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First Impressions: Sonic Lost World (3DS)

Posted by Ron DelVillano

Gotta go portable

It’s no secret that time has not been kind to Sonic the Hedgehog. Over the past decade Sega's spiky mascot has undergone a complete redesign, and has had to muddle his way through several sub-par outings that have left fans wanting so much more. The losing streak seems to be coming to and end though, with recent Sonic titles faring far better than those initial 3D adventures — and Sonic Lost World is continuing the trend. As our first impressions of the Wii U version of Lost World show, this new release is very promising, and thankfully the same can be said of its 3DS counterpart.

Not much is known about Sonic Lost World for the 3DS, but we have been able to confirm that the stages between both platforms will be different. Whether that is due to hardware limitations or other creative decisions is unknown. There were two playable stages in the demo that we got our hands on: Windy Hill Zone and Dusty Ruins Zone. Windy Hill Zone caught us by surprise because — as we were expecting mostly side-scrolling gameplay from the portable title — this stage instead boasts a 3D environment with a third-person perspective, not unlike the Wii U version. This zone looks great on the 3DS, with an environment that is vibrant and full of life. While many have been comparing the Wii U version to the Super Mario Galaxy series, Lost World on the 3DS felt much more like Super Mario 3D Land. The environment was open, but it felt a bit more linear than in the Wii U iteration.

The second stage that we played, Dusty Ruins Zone, was a 2D affair, reminiscent of the original games that we all remember fondly. This stage focused much more on platforming and light puzzle solving, with hitting switches and timing jumps, rather than speeding through and wiping out enemies along the way. Though very different from Windy Hill Zone, this stage feels like a natural fit on the 3DS, and it works as a great compliment to the 3D environment of the alternate stage. Though not as visually impressive as the first stage, everything here still looked great, even if the Egyptian themed environment is a little bland. We don’t know how many of the stages will be 3D and how many will be side-scrollers, but based on the quality gameplay in these two demo stages alone, either version is welcome.

Not only does this game look good but also it has a superb soundtrack to match. Full of upbeat tunes that fit their corresponding stage’s theme, this seems to be on par with the music from the original Sonic games.

Just as it was in the older games, speed is a reward in Sonic Lost World. Holding down the Right shoulder button may cause you to run, but maintaining and increasing that momentum requires skill. As you avoid enemies and obstacles you will continually gain speed, all of which is immediately taken away from you as soon as you’re interrupted by a discreetly placed foe or a bottomless pit that you didn’t see coming. This balance between speed and skill is reminiscent of the golden age of Sonic games, harking back to the skill required to complete some of the more difficult stages from the blue blur’s 16-bit outings. Rather than simply allowing you to bolt through zones, Lost World challenges its players and demands more to get the most out of the experience. If you want to go fast, you’ve got to play smart.

The one major problem that we faced when playing this game was discomfort regarding the controls. The titular hedgehog is controlled using the Circle Pad for movements and face buttons to jump and perform homing attacks. The touchscreen is also used to quickly execute special “colour” attacks that originated in Sonic Colors, and holding down the R button causes Sonic to run. This control scheme remains the same in both the 3D and the 2D stages. The layout is effective and makes sense once it’s in your hands, but the problem that we faced was constantly having to hold R. Because the game that we played was being demoed on an original model 3DS – rather than the much larger XL – we experienced much discomfort in the right hand, having to hold it in a claw-like rictus for an extended period of time. While this is obviously not a problem that everyone playing the game will face, gamers endowed with large hands might want to consider upgrading to a 3DS XL if they haven’t already, lest they experience the suffering and cramping that we put ourselves through. We do it all for you, dear readers.

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User Comments (50)



Sanqet said:

i`m just sorry the 3ds xl was not out from the start because the cramping i got was bad especially on kid icarus uprising i blame that game for my two operations for carpal tunnel this year but on the bright side it means i have got a load of games to catch up on



Blue_Yoshi said:

Wow so it really is comparable to Super Mario 3D Land this makes it a must buy as well as the Wii U version.



Jaydenn said:


You can't blame a game for CTS.. Blame yourself for not stopping playing when you felt symptoms. Sorry, harsh, but true, I'm afraid.



Captain_Toad said:

Hopefully this game'll be the same quality of the WiiU version. Sooo looking forward to it. Just please don't let this be as disappointing as Sonic Generations on the 3DS.



ricklongo said:

It's gonna be the Wii U version for me, since my 3DS will probably be too busy with Pokémon by then. Still, if my Wii U experience impresses me, chances are I'll pick this up eventually.



NintyMan said:

Oh, dear, two versions of a game that look and sound appealing. I'm definitely getting the Wii U version, but if the 3DS version really is enticing, then I might get it later.



Sanqet said:

@Jaydenn yes i know i have no idea what really caused it happened over the last few years but the original 3ds for me was much to small and uncomfortable



UnseatingKDawg said:

I already have money down for this version for pre-order. And I do plan to get the Wii U version too.



chiptoon said:

@FullbringIchigo Do it! I struggled to justify the expense, but its just so much more comfortable to use.

For me its also great to have 2 consoles. As a 35 year old living in Cape Town, I don't know anyone else with a 3DS, but now I can finally play local multiplayer with friends



element187 said:

2 questions.. How is the 3D effect in this game, and most importantly, is this running at 60fps?



Ralizah said:

Only own a 3DS. May or may not pick this up, depending on how it turns out.



Phantom_R said:

Gah. If I wanted to forcefully shove down every button on my 3DS at once I'd play Mario Kart 7.



Pichuka97 said:

I still want this game on day one. So many games coming in following months. I really need a job.



Ultra_Mario1001 said:

Life lesson #84: If you have a choice between the same game for a console and a handheld, it's probably in your best interest to buy it for a console.



KnightOfNothing said:

If you have a small 3DS, I find it easier to press down with the middle of your finger then to curl it all the time
@Phantom_R I'm not sure thats what your gonna be doing all the time like Mario Kart



sinalefa said:

If I get this, it will be on Wii U. It would need to be amazing for me to also get the 3DS version.



Knuckles said:


The first time I saw the 3D footage, I kept on complaining because I thought it was Wii U footage, and kept switching videos trying to find the 3DS video. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it was the 3DS footage.



bofis said:

decisions decisions...WiiU or 3DS? I always wonder this when games come out for both, like with Smash, but for Smash there's no way I wouldn't get the WiiU one for couch-play



Wowfunhappy said:

I don't have any issues with the L and R buttons on my original model 3DS. Maybe I just have small hands?



DerpSandwich said:

I hope the game is different enough to justify a separate but. I sort of wish they had just released a Wii U version to help out the console, but Sega's third party and releasing on the 3DS as well was the smarter move.



FJOJR said:

I usually get the handheld version later on after I finish the console version. Makes it feel like it's a longer adventure or you're getting a different version of the story. (in a lot ways yes).



TheSonicdude97 said:

Sounds awesome!!
I wanted to ask all of you for some help in getting a Wii U for Sonic Lost World! How? Got a Facebook? Then could any of y'all please help me out by "Liking" my drawing in a contest going on? Here's the direct link:
It would be especially nice since I have never won a contest before, and with my birthday coming up, a Wii U is my wish for it. Please help me if you can, and Many Thank You's!!!!~ (Sorry if it sounded much like advertising)



Dpullam said:

Even though this version is looking pretty phenomenal, I'd still prefer to get the Wii U version. It looks like the best choice for me personally since I'd prefer to play this game on a TV screen.



FilmerNgameR said:

Sonic Generations was better on the 360 than the 3DS so, I'll get the Wii-U version first and the 3DS version a few months later.

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