Developer(s) – Sonic Team & Dimps
Publisher(s) – Sega & Nintendo
Director(s) – Morio Kishimoto & Takao Hirabayashi
Producer – Takashi Lizuka
Sonic: Lost World takes the franchise back to basics with 2D side scrolling elements as well as including certain elements from later 3D platforming titles in the series. After playing, I thought it was an OK game, but I found myself having the same old complaints as I have whilst playing older games in the rest of the series.
Graphics – 7.5/10
To begin with, the visuals of the game aren’t too bad. I think along with being in lieu of Sonic the Hedgehog tradition, Nintendo’s involvement in the series has at least had some positive influence in this respect, with the game including some pretty diverse settings and creature designs. It’s also interesting to see what look like the triforce from the Legend of Zelda on the roads in the dessert levels. What I can’t say the same for, however, is how the Deadly Six characters were designed. The way I see it, they all look pretty generic, and below par of what either Nintendo or Sega are usually capable of.
Gameplay – 5/10
Over the years, I’ve always had issues with how Sonic the Hedgehog games play out. I’ve always felt that though Sonic’s speed was put in place to add more intensity to the game compared to others, that there’s hardly anything to do with it and very little space to use it. This game is no exception, unfortunately. To me, high speed has always taken away any fluency to any of the Sonic games, and a lot of the time, make them pretty annoying to play through. Nowhere is this more evident than in the 2D side scrolling sequences, where there is only one direction to go in anyway, making high speed pretty redundant in my own personal opinion. Though interestingly there is influence taken from the cancelled Sega Saturn game Sonic Xtreme, The 3D sequences don’t greatly encourage exploration either; as I hope will be present in Sonic Boom when it comes out.
Controls – 9.5/10
Though the controls are straightforward enough, I did find it annoying to turn from left to right in the 2D side scrolling sequences; like the analogue stick took far too much time to respond to what I wanted the character to do. But otherwise, there were no other issues I found whilst playing.
Lifespan – 3/10
Considering that Nintendo have already put out quite a few games a lot like Sonic: Lost World out on not just the Wii U, but for every other console before it, it seems much shorter than either New Super Mario Bros U or Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. The game can be done in less than 3 hours, most probably due to the lack of side quests compared to the other two aforementioned games. But nowadays especially, that short a time makes for a very fleeting experience even for a 2D side scroller; let alone any other kind of video game.
Storyline – 6/10
Sonic’s latest adventure has him and Tails pursuing Dr. Eggman, who has captured their animal friends to be used to power his robot army, whilst they must also fend off Eggman’s primary henchmen; the Deadly Six. I was pleased to find the story much less predictable than I’d initially anticipated. There are a few twists and turns towards the end to keep thing interesting for the most part. That’s the kind of thing that the Wii U needs to have in order to make their games as interesting as possible in my opinion, and not to include the kind of predictable stories than many of the Mario games have nowadays.
Originality – 5/10
There’s not much new in this game. Although it has a new and unique story, repetitive gameplay to me, has been a problem come every time Sega have tried to revive the franchise since mid-way into the sixth generation.
In summation, Sonic: Lost World isn’t a bad game, but there was definitely room for improvement for me. There’s nothing to suggest to me that this game could have renewed interest in the series, and predictably, it hasn’t to any substantial degree.