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Sonic Lost World VS Sonic Generations.


Carbuncle
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Sonic Generations is, without a doubt, the most critically successful Sonic game since Sonic and Knuckles. True, it hasn't exactly got an astounding metacritic score, and some critics gave it shockingly low reviews, but to this day many critics refer to it's greatness. In fact, when the Sonic Cycle is predictably brought up, the critics usually admit that Generations is good. They tend to say something along the lines of: "Sonic's had a rough time in 3D, Blah Blah, but Sonic Generations was actually good".

 

Not only was Sonic Generations a critical success, it also has a certain level of respect with gamers. I've met many who dislike Sonic, but admit that Generations was supposed to be good. 

 

Sonic Generations seemed like a bright future, and I honestly believed it would be the end of the Sonic cycle mutterings.

 

And then...Sonic Lost World happened. It's been rather disappointing in the eyes of critics after Generations. It's too early to tell the public perception, since it hasn't even been released in NA yet, but so far fans have been polarized.

 

Don't get me wrong, I like Sonic Lost World, but I can see where the critics have come from. I have completed the game, and it has it's fair share of problems. It has hazards and enemy placements which are incredibly cheap, sometimes right after a booster or spring, and even with hazards that instakill. The levels are rather inconsistent and are very difficult for the non-Sonic player, as there is almost no tutorial or level to ease the player in. This is coupled with the live system screwing the player over and minuscule platforms that need to be traversed. 

 

Sonic Lost World also has an identity crisis and wants to be Mario Galaxy, very badly. It's clear to see in the art style, level design and level themes. It's honestly a bit ridiculous at times, since no game can successfully imitate Mario to that degree.

 

I would argue that Generations trumps Lost World in many ways. The levels, aside from Planet Wisp, were consistently excellent, the bosses were more spectacular and memorable, no levels featured cheap hazards and ridiculous insta-kill deaths quite like Lost World and the game was much faster and thrilling. 

 

I hear a lot of people complain about the Boost in Generations, and perhaps they are right, but Sonic felt much faster and you really couldn't just 'boost to win' like everyone keeps saying. Perhaps that's the case with Unleashed, but definitely not Generations. Meanwhile, in Lost World, I feared running at times in case I would go charging down a completely unpredictable bottomless pit.

 

However, Lost World also does a lot right, and I would really not want to see that go. The spindash, classic enemies and badniks really do need to stay for next time. It's funny, since Lost World feels more fanservicey than Generations at times. The story is definitely better than Generations 'virtually not there' one. I also really like how much open 3D is in Lost World, and I can't really say that with Generations.

 

But, if I had to choose between the two, it would be Generations. I thought Generations was absolutely fantastic and was the best Sonic game since the Genesis. Lost World on the other hand, is just a decent game that is very enjoyable for Sonic fans.

 

It saddens me that Sonic Team have left the Generations formula behind, since I feel many thought that  Generations reached the pinnacle of the 'Boost' formula, but that is simply not true. 

 

It's obvious that Sonic Team had realised what the Boost formula could really reach, with levels like Seaside Hill and Sky Sanctuary. I'm sorry, but there isn't a single level in Lost World which holds a candlelight to those two levels. If Sonic Team made a Boost game with every level as complex and impressive as those two, it would be a beauty to behold. But alas, I fear that won't happen.

 

Perhaps Sonic Team will merge the best of both these games? The consistency and superior level design of Generations with the classicism, open 3D and completeness of Lost World. 

 

Let's see what Sonic Team can pull out the bag next!

Edited by Carbuncle
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Perhaps Sonic Team will merge the best of both these games?

Yes. At least then it could help soften the criticisms from people who legitimately had problems with the boost gameplay while wanting more control out of Sonic.

Edited by Narukami07
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Generations had some better individual moments but as a whole Lost World is the more complete game.

It's not like you can't take Lost World's game play and add boosting to it in a more subdued Colors-like way though. The game play itself is built in a basic enough way to handle any extra additions. The reason it has no use here is because the design is too nuanced and multi-faceted to support it, and more often than not you won't really want it in the open areas which already feel fast enough through clever design methods rather than filters.

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I would absoloutely be a-ok with Lost World gameplay becoming the staple if we just have more Generations-like level designs next time.  I'd love to parkour all over a place like Rooftop Run or Speed Highway.  I think visual payoff is a -really- important part of Sonic for me.  I didn't know what I had until it was gone.  The only level that comes close to this is the Unleashed-esque grindfest of Tropical Coast Act 3.  There's also a really trippy bit in Windy Hill Act 2 on 3DS where you spin round and round in an automated section.

 

I agree with Carbo that Lost World feels more "complete".  Every time I go back to Generations it hurts to be reminded that there's basically only 9 levels, about half an hour to 40 minutes worth of 3D "proper" Sonic gameplay.  And of course, the complete lack of a sense of adventure due to the disconnectedness of the experience.

 

 

There's definitely much to be gained from a combination of the two styles, which honestly I wish Lost World had been in the first place.  Generations felt like a perfection of the boost formula - now it was time to build on it and give us more freedom, but Lost World decided to do it in a completely new way, rather than building on what we had.

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No need to tell me which is best.

I can only go from my experience of Lost World on the 3DS version, but I think I'd still choose Generations.

Lost World has a great control scheme, but it is let down by some unresponsiveness.

Generations has less levels, but that is it's greatness. You like all of them except one or two, bosses included. Lost World only has a few that you'd want to go back to.

The bosses in Lost World are, let's be honest, varied but easy. I might have struggled, but that's only due to an analogue nub that keeps having it's cover come off. Yes, Generations aslo has easy bosses that are varied, but at least these aren't let down by the control niggles.

I'd say, if I had to improve Generations, that I'd give it better physical control of Sonic while not boosting. With Lost World, I'd sort out the control issues and maybe give it a better camera. It is good, and on the 3DS you've got at least some control, but it still doesn't feel quite right, often jumping to a place you don't want it to be. There does also feel a certain cheapness to Lost World as well.

But I'll still play both and enjoy them just as good as each other.

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you really couldn't just 'boost to win' like everyone keeps saying.

 

When people say that, they don't literally mean hold forward and hit square. They're talking about how player input has been shelved in these types of games.

 

Lost World, the player always has to keep Sonic moving and make him maneuver in every way possible. Sonic Generations on the other seems to have killed most player input for reflex based action.

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We now have a game engine where you could theoretically ask the player to perform all the awesome cinematic stuff themselves.  The problem is they never make you do any awesome cinematic stuff in the game.  This is the crucial point where Gens and LW need to combine their strengths IMO.

Edited by JezMM
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When people say that, they don't literally mean hold forward and hit square. They're talking about how player input has been shelved in these types of games.

 

Lost World, the player always has to keep Sonic moving and make him maneuver in every way possible. Sonic Generations on the other seems to have killed most player input for reflex based action.

 

I know what people mean, and it is greatly exaggerated.

 

Generations had only one level like that, which was Green Hill Zone.

 

Otherwise, aside from setpieces, none of Generation's levels 'shelved player input'. 

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Generations had only one level like that, which was Green Hill Zone.

Again, you're missing the overall picture.

 

Play something like SA, and then compare it to Sonic Generations [Modern]. That's the easiest way to compare.

Edited by Autosaver
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Yeah. Sonic Lost World is more of Sonic Unleashed than it is to Sonic Generations. Sure it has flaws, but they can be perfected and made to an ultimately better game.

 

Also, comparing Unleashed to Lost World isn't really fair. Half of Unleashed is utterly terrible, whilst half is really good at what it is, although it's very automated.

 

Lost World has flaws, but not in the same vein as Unleashed as there is only one gamestyle.

Again, you're missing the overall picture.

 

Play something like SA, and then compare it to Sonic Generations [Modern]. That's the easiest way to compare.

 

I know exactly what you mean.

 

I do understand that boost to win is not literally hold X to win. 

 

But Sonic Generation's levels are not nearly as linear as people make out. For example, they are far more expansive than the levels in SA2 and even some of the levels in SA1 (such as Emerald Coast and Windy Valley).

 

Sky Sanc, Seaside Hill, Rooftop Run, Crisis City and even Speed Highway are not incredibly linear. 

Edited by Carbuncle
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Yeah, I think perhaps a combination of the two games is probably the correct way to move forward.

 

Sonic Generations is definitely by far the more beautiful game of the two, but going back to it after playing any game at 60FPS makes the eyegrind horribly noticeable until I can adjust to it. So I can understand the doaway with some of that visual splendor for the expense in LW. Especially considering it relies a lot more on platform precision for the most part. It just feels a little empty now. Mario Galaxy works better because of it's location - space, which is vast an empty, but evokes that feeling of exploration. Lost World's levels take place pretty much mostly in the Sky... and above Lost Hex, which I still don't quite understand. It feels like a massive tease seeing all that world beneath my feet from so far up. And although Gravity plays a major part, The Sky feels essentially like a massive bottomless pit. XD 

 

I'm uncertain about the future of the Wisps though. They were my favourite part of Colours - and whilst they are great here, there is something not... quite right. And I don't just mean that there's no explanation in-game for their return, I still love playing with them - but now they feel like more of a gimmick than an extension of Sonic's abilities to complete levels.

 

Awk, this sounds like I hate S:LW now, which I don't. Parkour abilities and the one/two/three tier to Sonic's speed (and Rubberband legs return!) actually make this feel like the game to bridge the gap between Sonic's 2D and 3D outings (much like Nintendo intend with 3DLand/World). So I hope they continue on this course, whilst taking note that what they left behind with the last trilogy of boost games should make a comeback into the mix in someway.

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Also, comparing Unleashed to Lost World isn't really fair. Half of Unleashed is utterly terrible, whilst half is really good at what it is, although it's very automated.

 

Lost World has flaws, but not in the same vein as Unleashed as there is only one gamestyle.

Well let's be honest, while the Daytime stages were far better than the awful Night time stages, they weren't without serious flaws either.

Edited by Narukami07
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Well let's be honest, while the Daytime stages were far better than the awful Night time stages, they weren't without serious flaws either.

 

Absolutely not! But they were very good at automated speed thrills aside from some control issues and some trial and error.

 

If that's what the player wants (which seems to be surprisingly high with some) then it's definitely good at it.

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Iizuka: The thing that we really wanted to innovate on and set as a challenge was to improve the forward view action gameplay. With Generations, it was very much go really quickly and avoid all obstacles by sidestepping. We wanted to really innovate on that aspect, and that’s where the innovation of Sonic: Lost World’s you picked up on has come from.

 

http://www.seganerds.com/2013/08/06/iizuka-color-powers-will-be-standard-in-future-sonic-games/

I actually forgot he mentioned this part from the interview back then. O.o

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That's exactly what I was getting at. When you have the game's creator admitting it, you very well know it's true.

 

It's the entire reason Sonic Lost Worlds exists. It's a direct consequence of the boost gameplay and what it did to Sonic.

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Didn't Lost World start development before Generations was released? Not that it means anything, just curious.

It was also developed by the storybook/Colours team by the looks of it. I wonder what Generations team is up to....

Edited by Wil348
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Didn't Lost World start development before Generations was released? Not that it means anything, just curious.

It was also developed by the storybook/Colours team by the looks of it. I wonder what Generations team is up to....

Didn't the storybook/colors team merge with the regular team to finish Generations?

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The graphics of Lost world are kind of a step backwards, I mean they still look good, but the art style and attention to detail isn't as great. I mean compare Green Hill from Generations to Windy Hill, it doesn't look like Windy Hill could look the best it could possibly be in my opinion anyways. I mean compared the screenshots together and see what I mean. I mean I've gotten used to Lost World's art style, and I have respect for it, but I feel like Colors and Generations's art styles should be the ideal art style for Modern Sonic. I feel like this art style is a bit too cartoony for Modern Sonic to be placed in, and hopefully this is the only game with this art style, but this is just for me though. Also if you look at a Motobug from Colors/Generations it looks a lot more detailed and menacing-looking than Lost World's Motobug. That's all I'm saying, I'm not trying to absh Lost World's design, well except I feel like the Deadly Six could look a bit more menacing, but again that's just me. Also I know Lost world is HD if you guys don't think I know. 

627223_20110418_screen008.jpg

Sonic-Lost-World-Windy-Hill.jpg

Edited by TheUltimateZ-MAN
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Much like with Colours, despite the lack of detail when you actually focus on them, I still feel like I'd rather be running around the pretty skybox than the VIDEO GAME LEVEL BLOOP BLOOP planetoids.

 

A real sense of adventure was lost that I only really got from, ironically, the Unleashed-esque levels like the Honeycomb and Sea Tunnel stages.  I just miss the stages feeling like "places".

 

 

Even though you couldn't, the feeling that Sonic could jump off the main path and run anywhere was important to me.  In Lost World, the only path is the "level", there's no sense of world.  You don't see any planetoids off in the distance other than what Sonic is travelling on in this particular stage, etc.  How does he get from one to the next... just bleh.

 

They're subtle but important details to me in grounding the gameplay into a reality I can care about beyond the challenge of playing a game.

Edited by JezMM
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Even though you couldn't, the feeling that Sonic could jump off the main path and run anywhere was important to me.  In Lost World, the only path is the "level", there's no sense of world.  You don't see any planetoids off in the distance other than what Sonic is travelling on in this particular stage, etc.  How does he get from one to the next... just bleh.

It can go both ways in a sense, Generations rendering areas in the background that overall looked much bigger and free than the actual playable terrain felt like a pretty big cocktease as I was far less interested in what I was given to play with. It also ended up being a tad disorientating at times finding out where you aren't allowed to traverse. On top of that, Generations' Modern game play still mixes 2D sections into the game play rather than building more 3D worlds, and that really ends up hampering the potential for how the levels can be evolved.

Unless you're making a Bethesda-sized RPG it is generally hard to structure a game to feel vast through game play while still retaining defined limits because you have to find a balance between design, graphical direction and game play, and all of that has to meet the technical limitations. Banjo-Kazooie comes to mind as a game that actually struck a balance in comparison to say, Super Mario 64.

Incidentally, 64's sequel, Super Mario Sunshine, ended up having much more defined worlds but faltered with a lot of design principles, in turn being considered the worst 3D Mario. On the other hand, the special stages of that game which were purely built around design and challenge served as the inspiration for Galaxy - a game which is seen as Mario's absolute pinnacle in terms of 3D.

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What works for Mario doesn't necessarily work for Sonic, as this game seems to prove, and I personally would rather the two stay very separate seeing as how I love one and find the other incredibly boring (making levels feel like actual places and not boop boop floating gamey game design being on of the reasons I vastly prefer Sonic over Mario).

If it's a choice between conveying vast and detailed landscapes or simplified but more defined gameplay structure, I'd take the former any day.

Even SA1 was awesome at this. If that game could do it then Sonic Team's current output should as well.

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