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Found 6 results

  1. Jason Clement

    Review: Sonic Lost World

    Developer: Sonic Team Publisher: SEGA Platform: Wii U Release Date: October 29, 2013 ESRB: E 10+ A retail copy of the game was provided by the publisher for this review Note: A 3DS version also exists, though it contains slightly different variations on the levels. As such, this review only pertains to the Wii U version of the game. If you've followed Sonic's games over the past decade, chances are you've heard of the "Sonic Cycle." It's a certain process fans are subjected to each time a new game in the series is announced, where hope and excitement eventually unfold into utter disappointment when the title releases. Sadly, this has rung true for many of the hedgehog's games in the last 10 years, especially console-based titles. Fortunately, Sonic's last few have been relatively solid, and with Sonic Generations serving as a good jumping off point for what was next, Sonic Lost World looked set to take the hedgehog to the next level when it was revealed earlier this year. But is the Sonic Cycle alive and well here, or did the the blue blur escape its wrath once again? Lost World's plot has Sonic and Tails inadvertently ending up on a world in the sky known as Lost Hex after a chase with their nemesis, Eggman. Long story short, a group of the world's inhabitants known as The Deadly Six rise up against Eggman and attempt to turn the tables on him by using his own weapon of mass destruction on the world below, forcing Sonic and Eggman to work together to stop them. Upon starting the first level of the game, it's apparent that Lost World is a very different type of Sonic title. It doesn't play or control like traditional Sonic games or even the more recent ones. Instead, it's as if SEGA tried to marry the speedy Sonic formula with the gravitational platforming found in Super Mario Galaxy. And while that may sound great at first, the execution is a different story. Gone are the gradual speed and momentum that Sonic would gain upon holding down the analog stick; now he's relegated to moving around at a controlled speed unless you hold down ZR, which is used for running fast. The control layout seems almost overly complex and requires a good hour or two to get used to, but even after becoming comfortable with it, it doesn't really feel like the ideal way of playing. Levels are divided in part between 3D segments and more traditional 2D platforming segments. Surprisingly enough, I actually enjoyed the 3D levels a bit more, even though they're often a mixed bag when it comes to their level design. Many of the 3D levels often focus on the Mario Galaxy-esque spherical planetoids and such; however, in order to emphasize speed in the game, many of the planetoids are shaped long-wise (like a hot dog or noodle) and often have two or three different sides to traverse. This makes exploration and different paths through the level possible, and it does keep things fresh for when you replay the level to grab red star rings. Unfortunately, Lost World is often not very good at guiding you on what to do at certain points throughout the game, leaving you to figure out things for yourself that might not be too obvious at first. It doesn't even properly introduce its Wisp mechanic, instead relegating it to a helpful tip that you need to pull up on the Gamepad. The Wisp abilities give Sonic a temporary color power that can be anything from becoming a UFO that destroys anything in its path, to a drill that digs through the ground. Most of the wisp powers use the Gamepad in some way, either by using the touch screen to control a path or using the gyrometer to control direction, none of which are ideal ways of controlling them, so the whole idea feels forced on the experience for the sake of making sure the Gamepad was used. Beyond that, the game's flow is often interrupted by strange placements of enemies or obstacles in both the 2D and 3D stages. It's a bit frustrating at times because there are some very good levels that almost seem to marry the speed/gravity mechanic successfully, and others that are downright irritating to play through due to a frustrating design that hinders Sonic's movement quite a bit. Also strange is the fact that the last levels of each world employ an animal quota that you need to meet, meaning you have to go back and 'grind' by defeating enemies to free animals or by finding tanks around the level and freeing them that way, until you free enough of them to meet the quota. It's basically an artificial way to ensure that players go back and explore alternate paths through the different levels, and while I can appreciate that, it does break up the pacing a bit and feels a bit strange. For all of the game's shortcomings, the story itself isn't terrible, despite its Saturday morning cartoon plot and some juvenile humor that teens and adults are likely to facepalm at. Out of all the characters, Eggman is actually the most interesting, with a few moments that show him to be a more complex and two-dimensional than previously thought. The Deadly Six, however, are a more forgettable bunch, as each is based on a different cliche: there's your wild, zany one; the fat slob who only thinks about food; the wise old master; the posh female who only cares about her looks; the depressed, emo one; and of course, the evil mastermind. Aside from that, it's a shame that they're played out as one-dimensional villains and that you aren't given any reason to sympathize with their motives. One of the best things Lost World has going for itself is its music, which is often quite good and catchy, as is often the case with many Sonic games. Unfortunately, I can't quite say the same for the characters' voices; Eggman, Tails, and Sonic all have voices we've gotten used to by now, but some of the Deadly Six's voices are just downright irritating to listen to. Making things even worse is the fact that they'll heckle Sonic and say random things in the background in levels where you do battle with them. On the brighter side, the game is very visually attractive; each world is bright and colorful as you zoom around, and even the cutscenes are of a high quality. It's admirable that Sonic Team tried to change up the formula a bit and really give the gameplay a unique twist, but the execution is dodgy at best. There are many levels that are brought down by inconsistent design or inconvenient controls, and then there are other levels that absolutely nail what the team was probably going for. If Sonic Team gives this formula another go with Sonic's next game, hopefully they can work out the kinks by then, but as it stands, Sonic Lost World is only a decent game at best. Pros + Visuals are some of the best on Wii U at the moment + Great soundtrack + Some great levels with interesting features Cons - Inconsistent level design - Frustrating controls and mechanics at times - Wisp abilities feel tacked on and not needed Overall Score: 6.5 (out of 10) Decent Sonic Lost World is a game that looks full of promise but falls short in execution. Still, Sonic fans may find the game to be worth playing, especially to check out the levels that do get it right.
  2. At Gamescom, Sega released a new trailer for Sonic: Lost World, due out on the Wii U and 3DS in October. This trailer has a focus on the game's multiplater modes, which include a two-player co-op mode and a two-player race mode. The trailer also highlighted Miiverse item sharing, although it wasn't explained in detail. Check out the trailer below: You might also notice at the end of the trailer the Deadly Six Bonus Edition of Sonic's latest title. The special edition was originally only confirmed for European copies, but the SEGA Blog has also confirmed the bonus edition for a US release. The Deadly Six Edition, which you get by pre-ordering, contains a special level inspired by the title NiGHTS Into Dreams.... Completing the level gives you a new Color Power only usually obtainable via the Miiverse. Will you pre-order Sonic: Lost World for the Deadly Six Bonus Edition?
  3. SEGA recently released a new trailer for Sonic Lost World (via IGN) which shows off some of Sonic's new color-based abilities. He'll be able to turn into a small red eagle to gain the ability of temporary flight, use a cosmos-based ability to destroy enemies in his path, become a sort of rhythm beat, and turn into a drill as well as a laser and a rocket. The trailer also shows off a few areas where the gameplay switches to a psuedo-2D plane of view, showing that the game isn't all in 3D and perhaps marrying the concept of 2D and 3D together much like Sonic Generations did. We also got a firm release date from the new trailer as well - both the Wii U and 3DS versions of Sonic Lost World will release in retail and on the eShop on October 22nd. Are you looking forward to Sonic Lost World?
  4. Note: The majority of the article (black text) was written by me, Leah. The blue text is written by Marcus Estrada, who added his own thoughts on the game's demo as well. In recent years, Sonic has been steadily regaining his former glory and effectively putting a stop to the infamous “Sonic Cycle.†Even though I still haven“t gotten my hands on the last few great titles, such as Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, I still wanted to try out the recently announced Sonic Lost World and see what it had to offer. So, Marcus and I made our way towards Sega“s E3 booth to get that started. In regards to Sonic, I'm even further out of the loop than Leah. I've focused my time with the Genesis games the most, of course, with attention paid to the Sonic Adventure games as well. Then I took up some of the more dubious titles - Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and Shadow the Hedgehog - which really means any Sonic game I play next will be considered "good" by comparison. For this preview, I“ll be focusing on the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World. I decided to try out the Windy Hill Zone level, which is more 3D-focused versus the other playable Desert Ruins level, which felt akin to old 2D Sonic games. Immediately, I was greeted by bold, bright colors and fluid animation. After fiddling around with buttons and learning the controls, I was soon blasting through the level as the blue hedgehog. Like with any other Sonic game, the goal is to dash through the level while defeating any enemies that may get in your way. To improve your score, it“s advised to avoid damage and collect as many rings as possible. Leah actually had a really hard time with the controls because they were not logically placed, at least to both of us. A separate button for running meant that she actually waddled through most of the level instead of running which Sonic is so well known for. I was able to play with a great deal of speed and still found some segments to be impeding Sonic's dash through the world. As I progressed, Sonic Lost World felt more and more similar to the Wii“s Super Mario Galaxy. Floating land masses? Check. Bouncing between said land masses in an extravagant fashion? Check. Gravity not a problem as you run around each area? Check. Some people may think it“s blatant copying and that it will just be a Super Mario Galaxy clone. However, I have played and watched enough of Sonic Lost World to say that this is not the case. It“s different enough to be its own game, and a promising one at that. It's not like Super Mario Galaxy is the only game that features traveling across planets, but Sonic Lost World sure does make it seem a lot similar. However, I feel that Sonic works better with it than Mario ever did. Jumping from planet to planet flows better when you're the famous blue hedgehog and it doesn't seem out of place for a Sonic game. I say that Sonic Lost World is a game from Sega to look forward to. Not only that, but it“s a seemingly good game that the meager Wii U library needs. I know I“m definitely going to keep my eye on it as its release draws near!
  5. Leah

    Sonic Lost World - 2

    From the album: Leah's Editorial Images

    © Sega

  6. Leah

    Sonic Lost World - 1

    From the album: Leah's Editorial Images

    © Sega