Sonic Lost World 3DS Japanese Demo Impressions

Every time SEGA announces a new Sonic game, fans of the blue hedgehog are always left wondering if the game will turn out good. Modern Sonic games tend to be a little and miss, with some games being overall quite good (Sonic Colors) and others somewhat lackluster (Sonic Unleashed).

Sonic Generations has shown, in my opinion, that SEGA still knows how to make a compelling and fun Sonic game by going back to the basics: simple plot, solid level design and Sonic as the only playable character. I enjoyed Sonic Generations so much that I ended up obtaining the Platinum Trophy for the PS3 version, something I never did before for any other game.

It looks like Sonic Lost World will be just as good as Generations if not even better. Wanting to try out the game for myself before release and seeing how no demo has been made available on the European eShop, I brought my Japanese 3DS out of retirement and downloaded a small demo version of the game, released two days ago on the Japanese eShop.

The demo is quite small, including only the tutorial and the first stage of World 1. Sonic has now a couple of new moves that will be required during the course of the game like the Parkour system which allows Sonic to run on walls and keep momentum while running. Sonic has also a few new offensive options. Aside  from the new kick attack, you’ll be able to shoot a shockwave like attack while in the air and an enemy has been locked on. This new offensive maneuver wasn’t really required to complete the demo but it’ll certainly have its own uses during the main game.

Controls in 3D Sonic games have always been a bit floaty and Sonic Lost World isn’t really going to be any different. The dedicated run button, however, makes a real difference in this game and it makes controlling Sonic feel better than ever. The inclusion of the run button is related to how the Sonic Lost World experience has been designed, focusing more on exploring stages rather than speeding right through them.

The first stage of Windy Hill Zone has a few different paths to follow and explore. These paths aren’t empty at all, with their own share of enemies to defeat, gadget parts to find, special Red Coins to collect and more. While the paths aren’t really too many in this stage, the whole stage design made me feel like I was playing one of the classic Sonic games and that’s a great thing.

If you fear that Sonic Lost World will completely do away with the speeding through, you won’t have anything to worry about. It’s entirely possible to play the first stage of the game like any other Sonic games but you’ll end up missing a lot. Speeding is only encouraged when trying to get the highest possible rank in each stage. To be honest, the overall ranking also takes other factors into account but the lower the completion time, the better the rank.

I wasn’t really sure about getting the game before playing the demo, as I felt like the Super Mario Galaxy “inspired” gameplay experience would take away all those elements that make Sonic games unique. Now that I have played the demo, I really can’t wait to get my hands on the full game next week.

Sonic Lost World will release on October 29th in North America and on October 18th in Europe on Wii U and 3DS