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Sonic Lost World

Leaping Across Floating Planets In Sonic Lost World

Sega is trying something new with their blue hedgehog’s latest outing. Mario must have given Sonic some pointers during one of their Olympics outings, because now Lost World takes several cues from the planet-hopping Mario Galaxy series. I got my hands on the Wii U version of the game and blasted across floating, roundish land masses while collecting rings and crushing robots.

The first zone is a throwback to Green Hill Zone, with brown and green planets of various shapes scattered across the stage. Like many Sonic games, momentum is key to completing levels. Sonic races across long, cylindrical planets that can be traversed in 360 degrees. The right shoulder button makes Sonic sprint, allowing him to run up walls and even climb trees blocking his path. Guiding Sonic along these gravity-defying structures feels similar to the hedgehog’s other 3D games; you dash through long stretches collecting rows of coins and leaping over spikes, then stop abruptly to use his homing attack to clear out a few foes. Sonic traverses across these planets using a series of springs and cannons, another element that links Lost World to Mario Galaxy. The stage concludes by popping open a capsule filled with captured animals, a nod to old-school Sonic games.

Watch a Sega representative discuss the similarities to Mario Galaxy, Color Powers, and 3DS interactivity in the video above

The next stage switches to a 2D perspective across a zone filled with sweets like donuts and licorice roads. The pace of this level is more stop and go, requiring players to perform deliberate leaps across gaps and avoid chocolate truffle cannon balls. These delicious projectiles can be traversed quickly by holding down the jump button and chaining together a speedy string of leaps across them. I noticed the platforming in this side-scrolling sequence is rougher than the 3D stages. Sonic’s knock back animation feels too long and he over eagerly clings to ledges like a magnet. This is an early stage in development, so Sonic Team is still tweaking the gameplay.

The final area I played tasks me with speeding along a hexagonal branch covered with bee hives. Sonic rotates his running path around the branch to line up with honeycomb holes in the hives. Long lines of mechanical bees fly in the nests, which are destroyed in rapid succession with the homing attack. An annoying beetle-bot arrives later, tossing yellow goo at the screen to make steering between perilous platforms tricky.

My hands-on time concludes after these three sample stages. Of course the final product will include many more stages, along with an assist mode for a second player and power-ups (one turns Sonic into a deadly laser shot). The colorful visuals look clean and crisp on the Wii U, and Mario Galaxy-style environments promise variety. I’m cautiously optimistic  Sonic Team can tighten up the controls to exceed what we had in Sonic Generations. Sonic Lost World hits 3DS and Wii U October 13.

Check out screens of both the Wii U and 3DS versions in the gallery below

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  • Ooh, sounded like he was kinda passive aggressively bashing Galaxy. He works for SEGA, but I thought maybe with a Nintendo-exclusive Sonic, they had really patched things up. He may not have meant it to sound like that, though. I have to admit, I'm surprisingly excited for this! From what they've shown, it looks like they've found a way to bring Sonic's speed into 3D without it being a complete mess. Fingers crossed.
  • so more the same disappointments thus far.

  • The gameplay looks pretty awesome, I can't wait to play this on 3DS.
  • Mod
    Tim back on sonic. oooh boy. here we go. one more time. everybodys feeling...well you get the jist.
  • "Sega is trying something new with their blue hedgehog’s latest outing. Mario must have given Sonic some pointers during one of their Olympics outings, because now Lost World takes several cues from the planet-hopping Mario Galaxy series."

    While this is true, it's unfair not to mention Sonic X-Treme, which mapped it's levels and worlds - impossibly so - around spheres back in 1996. The physics and gravity and planetoid stuff may be all Mario Galaxy (and with Mario 3D World lacking that ambition, it's good to see Sonic pick up the slack on Wii U this year), but the whole "rotating drum"-style levels seems to be an overt nod to looking at what X-Treme wanted to do and executing it now, better than they ever could have back in the 90's. A lot of this game seems to acknowledge Sonic games past; from the Figure 8 "leg loop" animation while running (ripped from Sonic CD) to all the capsules and Flickies (from the Genesis games); this is definitely bringing some nostalgia to the table.

    Oh and also; controlling Sonic's speed - the run and the walk - with the R trigger? That's Sly Cooper's thing. Why can't any of you "savvy" game journalists call Sonic out on that? Again, I don't care, as Sly Cooper is the best controlling platformer hero ever (sorry Mario), and Sonic would do well to learn from him. I'm just saying; Lost Worlds has learned a lot of tricks from a lot of other games.

    It's awesome to have Sonic officially back in great games, by the way :)
  • Mod

    I think this looks great. I'm already sold on it to be honest. I'm so excited man, there are so many good games on the horizon.

  • just let the franchise die already...its been downhill since sonic and knuckles
  • the beginning of this video had me cracking up.  the first video of people playing the game were a guy looking hella uncomfortable, and a guy quitting the game. lol.

  • This game's looking great. It looks like it'll finally be the fifth great Sonic title. Most definitely going to buy this
  • I would still like to know why this wasn't set up at the Best Buys.
  • October 13th?! That's not enough time for Sonic Team for gods sake. The games usually come out in November.

  • GI, please please PLEASE get someone else besides Tim Turi to review this Sonic game. we all know where he stands at this point. He's a massive fan of the classics, and can't seem to accept that Sonic is moving in a new direction. His views of what Sonic SHOULD be always clash with what Sonic has become. His reviews of both Colors and Generations are evidence of this. I really hope you guys consider giving at least this Sonic game to a reviewer with a fresh perspective. reading the glowing previews from other sites and then this one, I can see the 6.5-7 already. I think its time someone new reviewed Sonic games. We all can pretty much guess how Tim will review it, and quite frankly, its not very informative.
  • Looks to be another great Sonic game! I may be one of the few who prefer the rushing sensation that Colors and Generations had, but this is a nice change I'm willing to comply with.

  • The real question is: Why haven't we had Parkour in Sonic games before? Such a little feature seems like a natural addition.
  • Ill say this, this the first sonic game i have been even slightly interested in for a while.

  • I'm guessing the header photo there is of the candy crush zone... ;-)

  • "Sonic traverses across these planets using a series of springs and cannons, another element that links Lost World to Mario Galaxy." Because springs and cannons have never been in sonic games before... It's kind of annoying to see professional "journalists" continue to make connections to Mario Galaxy when most of the stuff in Lost World is inspired by X-Treme and SA2.
  • This could be cool. Sonic games are so hit and miss, though, we'll have to wait and see.