Released alongside the 3DS version, Sonic Lost World also arrived on the Wii U signalling Sonic’s first main series title released on the console. Other than sharing the same name, story and overall style, Lost World on the Wii U is distinctly different from its portable cousin.
[Editor’s Note: Some parts of this review will refer to the 3DS version in comparison with the Wii U version. You can check out our review for the 3DS version here .]
As soon as you’re dropped into the vibrant new world of Lost Hex, the landscape appears to stretch out for miles ahead with an assortment of familiar looking badniks roaming along the way. Many levels in Lost World have sonic running along spherical planetoids or tube-like stages where several paths and hidden bonuses can be discovered by looking around. The ‘parkour system’ seemed a bit odd at first, but before long, you can have sonic running along walls, dashing up trees and finding alternate paths to get faster times and better scores. While the 3DS version gives you a rank at the end of each level, no such feature exists in the Wii U version, somewhat lessening the need to worry about scores in the first place.
The individual levels have a lot of variety in experimenting with different designs and layouts as well as constantly altering how each level represents the overall theme of the area it’s in. In any one area, all of the levels could look completely different, while providing a slightly different style of gameplay to keep things fresh. Some levels are focused on speed, others more about platforming and exploration, and some a mix between the two, all while switching between 3rd person view and 2D side scrolling view for particular sections or full levels. This kind of variety also results in a few really unique levels such as one where you play as a sonic-powered snowball and have to roll up rings, and barrel through any enemies in your path. With the multiple different styles of levels, the way you play the game is particularly inconsistent, which may rub some people the wrong way if they’re expecting to have the game outline one specific play style and then stick to that throughout. As with the 3DS version, the boss encounters with the ‘Deadly Six’ are quite brief, but these only come at the end of a full-length level you need to survive before challenging the boss.
Compared to older games, some of the levels in Lost world prove to be more challenging than you’d expect, partially because of the branching paths and occasionally confusing level layouts as well as the game’s tendency to introduce new obstacles or enemies and providing no indications on what you need to do to get past other than trial and error. When facing problematic sections like this, the fact that extra lives are no longer awarded for every 100 rings, making them harder to obtain, adds to the frustration since getting ‘game over’ will wipe out any progress made on that level. Taking a cue from titles like Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Donkey Kong Country Returns, if the game notices you’re dying over and over again, it will give you an item to instantly warp to the next checkpoint, past whatever obstacle you were unable to pass before. Several features are also included on the world map for you to bring extra items and remote control vehicles into levels to help assist if you want all the help you can get.