Sonic Lost World: The Review
Saturday, 26th October 2013, 9:20am (UTC), 6 Comments
Whatever you want to say about Sonic games since going 3D, one thing you can't accuse them of is staying the same. They are a far more varied bunch than their 2D brethren, and SEGA have constantly experimented with new ideas to not only try to capture the essence of Sonic in the third dimension, but also seeing what new gameplay mechanics can be deployed to make it more interesting. Opinions on the results have often varied, to put it mildly, and so they kept trying, diversity brought on by an endless stream of feedback. Finally, it seemed they had found something that both critical and fan reception agreed was pretty good in Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations, and peace was restored.

Now we know how to make a 3D Sonic game, right? Well yes, but one thing all those wildly diverse Sonic games were good at was getting your hopes up. Maybe the next game will work better than the last. No? How about the next? They can always come up with new ways of making fans hopeful and thus still interested in the franchise, but it seems to me like the one thing SEGA are truly afraid of is Sonic becoming stale and same-y.

Why else would you make the new Wii U game, Sonic Lost World, one of the most different Sonic experiences yet after finally finding a gameplay mechanic that works? Gone are the frenzied euphoric dashes through detailed environments, boost button firmly under finger. It's a game that for the most part relieves the blue blur of a lot of his speed and traditional momentum physics, and puts him in a far more simplistic, fanciful and less ordered world than he's accustomed to. Yet at the same time, it emphasises, more than any other game in the series, the technical joy of proper platforming and an ingenious variety of objects, hazards and gimmicks the likes of which have been few and far between until now. One could say it's the absolute antithesis of "boost to win" gameplay.

With such a varied fan-base to contend with, Sonic Lost World was always going to be a game that divided opinion. Whether you're a classic purist, a modern speed freak, or someone just looking for a great technical platforming experience, whatever your first thoughts were on seeing the game in action, I would imagine they would not change much upon playing it.. But let's find out anyway...

So we begin with the story. The opening cutscene certainly has a ring of nostalgia about it, as we find Sonic and Tails chasing Eggman across the skies on their trusty, original, Tornado, hoping to secure a last capsule full of animals. Apparently Eggman has taken an endearingly back-to-basics approach with his latest evil scheme. A scuffle sees our heroes hurtling towards a floating land called Lost Hex - and that's pretty much the only background we're given on what the hell this place is and why it's here.

It transpires though that alongside turning Sonic's thousands of furry friends into nuts and bolts, Eggman's also acquired the subservience of the Deadly Six, a colourful cast of villains whose powers are controlled by blowing into a mystical shell. Early on, Sonic makes the mistake of relieving Eggman of this shell, causing the Deadly Six to go nuts, take control of the hoards of vintage badniks that have been shipped in straight from the 90's, and generally run amok. Queue the unlikely teaming up of Sonic and his oldest foe to foil the Six's dastardly plan of sucking up all of the energy from the planet below to make themselves ever more powerful.

Though things start out quite cheesy, the numerous cutscenes actually begin to demonstrate some interesting character development (well, by Sonic game standards anyway) as the three main protagonists progress through the story. Eggman at one point demonstrates some surprisingly violent anger, and the whole situation actually causes some noticeable tension between Sonic and Tails. It's also quite interesting to see how Sonic, not known for his emotional displays, reacts to everything going wrong, and for once being in the wrong himself. It's not exactly Shakespeare, and the dialogue isn't as funny as Sonic Colours, but it's not bad. I felt the ending somewhat lacking and anti-climactic though.

Now the world of Lost Hex is a curious place, and unlike any other from Sonic's world. In what is at least partially an attempt to increase the length and variety of the game by making levels easier for the developers to build, the zones are minimalistic, abstract and perhaps child-like. The ongoing theme is that, although Lost Hex is an incomplete globe of hexagons, most of the places Sonic seems to visit are above this surface, spread out across floating platforms amongst the clouds, leading to level design reminiscent of what a lot of Sonic Heroes levels turned out to be.

As is now very much the norm, the game's zones divide themselves fairly evenly between 2D and 3D portions - some are entirely one or the other, others mix and match at certain points. In both dimensions though, many platforms and chunks of ground tend to employ the use of gravity in ways that will be extremely familiar to anyone who's played Mario Galaxy 1 or 2, and the comparisons are hard to ignore when you see Sonic running around huge spheres with their own gravity field. Other examples are more Sonic-ified, such as long looping cylindrical structures that only Sonic's speed could traverse quickly, and the 2D camera will often twist with Sonic as curved walls become floors while you walk across them. I suppose it's a shame that they've had to borrow so heavily from another, very popular game that's very well known for using this effect - It's almost a little embarrassing actually. If you can get Sonic to dash across these structures then it's at least interesting to see what he can do with them that Mario can't.

I say if you can get Sonic to dash because the other key aspect that will immediately grab you about Lost World is that it's easily the slowest Sonic game in recent memory. This is very deliberate and represents the recent realisation that some people aren't crazy about Sonic simply running everywhere very very quickly. There are still bursts of speed, but these are quite rare, and instead this game caters much more to the cerebral Sonic player, with all manner of platform-hopping layouts and trials in timing and precision to encounter.

To accommodate this, the engine needed to change, and it changed drastically - most notably that Sonic now has two gears - walking and running, with the latter only accessed by holding the right trigger. Of course objects like speed zippers and springs will send you off as quickly as they ever did, and the left trigger unleashes the spin dash, though this is more useful for climbing long curved walls than injecting a prolonged period of acceleration. The truth is, unless the game wants you to move particularly quickly, you won't, and there will be times that you'll really want Sonic to get a move on, even while holding the run button down tightly.

I admit, it may be a difficult adjustment to make initially, and one that I do worry slightly contradicts the child-friendly aesthetics of the game, perhaps being too complicated for the young ones. On top of that, you have a wide range of moves at your disposal. Although A, B and Y buttons are all jump, they perform differently when pressed again in the air. Without a homing target around, A and B double jump, while Y performs a bounce. With an enemy nearby, the B button turns into the homing attack (which can now chain multiple targets with one press), while pressing Y gets you a new kick attack, which sends the badnik flying. It's a nice idea that employs a bit more strategy, as some badniks require one or the other to defeat, or both in a certain order. My only gripe is that it's rarely obvious, visually, which badniks need which attack until you've found out the hard way, as the wrong method can result in ring loss.

One of the more difficult moves to master though is the wall run. Jump up to a wall while holding L and Sonic will attempt to run up it until he loses all momentum or can grab on to the ledge at the top and hoist himself up. It takes a little practise to jump between adjacent walls while in 2D, allowing you to keep on going when done correctly, but doing the same in 3D is something I'm yet to master.

It all takes some getting used to, particularly the reduced speed and more prescribed sense of momentum, but after a while it sort of all makes sense, and I began to find that jumping Sonic from one platform to another feels more accurate and reliable than it's ever really been, particularly in the third dimension. Just last night I managed, first time, to retrieve a red star ring by carefully jumping across a couple of very small platforms, requiring the momentum from different running speeds. In pretty much any other 3D Sonic game this would have been challenging at best, and almost impossible at worst. Without different gears, we've been slipping off of narrow pathways or over-shooting jumps and dashes for years now, but thanks to the new system, it was rarely a problem for me.

Not only that, but considering factors such as the gear that you should approach a jump in, whether you should employ the double jump in mid-air, or if you'll just about make it with the wall run or clinging onto the edge.. it all adds a slightly more strategic element to basic platform hopping that's relatively new to the series. Overall, with one notable exception that I will get to in a minute, I would say that technically this is a very solid title, with little in the way of bugs or control issues. Most types of movement feel sturdy and precise.

The game offers seven levels, each split into four zones (notice they've gone with the Sonic CD school of confusingly referring to what are normally acts as zones, and what are traditionally zones as unnamed clusters of stages). An eighth is unlocked upon completion, plus more zones appear at certain points, the criteria for which remain unknown to me at this moment. Everything is accessible by plotting Sonic round a top-down map made of hexagons, with zones, bonuses and other items appearing on certain panels. We'll cover all that later.

There's no denying that this time they've certainly opted for very generic level themes across the seven main clusters of zones - green hills, desert, beach, snowy, lava - you can't get much more route 1 platformer than that. However, as advertised early on during promotion, the zones in each level diversify greatly, sometimes into what would normally be thought of as completely different, and more specific level themes. Desert Ruins Zone 3, which gains an extra letter 's' and becomes a ludicrous food-based world, and Frozen Factory's casino level are still the best examples of this. After seeing that Desert Ruins has at least three totally different themes within it, I was curious about whether every other level would match this too. Sadly it doesn't quite work out like that, with some themes reappearing within different levels - the whole of level 6 for example is a total cop out, with no great discernible theme of its own other than simply more clouds. Despite this though, the new philosophy on level creation checks out, as we have at least a dozen completely different types of location in this game, plus many small permeations, compared to the usual maximum of only nine.

Although the highly generic central themes become more specific, I can't deny that this particular visual direction is not for me. The simplistic style and cartoon-like look to the trees, mountains and clouds is far more Mario than Sonic, and it struggles to gel with anything we've seen before in the series, which has traditionally favoured occasionally fanciful ideas but always within a certain realistic aesthetic framework. Much of the game lacks that slightly more serious tone Sonic has always had over Mario, and forgets its normally quite active pursuit of seeking out whole new ideas for themes and locations (see Sonic Colours for excellent examples). I rarely felt the wonder and excitement upon first arriving at a brand new level that I normally look forward to more than anything else in a new Sonic game, simply because I'd pretty much seen everything done a million times before, not just in Sonic but many other generic platformers before it.

It doesn't help that most levels, at least their initial zones anyway, are simply an arrangement of various blocks strewn across the sky, with no sort of detailed structure holding them together. You definitely get the impression that the developers saw Mario Galaxy and said "let's make a Sonic game just like that" - my most optimistic thoughts are that this was only supposed to be a starting point of inspiration, but just ended up borrowing way too heavily from it. Some zones, such as Tropical Coast 2 - which has Sonic luring giant watermelons and pineapples across spherical planetoids into equally large fruit juicer blades - could be put straight into one of the Galaxy games with absolutely no adjustment whatsoever.

However, when you're chased by huge tropical fruits rather than boulders or killer whales, you have to admit, you're in a world with slightly further boundaries of what's possible. Things can happen that don't normally happen and luckily, along with Mario's unfortunate aesthetics come by far his best attribute, and the one aspect I have always wanted Sonic to be inspired by - the sheer variety of level content and gimmicks. When Sonic runs at ridiculous speeds, there's only so much variety one can encounter in that type of gameplay. When he trots around at a slower pace within a wackier, more abstract and colourful world however, the perfect storm is created to make this one of the most inventive and imaginative Sonic games around, and I'm thrilled that they've actually taken as much advantage of such an opportunity as I would have liked.

Sonic spends the entirety of Frozen Factory Zone 2 inside a giant snowball that you must roll around between narrow walkways, sticking collected rings on the outside surface. A later zone mimics Sky Chase but without the plane, as Sonic glides side-scrolling across a windy sky strewn with obstacles, while in others you must hide from the search lights of a large mechanical owl, or dodge huge purple sand creatures with massive jaws. New ideas to Sonic are explored; in one zone, running outside of one edge of the screen will have you reappear on the other, and elsewhere, Sonic and his surroundings are cast in a black silhouette until you pull Sandopolis style light switches. There's more familiar ideas too, such as levels entirely consisting of grinding, albeit with the twist of controlling your speed by hopping to different coloured rails, and of course the classic pinball table segment is here too. Refreshingly, the amount of generic objects across all levels, normally red coloured and consisting of speed devices or pulleys etc, and which frequently plague modern Sonic games, are kept to a bare minimum here. In their place are much more level-specific features and obstacles, which may be no more complicated than a sheep that you bounce off of, or a flower bud that opens up as a larger platform when hit. It all adds up though and by the end you really feel like you've covered a lot of different ground in the game.

The Wisps - little aliens in item boxes that give Sonic new super powers - are also part of this attempt at mixing up the gameplay a bit, though unfortunately they represent the one main area that I feel is technically flawed to a significant degree. Luckily they don't quite appear often enough to totally ruin the game, though when they do, use of them is quite often essential. The problem stems mostly from their use with the gamepad, which I felt seemed only to be used for the sake of it more than anything else - some require you to stop what you're doing, look down and drag your finger around the screen, others have you looking at your TV but tilting the controller, and others don't seem to require any special feature of the pad at all. I dreaded having to use them really, they're just inconsistent, disorientating and quite often really don't work very well at all. I still don't quite know how to fully control the Rhythm Wisp, and as for the Laser, well this little bastard raised alarm bells when I saw him in previews both at Summer of Sonic and Eurogamer, and I also saw countless people wondering how the hell it works and what it's even really for. That was perfect user testing that should have made them rethink things a bit, but of course it hasn't at all.

Any sort of in-game help is quite minimal in general, and this is particularly missed when it comes to the Wisps, where it's needed most. After getting the Hover Wisp I could see a long line of rings that - I know from Sonic Colours - I should be able to light dash across, but it didn't seem to be explained anywhere how I could make this happen or anything about said maneuver whatsoever. Sadly, as I found out first hand during an interview with Takashi Iizuka himself, Wisp power-ups are here to stay as a regular feature in Sonic games. Though they were a little intrusive in Sonic Colours, they were at least handled very well. Unless they can return to that degree of quality, and preferably ditch their use of any interaction method that isn't a button or a thumbstick, then I don't look forward to their return at all.

Lost World has a very traditional and rather casual approach to bosses. For the first time in absolutely ages (I'm talking Sonic Advance, maybe Sonic Advance 3 at the latest), most bosses can be found at the ends of levels, rather than in dedicated boss arenas. They're quite frequent (every other zone in fact), but because more is at stake if you lose, you'll find they're usually quite straightforward, and also small scale compared to the massive bosses Sonic usually has to fight nowadays. Despite their frequency, they're not too repetitive and I wouldn't mind replaying them afterwards as part of the levels. And let's be honest, how often do you normally choose to play boss levels again, for fun? Later on, you also seem to quietly learn a technique to increase the strength of your homing attack, to deal with bosses more quickly too.

Each boss is of course one of the Deadly Six, patrolling a level each, and unfortunately you tend to be able to somehow hear their thoughts as you get closer to meeting them, throughout their zones. Some of the characters offer mildly amusing voice overs, such as the girl or the emo fella (I've no idea what their names are - I'm not sure it's important really), but others, such as the first one, who is irritatingly mental, kind of ruin the experience quite a lot. And it's always annoying when you keep dying on a particular bit and have to hear the same piece over and over. They're not a patch on Eggman's hilarious tannoy announcements from Colours.

Speaking of dying, prepare to do rather a lot of it as this game is no pushover. You'll regularly be falling into pits or finding ingenious new ways for Sonic to kick the bucket instantly that you would swear, ordinarily, would just cause ring loss. Though this is not without frustration, it rarely feels unfair as the controls are so tight this time around, you've really no one to blame but yourself, and it's certainly no worse than anything Mario regularly dishes up. Also, they've finally implemented a very simple idea I've been suggesting for ages - don't restart the music upon each death. It's surprisingly effective at reducing frustration. Extra lives are few and far between too, especially as the ever useful 100 ring bonus life is curiously absent. Replaying Desert Ruin Zone 2 is your best bet, which can give at least five extra lives relatively easily.

Though Game Overs will be plentiful, there is a very curious and surprising addition that makes up for the lack of lives. Should you return to the same checkpoint a certain number of times or get down to your last chance, an item box with a wing symbol appears nearby, which simply teleports you to the next checkpoint. For me, the jury's still very much out on whether this is a good idea or not. On the one hand it's saved me a lot of bother in having to deal with particularly frustrating sections, but on the other I did feel that I kind of cheated a little bit, and there are still portions of levels I've yet to defeat because of it. If you could gather enough lives, you're theoretically guaranteed to have most of the game beaten for you. Then again, inputing up, down, left, right, A and start into Sonic 1 has the same effect and is a heck of a lot quicker too.

The game feels fairly substantial in size, not so much in the amount of levels but their duration, as most of them are satisfyingly lengthy - especially if you keep dying in them. I still managed to beat the game over a weekend though, including long gaps of time where I actually went outside too, so I still don't know if it's as long a game as it could be, which is a shame, given their devotion to making level creation a more efficient process. There's the usual amount of extra stuff to do afterwards, including red star rings, time trials, unlockable hidden zones and even an Omochao-lead feature that offers three little side missions at a time, just like mobile games do. Unfortunately though, other than pretty much just the very first zone, multiple routes in the levels is not a strong point in this game, from what I've found so far at least, so if you're hoping for some further exploration afterwards then you're unlikely to have much luck.

Lastly, the game is accompanied by a very good, and varied soundtrack, bringing the stages to life as they always do. It's possibly not the best, as there are few that I would say are absolute instant classics, but there are no real disasters either. Favourites include Windy Hill 1, Desert Ruins 1 and 2, Tropical Coast 3 (a beautiful piano piece) and the very Sonic-y and melodic Sky Road Zone 1 to name a few. I'm desperately looking for a full rip to tide me over til the OST is released next month!

My excitement levels for this game were admittedly not as high as they have been for pretty much every other major Sonic game in history, and its good and bad points were pretty much exactly what I expected them to be. I probably won't be playing the levels over and over again all that much either. However, I come away from this game generally very satisfied, and feeling that they've done a good job. What it lacks in a less than impressive or interesting art direction, and a philosophy that borrows too heavily from another series, rather than a unique look of its own, it makes up for in its great use of ideas and level specific features, and a highly precise and technical platforming experience.

I suppose the question of whether or not you'll enjoy Sonic Lost World is entirely down to your own preferences in Sonic gameplay, and whether it's the cerebral attention to detail you seek, or whether you're more interested in the visceral thrill of a speed sensation. I suppose I'm lucky in that I appreciate both, and in my opinion there's plenty of room for slower, more considered experiences like this. They each have their advantages over the other though. A platform-heavy Sonic game is more free to experiment with interesting ideas, creating a richer first play through that lasts a bit longer too. However, once you've beaten it, it becomes less fun to return to on a regular basis to play again. The opposite is true of a Sonic adventure that you simply blast through. It has less room for variety but the intense thrill of getting a perfect, record-breaking run through a level, without slowing down or getting hit, is all the incentive you need to play over and over again. The visceral pleasure just gets more and more intense compared to your initial play through, which is liable to be clumsy and less satisfying.

Vexingly, Lost World actually has everything it needs to combine the two experiences quite well, because the couple of occasions in the game in which Sonic builds up a prolonged burst of speed are really enjoyable. A well implemented system to switch seamlessly from a conservative platformer to a thrilling dash, in which Sonic runs by himself and invites you to dodge obstacles, is already in place in this game as if it featured as frequently as every other stage. The honeycomb zone from Desert Ruin is the obvious example, but there's also a series of great runs in Sky Road Zone 1 that have you darting across the surface of those long tube structures, chaining enemies, jumping daringly over gaps and dodging massive Caterkillers erupting from the ground, and it's brilliant!

Though this game itself is not at all perfect, the ideas it brings to the table are enough to make me wonder; maybe we hadn't necessarily reached the ideal way of doing 3D Sonic. Perhaps there are still new ways of looking at things that aren't necessarily better, but different. Perhaps they can be combined more evenly to create a game that not only makes for a very rewarding first play, but is also one that keeps you yearning for just one more go again, over and over. At first I was sceptical as to why they would want to fix what isn't broken and take a whole new path in developing a game so different from what has proved successful - but now I understand a little better. It's not just for the sake of keeping Sonic from going stale, the thinking man's Sonic game was getting overlooked, but now the sides have become more even, and whole new avenues can be explored. This game, in a way, needed to exist as it does, and I genuinely look forward to seeing where it takes us from here.
Comments   6 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by Adam Unknown on Saturday, 26th October 2013, 2:39pm
Decent game, but hugely missed potential.

And the wisp implementation was horrid. Even down to silly minor things like pressing A after using Laser - why? Colours did a much better job.

Excellent review though.
#2. Comment posted by Cris on Saturday, 26th October 2013, 9:21pm
-"This game, in a way, needed to exist as it does, and I genuinely look forward to seeing where it takes us from here".

Yes!, i think the same too, like Sonic NextGen/2006, visually the opposite of Lost World, but SEGA after brought us the Unleashed formula and that was an great or incredible evolution, so maybe the future is bright with all this things the sonic team learned, i refer to the parkour system...the next sonic game could be a mixture of great platforming-exploration, satisfaction of boost and a more complete parkour!
#3. Comment posted by Tricky_E on Friday, 1st November 2013, 8:47am
Huge review! Thanks for the detailed analysis. I must admit I am a bit disappointed by the lack of speed evident in Generations, and I will miss playing in 3D (Generations on PC through a 3D TV is quite breathtaking), but I think i'll give it a shot after reading this :D
#4. Comment posted by riii on Tuesday, 10th December 2013, 12:22am
The wisps are terrible (excluding drill in 2D) in SLW, even the wisps in Sonic Colors DS were much better. I hope iizuka isn't going to insert them in every future sonic game.
#5. Comment posted by Anonymous on Sunday, 22nd December 2013, 2:26pm
"(...)Although A, B and Y buttons are all jump(...)" Actually, isn't the Y (Along with X) is a crouch, or a roll if you're moving?
#6. Comment posted by L Nguyen Huu on Saturday, 17th January 2015, 5:32pm
Thanks for the review! As noted by Cris, I think speed and momentum is an important component of parkour, but it may have been difficult for players not used to these kind of motion to retain control of the character at high-speed.

"Also, they've finally implemented a very simple idea I've been suggesting for ages - don't restart the music upon each death."

This was the case in Shadow the Hedgehog, which matched its stages with (despite appearances) rather relaxed atmospheres. However for BGMs with a stressed introduction such as in Cosmic Fall, I would have preferred the BGM to restart. In Sonic Adventure 2's City Escape, they have a simplified intro when you die and restart (compared to the original intro when falling from the sky with a board), which tended to less break continuity.
Summer of Sonic 2013 - Sonic Lost World impressions
Friday, 9th August 2013, 12:13pm (UTC), 4 Comments
Previous Summer of Sonic conventions have offered first opportunities to play the likes of Sonic's 4, Colours and Generations, and this year's did not let us down, offering up both Wii U and 3DS versions of the upcoming Sonic Lost World - a game for which I am cautiously optimistic, yet admittedly not as excited about as pretty much any other Sonic game of its prominence that has come before. Still, this did not stop me from queuing up twice for the Wii U and once for the 3DS, during the course of the day.

Having queued up for these sorts of demos before, I've found in the past that it's often difficult to really get the full experience from them. This is mainly for two reasons, a) you've normally seen the whole demo played out for you in videos before this point, so it's not going to be as fresh an experience anyway, and b) the sound is normally turned down or muted, which is a huge part of the fun of a good Sonic game, as any fan will tell you. The result is that, though not necessarily as a result of problems with the game itself, it actually feels a bit sterile, and you come away not knowing as much more about it as you would have liked to. All you can really measure is how the controls feel, and how easy it is to play, which is invariably along the lines of how it looks in all those videos.

So this is what I tried to focus on in Lost World, choosing first the Windy Hill act as it seemed like the best place to get a grasp on Sonic's new moves, and later, when I rejoined the queue, the honeycomb act in Desert Ruins, mainly because it seemed quite fun. There was also the "dessert ruins" act and the new casino one on offer too.

As you'll know, Sonic essentially now has two "gears" - slow and fast, depending on whether or not you're holding the control pad's right trigger. Hitting springs and speed zippers though will of course fire you off as they always have, despite the gear you're in. In slow mode, there shouldn't be much chance of slipping off of things unexpectedly, as it all seems very tight and responsive, though it takes a moment to adjust to Sonic's lack of acceleration, during moments where you want to dash. It may take longer than a moment really to make full use of this quite drastic new change, and I can see its benefits - a reasonable player hopefully won't be falling off into the game's many death drops without good reason. However I can also see its down sides, as coupled with all of Sonic's various moves and the Wisps as well, we could be looking at a game that, in spite of the simplistic, cuddly, child friendly style, is actually quite complicated to play. Hopefully not.

Watching other people play the same level though, you do get a sense of just how rich in multiple routes this one in particular is. It goes beyond just short parallel paths around the long tubular platform pieces, as each of these tend to extend out into different collections of floating platforms. I saw others bounce around on clouds or run down a speedy, more traditionally Sonic segment, and I wanted another go so I could explore these other areas, which is a really good thing, and I hope it's representative of levels throughout the game. Oh, and something I didn't know beforehand, you can deprive those sheep that are dotted around the level of their wool by dashing into them. Nice touch.

One thing that did have me completely baffled was the use of the laser Wisp. It requires you to drag your finger across the touch screen to aim Sonic, and some sort of quick swipe gesture seemed appropriate enough to launch him, to me, but that didn't seem to be the case. I think it was the A button that did it eventually. Strangely though, at the end of the laser burst when Sonic transforms back to his normal self, the screen completely freezes in order to tally up some sort of score total, and you actually have to press A again to continue, which seemed a bit disjointed to me, and I could see others equally confused by it. I'd suggest this system might need some tweaks to make it a little more user friendly.

As the waiting time wasn't too long - and there wasn't much else to do that didn't involve standing up and hanging around anyway - I rejoined the queue a little later to have another go, this time on the honeycomb level. This is a fast-paced forward facing dash through some inventive hexagonal challenges and some cool new badniks. It was fun and involved some quick reaction times, however it wasn't quite the same experience as the occasional forward-facing corridor dashes in recent games, in which you must quickly side step obstacles. I love those moments, and the mechanic in this level could have benefited from allowing the arrow stick to quickly dash to the next side of the hexagon or parallel path straight away. As it is, you have to hold it for a second or so in order to switch, meaning that the automatic pace of the whole level is not as fast as it could be. If you hit a wall, Sonic lands splat onto it and you have to restart, which happened to me a few times before I got to the end, and makes for a good challenge, without feeling too cheap.

On the opposite end of the hall was a table with a small queue next to it, allowing access to the 3DS version of the game, though I wouldn't blame you if you missed it entirely. I played an act of Windy Hill on this as well, and overall it's impressive that they've captured roughly the same experience on a significantly scaled down console, without having to sacrifice a smooth frame rate, and the already minimalistic design scales down well with it. Unfortunately I think the controls work a little less well here. In low gear mode Sonic felt a bit too slow at times, even jumping across platforms carefully, but holding the trigger (which is worryingly uncomfortable by the way) brought a sudden speed increase that was difficult to adjust to as well. My time with it was short and it could be a matter of getting used to it but it felt a bit clunky to me. The level design in this version was also not that fluid, and I found myself stuck trying to figure out how to get past a high wall and spending longer than I would have wanted to trying to defeat a giant Caterkiller.

I had a brief go on the start of the 2D Desert Ruins act, before getting stuck and deciding to relinquish my grasp on the device for the next person, as really we were only allowed one act each. Even this had aspects that needed getting used to though, as there were high walls that could only be reached by running up them - a process that for some reason appeared to happen automatically, even without holding the trigger.

I have my concerns, but generally I am looking forward to the game - mostly though for its inventive use of objects and ideas rather than the rather completed mechanics of shifting Sonic around. I get what they're trying to do with it, but I don't know if they're barking up the wrong tree to be honest. I guess we'll find out in October!
Comments   4 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by Kabam! on Saturday, 10th August 2013, 6:44am
We will find out in October indeed! Over many websites, people complain similarly about the wisp activity including the swiping and stopping for the tally-up.
#2. Comment posted by Kabam! on Friday, 27th September 2013, 7:09pm
Wow, a lot of lost world stuff has went down since August 9th. I recommend you write an overview post unless you are trying to see as little of the game as possible.
#3. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Monday, 30th September 2013, 7:03am
I'd love to, but I have seen absolutely nothing new of it since 9th August and I would have advised the same of anyone else who's already decided to buy the game - it's important to keep as much of it spoiler-free as possible, as far as I'm concerned! Sega always show way too much - I like to dive into levels, having seen nothing of them beforehand.
#4. Comment posted by Brady Meyers on Wednesday, 23rd October 2013, 6:43am
Sadly, Sonic Lost World has received mixed reception. The Wii U version earned 62% & 62/100 by the aggregate scorers Metacritic & GameRankings respectively. The 3DS version earned 60.44% & 60/100. It's not looking good for SLW :(
Summer of Sonic 2013 - Interview with Takashi Iizuka
Friday, 9th August 2013, 12:03pm (UTC), 5 Comments
After missing last year's I was glad to return to Summer of Sonic in London this past weekend to enjoy another fun-filled Sonic fan convention, with all the usual treats I've come to expect, plus copious amounts of BO, as my ever-so-slightly-unwilling girlfriend was ever keen to point out. As fun as it is, you'd be hard pressed to call it a pretty affair, lets be honest!

Still, that didn't bother me too much, as amongst the great live Sonic music (we both enjoyed that at least), I managed to get two great privileges. The first, shared by most people at the convention, was that I got a go on both versions of Sonic Lost World, and even queued up twice for the Wii U to get to play two of the four available acts. The second, a little more exclusive, was that I finally got my interview time with guests, after narrowly missing out on it a couple of years back due to scheduling issues. This was an awesome experience for me, given that I'm no journalist and haven't even updated the site that got me the gig in the last year (ahem..). So would like to give a thank you to T-Bird for hooking me up with Takashi Iizuka and Kazuyki Hoshino, both influential in the development of crucial Sonic game from the mid-nineties onwards.

My interview with Iizuka was probably the best part of the day for me, and having failed at getting interview time before, I must say the scheduling was handled much better this year, even though I ended up having to share my allotted time with a nice chap from Sega Nerds. As a result I only got to ask three of my own questions, and I kind of wish I'd swapped the first one for another on my list that was more interesting, but never mind. He was very detailed with his answers, and even revealed a couple of bits of information about Sonic's future that were news to me and I hope, unless you've now already read them from someone else's interview, are also news to you too! I've included Q and A's from Sega Nerds too. Enjoy!

Z:0: Sonic Lost World is quite a brave new direction for the series. What made you decide to take a new approach as opposed to furthering the popular engine from Sonic Unleashed, Colours, and Generations?

Two years ago, we released Sonic Generations, and that was our twentieth anniversary title, and the intentions we had with that game was to compress twenty years into one game, so it really was reflective of everything we had done before. At that point, we'd already decided our target, as a team, was to do something completely new and really innovative for the next game, and the thing that we really wanted to innovate and improve on was the forward view action gameplay. With Generations, it was very much 'go really quickly and avoid obstacles' - we wanted to really build on that, and that's really where the innovation for Sonic Lost World came from.

SN: is there a particular reason Sonic Team decided to bring back the Colour Powers from Sonic Colours? Is Lost World meant to be a direct sequel, or more of a spinoff?

To clarify, the story is completely separate from Colours, it is not a sequel in that sense. As far as the colour power implementation goes, In Sonic Colours, it was a key selling point for that game, but as a team, we really like colour powers, and we intend to keep using them. We want to standardise them in the games, as long as it matches the playability, in each case. It wasn't a one-off in Colours, we will continue to use them in Sonic games in the future.

Z:0: The levels seem very deliberately more minimalistic than in recent games. Are these easier to create? If so, can we therefore expect to play a larger amount of different stages and acts than normal?

Compared to Generations, it's definitely got a look that's a lot more minimalistic. Why we did that, to start with, was to make it easier for people to play the game, and to make sure we can attain 60fps. We want to make sure that players can see the rings, for example, and things that we want people to pick up on, so that they can see that without it looking a bit too busy. So it's really a playability thing that we saw as an issue before that we wanted to address. In doing that, we can actually create stages a lot faster than before, so there is an absolute, clear difference with the amount of variation you'll see in the levels than before.

SN: In terms of development, how do you find developing titles both for fans of the older games and fans of the newer games, is there a particular method you use to ensure that the new games can appeal to all types of gamers?

This is something we're particularly aware of, and something that we do focus on, to ensure we provide something for both types of fans, and in 2010, what we did was release Sonic 4 for the old fans, and that was very much a classic themed game, and then Colours was much more for the newer fans. Following from that we created Generations, which was looking back at twenty years of Sonic, and that was aimed at both fans, because we had Classic Sonic and Modern Sonic, and mixed up both forward view and side view gameplay in one game. And now in Lost World, we've carried on the tradition from Generations, by providing both views again, so we feel this title will satisfy both groups of fans.

In 2010, we had the two groups of fans satisfied by two separate games, and what we plan to do now is merge them into one game. So in Lost World, we've almost completed the journey to make sure both types of fans can enjoy Sonic as he is today.

Z:0: Is it fair to say that you're finding it hard to make full use of certain characters like Shadow and Knuckles? It's been a while since they've had significant roles in any game.

Sonic's friends still play a really important role within the Sonic universe, and we really do want them to shine. But for them to shine, we want to make sure that Sonic himself can take the centre stage, and really appeal to the audience, so we wanted to make sure we really focused on Sonic and his gameplay first. And in the meantime, we've had games like Mario & Sonic, where the other characters have a place where people can enjoy playing as them. So it's not like they're completely being sidelined at all, but we just wanted to focus on Sonic and the gameplay first. And moving forwards, we want to make sure we're providing content where Sonic's friends have a place to take centre stage.

SN: How do you find working with the Wii hardware and the gamepad, did Sonic Lost World benefit from using the gamepad?

When using the Wii U hardware, the clear obvious advantage is the fact that you've got two screens, and we've really taken that to our advantage. There's three main things that we can categorise to say how we use the gamepad, and one of the key hardware features that people seem to love is that you can play without having to use the TV screen, so we've implemented that and you can play Lost World on the gamepad. The second thing is that as we have two screens, we can allow competitive gameplay between two players. So previously we had to split the screen in half and you would have lost half of your screen as a player, but now you can play one person on the TV and one person on the gamepad, so you both have a full screen to play with. And the third one is the colour power actions, so you can activate your colour powers through swiping on the gamepad. We feel it wasn't just a case of shoe-horning these features into the game, but that it was actually a natural fit for Sonic.

Well there you have it! Wisps apparently here to stay, and could there be light at the end of the tunnel for those longing to play as someone other than Sonic for a change? It was awesome meeting the main man behind Sonic! I found him friendly and willing to provide some interesting insight. Great stuff!
Comments   5 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by Kabam! on Wednesday, 7th August 2013, 11:29pm
I was afraid I'd hear that wisps would become a normal thing. I am sure many of you are thinking that chao have been kicked out the back door in order to make room for the wisps, but I guess that is just how the coral crumbles. This is in no way a bad thing, but I just didn't really appreciate the wisps all too much. I understand the whole deal about getting Sonic on firm ground first before his friends so I suppose we will just have to be patient on that matter. Other than that, this interview was very interesting, especially the wisp fact. Can't wait for more!
P.S. Wisps are okay, I'm just a bit surprised they are already recycling old ideas.
#2. Comment posted by Kabam! on Thursday, 8th August 2013, 12:24am
Also, if you don't mind, may you please tell us what the question is that you wanted to ask him.
#3. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Friday, 9th August 2013, 5:24pm
I know what you mean, I think as long as the Wisps are rarely essential, it shouldn't be too bad, but when use of them becomes necessary, that's where I think the experience starts to break up and lose its fluidity a bit - I don't particularly want to keep transforming into different things all the time.

Other questions I had prepared include whether he thinks Sonic could, in his future, have another major design change like he did in Sonic Adventure, whether there will be another Sonic 4 ep or another classically themed game, and whether it's time for another proper traditional Sonic rival like Silver or Shadow. Also how he goes about picking level themes, and whether he plays or knows of any Sonic fan games.
#4. Comment posted by Kabam! on Saturday, 10th August 2013, 6:27am
Exactly! I agree! & Those are some interesting quetions. If you want my take on them, I'd say Sonic won't be in for another design change for a long time. What else could they do to him besides maybe changing his size or attitude. It could be anyone's guess whether there will be a Sonic 4 episode 3 or Sonic 5 because at the end of Sonic 4 episode 2, it didn't say "TO BE CONTINUED" like ep 1 did so it could be saying: that's it for Sonic 4, here comes Sonic 5! Or the developers were just too busy to put any type of hint in at the end and a Sonic 4 ep 3 is coming. It is also possible that neither is coming and they're cutting it, but let's hope not. The deadly six were just introduced and only time will tell whether they are a one-off for lost world or whether they are here to stay as a new rival. Other than that, I think they'd rather bring back an old member of the cast instead of adding another character to the cast. Those are some good questions though.
#5. Comment posted by Faust on Thursday, 28th August 2014, 8:36pm
Haha, well your question on Sonic's design change sure has been answered this year, hasn't it?
Lego Green Hill Zone
Sunday, 23rd June 2013, 4:21pm (UTC), 18 Comments
Happy Sonic Day all! What better way to celebrate Sonic 1's 22nd anniversary than to recreate a small part of it in the world's greatest toy - Lego! Actually, I made this a little while ago, and hadn't got round to posting it - it only struck me yesterday that today would be perfect timing.

The idea came to me, having recently got back into Lego for the first time since childhood, and I thought I'd give it a go. has an awesome pick-a-brick service that I made a couple of orders on, and sure enough, some bags of lots and lots of small orange, brown and green bricks can be arranged into quite a nifty Green Hill scene. Couldn't quite get exactly all the bricks in all the colours I would have wanted, but I worked around it, though it's easy to get a bit carried away on there, with bricks as low as 6p. I think it all came to about £70 in the end. Whoops. Oh well!

The intrusions and extrusions in the walls were a must - thank goodness for sloping bricks. It took me quite a while to come up with a good solution for the trees, working with the bricks I could acquire. A regular Lego palm tree or some foliage pieces would have looked rubbish, so I instead just tried to capture the general shape of them, as they're pretty specific. The leaf pieces actually ended up upside down.

A bit limited on facial expressions when working with only 4 studs each, on the totem pole, but this is quite a cool feature I thought :)

My favourite bit is probably the log bridge. This was a difficult one too. It's a little fragile, but what I had to do was link up small stick pieces with those little singular holder pieces, masked by the brown round ones in a rather complex pattern. Looks great though, as I can bend and twist them into the perfect shape so that it looks like the bridge droops a bit.

Not sure whether or not I'd invest in more pieces to enhance it further, but I was contemplating building up a background on the far sides, recreating the Green Hill sea and mountains in a wall of many, many bricks. I was also trying to think of other levels that would be good too. Chemical Plant? Mushroom Hill? Star Light? Suggestions welcome! If it'd work well in Lego form and the right bricks and colours are available, I might go for it. :)
Comments   18 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by Doreen on Sunday, 23rd June 2013, 5:33pm
Omg, this is amazing! I can't believe you did all of this yourself! :D As for suggestions for other levels, how about Angel Island or Mushroom Hill? I know they're basically the same as Green Hill, but I think they'd look kinda cool in Lego form too. Anyway, have a good weekend! And thanks for sharing! Xx :)
#2. Comment posted by Mercury on Sunday, 23rd June 2013, 5:41pm
This is brilliant! I've always wanted to do something like this myself, but I never had the pieces. I really like the totems, and the inclusion of spikes. :)
#3. Comment posted by Kabam! on Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 1:36pm
Terrific in every sense of the word. I suppose I wouldn't mind seeing mystic cave or oil ocean in Lego form. IF ANYTHING, A LEGO HILL TOP ZONE WOULD BE THE MOST AMAIZNG THING EVER! :D
#4. Comment posted by hopintheroflcopter on Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 10:01pm
Incredible! Absolutely incredible!

Oh, and... Chemical Plant ;)
#5. Comment posted by LOFC_Ed on Wednesday, 26th June 2013, 8:33am
Nice stuff dude; cracking job!
#6. Comment posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, 26th June 2013, 1:26pm
That looks really neat! It even looks better than that papercraft Green Hill.
#7. Comment posted by MoDaD on Sunday, 30th June 2013, 9:36pm
Have to agree with Chemical Plant. Also, this looks really cool.
#8. Comment posted by Agg on Monday, 1st July 2013, 5:23am
Do everyones favorite, Ice Cap Zone
#9. Comment posted by wabwab on Monday, 1st July 2013, 12:33pm - If you're looking for bricks. This is definitely the place. if you're looking for particular pieces you'll definitely find them here. (and most probably at a better price than

Check it out :)
#10. Comment posted by kadybat on Monday, 1st July 2013, 4:43pm
Marble Zone would be SO cool in LEGO! You should submit this to Cusoo!
#11. Comment posted by Cybershell13 on Tuesday, 2nd July 2013, 2:59am
Haha that is very cool. It's nice to see new blog posts!
#12. Comment posted by SonicTailsKnuckles on Thursday, 4th July 2013, 1:26pm
I agree Cybershell! I would love to own that. I wonder if they'll make Marble Zone out of Lego...?
#13. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 24th August 2013, 11:30am
Final boss of Sonic 2, complete with the death egg scenery
#14. Comment posted by Pete C on Sunday, 17th November 2013, 12:17am
You're a genius, man. This looks so good. Heaps of detail, great colours, put it on display in a glass case!
I humbly suggest Star Light and I look forward to the next one you do.
#15. Comment posted by Anonymous on Friday, 9th May 2014, 4:57am
#16. Comment posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, 13th August 2014, 3:13pm
terrific is an understatement
#17. Comment posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, 13th August 2014, 3:16pm
I would like Labyrinth zone and Hill top. MAybe carnival night and STARDUST SPEEDWAY
#18. Comment posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, 13th January 2015, 5:24pm
Absolutely amazing. Guard it with bullet-proof glass! I suggest Marble Zone & have an idea: it would be really cool to see the real zone from the game next to your Lego version. Keep building!
Some thoughts on Sonic Lost World
Sunday, 2nd June 2013, 11:14am (UTC), 7 Comments
Well, you know there's a big new Sonic game announced when LiQuidShade finally returns from hibernation for the Winter. Yes, Zone: 0 may have officially closed its doors to new content a little while ago but I did want to keep the blog open for any passing Sonic thoughts. But aside from a couple of apps that were great, but don't quite fill the hole, there hasn't been a whole lot else worth thinking about in Sonic's world lately. In fact we've gone a solid year without any firm promise of a proper new platformer, which is why I'm pleased to finally see that Sonic Lost World has joined us, and it's quite nice to see that it's had relatively little in the way of leaks going before it too.

In the unlikely event that I am, for some reason, your first port of call on all things new Sonic games (and I really shouldn't be), Lost World is heading to Wii U and 3DS in November (I'd imagine) and features Sonic on one of his more colourful and abstract adventures in which he battles six crazy looking characters known as the Deadly Six on the world of "Lost Hex".

The trailer actually has quite a lot to say for itself, particularly about the kind of levels and designs we can expect this time around, at least if the one stage shown is anything to go by. Rather than basing it on firm ground as most levels have been in recent years, Lost World flings particularly cylindrical chunks of this level, simplistically titled Wind Hill, high into the air, more reminiscent of some Sonic Heroes levels. As lone playable character Sonic (SEGA seem pretty damn set on that these days don't they?) runs and hops across them, the gravity adjusts with him, allowing him to follow curved paths and twists in the roads without falling off. Exactly, it would seem, like Mario Galaxy and everyone's favourite canned Sonic game from the nineties, Sonic X-treme. The latter is possibly a coincidental similarity, but I'd find it hard to believe the former was anything other than a big inspiration.

Nothing necessarily wrong with that, Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 are superb games, probably my favourites in the series, and if you're going to be inspired by anything, it's at least a good choice. I can see it working well with Sonic's speed, and we've seen plenty of hints of it before too, such as in gravity-flipping levels and the aforementioned cancelled Saturn game.

I would say however that the visual design of Wind Hill and, one would naturally assume, probably the other levels as well, does not do much to mask the source of inspiration. In fact, it's almost as if Mario Galaxy had a Green Hill themed level in which Mario looked exactly like Sonic and could run much faster. It's this aspect that kind of makes me not quite as excited as I feel I should be or would like to be. It is a very interesting looking game, but my love of Sonic level design intricacies raises one or more of my eyebrows when looking at the trailer and screenshots.

I love Mario games, but I use them here as an illustration of what I love most about Sonic levels in general, and what I slightly worry about with this game. They have always, for me, felt much, much more personalised. Mario games often number, not name their levels, "World 1-4" for example, and they are more regularly restricted by fairly generic level tropes - grassy level, castle level, mountain level, desert level, etc. That's fine, because that series has always favoured emphasising the difficulty curve of its extremely clever use of obstacles, and to some extent the level locations do not matter as much.

Sonic has a slightly different approach though, and it's one that I adore. Each and every level is memorable in some way, easily separated from its neighbours. They have their own names for starters, but whether it's the purple dungeon bricks and scary spiked guillotines of Marble Zone, the long bouncy floor in Wacky Workbench or the mix of alien nature with construction machinery in Planet Wisp, every level leaves an impression you don't quickly forget. Common themes frequently recur of course, as in any long running series, but it's the way in which they're constantly being tweaked, reinterpreted and combined with others that gets me excited.

I can't help but feel lately though that this philosophy is somewhat under threat, perhaps as a by-product of Sonic Team wanting to make it very clear that, after years of more serious games in real world settings, complex plots and diverse gameplay modes, they have not forgotten Sonic's roots and still know how to do things the old fashioned, "classic" way. While this, most would agree, is very welcome, it means that we've seen an abundance of Green Hill Zone and other level clones, and other classic references like reintroduced badniks, as opposed to new designs that encompass the sprit of them without just being copies. It's something I keep banging on about I know, but after only about a quarter of Sonic 4 had that kind of originality, seeing that orange and brown checkered pattern for the umpteenth time on the walls of the new Wind Hill level does little to comfort me, unfortunately!

In fairness, Lost World's level appears to have less in common with Green Hill than it may seem at first - it may not technically even be within the same trope, as this level takes place above fields, lakes and valleys rather than rocky seaside mountains, and the trees are more woodland than tropical. Although overly familiar elements like totem poles and log bridges are wheeled out once again, they are also joined, if you look closely at the screen shots, by some more interesting and unusual patterns, such as blocky grass and patchwork effects that do look quite nice. For all its differences though, its similarities overpower it, and it's a shame that just a change of pattern, colour or preferably both on some of those walls would have done wonders for this level's own individuality. For example, Mushroom Hill's patterns resemble Green Hill's general approach, but manage to look entirely different. Why can't we do something like that?

It's not just the same old checkers and Motobugs that I'm finding slightly unsettling though, it's back to the parallels with Mario Galaxy that I'm having a little trouble with. It doesn't just apply to the general structural ideas of the game, it's the look too, it really does carry the same sort of colourful, simplistic, abstract style - almost as if Nintendo themselves have had a go at making a Sonic game. Even the clouds and trees look more whimsical and cartoony than normal. I suppose this concern is more of a subjective thing, but personally I'm not crazy about a style that runs too close to Mario's. There is a bit more to it than just cutesy child-like clouds and mountains with smiley faces on them of course - the abstract, geometric style of the blocky grass and walls in particular harks back to fairly traditional Sonic aesthetics, best seen in Sonic 1, Knuckles Chaotix and even a bit in Sonic Advance 2. Although that kind of stuff clearly suits and even defines Sonic, it's not actually my personal preference. I kind of like realistic aesthetics, but at the same time, exaggerating the location, making it bold and fantastical, as seen more in games like Sonic Colours or Heroes. Also, there's just something about seeing a whole chunk of Sonic level curved into a cylinder stretching out ahead that seems just a bit.. weird, and wrong. Hopefully it's not necessarily common throughout the game and other levels have different sorts of structures, using the gravity mechanic in different ways.

And of course, all we really have to go on is one level, but we do have clues as to some of the others. The initially released image of Sonic and Tails flying to the half-built world in the sky also suggests the themes of the other levels too, and although there's only so much you can tell, there's no denying that they suggest some pretty basic, again, almost Mario-like level ideas. From ice level to desert to fire, it doesn't get much more textbook platformer. That's not to say they won't have some unique elements to call their own, and in any case it's far too soon to judge just yet. However, I just can't shake the concern that in seeking to replicate Mario's success, they may be trading, completely unnecessarily, some of the things that make Sonic so great. Thank God the level even has a name (albeit a very boring one) and isn't simply just called "Zone 1".

Perhaps I'm being rather harsh. It is a little unfair, after all, to judge a game just on one of its levels, but alas that's all we can do at the moment. My confidence that the game will still be fun remains resilient and sometimes you just have to ride out design decisions that aren't your cup of tea. Despite everything I've said, what I'm seeing does look gorgeous. I'm also intrigued by what IGN describes of the game's "parkour" system, essentially allowing you to run only when a trigger button is held, otherwise Sonic will simply just walk. I'd imagine this will simply set Sonic running in whichever direction you had him in when you pressed it, and then perhaps the thumbstick is used to quick dash or something, rather than change direction entirely. In skilled hands I can see this potentially making for a more controlled and satisfying experience, although that, coupled with all the new moves does make me wonder how easy it will be to pick up for new or less able players. It doesn't sound particularly simple to me. But it does sound like the most radical control change we've had in a long time now, so I'm very interesting in seeing some extended gameplay footage to find out how it works.

Then there's the quick matter of the 3DS version. It's nice that it's being treated as a full 3D game rather than a strictly 2D one, but I always find these "lesser" alternatives to Sonic games just end up getting ignored. Sonic Generations on 3DS, Sonic Colours on DS, even Sonic Unleashed on Wii; I have them all, but I've clocked up much, much less time on them than their home console, or graphically superior counterparts, and I've no doubt it'll be the same this time around too. I always wonder, if they have to make entirely new levels for it anyway, how much more effort would it take to just make it an entirely new game, in its own right? Add a cheap, cheerful story and some simple, but well thought out level concepts and you're laughing. I suspect there's a clever marketing strategy behind releasing lesser versions, but I find them kind of annoying.

For years Sonic games, in the eyes of fans, have been shooting for both quality and experiences reminiscent of the early days. Sonic 4 gave us the latter, Sonic Colours, the former, and Sonic Generations, both. Now, after finally having achieved these long sought goals and with two decades fully celebrated, where next? It's tough to know where to take the series and still keep it refreshing and interesting, especially following successful games, where there is so much more at stake if it flops. But I do applaud the fact that some whole new angles are being explored in the name of making things exciting, and I am hopeful for the game. But I just worry that it'll always be considered as a bit of a Sonic rip-off of Mario Galaxy. Sonic's Jump and Dash on mobile are brilliant but they too have extremely obvious sources of inspiration, and I just wonder lately if SEGA are at all capable of coming up with an interesting and truly unique angle to a Sonic game in the same way that Galaxy was to the Mario series. Too many more of these and Sonic will develop a reputation as being a bit of trend follower, rather than a trend setter, as he was when he first hit the scene.
Comments   7 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by Mobius1ne on Sunday, 2nd June 2013, 2:54pm
Nice read! I share the exact same views as you do, great to see that there's somebody out there that's as passionate to Sonic's past outings as I am!

It looks like a great game, and seems as though Sega are pulling away from some of the awful 3D games that Sonic has been forced to run through - voice and rock music in-tow. Generations was really fun, but for me they changed the levels a bit too much, I was so excited to blaze through Chemical Plant again, but quite disappointed... it didn't feel like Chemical Plant. Colours was even better in my opinion, which is a surprise to myself because I feel most new Sonic games with new concepts put me off completely. There was just something that made me like it, I can't put my finger on it but it helped me regain faith for Sonic, and that he may be coming back full-blast. With the newest addition it looks like that comeback is still going in the right direction, I just hope we'll see some new footage soon.

There's a thought that I've had for some years now that I just can't shake and I can't help but mention every time I go into a blue-hog themed rant. I still can't help but feel that Sega just need to make another 16-bit Sonic game, at least one more for old times sake. The creation would consume a fraction of the time, people and money it takes to create a 'current-gen' Sonic, but I'm about 100,000,000% sure it would result in massive profit. I'd gladly pay upwards of £20 for a new 16-bit Sonic, as I'm sure most of us fans would. Also current hardware limitations/space would be nothing to a 16-bit game, think of how many levels there could be!

One can only dream... ;)
#2. Comment posted by Hyper_Sonic on Tuesday, 4th June 2013, 11:42pm
It does look fun, I admit, but it sure doesn't look like Sonic. And that's what worries me.
#3. Comment posted by Kabam! on Wednesday, 5th June 2013, 2:47am
Wow! To be honest, I thought you were never coming back LiQuidShade! It is nice to hear from you again! If you ask me, I simply don't think this game was the most healthy step for Sonic to take after Sonic Generations. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!
#4. Comment posted by Brady Meyers on Tuesday, 18th June 2013, 10:19am
It's a shame that Sonic Lost World isn't going to be available on the consoles (Xbox360, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Playstation 4). I love Sonic as much as anyone else does, but I personally want more sonic games to be on consoles a lot. My 250GB PS3 is a perfect example.
#5. Comment posted by SonicTailsKnuckles on Friday, 21st June 2013, 4:45pm
In reply to Kabam! I didn't think he was coming back either. In reply to Hyper_Sonic: I agree
#6. Comment posted by SuperVolcano on Monday, 24th June 2013, 10:43am
Hmm. I certainly agree with this post, but I can't help but fear it will also lack the "fun" that good Sonic games just kind of "have" in them. I've only seen gameplay on YouTube, but the gameplay seems too much like Mario Galaxy and not enough like Sonic Colours/Generations which is a shame because the formula was getting so close to perfection. Sure, I really enjoyed the Galaxy games (I have 121*2 and 241 stars in them, respectively) but I can't help thinking this game just isn't Sonic. I'll still buy the 3DS version when it comes out, of course, but this isn't enough to make me buy a Wii U just yet. Maybe I'll see if I can emulate it...

The art style also isn't as appealing to me as that of Colours or Generations. I guess I was just really hoping for a game that was basically "Generations but new levels". On PC. Because a laptop and a Wii is all I really have and want to have. Speaking of which, @BradyMeyers I'm pretty sure the Wii U is a console. Just saying.
#7. Comment posted by Brady Meyers on Thursday, 19th September 2013, 8:21am
That too, but really, Sony & Microsoft must have a stronger partnership with SEGA if we respective owners want to play Sonic games on those respective consoles (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One). That said, I'm holding my breath for another Sonic game to be released for both Microsoft's & Sony's gaming consoles, sometime soon.
Zone: 0 Guides Complete!
Thursday, 30th August 2012, 8:00pm (UTC), 51 Comments
Update: Sonic & Knuckles guide complete: Death Egg Zone added, The Doomsday Zone and game endings added to the Stages and Stories page, and Downloads page added.
Thanks for Playing!

The final guide update is complete, Sonic & Knuckles is now wrapped up with Death Egg Zone, and the Stages and Stories, and Downloads pages. This is where, sadly, Zone: 0 must draw a line under its new guide content and ride off into the sunset.

I sat down and started writing these guides eight years ago this very day. My projects at that time had a history of fizzling out after a few months, and I don't quite know how this one has managed to hold itself together for this long. But I'm grateful that it's received as much support and respect from fans and the Sonic community that it has done, which has allowed me to keep going when it's been a chore as much as it has a complete joy. Although I've said my interest has dwindled in it in the past, I never failed to feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment with every new level guide that I've published, and I hope you've enjoyed reading them as much as I have writing them.

I can't deny a big part of me wants to carry on, my love of Sonic level design and the series as a whole begs me to appreciate more of the games in the same way, and I'm sure getting back into writing (since I haven't actually done a great deal of it in years) would be really fun and invigorating. But there are so many more projects I want to do, and I can't just leave this place hanging, waiting for a promised guide that takes ages to come because I'm doing so many other things, and I have very limited free time anyway. Never say never, I may get the itch again and decide to write up Sonic Adventure or something, but don't hold your breath - at least not any time in the next few years. I just don't want to tie myself down to any more of it right now, I'm sure you'll understand.

What's next? Well, I don't know exactly. As well as being a web developer I also make small games as part of my day job, so a mobile phone game app is something I've been thinking about for some time now. And then of course there's also my ultimate dream - to use my knowledge of Sonic level design to create my own original fan game levels; something I've always wanted to do, and I hope to make at least one of them (and I mean a really awesome one) during my lifetime. However, before you think I'm trotting off to pastures new forever, remember that all I've said so far is that there won't be any new guides written for the forseeable future - that's not to say that guides won't be amended and updated with new pieces of information that you guys have provided me with over the years, or new downloads. Sonic CD for instance is desperately in need of an update to account for the popular 2011 re-release, and I hope to get around to everything that needs amending in due course, after a short break. I would also like to see what I can do about a new look and some new site features, now that I've developed a few new tricks since 2009, when I launched the current design. This blog will also remain in regular use too, for any further Sonic musings I may have or project updates you might be interested in. So if you think I'm now just going to allow this place to gather dust and rot away, think again. At the very least, it will definitely stay online for as long as I can afford to host it (and on that note, may I highlight the new ad banners and invite you to click on a few should they peak your interest.. cough cough).

Zone: 0, now and then

I thought it would be nice at this point to include some fun stats, including visitor analytics since the current design launched on February 22nd 2009:

- Total number of page views: 1,011,342
- Total number of unique Sonic fans that have visited Zone: 0: 134,372
- Total number of images across the guides: 4558
- Total number of words across the guides: 254,061 (wow)
- Number of community awards won: 3 (I think)
- Number of Zone: 0 maps that have appeared in gaming magazines: 2
- Total time taken to get this far: 8 years on the dot.

Not bad going for a hobby, especially the fact that I've written over 25 times the typical length of a University dissertation just on five Sonic games - that's pretty scary in fact. Why did I do it? How did I do it? Simple really; I love Sonic. I want to tell you everything I can about Sonic because I love it that much, and I wanted a site like this to exist, so I made it exist. I hope that's come across in everything you see here, from the amount of detail I've put into writing about the level structure and visual iconography of Marble Garden Zone, to the placement of every last ring on the map of Spring Yard Zone.

The overall concept has changed a little since my original vision of it came to me - it's more of a strategy guide now than I had originally intended - but I think if the me eight years ago, with his sudden passion for his brand new project idea were to be able to glance ahead into the future and see the final outcome of his wildly ambitious ideas, I would hope that he would be pretty amazed. I would hope that he would put aside the mild disappointment of the fact that I'd covered only five out of sixty-odd Sonic games, and instead see that it's not the quantity but the quality that makes Zone: 0 what it is. I would hope that he would be amazed that a little idea that popped into his head one day had gradually evolved, appeared on screen and slowly grew into a huge virtual library, something truly unique in the community and respected and praised as such, and is only just now coming to an end, as all good things must do at some point. This has not been a flash in the pan, this has been an unlikely idea turned into a reality, after an immense amount of work.

I'm truly grateful that since launching the site, I haven't heard a bad word about it. Everyone genuinely seems to love what I've done here, and I couldn't be more proud about that. It's been my biggest undertaking and it's easily the greatest thing I've ever accomplished. I'm not happy unless I'm working on some sort of significant project, and if this place inspires anyone at all to take up a similar philosophy with their hobbies and passions then that would fill me with joy. I encourage you all to do something, big or small, that makes you feel good and gives you pride to say, "I made that. It took me ages, but I think it's awesome." It doesn't have to be a massive website that takes nearly a decade to make, it can be anything. Don't just play and watch and read without comment. Do something to make people see how it makes you feel and how it inspires you. Those of you loyal readers who have been following the site for a while know that it definitely can take me a little while to get things done around here, but at no point did I want to give up until it was done. Trust me, when you keep going even when what you're doing is tough or tedious, being able to step back from it when it's all done and look at what you've accomplished is so worth it. It makes you glad that you persevered, and made something worthwhile. I love these games, they are my childhood and for me, they're icons of all that is fun and great in life. To think that I have made something personal, yet useable, something that demonstrates my passion, yet something that helps and hopefully inspires, fills me with a special satisfaction that money can't buy. Get out there and show us what you're passionate about!

I want to thank every single one of you that have passed through this site during the last five years that it's been live, and have found it even a little bit useful or interesting. I want to thank anyone who has ever sent me an email or message saying how much they've enjoyed my work - these have been from kids, parents, young people who grew up with Sonic as I did, but have found things here they never knew about (as I did too during my research), new fans experiencing the games for the first time, and Sonic fans who already know everything but love seeing it written and mapped, and who are always eager to add information and make this place the best it can be. I want to thank the regular posters who have always been keeping an eye on my rambling blogs and adding their voices to the comments sections. I won't name you all because I don't want to miss anyone out, but you all know exactly who you are and you should know that I appreciate all of you.

There are two people I will name though, whom I've thanked before but will thank again regardless. Ricky Earl for his outstanding artwork contributions to the Sonic 1 and 2 guides, a brilliant artist and an all round great guy to talk to - I wish him well with his art, and his new life in Sweden. And Mercury, whose talent for programming has made the maps for Sonic CD, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles not only possible, but so much easier. Good luck to him with his new AeStHete game engine and fan game projects. I suggest you click on the ad banner for that, which will remain in circulation.

So what more can I say? I've had a great time, and I hope you've enjoyed my contribution to the Sonic community. Though this chapter ends, it allows new ones to begin, and I hope that my contributions can continue further - I'm pretty sure I'll never stop loving Sonic, and as long as I have ideas, you'll be hearing a lot more from me..!


Comments   51 Comments have been posted.
#1. Comment posted by Abi on Thursday, 30th August 2012, 8:04pm
:-) x
#2. Comment posted by Adam Unknown on Thursday, 30th August 2012, 8:15pm
*Wipes tears*
#3. Comment posted by Brady Meyers on Thursday, 30th August 2012, 9:18pm
#4. Comment posted by Gemster on Thursday, 30th August 2012, 11:53pm
Ah, a beautiful wrap-up. Lovely to see it complete, sad to see it end...
LiQuidShade, goodjob, absolutely have loved this, and wish you the best of luck wherever next you are heading to :P
Oh, and if you are interested, Sonic3HD is on the lookout for any designers who would love to help me design a Hard Mode of the game, meaning 100% original level design. If you ever feel up for the task, just tell us :)
#5. Comment posted by Gemster on Thursday, 30th August 2012, 11:53pm
Ah, a beautiful wrap-up. Lovely to see it complete, sad to see it end...
LiQuidShade, goodjob, absolutely have loved this, and wish you the best of luck wherever next you are heading to :P
Oh, and if you are interested, Sonic3HD is on the lookout for any designers who would love to help me design a Hard Mode of the game, meaning 100% original level design. If you ever feel up for the task, just tell us :)
#6. Comment posted by Brady Meyers on Friday, 31st August 2012, 2:50am
Gemster, you said that 2 times already! fcol
#7. Comment posted by MoDaD on Friday, 31st August 2012, 3:11am
Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. I'm envious of the level of quality you've put into this site, both in terms of writing and design. I wish you luck in your future projects.
#8. Comment posted by EJ Phree on Friday, 31st August 2012, 3:23am
I would of loved a guide of knuckles' chaotix! Shame to see this go.
#9. Comment posted by Gemster on Friday, 31st August 2012, 7:31am
lol i realized this (and sorry glitch doublepost) xD
but i just wanted to make sure he knew cause he said here in this post that he wants to create awesome level design and such after all this research, and he would be perfect for the job. And its all on free time and he has YEARS of time for making it, so there aint no rush. Just want to make sure he sees the opportunity if he wants it :P
But still, cant believe this is over :P
#10. Comment posted by Smiley225 on Friday, 31st August 2012, 9:17am
Congratulations! Your project was / is really great =)))
greetings from austria ^^
#11. Comment posted by m on Friday, 31st August 2012, 11:51am
the dedication shows! well done!
#12. Comment posted by AquaRuin on Friday, 31st August 2012, 4:15pm
I remember the time I first came across Zone 0, sometime during October 2010. And since then Zone 0 has continued to be very useful help for me, and undoubtedly many others and it's always fun to re-read. Thank you, LiQuidShade for dedicating what ultimately turned out to be eight years to this project. I wish you good luck for whatever you do in the future! :-)
#13. Comment posted by Fossil on Friday, 31st August 2012, 9:35pm
Really incredible work, well done indeed. All the best for the future.
#14. Comment posted by Kabam! on Saturday, 1st September 2012, 1:00am
I may have missed out on a lot of the site's development, but ever since I joined in mid 2011, it immediately made it onto my favorites list. I have never been more astounded by a website, in fact it is probably the only one good enough to make me have on my iPhone and visit it every day. Yes, this site has also been very helpful for example, that chemical plant zone act 2 passage way around that really hard part was an incredible help along with every special ring location in sonic 3& knuckles and not to mention the amazing way you were able to define the Beautiful graphics of the act that you have made me appreciate so much more. Most importantly, I thank you tremendously for finding every metal sonic hologram and every badnik generator in Sonic CD, that is one of the most amazing things there is in a guide! There is nothing you haven't covered about the original 5 and the fact that you had the strength to not give up is very noble. You are an amazing role model to me and any other visitor on this website! Yes, I know I didn't add too much help to the site but there is hardly anything you haven't covered! I will spread the word to every sonic fan I know of and tell them that this site is the place to be! Congratulations! Enjoy your break and never forget about your efforts and what they came to be! Three Looooong cheers for LiQuidShade indeed! And you bet I am very very welcome for Playing!!! I bet if sonic himself could see this site, he'd be prouder than you an even imagine!! Take Care!

P.S. If you actually read this, thank you for making it worth my while.
#15. Comment posted by Cybershell13 on Saturday, 1st September 2012, 9:17am
I just gotta say I appreciate all the effort you've put in and I truly feel your passion for awesome Sonic games. Been coming to this site every couple months for four years to read your awesome guides, and it'll always remain in my bookmarks.
#16. Comment posted by Brady Meyers on Saturday, 1st September 2012, 12:01pm
As a true sonic fan, I believe that whenever evil strikes again, sonic will be there to put the evil into despair; ultimately becoming world savior. Plus, sonic & his friends will not tolerate being tied down by any evil that gets in their way, big time. I hope that one day soon, sonic & his friends will visit us in our world, through a time portal. If that happens, then we'll fall in love with them, very easily.

To wrap it up, it's an awesome journey for zone:0, and I give LQS my best wishes in his upcoming future; warts & all. Good health, LQS!

#17. Comment posted by LiQuidShade on Sunday, 2nd September 2012, 12:05pm
Thank you all, your comments mean a great deal to me, it makes me feel great that this site has had such a positive impact. Thanks a lot for letting me know.
#18. Comment posted by MoDaD on Monday, 3rd September 2012, 3:06am
Hey Cybershell13, when's that Sonic 2 bonus video coming out? :)
#19. Comment posted by Hyper_Sonic on Monday, 3rd September 2012, 6:30am
Good luck for future eandevours LQS!
#20. Comment posted by Sleebo on Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 3:50am
Wow, it's always so weird stumbling upon a site that's reached its end. I just got done using your Sonic CD guide to get the most outta this game I've been wanting to play for years. I let the credits roll and the sort of "aftermath-y" version of Sonic Boom was playing while I read this. Seemed so fitting.

The amount of dedication you've put into this project is inspiring. I didn't even know about you before today, but you already seem like a pretty awesome guy. Best of luck in whatever you choose to do next -- I'm sure it'll be as amazing as this seems to have been. Hell, why not use your eight years' knowledge to make or help make a knockout Sonic game that leaves as much of an impact on us as the Genesis titles did back in the day? Even if it took another eight years, I'd like to see what you could come up with.
#21. Comment posted by Michael on Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 9:25pm
Rather late to the party, I only found this site a couple of weeks ago, but it's been an enormous help to me in finding best routes through the levels, and I love the sheer amount of detail and discussion of every facet of the games, and the beautiful, crystal-clear presentation. Sonic (2 in particular) was part of my childhood and you helped me rediscover its magic :)
#22. Comment posted by Kabam! on Thursday, 6th September 2012, 7:45pm
Yeah cybershell, what about that video? And I totally agree with Brady Meyers. One more thing, if you read this while listening to volcano valley act 2 genesis version, it almost makes you cry. Once again good job.
#23. Comment posted by Brady Meyers on Monday, 10th September 2012, 8:18am
This aeSTHete web site is actually quite interesting to look at. LQS, what do you think of aeSTHete?
#24. Comment posted by Anonymous on Saturday, 29th September 2012, 1:41am
Your site is AWESOME! Thank you!
#25. Comment posted by Kenny Hulpach on Saturday, 29th September 2012, 2:02pm
Thank you so much for creating the beautiful site that will forever remain as my homepage. Please pursue your dreams in making custom sonic levels. I look forward to playing them.
#26. Comment posted by WaddleDee on Monday, 1st October 2012, 10:53pm
Congratulations on this giant site as a whole! This is such a great passion-filled look at some of the best games ever made. I'm sure someone out there with the time will make a guide similar to these on a recent Sonic title. Hopefully this isn't forgotten and can be remembered as a high point for Sonic projects.

Hope you succeed in whatever you plan to do in the future. Whether Sonic related or not I'm sure it'll be loved just as much if not more so. See you later for now!
#27. Comment posted by Thony on Wednesday, 10th October 2012, 10:39am
Sigh... I wish i could to something like this.
congratulations! I am very happy for you. I love your work!
#28. Comment posted by Sparragow on Saturday, 10th November 2012, 10:06pm
This is my first comment. I found Zone:0 maybe a couple years ago, don't remember exactly how. I have to congratule you man, 'cause this is one of the most beauty, polite and light websites I've seen in my life! And one of the best Sonic websites too. I didn't used your guides too much because I'm a hardcore Sonic fan but I really enjoyed them with such nice details (captions, mouseover text, great selection of colors, etc.). So, I shall thank you for all the work you've done here. I'm very grateful. It's sad this is over, but I hope you'll do some updates soon, after a good rest hiatus, of course. Greetings from Barcelona.
#29. Comment posted by Anonymous on Sunday, 11th November 2012, 5:40pm
Why not do Knuckles Chaotix!?!?
#30. Comment posted by Kabam! on Tuesday, 20th November 2012, 9:13pm
It's amazing how people are still commenting on this post! :D I guess this website is just that great!
#31. Comment posted by Pete C on Sunday, 25th November 2012, 12:55am
Just wanted to congratulate you on your informative, well-written and very well designed website. The level maps (which led me to your site) are great as well. Well done on all your good work, LiquidShade!
#32. Comment posted by SomeRandomGuy on Tuesday, 11th December 2012, 11:52pm
Same here Pete C! The maps were very heplful (Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles maps mostly) This site has given me tons of help on my sonic games. And just coming here a few weeks ago for some tips and cheats, not know the site was at its end. :( LQS, you have done a great job with the site and with that, thank you! (may the comments on here live on :D )
P.S. this is on my favorites list!
#33. Comment posted by Brady Meyers on Wednesday, 12th December 2012, 10:28am
Today is the 12/12/12, presumably the last of the "same 3 numbers" we'll see. The next "same 3 numbers" date is 1/1/2101. I don't know if Sonic would make it through that long length, not to mention his other friends. But this is a once in a lifetime date for us all. Need I say more? :)
#34. Comment posted by Eclebright on Wednesday, 19th December 2012, 9:06pm
I commend you, LiQuidShade. Very few Sonic projects are ever seen completed, and this was a huge undertaking. Thanks so much for showing a love for Sonic that few have ever shown in the franchises history.

This is true love for Sonic, and the people that play them. Thank You. =)
#35. Comment posted by Ditto on Saturday, 22nd December 2012, 3:57am
Thanks for the help dude. Ill be waiting for that fan game of yours to come out. No rush of course.
Just do what you want to do.

#36. Comment posted by Tim333 on Wednesday, 2nd January 2013, 6:32am
Thanks so much for this site. The Genesis Sonic games are so, so good, and so packed with secrets. This really is the ultimate guide to them and will continue to be a valuable resource for all Sonic fans.
#37. Comment posted by SonicTailsKnuckles on Wednesday, 16th January 2013, 9:53pm
Your game guides make Zone: 0 worth loving. I have read all your guides, but I definitely will not stop visiting Zone: 0. Thank you so much.
#38. Comment posted by Jake on Monday, 28th January 2013, 3:31am
Hey you think you could make a fan game which involves elements of sonic the hedgehog1-3, knuckles, and cd because i for one would love to see that. I've tried to download sonic worlds but it needs some additional stuff to get it to open and also I'd love a "easy to use" level editor with all the graphics in the games if you can and if you can't I understand that cause it's time consuming. Please respond to this :)
#39. Comment posted by mrspell23 on Sunday, 17th March 2013, 8:29pm
We've all had a great run, but now it's all done...
#40. Comment posted by mrspell23 on Sunday, 17th March 2013, 8:29pm
Get it? Run? *Laughs*
#41. Comment posted by SonicTailsKnuckles on Monday, 18th March 2013, 7:19pm
Oh, and LiQuidShade: What is your favourite game out of the five original amazing guides you made? My favourites are probably Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles.
#42. Comment posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, 20th March 2013, 7:21am
Congratutionatl this is a cool site.
#43. Comment posted by Henry on Wednesday, 15th May 2013, 7:37am
Man, this is awesome! Congratulations!
I really loved the site, so many useful and fantastic things! :D

But how about Knuckles' Chaotix and Sonic 3D Blast? Do you intend to make a complete guide for them too?

#44. Comment posted by Derrick on Thursday, 13th June 2013, 3:02am
Ive been using your guide to pass every classic sonic game since 2008, the only ones I didnt beat with the emeralds were Sonic 1, and Sonic 2, it takes forever to get those emeralds lol. Anyways I really LOVED your blog and you really helped me out. If I wouldve talked to you earlier, I wouldve asked for you to make a Knuckles Chaotix guide. I think you are an ULTIMATE Sonic fan. Rock on bro ✌
#45. Comment posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, 1st April 2014, 2:59pm
What About Sonic [4 episode 1, 4 episode 2, Advance 1, Advance 2, Advance 3, Spinball, CD 2011, 1 2013, 2 2013, Lost World Yoshi and Zelda Zones] ?
#46. Comment posted by El'endia Starman on Saturday, 30th August 2014, 8:37pm
Thank you so much for making this site and these guides. They're very well-made, and very helpful. I myself am also actively interested in recreating the Sonic games and then making a game like them, so I've really enjoyed the resources you've got here in the way of maps, and explanations of level design features. I hope that by understanding what made the old games so great, I can make more similarly great games, and your guides have been and will be invaluable to my efforts. Again, thank you.
#47. Comment posted by Cullen on Saturday, 13th September 2014, 5:16pm
This doesn't need to be the end of Zone: 0! You could make game guides for OTHER Sonic games, like Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations! Oh, and maybe even game guides for DIFFERENT GAME SERIES!! Please don't tell me that it's a bad idea. In fact, that idea is the opposite of bad! LiQuidShade, this website of yours is awesome and very informational; you even have put some of your small thoughts about those games in and I think some of them are funny. I mostly like looking at the Special Stages for Sonic CD here, and I'm certain that if you heed my advice, even more amazing things will be here! I wouldn't bear it if you gave up on this website-I'd try to give your computer(s) a virus if you did>:[. I won't let you stop on Zone: 0's life, so you must add more to it! The only thing that i'm unhappy about is the fact that you've cussed several times on here. I want only that to stop. THANK YOU.
#48. Comment posted by Dan on Tuesday, 23rd December 2014, 6:42pm
Just dropping in to revisit this site and I can't believe I haven't already commented here. Two years later but maybe you still get messages, and I just feel like saying what has already been said by others. This site is just amazing; the work you did and the polish you gave it are just phenomenal. This is pretty much my most enjoyed and respected website of the internet. Just such an amazingly thorough, massive, and fun piece of work. Now I understand the expression "Huge thanks from all Sonic fans." Every Sonic fan has to gush at what you've done. It's just too good.
#49. Comment posted by Henry on Monday, 27th April 2015, 4:38pm
Just wanna say thanks for your passion and dedication. A true labor of love, no doubt about it.

Makes me nostalgic of the good old days. All this well written polished material in easy, pleasant to read format.
#50. Comment posted by ThatOneBFDIFan on Friday, 17th March 2017, 8:22pm
So sad :(
#51. Comment posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 12:49pm
what happens if super sonic gets grabbed by big arms in sonic 3 and knuckles
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We've finally done it! The Zone: 0 guides have reached their last big update. Owner LiQuidShade has new projects on the horizon, but this site will always remain in his heart.