Sonic has had his rough patches over the years. Recently, he has begun to redeem himself with the likes of Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations. Sonic Lost World tries to encompass what made Colors and Generations work so well while adding new elements to the overall package. On the 3DS, it has its moments of frustration, but for the most part, it makes for a pretty fun Sonic game.
The game features Sonic and Tales trying to stop Dr. Eggman once again. He has acquired a device that allows him to control these big bad monsters known as the Deadly Six. Well, things don’t go as planned and Eggman loses the device. Now, the Deadly Six are free to do as they please and it’s up to Sonic to take them out.
Lost World seems to have taken many ideas from Super Mario Galaxy in the form of level design. Many times, the player will be navigating Sonic through levels that feature platforms and runways that have their own plane of gravity. One minute, I was running along a cylinder going all the way around it while the next, I was running around a floating sphere. The game breaks down into three different types of levels: 3D, 2D, and special 3D flying levels that require the player to use the gyroscope function of the 3DS.
The 3D levels play out like any modern Sonic zone would. Navigate the level using multiple paths, all the while taking out enemies using the homing air attack and the new somersault stun move. Certain enemies require multiple hits to be taken down or players can stun them and charge up their homing attack by continuously targeting the enemy. This also works for targeting three enemies at a time for a fast, quick kill. Players can utilize enemies and the homing attack to traverse the levels much faster. Sonic can also run even faster by holding down the R bumper, doing this can also allow him to run up walls and reach other platforms. The spin attack makes a return as well so Sonic can blast through enemies and travel even faster.
The 2D levels give off more of a puzzle vibe. Sure Sonic will run as fast as he can, but many times, the player will be required to slow down a bit to make certain jumps or to activate switches that can lead to new paths and areas. It can be jarring at times when all I really wanted to do was run really fast, but that wouldn’t make for much of a game.
Finally, certain levels where Sonic is trying to obtain the Chaos Emeralds will have the player using the 3DS gyroscope to navigate Sonic through the air as he flies to collect floating orbs. There is a time limit to collect all the orbs, but it was never a difficult task. It could become tedious when I was standing up and moving my 3DS in a circle to steer Sonic in the right direction, and if I planned on playing these levels, I would do it where no one could see me. I’m sure I looked like an insane person.
The color powers make a return from Sonic Colors. These special power-ups transform Sonic into various things that allow him to reach new areas of a level and take out enemies in different fashions. It offers up a little variety to each level.
After completing a level, Sonic will obtain special materials that he can take back to Tails’ workshop to create power-ups that he can store and use on-the-fly during levels. Players can also trade in 3DS play coins for materials.
The visuals are very nice and the sense of speed is what anyone would come to expect from a Sonic game. The bright colors and vivid locations are nice and the presentation is very well done. There are some very interesting level designs here and it changed up a lot of what I was doing while playing. The 3D is a bit lackluster for this title though, and the cut scene movies look grainy and somewhat blown out for some reason. It’s almost like they took the Wii U version’s cut scenes and compressed them down for the 3DS. One thing I will mention, just like with any other Sonic game, the original soundtrack is amazing and fits right in with the look and action of the game.
As fun as Sonic Lost World can be, there are some frustrating bits to the game play. Some of the platforming is off and the jumping feels stiff moving from platform to platform. Certain levels with a lot of jumping and puzzles really drag down the action and for me, that just doesn’t feel like a Sonic game. Don’t get me wrong, more times than not, I was blasting through a level at insane speeds and having a grand time, but when I did hit the slower parts, it was disorienting to me. Finally, the camera was the main reason I lost so many lives. Some levels allow the player to adjust it while others don’t. When Sonic is running around one of the platforms going upside down and sideways, the camera wouldn’t adjust for it and I couldn’t make heads or tails (see what I did there?) of what I was doing or where I was going.
The game also features multiplayer online, local and through game share. Players can take on friends and random people all around the world. The only problem I see with it was the fact that if I were to fall off the edge of a platform during a race online, I would start back at the beginning of the level, which meant I would never catch up to my opponent. Still, it is great they included it and it works very well.
Sonic Lost World was rather impressive to me on the 3DS. It offers up a good variety of levels and has some features that really make it a standout. Sure, there are some annoyances, and the camera needs some work, but for the most part, I really enjoyed my time with Sonic and company. They really nail the sense of speed here and when things went my way, it was a blast. Sonic fans will have a great time and 3DS owners should take a look at this ambitious title.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.