Sonic Lost Worlds is the first "Next Gen" Sonic game exclusively to the Wii U and one of the 3 exclusive Sonic games for the Wii U.
The story starts of with Sonic and Tails chasing after Eggman kidnapping the animal critters from the old Sonic games, Eggman drops the flicky capsule and damages Tail's plane, forcing them to land on this mysterious "Lost Hex." And drops you to the first level imminently.
The whole plot is like other Sonic games, but with a different twist. Eggman made a machine that can suck energy from planets, leaving the world dead and cold. He also found these 6 Zetis that can take control over badniks, (....for some reason) Eggman has control over them by a mysterious shell that harms the Zeti. Sonic see's Eggman using the shell earlier in the game and kicks it off of his hands, the Zeti are no longer in Eggman's control and orders the badniks to destroy anything in their way. Sonic, Tails and Eggman have to work together in order to stop the Zeti and the planet energy stealing machine.
This new Sonic game is way different compared to the 3 previous sonic games, The levels in this game are mostly an oval shape worlds, there are no straight forward exploration. The look is similar to Mario Galaxy in a lot of ways, sometimes you are able to chose what way to go and it takes you to different places so it has a way to replay stages, it sometimes sitches up the formula, one stage you're exploring, the next you're in a mock speed segmant, next you can somehow defy gravity, next you're in a giant snow ball (ONCE!), next you're in a Donkey Kong Country like rail level, it adds variety but some were just not needed. The controls in this game....Are pretty mixed. you can no longer boost like in Unleashed, Colors and Generations. Instead have these parkour abilities that can either save your life, or mess you up completely. Honestly the parkour abilities need some work or a patch at least, sometimes the risky wall run can screw you over 50% of the time, But the most useful new move in this game....Is that Sonic can finally GRAB the ledges. Its so helpful and I question why they didn't add that in the first place, I had so much trouble platforming in Colors and Generations and its a relief that they added it in Lost Worlds. You have 2 jump buttons, one with a homing attack and one without using the homing attack, some enemies can't be destroyed by a homing attack so that is useful, you can also kick things to break their defense or destroy a row of enemies. Sonic has this roll ability which just makes you stop. The Spin dash finally returns, its so nostalgic using it and its just the same as the Genesis versions like tapping the A button and you'll hear it go faster and faster. There is a bounce ability similar to Sonic Adventure 2 except you only do 3 bounces until he stops but I really haven't found any use of it besides getting down quicker. The boss battles are pathetically easy, but in my opinion, it seems like a throwback to the 16 bit Sonic games, the bosses back then were really easy in the very first portion of bosses and then the Final bosses get harder. There are bonus stages similar to the classic Sonic games when you get a certain amount of red rings. Its a way to farm for more flickies to unlock more levels but its there if you're skipping on Badniks. there's a helpful brief case that people on Miiverse can send you power ups, from classic shields, rings, lives, checkpoints, Red Ring radar, invincibility stars. But there are not scattered all over the levels which was a huge waste that you only get them through people in miiverse. And finally Super Sonic returns, you have to obtain all the red rings in every world and the Chaos Emerald will appear in that world. Its fun but I don't think most of you will enjoy collecting the red rings. You can use the Wii U's internet browser if you're feeling lazy. Its very helpful for me that I can be browsing on the internet and come back to where I stopped in the game.
The multiplayer in this game is (Spoiler for the rest of this review) the best part of the game, the whole split screen with gamepad gimmick is the only time I like the Wii U gamepad (Besides drawing) My friend on the big screen while I'm playing on the gamepad is a big leap from split screen. Competing against each other reminded me of Sonic Adventure 2 Battle's multiplayer, except there are no power ups but its the most fun Ive had competitive wise in a Sonic game since 12 years ago.
There are problems with the game that really let me down and its not that Sonic can't go fast, is that there are so many pits that just waste so many of your lives and will get you a game over. The color powers make a return but it really feels like they were not needed to begin with. Every color excluding 1 uses the gamepad's touchscreen or the horrible gyros. Asteroid is not fun, especially for collecting red rings that are almost impossible to get, the rhythm whisp is a waste, you just touch in a straight line while giving you rings and that's about it. The double jump is hard to get use to, I mean how hard is it to program a double jump that you can control freely in the air. The parkour can save lives, or waste lives. The way parkour works is that you hold the run button next to a wall and Sonic starts running to the wall. It had some potential but the 3DS version has the superior parkour controls from what Ive heard. You cannot use a classic controller pro for single player, you have to use the gamepad because it forces you to use it because its the main controller, which is a huge let down because Sonic Colors gave you the option to use 4 controllers, your friend can use other controllers in multiplayer while you're stuck with the gamepad. And if Sonic's speed has been nerfed, why do you not have the ability to use Tails, Knuckles or Amy in VS races? I mean why does Tails have to control a remote controlled vehicle, he can keep up with Sonic like in the old games and they all have spin dashes before. Heck in Sonic 3 you can play as Sonic, Tails and Knuckles in multiplayer. World 7 Zone 3 will make you rage quit, it is by far the most frustrating zone Ive ever played, please snag the checkpoint bubble, because it is nearly impossible to finish the level.
Here's a helpful hint, when you get to Zone 2 in the 2nd world, when you reach the last checkpoint that has the Zeti saying "Aw man, he's gonna make me look bad....I mean worse!" Run underneath where you're standing and you'll snag 4 one ups, crash into a wall and do it again. Trust me I wasted over 30 lives in a World 7 Zone 3 trying my best getting a red ring.
The concept and art in this game is really creative and nostalgic. The level design is so creative, its literally Genesis Sonic games meets Mario Galaxy, the music is great, the art style is great, including the cutscenes and they're very entertaining. Rodger Craig Smith and Kate Higgins return as Sonic and Tails, Mike Pollock returns as Eggman, Knuckles and Amy are there....but only for a few lines and that's about it. They hired the best voice actors to voice the Zeti. Liam O'Brien voices Zazz, Stephanie Sheh voices Zeena, Kirk Thornoton as Zik, Patrick Seitz as Zomom, Sam Riegel as Zor, and Travis Willingham as Zavok. They're acting is hilarious and they're very fitting for the Sonic Universe. The whole game is such a nostalgic trip for Sonic fans like me that loved the 90's Sonic games. All Badniks make a return from Sonic 1 to Sonic & Knuckles, the levels themselves reminded me of familiar zones from Mobius and its so good to see these familiar levels in a modern Sonic game.
I replayed this game again and again and again and its a mixed game, some people will love it some people will hate it. And no. I am not complaining about how Sonic doesn't go fast like every other idiot main stream reviewer because it reminded me about the 16 bit Sonic games, great level design and no ranking system like the old Sonic games. I don't recommend it for Sonic fans who are obsessed with the boost feature, its a good platformer that just needs a bit more polish (Or a patch!) but I still had a lot of fun with it. If you are curious about this game go rent it at best, but for Sonic fans that loved the 90's Sonic games its a buy.
Sonic Lost Worlds gets a 7 out of 10.