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Hedgehog returns with kicking vengeance

Written by: Steven Setser

After 2006, many thought that Sonic was finished, but then the impossible happened: a Sonic boom.

After hits like Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, many wondered what Sonic would do on next generation systems.

Sonic Lost World was announced exclusive to Nintendo and seems to have been heavily influenced by the company itself. Is this title for the Wii U all it’s cracked up to be?

The story begins with Sonic and Tails in their plane trying to save an animal capsule from Eggman. Unfortunately, Sonic and Tails are shot out of the sky, and they land on a small landform called “The Lost Hex.”

This landform is home to the Deadly Six: six evil mutants who look like they fell out of the Skylanders universe. Eggman is teamed up with the Deadly Six, but of course they turn on him. For the rest of the game, Sonic, Tails and Eggman must team up to defeat the Deadly Six. All of the voice acting is great, and a lot of the cut scenes are fun to watch and even dark at times.

The “boost to win” gameplay formula of the past few Sonic games is gone. For the first time, players have a “parkour” system that allows Sonic to run up obstacles, run along walls and catch himself from instant death. Other moves return such as the spin dash, bounce attack and double jump. Sonic has a new kicking move that he uses to disarm certain enemies to finish them with a homing attack.

Also, for the first time, just pushing the analog stick forward will cause Sonic to walk. To run, you must also hold the ZR trigger. SEGA wants players to have three different types of speed so that all players can join in on the fun.

Also, not only is Sonic’s gameplay different, but the style of the game is too. This new world is built out of tubes and spheres. For visual representation, imagine Sonic in the Super Mario Galaxy. The emphasis here is on plat forming, not speed, which works well enough.

Sonic Lost World has lots of great gameplay improvements, but at times it falls flat. There are tons of instant deaths in this game. Also, sometimes the game does not do what it needs to. In one boss battle, you perform the homing attack up the back of the enemy. About halfway through, the game just stopped doing homing attacks. I ended up just using the bounce attack to get high enough to hit the boss.

Also, the Wisps from Sonic Colors are back, for some reason. This is supposed to use the Wii U gamepad to use all the powers, but these do not compliment the gameplay. These feel very out of place and useless. Thank goodness the good Wisp’s are able to use the analog sticks.

Some of the level designs are not as memorable as others in the game – mainly the 2D-only stages. The bosses are also, for the most part, a joke. Some of them are fun, but most of the time you are just waiting to attack the enemy.

This game works best in 3D. Running at a clean 60 fps while spiraling down a tube looks incredible!

The game also interacts with Miiverse. Players can give others items to use in the game such as speed shoes, invincibility or the Black Bomb Wisp.

Overall, this is a Sonic game unlike any other. This is a wonderful effort to bring the Sonic franchise into the next generation of gaming. It still has some problems, but those can be fixed in Sonic’s next game. I give Sonic Lost World for the Wii U an 8 out of 10. Sonic Lost World is available now on Wii U and 3DS.

Next week, check out the Spec Tech blog for my video review!

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