I managed to get my hands on the 3DS version of Sonic Lost World, which Cyburn also covered earlier this year at Summer of Sonic (you can read his impressions here). As Cyburn noted ; the game takes hints from Mario Galaxy. However the levels (the non-2D ones atleast) are restricted to Crash Bandicoot-esque 3D worlds… think inverted versions of the Sonic 2 special stage halfpipes, except you are now running on top of them rather than inside.
Graphics are simpler and more cartoony than in other recent Sonic games such as Sonic Generations and Unleashed. Whether you see this as a good thing is really down to personal preference (I must admit that I’m, personally, a fan). That said, there were moments where I longed for just a little more detail on screen. Checking out the skyscape in Desert Ruins Act 1 was one such moment.
As a longtime fan of Sonic I appreciated that gameplay has gone back to basics ; Sonic’s pace slows back down to Megadrive-era speed, back when the player actually had a chance to glimpse the surrounding environs. This allows for heavy emphasis on more traditional platforming elements, such as travelling from ledge to ledge, pushing boulders over special points to unlock things etc. Which is great.
This isn’t to everyone’s taste, ofcourse. A little boy I had the displeasure of playing next to could be heard loudly proclaiming (several times) “Sonic is so slow!”. Players like these are, however, appeased ; for there is a boost button to enable Sonic to charge forward in the same manner as recent games.
To keep things fresh some of the levels are in full 2D. Which is merciful as one of my biggest gripe with this title is the fact the half-pipe level design makes play feel very samey after a while.
In conclusion ; despite its flaws Sonic Lost World was one of the most exciting titles I played at Eurogamer, and is certainly a game I will be picking up. Here’s hoping DIMPS will add more detail to the visuals between now and then…