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.

  • Clinton Nix

    It’s great to hear that Sonic Lost World plays well. It certainly caught my attention when announced, and it shot to the top of my most wanted WiiU games list for this year.
    In a way, Sonic seems like it’s going to give me something that Mario can’t give anymore. In those brief moments when Sonic gets it ‘right,’ it feels -really- right.

    Keep the impressions coming!

    • Cameron Ward

      well, i still think Mario has been fantastic….

    • Clinton Nix

      No doubt, Mario games remain top notch, but they’ve lost my excitement, for the most part.

    • Cameron Ward

      I can understand that. I mean, I’m excited for 3D World, BUT I would like to know more like the plot and if there is going to be a gigantic overworld or something

    • Clinton Nix

      It does look like a lot of fun, though. I hope single player won’t be limited.

  • James Best

    Sonic Lost World has me interested, and I’ve never even played a Sonic game before.

  • Bob

    Very good to hear. The first trailer did give the “Sonic Cycle” impression, but gameplay impressions so far are very solid. Can’t wait to get this.

  • Cameron Ward

    I actually didnt like Colors on the Wii. I thought the level design was flawed, the color powers werent fully fleshed out, and it was just way too short of a game. plus, there were some control issues

    • Clinton Nix

      Didn’t really like Colors all that much either. I rented it after hearing good reviews, and was a bit disappointed.

    • Cameron Ward

      same here. Rented it after every person on earth was praising it like it was a return to form and while it isnt a downright aweful Sonic game, i wouldnt say its one of the top 5 games in the franchise.

  • Sam

    It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who enjoyed both versions of the game. People are way too tough on the series over 06, the werehog, and boom. Aside from the fact that it was sega doing nintendo hard, the perfect version of this game was split between the two versions. The 3ds had a meatier campaign, but the wii u had better bosses, for example. I really hope sega learns from their mistakes from this and to a greater extent, sonic boom.