Game Review- Sonic: Lost World

Posted: November 18, 2013 in Game Reviews
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Well if this is going to be my first review here, I might as well make it a good one.  The Sonic the Hedgehog series is a very bumpy tale, having plenty of ups, downs, and everything in between.  However, recently with some of it’s latest games, Generations and Colors, it seems that Sonic Team has been on a smooth track for the better.  With their most recent implementation, Sonic: Lost World, the consistency of their success is brought even further into question, so it is my job today to explain to you my feelings about the game.

Story:  For the many who have played games from the Sonic the Hedgehog series, it’s pretty clear that the story is not a huge focus for the developers.  Even in it’s more successful games, the stories have proven to be nothing special or unmemorable at best.  Sonic: Lost World changes this trend up by implementing a large variety of cutscenes that drive the story in different directions, rather than prove it to be stagnant and/or linear.  This is actually very well appreciated because it makes a strong use of previously bland characters, such as Dr. Robotnik (Eggman) and Tails, while still staying on focus.

However, the newest set of the antagonists, not so rightfully named “The Deadly Six” (Zavok, Zazz, Zeena, Master Zik, Zomom, and Zor) aren’t nearly as welcomed of an addition.  Each of them follow a specific archetype, and stick to it until the very end hardly changing once so ever.  Their dialogue is painfully predictable as a result, deteriorating whatever charm they had to begin with.

What probably caught me most off-guard about this game was the overall writing.  The main characters: Sonic, Tails, and Dr. Robotnik are all excellently written and made complex.  This drove the story in so many different directions and allowed characters (most notably Sonic) to express character development, something which hasn’t been done well in God knows how long. Dr. Robotnik’s dialogue was hilariously brutal at some parts and he was generally an extremely likable character in this game.  Tails was a minor character throughout all of this, though he still played a major role in the progression of the story as well as had some quirky and charming dialogue moments.

Gameplay:  Now this was a big talking point in many of the rather mixed reviews it has received.  Sonic: Lost World uses a completely new gameplay style that focusses primarily on skilled platforming rather than getting from one place to another at the blink of an eye, and as a result it became a hit-or-miss for many who tried to play it like the latter.  Personally, I love the new gameplay style.  It’s overall very smooth and fun, allowing you to take in the beautiful and creative environment, as well as allowing you to experiment with the many different ways you can complete a level.  And that’s another thing, it’s level design allows for you to clear through the same area in a large variety of ways that creates a strong sense of replay-ability for many of the levels.

With this new renovation, there are also some new implementations into the gameplay.  The game has parkour mechanics, that actually act as lifesavers at times and as ways to get to new parts of the same level.  This game also reintroduces the Wisps from Sonic Colors, and the mechanics around them are creatively used, albeit clunky at times with the WiiU’s control scheme.  And finally a new kick feature has been introduced where you can kick an enemy and send them flying towards other enemies.  Some bots require you to use this attack in order to get past them, but it is not exclusive to them.  Overall, the new implementations are a very warm welcome to the game.

However, it does have it’s flaws.  It’s gameplay structure is slightly contradictory.  This increased emphasis on platforming makes it rather difficult towards the end of the game, but the problem here is that you do not earn a life for every 100 rings you collect, so you will typically find yourself getting “game overs” on the trial-and-error based levels.  However, the most notable flaw is the “Deadly” Six themselves.  Throughout the game each Zeti acts as a boss, and rather pathetic ones at that. Some of them are beatable within less than a minute while others run a pattern that never changes once so ever.  So yes, the boss battles are total jokes and major disappointments for the hype the game received.

Consensus:  In conclusion, this is a fantastic game.  The story is very entertaining, the levels are fun and extremely creative, and the gameplay is challenging and innovative.  This game certainly lived up to it’s hype, despite having some notable problems, and has plenty of replay-ability in my book.  Despite disappointing in some areas, the flaws are overall neglectable by being overshadowed by everything else this game had to offer.

Sonic Team has yet again, made a memorable and well-crafted game.  The future is looking bright for the blue blur.

Grade: B+

~FrogFinest

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Comments
  1. Firewood159 says:

    The platforming gameplay style isn’t neccesarily new to this game, however it is handeled really nicely in this one. I also prefer the story of other games in the series, such as, adventure 2 and shadow the hedgehog, but this one’s pretty good. I do wish that it had more characters other than sonic. Tails, and Robotnick, though. Overall, I think it’s a good game. Also, I wonder if Frogfinest is going to be a regular now.

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