E3 Hands-On: Sonic: Lost World

Sonic: Lost World does not play like a normal Sonic game, but it still plays pretty amazingly.

On E3 day 2, I stopped by the Nintendo booth to try my hand at Sonic: Lost World. I’m a fan of the series despite its many flawed releases. I tried it with an air of cautious optimism and was pleasantly surprised.

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First off, Sonic: Lost World is possibly one of the cutest games I have ever seen in terms of character and even level design. Everything is just so bright and colorful and it looks amazing on screen.

The level design, or at least the design of the one level I did play, is very creative. The levels do not feel like traditional Sonic levels or even new Sonic levels. The level I played was like nothing I had seen in a 2D platformer before. It flowed well.

How Does the Game Flow?

Sonic: Lost World does not play or feel like a traditional or even new style Sonic game. Instead, it reminds me a bit of Donkey Kong Country Returns. Nonetheless, this works to its advantage.

Unlike older Sonic games where you could build up a ton of speed and ultimately run into an enemy or a spike floor and really mess up your groove, this one plays a bit slower in the first place, but still feels fast enough to be a Sonic game.

Since it moves a bit slower, the player has more awareness of their environment and can adapt to it to make sure they aren’t shocked by taking a hit and losing all their rings due to not being able to stop before running into an enemy.

Speaking of enemies, there is one in particular that stood out to me in the demo: one that grabs you when you try to attack it.

Like most recent Sonic games, you can kill your enemies by using a homing attack of sorts. One of the enemies in the game, though, will grab the player and hold him. This does not damage the player on its own, but when environmental hazards and other enemies come into play, it presents a challenge. These enemies are meant to be jumped over, not confronted.

Control Freak

The controls were simple but effective. You can jump, you can attack, you can run, and you can spin. When you perform your attack while jumping, you can bounce to gain height. This can be done up to three times and is necessary for getting over some obstacles.

I was very impressed by what I saw at the Nintendo booth. If you are a fan of the series,Sonic: Lost World is definitely worth checking out.

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Joseph Rowe
World traveling English teacher, writer, and aspiring front-end developer.