"Lost World could have been not only a much needed evolution of the series, but another major selling point for the struggling Wii U."
There’s only so much abuse a franchise should be allowed to endure before officially being laid to rest. The blue speedster hasn’t had the best of luck this generation with only Colors and Generations being worthy of the Sonic name. Lost World could have been not only a much needed evolution of the series, but another major selling point for the struggling Wii U. Unfortunately, the end result is anything but radical or innovative. Sonic Lost Worlds tries so hard to replicate the magic of the spectacular Super Mario Galaxy, but instead ends up being a frustrating mess comprised of counterintuitive controls, awful characters, and terrible level designs.
Things kick off on a positive note. We’re treated to a charming CGI sequence and the first Windy Hill level evokes a welcoming sense of nostalgia. Dr. Eggman is once again attempting to defeat Sonic, but this time by harvesting the power of six menacing creatures known as the Deadly Six. Soon they turn against him and Sonic must unite with Eggman to take them down. As expected, the “story” only serves to tie the levels together and offers nothing new or interesting to the Sonic universe. Honestly, I have no problem with the slapstick narrative approach of the Sonic games, but Lost World offers some of the most cringe worthy and annoying characters to date. The writing in this game is beyond bad. It’s such a shame because the accompanying soundtrack can be rather catchy.
"The Galaxy inspired stages seem like a fantastic framework for Sonic’s speedy platforming, but the levels are designed to frustrate."
Sonic Lost World consists of 3-d and 2-d platforming, both suffering from poor pacing and terrible controls. The game requires pixel-perfect precision, but lacks tight gameplay mechanics to support quick reflexes. The Galaxy inspired stages seem like a fantastic framework for Sonic’s speedy platforming, but the levels are designed to frustrate. Three stages into the game and you start facing random deaths from running into walls or falling off tracks simply because Sonic didn’t react quickly enough to your button presses or because of his imprecise jumping.
What’s even worse is the odd auto-aim function that’s triggered when you’re close to enemies. It works when it wants to and feels completely broken, particularly when approaching baddies at high speeds. Oh and then there’s the “speed” issue…sigh. Sonic games have always been about building momentum and establishing rhythm while blasting through levels, but in Lost World Sonic is constantly coming to a halt and it feels like the levels were designed for a different style of platforming – especially the 2-d stages. The color powers return from Sonic Colors and they make decent use of Wii U’s gamepad, but they ultimately feel like a distraction interrupting the gameplay flow, rather than sprucing up the action.
"Lost World just dug the franchise a deep, deep grave that will be impossible to escape."
Visually the game is vibrant and detailed, but lacks creativity and suffers from borrowing a bit too much from Galaxy’s level layouts. If you’ve never played the Mario Galaxy games, Lost World’s design may feel fresh and exciting, but to everyone else, it just feel like a lesser version of a 5+ year old game that’s still vastly superior.
I really wanted to like Sonic Lost World…I really did. But twenty minutes into the game I felt like I was just rushing through the levels to get it over with, instead of enjoying myself and replaying for better scores. Poor gameplay, poor level designs, horrendous voice acting…Lost World just dug the franchise a deep, deep grave that will be impossible to escape. I think it’s finally time to lay the poor blue fella to rest.
Review by: Tin Salamunic | Reviewed on: Wii U