I was actually really looking forward to Sonic: The Lost World; the Nintendo-exclusive sonic game that seemed to recapture the magic of the bastardly-fast blue hedgehog’s first games, only infused with a little Super Mario Galaxy inspired gameplay. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking. Modern Sonic games, barring a few exceptions, have been pretty piss-poor. Surprise! the new one’s not great either.
Here’s what critics have to say of the Wii U version of the game. Reviews have been mixed, from somewhat positive, to goddamned awful.
- CVG: 7/10 – It’s a shame that there are just too many niggly bits, control flaws and frustrating moments to simply pass off as flukes, meaning Lost World will ultimately go down as merely a good Sonic game rather than the exceptional one it constantly threatens to be.
- Destructoid: 7.5/10 – Lost World, like so many Sonic games, has caused me to yell in anger and give up in frustration. Unlike most of the "modern" installments, however, it’s also regularly thrust itself back into my favor with excellent level structuring and excitingly paced action. For every awful segment that fails, there are at least two that succeed. While I have snarled angrily at the game, I’ve smiled with delight a lot more. I must once again emphasize that the game’s new attitude takes some warming up to, but as soon as it clicks with you, it’s hard to hate.
- Edge: 4/10 – Sonic games, and platformers in general, have always been about memorising the lay of the land, but rarely have mistakes been so costly or heavily punished, and it says much that one retailer’s preorder bonus consists solely of 25 additional lives. This isn’t a question of difficulty, but of design: unfortunately for Sonic, people who have grown up with Nintendo hardware have come to expect much better than this.
- Eurogamer: 4/10 – It’s telling that the highlights of Lost World are the moments where Sonic Team allows the hedgehog to do what he does best: high-velocity platforming that tests your ability to follow high-speed action and to reflexively respond to danger. Yet these brief flickers of life are few and far between, buried within a flabby, disjointed mess of a game.
- Game Informer: 5/10 – Last generation’s Sonic Generations and Sonic Colors were both poor attempts to fuse 2D and 3D platforming, and it’s sad to see Sonic Team fail to improve following those stumbling points. Lost World’s obvious inspiration from Super Mario Galaxy appeared to be a step in the right direction, but the core game is sub-par even by Sonic’s standards.
- GamesRadar: 4/5 – Sonic Lost World feels like a Sonic game, works like a Mario game, and feels totally at home on the Wii U as a result. With the most convincing 3D Sonic gameplay by some margin, it’ll no doubt be looked back on as the game that aimed for the Galaxy, missed by a small amount, but still landed in the stars.
- GameSpot: 5/10 – There were moments when I thought it might all come together, when Sonic’s fun, if slightly erratic, speed would be matched to levels that were intelligently designed to make the most of it. There were some brief glimpses of that, but for the most part, Sonic Lost World is confused and derivative, and tries far too hard to be clever without any clever design to back it up.
- IGN: 5.8 – Sonic Lost World lacks speed, precision and fluidity making it a big step back for the Blue Blur.
- Joystiq: 2.5/5 – Sonic: Lost World tries to shift the series in a new direction, and the results meet with limited success, especially in earlier levels. Its gameplay variety is appreciated up to a point, but Sonic: Lost World misses the mark more often than it succeeds, as frustrating level design and
- VideoGamer: 5/10 – Sonic: Lost World occasionally seems really good. It looks lovely, some of the earlier levels are pretty fun to speed through (they flip between 2D and 3D like Sonic Generations) and he doesn’t awkwardly smooch any humans like in the 2006 abomination. But for every section where you think things might look up, there are two or three that make you wish he was roadkill.
More Sonic that’s middle of the road stuff? Colours me surprised.
Last Updated: October 18, 2013