Suggested by Sonic Audrey II is a powerful plant that eats anyone in sight. Naturally that’s not someone that you want to mess with. Still, Tails has a lot of gadgets at his disposal that will make dealing with her a lot easier. Put it this way, he can just fire a few of his fire bombs from the Cyclone and that’ll end the match. There’s no way for Audrey to close the gap. Tails wins.
Suggested by Sonic Audrey II is a powerful plant that eats anyone in sight. Naturally that’s not someone that you want to mess with. Still, Tails has a lot of gadgets at his disposal that will make dealing with her a lot easier. Put it this way, he can just fire a few of his fire bombs from the Cyclone and that’ll end the match. There’s no way for Audrey to close the gap. Tails wins.
It’s time to take a look at the 2 part segment Sega released. It’s roughly 10 minutes or a little shorter than that, but it’s a nice way to cross promote the game. I was lightly tempted to get the game day 1, but there are just so many good games coming out right now that it’s tough to know which ones to take the plunge on. Regardless, I do look forward to playing it some day. I imagine it will be quite solid just as this special is.
The plot is pretty straightforward. The various heroes and villains have entered a race where the winner will receive a large gold trophy. Team Sonic, Chaotix, Rose, and Dark are all entering the race. Only one team can win though and it quickly becomes clear that Shadow and Sonic are the front runners here. That being said, there are a lot of racers on the track and so anything can happen. Be sure to stay glued to the seat so you don’t miss a second of the action.
The animation is very smooth and this style is definitely good at energetic scenes like this one. In general it’s a nostalgic style and one that’s very “clean” You will always know what’s happening and the designs are simplistic and so they are able to go through a lot of movements very quickly. It’s always been one of the big strengths of this animation style and Overdrive puts it to good use. A whole show like this would be quite fun for sure. Although the characters don’t talk here you can still get a lot of their personalities instantly because of how well animated they are.
As always Shadow is definitely a stand out character here. He actually does really well while at the same time knowing when it’s best to finally put his abilities into motion. The other characters also have to deal with a lot of interference on the track. It puts all of their skills on the line. There’s certainly nothing negative about this special and so it’s pretty much ideal. Between this and the Sonic Mania shorts, it’ll be fun to see if Sega decides to keep them up. I remember at the big Sonic event they did say that it takes forever to animate these scenes but maybe if they bring more animators on board they would be able to make a whole show like this. I’ll certainly be ready if they do.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend checking this special out. Even if you aren’t planning on getting the game it’s fun to see the cast just hanging out and getting all competitive. It’s also a lot of fun for fans who grew up in the Adventure era as there are a bunch of references and remixed tunes from the old game. You’ll likely remember all of them even if you don’t know the exact names. It’s the little things like that which really help take Overdrive to the next level. Also, it’s super short so it’s not like it’ll take all that much time out of your day to check it out right?
It’s time to look at the little promo series Sega came out with to promote the complete Sonic Mania collection. It’s always nice to see a company put out a little extra effort to bring something like this to the table. It’s just a cool thing to do and I’m always up for some new animations. When you combine the 5 parts the series is around 11 minutes. In that time we get to see the main cast of Sonic Mania mix it up a bit. It’s a solid promo that I would recommend to anyone.
The basic premise is that Sonic and Tails are having fun on the island when they notice that Eggman is up to his old tricks once again. They decide to put a stop to him while grabbing the Chaos Emeralds along the way. Meanwhile Knuckles, Mighty, and Ray are also having some trouble with Eggman. The group all head towards Eggman’s location from various directions. Eggman was prepared for this though and sends out Metal Sonic. Can the heroes defeat a being who is as fast as Sonic and is powered by the Chaos Emeralds?
Right away you’ll have to give the series a lot of credit for its nostalgic art direction. The characters all really look like their counterparts from the original games. The animation is like something out of the original Sonic cartoon but possibly even more retro. It’s all very smooth and once again you’ll wonder why we get this level of animation for a web series while the cartoons on TV don’t even look as good. It’s a very different style from many of the other Sonic cartoons, but it holds its own against all of them. Sonic X certainly still looks the best, but this one would give Sonic Boom a run for its money in the graphics department.
Then you’ve also got the classic music which is a lot of fun as well. It makes all of this feel like a 2D Sonic adventure. Considering that this was before any of the characters could talk either, the series has to be very expressive with them. You can always tell what the characters are thinking and doing so that’s another bit of credit we have to give the animation team. Sometimes a character can just be annoying when they can’t talk as poor writers can’t use them well, but this show had no problems there.
Sonic is a solid character as always and I was glad to see him head right for Metal Sonic and enter battle. He’s as fearless as always and Sonic also puts up a great fight considering that he was holding his own against Metal Sonic while in base form. Tails is nice as well although he doesn’t really get to do much. It’s still always good to have a sidekick. Mighty gets a considerable amount of hype here as he completely destroys Metal Sonic in a fight. Who knew that this guy was so high tier? Ray doesn’t do nearly as well, but then again he never was too much of a fighter so I suppose it was to be expected to an extent. Then we have Knuckles who got less of a role than the others, but did come through in the end when it counted.
I can’t say that Metal Sonic’s appearance was too positive though since he was treated as a big punching bag the whole time. It’s unfortunate because he should be way stronger than these guys. This isn’t meant to be a very serious action show so it’s not like we were ever going to get really long fights, but Metal Sonic still could have looked more powerful with the amount of screen time that he was given. His fight also had some stills when I would have preferred to see him speed blitzing, but we got scenes of both varieties for him so it’s not really a problem. Eggman was also consistent as always which is good.
Overall, This special was a lot of fun to watch. I’d recommend it to anyone and at 11 minutes you have no good excuse not to watch it. It’s a fun adventure with a little action, you can’t go wrong there. Hopefully one day we will get another full length Sonic show since the possibilities are always endless for it. If TMNT can get so many different shows within such a small time frame, Sonic should also get the same treatment. He has proven that action as well as comedy works within his universe so no matter which direction they take the franchise in, we should be set for a golden experience. Yes, I don’t have Sonic Mania at the moment, but I’m sure its time will come. As a Sonic fan I’d expect nothing less.
If there was ever such a thing as a low budget Mario and Sonic game then this is it. We no longer have the intense campaign mode from the first game and we don’t even get to keep the tournaments. With all of the characters and games already unlocked as well you just have to wonder what the developers were thinking. It’s not a bad game but it doesn’t do anything to help the Olympics legacy. It would have gone over better if this had been the first title in the series.
We do have a new mode though and that is essentially Mario Party mode. Here you run around a board trying to get items and bump into one of the characters who is running around. This will trigger a mini game. You want to win the mini games to get cards that you can put in your sticker album. Once you’ve obtained 16 stickers (or more depending on the length you choose) you will have won the game. Inside your sticker board you have two random items as well which may steal stickers from other players or just give you extras. They’re pretty handy so use them wisely. If you want to blast through the party then simply seek out the NPCs as soon as possible. I’m not sure if there is even a point to delaying it to be honest since grabbing the items didn’t actually seem to be doing anything. There’s probably something that I’m missing though.
I also have to point out that the mini games are starting to randomly get convoluted here. You should always be able to get a basic understanding of the game from the rules section before it starts. That wasn’t the case for the Dream Bike mini game. This one is a team game of 4 vs 4. You have to try and stay in a perfect line and shake your way to the goal. The problem is that you have to switch places during the race and the controls for being in the back were not clear. I struggled as best as I could but I just couldn’t form a line and I ended up losing the mini game and nearly the whole party map. I actually did lose the first time I played the mode, but I got them the second time.
Even the really solid games suffer from dicey instructions. Take the Nintendo/Sega trivia. The questions were solid and with prep time I could probably even get them right. However the game tells you to hold the Wii Remote horizontally when in fact you are supposed to hold it vertically. This cost me the very first question which I knew I would have gotten right. So the main point here is to read the rules carefully and be warned that you may not be able to win some of these games on the first try because you will have to figure out how it works.
One of the new games that is pretty solid is the throwing darts one. You essentially have to hit the bullseye as quickly as possible and try to get others. Essentially I don’t know if you go for all of the bullseyes but that would make sense. I hit 2 and won the mini game so just aim for the center and you will be all set.
We’ve also got some games that I believe are old like Table Tennis and Soccer. Table Tennis is the same old same old so I wouldn’t expect too much more out of that one. It’s a fun game as always but it didn’t take much effort to port it over. I forgot if soccer already existed or not but it doesn’t look good for this game either way since the soccer gameplay is probably the weakest I’ve ever seen in the genre. I know low budget Wii games with better soccer gameplay. Your passes always go too high so it is usually safest to take the bell through the whole field yourself before shooting. That’s just not good gameplay and teamwork is supposed to be the name of the game here. I just don’t know how you can possibly mess up a game like soccer this way.
100mm Swinming is another mini game that doesn’t even try to hide how recycled it is. It’s the exact same controls as always in what appears to be the same background. It’s a good mini game so I’m fine with it coming back of course, but we just should have had more games. Reusing minigames is like bringing back old fighters in a classic fighting game. It’s a great move and one that I stand by 100%. However, if the cast is unchanged then there is no point in upgrading as in the case of Godzilla Save The Earth to Godzilla Unleashed on the PS2.
What this Olympics should have done was have close to 40-50 events. They could easily have brought back events from the previous games in addition to a bunch of new ones. The only reason why I could see this being a bad thing is if they are trying to perfectly emulate the games that will be at each Olympics. If that is the case then I suppose they will need to find another solution (have the old mini games be unlockable) but either way we definitely needed more games than the rather limited amount that we got.
The graphics look nice as always at least. It’s about the same as the last game only without the cinematic cutscenes so maybe it is actually a downgrade. Those cutscenes strike me as being the hard part after all but maybe the gameplay is just as difficult. Either way the last game did manage to do both so I’d give it the edge. When it comes to the soundtrack there is no contest that the last one was better. It blended together a bunch of brilliant themes from both Mario and Sonic which made the games even more fun. While this game has a lot of those songs in the music player, don’t expect to hear them very often.
As far as the replay value goes I suppose that there is a lot to buy here. You can use your money to buy clothes which boost your stats and you can try to earn medals for all of the various mini games. That could take a little while and then you also have a lot of challenges to complete for the bragging rights. Complete all of the challenges and you will really be an Olympics champ. Considering that the game is pretty cheap I’d say that this is already enough value to justify the cost.
Overall, This is one of those games that may have been more acceptable if it had been the first in the series. However it is the third and after seeing what this series could really do with the second game it feels like a total downgrade. The game just lost all of its heart and it felt like the developers just cashed it in this time. There wasn’t much effort put behind this game as far as I could see and even though this is a decent game I would recommend going back to buy the Winter Olympics instead.
The first time I started watching Sonic Boom I knew that I had a winner on my hands. The series is the perfect blend of action and comedy. Due in part to the solid animation and naturally the strong writing as well, Sonic Boom is one of those all star titles that is not to be trifled with. It’s rare to see a comedy centered show actually be really funny throughout as opposed to once in a while but Boom pulls it off.
The basic plot of the show is that a group of friends live on an island. Their names are Sonic, Amy, Sticks, Tails, and Knuckles. This town is fairly isolated so the friends have to try and not get tired of each other or the fact that there is only one eatery in the entire town. They just have to learn to live the sub par food. Meanwhile, we also can’t forget about the evil Dr. Eggman who uses his evil inventions to try and conquer the town or sometimes to fight off tax corruption. One thing is for sure, there is always something happening in this show.
Sonic Boom may be a CGI show but the animation is so smooth and colorful that it is basically on the level of hand drawn animation. The character designs are really on point. At first people did make fun of some of the designs like Knuckles and Sonic but you quickly get used to them. The bright animation works well for the action scenes as well as the back and forth banter. It’s very versatile. Then there is also the solid soundtrack. It’s quite large as some episodes will have guest star montage themes. The normal everyday themes work well too and one of the big ones is the theme that plays when Sonic fights Shadow for the last time. It will keep you guessing throughout the show and that’s the sign of a good soundtrack.
The writing is certainly 5 Star material as the jokes just work so well. Part of it is the delivery of course, but you also have to give credit to the script for coming up with the jokes. In particular Sonic and Knuckles tend to get all of the best ones although every character has their moment. Eggman naturally gets a lot of time to shine as well with all of the banter between him and Sonic.
One thing you’ll also notice about Sonic Boom is that the show can get serious when necessary. Not all of the serious arcs may have always worked out, but for the most part they were pretty hype. The final two part event for the series certainly brought in the hype as Shadow’s battle with Sonic was as good as it gets. We haven’t had many battles with the two characters so it was cool to see them go at it. Shadow certainly had the edge in the fight which certainly makes sense since his speed is comparable to Sonic’s plus he has his chaos abilities like teleportation. It was fortunate for Sonic that Metal Sonic showed up and that fight was certainly epic as well. He was really doing pretty well against both of the hedgehogs even though he was outnumbered. The best part of the episode was still the early part though as Shadow’s takedown of the main cast was particularly brutal and showed him to be a legitimate threat. He did have a rather similar role in both seasons, but because his screen time was rather rare and limited it never actually felt redundant.
All right, let’s look at the cast. Sonic is essentially the perfect lead as he acts just like his hand counterpart, but dialed up to 11. This let him bring in a lot of snappy dialogue while still wrecking everyone when it came time for combat. This is definitely the Sonic that I remember from the games and his character is really done Justice. Whenever he faces off with someone you basically know that he is going to come out on top. Occasionally he will even subvert whatever the message of the episode was on account of being so talented. That just goes to show his skilled he is. He also does a good job of insulting everyone without being all that mean about it. He just tells it like it is and manages to look cool while doing so.
Knuckles certainly isn’t a very smart character and the show makes this as extreme as possible. Such an exaggerated character would certainly be either a big hit or a disaster and fortunately this portrayal was spot on. I think what really sells the character is how absolutely confident he is of being right. If someone tries to correct him Knuckles will typically put on a smug expression and explain why they are wrong. He has delusions of grandeur and at times he has gotten so big into his own ego that he ends up forgetting his bonds with the others. Knuckles is a nice guy, but one who just can’t cope too well with being the head honcho. He is still the power hitter of the team as well so you want to have Knuckles on your team.
For Tails, it’s an interesting case because rather than simply play up the genius angle, they play up the “genius wannabe” card. He is consistently shown to not be as smart as Eggman in this version and his inventions have to be fixed many times. Still, he does send up saving the day a lot through his inventions as well so it basically cancels out. Tails is a good character and he also has a bit of a rivalry with Sonic at times which is pretty fun. Sonic tends to come out on top, but the same can basically be said for all of his rivalries in the show (except Shadow) so that’s not bad. Tails’ best invention was certainly the one that could make clones of the individual. That’s a useful piece of tech for any situation.
Amy has her girl power sticker on for the show and loves to remind Sonic that not all problems have to be responded to with violence. Although, she is typically the one to jump into a fight. Her split personality is played up a lot in the show and makes her a character that can be feared by others aides. You just don’t want to make her angry. Her part time job as a psychiatrist also makes for a lot of entertaining scenes. She may be a little on the gullible side, but she is also the hero who gives the villains the benefit of the doubt more than the others which is surely a nice thing to do. Sonic never tends to buy into the villains actually having a change of heart in this show for better or worse.
Sticks was made up for Sonic Boom so it was always going to be interesting to see what route they took her. She is the big conspiracy nut of the series and spends a lot of her time yelling and trying to tell the cast what is actually happening. Her refusal to use technology does come in handy at times like when the villain tries to mind control everyone through the TV. Such tactics won’t work on Sticks. In a fight she does appear to be the weakest member but it’s not all about strength when you’re looking at a character. She’s definitely not one of the best members of the main cast, but she’s a reasonably solid member of the team:
Then we’ve got Eggman who is definitely a very important character in the series. He keeps everyone in check and seems to have a fairly formalized deal with Sonic that he will attack the town every week or so. They reference these plans quite a bit. Of course, a Eggman does sometimes switch things up if the town gets on his nerves. It’s not a great defense but if we’re being honest the town can be pretty annoying. They’ll try to cheat you out of money or cut out in line. Other townsfolk will try to guilt trip you into helping them and the mayor is absolutely corrupt. Some characters may just sit there and take it, but not Eggman. In all of these instances I am actually rooting for Eggman since he just seems to be in the right. It’s the town that really needs to change, not really Eggman.
Shadow only appears in 2 different stories but they are both quite good. He sounds intimidating for sure and just isn’t someone that you want to mess with. Especially when you consider how strong he is. Shadow may be a little gullible which is an unusual trait for the character and the only one that doesn’t work well, but he looks really good beyond that. His style of chaos control based combat is always fun to watch. As Sonic Boom surprisingly didn’t use guest stars all that often, it made their appearances even more special than usual.
Then we have Dave the Intern. Well, he has many jobs to be honest but he is most well known for his time over at Metburger where he sells fast food that isn’t healthy for you and the ingredients are also very suspect. He tends to get everyone’s order wrong and you run a risk whenever you go inside. So why do people eat there? Well, it’s the only food place in the small village. This is actually mentioned quite a few times and you wonder why the heroes would even live in such a village. There are probably quite a lot of fun theories about this, but I like to think that they are just trying to lay low for a little while. They don’t want to have to constantly be fighting so this was a way to get some r n r, but Eggman showing up definitely broke that plan. Dave is a really fun character thanks in large part to how his voice sounds. He clearly doesn’t want to be at the burger shop and has a lot of goals. Dave just isn’t particularly skilled enough to pull any of them off.
Another fairly big character in the show is Eggman’s twin brother robot from another dimension. His name is Morpho and his accent is certainly on point. I imagine that it must have taken a while to perfect it. He uses his shape changing abilities to great effect as he makes it hard for the heroes to trust each other. Eggman’s mother was also a quality character as she kept everyone in line. The supporting cast is just so great in this show and all of them get their due screen time. Even the old lady who is always losing her baby manages to be a solid character. There’s also a whole group of villains who work at the club house who are sort of like the Cutie Mark Crusaders, but the evil version.
For other guest stars, we’ve got Metal Sonic and Vector. It was a surprise to see Vector show up, but definitely a nice one. He’s not one of the coolest Sonic characters, but it was certainly about time that he got to be in something animated again. Metal Sonic was awesome as expected with his abilities still being top notch. Eggman’s lackeys Cubot and Orbot show up constantly and while their comedic moments don’t work quite as well as some of the others, they have their moments. It’s hard to totally be a bad character when you’re in this show. Even relatively weaker characters like the girl fox who showed up a bit and the old man who guilt trips everyone are more passable than they usually would be.
What really brings the humor home for Sonic Boom is how self aware it is with the characters and what is happening. When it pulls off homages to old sport films or classic moments in the Sonic franchise it works because the writers clearly know what they are referencing. Research was certainly being done on this show throughout. Superman is naturally referenced as well which is hype. Sadly the show did not last long enough for us to get to Super Sonic, but I like to think that the next season would have managed to squeeze that in at some point. There are so many more possibilities for episodes here.
In the end I’d definitely have to say that this is the best Sonic TV show. Sonic X isn’t far behind and then from there they all get rather close. I’d give the original Sonic The Hedgehog cartoon third, Adventures of Sonic 4th and then Underground would take a respectable last place finish. Sonic’s never really had a bad show before and that’s a credit to how good the franchise is. The original movie was excellent as well and hopefully the upcoming one will continue the trend.
Overall, Sonic Boom is an excellent show and one of the best non anime shows that I’ve seen in a long time. You could always expect high quality episodes from week to week. I’m still not a big fan of how many shows like to divide their episodes into 2 parts nowadays, but Boom pulls it off as well as it can. Hopefully it does get another season someday although its odds aren’t looking very great at the moment. I doubt the next Sonic show can surpass this one, but hopefully it is quite solid as well. So if you haven’t seen Sonic Boom yet, be sure to check it out asap.
It’s been about half a year so it’s time to look at the next volume of the Sonic archives! In this collection, good ole Knuckles joins the fray. I always liked his first appearance in the Sonic games and the comic is fairly faithful to the original events while adding that Archie humor that we all know and love. As always, this makes for a fun Sonic collection and you’ll certainly enjoy checking out the various stories.
The big story is naturally the one that involves Knuckles. Sonic and Tails land in a new island and Knuckles keeps trying to destroy them to keep his Chaos Emerald safe. Little does he know that Eggman is playing him for the sap! A short story has Bunny and Sally prove to Eggman that girls can fight just as well as boys and even better as they beat him up. Another short story has Sonic make the ultimate sacrifice of jumping into the mud to save an animal. As for the other big stories, one of them had Sonic get kidnapped by Eggman along with the other Freedom Fighters and locked into a Virtual Reality simulator. Sonic wouldn’t have any of that and admitted that the real world is tougher, but still the best. Another entertaining comic was when Tails became a super genius and it corrupted him. He wanted to be the leader of the Freedom Fighters and attacked Eggman, but it was a doomed plan. Eggman is simply too powerful when surrounded by his robots. Tails was really good in that issue and I liked his evil form. It would be cool to see it return. We also can’t forget about Sonic’s three gems of power. They gave him incredible abilities to use against Eggman, which was cool. Naturally, this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the comics go.
It’s a pretty short collection. The Knuckles comic is really the big one, but there are 1-2 other big two part adventures and then a lot of one shot stories. It may sound like there are a bunch of stories, but many of them are only a few pages long, which is why it still makes for a very quick read. It’s safe to say that Eggman underestimated Sonic and his friends. The Freedom Fighters are a threat to any villain as long as Sonic is around and even without him, Bunny and Sally proved to be more than a match for the evil genius. This was back during the days where Eggman had no tough allies to help him. It’s hard to believe that there were days when Metal Sonic wasn’t around to help very often right?
Naturally, the art is good and flows quite well with the stories. The designs have aged well although it’s safe to say that all of the modern looks are better than their old counterparts. Tails being brown just seems odd at this point and a chubby Sonic? We’re not exactly in the Mushroom Kingdom are we!? A part of me misses this Eggman look as well, but I’m still glad that we ended up getting the sleek re design from the modern games. That Eggman looks like a more formidable fighter while this guy was typically a pushover.
Sonic is still the main highlight of the comics as he always steals the show. As the comedy angle was played up more than in the modern issues, Sonic got a lot of crazy feats back in the day. This comic is no exception as Sonic moves so fast that he can dodge all of the raindrops on a rainy day to stay dry. That ends up being one of the mini comics and it’s an even more impressive feat than you may think. See, someone like the Flash can do this by simply going fast enough so that the air just nullifies the raindrops that get close to him or phasing through him, but that’s not what Sonic is doing. He’s simply dodging them all at super speed and if you’re ever been outside during a downpour, you’ll know that this is clearly impossible. Sonic is so fast that he’s essentially throwing away your reality and replacing it with his own. his speed defies logic and understanding, which is why he’s still one of the fastest characters of all time.
Knuckles got tricked into thinking that Sonic is a villain like usual, but at least he saw the light and helped Sonic take down Eggman. Knuckles isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but he means well and he was a likable supporting character here. It was fun to see the iconic character make his debut. This was back during the days where Tails wanted to prove himself fairly often so he doesn’t look quite as good. The comic where he turned into a genius was certainly enjoyable though and Tails definitely isn’t a bad character. I don’t think that I’d say that any of the characters were bad. It’s one of the reasons why the Sonic series has been so much fun. Even if some characters barely register for me, they typically won’t be downright unlikable although that will certainly happen at some point.
The other Freedom Fighters are around, but don’t get to do a whole lot. Bunny and Sally had their fight against Eggman, which was neat. Antoine is still the punchline for all of the jokes and you feel bad for him, but at least he never seems to notice or forgets the insults very quickly. He’s definitely one of the more entertaining characters in the series even if nobody ever takes him seriously. It’s similar to Eggman. I love this version of Eggman, but he didn’t get much to do this time. In previous comics, he literally broke his robots while having a tantrum and put one in the shredder. That was an awesome and iconic moment so it’s tough to top. He didn’t get too many burns or big moments here, but I suppose that he will have his time to shine soon.
This was before the modern days with Shadow and more of a plot based storyline, but the issues still hold up well. Sonic has always been able to succeed in whatever medium or style he has wanted too. The Sonic franchise has had successful video games in the 2-D Platformer, Racing, Fighting, 3-D Platformer, and Party game genres. He had successful TV shows in the comedy and action genres and the comics have ranged from light and happy to cheerfully dark. It’s no exaggeration to say that Sonic is one of the greatest franchises of all time and he’s not going anywhere. I’ll be checking out the next Sonic archives soon so be on the lookout for it.
Overall, I definitely recommend this collection. Whether you are already a fan of Sonic or not, the humor is very well written and the comics will go by in a flash. All of the characters are good and the smooth art really completes the package. There’s really nothing to dislike about the comic and you’ll just wish that it was a little longer. Sonic has been a consistently good comic series for decades at this point and I am confident that it will continue to be one of the best comic books out there. I’m still looking forward to checking out the two crossovers with Mega Man at some point although there should be a lot of plot hax around there.
It is time to finally review another Sonic Universe collection! The title already shows that this was not going to be your average Sonic adventure as we typically don’t have many journeys in the series. Sonic is always where he needs to be or he can zoom on over to the next fight so why would he need to travel. The key thing to consider is that he is not going alone this time! While not quite as good as the average Sonic comic, it’s still a decent adventure.
The Iron Dominion has taken over just about every part of the world, including the heroes’ home. Sonic and Tails have decided to tag along with Sally and Monkey Kahn as they try to convince various clans to break away from the evil empire. Will they be able to do this and weaken the main villains enough to finally overtake them or will this journey be too much for our heroes. Moreover, another faction decides to enter the fray and stir up some trouble for Sonic. He’s going to have to move quickly if the world is to be saved.
As I mentioned earlier, this comic wasn’t as good as the typical one and I believe that the plot is to blame. Why are Sonic and friends liberating all of the clans instead of going straight after the main villain? Saving their home should be top priority if you ask me and no villain can stop Sonic from saving the day. The Iron Dominion also doesn’t get to even appear so it is hard to say if they are good villains or not. They won’t be appearing in the other Sonic Universe collections so I will have to wait until I see them in the main title, which really could be a while. The journey is simply not very interesting and you can’t help, but feel that the stakes are very low.
Where’s Eggman? Where’s Knuckles or Shadow? Most of the main cast is gone and Monkey Kahn is not a great replacement. I’ve read comics with him in the past and while he is a decent fighter, Kahn simply isn’t very likable. He is fairly arrogant and believes himself to be a match for Sonic, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Kahn was easily taken down by the villains in the opening pages and Sonic had to save him. Kahn’s thunder abilities certainly do make him more powerful than most of Sonic’s allies, but the prince will never be a top level threat when it counts. His romance with Sally is also very short lived and never actually goes anywhere.
Sally looks all right, but leading on Kahn like that wasn’t a nice move at all. She needs to choose someone and then stick with the decision instead of constantly wondering. Beyond that, she will likely make for a good leader of the kingdom. Tails is still a little sensitive about how young he is and certainly doesn’t like it when villains comment on that. That being said, Tails really proves them right here as Fiona messes with him and he doesn’t look too good against the villains. He’s looked better in other Universe issues and the main series though so I’m sure that he’ll be ready next time.
Sonic is naturally the best character of the series and he always looks good. It’s just easy for writers to depict him accurately because Sonic’s formula is simple yet effective. His confidence knows no bounds and Sonic can always back up his tough talk. It’s why the hedgehog is such an incredible character. He gets taken by surprise when confronted with Fiona and her gang, but he quickly gains the upper hand and gets serious once they start to taunt Tails. Sonic’s a natural born leader and he always looks out for his comrades. Without him, the comic likely would not have been anywhere near as good.
As for the villains, most of them are one shots as the heroes go to a different clan each issue. That being said, Fiona does arrive with her posse. They help the heroes because they want to get one of their members back from another clan, but then they leave to scheme some more. I’m sure that we haven’t seen the last of them, but I don’t see how they will be much of a threat to the heroes. Sonic could easily take those guys out thanks to his speed. The villains have a speedster of their own, but he’s nowhere near as fast as Sonic.
Espio actually appears and it is interesting since we find out that he has been spying on the heroes the whole time. He knows all of their dark secrets, but still wants to be their friends. The heroes give him a bit of a hard time about this, but I’m sure that they will come around. It wasn’t personal after all and at least Espio didn’t flat out betray them, although this was close. I used to be a huge Espio fan back when I was a kid. I still think that he is a decent character, but he certainly fell down the ranks. He’s nowhere near the all stars like Sonic and Shadow nowadays.
This collection would have been a lot better if we had gotten some more action. Uniting the clans just seems like a waste if you ask me and it was practically filler. The plot will end in the main series, but that means that this one didn’t get to have much of a climax. It ends with the heroes about to head home, which is a good cliffhanger. It is just not as exciting as it could have been and this took away our chances of having a good fight.
The collection’s writing and art are good as expected. Sonic’s witty dialogue is one of the reasons why the series has done well for so many years. Naturally, the art is good as well and all of the scenes are clear and easy to follow. This is a winning formula and it’s why the graphic novel is still fun despite the rather dull plot. After all, the plot isn’t quite as important when all of the other areas are good. It is still something to take note of and a terrible plot can outweigh the other positives, but this one never went that far. I wasn’t in the mood for an adventure with Sonic, but it was unique and we got to see Kahn again. That should count for something I suppose.
Overall, Journey to the East was not my favorite Sonic comic, but the title helped to tip me off to that. Even the cover wasn’t very exciting. Sonic steals the show as expected and I’m glad that he never backs down to Kahn. Kahn’s thunder powers are good though and hopefully he will get some good fights someday. I don’t care for the various clans and their plots so I’m hoping that they don’t last for too long in the future. You really can’t have a Sonic comic without more members of the main cast and higher stakes would be good as well. I still recommend this if you’re a Sonic fan. Reading the collection will only take a small amount of time and it still makes for an enjoyable read. It won’t be a thrill a minute, but it gets the job done.
It’s time to head back to the good ole Sonic Universe series! I’ve sporadically read a few volumes already and I can safely say that more are on the way. By the end of this batch, I should have read almost all of the Sonic Universe comics! They have been fun although they can be a bit more of a mixed bag since Sonic isn’t always the main character and these comics like to have fun with the typical format. After all, these are universe stories so they don’t necessarily have to be about Sonic…right?
Well, it is 30 years from the current comics. Shadow took over the world and enslaved everyone, but then Sonic mysteriously appeared 25 years from the present and dethroned him. He now rules the kingdom alongside Sally and they have led Mobius to a new era of peace. Everything seems to be going well, but Shadow’s army of enforcers are not pleased. They aim to get Shadow back on the throne of Mobius and they will use any means necessary to achieve their overall objective. Does Sonic still have enough strength left in him to take these villains down!?
One plot point that is mentioned a lot, but never elaborated on is Sonic’s fate. It’s intentional of course since this is still a future story so the authors should leave themselves a little wiggle room for future stories. Although, with the Mega Man crossover that altered the timeline, that may not be a problem anymore. Either way, Sonic states that he had to write himself out of the timeline and then he chose to come back at this specific moment in time. He still aged the full 25 years, but he was apparently out of the time stream. I’m not sure how this affects past events, but it does make you wonder what threat was so big that Sonic had to leave time. For now, I’ll assume that it was some kind of time bomb that Eggman made or something of that sort.
It doesn’t have anything to do with the plot, but it’s something to think about. The concept of a future story has always been a fun one, but it can be tough to execute. That’s simply because it typically feels pointless to the reader. Whenever a comic tries to show us the future like Marvel, DC, or Archie, we know that the present will never reach that point. Anything that happens in the future comics would likely not happen once the comics eventually reach that point. 100 years from now, I’m sure that the comic world will look strangely similar to the current ones even though the in world time will still match our own. It’s simply how comics work, characters can’t age past a certain point or the readers would leave. We’d just get a reboot if things were getting too hairy.
So, the future comics shouldn’t try to feel to relevant, but they should still be exciting. Batman Beyond is a prime example of that. You can really treat it as more of a what if than anything else and it’s cool to see how everything turned out for the heroes and villains. I treat the Sonic comic in the same way, but it’s not quite as exciting. The comic puts a lot of emphasis on the new designs and status of Mobius. Potentially too much as there isn’t a lot of action or fun banter to make it quite as good as the typical Sonic comic.
Naturally, it still has its pros though. Sonic is still a good fighter and he really hasn’t changed in all of these years. He’s still the Hedgehog that we’ve always known and he’s always ready to fight for his friends. I’m not a fan of the redesigns for the characters of course, but they’re meant to look worse since everyone is old and robotic at this point. Julie Su is one of the main characters here and now she has some actual Chaos Control abilities. She manages to defeat Shadow off screen, which is certainly impressive. She does a good job of protecting the kingdom here.
Mobius doesn’t have many defenders anymore so they’re lucky to have her and Sonic around. The rest of the Freedom Fighters disbanded long ago, but they still live in the city. They just live as normal citizens now since there has been peace in the land for so long. It’s interesting to also see the villain’s side of things. Shadow’s minions are interesting although they should have known that they were in over their heads. Shadow is the guy whose development may surprise you because he’s always seemed so happy and chipper in the comics. What made him turn back into a total villain after all of these years?
He makes a brief speech about how he tried to lead by example and when that failed he turned to force. I guess he was just disappointed that villains were still popping up everywhere back when he was a hero. That’s sad and all, but certainly not a legitimate reason to turn into a villain. He actually decides to destroy the world at the end, which is certainly pretty far out. I have a tough time believing that Shadow would go this far off the deep end, but maybe Sonic’s disappearance had something to do with his losing hope.
The final boss of the comic is neat as Perfect Chaos has merged with Tikal into the ultimate fighting force. The odd part is that Tikal’s inclusion doesn’t really make Chaos any stronger. If Chaos is more powerful, the change isn’t very obvious on the outside. The new Freedom Fighters have to deal with him and in the end, Sonic’s not enough to win this time. Actually, that reminds me that Chaos does have one new skill involving his energy projection skills. That is a decent improvement I suppose.
Naturally, we also get to see a lot of the next generation here. Most of the characters had sons and daughters so they are the ones who will protect Mobius in the future. It’s interesting to see that some of the main characters of Sonic Underground have decided to join the fray. Manic and Sonia are Sonic and Sally’s kids so I guess that’s their origin in this world. Most of the other kids are around too of course, but those two had the biggest role. They were crucial in the final fight as they both have super speed and knew Chaos had a weakness thanks to the supporting characters.
I almost forgot one supporting character…Silver! It’s safe to say that his fans will not be pleased as he really doesn’t do so well here. For starters, he’s outsmarted by Sonic when it comes to time travel and then he refuses to even say what threat is approaching until it actually appears. He got one shotted by one of the evil minions and you have to wonder why he is here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that he was as his role is pretty humorous, but his fans will likely want to avert their eyes. Silver is hardly as experienced as he lets on and he still makes many rookie mistakes. I look forward to seeing how he handles himself in his own arc. (Sonic Universe Volume 7!)
The art is solid as can be expected of a Sonic comic. Everything is bright and vibrant so you can easily see what is going on. Typically, the panels are very large, which means that there are fewer of them per page, but we get some great art. I typically like big panels for these kinds of stories as they work very well for talking scenes, but many other series use smaller panels which works as well. Each style has its merits to be sure.
Overall, This was a decent volume of Sonic Universe. It likely will not come as a surprise that I did enjoy this one a little less than most of the other volumes. I think that the future could have been shown to have been more exciting. Most of the villains may be gone, but I would have liked some cool references to the past or something like that. The most interesting plot is certainly Sonic’s travels through time and I would have liked to have seen more of that. Nonetheless, this is a good Sonic comic that’s worth checking out and I would definitely recommend it. Everything else aside, you will be sure to have a good time as you read this adventure and Sonic has always been a great lead. He doesn’t disappoint here. You can also expect more Sonic Universe stories coming up soon!
Sonic Boom brought a lot of controversy with it when they first showed the character designs for this reboot. Why did America need to have its own version of Sonic and why was Knuckles so well built? These were questions that plagued the minds of many Americans as we eagerly awaited the game. Evidently, many people are not pleased with this title. It’s pretty sad since the game is a unique take on Sonic that we won’t be forgetting anytime soon. So, this is me telling Sega not to hit the panic button as the Big Red Button may be on to something. I would actually take a sequel to this title…let’s find out why!
Sonic and friends are just having fun when they are cornered by Metal Sonic and forced to retreat into a mysterious area. It’s like a big dungeon and it seems old. Unfortunately, Sonic ends up freeing the mighty Lyric from his eternal tomb. Lyric is able to fend Sonic off as he escapes to conquer the planet. To stop him, Sonic will need to gather the
7 8 Chaos Emeralds Crystals to stop his dastardly plans. Will the Hedgehog be fast enough or will his constant banter with his friends slow him down? His toughest challenge is now upon him!
So, this isn’t your average Sonic game. It’s a complete reboot for American Audiences to be introduced to the Sonic franchise since the last few installments haven’t exactly rocked our world in terms of sales. You’ll certainly be able to tell that it’s American since there is a lot more dialogue during the gameplay. Think Spiderman Edge of Time. The heroes are constantly insulting and putting each other down as they ultimately strengthen their bonds of friendship. It’s something that we see a lot in Pac Man or in your average, current American animation. It’s not a bad thing per say. See, it does make all of the characters act out of character, but it’s still cool in its own way. I like Sonic as the overconfident Hedgehog of the 90’s, The Epic Sonic from the 2000’s, and I don’t mind the Sarcastic Sonic from this game. They’re pretty different versions of the same character, but they all tend to work out.
A lot of people have criticized Sonic lately for being too slow. Sonic Lost World was made to be more of a platformer like Mario and this game is Ratchet and Clank style so it’s the slowest Sonic game in years. Their complaints are valid if you really miss the Sonic speed, but we can always dig out Sonic Adventure 2 Battle for that. The game desperately does try to convince you that it is a speed game though through various “Speed Segments” that pop up from time to time. It’s like in Sonic 06 where various levels would just have you power your way to the goal line between levels. However, the segments are pretty small and you can only move from side to side like in a retro speed game. The segments are pretty fun, but you can hardly say that it makes the game move any faster. The characters continue to comment on how fast that they’re going, but in your head you can just picture Sega’s PR division trying to force feed you that message.
As I mentioned earlier, I don’t mind a slower game, but my main problem was with the Hub World. You are forced to walk very slowly through it, which makes navigating very tedious. It takes a long time to get from place to place and if you wander into the wrong place you will have to teleport back to another location and begin the trek anew. Trust me…it gets old pretty fast. The Hub World certainly adds replay value, but Sonic should be allowed to run. It’s sort of his thing…Which, you cannot run in regular levels either. Walking is simply here to stay.
Each of the characters have their own gimmick. Knuckles can grab onto walls, Amy can do a triple jump, Tails can glide while over a fan and Sonic can use his homing attack to get over large gaps. It’s a classic teamwork exercise and it works decently well. It does help to slow down the pacing as you switch characters, but that’s just its style.
Lyric is the new villain here and he’s probably going to be remembered as a one and done character unless he makes another appearance on the home console front soon. He’s portrayed as a serious threat and he’s never used for comic relief, but he is just not that powerful. His design ensures that he cannot fight in hand to hand combat and he’s too slow to be considered as a real threat. Ironically, the minions may pose a bigger threat, but I’ll get into that in a moment. I’d say that Lyric beats most of the villains in Lost World, but I do prefer the final boss from that game. Maybe Lyric will grow on me if he appears in the next Sega racing title.
The soundtrack is not so good when you compare it to most Sonic games. The narration probably helped me forget the tunes since it overshadows the music, but I can’t really recall almost any of the level themes. The Hub World music is pretty generic so you won’t find the next City Escape theme there. You can tell that it has an American twist in it and it certainly didn’t help in this case.
The graphics are pretty good. They probably won’t strike you as “Next Gen” but it’s still Sonic and the colorful landscapes look great. It’s good to see that Sonic’s character model survived the Sonic Boom that hit the franchise and he still looks great. Shadow will also strike out at you when he appears and the animations in gameplay are solid. It may not be revolutionary, but I would say that it’s better than average. Sonic just needs to keep up this level!
The tributes to the golden age of the Sonic adventure definitely help to make the story more exciting in the forms of Metal Sonic and Shadow. I think the game would have been even better if they had appeared more. Shadow’s voice actor is terrible, but that’s an unfortunate side effect of the big roster change. The other voices are all pretty decent, but none of them can match the classics. Play through Adventure 2 Battle if you want true voice acting! Metal Sonic means business as per usual and he’s so much faster than Sonic that it’s pretty scary. Shadow’s chaos abilities are also as formidable as ever and he won’t be going down without a fight.
I do have to comment on the power levels since they’re a little wonky in this title. Sonic’s famous speed is all but gone as he just doesn’t move at very impressive speeds. His friends are all decently quick and Sonic’s a few steps ahead of them, but you don’t see anything to support him being massively hyper sonic to light speed levels. Eggman casually outruns him and Sonic can’t even dodge a simple energy blast. Metal Sonic’s speed isn’t even comparable to Sonic’s anymore so Sonic really got the short end of the stick.
The heroes are also pretty under powered as a few ordinary robots are enough to scare them out of their minds. Just a glimpse of Metal Sonic is enough to force the heroes to utilize their tactical retreat options. That’s always pretty sad to see since these are heroes. I don’t think that you would see Link or Samus backing off from these odds. That being said, this will make Mario fans pretty happy as they can make a better argument that Mario can win. This version of Sonic is definitely beatable.
Unfortunately, Eggman doesn’t look very good since he’s around to make Lyric look tough. Metal Sonic is forcibly taken away from Eggman, which I didn’t buy for a second. Lyric basically has control over all electronics, which is a cool ability, but Metal Sonic isn’t your average robot. Eggman does get a few good moments though and I’d say that he’s still a better villain than Lyric. It’s too bad that this game is really just trying to make fun of him rather than making him a serious threat. Technically, he should easily be able to take out Lyric with his mecha. The comic relief is just too much for him at times.
Going back to the gameplay, it’s very similar to Ratchet and Clank, but with less shooting. You’ll do a lot of punching, but you can alternate with homing attacks and ground pounds. Punching is just the most effective way to fight if you want to take out the enemies quickly. Everyone comes equipped with an energy whip to get across various sections of the game. I’ll admit that this part is rather unnecessary and just drags out the game, but at least you can use it to throw the enemies away. It’s a pretty fun game style where I just have one serious complaint.
Beating up on the villains can actually get annoying. They have a lot of invincibility moments where you have to wait until they attack to start pounding into them again. It doesn’t make them any tougher, but it certainly prolongs the battle. You’ll be fighting well over a hundred mechs by the time that the game’s over and they are especially numerous in the climax. You’ll definitely get tired of fighting them by then and you’ll want a break. The bosses are unaffected by this though as they’re all fun to challenge. Unfortunately, they are extremely easy (Either punch or throw things at the bosses…that’s literally it) but that’s to be expected. The Final Boss doesn’t have anything grand added to it, which can be anti climatic, but it’s still a good fight.
The game got a lot of attention for its glitches and bugs, but there aren’t a whole lot of them. Several cutscenes played without audio and I jumped through a wall once, but at least I was able to jump back to the screen. Also, it came in handy during one part where I tried jumping into oblivion, but ended up teleporting onto an enemy ship. Glitches can actually help out like that! The one glitch that does occur frequently is when the frame rate drops. Lagging when playing online is one thing, but you don’t typically expect that in story mode. It happens a whole lot when you’re in the hub world, but it’s also present for the field. It can be comical or annoying depending on how you look at it.
Sonic and Tails are portrayed fairly accurately compared to their real selves. They’re just a little more extreme as Tails criticizes Sonic’s jokes and Sonic likes to insult Eggman more. Amy is pretty good as she’s solidifying herself as more of a rival/ally to Sonic as she can keep up with him and she also has the hammer. Knuckles is really the only character who looks really bad here as he’s portrayed to be very unintelligent. He can’t comprehend simple sentences and he can barely think without hurting himself. I think that the writers went wayyyyyy to far there since he’s usually a pretty likable character. I think that they need to back up a little and rethink the whole situation. Shadow’s portrayal is just odd and it makes you think that they just threw him in at the last second. He attacks Sonic and his friends for literally no reason and then he backs off at the end because the heroes saved the day. Wasn’t he about to stop them from doing just that? Of course, his voice makes me naturally dislike his role, but it still did not make a whole lot of sense.
Overall, Sonic Boom is a pretty fun game and a nice start to a new section of the franchise. It certainly has its share of flaws, but the first title in a series usually needs some work. Just look at Sonic Spinball and Sonic DX or Mario Golf and Mario Galaxy. Those may not be relevant examples, but they’ll still cause you to think. The bugs aren’t quite as numerous as you may think and the gameplay is ultimately fun, which is the important part. Hopefully they can just portray Eggman a little tougher in the sequel and make Sonic a whole lot faster. This is definitely a solid title to buy and you can expand your Wii U collection at the same time! Also, if you want some hype for debating sites, “Nobody has ever dodged my Spin Dash before!” will be a good line to remember when people try to say that someone’s reaction times are enough to stop Sonic. It just won’t work against good ole Lyric.
I’ve read a lot of the newer Sonic comics, but I’ll admit that I have not really experienced most of the classic ones. The first volume of the archives is a good start since it brings some of the first Sonic comics that were ever written! It’s an interesting change of pace from the modern issues and you can definitely tell that things have changed. Luckily, these issues still hold up pretty well.
Giving you a plot summary can be a little tricky though. It’s not as if these stories really had a whole lot of continuity back in the day and they’re all self contained stories. They are also really short stories. One of them features a battle between Super Sonic and the Universalmander, which was pretty cool. I can’t say that I expected to see any of them so early. Another story has Eggman hire a pretty powerful monkey with explosive coconuts to take out Sonic and the Freedom Fighters once and for all.
Sonic is as cool as you would expect. He’s always got a good pun at the ready and he doesn’t mind breaking the fourth wall when necessary. He’s ultimately confident and his personality actually hasn’t changed all that much when compared to the newest issues. He doesn’t have to worry about a lot of different dramas and side quests so he’s totally devoted to showing off and using his super speed to mess with Eggman. This is how you write a main character!
The Universalmander is probably the strongest enemy that Sonic has ever faced up to now. Sonic still defeated him with incredible ease as he just jumped right through the poor guy, but we can’t forget that Sonic did need to use the power of the Chaos Emeralds first. I don’t believe that anyone will give Sonic a real run for his money for a while, so this was good enough for this fighter. You gotta love the name though!
One of the enemies had explosive coconuts, but there isn’t much to say about him. I remember him from the games and even Sonic DX has a variation of this opponent. Throwing things is cool…but not very effective against an opponent as fast as Sonic. The other Freedom Fighters don’t get much of a role yet. Antoine is already starting to feel sorry for himself because the other never ask for his advice. (Little does he know that they always try, but he’s too lost in his thoughts to hear them) Sally is already the tactician of the group, but the plans are all fairly basic since Sonic likes to be direct. She’s not really a fighter yet. Tails is still in the kid phase. He doesn’t really seem to understand what’s happening and everything is a game to him. He gets the heroes into a pretty dicey spot by mistake. (And he gets mad at Sonic in 100 issues for treating him like a child!) I’m definitely glad that Sega severely changed his design later on since the brown just didn’t work for him.
Eggman is the main villain of course and he’s pretty solid. It was cool to see him literally feed his minions to the scrapper. This guy isn’t playing around. Naturally, Eggman mostly takes the brunt of every joke, but he takes them in stride. His minions always comment on his round shape, but he ignored them and just goes about his business. Of course, he did destroy some of his minions so I guess the insults may play a part in that. I’m don’t care for any of Eggman’s minions at this point so it’s good to see Eggman thinning out the ranks. He does get a good shot on Sonic when he throws him around through the pinball machine. Even then, Sonic is too busy making puns to really be in any danger, but at least the mad doctor got his kicks. This was definitely how his comic relief era started and I’m happy to say that it works better for him than his rivals in Wily and Bowser.
It’s pretty cool to see how the comics have changed. This same series is still going on today as the series nears its 300th issue. (In about 30 issues) These were definitely simpler days for the heroes and we don’t have any extra hedgehogs. I’m sure that Metal Sonic and the others join the crew soon, but the issues are still fun. There really isn’t a lot of action in it, but this one is really more of a fun comedy. Breaking the fourth wall becomes pretty regular after a while and the characters continue to trade insults and puns.
The art is a little rough around the edges, but it’s still pretty good. The attention to the details can really make some scenes have an extra punch and the action scenes that we do get are pretty great. Just one look at Sonic’s speed is enough to make you feel a little bad for the villains. They really don’t stand a chance at all.
Overall, This is a solid start to the Sonic comics. I doubt that the writers could have ever dreamed that it would get so popular. Archie has done a great job with Sonic throughout the years. This collection may not be quite as intriguing as the new Sonic Universe and Saga collections, but every good franchise must start from somewhere. The issues definitely hold up from the good ole days. They are more comedy based so that could be a turn off for some, but the humor is very well done. The collection is also very short so you are able to go through it rather quickly. I imagine that you can currently buy it for a very low price and it’s worth it. You can proudly say that you own the very first Sonic comic that started the epic comic franchise that we see today. It’ll be fun to see if the change to the modern times is very sudden or so subtle that I won’t even notice. We shall see!