One of the coolest wrinkles in Sonic: Lost World is that the levels themselves are breathing and alive. At one moment you can be playing in a 2D plane, like old school Sonic, and in the next the game can flip into mind bending 3D renderings.
Sonic: Lost World was developed by the Sonic Team for the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U. Released back in 2013, this was one of the first titles that pulled us back into the world of Sonic in a big way. Featuring the Deadly Six and several other new antagonists, Sonic: Lost World was a re-introduction to everything that we loved about the pretty, fast, and fancy platformer that we had grown to love as children. We picked up the game for the Nintendo Wii U and decided to play through it to see if the nostalgic vibes still held true. Keep on reading to see if you will be getting lost in Sonic: Lost World.
Believe it or not there once was a time that Sonic The Hedgehog was one of the most respected franchises in the entire world of video games. Once capable of going head to head with Mario and Nintendo, Sonic has dove tailed off into almost pseudo-obscurity as each title released has been progressively (regressively?) worse than the one before it. The terribleness of the Sonic games reached peak stink factor back when Sonic 6 was released. Looking past that game we can take Sonic: Lost World as a whole new entry and hopefully let the bad vibes go for long enough to give an unbiased review.
Thankfully the Deadly Six make up one of the strongest Sonic titles for this entire generation. Sonic himself is back in full HD glory and he revitalizes the Wii U in a big way. Sonic and the rest of the Sonic Team were on the ball when producing this game and the Lost World is great as a result. Proof, too, that 20 years of on again off again gaming can be turned around if you keep plugging away.
So the story in the Lost World takes center stage as it seeks to turn several franchise tropes on its (egg)head. Traditionally the mad Doctor Eggman is the big baddy that Sonic has to overcome. Eggman begins Deadly Six in much the same way as the game starts with him kidnapping a ton of Sonic’s furry little friends. Sonic and Tails chase Eggman down before Eggman lands a blow onto Tails that sends his plan crashing into a sky world known as the Lost Hex. Here we are introduced to the Deadly Six - members of the Zeti race who are under the control of Eggman thanks to a magical conch.
Long story short, the conch ends up breaking and the Deadly Six decide to rebel against Eggman. They take control of the Badnik army and then decide to take out the world that Sonic loves and has been protecting. Eggman and our favorite hedgehog reluctantly agree to team up with one another in order to stop the Deadly Six and put an end to their world destroying shenanigans.
The big focus of the game will fall on the Deadly Six as characters. Sonic fans are notorious for cultivating fandoms based around these different pixelated creations. The Deadly Six all look appropriate to the Sonic universe and they resemble any number of bad guys plucked straight from our Saturday morning cartoons. Each of the Deadly Six have their own unique personality and they all fill the role of 'new baddy' in a way that is both entertaining and accessible.
Sonic has never been about making the most demanding games of all time, but the challenge has always been there for gamers. The story for Lost World is cultivated in much that same way. Outside of the trope flip at the beginning, Lost World is relatively easy to follow along and quite pleasant. Eggman is, perhaps, the under-the-radar star of the narrative. Seeing him working alongside his mortal enemies is pretty fun because we get to see a slightly different side to the man. Eggman has a whole plethora of personality when compared to the 'goodies' that always fill up the roster at Sonic’s behest.
The strongest function of Sonic: Lost World has to belong to the level design and the way that they are presented to us. The graphics in the game are perhaps the best on the Wii U and each map is completely breathing with vibrancy. Blending in 3D environments with subtly animated backgrounds makes for an experience that is unlike anything else in the Sonic World. This is a new take on Sonic’s near 20+ year old history but it still tastes the same, only we love it more than ever. We get to visit the famous zones from prior titles (Ice, Desert, Forest) as well as see several allusions to old zones that we love (Casino Night, Ice Cap).
One of the coolest wrinkles in Sonic: Lost World is that the levels themselves are breathing and alive. At one moment you can be playing in a 2D plane, like old school Sonic, and in the next the game can flip into mind bending 3D renderings. These changes in orientation lead to some of the most frantic, exhilarating, and challenging sections of Sonic in the history of the franchise. The fact that the 3D version of the game even opens up alternate routes shouldn’t be lost on fans who are playing the game. This is inventive, new, and progressive for a title that has had one heck of a time trying to find its way to some sort of new standard in the age of HD video games.
Probably the biggest issue that many fans will have is related to the cheap deaths that you will no doubt become accustomed to. The new orientation of the level, at random, makes for suddenly difficult stretches of gameplay. Otherwise random enemy encounters that cause you to die will be your newest source of frustration. Lives are precious in this game and you don’t want to be giving them up too regularly.
Still, even with cheap deaths permeating the experience we can’t help but feel thrilled by this release. Sonic: Lost World is the perfect addition to any Wii U owner’s library.