One of my big secret shames as a decades-long video game enthusiast is that I’ve never really played a Sonic the Hedgehog game before. Naturally I’m familiar with them and have a basic understanding of how they work, but I never knew anyone with a Sega console so it was perpetually out of reach. There was no better place to experience Sonic than at E3, where I had some hands-on time with the upcoming Sonic Lost World on the Wii U.
As I sit down at the station, confess my ignorance of all things Sonic to the lovely Sega rep. She laughs and says something that has been my mantra since starting at Twinfinite: “It’s never too late.” She gives me some background to Sonic Lost World, explaining the back story that this installment involves our hero needing to navigate six unique worlds and defeat bosses to each one in pursuit of Eggman. I nod my head while taking in approximately 9% of what she said, press the ‘+’ button and dig in.
This is a fully 3D Sonic game, and the 3DS version of it will be as well (although that game will have its own unique mechanics specific to that system’s hardware). The thing it reminded me of most was Super Mario Galaxy for its gravity/sphere-based traversal level design, as well as being blasted through the massive game space. Despite this apparent influence, there are many signature Sonic features such as a focus on speed an momentum to clear zones as flawlessly as possible. There were three areas I played in the demo; the first two were standard levels with the objective of collecting rings and freeing those little animal things that you are supposed to free. The last level was a time-challenge map in which you are to blast (process?) your way through a level, avoid falling, and collect as many points as possible.
One thing I do know about Sonic games is that in recent years they can be pretty hit-or-miss. Based on what I’ve played, I think it was a hell of a lot of fun and it kind of makes me want to go back and see what I’ve been missing all these years.
Sonic Lost World is slated for release on the Wii U and Nintendo 3Ds in Holiday 2013.