A Positive Spin
The significant drought of information about recent Sonic games has left the fan base rabid, chomping at the bit for even a morsel of information about upcoming titles. So, with the release of Sonic Lost World‘s first gameplay trailer, the floodgates were opened. Opinions and commentary filled fan sites and broad gaming news outlets alike, so we’d like to take this opportunity to sum up some of the community’s reactions.
On the whole, fans seem to have received Sonic Lost World rather positively. An informal poll on Sega’s forums asked users what their reaction was upon seeing the game for the first time, and the results were rather encouraging:
- Amazing! – 35%
- Looks pretty interesting. – 40%
- It looks OK. Not too great, though. – 12.5%
- Doesn’t look too good. – 12.5%
By no means is this representative of the entire fan base’s view of the game, but it does illustrate how excited some fans are. The game’s cartoon-like art direction and game design were also largely embraced by fans as a welcome addition; the vivid color and outrageous level design seen in the trailer struck many as a bold and different direction for the franchise. On Sonic Retro, user MrMash expressed a similar sentiment with a cautious note of his own:
Looks good, I like that they’re moving away from trying to make Sonic games dark and moody. It really suits being colourful and cartoony much better.
I hope they don’t overdo that crazy spinning camera stuff, though. It made me feel sick in Mario Galaxy.
As a matter of fact, many comparisons were made to both Super Mario Galaxy and the cancelled Sonic X-treme almost immediately. Countless people, including writers at Destructoid and Joystiq, have noticed how Sonic X-treme’s crazy, tubular levels may have influenced the design of this game. Additionally, many others were quick to point out that the art direction and overall zany level structure appears to be taking more than a few cues from Mario’s wildly successful 3D romps on the Wii. Games influencing other games is very common in the industry, and many fans are optimistic about how Sonic Team plans to incorporate these influences into their continued reinvention of the Sonic brand. Sega forums user Theadvisor1234 expressed as much in their reaction to the announcement:
I am very interested in how this game is going to be handled. I know it’s too early to tell, but based only on what I’ve seen so far, this is just the sort of thing that I was hoping would happen. The levels look zany and vivid, even if they follow a familiar pattern. This might be the game that proves that the current gameplay formula for Sonic has some life left in it.
However, as one might expect, not all reactions were glowing or even very positive. Here on TSSZ, commenter Amuro expressed cautious excitement tempered by the desire to move away from a game fueled by nostalgia and an eye for the past:
As a whole, the game looks like it’ll be fun (and if Sega can continue the track record the started with Colors, it should be), but the whole retro design is starting to get a bit too overplayed, methinks. It looks fun and pretty, but we’re getting a bit too much Classic Sonic in our Modern Sonic. I’m still pretty pumped for this game, though.
On Sonic Retro, user Azukara expressed a more negative opinion about the overall design of the game:
Now after the hype has died, I feel really iffy on the Galaxy-esque level design, and the really simplistic style. Not a fan of either of those.
Our own Ryan Bloom also expressed some concerns about the overall direction of both the game and the franchise in general. If you haven’t read his writeup, you can do so here.
Another reasonable complaint about the game was directed at the fact that it will arrive on Nintendo consoles exclusively. Those fans who do not have access to a 3DS or a Wii U expressed disappointment that they would be missing out on the game, and for as unlikely a proposition as it may be, a few expressed optimism for a port to arrive on Microsoft or Sony’s gaming platforms at some point in the future. This is ultimately not a new sticking point for the franchise; fans may recall that the exclusivity of Sonic Colors to Nintendo platforms was also lamented somewhat when it was first announced.
At the end of the day, all this talk (positive, negative, or otherwise) has led to the game receiving a lot of attention. Buzz for the trailer and the game itself hit a very visible peak on Twitter when “Sonic Lost World” briefly became a worldwide trending topic yesterday!
With the newest main game in the series finally out in the open, Sonic fans have more to look forward to than they have in a while, and it looks like Sonic Lost World will continue to enjoy some degree of goodwill for the next few weeks. With E3 just a few weeks away, additional information about the game is likely to surface, and we will bring you that information as it is released. In the meantime, if you have an opinion on Sonic Lost World that you want to share, make yourself heard in the comments below!