With this addition to the Sonic collection coming exclusively to Nintendo, it’s a little hard not to get excited for it since some of memorable games like Sonic Color and Sonic Adventure 2 Battles were exclusive to their respective Nintendo console. That being said, this exclusive return to Nintendo is lackluster when compared to the progress the past couple Sonic titles produced. Even though Sonic Lost World reflects the charm in regards to the levels from Mario Galaxy, the overall experience of this title can leave a bad taste in your mouth for future Sonic titles.
Sonic Lost World introduces the fans to the Zeti, a race of creatures native to the Lost Hex. The title focuses on a group of Zeti named the Deadly Six, which is a generous term for most of these characters. Zavok, Master Zik, and even Zazz are zeti characters that have some interesting qualities that I enjoyed while chasing them around the different levels. As for the remaining three, Zomom, Zeena, and Zor, they don’t seem deadly at all, and the reasons for having to chase them around seem tedious at times. In fact, some of these characters seem deadlier to themselves, with Zomom’s obsessive eating disorder and Zor’s depression, than they could ever be to Sonic.
The storyline for Sonic Lost World is fun to see Dr. Eggman team up with Sonic and Tails to take down Zavok and the rest of the Zetis. Although, it would have been a nice addition to the game if you were able to play as Dr. Eggman or Tails during a mission to help Sonic overcome a mechanical obstacle. Even though it may be a Sonic title, it’s always a greater experience when a game gives the availability of a character to be played for certain scenarios. Tails and Dr. Eggman could have had some enjoyable levels together as a dysfunctional duo of geniuses.
The levels can range from challenging and lively to dull and repetitive. There were certain levels that were able to mesh together the 3D experience to side scrolling gameplay in a cohesive fashion that tied the level together well. Some of these levels weren’t lucky enough though, and seemed more like a hassle to constantly change in between the two settings. The levels I had the most fun out of were the levels that incorporated a lot of rail sliding to keep the fast pace of Sonic alive.
It’s not to say that this game was lessened because of its lack of speed at times, but the appeal to this title would have improved if there were ways to travel faster. At times, there can be some areas that don’t help increase your speed through the level, and the ability to spin dash can help, but can cause sloppy gameplay resulting in too many lost lives in a simple area. I would have enjoyed this title more if I could have had a happy median between the slow walking pace of the Blue Burr and the reckless spin dash.
The controls for this Sonic title never really got in the way of my satisfaction for the game, except for certain times when using the Orange Rocket color power. It’s use of the Wii U gamepad is inviting as you can plan where to shot Sonic off to on the gamepad, but at times the screen can get disoriented making it impossible to figure out which way to go.
It was a nice addition to Sonic Lost World to see the color powers return again. These different powers allow Sonic titles more versatility in game experience. This title adds to the Wisps that were introduced in Sonic Color by including five new Wisps, while still maintaining the original six. It’s a fun to see these color powers grow throughout the Sonic titles, I just wish the same could be said for the gameplay.
Nintendo’s Miiverse has been a new way to interact with other players on the same title. We’ve seen innovative ways of communicating with others in Wind Waker. Although Sonic Lost World doesn’t take advantage of this outlet of the Wii U and only reflects what the title Luigi U did with Miiverse. It’s not to say this is a useless way to communicate through Miiverse, but with Nintendo having the Wii U under its belt for over a year roughly, it’s time to see developers expand on keeping interesting edge to connect through the Miiverse.
This game hits a few bumps along the way that kept this title from utilizing the potential it had. If Sonic Lost World had seen more time during development, there’s no doubt the potential would have been reached, but that simply isn’t the case. Although it’s nice to have another Sonic title out, the game could use more attention to detail to really allow this game to flourish.
This review is based on a retail copy of the Wii U version of the game.