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Review

LEGO Dimensions' Sonic Level Pack Is The Best Sonic Game In Ages

On your blocks.

Perhaps it’s not saying much to some, but Lego Dimensions’ Sonic Level Pack might be the best Sonic game in a very, very long time. It’s a nostalgia fuelled, brick-enhanced version of some of the best-loved moments in Sonic’s history and while it shouldn’t really work – and occasionally it doesn’t – fans old and new will undoubtedly get a kick out of one of the best outings for Sega’s iconic hero.

The level’s narrative follows Dr. Robotnik’s attempt to use the Chaos Emeralds with the Dimensional keystone in order to, you know, control the world, and as such you’re treated to a trip through various Sonic zones, or at least similarly themed renditions. Sonic’s humour marries perfectly with the playful tone of Lego Dimensions, and fans of both series will be chuckling along at the banter between Sonic, Eggman and pals.

Right off the bat, the Sonic figure looks great, though those looking for attention to detail will be disappointed by the fact the red paint for his shoes doesn’t go all the way around either foot. The average Lego Dimensions player is unlikely to focus too much on the negatives anyway, and the average Lego Dimensions player’s parent will be swept along by the immense wave of nostalgia.

The level of fan service here is deeply impressive, from the iconic opening “Sega” voice at the start to Sonic tapping his foot while waiting or falling asleep and dreaming of the classic 2D Sonic when your character becomes inactive. The music tickles all of the spots that Sonic fans could want with both new and classic themes sitting perfectly alongside the action.

The two builds – the Speed Star racing car from Sonic Transformed, and the Tornado plane that first appeared in Sonic 2 – both live up to the perfectly formed and relatively solid build quality of most Lego Dimensions kits. The Tornado in particular really looks the part, and allows the Resogun-esque shooting sections to return from some recent Lego games.

The Speed Star’s use in the game though is really quite disappointing, as I was expecting some kind of karting section that never materialised. There’s even a track in the hub world, but the car somehow manages to be far slower than Sonic is. It’s not helped by the camera in the hub world proving deeply unreliable.

There’s something a little odd about Sonic punching and kicking his enemies as this fundamentally remains the Lego Dimensions game, but you can at least jump on their heads too. Sonic’s homing attack makes its inevitable return as well, but here at least it makes sense when moving through the 3D landscape.

The half-pipe bonus stages from Sonic 2 make a return, though they’re not as fiendishly difficult as they were back then. In classic Lego fashion there’s no real sense of danger here or anywhere else, as you’ll simply bounce straight back from a death. If you just let Sonic run through all of the mines in the half pipe, he’ll still get the Chaos Emerald at the end, but then I don’t expect many people are playing Lego games for the challenge.

While it’s a pretty good Sonic game, it’s a less successful example of a Lego one, with minimal use of construction, and an especially limited use of the Dimensions’ portal. It also has some classically poor platforming sections, and 3D spacing problems as well, but that’s not unique to this level pack. Though not on the scale of a story pack, this does offer a slightly longer experience than some of the other level packs released so far, and overall I came away having enjoyed myself despite the niggling problems.

While the nostalgia factor fades the longer you spend with the game, the Lego Dimensions Sonic Level Pack is a worthy addition to the Sonic canon, and given the franchise’s recent missteps that’s a worthy achievement. It doesn’t rewrite the Dimensions rulebook, and there are some clear missed opportunities, but Sonic fans in particular should love the hedgehog’s latest outing.

3 Comments
  1. sparkyscrum
    Member
    Since: May 2011

    I found it a fun little pack. I’m not so keen on the hub world as the camera is often a pain in the arse. Some of the missions are quite difficult as your trying to find things that aren’t clear at all. The red dots also don’t line up too well with the objectives. Don’t remember the other hubs being quite so difficult.

    That said Sonic does help with the homing attack, especially on the Dino missions in the Jurassic World hub world.

    Comment posted on 05/01/2017 at 14:11.
  2. coxy1701
    Member
    Since: Apr 2014

    I brought this just before Xmas I’ve yet to play the levels. What I’ve seen looks really impressive. I wouldn’t mind seeing a full Lego sonic game “go on TT games do it” and for tails and knuckles figures. I don’t want much.

    Comment posted on 05/01/2017 at 20:01.
  3. aerobes
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    My wife will all but poop herself with this. Lego and Sonic combined? I better grab the Marigolds just in case.

    Comment posted on 06/01/2017 at 22:44.
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