Sonic Lost World (Hands-On) (Wii U) Preview

By Stuart Lawrence 05.07.2013 1

Review for Sonic Lost World (Hands-On) on Wii U

Sonic the Hedgehog has been a very hit and miss series since the 16-bit console days ended. 2D offerings have been good, even if not quite matching up to the Mega Drive classics, but many 3D entries were plagued by camera and control problems. However, with the more recent Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations, the blue blur is getting back on the right track, and SEGA is hoping to continue that trend with the Wii U-exclusive Sonic Lost World. Cubed3 got some hands-on time with three stages of the game to see how Sonic's newest adventure is looking.

Stuart Lawrence, Review and Feature Writer

The first level on the Sonic Lost World demo took place in a cylindrical world reminiscent of Green Hill Zone from the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Straight away it was noticeable that Sonic controlled very differently from previous Sonic games. Pushing the analogue stick in any direction makes Sonic walk, whilst hitting the ZR trigger allows him to run. However, unlike the boosting from recent Sonic games, once the trigger is released, Sonic's back to walking. This dash does not make Sonic blast through enemies, either, so the development team has taken a rather different approach this time around. Thanks to the lack of boost, the game feels slower and easier to control than the recent 3D games; more akin to playing the original Mega Drive games, except in 3D. Sonic still retains the Spin Dash and his Homing Attack with the aiming reticule, as well as a new move to run up and against walls like parkour. All of the controls seemed natural and very easy to use, and the first Zone was a very nice introductory course with multiple routes to take around the cylinder. All the badniks are from previous games which suited the theme of releasing all the flickies very well.

The second zone, named Desert Ruins took place in a world full of desserts. This was a 2D level, and played a lot like older Sonic games. It had some cannons, just like the ones from Oil Ocean Zone in Sonic 2, as well as more badniks from the past games, which were hard to dispose of in some cases. The level looked lovely, with pastries and sweets everywhere and even had a slight puzzle element to it. One thing noticeable was that when jumping, the spin could be cancelled to get a slight bit of extra height, but this can be detrimental to Sonic since sometimes it's possible to accidently collide with an enemy.

The last level, and apparently the hardest in the demo, was another zone from Desert Ruins, which is a little strange considering it looked completely different to the candy-infested previous stage. It was more reminiscent of the levels from Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations, which was actually a little confusing at first because, unlike those two games, there is no side dashing in Sonic Lost World, so it ended up causing the death of Sonic after running off a ledge while turning. This world was also cylindrical like the first stage, but was very straight-forward in design, with the occasional bit of skydiving along the way.

Overall, the game looks set to be great. It plays like older Sonics whilst retaining the camera of the more current Sonic games, which some will love and others may not, but this is definitely a game to look out for this coming November.

Screenshot for Sonic Lost World (Hands-On) on Wii U

Az Elias, Deputy Editor

The ties to Super Mario Galaxy were very clear from the moment the first level was started. The urge to run around and around the tube-like platforms was irresistible, just for the sake of being able to do it. 3D Sonics haven't always hit the mark, and whilst that has improved over the last few years, taking some inspiration from Super Mario Galaxy is a pretty wise move. There's no reason why the same sort of style cannot be applied to Sonic and spruced up with speed. The need to appease all Sonic fans is a tough mission, though, and Sonic Team is trying to balance this new 3D gameplay with 2D stages, too.

Whilst the overall game seems good from what was played and has been shown, it's important to point out the faults. Unfortunately, Sonic games do tend to be let down with bugs and glitches, and Sonic Lost World is no different. In one of the automatic dashing stages, there was one moment in particular where Sonic literally froze dead after running at full speed, and a couple of seconds later carried on, only to run straight off a ledge.

In the 2D sections, Sonic has the ability to run up walls and hang onto ledges before pulling himself up. There are a number of moments where, if there's a platform above that prevents Sonic from climbing up, he'll continually run up and down the wall, bumping his head into the ceiling above. Sometimes, he'll not quite manage to pull himself up onto platforms properly at all, instead slipping on and off a few times. It's just these little problems that can go on to create frustration, and bring down what could otherwise be very fun.

Ignoring those issues, however, Sonic Lost World is ticking many of the right boxes. There is a lot of fan service thrown in here and many hidden secrets to uncover through a mixture of speed and precise platforming. It's looking like a game many fans will be really pleased with, and hopefully bugs won't mar the overall game.

Screenshot for Sonic Lost World (Hands-On) on Wii U

Final Thoughts

Sonic Lost World has some real potential to be a very good game in the series, and certainly for its obvious likeability to Nintendo's Super Mario Galaxy, people may be expecting something a lot better than most Sonic titles have ended up being. There are issues that still need to be ironed out before its eventual release, but if SEGA can get those cleaned up, this should be a solid platformer for Wii U owners.


Sonic Team




3D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (4 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop


should get this one em all time sonic fan.

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