Sonic: Lost World review
A variety of levels means that the gameplay never becomes stale. There are free-roaming 3D levels with a slower pace and an emphasis on exploration as well as beating the clock. There are linear 3D levels with a quicker pace and little room for error. Finally, there are the 2D side-scrolling levels for which Sonic is most famous. Unfortunately, this also means that the game’s difficulty can vary widely. While one level will take numerous attempts to complete, the next level will be completed first time. The 3D levels are the most frustrating. Unless he’s on a white surface, Sonic’s shadow is either non-existent or very hard to see. Jumps are difficult enough to judge as it is without being able to predict where he is about to land, meaning that last-second adjustments can’t be made. You will see the Game Over screen more often than you would like.
When precision is needed, Sonic’s slower normal movement is most ideal. When speed is required, Sonic’s newly-acquired parkour moves come into their own. The hedgehog can run up walls and across the ceiling, mantle small ledges, jump from vertical surface to surface, and bounce to reach higher ledges. While these moves are difficult to perfect and will see you coming to an abrupt halt more often than not, once mastered they give Sonic the speedy edge that is most familiar to his long-term fan base. As well as his normal jump attack, Sonic can also home in on smaller enemies, or use his new kick attack to defeat larger, tougher enemies; defeating multiple enemies becomes a breeze. Boss fights appear twice in each stage and range from easy to frustrating. This is mostly due to the frustrating controls; without this problem the boss fights would feel lacklustre.
The Wii U’s gamepad is most useful while using the Wisp abilities. Some return from previous Sonic titles while others are completely new, but all are controlled using either the gamepad’s touch screen or its gyroscopic sensors. The use of these powers can be optional in some levels but is required in others. It is best to hope that gyroscope-controlled powers are optional, as the pad can be unresponsive. The touch pad, however, is a great way to control the abilities.
The game’s replayability comes through finding red star rings, the game’s collectibles. These range from easy-to-find to well-hidden, meaning that you’re going to be replaying levels if you want to unlock Super Sonic by collecting them all. Alternatively, the challenges will task players with performing certain manoeuvres or accumulating a certain number of in-game pickups to unlock bonuses. In the case of the former, this was often with little instruction and left me reaching for the internet to find out what I was supposed to be doing. Still, as a glutton for punishment I keep going back. The game has its hooks in me and likely will for you as well. Of course, it helps that the game looks very pretty too.
Dr. Eggman has captured most of the animals from Sonic’s world. While trying to rescue some of them, Sonic and Tails crash land on a mysterious planet in the sky, a world known as the Lost Hex. The pair discovers that Eggman has recruited the Deadly Six, six menacing Zeti creatures that are indigenous to The Lost Hex, to help him in his bid to rule the world. He controls these creatures using a conch shell, but when Sonic destroys the conch, the Six rebel against Eggman.
They take control of one of Eggman’s inventions and use it to remove the energy from Sonic’s world. Despite being sworn enemies, Sonic and Eggman must unite to save his world and regain control.