by April 21, 2014 @ 1:33 pm
Sega went in a distinctly different direction with Sonic Lost World. While a lot of the series’ familiar trappings are present — you’ve got annoying characters, lame cutscenes, and high speeds — the way that the game presents its mechanics is largely unlike anything we’ve seen from past installments. For folks who just want a really fast Sonic game, Lost World may be missing some of that classic sense of velocity. But if you approach the game with an open mind, you’ll be treated to something that’s different but still really good.
That’s why it’s nice to see that Sega is giving us just a bit more of that goodness with this second add-on (the first being Yoshi’s Island Zone). Sonic Lost World: The Legend of Zelda Zone is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a singular level based entirely on the world of Nintendo’s famed Hyrulian hero. It’s not lengthy by any stretch — you’ll get through it in a matter of minutes — but as free DLC, it’s a nice way to jump back into Lost World.
Unlike the game’s main levels, the Zelda-themed expansion feels a lot more open. There’s an end goal, but there’s no straightforward path to follow. Instead, the openness of the environment encourages you to explore just like you would the countryside, a farm, or a forest in any one of the Zelda games. It’s a unique take on the formula of Lost World that’s still familiar on account of its “stop and smell the roses” approach.
Aside from just being fun to run around in, Zelda Zone is tearing at the seams with wonderful series tropes. For starters, the entire map is littered with rupees. There are Deku Scrubs ready to spit nuts at you should you get close to them. There are also feathery Cuccos wandering around, minding their own business. You can totally attack them, but just like in the Zelda games, they’ll eventually fight back. As if the authentic Zelda look and ambiance didn’t shine through enough, there are also plenty of well-known sound effects and jingles to add the Zelda-fied experience.
Even Sonic pays tribute to Nintendo’s iconic franchise by donning a green tunic and hat. As you play through Zelda Zone, things continuously get more jovially nostalgic. The exclamation point is when you encounter Link mounted on his Loftwing, soaring across the sky and acknowledging Sega’s blue mascot critter. It’s a cool moment that’s not exactly a fully fledged crossover, but it’s memorable nonetheless.
If you previously had no interest in Lost World, Zelda Zone won’t be enough to sway you. Sure, it’s free content, but it’s so short that it’s not a selling point for the main game by any means. That said, if you already picked up Lost World and want more of it, Zelda Zone along with Yoshi’s Island Zone do a good job of enticing you to revisit the game, if only for those few brief minutes.
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