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Lost World: Discussion, Impressions and Fan Reviews

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That reminds me, after playing the game myself, I kind of feel the whole "Mario clone" thing is at least a bit exaggerated. The only real influence is the fact that the level tropes are the same kind and order of the NSMB series, as well as the obvious Galaxy level design. The gameplay is not like Mario at all...well, except for the obvious stuff that comes with Sonic also being a platformer.

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Yeah, I'm just surprised at how some people are reacting to this game. The game may have flaws, but as I explained before, it still is a decent game to me. Honestly, I never had any trouble with the controls. I'm so used to playing so many games out there, that unless the controls are just REALLY bad, (go play some nes games for awhile) then I may never even notice if the controls may not be perfect. I'm so used to, ok, what does this button do when I play games now. I've been exposed to most genre's and after owning over 500 games, I know what I enjoy and what others may not.

 

This game may not be for everyone, but I still think the scores may be a bit unfair. Though the scores often are based on what we consider our gaming scale. Maybe that is something we need to clarify around here? Like, when we are giving this game a 6, if you are going by IGN or many other gaming site's scales, 6 is a bad score that ranks as bad or mediocre if you hit a 5.

 

I have never liked the rating scale where a 7 is average. It should be 5 is average. If 5 is ranked as average, yes I would lower my score of 8 to maybe a 7, but when 7 is average, I think my 8 fits very well. This game is not average or bad by any means. I think it is slightly above average. So what is our rating scale around here? 6 may not be such a bad score if 5 if what people consider average, meaning 6 is rated as above average. Going by IGN and other companies scales, 6 is honestly, not a good score at all.

 

So what is this site's rating scale if we even have one, or are we going by the reviews' scales?

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That reminds me, after playing the game myself, I kind of feel the whole "Mario clone" thing is at least a bit exaggerated. The only real influence is the fact that the level tropes are the same kind and order of the NSMB series, as well as the obvious Galaxy level design. The gameplay is not like Mario at all...well, except for the obvious stuff that comes with Sonic also being a platformer.

Yeah, after playing through it myself the only real mario like things I really saw myself was that one level in frozen factory where you had to put snowballs on a switch which reminded me of super mario 64 for some reason.

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Don't really think its unreasonable to want a franchise to add and build on things that its once had; its not that anybody here has unreasonably high expectations, its that Sonic Team don't do enough to appeal to the general crowd. I wouldn't be as critical about the new games if I had least saw some things from the classics or Adventure games, but I don't. Nearly everything that the series once was has nearly been exercised over the years, with the only resemblance is still has is the characters and a few badniks. I don't really think its asking too much for Sonic Team to just try to look back and improve things from the past.

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Don't really think its unreasonable to want a franchise to add and build on things that its once had; its not that anybody here has unreasonably high expectations, its that Sonic Team don't do enough to appeal to the general crowd. I wouldn't be as critical about the new games if I had least saw some things from the classics or Adventure games, but I don't. Nearly everything that the series once was has nearly been exercised over the years, with the only resemblance is still has is the characters and a few badniks. I don't really think its asking too much for Sonic Team to just try to look back and improve things from the past.

Technically they did bring some things back from the adventure and classics games in this one like the bounce attack and the different levels that range from levels built on going through them (emerald coast, city escape, etc.) and ones that involve something more (casinopolis, the treasure hunting and shooting stages) all they need to do is refine it a bit really and find a happy medium for the stages that have you go out of your way to do other things.

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Even if the gameplay doesn't exactly feel like Mario, I think there's a huge problem when I can't identify a Sonic stage, as well...a Sonic stage.

 

That's my main issue with Lost World, it's falling into this identity crisis thing within it's own game. Not only are they trying this new parkour thing, they're also making the level design tubular. But no, some levels are flatter. But then some levels are completely 2D. But then some levels are mach speed only. Some levels are just Sonic freefalling in the Sky.

 

And then they decided to bring back Wisps? Why? Because they were remotely popular. That's the only explanation I can think of honestly, because then there would be no reason to not to explain what the hell the Wisps are doing on Lost Hex in the first place. They are tossed uncomfortably into the game without so much as a thought, and aren't particularly fun to use, I'm not compelled to hatch a Wisp capsule at all in this game, especially since I have to use goddamn gyro controls. If you thought they were flow-breaking in Colors, God help you.

 

Then the Mario thing. Honestly this wasn't totally prevalent the whole way through, but sometimes in Tropical Coast, I have to wonder if this was even a Sonic stage? The music didn't really give off a Sonic vibe to me at all. The level design of Act 1 felt sort of Sonicy, but the rest of it was giving me extreme Mario Galaxy vibes, what with Sonic travelling through the  tube-juices of fruits after letting them get shredded in a painfully slow manner.

 

When I play this game...I get it's trying to be Sonic Colors 2 but not. It's trying to be Sonic Galaxy but not. It's trying to be it's own thing..but not.

 

A mish-mash of ideas that ultimately resulted in a very lumpy and arguably average product is how I'd put it.

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That reminds me, after playing the game myself, I kind of feel the whole "Mario clone" thing is at least a bit exaggerated. The only real influence is the fact that the level tropes are the same kind and order of the NSMB series, as well as the obvious Galaxy level design. The gameplay is not like Mario at all...well, except for the obvious stuff that comes with Sonic also being a platformer.

I think that's what everybody meant along with the boss fights(final Zavok fight especially) and the fact that sonic has a run button something mario has had since the very first game

Yeah, after playing through it myself the only real mario like things I really saw myself was that one level in frozen factory where you had to put snowballs on a switch which reminded me of super mario 64 for some reason.

It's from super monkey ball

Edited by Dejimon11

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That reminds me, after playing the game myself, I kind of feel the whole "Mario clone" thing is at least a bit exaggerated. The only real influence is the fact that the level tropes are the same kind and order of the NSMB series, as well as the obvious Galaxy level design. The gameplay is not like Mario at all...well, except for the obvious stuff that comes with Sonic also being a platformer.

Never mind the "Mario clone" critique is so overused it no longer holds merit. That seems odd, but repetitive use of a point by EVERYONE does a pretty good job of reducing its apparent validity, as it becomes staler than the bread my sister has a habit of leaving open. I hear someone say "Mario clone," and my sole response is "Come up with something original unless you want to be a game reviewer clone."

What's wrong with being a "clone," anyway? Why is extreme originality placed on some holy altar? If a game's fun, a game's fun. Who cares if you invented the concept or not? Originality is nice and all, but if you liked one game for its playstyle, why would you dislike another game for having a similar playstyle?

I think the game critic community just likes to pull at straws sometimes.

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*My review/ thoughts for the WII U version I guess... This review may come off as a little half hazard as I try to get my point out so just bare with me. There also might be some game spoiling content weaved in here so be cautious.*

 

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Review time!

 

After the last 5 years of Unleashed styled gameplay, LW takes a step back and tries to address some of the complaints previous games received. More platforming sections, slowing sonic down (or at least taking away the boost), a better story, and just adding more difficulty. All this LW does... but at some points not in the way we intended.

 

Presentation/ Graphics:

 

LW boost some excellent visuals that almost always run at a steady 60fps. It's cartoony vibe definitely helps it's wide color pallet stand out. I'll admit that from the beginning I wasn't the biggest fan of this approach when games like Unleashed had a style that worked so well. But from actually playing and seeing it in motion I was pleasantly surprised. Also, it's nice to see CGI make a return from it's absence in Generations. Though, I can't say the same about the rest of the cutscenes as they seemed at points to have been sloppily compressed.

 

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This pic truly just doesn't do this game justice.

 

The menu system also leaves a lot to be desired. From the lack of basic features like a sound test and cutscene viewer to the lack of multiple save files it makes the game feel unfinished. It greatly hinders the game's replayability and at times just seems like an over sighted issue. Not to mention that the hub world seems to be almost directly ripped from a certain plumbing game we all know.

 

Story:

 

This was probably one of the stronger points of the game as a whole... well at least the narrative. It's great to see that the complaints with Generations didn't fall on deaf ears. Things actually happen in this plot. Characters actually have strengths and weaknesses instead of being card board cutouts that only exist to explain the obvious. And the story is able to both be comedical in nature and is yet still able to bring itself to advance the plot and get serious when needed. It's nice to see the characters actually emoting and interacting with each other instead of just having Sonic spit out some cheesy jokes before a boss. The experience of seeing these characters that, for the longest time, never had any real character development act the way they do here is a well needed breath of fresh air that I hope is continued into the next title.

 

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EMOTION! Honest to God Emotion!

 

Also, the voice cast does an excellent job once again. Craig and the others capture their characters well and take them throughout their new range of emotions with style. Even Amy sounds a bit better from her Minnie Mouse days a while back (though she only has like less than 10 lines during the entire game).

 

Though, this isn't a perfect story. Pretty much a good half of the game is met with the same sequence of events. A member of the deadly six is introduced, defeated, met up with again and defeated again with only a few cutscenes actually adding anything interesting to the overall plot. Also, it was almost laughable at how irrelevant Knuckles and Amy are in this. It's like Sega is still scared shitless of showing anyone besides Sonic, Tails, and Eggman. They add almost nothing to both the plot and game itself.

 

Another thing that ends up hurting this game is the ending. While not amazingly bad, it comes off as anticlimactic and does nothing to even explain anything about the Deadly Six. Though, while the narrative is incredible, what actually is told comes off as a bit lackluster when all is said and done. With some plot points seemingly dismissed.

 

it0j.png

Ok, so what I'm getting at is that you're strong, evil, and red.... ANYTHING else you want to share?

 

Music:

 

Eh, not really much to say here. It's a Sonic game, what else? Though there aren't as many tracks I'm scrambling to get at the moment (compared to previous titles) every theme fits the level it's given.

 

Gameplay/ Controls:

 

This is ultimately where LW fails to find an identity and solid ground... literally. First off, I was skeptical of the whole planetoid approach from when this game was announced and playing through it only cemented my beliefs. What we gain in exploration is loss in level design, controls, and even (at times) camera. Lets start out with the later, the camera. You know when you'r running on a cylindrical planetoid and you homing attack an enemy just to have the camera delay and stay in the same position in till you hit the ground? Yeah, well I can't tell you how many times I died because of that. I would constantly find myself attacking an enemy, not know exactly where Sonic is currently positioned in space and end up getting hit or falling off the edge due to the camera not staying on the same level as Sonic. Luckily, this only affects the 3D points which are still a minority compared to the 2d sections which, again, take priority in what is suppose to be a 3D sonic game.

 

Early reports on the controls were completely right. They take A LOT of getting use to and the game just isn't fun in till you get to that point. The amount of buttons and care it takes to get Sonic to run at a competent speed is ridiculous. I understand what they were going for (to make platforming sections easier than in the previous games) but it just comes off as a needless chore in the rest of the sections that don't have you performing such precise movements (a good 80% of the game if you ask me).

 

The multiple methods of attacking didn't come off as too jarring to me. If anything, they lead to some neat moments where I was able to line up a row of enemies and take them all out with one swift kick. Or when I was able to defeat a boss faster by timing my homing attack. Though, I'm still a bit on the edge of whether this should return or not. It's fun to me, but the simplicity of just a homing attack that came in previous titles was also nice and less of a hassle at points.

 

The wisp can pretty much just go away in their current state for all I care. Besides the hover wisp in the last zone and Eagle at various points they caused more harm than good for me. I can't tell you how many times I died due to not knowing what the game expected me to know or using them at the wrong time. Also, controlling them is utter garbage. How is it that what most companies learned 3 years ago after the Kinect is something Sega (one of the first companies involved in the whole motion control push) still can't come to terms with? You don't have to use motion controls. Especially for gameplay that worked great with buttons. They just sort of shot themselves in the foot with the way these things controlled.

 

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So... why are you guys here again?

 

I'm sort of in between on the parkour. Not because of how it worked, but really the lack of areas that it was used in. You'd think for something featured so prominently during promotion that it would of been utilized more. Half way through the game the only time it really kept being brought up was to grab onto ledges after a close jump (a feature that NEEDS to come back in future games). From when it was used I found it worked well and is something I hope Sonic Team doesn't stray away from in the future.

 

Another thing that the planetoid approach brought were bottomless pits. The whole game is riddled with them since everything takes place in the sky. Combine that with the most instant deaths in the entire series and you have level design that isn't just difficult, but frustrating at times. It's not that the game suffers from glitches or anything technical. It's a very solid formula in that regard. It's just all the little bad ideas (things like not getting a life after collecting 100 rings and gimmicks like Sky Road act 3) just mount up.

 

Also, I found the entirety of Sky Road to be utterly pointless. It just takes old level designs and makes them harder. What else warrants it being it's own zone you ask? "Well it takes place in the sky" some might answer you but that whole trope seems redundant when almost every act is suspended high above the land.

 

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Seriously though, who thought this was a good idea!?

 

 

Verdict:

 

Sonic Lost World isn't a bad game, though it isn't really a good Sonic game. It tries to answer a bunch of complaints that previous titles had but only manages to recover a few. The method in which they tried to address the other complaints often just end up hurting the issue in the completely opposite direction and even at times seem reminiscent of a certain hat wearing plumber (which is even more troubling as they didn't even take some of the more popular design choices from zed franchise). Sonic Lost World has a lot of good ideas, but they are often outweighed by the bad ones which end up not making it the satisfying experience we were hoping for.

 

A 6.5/10 from me.

It's well built and you'll have some fun moments along the way, but the amount of shit you'll have to go through for them is very off putting.

 

My grading scale for those who care

1: A game that just isn't playable and should of never been released or even thought of.

Example: Big Rigs

 

2: A game that is somewhat playable but still shouldn't of been released in it's current state.

Example: Super Man 64

 

3: A playable game that still has multiple glaring issues (both technically and design wise) that makes me question it's completion.

Example: Sonic Genesis

 

4: A game with glaring technical issues and some design choices that makes it seem not done. Though, the potential in it is evident.

Example: 06

 

5: A solid built game that can be fun at times but still has a few huge problems that keep it from being at least halfway enjoyable.

Example: Sonic Spinball

 

6: A solid built game that can be fun but still has a couple of problems (big or minor) that keep it from being an overall enjoyable experience.

Example : *see above*

 

7: An enjoyable game that, while has it's fair share of errors, is still worth the time for those still on the line of playing it.

Example: *see above*

 

8: A game with very few problems that is great to play through.

Example: Batman: Arkham Origins/ Sonic Generations/ Kid Icarus Uprising

 

9: A game with pretty much no annoying flaws and is a blast to play through.

Example: Batman: Arkham Asylum/ most Pokemon games/ Uncharted 3

 

10: A game that I can easily highlight/ recommend to anyone/ and say "Now that's a game that defined a good decent amount of time in my life".

Example: Batman: Arkham City/ Super Smash Bros Melee/ Halo 3/ Uncharted 2/ Portal 2

 

 

Well there it is. Who knows, over time my opinions on it my sway from better or worse. Right now, I'm right where I was when the game was first announced. A bit mehed by it. There are some ideas in it that definitely need to be brought back and continued in the next title. Actually, let me just take a moment and flat out say that if there's anything I don't want Sega to toss out or go back on in the next installment it's the parkour and narrative. Please for the love of God let these writers continue what they did in this title and approve upon it! But there are also things in this game that I fully believe should be left behind unless some serious overall occurs (planetoids, 3 different speed buttons, and wisp).

 

But... yeah, I'm not too downed by this. Got a lot of neat ideas to go off of now. Let's hope Sega and Sonic Team can learn from this and come back better than ever! 

 

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I think that's what everybody meant along with the boss fights(final Zavok fight especially) and the fact that sonic has a run button something mario has had since the very first game

It's from super monkey ball

No, i meant frozen factory act 3 on the 3ds version.

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This game took me forever to adjust. The time I think I got used to the contols was when I was in Lava mountain zone 3

And now in previous stages, i'm taking risky jumps and making good use of the spindash. So most of the stages are really fun to speedrun. 

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Never mind the "Mario clone" critique is so overused it no longer holds merit. That seems odd, but repetitive use of a point by EVERYONE does a pretty good job of reducing its apparent validity, as it becomes staler than the bread my sister has a habit of leaving open. I hear someone say "Mario clone," and my sole response is "Come up with something original unless you want to be a game reviewer clone."

What's wrong with being a "clone," anyway? Why is extreme originality placed on some holy altar? If a game's fun, a game's fun. Who cares if you invented the concept or not? Originality is nice and all, but if you liked one game for its playstyle, why would you dislike another game for having a similar playstyle?

I think the game critic community just likes to pull at straws sometimes.

 

While the term "Mario Clone" is so vague on its own as to be pointless, I don't think that in and of itself is inherent defense for a game, or rather a franchise with an apparent identity crisis. It also points to a thought I had in another thread in terms of games that are comfortable fulfilling a particular niche: Why do I want Sonic to be more like Mario, when I could simply get more bang for my buck by buying an actual Mario game which is most likely going to be better developed anyway? What tangible benefit does Sonic have from taking design elements from another franchise (not developmental processes) at the potential cost of particular quirks that make him unique? When people were saying earlier in LW's hype cycle that they were just fine with Sonic aping Mario anyway supposedly because that would totally result in a better game, or when people say that speed doesn't matter all that much or they can't be bothered to care, I'll be honest: it makes me fucking cringe. And it's not out of any disdain for Mario, nor any archaic console or company allegiance, nor any irrational adherence to some ideal of perfect originality. I just don't want Sonic games that act like Mario games. I want Sonic games.

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While the term "Mario Clone" is so vague on its own as to be pointless, I don't think that in and of itself is inherent defense for a game, or rather a franchise with an apparent identity crisis. It also points to a thought I had in another thread in terms of games that are comfortable fulfilling a particular niche: Why do I want Sonic to be more like Mario, when I could simply get more bang for my buck by buying an actual Mario game which is most likely going to be better developed anyway? What tangible benefit does Sonic have from taking design elements from another franchise (not developmental processes) at the potential cost of particular quirks that make him unique? When people were saying earlier in LW's hype cycle that they were just fine with Sonic aping Mario anyway supposedly because that would totally result in a better game, or when people say that speed doesn't matter all that much or they can't be bothered to care, I'll be honest: it makes me fucking cringe. And it's not out of any disdain for Mario, nor any archaic console or company allegiance, nor any irrational adherence to some ideal of perfect originality. I just don't want Sonic games that act like Mario games. I want Sonic games.

Plus, there are people who deride games for being a "COD clone", so what makes Sonic exempt from being called a Mario clone when he outwardly appears to be doing just that? Granted, like Nepenthe says, the term might be pointless and annoying, but it still stands that people would rather prefer a franchise to have its own quirks and style and would rather just go get the real deal instead of seeing the unique franchise mutate itself into a piss-poor man's version of the real deal. Sorry if this doesn't make any sense.

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There's clear influence from Mario, but I don't see any outright ripping off of any elements aside from maybe the level tropes. 

 

I think people sometimes request Sonic to be like other franchises such as Mario a lot of the time because we don't really have a sold foundation to associate sonic with. There was a period where we had a new gameplay style every game.  After even ditching the boost there's no way to know what to expect. A "Sonic game" could be so many things at this point without crossing a line another sonic game didn't already cross that there's no real way to define it now. He officially has very few "quirks" of his own that he didn't discard at some point in time.

 

Now that we know sonic can be a lot of things we just compare it to stuff we already like.

Edited by Smoky Progg

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I don't feel the gameplay styles per each game were so amazingly different from one another as to warrant the belief that Sonic games have no quirks to call their own. Burdened with unnecessary tweaks and physics changes perhaps, but when you get right down to it, it doesn't take a wide repertoire of skill to go from Adventure to Heroes or Sonic 06. There has always been a foundation for movement for Sonic that was pretty distinct from other platformers at the time. When this finally was given a core shake-up, ironically the franchise finally did find an identity and people liked it. But it was shallow or whatever. Regardless, I've never been entirely convinced that this idea that we couldn't get any possible idea of what a new Sonic game would entail until we played it wasn't more so the result of recoil from the disagreeable aesthetic changes and gimmicks rather than Sonic Team actually changing up the genre.

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I don't know where people are getting the idea that I and others hate this game, it couldn't be further from the truth if it tried.

 

SLW is good, it's fun and a GOOD game, but it's flawed yes, but it's not the game that's bugging me, rather SEGA's current approach to the franchise and offering mediocrity to my experience with the games, but when you pick the game apart at the seams then you can't help but sigh and honestly think of Sonic's future when we're stuck with these sort of games I described as a "glass half full scenario". The games I've played recently from Colours to SLW have all felt like part of a bigger experience that SEGA keeps teasing us with but never actually letting us try it.

 

It's like yeah we got this cool fucking hedgehog that runs fast and kicks fucking ass, but let's restrict his potential! let's dumb down his personality, let's push the cast out of the spotlight, lets just give it to Sonic who isn't very interesting because he has no development, or a small amount that doesn't really do anything substantial, it's like yeah, we'll throw Sonic into the spotlight but...Now what? Shit what do we make him do!? it's Sonic's show, but why isn't he doing anything!?

 

And this is just scratching the surface of depth character wise, if I'm discussing my upset from a technical level, it's lack of consistency, SEGA know they do incredible music, SEGA know they have incredible animators...

 

So why only give us one chance per save game to view the brilliant cut scenes this game has to offer? Or it's stellar soundtrack? Why do the red rings only unlock little circus games? Why can't I have one circus game per Zone world, and then with all my hard work in collecting those tricky rings, can't I unlock something extra instead of more lacklustre circus mini games with a slightly different way of hitting balloons?

 

Then SEGA, why did you tease us so much with a good story, but ultimately fuck it up by not explaining anything, ending the game without no rhyme or reason as to what happens to the D6, Amy or Knuckles during their life zapping phase? Why give us such a huge build up with a balls to the wall final few zones, then knock us down for the rather predictable and not as grand Nega wisp clone. Why would you fuck with us like that? SLW's story doesn't know what it wants to be, it starts off soft and innocent, then gets a hint of angst and despair and feeling of dread and the importance of Sonic's success, (and that potential shipping line from Amy, d'uh) then completely pull a 180 as if the story is suddenly brain washed with happy thoughts and amnesia of what happened, for Sonic to simply return to his planet, to not check on his friends, show concern for them or be relieved they are alive, oh no Sonic is too cool for that, he just wants to fucking sleep.

 

Just... So many questionable decisions in this game and Sonic's current head state, I'm just honestly burnt out, and i'm tired of being optimistic for the series as a whole because I know SEGA won't deliver, they'll continue to play it safe with their games, and merely mask their safety by changing up gameplay/locales every couple of games. *sigh*

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Just... So many questionable decisions in this game and Sonic's current head state, I'm just honestly burnt out, and i'm tired of being optimistic for the series as a whole because I know SEGA won't deliver, they'll continue to play it safe with their games, and merely mask their safety by changing up gameplay/locales every couple of games. *sigh*

 

 

Then this is what I don't get. If changing up an entire gameplay style (despite the previous one being seen as positive) and the way a game looks is not enough to NOT be considered "playing it safe" then what the hell is? How are these major changes simply just "masking" anything? It's the reason why I've grown tired of the phrase, personally.

Edited by Soniman

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Because you can change the gameplay/visuals as much as you want, but if the characters aren't engaging, then what's the fucking point? It's the same old stuff with a new lick of paint, it's not "developing" it's not "moving forward" it's attempting to move forward but it's progress is being shunted back because it just simply let's the overall experience down.

 

This is completely ironic because I was ready to fucking sleep with SLW upon hype stages, it's "Super Sonic Galaxy" a mash up of 2 of my favourite games, so mu biased was through the fucking roof, so why am I so disappointed with it? Because it's not Sonic it's just some sort of try hard wannabe, I want Sonic to be more.

 

Sonic is the only game franchise I've stuck with since the beginning, I've seen the series change over and over, and I'v still bought and played all his games to the end, I can safely say this isn't the direction I want Sonic to be taking as a character.

 

That's just how I feel about it all, I don't expect anyone to agree with me either, I'm finding it hard to even put my feelings into words on the matter.

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Still kind of a bummer when a franchise that became a relatively major part of your life is seemingly content to settle into mediocrity, even if it isn't virtually the worst thing ever.

That's only your opinion.

 

 

This is pretty funny considering you were one of those people not too long ago :V

 

 

It's an emotional roller coaster ride, what can I say..............

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HOLD IT RIGHT THERE, MISTER! D: Unleashed is SO totally polished! Look at how Sonic gets stuck on the centimeter high steps in Arid Sands Night. That really shows how dedicated and ambitious Sonic Team was before all the stupid game critics had to go and shit all over the under rated masterpiece that was Sonic Unleashed!

 

oh gawd wat 'ave i dun

 

Unleashed, like Lost World, is a painfully mediocre game that suffered greatly from several completely asinine design decisions that hampered the quality of the entire game. Trying to capture the then very large God of War audience by badly copying the gameplay style was a downright moronic idea, and Unleashed will never be anything more than "good" as a result.

 

So I'd appreciate you not putting words in my mouth, thank you.

 

Note that I said the day-time stages were polished, not mentioning the overworld or werehog stages, rendering your complaint about the stairs or whatever completely irrelevant. Look at the day-time stages; with the exception of frame-rate issues (which were the result of them being overambitious with an engine that simply wasn't optimized as well as they hoped it would be), you still got a game that was blisteringly fast like nothing else we've ever seen before. The environments were gorgeous and detailed, and everything flows together exceptionally well. Telling me that the game didn't get an enormous amount of work and polish put into it is ridiculous, and I dare you to find anyone who can see Unleashed and not be impressed by how amazing it looks. It's a great deal more fine-tuned than Lost World in that regard, and I don't mean that because of the art style. Notice the Deadly Six in the cutscenes - remember how Girl and Emo were supposed to be in the shadows so you wouldn't see them at first? Remember how they couldn't be arsed to put them under an actual shadow and instead slapped a black splotchy texture on them and called it a day? Unleashed didn't do crap like that. That's what I'm talking about. It's the attention to very fine details that no game since Unleashed has truly done as well as that game did.

 

And because Soniman already mentioned the "bad" controls... here's my take on that - Unleashed was horrendous at going slow, yes. ... Which is exactly why that game hardly ever slowed you down. Yeah, he controls like a tank at slow speeds, but he moves like a god damn bullet when you're going fast, and that's exactly how the game was designed. Unleashed wasn't supposed to be slow from the start, it was fast, and the controls complemented that style well. It wasn't until later that complaints arose that it was too fast and there wasn't enough platforming, so they responded to those complaints by making his turning radius a bit smaller in Generations, and designing more platforming segments in the levels. While many may not like what Unleashed was trying to do (FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET BOOST BOOST BOOST), it can not be denied that it was good at what it was trying to do. It was the best at what it was trying to do.

 

Contrast this with Lost World - the game introduces a new gameplay mechanic integral to the core of the gameplay. ... Except it isn't polished, is very difficult to understand, and is very frustrating to learn and play with. That's bad design. It tries to take things slow and play more like a Mario game, but it's not a particularly good Mario game, and suffers as a result. Lost World is not the best at what it does, nor is it particularly good at what it does. 

 

That's why the good half of Uneashed is a better designed game than Lost World - for the people who love fast, twitchy, reflex-oriented gameplay that highly encourages speed-running (*cough*), there is no better game than the good half of Unleashed or Generations (or if I can bend the rules a bit, a PC copy of Generations with the Unleashed level mod).

 

People who love slower platformers with plenty of unique level gimmicks? Play Mario, because that's better.

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People keep citing the Parkour gameplay as proof that Sonic Team is not playing it safe without taking into account the broader context of the public's reactions to what would be considered "traditional Sonic gameplay" during the appropriate eras, by which I mean: most of the public doesn't seem to give a flying fuck what you're specifically doing as Sonic so long as it's easy to understand, he runs a lot, and there's no gimmick to get in the way. Classic gameplay, Adventure gameplay (when it worked), Boost gameplay: the latter two are deeply flawed as been demonstrated by innumerable dissections of them here and elsewhere, but at the end of the day the public doesn't care. SA1, SA2, and sometimes Heroes were considered fun. Daytime gameplay, Colors, and Generations are considered fun. Hell, Sonic 4 was considered fun. It is not a risk in the context of public relations to give Sonic some Parkour. The risk- as we've seen- would be that Sonic Team could potentially fuck it up on a technical level, but that's an assumed risk with everything. Otherwise, the Parkour was given a fair chance. Same with the colorful graphics: who the hell is going to complain preemptively- without trying the game- that a Sonic game with beautiful color schemes is a piece of shit simply because the graphical style is different? No one! That's not a risk!

 

What people are sometimes talking about when they say "Sonic Team is playing it safe" are the aesthetic and gameplay decisions that have been consistently derided as automatically detrimental to the quality of a Sonic game and thus have been stripped out altogether, aesthetic and gameplay decisions other platformers get to enjoy consistently without people batting an eyelid. For example, we can't have other playable characters anymore because people bitched about them so long that the well has been poisoned; so poisoned, in fact, that there is on-the-record bitching about Sonic's friends showing up in Generations even though they didn't do anything. Thus, to use them again would be taking a risk from a public relations standpoint, in that it would be somewhat of an uphill battle to ask for people not to knee-jerk that Knuckles is playable again no matter how well he fucking played. This is what people mean when we're talking about risks.

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My impressions? Here we go.

 

Sonic Lost World is, in my opinion, the second-best story in the entire Sonic the Hedgehog game series. It's very close to Sonic Adventure 2 overall, and on some details (character interaction, mostly) surpasses it. Lost World is a gloriously-written game that manages to embrace elements of darkness without that trying-too-hard brand of grittiness that so often accompanies it.

 

First, the story. The plot's basic, but still not absolutely bare-bones. Eggman loses control of his plan, works with Sonic, and proceeds to get control of said plan back at the game's climax. Simple, yes, but well-executed. The game's real strength, of course, is less in its plot and more in its characterization. So let's break down what makes everyone in this game great.

 

Sonic is actually given realistically-written weaknesses in this game. His impulsiveness works to his detriment, and he acknowledges this. A far cry from the gallant, always-right hero he's often portrayed as, Lost World gives Sonic genuine limitations and a propensity for error. At the same time, the qualities that do make him heroic and likable still shine through, and his interaction with both Tails and Eggman are excellent.

 

Tails honestly surprised me, negatively at first. I disliked his aggression, and felt it was poorly-explained with little lead-up. However, even acknowledging this problem, Tails's characterization - particularly later into the game - was a lot more fleshed-out than in previous roles. His relationship with Sonic, as well as his resourcefulness and independence, were greatly highlighted here.

 

Dr. Eggman had one of his finest performances yet, rivaled only by SA2 in terms of character complexity. The guy has a brilliant plan, especially in his adaptability to regain control after the Zeti are freed. More than that, though, is his absolutely stunning interaction with his enemies and his minions. Eggman's complexity really shines through here as he shows a more affable, caring side of himself by rescuing two of his hated foes. He says it himself, he's a complicated guy, after all. His comradarie with Orbot and Cubot was wonderfully endearing as well, and was expanded greatly after Colors. Without a doubt, Eggman stole the show again in Sonic Lost World.

 

Orbot and Cubot were fantastic too. While they were likable before, they were little more than gag characters in Colors. Lost World expands their role considerably, and the two even have proper conversations with the heroes, making them feel more like "real" characters with fleshed-out personalities. Their relationship with Eggman in particular was quite charming, and I enjoyed seeing how the three worked together as a team.

 

The Zeti are - by far - the best "monster of the week" style villain we've gotten in the entire series. They're just oozing personality, and although said personality is often flat and stereotypical, it works in their case due to the nature of their role in the game. The Zeti are not unlike the Robot Masters from Mega Man, in that they embody a specific sort of power and themed personality to go with it; While hardly deep, they definitely have far more going for them than Black Doom, Mephiles, Dark Gaia, or their ilk ever did. I was very pleased with their role here.

 

Finally, Amy and Knuckles deserve a mention. Their role may have been small, but it served an important purpose - to put a face on Sonic's planet, and to give Sonic (and the player) something to feel concerned for as the life was sucked out of it. Their brief role was well-done, and I enjoyed seeing them here. Perhaps they'll get to do something a bit more in the next title.

 

Of course, as a game, Sonic Lost World is fun as well. I have few complaints about the gameplay (though I do despise instant-kill obstacles that featured in some levels), and find the game to be well-designed and fun. 

 

My final verdict is that Sonic Lost World is fantastic. As an Eggman fan, and as a Sonic fan in general, it's one of the best entries in the series we've had in a long time.

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