Sonic Lost World is an action-adventure, platformer game for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. It was developed by Sonic Team, and published by Sega. It was released in October of 2013 throughout the world.
The main antagonist of the series, Doctor Eggman, is a mad scientist who seemingly turns over a new leaf to help Sonic stop the Deadly Six. Orbot and Cubot make a return appearance as Eggman's henchmen. Also serving as the main antagonists and boss characters are the Deadly Six, a group of the world's indigenous Zeti race consisting of Zazz, a hyperactive Zeti; Zomom, an obese and dim-witted Zeti; Master Zik, the elderly founder of the tribe and Zavok's teacher; Zeena, a flirtatious and self-absorbed Zeti; Zor, a diminutive and pessimistic Zeti; and Zavok, the tribe's leader. The tribe plans to steal the energy from Sonic's world.
Sonic Lost Worlds gameplay is somewhat like Super Mario Galaxy. Sonic now has two separate speeds so that the player can have more control. Sonic can still run but now he can now also walk. There are now three different levels formats. There are the 2D only levels. The 3D only levels and the levels that switch between 3D and 2D. There are nine different worlds that you can choose to play on. The wisps from Sonic Colors return in this game. In the Wii U version, the way you use shields is by taping the briefcase icon and then choosing the shield or power up you want to use. The 3DS version does this a little differently by having you find the shields/power ups through out the level. There is a new ability that Sonic can use, that ability is the parkour. The parkour allows Sonic to run on walls, trees etc. There is a World Map where you go choose which levels to go to. Circus are in this game, the way they work is you get a certain amount of Red Rings and then play the minigame in the circus. Once you get the all of the Chaos Emeralds you can turn into Super Sonic. Super Sonic can perform a boost. Sonic also can perform the kick move. The kick move can take out enemies faster then homing would.
Sonic stars again as the main playable protagonist of the game, whilst staple characters of the Sonic series also make an appearance. Tails is featured as usual to serve as Sonic's sidekick and aid him on his adventures, whilst Knuckles and Amy Rose - Sonic's pink crush - also make minor appearances in the cutscenes. Dr. Eggman of course stars as Sonic's traditional arch-enemy, and is once again cooking up evil schemes - in this case by capturing wildlife animals to convert them into mechanical robots. Along with the usual cast of established characters, the game introduces a set of completely new antagonists - the Deadly Six, which are a menacing gang of monsters from the Zeti race. They consist of:
- Zavok - the leader of the tribe, and a red-coloured muscular powerhouse with fierce aggression;
- Zazz - a hyperactive and unpredictable Zeti, appearing tall and lanky, and coloured pink;
- Zonom - a dim-witted, obese Zeti with an insatiable appetite, coloured yellow;
- Zeena - the only female member of the gang, self-absorbed in maintaining her appearance;
- Zor - the youngest of the group, he is very pessimistic with a grim view of life;
- Master Zik - the eldest of the tribe, he founded the group and serves to this day as its teacher.
The gang have a vicious and unruly streak, and possess immeasurable powers which made them a good candidate for Eggman to control and integrate into his army, as part of his long-term approach to eventually taking over the world. They had a mind-controlling conch which the doctor used to succumb them under his control but once this was broken in an accident, the group rebelled against him and broke free to unleash themselves on a rampage. In a dramatic twist to the established positions of Sonic and Eggman as the hero and enemy of the franchise, this has forced the pair to team up together to prevent the Deadly Six from wreaking havoc on the world. It was far from a smooth alliance however, with great distrust between the two, and especially Tails.
Development for Lost World started shortly after Sonic Colors was finished and took place over two-and-a-half years. Sonic Team sought to streamline the controls, increase the length, and add more diverse levels compared to the previous entries in the series. After reviewing the history of the franchise with Sonic Generations, game producer Takashi Iizuka hoped to "deliver a new experience" with Lost World. Development started on PC, with early experiments involving "twisted tube-type level[s]" inspired by "Jack and the Beanstalk". As the concept "was totally new", early levels had to be remade "over and over." Players were given greater ability to control Sonic's speed in an effort to create a more traditional platforming experience. The parkour mechanic was introduced to maintain a more fluid sense of movement, in contrast to the previous Sonic games where running into a wall would force the player to a complete stop. Iizuka stated that "This game is like going into the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland, an action game where you can experience many strange and fun experiences."
Development ultimately focused on the Wii U and 3DS because of the success of the previous Sonic titles on Nintendo platforms. Because Wii U "has two monitors to use", Sonic Team decided to include both cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes. The Wii U GamePad's touch screen and gyroscope were employed to activate the returning Color Powers. The 3DS version, co-developed with Dimps, was designed to "fully utilize" the 3DS hardware with 3D gameplay and motion controls. Development was harder on 3DS due to its more limited processing power. Iizuka stated that the Color Powers are "essential" to the level design of the 3DS version, while they work as an "additional tool" in the Wii U version. A simple art style was used to make objects stand out more against the backgrounds, and to keep the game running at a consistent 60 frames per second. The design of the new "Deadly Six" villains was based on that of an ogre, and each one's appearance was intended to reflect a certain key characteristic of their personality, which the developers hoped players could see "just by looking at them."
A trademark for the title Sonic Lost World was filed by Sega in May 2013, and pointed out by website Siliconera on May 15, 2013. The game was first revealed on May 17, 2013 in a Nintendo Direct announcement, as part of an exclusive partnership between Sega and Nintendo for the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is one of three games in this partnership, the other ones being the fourth entry to the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series, and Sonic Boom, a game based on the animated series of the same name. Sega reported that more on the game would be revealed before the E3 2013 convention, and that the game will contain both returning and new original characters, both in enemies and friends of Sonic. On May 23, 2013, Sega posted a teaser, showing silhouette images of the Deadly Six, and stating that more would be revealed on May 29. The first trailer for the game was released on May 28, a day earlier than previously announced.
On October 9, 2013, a downloadable demo of the "Windy Hill Zone 1" stage was made available in Japan for both Wii U and 3DS. The demo was later released in the United States and Europe on November 14 and November 21 respectively. The game's official soundtrack, titled Without Boundaries, was released via physical media in Japan on November 27, 2013 and digitally in the United States and Europe on December 2, 2013. To promote the release of Sonic Lost World, Hardlight Studios released an update for Sonic Dash that includes a boss battle against Zazz, one of the Deadly Six.
Downloadable Content and Patches
A special, limited stock "Deadly Six" edition of the Wii U version of the game has been announced for pre-order, which includes special "Nightmare" downloadable content, featuring a new stage and boss battles based on one of Sonic Team's previous games, Nights into Dreams. The nights into dreams stage has nights bosses camo's and nights camo. Clearing the DLC unlocks a special Color Power, the Black Bomb normally only obtainable via Miiverse. Additional pre-order bonuses differ by retailer, including special Gold or Sonic Omochao RC gadgets, 25 additional lives and Color Power uses.
A patch for the Wii U version was released on December 10, 2013, adding additional features such as button controls for some Wisps and the traditional extra life reward for collecting 100 rings.
On December 18, 2013, Nintendo announced two exclusive pieces of DLC for the Wii U version based on other Nintendo games. The first DLC stage, "Yoshi's Island Zone", was released on the day of the announcement and is available to download for free, with a second DLC. In the Yoshi Island DLC there are Yoshi eggs and coins instead of rings. Another DLC is based on the Legend of Zelda. It is a free stage. The rings are now rupees. The level is broken off in two. The two sections of the level are the over world and dungeon. There are now hearts when you run out off hearts you die. As of April 6, the developers confirmed there will be no more DLC for the game.
|Computer and Video Games||7/10|
|Eurogamer||4/10(UK), 4/10(Benelux), 8/10(Germany), 9/10(Italy), 7/10(Portugal), 6/10(Spain)|
|Famitsu||36/40(Wii U), 34/40(3DS)|
|Game Informer||5/10(Wii U), 5/10(3DS)|
|GamesRadar||4/5(Wii U), 2.5/5(3DS)|
|IGN||5.8/10(Wii U), 6.8/10 (3DS), 8/10 (Italy)|
|Polygon||6/10(Wii U), 4/10 (3DS)|
|Kotaku||Unfavorable(Wii U), Favorable (3DS)|
|Nintendo Insider||8/10(Wii U), 8/10(3DS)|
|Official Nintendo Magazine||80%(Wii U), 79%(3DS)|
Sonic Lost World received mixed reviews from critics with the Wii U version received 61.95% on GameRankings and 63 on Metacritic and the 3DS version earned 59 on Metacritic and 60.26% GameRankings.
The game's presentation was well-received. Chris Plante of Polygon praised the Wii U version's visuals and music as "arguably the best" in the series. Game Informer's Tim Turi wrote that "The orchestrated tracks evoke Mario Galaxy in the best ways." Gaming Trend's Stefan Alexander complimented "the popping bright colors and insanely fast speed of motion", and hailed the music as "some of the best in the series." GameSpot's Mark Walton and Computer and Videogames's Chris Scullion singled out the candy-themed "Dessert Ruins" level as a visual highlight. However, Turi made note of "ultra-compressed" cutscenes in the 3DS version. IGN's Vince Ingenito was favorable to the "pleasant" art direction and stable framerate, but criticized the "subdued" color palette. Roger Hargreaves of Metro stated that the "imaginative" designs and "spectacular set piece[s]" kept him "interested to know what comes next." Chris Schilling of Eurogamer was even more effusive: "Blue skies forever!"
Strong criticism was directed at the game's control scheme, especially the new parkour mechanic. Turi "never got a good feel for the rhythm of wall running and jumping, and felt lucky to pass sections where it was forced." Hargreaves, Walton, and Official Nintendo Magazine's Matthew Castle agreed. Ingenito pointed out that Sonic "has a tendency to wall run on any vertical surface he's airborne near, whether I want him to or not". However, IGN's Jose Otero said the parkour "felt great" and "turned most obstructions into minor hurdles" in the 3DS version, while Nintendo Insider's Alex Seedhouse called the parkour "far more responsive" on 3DS. The multi-lock homing attack was widely panned. Schilling wrote that while "most of the time it works perfectly well", it appeared to "inexplicably fail" on occasion, calling it "imprecise" on Wii U and "even more capricious" on 3DS. Ingenito, Turi, and Hargreaves agreed. Castle struggled with the homing attack "locking on too late or attacking enemies in awkward sequence." GamesRadar's Justin Towell defended the control scheme, explaining that while it "take[s] time to adapt", it also "modernize[s] environmental traversal" and "provide[s] a distinct safety net". Towell argued that Sonic was harder to control in the "more complex 2D sections" because there are "so many rules for how Sonic reacts contextually to his environment". Reona Ebihara of Famitsu stated that the ability to slow down made the game "a bit easier to play for action beginners." However, Turi criticized Sonic's "odd sense of momentum" and "imprecise jumping mechanics", stating that switching between "two opposing speeds" is "jarring" and "can lead to touchy platforming". Walton agreed. Official Nintendo Magazine's Joe Skrebels felt that Sonic "controls far better at top speed on 3DS". Kotaku's Stephen Totilo stated that the 3DS version does a much better job of teaching the controls to the player, although Turi derided its "constant, lengthy tutorial text". Schilling excoriated the "profoundly frustrating" controls as the worst in the series, explaining that "Sonic's too sluggish while walking, and too skittish to cope with the trickier platforming bits when running&'". Ingenito agreed: "I've played a lot of Sonic over the years, and the controls have never felt as alien and inconsistent as they do here."
Reaction to the game's level design was mixed. Turi made note of oddly placed invisible springs in the Wii U version's "confusing" and "aggravating" levels, and expressed frustration with the 3DS version's "head-scratching" puzzles. Walton preferred the "inoffensive" 2D sections to the "frustrating mishmash of speed and exploration" found in 3D. Plante praised the Wii U version's 3D stages as "wildly creative exercises in platforming experimentation" while blasting its 2D stages as "so clunky and tiresome that it's hard to imagine a time when a side-scrolling Sonic was actually good." Fellow Polygon writer Philip Kollar was harsher on the 3DS version due to its "confusing and labyrinthine" level design and "awkward puzzles". Ingenito stated that the Wii U version's levels were stuck in "design gridlock" and "lack[ed] rhythm and cohesion". Otero praised the 3DS version's "better levels" as "competently made race tracks full of alternate pathways", but called the "trial and error" required to complete the "slower-paced 3D stages" "incredibly frustrating". Castle stated that the Wii U version's "best stages play to the strengths of Sonic's tiered speed", while Skrebels felt the 3DS version featured levels well-suited for handheld play. Totilo praised "the intuitive, flowing, player-friendly levels of the 3DS version", but panned "the badly-explained, choppy, punitive levels of the Wii U version". Schilling wrote that "I came perilously close to biting my GamePad at one particularly sharp difficulty spike." Edge noted that "Sonic games, and platformers in general, have always been about memorizing the lay of the land, but rarely have mistakes been so costly or heavily punished."
The alternate gameplay styles polarized many critics. Daniel Cairns of VideoGamer.com and Castle highlighted the level where Sonic becomes a giant snowball as "genuinely excellent" and "a cool riff on Monkey Ball", whereas Turi and Ingenito described it as "atrocious" and "uncontrollabl[e]". Turi "received multiple game overs during a mundane mandatory pinball sequence." Walton felt that some of the Wisps were an "amusing aside", while others suffered from "frustrating motion controls". GameTrailers' Justin Speer stated that the Wisps "don't really feel like they belong" in the Wii U version. Totilo preferred how the Wisps were used in the 3DS version, but Towell stated that while they were "more integral" to the design, they tended to interrupt "the free-form gameplay" with "clumsy mechanic[s]". Towell described the 3DS version's motion-controlled Special Stages as "borderline unplayable", but Seedhouse praised them as a "significant stroke of genius". Totilo and Castle criticized the Wii U version's Jetpack Joyride-style flying levels as "regrettable" and "horribly imprecise". Turi and Totilo criticized the Wii U version's balloon-popping minigame as "mind-numbing" and "awkward". Turi called the Wii U version's co-op mode "useless", although Seedhouse believed it was "suitable for families with younger players". Castle wrote that "Two-player races would be a cool addition were it not for the horrible framerate issues."
The Deadly Six were negatively received. Although Towell enjoyed their "fun, stereotypical personalities", he was disappointed by their "awful" dialogue. Speer called the boss battles "weirdly anticlimactic", Alexander noted that they "primarily consist of a repetition of homing attacks", and Ingenito stated they were "some of the most boring in the series' history". Turi referred to the Deadly Six as "generic", "forgettable", and "some of the most aggressively annoying villains ever."
Critics disagreed over what to make of the game as a whole. Alexander wrote that Lost World "harks back to the classic days of gaming that got me into video games in the first place, a time when developers aimed to challenge players rather than guide their hand through a movie experience." Destructoid's Jim Sterling said it "can wildly swing from brilliant to horrific at the drop of a hat, but when one steps back and takes a look at the whole production, one sees far more to love than hate." Plante noted that "the early stages display a degree of design ingenuity and polish which gradually degrades". Empire's David McComb called it "A cheap, cruel, crushing disappointment in the wake of Sonic Colors and Generations." Walton concluded that "in overtly coveting the great Italian plumber, it smothers the talents of its blazing blue hedgehog."
During its opening week in the UK, Sonic Lost World charted at #11 on the All-formats chart, but achieved the top spot on the Wii U chart and #4 on the Nintendo 3DS chart. As of the end of 2013, Sega had shipped 640,000 copies of the game.
- The concept of a spherical world in a Sonic game was first conceived in the canceled Sega Saturn game Sonic X-treme, originally planned for release in 1996.
- ↑ name="‘Sonic’ video games coming to Nintendo"