Sonic has had a long and winding past, but after the celebrated nostalgia of Generations, it’s time for the series to once again look forward. Sonic Lost World, a Nintendo-exclusive entry in the series, is trying the little-bit-of-everything approach.
What it is: Part of a three-title exclusivity and publishing deal with Nintendo, Sonic Lost World features generally-2D levels, cylindrical forward-running ones and many variations between. The hedgehog’s facing a new foe this time: The Deadly Six, monsters of different colors and tactics.
The 3DS version
The portable Lost World is a different game, but not that different; the levels we’ve played are very similar. Expect playing both to be overkill, but it could be an equal choice. The 3D looks nice, and despite some rough trailers, the frame rate is just fine in person, 3D on or off.
Why we’re excited: Lost World reminds us of lots of things at once. It has the DNA of Sonic Colors in many ways, and follows up with its wisp powers and shifting levels. The rounded worlds certainly evoke Super Mario Galaxy, and the levels themselves have the old Genesis formula: you can run through them quickly and easily, or you can explore to get higher scores and find secrets.
What we’re wondering: Lost World‘s most daring change is a hybrid speed model. By default, Sonic doesn’t run, but you can speed along by holding down a trigger. This lets you stop and do more Mario-like careful platforming when you choose. Will these conflicting motivations split players’ attention? We need to see more, especially about the game’s companion functionality. There’s talk of Tails returning in a Sonic 2-like capacity, but it may not be limited to just him. Knuckles we’re fine with; if it becomes a game full of Rouge the Bat and Cream the Rabbit again, it could really change things.
The battle against those color-coded foes will start this holiday, when Sonic Lost World hits shelves.