So I just beat Sonic Lost World. And it sucks. A lot. I’m gonna talk about how much it sucks but I’m an optimist so first let’s cover the positives!
+Colorful graphics at 60fps.
+The Zeti are really cool characters and fit in surprisingly well with the rest of the cast.
Now that THAT’S out of the way, let’s cover the negatives.
-INCOHERENCE. The game is packed with quirky creative levels, monsters and gimmicks that are fun at first, but eventually jumble together and just make a big mess that feels like the game has no sense of itself or what it’s supposed to be. The levels are just full of… stuff. It’s just stuff tacked on with no manner of consistency whatsoever. It’s fun to look at for a while because it’s so wacky, but it gets old pretty fast. There are also Wisps randomly scattered around the levels, but they’re pretty uncommon, so why are they even there? It’s really just too much.
-PARKOUR. Oooooh my god the parkour. So Sonic has three speeds: Fucking Slow, Still A Little Bit Too Slow and Just Don’t Use This Speed. Sonic’s default speed is the Fucking Slow speed. By holding the R button, he goes Still A Little Bit Too Slow, and will also “parkour” his way up anything he runs into, as long as you’re holding down the R button. Literally anything. The problem with this is when he starts “parkour”ing, the game takes on a whole new set of rules and you will die a lot if you don’t follow them. It doesn’t matter where you are or what kind of situation you’re in, if you fuck up while randomly “parkour”ing along a wall, you’ll fall to your death and lose one of your precious lives.
-HOMING ATTACK. Sonic can no longer use a homing attack to extend the reach of his jumps (making for some infuriating platforming segments), and can now only homing attack enemies that are automatically locked onto when he gets near them. This makes attacking enemies a pain in the ass because the lock-on will cut out randomly if you so much as LOOK THE OTHER WAY and it’s really hard to get the combo homing attacks that the game is CONSTANTLY trying to get you to do. There’s also a new kind of homing attack where you kick stronger enemies to get past their defenses but there’s NO WAY TO TELL WHO TO KICK AND WHO NOT TO KICK so you have to learn by trial and error.
-LEVEL DESIGN. Sonic Lost World is designed to kill you. This game does not want you to succeed. The first level allows for free movement and exploration, and it’s pretty fun. But literally every level after that wants you dead on a platter. They are not designed to teach you new moves, they are not designed to help you learn OLD moves, they are not designed for the parkour system, they are barely even designed for the fucking WISPS, and they are RIDDLED with cheap deaths that you rarely see coming. And when you do see them coming, it’s more of a “Yeah but no sane game designer would make that kill me” kind of way. Checkpoints are few and far between, so you’ll find yourself replaying segments over and over to your own frustration.
-Each level is PACKED with rings and the game BEGS you to collect as many rings as you possibly can, but COLLECTING 100 RINGS WILL NOT GIVE YOU AN EXTRA LIFE. Rings do NOTHING but prevent you from dying. That’s IT. Since you can’t get lives by collecting rings, you have to find them, usually by risking the lives you already have. The game starts you out with 5 lives, and once you lose those, it’s game over and you have to play the whole level again. If you die enough, you get an item that warps you to the next checkpoint, which I took advantage of liberally and shamelessly. The levels have (useless) Red Rings and animals for you to collect, but it’ll probably get to the point where you just want to beat the fucking level and skip over them. This game is not designed to be fun to play.
-No ranking system, leaving little incentive to replay levels.
-The boss fights were stupidly easy and just plain boring.
-The story got good, exploring some of Sonic’s character flaws and potentially developing Eggman’s character, and then disappointed at the end.
-Badnik designs call back to the Sega Genesis days but look weird and childish compared to the “Modern” character designs
-Levels are EXCRUCIATINGLY LONG, some taking like 15 minutes (if you don’t die ever).
-There were a lot of cases where a level that demanded I take it slow would have fast-paced music that demanded I go fast, making me feel disoriented.
-Boss levels won’t unlock unless you have a certain number of rescued animals.
-One particular level composed entirely of rail-grinding was throw-your-Gamepad-at-the-wall infuriating, due to pure 100% bullshit.
I am heartbroken over Sonic Lost World. It disappoints in every way. I didn’t want to believe that it was bad when the reviews hit, but I never knew that it would be THIS BAD. Not even an hour into the game, I was playing it just to beat it and be done with it. I legitimately feel like I wasted my time and money on this, and I feel cheated and I feel pissed. I have beaten it, put it back on my shelf and I will never play it again. What I thought would be the best Sonic game ever ended up being the worst. Thanks, Sonic Team, for crushing my hopes. Zero stars.
BONUS AMERICA VERSION