E3 2013: Hands-On: Sonic Lost World (Wii U)

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

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Sonic Lost Worlds Screenshot - Sonic and Tails

I’ve professed this numerous times (the most recent of which being here), but… I’ve been a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog and his games for a long, long time. I’ve played the pinnacle of the 16-bit era, I’ve played the worst of the “next generation” games, and…more recently, I’ve played and loved the heck out of games like Sonic Colors on the Wii and Sonic Generations on the PS3. I know what “The Sonic Cycle” is, and I know a lot of folks are expecting Sonic Lost World to fall prey to it sometime before its release this year.

It won’t. Sonic Lost World is…breath-taking.
I don’t even know where to start. Scott snapped a picture of me playing the game…just look at my face.

Jonathan Higgins

People assumed Generations was successful because it relied heavily upon nostalgia. I’m happy to report that this brand new Sonic experience plays just as good as the trailer looks. I sat down with the Wii U version of the game when we decided to explore Sega’s booth on a whim. I was able to play two of the three levels offered in the demo. One was the Green Hill-esqe level featured in the trailer(s) you may have seen, and the other was… cupcakes, Twizzlers, and absolutely zany stuff. Sonic Lost World feels a lot like Super Mario Galaxy in terms of its thematic environments, feeling of exploration, and… sense of newness while keeping its roots intact.

A bit on controls: Sonic walks if you toggle the joystick normally. You run by holding the L trigger on the Wii U Gamepad. I honestly didn’t figure this out right away. Soon as I did, though… I was running up walls, upside down, and all over the place. There’s a jump button, a spindash button, and a button that makes Sonic bounce like a super-ball. The homing attack Sonic has become known for is back, but it controls more fluidly than any previous Sonic outing. Sonic can and will tear through entire lines of enemies with a simple push of a button.

So, what I want you to think about is a slightly more capable Sonic. It’s like they gave me the endgame of Sonic in Sonic Adventure 2 (that can bounce, spindash, and go crazy) and revved him up for this new outing. Put this revved up Sonic smack dab in the middle of awesome old-school inspired levels, and… there’s the aesthetic of Sonic Lost World.

But there’s more to it than just good looks and a solid engine. I’m going to bring up Super Mario Galaxy again because… I was basically moving across planetoids, folks. There were upside down bits, springboards that acted as swing-stars to propel Sonic from planetoid to planetoid… the camera even seemed ripped out Mario’s finest hour.

Think classic Sonic plus the best of Super Mario Galaxy when it comes to Sonic Lost World. It’s enough to bring the old fans back pretty instantaneously, but it’s also…new and exciting. I think the look on my face does it justice, ladies and gentlemen. I wouldn’t show myself looking like someone “just punched me in the face” (Scott’s words, not mine) if it didn’t help sell the fact that this game completely knocked my socks off.

Sonic Lost World is the game Sonic fans have been waiting for. It’s new, it’s inventive, and I can’t wait to experience the finished product.