Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TECH - Mike Wil­cox

RRP: $ 79 ( Re­viewed on Nin­tendo Wii U)

SONIC: Lost World is at its best when it isn’t try­ing so hard to be a tra­di­tional Sonic the Hedge­hog video game.

This long- run­ning Sega fran­chise has a pro­cliv­ity for liv­ing in the past, which is a shame be­cause there is ev­i­dence in Lost World of what a mod­ern Sonic game might look like – if it was done right, that is. This time around, the much- loved gam­ing mas­cot goes on an ad­ven­ture that is part 3D plat­form­ing and part clas­sic 2D side- scrolling.

The early stages are fast- paced and filled with branch­ing paths, hid­den lo­ca­tions and a vivid car­toon pal­let of colours. How­ever, things grad­u­ally slow down and the fun is spoiled by frus­trat­ing dif­fi­culty spikes and te­dious 2D level de­sign, which cul­mi­nate in one of the most mad­den­ing se­ries of boss bat­tle fights I’ve en­dured for some time.

The game’s 3D stages are no­tice­ably more im­pres­sive than the 2D stages.

The for­mer’s float­ing land­scapes flaunt the game’s beau­ti­ful art di­rec­tion and flex the Nin­tendo con­sole’s graph­i­cal power, while the 2D stages feel claus­tro­pho­bic and look unin­spir­ing.

Suc­cess in­evitably comes from trial and er­ror and plenty of pa­tience, as you aim to mem­o­rise all the death- traps sprin­kled through­out the game.

I was also hop­ing for some in­no­va­tive uses for the Wii- U’s unique GamePad con­troller, but sec­tions of the game that re­quire tapping a fin­ger on the touch­screen us­ing the ac­celerom­e­ter by tilt­ing the con­troller felt forced and took away from the fran­tic pace of the core game­play.

It’s dis­ap­point­ing be­cause Sonic: Lost World fea­tures an ex­cel­lent sound­track, eye- catch­ing vi­su­als and a colour­ful cast of vil­lains and he­roes.

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