Customer Review

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More fun than you can shake a miserly 4/10 review score at, 20 Oct 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Sonic Lost World: Deadly Six Edition (Nintendo Wii U) (Video Game)
I love it. I love it even more because of all the professional reviewers who hate it. They must have been playing a different build of the game. Perhaps the software update which you're required to install before playing it changes everything. Who knows? Gaming journalists have never been the most trustworthy of sources. Maybe they're upset because Sega didn't give them a free meal or, more likely, they just couldn't be bothered to properly play a new Sonic title on the poor old Wii U while Grand Theft Auto V was taking up all their time. It could even be that they're simply rubbish. Either way, history has been lumbered with numerous bad Sonic games over the years. This is not one of them on any conceivable level. It's one of the most joyful.

Lost World is a follow up of sorts to the popular Colours with a heavy dose of nostalgia for the Mega Drive games and (yes) an attempt to add a dash of Super Mario Galaxy's genius to the recipe. Colours already made nods to that masterpiece with its space setting but now Sonic Team gives its hallowed gameplay a shot. While inevitably falling a little short, the influence has paid off well. Almost every stage serves up a new twist. Ideas are introduced then quickly discarded for something fresh. At the core is some impeccable oldskool Sonic speed. It's not as fast as recent offerings but it's not slow once you get to grips with the controls. The double jump and parkour elements frequently save you from what would normally be instant death. Take your time, read all the tutorials, note that some enemies react differently to homing/kick attacks and have a blast. Not that the slower moments of the game are a chore. There's more actual platforming to do than usual and that's no bad thing.

This is Sonic for Nintendo fans. The teen attitude is replaced by a glorious colour palette, sweeping soundtrack and lighthearted cutscenes. Thankfully these cutscenes are the only thing to punctuate the action. Well, I say lighthearted 'lighthearted', but when Eggman is called fat by Zavok, the new villian and leader of the Deadly Six, he responds with "'l'll get fat from eating your black hearts". The watching Sonic and Tails go "woah". Understandably so. Eating the hearts of your enemies is not common banter in the world of Sonic. "Your threats are as amusing as your moustache," counters Zavok, completely misjudging the tone of them. Eggman is not in the mood for one-liners in this scene. "I will destroy everything you love and make you watch!" Okay, not lighthearted at all, but the story is generally inoffensive and, most important of all, skippable. There really is little padding to worry about.

The Deadly Six are welcome new characters to the Sonic universe, ranging from depressive emo kid Zor to Mr-Miyagi-from-Karate-Kid-alike Master Zik, but as bosses they're deceptively feeble and unrewarding. The roads to reaching them are long, though, so more often than not the lack of challenge they offer isn't altogether unappreciated. If anything, the camera proves to be your biggest nemesis during a couple of these battles. You fight each member twice (on the second and fourth zones of each world). The first battle with Zavok is another otherwise easy victory made difficult only by the camera's insistence on switching 180 degrees at a vital moment.

On a similar note, although the controls are absolutely fine for the most part, once you get to the Silent Forest, the harsher level design can highlight some of the weaknesses. Suddenly the controls seem less dependable in places and swearing duly commences. Unforgiving sections await towards the end and some players will either be grateful they pre-ordered the game with Amazon and received the 25 lives code or wish they had! But moments of true frustration are in the minority. On a technical level, Lost World is as good as 3D Sonic has ever been with an exemplary frame rate (in singleplayer).

It isn't the longest game (especially sat next to the overly generous daily challenges of still reigning heavyweight champion of 2012 platformers, Rayman Legends) but there are plenty of reasons to return to the levels, not least because they're so much fun and full of branching routes. The race and co-op modes only extend to two players and aren't a patch on their dedicated Mario multiplayer equivalents. Online leaderboards, time trials and Miiverse integration are where the longevity is at (as ever, simply sharing screenshots and interacting with those who are actually enjoying the game is one of the joys of Wii U).

One thing you'll want to do is open as many animal capsules as possible along the way because the flickies are currency you'll need to open later levels. There is a quicker way to reach the required totals, by playing the circus tent minigames scattered around the map. They're not much fun, though. Largely variants on the arcade classic Breakout, you have to bounce/shoot and catch Sonic via the touchpad. Not so bad in theory. In practice I can barely see Sonic on the screen and when Tails joins in it gets messier. The other main use of the touchpad is through the power up wisps which return from Colours. For instance, you control the yellow drill wisp by sliding the stylus/your finger around the touchscreen. Then you realise you can do it more effectively with the analogue stick and never go back to the touch screen control again. And I don't think I ever learnt how to gain full control of the Crimson Eagle wisp, which marred an otherwise spectacular Sky Road stage.

The jury was always out on this one. It was never going to beat Super Mario Galaxy at its own game. Then the jury came in and things took a turn for the worse. The jury made a mistake. Sonic is innocent. If you liked Colours, you'll like this. If you didn't like Colours, you're a terrible person. Well worth picking up the Deadly Six edition while it's available for the gorgeous Nights DLC too.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Oct 2013 19:22:36 BDT
P. Marck says:
What do you have to say about the Frozen Factory Stage 2?

That for me (and most) is the worst level in SLW and I kinda hate to admit it.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Oct 2013 21:50:36 BDT
The snowball one? I liked it for its change of pace and how it turns into a homage to Super Monkey Ball in places - and the bits where you have to pot the pool balls and the general Christmassy feel to it.

I can understand why it might not be popular with others though because some of my deaths were cheap and slowly rolling a snowball through a level is the antithesis of what you expect from Sonic.
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