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Sonic Lost World Announced

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Alice Twilight said Sonic has always been a point A to point B linear platformer. The fact that the alternate/secret paths/rooms/etc. exist in both maps of level design from previous games (Sonic 2's Chemical Plant and Sonic Advance's Casino Paradise, respectively) disproves this notion.

You're still going from point A to B, Left to Right, there's not even multiple ways to get to the goal ring, those secret paths either just lead to a room with rings or a special stage, you've still got to get back on track to reach the goal ring.

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I don't mind linearity, as long as it's fun. But if you think about it, Sonic has always been point A to point B, with some branching paths that lead you to the goal anyway. It really the same principal with the modern boost games, just in a 3D field. Less so with Unleashed, but Generations had loads if branching paths.

As for what to keep from Lost World, I'd say Sonic's moveset. But I'd like to have the level design like in Generations. Ditch the run button though as it made Sonic too twitchy.

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You're still going from point A to B, Left to Right, there's not even multiple ways to get to the goal ring, those secret paths either just lead to a room with rings or a special stage, you've still got to get back on track to reach the goal ring.

Some still led to the goal ring but yeah thats basically what I was getting at.

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You're still going from point A to B, Left to Right, there's not even multiple ways to get to the goal ring, those secret paths either just lead to a room with rings or a special stage, you've still got to get back on track to reach the goal ring.

 

Yes, but that's not a linear platformer as you said in your original post. That was the point I was addressing and clarified in my follow-up post in response to MegasonicZX. A linear platformer is like standard Mario levels. One main path/direction, with the side paths one does receive are usually floating platforms layered on top of each other. When you said "linear platformer" I was sure you meant along the lines of this:

 

 

 

mario-1-1.gif

s1-mz-act1map.png

 

The two examples I listed eariler don't do this.

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So, I've been playing through Lost World on Wii U the past couple of days. I beat the story and am currently replaying levels to get red rings. And when I was playing through Tropical Coast Act 2, something... strange happened. I got to the part where you fight Master Zik and after driving him into the grinder (damn that sounds violent) and propelled on the juice, I clipped through the planet and the camera had a seizure. I don't know how it happened, but apparently I wasn't the only one who found this glitch. Heck, thanks to a member, I found out a similar glitch happens in Desert Ruins Act 4 and used to happen in Frozen Factory Act 3, though the latter is patched.

 

This isn't good. I have not experienced a glitch like this in any other Sonic game prior to this. Yes, even '06. Arguably the most broken game in the franchise. And honestly, if I'm not the only one who's bumped into this, why hasn't SEGA patched it yet? Or the one in Desert Ruins? This is going to impact my overall feelings on this game once I type out my review. I can only hope my experience doesn't get worse from here on out. I already have mixed opinions on the game, and I don't want to end up hating it. I really don't.

 

Anyway I managed to capture footage of the glitch. 5 seconds of it though, the flashing was pretty intense and even had my eyes sore. And I usually have no reaction to flashing colours or lights in video games. So I'll just warn people that are even the slightest sensitive to seizures to not watch the video. I've only captured it to show the strange glitch. And here it is: https://www.dropbox.com/s/fepgk04ch1gmk9h/DSCF2401.AVI

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Precisely. I think someone mentioned that the gravity manipulation coding that's already in Gens doesn't work on Lost World's levels. Just look at what happened when someone tried playing 3DS!Windy Hill.

 

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Played the demo for Lost World U last night so I'm just going to jot down a series of quick thoughts:
 

- The first level in the game really doesn't explain the controls well. The question marks that hold brief explanations for the controls appear only once, and even then you have to tap the GamePad to read it. I only found out how to use the spindash properly on my second run. They really should had used the question mark tutorial system that was used in Colors.

- Sonic's standard running speed is surprisingly really slow...even when hearing the complaints about it, it's still a shock on just how dialed down his speed is.

- Sonic's speed with the run button is much better, I like it a lot. I think this should had been the default speed and I wouldn't mind if it was kept for later titles. Shame that its not preserved when the player turns while running.

- Speaking of which, the speed cap placed on Sonic turning when he runs is pretty bad. The player's speed should be applied to most of the player's movements in my opinion.

- Parkour mechanics in running up walls doesn't feel good. Even when building speed prior and using the spindash, there's a surprising amount of friction when running up walls, and you end up falling really quickly.

- Parkour mechanics when running alongside walls / wall-running, in contrast, feels pretty great. Maybe a bit scripted in terms of speed, but it's a lot more fun to use compared to running up walls.

- Don't care for the somersault that happens when you tap the jump button a second time. Don't see much use for it.

- Also don't care for the "vulnerable" roll Sonic gets when rolling loses speed. What was wrong with having Sonic still being able to attack up until he comes to a stop?

- Really don't care for the retooled homing attack. Feels like an unnecessary step taken to make enemies even easier to defeat / the game faster to play. I know a game with the likes of Sonic's needs some assistance in accurately hitting objects in a 3D space, (homing attack), but was chaining enemies together with the homing attack nowadays really too difficult to pull off or took too much time to execute? This is one change to Sonic's playstyle I really hope isn't preserved in future titles.

- The spindash is really fun to use in this game. Holding the ZL/ZR buttons to continue rolling after executing the spindash is easily the best part of the gameplay / controls. If this isn't preserved in the next Sonic game I will be very disappointed. I am a bit mixed on the mechanic automatically rolling once you roll off one platform to another, though-good for preserving your speed or continue moving throughout the level, but I can see it being a nuisance if that's not what the player intended.

- Something I'm sure most people wouldn't care about, but I'm pretty sure that the game retains the Genesis game's bounce mechanics-specifically, retaining your starting bounce height when you jump on an enemy. That's a bit surprising to me, and is something I personally appreciate.

- Dash panels are unnecessary, but this has been a staple of Sonic games for years now. Not that it makes it any better.

- There's a unnecessary amount of scripted / automated segments for a game that supposed to emphasize parkour. One of the first things I did in my first playthrough was move towards one of the platforms that have a series of dash panels. Once I touched it, the dash panel started an entire scripted sequence that carried Sonic through the platform to the spring at the end, and I was unable to move Sonic until after I landed. There's another sequence where a big spring launch Sonic through a series of airborne springs to another segment.

- Didn't try the available Cyan Wisp, but given what I've seen and read about the Wisps' implementation in the game, I doubt I would like it much either way.

- Ignoring dash panels and the scripted/automated segments, the level design (Windy Hill Act 1) is otherwise alright.

 

I think my final thoughts on Lost World's gameplay is that for a game made with a straightforward design focus, they've mucked it up by making things too complicated, concerning both the existing moveset / controls and the new mechanics. If these were streamlined to for the game to be easy to pick up and play, we'd have a solid playstyle.

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Imma just gonna reply to all of that since it's interesting for you to try the game out for the first time way after all the buzz about it has died down. 
 

- The first level in the game really doesn't explain the controls well. The question marks that hold brief explanations for the controls appear only once, and even then you have to tap the GamePad to read it. I only found out how to use the spindash properly on my second run. They really should had used the question mark tutorial system that was used in Colors.

It's not just the first level, but instead the entire game that fails to explain controls adequately. How they managed to settle on that system for a tutorial is way beyond me. For such a complicated control scheme that actually works really well when you finally come to grasp with it, they dropped the ball hard.
 

- Sonic's standard running speed is surprisingly really slow...even when hearing the complaints about it, it's still a shock on just how dialed down his speed is.

There's virtually no need to use the standard run/jog in most of the levels. But did you know there's an even slower speed? Crouch and then push the analogue stick. Sonic will roll incredibly slowly, and it's used for terrain that slows you down. Practically worthless though, and God knows how many players are actually of it.
 

- Sonic's speed with the run button is much better, I like it a lot. I think this should had been the default speed and I wouldn't mind if it was kept for later titles. Shame that its not preserved when the player turns while running.

- Speaking of which, the speed cap placed on Sonic turning when he runs is pretty bad. The player's speed should be applied to most of the player's movements in my opinion.

For some weird reason, Sonic actually moves slower left/right than forwards/backwards (you can easily test it on any spherical planet). I assume this was to aid in how controllable he is on the cylindrical levels, but it just comes off as jarring.  And yeah, he loses as insane amount of speed when turning even slightly sharply. You really have curve slowly the analogue stick to make him keep speed. 

 

- Parkour mechanics in running up walls doesn't feel good. Even when building speed prior and using the spindash, there's a surprising amount of friction when running up walls, and you end up falling really quickly.

Agreed. However, this is one thing the 3DS version does well - running up walls is faster and you preserve speed. That's like, the only good thing about the 3DS version. When you get 2D sections with parkour though, like in Desert Ruins 1, it works well and is basically a faster version of the wall jump.
 

- Parkour mechanics when running alongside walls / wall-running, in contrast, feels pretty great. Maybe a bit scripted in terms of speed, but it's a lot more fun to use compared to running up walls.

And sadly they go under-utilised. They're also scripted in the sense that you have no real control overs the way Sonic runs. Unlike in past games where wall running functions like anything else, in Lost World you can only run in a straight line, slightly angled towards the ground. It works, but cuts back on freedom. 
 

- Don't care for the somersault that happens when you tap the jump button a second time. Don't see much use for it.

It's really useful when combined with spin-dash. You can cover huge distances with it.
 

- Also don't care for the "vulnerable" roll Sonic gets when rolling loses speed. What was wrong with having Sonic still being able to attack up until he comes to a stop?

Yep. Dumb mechanic. Though normally you'll just find yourself jumping out of a spindash or otherwise ending it without losing speed.
 

- Really don't care for the retooled homing attack. Feels like an unnecessary step taken to make enemies even easier to defeat / the game faster to play. I know a game with the likes of Sonic's needs some assistance in accurately hitting objects in a 3D space, (homing attack), but was chaining enemies together with the homing attack nowadays really too difficult to pull off or took too much time to execute? This is one change to Sonic's playstyle I really hope isn't preserved in future titles.

I don't really have a problem with it any more than the homing attack in general (which I do have a problem with). It's kinda fun, I guess. It's main function is to get animal bonuses and be speedy.
 

- The spindash is really fun to use in this game. Holding the ZL/ZR buttons to continue rolling after executing the spindash is easily the best part of the gameplay / controls. If this isn't preserved in the next Sonic game I will be very disappointed. I am a bit mixed on the mechanic automatically rolling once you roll off one platform to another, though-good for preserving your speed or continue moving throughout the level, but I can see it being a nuisance if that's not what the player intended.

<3 the spindash. If you do the double jump somersault, which also works after running off a platform into mid-air, Sonic won't continue to spin-dash when he lands.
 

- Something I'm sure most people wouldn't care about, but I'm pretty sure that the game retains the Genesis game's bounce mechanics-specifically, retaining your starting bounce height when you jump on an enemy. That's a bit surprising to me, and is something I personally appreciate.

It doesn't, actually. It's more like Generations and S4.
  

 

 

- Dash panels are unnecessary, but this has been a staple of Sonic games for years now. Not that it makes it any better.

- There's a unnecessary amount of scripted / automated segments for a game that supposed to emphasize parkour. One of the first things I did in my first playthrough was move towards one of the platforms that have a series of dash panels. Once I touched it, the dash panel started an entire scripted sequence that carried Sonic through the platform to the spring at the end, and I was unable to move Sonic until after I landed. There's another sequence where a big spring launch Sonic through a series of airborne springs to another segment.

You've no idea just how much this bugs me as well. There's scripting everywhere and it's just ridiculous as a gameplay mechanic because it contrasts with everything else. Speed control? Nope, dash pads. Parkour up the walls? Nope, invisible springs instead. Do as the game tells you and nothing else.

 

 

- Didn't try the available Cyan Wisp, but given what I've seen and read about the Wisps' implementation in the game, I doubt I would like it much either way.

It's just like Colours, except the controls are less clear and it's placement more forced and unneccessary. Literally a waste of time implementing any Wisps into the game. 
 

- Ignoring dash panels and the scripted/automated segments, the level design (Windy Hill Act 1) is otherwise alright.

If you manage to play Windy Hill 1 and avoid literally all of the boosters and invisible springs, you'll find out that it's really, really fucking good. But unfortunately nobody at Sonic Team realises this. I can't defend a game that's so obtuse. 
 

I think my final thoughts on Lost World's gameplay is that for a game made with a straightforward design focus, they've mucked it up by making things too complicated, concerning both the existing moveset / controls and the new mechanics. If these were streamlined to for the game to be easy to pick up and play, we'd have a solid playstyle.

Personally, I love Lost World's gameplay. Like, it's got it's major flaws, but I think Sonic Team is really on to something with it.  Later levels in the game become an absolute mess due to their cheap gimmicks, the cumbersome controls and the fact that the bad levels outnumber the good about 3:1. But, you know. There's something there,

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Agreed. However, this is one thing the 3DS version does well - running up walls is faster and you preserve speed. That's like, the only good thing about the 3DS version. When you get 2D sections with parkour though, like in Desert Ruins 1, it works well and is basically a faster version of the wall jump.

 

Oh, that's good to know! I had a feeling that the 3DS version of the game was indeed faster at running up walls, but I was unsure as it had been months since I played the demo for that particular version.

 

Personally, I love Lost World's gameplay. Like, it's got it's major flaws, but I think Sonic Team is really on to something with it.  Later levels in the game become an absolute mess due to their cheap gimmicks, the cumbersome controls and the fact that the bad levels outnumber the good about 3:1. But, you know. There's something there,

 

I was actually doubtful on continuing the Lost World playstyle at first, but after actually trying the Wii U version I think I'm more inclined to see it kept for future titles. Provided that Sonic Team irons out said flaws, of course.

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My biggest hope gameplay-wise, if they stick to LW's style (which could easily not happen, but...could also easily happen??? 50/50 I guess), is that they do away with those hidden springs. I mean, in the very first level I can maybe understand it, but it's annoying how, until literally Lava Mountain Zone 3, they rely too much on springs to take you somewhere that you can easily by running up a wall and/or wall jumps. I mean, you can always just avoid said springs, just like dash panels and stuff, but 1) that's a bit too much work, 2) this sort of thing shouldn't be a self-imposed challenge, and 3) ...it feels pointless, especially since the game wouldn't be that much harder if they got rid of the springs and stuff? 

 

So yeah, having that sort of crutch in the first level(s) as you learn the ins and outs of these moves makes complete sense, but should be something you leave behind by the second world at least.

 

Also one thing that annoys the hell out of me is that they bring in Omochao for Generations which has a gameplay style that was already fairly established and is really easy to get into even if you're new to it, and not only that but you can always turn his hints off whenever you want, but then a game where he would've been extremely useful has a terrible hint system. If he had been in Lost World and explained everything, I'd go as far as to say that people would suddenly love Omochao...and maybe appreciate LW a teeny tiny bit more? Who knows.

 

What I'm saying is, Omochao will save the series and that's just pure, undeniable fact, trust me SEGA

Edited by Celestia

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My biggest hope gameplay-wise, if they stick to LW's style (which could easily not happen, but...could also easily happen??? 50/50 I guess), is that they do away with those hidden springs. I mean, in the very first level I can maybe understand it, but it's annoying how, until literally Lava Mountain Zone 3, they rely too much on springs to take you somewhere that you can easily by running up a wall and/or wall jumps. I mean, you can always just avoid said springs, just like dash panels and stuff, but 1) that's a bit too much work, 2) this sort of thing shouldn't be a self-imposed challenge, and 3) ...it feels pointless, especially since the game wouldn't be that much harder if they got rid of the springs and stuff? 

 

So yeah, having that sort of crutch in the first level(s) as you learn the ins and outs of these moves makes complete sense, but should be something you leave behind by the second world at least.

The hidden springs were a real bitch in Silent Forest Zone 2. Not being able to see the ones at the end of the vine loop formations caused me to jump to my death over and over until I accidentally hit the ledge one time. <_<

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The hidden springs were a real bitch in Silent Forest Zone 2. Not being able to see the ones at the end of the vine loop formations caused me to jump to my death over and over until I accidentally hit the ledge one time. <_<

Ah. I was able to make that jump at first, but once I found out there was a spring there it suddenly got a lot more difficult, as if knowing you're supposed to use a spring to cross the gap made me realize how wide it was...

 

That reminds me, while I prefer the 2D levels in SLW to the boost games for the most part, one problem that stuck around (from Colours/Generations at least, can't recall if Unleashed had this problem) is the really small platforms. It wasn't as common, at least to my memory, but still got annoying sometimes, like in Sky Road Zone 2.

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My biggest hope gameplay-wise, if they stick to LW's style (which could easily not happen, but...could also easily happen??? 50/50 I guess), is that they do away with those hidden springs. I mean, in the very first level I can maybe understand it, but it's annoying how, until literally Lava Mountain Zone 3, they rely too much on springs to take you somewhere that you can easily by running up a wall and/or wall jumps. I mean, you can always just avoid said springs, just like dash panels and stuff, but 1) that's a bit too much work, 2) this sort of thing shouldn't be a self-imposed challenge, and 3) ...it feels pointless, especially since the game wouldn't be that much harder if they got rid of the springs and stuff?

 

I feel like the only reason springs are still around is that they're a key iconic element of the series, like it or not. They really shouldn't be plastered everywhere, though. I think they should be hidden in places we wouldn't expect them to be and lead to special collectables or something, kinda like the warp boxes in the Super Mario 3D "geological word here" games, instead of being cinematic transitions to easy to reach platforms and existing solely for cinematic purposes.

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I think one compromise would be, you have to search carefully to find hidden springs that work as a quick shortcut to somewhere (preferably places that are actually difficult or even impossible to reach for Sonic/whoever), that might be interesting--in fact, there's a few cases of this already in SLW, for what it's worth.

 

For some reason I'm imagining something like the bonus areas in Crash Bandicoot, haha.

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Could someone explain to me why hidden springs were even included in the first place? The only purpose they seem to serve is to bait me into thinking that I'm about to get my parkour on until I'm automatically sprung through a portion of the level as if Lost World's rendition of the super guide was activated.

If I'm never going to be given a chance to try and parkour my way through a level on my own, then why not just make said springs visible in the first place? Was Sonic Team really that surprised at the amount of springs they had littered each level with that they had to make most of them invisible?

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