I love Sonic the Hedgehog. He’s one of my favorite game characters and he had a huge impact on my childhood. I remember sitting around the Sega Genesis and running through each stage to stop Eggman, and also the cheats to unlock Super Sonic early on, so I got excited when I had an opportunity to play Sonic Lost World!
Sonic the Hedgehog has come a long way since then, and the launch of Sonic Adventure brought him into the 3D era and was amazing. The open world, gameplay, and unique cast of characters were great, and Sega has since been trying to become more and more innovative with this universe they’ve built. This includes, but is not limited to Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations. The newest iteration of the Sonic franchise is Sonic Lost World. Now I have played the newer games, and I must tell you they feel a lot better than this. It seems like Sega can never stick to its initial good formula; they keep trying to go back to their roots but also remain innovative.
The level designs are horrible…a good try at best…but still fail to be entertaining. They feel like they are struggling to make Sonic the Hedgehog more of an item-based hero like Mario with the introduction of an inventory system. It’s like someone tried to take a mobile app game and threw it together with Sonic the Hedgehog, much like Sonic Dash. Upon completion of various challenges, you are rewarded with in-game items, which you can draw from inventory during the stages you play.
Another issue I had when playing this game is that it’s trying to throw together pieces from the aforementioned Sonic titles. You can go around during stages and collect various little critters to help boost you through the stages. That is all well and good, but it’s starting the feel like they’re choking the franchise, straggling their mascot and shouting “This is what you have to do, so do it!” in hopes of being innovative.
However, I think the biggest issue with this installment is how they changed everything control-wise. If you have played Sonic Adventure, Sonic Colors, and Sonic Generations you know how the controls are. They’re set a certain way and haven’t been changed in years; a good thing. However, this has literally made me spend a good fifteen to twenty minutes just trying to figure out how to control my Blue Hedgehog. Hell, even trying to spin-dash is a pain now. Normally you’d just press “B”, but now on a controller, it’s the Left Trigger (LT). Right Trigger (RT) just makes you run like your old-school Genesis Sonic…
Despite these numerous issues, I can say this: the music as always is spot-on and I love the soundtrack and the character interactions and development. This title introduces the “Dangerous Six.” and besides falling in love with their design, they make for some very hilarious cut-scenes. It’s good to know that Sega, despite failing in the design aspect of the game, is still succeeding in its storytelling and musical composition. Is it enough to make up for all the game’s faults and issues? Not really. The only consolation is that it gives you a beautiful, vibrant world to look at; something we all love and really enjoy in Sonic titles.
The best way to explain it is to look at Sonic Adventure, the gem of the franchise. It had an open-world game play where you could run around and interact with various stages that were easy to figure out and learn. Even my mother got into playing Sonic Adventure…that’s how good it was. Yes, a lot of the stages were closed and small, and in comparison to Sonic Lost World, some areas are a bit like that, as well. But ultimately it boils down to the control aspect.
You have things from Sonic Colors here; they’re trying to throw out a new set of villains and enemies. You are also building on classic Sonic lore with a lot of the stages, and you are also trying to build up with previous characters. It’s all well and good but somewhere in there, it’s starting to fall apart with too much going on.
If I had to choose the things that were wrong with the title, it would be the following: inventory options, adding various games to a new Sonic title, level design, and the controls.
The best thing about Sonic games in the past is how they always made Sonic a side-scrolling character. In some states, yes, it would change camera angles from behind, but it always felt fluid and complete. This newest game doesn’t have that. All-in-all I’ve only been enjoying the character interactions and story. The gameplay for me just feels forced and it fails. I don’t find it enjoyable at all.
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