Sonic Lost World Review - Beauty Is Only Quill Deep

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Sonic Lost World Review - Beauty Is Only Quill Deep

Pretty visuals don't do enough to spice up the tired old hedgehog.

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Ouch.

Reviews of this game are mostly in the 5's. It's like Unleashed all over again.

sonic needs to die. for the fans and everyone else.

let him die already while his image and glory somewhat still stands in good memories.

I thought after Generations got such good reviews and everyone basically loved it we would have got more of that style :(

Oh well.

Man Sega are really dropping the ball again, just after recovering it from an awkward stumble. They just don't seem to get how to make consistently good Sonic games, if they had just kept with what Generations did they could have had a good game instead of this mediocre one. A shame really.

...and now Atlus is in the hands of SEGA.

The End Is Nigh!

Dragoon:
Man Sega are really dropping the ball again, just after recovering it from an awkward stumble. They just don't seem to get how to make consistently good Sonic games, if they had just kept with what Generations did they could have had a good game instead of this mediocre one. A shame really.

wasn't generations also a mediocre game since half a good game and half a bad game average out to that much

it's getting hard to gamble on something that failed so hard that it still hasn't shaken off the slump after ending up the pity horse in the stable of what used to be its adversary

Man, that's disappointing.

I thought Lost World actually looked good. It had cool ideas that felt like they'd really work in a Sonic game.

Tanis:
...and now Atlus is in the hands of SEGA.

The End Is Nigh!

The horror...

OT: Can we just let Sonic die? Please? He's done.

Hmmm I dunno I watched a bit of a live-stream the other night while I was working and to me it looked decent. And there seemed to be no handling issues on the part of the person playing.

And for a Sonic game I really never expect much more than 'decent'. So I guess I don't particularly feel like singing Sonic's swan song for the hundredth time on a forum, or being disappointed over it.

I mean looking at this back to back with Rayman legends, I'd see the same level of enjoyment, they're both dated and tarted up with pretty colours so this review feels a little... overly cynical?

weirdguy:
wasn't generations also a mediocre game since half a good game and half a bad game average out to that much

it's getting hard to gamble on something that failed so hard that it still hasn't shaken off the slump after ending up the pity horse in the stable of what used to be its adversary

You're thinking of Unleashed.

Generations was a short but sweet game. Which modders on steam made even sweeter by grabbing all the good parts of Unleashed and letting you download them INTO generations.
No hating generations, it was good.

Edit: Ah-ha Jim's review of this is more what I felt. http://www.destructoid.com/review-sonic-lost-world-263720.phtml

I actually have the game, and I like it. It's actually more difficult than Generations, the platforming is solid, Sonic controls really well, and the level designs are diverse and imaginative.

It's not a brilliant game, but I think it's worth peoples' time.

I'm starting to think that the demographic for this kind of game isn't even going to look at mainstream reviews. I know one person who basically buys all the Sonic games because his son just loves them. It's sort of like hidden object games and how no one ever pays attention to them unless they show up on kick starter.

Meh. It didn't look that interesting to me. Not entirely sure why they've tried changing from the 2.5D style of Generations... (Although the Adventure games managed full 3D fairly well.)

Anyway, I think I have a fix for Sega's problem with handling Sonic - the whole "How do I 3D platform when I'm going at the speed of sound?!" thing. Don't slow down Sonic - which is what they've done for Lost World - just give us a button which slows down time. Enter the Matrix style. So I'm still going at ridiculous-miles-per-hour, but I'm able to make that precision jump. Heck, they had this as an unlockable in Generations, just bring it into the main game... Call it "Sonic-reflexes" or some such thing...

Oh. And get someone who can actually write a decent storyline. Like, the people who wrote Sonic Adventure 2, get them back.

Yeah, I was skeptical about this game as soon as I got a look at the villains.

You'd think that after Generations, Sonic would have cleaned up his act from now on.

The_Darkness:
Anyway, I think I have a fix for Sega's problem with handling Sonic - the whole "How do I 3D platform when I'm going at the speed of sound?!" thing. Don't slow down Sonic - which is what they've done for Lost World - just give us a button which slows down time. Enter the Matrix style. So I'm still going at ridiculous-miles-per-hour, but I'm able to make that precision jump. Heck, they had this as an unlockable in Generations, just bring it into the main game... Call it "Sonic-reflexes" or some such thing...

That's not a bad idea.

One recurring thing developers have used as an accuse is that they can't make Sonic fast all the time otherwise they'd need to create thousands of miles of game world. Problem is why is Sonic's speed the only factor when in the original games it never was. Sure he could have bursts of speed but it wasn't non-stop. Basically the developers need to dispel the myth Sonic was only about speed. Yet that doesn't mean they can make the slow portions terrible (like Unleashed).

Dragoon:
Man Sega are really dropping the ball again, just after recovering it from an awkward stumble. They just don't seem to get how to make consistently good Sonic games, if they had just kept with what Generations did they could have had a good game instead of this mediocre one. A shame really.

Hard to drop the ball when Sonic just does not work well in 3D. It's a remnant of the 2D era that has no place nowadays. You just can't make a Sonic game that does what Sonic always did best in 3D without it basically playing itself.

There's a reason the best Sonic games these days basically rehash the best parts of the 2D games all over again. It's a dead series and there's really nowhere to go with it. But because people like to get nostalgic about the glory days and because Sonic is basically Sega's mascot everyone feels obligated to keep trying when the best thing to do would be to move on and let the franchise die with whatever dignity it has left. And I say this as someone who is a Sonic fan.

The high speed gameplay just doesn't work in 3D the way it did in 2D, and if you strip that away your left with a series that was never very good at anything else (except maybe soundtracks).

So basically the game is great overall until you start lowering your speed settings?

I mean, I'm still going to try it out anyway.

However I feel that this is a win-lose situation for them on that front.

You had a bunch of people complain that they couldn't control Sonic at max speed circa Sonic Colors. Now they lower the speed and it's still a complaint.

Honestly Sonic does it's best when it's a 2D platformer with hints of 3D in the mix.

However I personally think it shouldn't of gotten a 2 and a half stars. I think that's just a tad bit harsh, but an opinion is an opinion.

The_Darkness:

Oh. And get someone who can actually write a decent storyline. Like, the people who wrote Sonic Adventure 2, get them back.

Sonic adventure 2 was abysmally written... I'm sorry I do not mean to shit on anyone's nostalgia but come ON.

The adventure games trying to be increasingly 'edgy' is what led up to Shadow the Hedgehog and 06'.
These cartoony stories are fine. They're inoffensive, don't take over the game play, and aren't continuously trying to complete with actual rpgs for cheesy cliche 'drama'.

This is coming from someone who really loved Adventure 2. I'm serious, I A ranked nearly ALL of it. I raised a chao to maximum powar. It was the last game before the dark years I truly enjoyed. But the writing and the tone was just so darn lame. Like what 90's teens thought 'deep and edgy' was.

Honestly the story coulda worked if it wasn't a freakin' Sonic the Hedgehog game. He was the most out of place thing in that 'story', if not for the gameplay that made him relevant. And Shadow being another random bug eyed mutant hedgehog, which brings me to another annoying point about those games:

Humans in a Sonic game. Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuughhhhhh. Could they maybe explain why 3 feet tall multi-coloured anthropomorphic animals running around doing things is NORMAL in this world. Or if not. Just... don't go there. Seriously. Suspension of disbelief is shattered when you start doing that and expect us to just swallow it.

I will defend the gameplay, and enjoy-ability of SA2 to my dying breath but just don't imply that a Sonic game has ever been 'well written'. It hasn't happened. And I'd rather they move forward and try something new-er than go back to that.

The first Sonic game i've been interested in since... ever, and it's average!?... oh well.

See SkarKrow! I told you Sonic has fallen from grace! But you didn't listen to me!

In all seriousness, I was actually getting optimistic about the game, I have never been a fan of Sonic games and it doesn't look like this will be the game to change my tune.

Welp my heart is broken! Guess I'll just go back to playing Sonic Generations!

The_Echo:
Man, that's disappointing.

I thought Lost World actually looked good. It had cool ideas that felt like they'd really work in a Sonic game.

The Escapist Review is kinda melodramatic about it. It is by no means a "Great Game", but it is at the very least "Good". Jim Sterling's review is honestly the best review for the game that I have read so far. It isn't a game you would buy a Wii U for, however it is a game that you should buy if you enjoyed Sonic and already own a Wii U game. Good fun, but not a console seller.

To be honest, it is a 3.5/5 or a 6.75/7.50 out of 10 in terms of review numbers. Or in basic words: Above Average, below greatness.

Sonic Lost World is not the triumphant return to wonder, grace, and awesome innovative play that some had hoped.

I wasn't hoping for a triumphant return to anything. Honestly, I would've been happy with a retread of the Modern Sonic portions of Sonic Generations. Throw in some new levels, call it a day. After they'd finally gotten a style of gameplay nearly perfect, I just can't see why they'd throw it away and try to do something different.

P.S. Thanks

Soxafloppin:
I thought after Generations got such good reviews and everyone basically loved it we would have got more of that style :(

Oh well.

Colours too did really well all round, I don't know what possessed them to change it :/

A Sonic game? Really?
Well, what could we expect here? It's a Sonic game; if you know sonic at all, you know what you're getting and if you buy sonic games anyways it's your own fault.

Ponyholder:

The_Echo:
Man, that's disappointing.

I thought Lost World actually looked good. It had cool ideas that felt like they'd really work in a Sonic game.

The Escapist Review is kinda melodramatic about it. It is by no means a "Great Game", but it is at the very least "Good". Jim Sterling's review is honestly the best review for the game that I have read so far. It isn't a game you would buy a Wii U for, however it is a game that you should buy if you enjoyed Sonic and already own a Wii U game. Good fun, but not a console seller.

To be honest, it is a 3.5/5 or a 6.75/7.50 out of 10 in terms of review numbers. Or in basic words: Above Average, below greatness.

I'd absolutely direct someone to Jim's review over at Destructoid for a contrasting opinion. He appears to have had a different experience from me, and praises the slow segments of the game. An excellent other take on the game.

I rated it a 2.5 because I consider it just below average for games right now. In a year with so many otherwise outstanding platformers - rayman legends, puppeteer - this is, frankly, just not a good enough game. Your assessment here - that it's "a game you should buy if you enjoyed sonic and already own a Wii U" - is absolutely spot on. That's what I said with my Recommendation in the review.

SkarKrow:

Soxafloppin:
I thought after Generations got such good reviews and everyone basically loved it we would have got more of that style :(

Oh well.

Colours too did really well all round, I don't know what possessed them to change it :/

I can't really agree enough. They crafted a beautiful set of visuals, sound, and animation. This game is like taking flawless crystal decanter and filling it with mud from the cowfields.

Charli:

Hmm. Okay.
Since I'm expecting this to come down to a difference of opinion, and since I'm not expecting to change your opinion, I'm going to throw up the "Agree to disagree?" offer straight away.

But that doesn't mean I'm not going to defend my point of view. All the spirit of friendly debate, eh?

For the record - I haven't played "Shadow the Hedgehog" or "Sonic 2006". I've only played SA2 - I haven't even played SA1, since it wasn't available on Gamecube. I did play "Sonic Heroes", and that's what I'd consider a 'bad' Sonic storyline (although it did have some strong points - the final twist would have been good, if the intro-cinematic hadn't spoiled it...)
So I'm not taking "Shadow the Hedgehog" or "Sonic 2006" into consideration here. Even if they were bad games, that doesn't mean SA2 is bad by association...

On a thematic level, SA2 had a good contrast between Sonic and Shadow. Sonic's a laid-back, carefree character with a need for adventure and a strong sense of right and wrong, where Shadow has a strict sense of self-control and a need for vengeance. That actually spanned the entire cast - I could draw similar parallels and contrasts between Robotnik and Tails or Rouge and Knuckles. Heck, the two campaign modes contrasted - in one you're fighting to save the world, in the other you're fighting to conquer it!

That split storyline worked well too. You saw events from different perspectives, which allowed you to put together a bigger picture (OH, that's why the island is exploding...). That only worked because the events had been well plotted in order to let them fit together. SA2 is also the only Sonic game where I've fully understood why I'm in a location performing a level - if I'm battling ghosts in a pyramid, or searching for emeralds within a vault, or doing loop-the-loops in space, I know how that fits into the larger storyline. If you ask me what the teams were doing in a haunted house in Sonic Heroes, on the other hand, I have NO IDEA.

And in the finale, the themes of contrast met to become themes of co-operation. SA2's endgame was, in my opinion, quite frankly brilliant.

So.. yeah. That's what I liked about SA2.

Sidenote:
Your point about humans in a Sonic game - haven't they always been there? As I recall, the very first boss of the very first level of the very first Sonic game was a human. Dr Robotnik with a flying wrecking ball. Unless we assume that Dr Robotnik sprung into existence from nowhere, and single-handedly invented technology, humans must have been in the background somewhere. The Adventure games just had them visible, and that doesn't bother me.

The_Darkness:

Charli:

See what you're outlining here is aesthetic . Which I am TOTALLY with you. The aesthetic, both visually and gameplay-wise and even themeatically for SA2 was excellent. It's the writing, acting and characterization that I felt fell so hard in that game. And no humans have not always been in a Sonic game, it's only been Eggman who was already a 'caricature' of humanity anyway. And it was ONLY him, he looked just as weird and mutant as the anthropomorphic animals. The other humans though? Once it was made apparent they exist and looking pretty 'real'(Starting from SA1)... there were alot of questions left unanswered. If you cannot set the stage for your world/universe effectively. Then you've already left behind a chunk of your audience. Tripping at the start-line, so to speak.

If you read, I pretty much implied that SA2 is on my list of favorite games of all time. Sonic 3 and Knuckles and this game are my 2 favorite sonic games. I am not bashing it's existence. There is so much good in it.

But the implication that returning to this style of writing compared to the cartoony writing this run of games is tackling? As though it was somehow superior? I draw a line there. That's a bit much. Since sonic is in fact...a cartoon, you need a world and a tone that the audience can swallow and suspend disbelief on. This current run? Might have gone a bit too far in the OTHER direction with it. But the SA 'canon' went too far with the 'we want you to take our little blue rodent seriously so here's some serious things with serious seriousness stitched on'.

Find a good balance? Improve upon it? Absolutely. I'm on board.

I'm not even going to go into Shadow and 06'. Suffice to say I did not play a Sonic game for 3 years after them (My Brother is much younger than me and we actually bond well over Sonic games so this is where I finally stopped and said 'nope, no more sonic for a while'. Not even for Nostalgia sakes. They look what existed in SA2 and painted it with poo. Keep your cherished memories intact and keep away from these abortions of games.

JonB:

Ponyholder:

The_Echo:
Man, that's disappointing.

I thought Lost World actually looked good. It had cool ideas that felt like they'd really work in a Sonic game.

The Escapist Review is kinda melodramatic about it. It is by no means a "Great Game", but it is at the very least "Good". Jim Sterling's review is honestly the best review for the game that I have read so far. It isn't a game you would buy a Wii U for, however it is a game that you should buy if you enjoyed Sonic and already own a Wii U game. Good fun, but not a console seller.

To be honest, it is a 3.5/5 or a 6.75/7.50 out of 10 in terms of review numbers. Or in basic words: Above Average, below greatness.

I'd absolutely direct someone to Jim's review over at Destructoid for a contrasting opinion. He appears to have had a different experience from me, and praises the slow segments of the game. An excellent other take on the game.

I rated it a 2.5 because I consider it just below average for games right now. In a year with so many otherwise outstanding platformers - rayman legends, puppeteer - this is, frankly, just not a good enough game. Your assessment here - that it's "a game you should buy if you enjoyed sonic and already own a Wii U" - is absolutely spot on. That's what I said with my Recommendation in the review.

SkarKrow:

Soxafloppin:
I thought after Generations got such good reviews and everyone basically loved it we would have got more of that style :(

Oh well.

Colours too did really well all round, I don't know what possessed them to change it :/

I can't really agree enough. They crafted a beautiful set of visuals, sound, and animation. This game is like taking flawless crystal decanter and filling it with mud from the cowfields.

I feared from the outset that they'd mess this up by trying to do too many things with it rather than remaining focused on something simple, like a smooth, flowing experience. From the outset the control scheme sounded difficult but I remained optimistic. It's sad to see them make these mistakes again after such stellar work in recent years.

It's especially painful with Super Mario 3D World just aorund the corner and looking absolutely sensational. It really makes me wonder what would happen if Sonic were handed off the Tokyo EAD for just one game.

I read Jim's review actually, seemed more forgiving, but what I'm taking away from every review is that the experience is rather schizophrenic, with some great moments, but also terrible ones dragging it down. Gamespot's 'tude criticism made me laught though, Sonic should have 'tude, it's just about the only mascot franchise that ever managed to do it well.

TizzytheTormentor:
See SkarKrow! I told you Sonic has fallen from grace! But you didn't listen to me!

In all seriousness, I was actually getting optimistic about the game, I have never been a fan of Sonic games and it doesn't look like this will be the game to change my tune.

If you want my attention quote me you bastard!

Colours and generations were genuinely outstanding examples of their genre, they had an energy and flow unlike any other game in the franchise since the 2D days and paired that with outstanding visuals and aesthetics and a great set of proper BGM soundtracks to great effect.

I am disappointed to see Sonic Team return to these missteps once again, though I'm yet to play this myself, and will form a fuller opinion once I have done so. On the bright side, the new 3D Mario is shaping up to be amazeballs.

That's a shame, I was considering buying it, I might still get it eventually at a lower price. Everything they showed off looked so good, what happened?

Though I don't think I'm hurting for Wii U games, I actually have more of them than I did Wii games after a year it was released.

Charli:

The_Darkness:

Okay, let's actually snip this quote pyramid rather than constantly shoving it under the carpet...

See what you're outlining here is aesthetic . Which I am TOTALLY with you. The aesthetic, both visually and gameplay-wise and even themeatically for SA2 was excellent. It's the writing, acting and characterization that I felt fell so hard in that game.

Fair enough. I haven't played it recently enough to judge the voice acting or the actual script. I don't remember it being particularly cringeworthy, but I was in my mid-teens at the time... (As opposed to my current early twenties.) So I'll note that it was the overall plot that I look back on with nostalgia, and leave it with that.

And no humans have not always been in a Sonic game, it's only been Eggman who was already a 'caricature' of humanity anyway. And it was ONLY him, he looked just as weird and mutant as the anthropomorphic animals. The other humans though? Once it was made apparent they exist and looking pretty 'real'(Starting from SA1)... there were alot of questions left unanswered. If you cannot set the stage for your world/universe effectively. Then you've already left behind a chunk of your audience. Tripping at the start-line, so to speak.

See, this is interesting. SA2 was probably the first Sonic game that I played seriously, so in my experience humans have always been there. I have since gone back and played Sonic 1, 2, 3 & Knuckles, and I certainly didn't miss having humans around then, but if I'd done things the other way around, I might be sitting where you are now and arguing against it... Just a thought.

If you read, I pretty much implied that SA2 is on my list of favorite games of all time. Sonic 3 and Knuckles and this game are my 2 favorite sonic games. I am not bashing it's existence. There is so much good in it.

But the implication that returning to this style of writing compared to the cartoony writing this run of games is tackling? As though it was somehow superior? I draw a line there. That's a bit much. Since sonic is in fact...a cartoon, you need a world and a tone that the audience can swallow and suspend disbelief on. This current run? Might have gone a bit too far in the OTHER direction with it. But the SA 'canon' went too far with the 'we want you to take our little blue rodent seriously so here's some serious things with serious seriousness stitched on'.

Find a good balance? Improve upon it? Absolutely. I'm on board.

Likewise. SA2 might be well within my comfort zone, and Lost World outside it (TOO MUCH SUGAR-CANDY!) but I'm all for a good balance between the two. Generations was decent, it just felt a little bit story-lite. So maybe I'll modify my earlier statement that sparked off this debate:

SEGA - get some decent scriptwriters. Just make sure they know which series they're writing for.

I'm not even going to go into Shadow and 06'. Suffice to say I did not play a Sonic game for 3 years after them (My Brother is much younger than me and we actually bond well over Sonic games so this is where I finally stopped and said 'nope, no more sonic for a while'. Not even for Nostalgia sakes. They look what existed in SA2 and painted it with poo. Keep your cherished memories intact and keep away from these abortions of games.

Point taken. I'll follow that advice. Crisis City was possibly my favourite level from Generations BUT I've heard enough about the game that it came from to give the original a wide berth...

And all in all, thanks for a fun debate on a Friday evening.

The_Darkness:

Anytime, most gracious fellow on and off Sonic fan. I too have used up my time for internet bickering for the week and were most satisfied in having wasted it with you. /salute

Til next time!

Blimey... well, I'll stick to Colors and Generations for "great" modern Sonic games (and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, my new favorite racing game) and for great platformers, I'll stick to both Rayman Origins and Legends. Ironically, both Raymans share more gameplay mechanics that a Sonic game would have than almost any Sonic game.

Please Sega, if you can't keep up with Colors/Generations quality you already had, then please, just please... let Sonic die.

JonB:

Ponyholder:

The_Echo:
Man, that's disappointing.

I thought Lost World actually looked good. It had cool ideas that felt like they'd really work in a Sonic game.

The Escapist Review is kinda melodramatic about it. It is by no means a "Great Game", but it is at the very least "Good". Jim Sterling's review is honestly the best review for the game that I have read so far. It isn't a game you would buy a Wii U for, however it is a game that you should buy if you enjoyed Sonic and already own a Wii U game. Good fun, but not a console seller.

To be honest, it is a 3.5/5 or a 6.75/7.50 out of 10 in terms of review numbers. Or in basic words: Above Average, below greatness.

I'd absolutely direct someone to Jim's review over at Destructoid for a contrasting opinion. He appears to have had a different experience from me, and praises the slow segments of the game. An excellent other take on the game.

I rated it a 2.5 because I consider it just below average for games right now. In a year with so many otherwise outstanding platformers - rayman legends, puppeteer - this is, frankly, just not a good enough game. Your assessment here - that it's "a game you should buy if you enjoyed sonic and already own a Wii U" - is absolutely spot on. That's what I said with my Recommendation in the review.

SkarKrow:

Soxafloppin:
I thought after Generations got such good reviews and everyone basically loved it we would have got more of that style :(

Oh well.

Colours too did really well all round, I don't know what possessed them to change it :/

I can't really agree enough. They crafted a beautiful set of visuals, sound, and animation. This game is like taking flawless crystal decanter and filling it with mud from the cowfields.

Having just played the first two worlds I feel the need to inform you that I now think you may have been over generous. The game is full of horrible cheap deaths, I've had 6 game overs and not a single death has felt like it's my fault, each and every one felt like a random string of piss poor collision detection and slippery awful controls damning me to my fate.

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