runs a little slower than before: there’s no speed boost, side-steps, or automatic running. Sonic in fact now jogs unless you hold down the ZR button which triggers the Super Peel Out allowing Sonic to move faster. It’s certainly strange moving slower but it allows for much better control of Sonic’s actions, which is something we haven’t really had since Sonic Adventure. A new addition to the game is the parkour system which allows Sonic, upon running contact, to run on walls and quickly run over obstacles without slowing down. The system is pretty neat, when it works. At times Sonic will down right refuse to run up walls or get stuck on a wall when you’re trying to jump on a platform. It can lead to some frustration along with some cheap deaths. Another thing that makes a return are the color powers and they’re pretty much useless and don’t feel like they belong in this game. I wasn’t much of a fan of the color powers in Sonic Colors but I can’t stand them here as most them use motion control with the gamepad. There really was no reason to bring them back especially based on the Sonic Colors ending. Sadly the problems don’t end here.
Along with some frustrating play methods, level design can also become an issue. While some of the levels are fast-paced and enjoyable, others are frustrating messes that will take many tries to pass. This is between poor enemy placement, leap-of-faith platforming, and unavoidable obstacles. Though the levels can be irritating there’s something redeeming about completing them, like facing a large challenge so many times until you overcome it.
Sonic Lost World is a good outing for the eighth generation of consoles though it’s apparent that a lot of the game was an experiment. From awkward parkour to frustrating level design, Sega has some things to work out. Despite all of that, it is a good game and if you’re Sonic fan you’ll love it, if not then it may be a game you’d want to pass up. It’s far from perfect but these changes have a lot of potential so it’s possible that we may get a Sonic game with the same mechanics but with an overall better experience.