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Dr. Detective Mike

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Everything posted by Dr. Detective Mike

  1. There was another Vector quote that I wanted to highlight but I took it out because I figured you guys would get the point without constant re-emphasis. Really, my biggest issues with these Knuckles issues is how formulaic and repetitive it all is. Constant exhausting exposition dumps about the past that see the present day story lacking any real gravitos. It really is just things from the past showing up again to let themselves be known they're still around before something blows up or the conflict is halted to be dealt with at a later date. Thats been all 6 issues of this Knuckles comic and its maddening. If he ever gets the answers he seeks, I'm half expecting them to pull another Sword of Acorns twist and reveal its all fake so as to prolong it ever more.
  2. Knuckles the Echidna - #4: Lost Paradise, Part 1 of 3: The Phantom City Knuckles is back, way sooner than I would have liked to be honest, but he’s here. This cover has… quite a lot of… something going on all over it. I mean it looks nice but I have no clue what the fuck is happening. I don’t know why there are several ants now and why they’re riding on tornadoes or why the Chaotix are transparent and why that cannon is comically shaking back and forth and firing at Vector. All I know is that Penders will probably have answers for this that’ll only serve to confuse even more. Or no answers at all. Final Thoughts - So, this story was… frustrating. Fucking frustrating. I’m sick and tired of all these questions popping up because I know good and god-damn well that not only are the answers not going to be satisfactory but they’re not coming for as long as Penders can stretch this shit out. I keep being surprised by the fact that this Knuckles’ series has issues stretching into the 30s. Locke and Archimedes are terrible people and the quicker they stop fucking with and manipulating Knuckles’ life, the better. Julie-Su is just a pain and seeing her and Archimedes talk about how bad Knuckles’ personality is when neither of them have room to talk is that gross, cheap icing on the cake that I don’t need. NEXT. Knuckles the Echidna - #5: Lost Paradise, Part 2 of 3: Fallout Is it weird that upon seeing this cover, I was suddenly awash with the realization of how ridiculous the story I’m reading truly is? Seriously, what the hell would this look like to a normal person? Also, I think I’m sort of understanding the point of making everyone look so translucent. It kind of just looks like everyone is a ghost but, as we find out, there’s a bit of a reason for it. Final Thoughts - So many of these characters keep repeating phrases like “The question is whether or not you’re ready to handle it” or “You’re not ready” or even “This is more than he’s bargained for” in something like the title crawl. This story has done nothing to explain to me why Knuckles isn’t ready for this shit. As a reader, I’m just really frustrated by all the secrecy. The only way to know why Knuckles isn’t ready is to show what he isn’t ready for and how he deals with it, but they can’t because they want this to stretch itself out for the sake of some sort of self-important story romp. It’s not worth it. This issue was convoluted and overdone. Maybe back in the past I would have given this a pass for being mildly interesting on it’s own but the amount of issues focusing on Knuckles that devolve into just an endless exposition dump and history lesson has reached staggering levels of ridiculousness. This is not how you do this. At some point, history’s gotta be made with what’s happening in the present. So much of what’s happening in the present is just people talking about the past and how shit’s still like it was in the past. Knuckles the Echidna - #5: Lost Paradise, Part 3 of 3: Zero Hour… and Counting This is the worst cover of the three but it’s still nothing bad. Spaz is a great artist. They all look well drawn here. It’s just the formatting is still a little hard to get used to. A part of me can’t look at this and not think it looks ridiculous. Anyway, time to conclude this dump-truck of a fucking story. Final Thoughts - This story was a travesty. It was pureale garbage from top to bottom. These stories where tons of characters act like they know better than you, who start spewing bullshit from their mouths in a thinly veiled attempt at sounding important, and do NOTHING to serve the story except exemplify why their existence has only allowed problems to fester need to go the hell away. This was a story where nothing happens for the first two issues before something miraculously happens that pushed people to run away from something towards their safety. It happened last time with the Kragok thing. I mostly just covered a huge flashback in that. The shit going on in the present wasn’t much of anything. This dude showed up, captured Knuckles’ friends, let Knuckles go, and then had to escape a collapsing building. Here, Knuckles’ mom was captured. Knuckles easily rescued her… and then the other zones started to merge which meant getting to a bunker? They sure were lucky that bunker didn’t collapse under the weight of two zones merging. This was just a bunch of frivolous explanations for things that DO NOT need to be as complicated as they are for the sake of an underwhelming resolution. I really hope this doesn’t happen again. Something about Knuckles’ PRESENT needs to advance soon. These stories where we just get told a bunch of shit that happened in the past and some dude who wants revenge for something in the past just… runs off or calls a truce and nothing happens aren’t interesting. Also, for the love of God, stop introducing characters. We don’t need anymore. Or at least get rid of some if you’re going to. Drag Locke out of his bunker and force him to do something productive. Or kick Julie-Su off the island. That’d make me happy. Garbage. Here’s Eustass Bagg reviewing this old as shit Ken Penders Knuckles comic Muriel found out back.
  3. Yeah, the last fighter for the next one will probably be a Sword and Shield rep and everyone will lose their minds despite the last four generating all the delicious hype they wanted. Plus, even if he weren't apart of the Fighter's pass, most people are gonna get him anyway. If Smash fans don't want this system around, I'd gladly ask for a trade though. Playable Professor Pickle, here I come!
  4. I wanted to come in here and type a sarcastic comment about how its okay to complain because Smash Ultimate Racing only has 15 characters or something but nah. This game's roster includes every character thats ever been in Smash and started out with the expectation of very few new additions. Cut to 2020 and its still adding in new characters, with the promise of even more on the way. I couldn't imagine being truly upset about this, even if they add someone I don't care about.
  5. This was my favorite of the issues you guys have posted so far. I'm typically one for stories where characters just get to head on over and talk to one another within the midst of an aftermath to a crisis. I'm not exaggerating one iota when I say that the one panel of Sonic hugging Sally and her family was the most I've ever cared about her character before. I'd imagine if I were a fan of hers, this would be hitting really hard but luckily I'm at least able to tell when something's written with affection. Some scattered thoughts I had: - At first I was a little miffed that transferring into Geoffrey's body didn't fix Naugus' problem because I thought that meant it was going to undo the plot point of him taking the skunk over. I'm glad to see that he can actually get it under control. - Seeing the old Egg Bosses made me realize that, aside from a select few, I'm not as familiar with the Egg Bosses from Pre-Reboot as I am Post-Reboot. Eggman's Dozen is one of my favorite Sonic stories period but I keep being reminded that it's apart of the continuity that isn't getting the continuation. I can't help but wonder if some of them will be incorporated into this one somehow. - Almost 10+ years of reading these comics and seeing these characters with parents is still weird to me. You'd think I'd be used to this by now. - The Mina and Nicole beef being brushed aside caught my attention. Having so much freedom at your beck and call is going to make undoing things you weren't fond of or don't see the logic in continuing a breeze. - Knuckles is adorable. I probably would have been really confused by the affection the two had here if I hadn't started my journey through the early issues recently. - Reading these always lights a fire in my stomach. I'm still gonna make my own comic one day. Just you wait. That's all. Can't wait for the next one~!
  6. I think you're making it seem way more complicated then it is. There's no reason anyone would need to jump from the SA2 adaption all the way to SU #2 and just read the flashback pages. Thats a little insane. Reading things in chronological order doesn't account for flashbacks or the way a single issue decides which story is shown first. The SA2 adaption and SU #2 were written so far apart from each other and clearly not meant to be read that way.
  7. The one I'm using now is being provided by the unofficial Archie continuation website. I don't know what "reading timeline" order or "story by story timeline" order means. I assume you mean the order in which they come out versus the order in which events happen chronologically.
  8. SEGA Heroes just added Charmy Bee which now means I have to play it.

  9. To be honest, it felt more like it was there just in case you didn't read the stories from the other series running at the same time. I typically tend to like how Sonic Universe doesn't present itself as mandatory reading sometimes. It makes accidental skips easier to deal with but here its clearly not concerned with that.
  10. Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #53: Unfinished Business So, because this comic apparently has some sort of disorder where they need three different books running at the same time, I've run into problems where the reading order lists I've been following have screwed up twice. I've found a 100% accurate one now so it's all good but this means I'm further ahead than where I should be which is a little annoying, even if it is for a comic that's most likely going to be garbage for a good long while. Not to worry, I'll be covering what I missed next time. What a strange, creepy looking cover though. I’m really not sure what it is here that I’m looking at here. Not only can I not tell what this thing is but… I can’t tell what that this IS and that’s even creepier. Like, seriously, what the hell is that? I guess I’m gonna find out. I’m sure everything will be fine with everyone’s favorite incompetent doctor around. This story is also a joint effort by Ken Penders and Karl Bollers so… so we’ll see how that turns out… Final Thoughts - The majority of this issue really wasn’t bad at all. It was stocked full of a lot of different stuff and new concepts that do end up being heavy mainstays in the book going forward and even recontextualized some things about the book down the line for me. It’s a shame the writing got a tad derpy and confusing there at the finish line but it didn’t completely shit the bed either, so that’s nice. Next time, some more echidnas. There’s so much echidnas guys. So many echidnas.
  11. I'm thinking of attempting to report back on the Bumblekast's myself eventually, although, I'm probably going to just quote Ian directly instead of paraphrasing. It really does threaten to misconstrue some of the things he's saying if paraphrasing is done wrong. Hell, even quoting sometimes doesn't work because the inflections aren't the same. Sometimes people might think he's mad when he's actually being jovial and happy. For the best experience, listening to the Q&A sections themselves would be for the best though.
  12. I need to figure out how PC gaming works so I can play these fan games you guys keep bringing up. That Robo Blast 2 thing looked neat. Plus, it had a rain level and I love rain levels
  13. Sure, I can do that. I keep forgetting that I CAN do that which is why the post I made recaping an entire decade of Sonic is a long page scroller. Odds are I might forget again, but I'll try to remember.
  14. Archie Sonic the Hedgehog - Issue #52: The Discovery Zone My first reaction to seeing this cover was, “Holy shit, that’s awesome! Sonic as a Noir detective!” but then I started thinking bad thoughts. Like, how this could actually be a regular detective but he’s wearing really huge fake hands and a phelt mascot head of Sonic’s. Or about how these comics currently have no detective characters in them… sigh. The writers for this issue are Tom Rolston and Karl Bollers. Still no Penders story on the main book after Issue 50 yet, but it’s coming. Although, considering how random and awful the Karl Bollers story was last time I have a feeling it might not matter. Final Thoughts - All this could have been handled way better. I like the idea behind this set-up more than the way they decided to follow-through with it. It’s not bad or anything but for a 50s noir homage, I expected something a little more interesting. That cover got me so excited.
  15. Well, the reason for that is because I didn't think of it.
  16. Maybe it wasn't smart of me to make a post covering the entire decade on the last post before a new page began but I'm happy I did. I love writing and going back through the history of the decade reminded me of stuff I had forgotten. Plus, the green, yellow, and red system is a nice way of letting people know my opinion on something without them needing to read the whole thing.
  17. Oh my god. What to say. Where to begin. I guess I could just lay out my overall feelings on this decade. As far as the games are concerned, overall, it's been the most bland and uninteresting Sonic's ever been in my eyes. What's been good about the games are things that cater to a side of the fanbase I'm not explicitly apart of (I literally JUST got Sonic Mania Plus for Christmas of THIS year as a gift from my mother) or things that are good from a basic standpoint. Generations is a great game but the best thing about that game is how much it borderline perfected Modern Sonic's gameplay that was established in Unleashed and how it was nice seeing a few of the older environments from past games get a neat little visual upgrade. All the stuff I personally value the most in character, story, world-building, and whatnot just wasn't there. Team Sonic Racing is a similar case where the game is a ton of fun but it's missing SO much stuff that everytime I play it I can't help but feel myself put that mental asterisk next to it. However, Sonic's had a real resurgence in pretty much everything that isn't the modern 3D games. Seeing Sonic embrace so much in terms of art and animation has been breathe-taking and its proof that this is where he shines the most. In my opinion, the animated shorts they've been putting on their Youtube channel have been spectacular, the IDW comics have been excellent, Sonic Boom was amusing and funny in its own right, and the OK. KO episode was a stand-out in terms of embracing fan-service and the love for Sonic in a adorably positive and fun manner that I desperately needed in this sea of cynicism. So I guess I'll just run down all the stuff that happened and put the High Points in GREEN and the Low Points in RED for a smoother ride. I'll put things I have mixed feelings towards in YELLOW. 2010 Ken Penders Claims Copyright to Archie Characters and stories for THE LARA-SU CHRONICLES IN ALL CAPS - Archie is really goddamn incompetent. It's actually a little surprising they're still around at all considering the farce that happened here. This went on forever but the major news of this officially happening hit in 2010 and from then on it was just a spiral of embarrassing nonsense that saw Archie firing their legal team and getting a new one. I had to remind myself that Ken didn't sue Archie, it was the other way around and Archie still lost. Then later they lost the Sonic license anyway. Fucking hell. Ken started his rumblings by making it known that he didn't much care for one Ian Flynn. Here's just some of what he had to say: "I haven't commented on any of this earlier because I believed it was too soon and I didn't want to be accused of sour grapes or stealing Ian's thunder. The fact is I get e-mail all the time asking me about this character or that storyline, and it leaves me scratching my head wondering if Ian has ever attempted going beyond what any of us did, if he's created a character like a Julie-Su or a Geoffrey St John, or if he's written something like an ENDGAME or THE DARK LEGION that people are still talking about years later." "The fact is I never relied on any other Archie-Sonic writer's material for any of my stories, not even when I was working with Mike Kanterovich. I would always come up with basic plots and Mike would throw in bits to improve them, then we would work on the dialogue. I didn't rely on Mike Gallagher's material to drive my stories, nor did I ever pay attention to anything Karl was doing beyond supplying him with bits of info whenever he was incorporating one of my characters into his stories. A thorough check of my work will show I never used a Karl-created character until I used Mina in SONIC #150, due more to a conversation with Mike P when working out the plot." "Ian on the other hand, hasn't done any of that from what I see and hear. In fact, many of the stories that appeared in issues #160 through #175 were based on an outline I submitted to Mike Pellerito around the time I turned in the script to SONIC #157. I didn't pay attention until I caught the issue where Antoine married Bunnie, which was either the exact issue I slated the story for or off just by an issue or two in the outline I submitted. I never bothered to mention it until now because I didn't see the point. All I had was an outline that could be claimed by some to be written after the fact, resulting in a pointless flame war because some would claim I was jealous or resentful." "Not everyone gets the experience I do directing a film in Hollywood with real stars and trying to sell it to the studios and networks." "So from where I sit, all Mike and Ian are doing is living off the work done by others that came before them instead of allowing SONIC to grow and evolve in a similar organic manner when I was on the book. I especially don't consider anything either does with any of the echidna characters - especially Locke - to be canon as neither created the characters nor established them in stories as the viable fan favorites they've become. No matter what Ian writes, he can never alter the fact that in MY universe, the events of Locke's passing as depicted in SONIC #143 is canon. Anything he writes can easily be counter-written by a better story with an alternative solution." When Ian responded to this, he merely clarified that Bunnie and Antoine getting married was just a follow-through of the logical set-up that was happening with the story at that point and didn't say much else. I can understand why he wouldn't touch any of the rest of this self-indulgent puss because what the hell can you say about it that it doesn't already say for itself? I mean, good God. After that came the dreaded LARA-SU CHRONICLES IN ALL CAPS announcement and more devastation for the Archie books down the line. However, this particular fiasco I just remember being an incredibly embarrassing and unpleasant display for both competing parties, separate from what it leads to. Even more sad is how when the legal stuff picked up steam, Ian felt the need to assure everyone that this was just a small storm that would eventually pass. It passed alright... and took the whole farm with it. The Embarrassing Project Needlemouse Character Countdown - An interview with Iizuka came out for Sonic Colors where he outright says the fans only want to play as Sonic. I didn't even remember this until I did research for the stuff that happened in the past decade but I'm honestly a little shocked by how blatant it's spelled out in that news report. You can find it on this site still if you search through the news stuff for 2010 but I bring this up to give some context for the insulting Project Needlemouse bullshit they pulled back in 2010. Here they had this board of characters and the internet was supposed to guess who would be appearing in this new project. Each day a fucking REJECTED stamp would go over the characters that weren't to appear in it. I knew from the get-go that this was nonsense and that Sonic was going to be the only playable character. I had no idea why so many people were reacting to it and arguing about which ones should get in as if any character aside from Sonic seriously had a chance. However, they eventually found out when it was revealed and the numerous articles from news sites of people whining about characters they didn't like suddenly were vindicated. They had a cheap marketing ploy that seriously tried to use the negativity towards their OWN cast of characters as a show of good faith on their game. How backwards is that? What other franchise would seriously try to market LESS playable characters and less content as a GOOD thing? There's an article on here that goes even deeper into all the stuff that happened but this was the stuff that affected me the most. The other thing I remember was the infamous Richard Kuta video where he goes off about Sonic having green eyes in the Sonic 4 trailer. That IS where the " Sonic has green eyes" meme originated from by the way. Oh God, and then there was his SATAM movie garbage. Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing - Did you know that all three of the great Sumo Digital racing games for this series came out THIS decade? Yeah. February of 2010 saw the release of the first in the series and it ended up being the biggest hit for me that year. Today there's people who look back on it and while acknowledging it was good say it's of a lesser standard then what came after and I have to wholeheartedly disagree. I just feel all three of them take a different approach to how they handle themselves. This one, more than any other, I feel had it's focus on being zany and crazy and you could totally feel that with the way the All-Star moves just exploded onto the screen. A lot of the representation of the SEGA franchises here got me really interested in a lot of the other SEGA properties. It's the reason I discovered the awesome Jet Set Radio soundtracks and even bought Samba De Amigo for the Wii. I have nostalgia for SEGA as a whole now and it's thanks to this game. Sonic 4 - Episode 1 - The actual Sonic 4 came out and everyone hated it. Well, critics liked it because it was called Sonic 4 and Sonic was the only playable character. It had the full 2D and the no-Sonic's-shitty-friends and everything. I never played Episode 1 because everything it looked like it was, didn't appeal to me. Just a slapdash way to appease the people who wanted a proper follow-up to Sonic 3 and Knuckles and a cynical way to cater to the critics. The critics fell for it and ate it up... until they didn't anymore. NEW Sonic Voice Cast - Did you guys know that Roger Craig Smith and all the current voice actors we have (aside from the ones that were replaced) actually got their start at the beginning of the decade? Roger's been voicing Sonic longer than any English voice actor has ever voiced the character. It's officially been 10 years! Rumors began circulating in July of 2010 that Jason Griffith may be out as Sonic but then it became clear that the entire cast was getting the boot as the 4kids well dried up. We got to keep Mike Pollock, thank God, but everyone else was replaced. I still remember how weird it was, first hearing Roger in that first released scene of Sonic Colors. What's funny is despite the mixed reception at the start, Roger didn't get anywhere near the same amount of vitriolic hatred that Jason did when he replaced Ryan Drummond. Literally a website called "Save Sonic" was created that was dedicated JUST to getting Ryan Drummond back as the voice of Sonic. I also remember the released voice clips of the characters for Colors DS. It was all so exciting because, even though Jason had gotten a lot better by Sonic and the Black Knight, I wasn't bothered by the idea that we'd have to say goodbye to the 4kids cast. I think the cast we have now is far better overall. Sonic Free Riders - The one and only Sonic Kinect game. Also, the game that houses the ballad of Angry Joe's nightmares. Free is actually a nice enough song but Free Riders is kind of an example of that creeping feeling I started to get during this year that Sonic was changing in ways I wasn't too fond of. The previous Riders games did so much with their presentation and stories and this one resorted to stills and a generic as fuck competition plot that didn't at all rely on the mystery and intrigue that the other games had. I never played this but looking up the game on Youtube made me glad I didn't. That said, every-time I saw it on the rack in GameStop I would always check the box to see if it was a magical, new version that I could play using a controller and not with the Kinect. The Kinect is dead and thank Christ for that. I don't blame Sonic Team for never touching it again after this. This was also the first game released with the new voice cast in it. Sonic Colors - Sonic Colors is quite the oddball game for me. Unlike Unleashed and Generations, I don't remember being the slightest bit excited for this game. I recall only watching a trailer for this game once and then forgetting about it fairly soon after. It might have just been the same mentality I had towards Secret Rings where I knew going in that it was going to be an adventure where Sonic was the only playable character. Around that time, I recall that being the cause of instant hype deflation. After a decade of Only Sonic, I think I've loosened up a tiny bit on that but the feeling still stands. Colors was also the first time I had beaten a Sonic game the very same day I bought it... That was a VERY strange experience to me. It's actually not as egregious in that department as some of the games that came later but man did it take the wind out of my sails. Everyone LOVED it so much and I remember telling myself that I could accept it if this was just a break from the cooler, more adventurous stuff until they were ready to go back to that. Unleashed had so much promise and Colors was kind of billed as Unleashed without the Werehog. No. Goodness no. That's not what Colors was at all. If that's what Colors was, than Colors would have been one of my favorite Sonic games ever. As it stands and as the years go by, I can't help but look back on it as the start of the decline in all the stuff I found so appealing and alluring about the Sonic series. It wasn't completely gone with this game but this game does kind of exemplify what this decade of Sonic was all about: Mostly just Sonic. Wisps in every game. No more substance in the story telling or the cheerleaders characters; all the stuff that made being on the losing team kind of worth it. They lost their way with 06 by making it too dark. Then they corrected themselves with Unleashed and Black Knight. Then they over-corrected, for no reason, with Colors. I still don't get it. The only reason it's not in the red is because I don't think it's a bad game. It's just a game that relies on doing the antithesis of what I liked about Sonic to get by. At least it actually DID function pretty well. Plus, regardless of what I think, it DID do a lot to get the public perception of Sonic back on the right track. Although, people ignoring the groundwork Unleashed laid out for it got on my nerves. Orbot and Cubot - Aosth had Scratch and Grounder. Underground had Sleet and Dingo. Sonic X had Bocoe and Decoe. SatAM had Snively and... Snively. The games have Orbot and Cubot. It was a very interesting instance of taking something that worked well in Unleashed and transmogrifying it so that it could function as a staple for the franchise. Although opinions on them vary and have gone up and down over the years, I do rather like the fact that they're around. I was even happy for them when they got to appear in their first Sonic TV show with Sonic Boom (something that still hasn't happened for Omega, Silver, or Blaze which is kind of sad). Apparently Eggman stranding them in space in Generations was SEGA trying to get rid of them but Pontac and Graff vouched for them to return, which is why they show up in Lost World without any real explanation. That's fine though. Eggman getting out of the void in Generations had no explanation... which is odd since they felt the need to explain how he got out of space in Colors and... nevermind. 2011 Ken Penders sues SEGA over Copyright Infringement - So the Penders saga continued this year, this time with Penders sueing SEGA over some of the elements in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, a game that seems to only ever do consistently bad things. Thankfully, he lost this one but still... I mean, for God's sake. Sonic Generations - You know, despite my heavy gripes with the direction Sonic has taken this decade, it still wasn't enough to completely hover a dark cloud over this game. Sonic Generations is a fantastic game. Unlike Sonic Colors, I remember vividly looking over the trailers for this one. I still return to the trailers for this game sometimes, honestly. Hearing the news about the main cast returning was good (until I saw what their roles were of course) and the incredible experiment of bringing back Classic Sonic so that he could experience Modern stages and vice-versa was an excellent idea for the 20th anniversary. It's a game so good, I bought it twice for two different systems. I could go on and on about all the fixes I would have made to it. The two biggest things were a better story that took advantage of having commentary for what had happened over the past 20 years and honestly, just more OF the game in general. I remember holding the box for Generations in my hands the day I bought it and being strangely unhyped to play it. I eventually figured that the reason why is because I knew everything that was going to be in it. The only thing I didn't know was the reveal at the end and how the Time Eater final boss was going to work (it sucked). Generations was and still is the perfect candidate of a game that needed DLC and... goddammit. They had DLC for Unleashed, Lost World, Forces, and even Sonic 06 but Generations? It got a Casino Night pinball table thing. Damn. Still, love this game. It's a great game. Don't let my sour grapes over the direction of the series get you down. This one is a keeper. Iizuka says he wants to create a new "standard" Sonic rather than continue with what Generations did - Okay, so after Generations happened, a couple of interviews and news pieces were coming out around the time, some of which I had forgotten about until I researched things for this retrospective. However, one of the things I forgot about entirely was Iizuka saying that first, there were no current plans to bring back Classic Sonic after Generations (boy HOWDY did THAT ever change) and two, he wanted to make a new "standard" Sonic. Generations wasn't supposed to be a new beginning but rather a culmination of the past 20 years and the next game was supposed to bring in something new. I don't... entirely have a problem with the idea behind this in general but it does exemplify the problem they have where they come upon something that works and instead of organically letting it sit and evolve over time they just kind of... abandon it in favor of whatever new thing they want to do. Maybe a new direction really IS what Sonic needs but I don't know if doing Super Mario Galaxy but worse was necessarily the right way to go about it. Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games - I think this might be the Olympic Games title that I played the most. It's certainly the one I feel had the best collection of stuff in it. I think I may want to go back and revisit it sometime because I remember my siblings and I having a good amount of fun with this one. It's certainly where these Olympic Games peaked before interest was reinvigorated into me with Tokyo 2020... and honestly it's really only because of the presence of a story mode and some of the neat clothing changes. 2012 Iizuka says that Big the Cat will no longer be used - Holy moly. Remember THIS? I don't think anything quite so... odd has happened before or since but, this was the year Iizuka stirred up the fanbase when he said they were shelving Big the Cat. Big isn't one of my favorites or anything but I do remember feeling a sense of unease back then. The act of shelving characters is a bit of a scary thought. If they thought to do it to Big, then what if they decide Omega's no longer popular enough? What if they decide the Chaotix are too much of a hassle? It even threw off my equilibrium concerning Big's tenure as a cast member. Now, obviously this turned out to be horeshit. Big got a trophy in the trophy room in Generations just the year before and had cameo appearances in other stuff before being full on playable again in mobile games and eventually Team Sonic Racing. I don't know if memes saved him or not but I can't help but feel they had something to do with it. Sonic 4 - Episode II - The episode of Sonic 4 that I actually DID play. It's also the only Sonic game to come out after Sonic Adventure that I refused to finish. I hate this fucking game and it's weird because it's not even a game I was looking forward to. I was completely neutral on the existence of Sonic 4. I truly could not have given less of a shit... but I was so desperate to play a NEW Sonic game at around this time and this was a game that had been out for a while that I hadn't played. Plus, Tails was playable in it (sort of). I managed to get a bit far into it but rage quit at the Oil Ocean Oil Desert level. There was an obstacle that I couldn't overcome and probably could have if I had worked at it but I didn't want to because at that point, I was having so little fun that I didn't care anymore. It's somehow not even on my X-Box 360 anymore, which is strange because I don't remember deleting it but it's okay because I never get curious about returning to it. Also, the horrible boss battle music! My goddamn ears! Just looping the same shit over and over and over and over...! It took me so long to beat one of the bosses, I swear I was actually hearing this shit for a full 30 minutes. Fuck this game. Wreck-It Ralph - Sonic's first meaningful, on-screen presence in a hit movie. He's probably appeared by happenstance in other stuff, maybe, but this is the first time it mattered as far as I'm concerned. God, it was so cool seeing him on the big screen. I appreciate that he somehow got more lines and screen time in the sequel despite the fact that that movie was about the Internet. Eggman was also there and I also spotted a picture of Tails in Tapper's bar. What a neat gift. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed - What some would claim is the best of the All Stars racing games. I go back and forth between this one and the first one, though, it's not hard to see why people prefer this one. It has a better selection of stages, dramatic shifts in the stages so that every lap was different, the transform gimmick which made it so there was never a dull moment on land, sea, or air, and for the people who liked challenge... they got it. This game was balls to the wall HARD as hell. Even going back to it to see if I can try and complete some of the challenges I left uncompleted only saw me maybe beating one or two of them for an S rank. The others I just couldn't. You need to be an expert driver in order to make it through some of this. Once I unlocked AGES, I was pretty much done with that though. The All-Star moves also weren't as intense but it was forgivable considering how much they boosted the quality of all the other stuff. If I could take some of the elements of the first game and mash it together with this one, I think I'd have the perfect All-Star racer on my hands. Whichever one you think is better, they're both great so it doesn't matter at the end of the day. Thank the lord for the Burning Rangers remix though. Hell yeah! 2013 Sonic and Mega Man: World's Collide - This was awesome. It was the first time I had ever really gotten a chance to experience a crossover event in comics due to how little of comics I actually read. I know very little about Mega Man but that didn't stop it from being cool to see the two series crossover with one another. The first crossover did it the best. Had the best character selection, had the right way to tackle the story, and had a neat finale that lead into the next new thing... The Archie Sonic Reboot - Like @Monkey Destruction Switch, I too consider the Archie Sonic reboot to be a highlight. Although, I do, admittedly, come from a different point of view on the Archie stuff entirely in this regard. While, I do find it a shame that the story centered on Naugus, Geoffrey, and the echidnas never got a proper resolution as that had been some of the most interesting the book had been for a long while in my opinion, the fresher take on its universe that incorporated things I was more familiar with as a fan just did wonders for my enjoyment of the book. I was NOT a fan of the way the Chaotix were handled before the reboot happened. Everything that was wrong with them actually came right out in the open when they finally got a Sonic Universe arc about them... in that it actually WASN'T about them. It was about Mighty and his long lost sister. The Chaotix were always props and lackies that worked under Knuckles. Going through the earlier books now, it's even more evident that this is the case. There was so little purpose to them there that when the reboot happened, all of a sudden, they were appearing more often and ended up having prominent roles in two Sonic Universe arcs before the book was wrapped up despite the reboot going on for significantly less time. There were other quality of life changes that happened but ultimately, it was just a neat little hodgepodge of what worked best about the Archie books without a lot of the baggage that was practically begging for some house cleaning. I didn't think it was perfect but my enjoyment of the book definitely skyrocketed. I still wasn't too fond of the Freedom Fighter system and the Sky Patrol thing but what are you gonna do? Cancel the book? Bwahaha-Oh... The Three Game Wii U Exclusivity Deal - Get excited! The Sonic brand is in full swing now. Riding high off the success of Generations, they decided to get everyone hyped for Sonic in the coming years with a exclusive deal that would see three Sonic games coming out for the Wii U, a console so not in demand that even Smash Bros. couldn't save it... Still, the fact that I now HAD to own a Wii U if I wanted to partake in this exclusive deal was not a happy moment of realization for me. I especially wanted nothing to do with the touch-pad. I like normal controllers quite a lot. I eventually did get a Wii U and... boy were those three Sonic games not worth the intended hype. Well, at least it came with a free copy of Wind Waker HD... oh wait. I lost the code for it and Nintendo's help center couldn't help me recover it... sigh. The Day Sonic Boom Was Announced - Now I'm not talking about Sonic Boom in general. Just the DAY it was officially announced. THAT day was wild. I remember it being one of the most fun times I had ever had being a Sonic fan on the internet, regardless of whether or not the news was well-received or not. A new Sonic TV Show was being announced, new merch was being announced, Buffles was a thing that was going to happen, a new game was going along with it; SO much information was coming out so fast. One article was being put out, one after the other and keeping up with all the new shit was remincient to the feeling you get when you're running a marathon. I mean who could forget that first image of the Sonic Boom cast projected on a wall with shadows that showed off what their new designs were? Knuckles looked like that one ape-man from that one Monkey episode of Dexter's Laboratory. Sonic Lost World - This was the game that showed off what the new standard Iizuka wanted was basically supposed to look like and... honestly, it had a bit of promise. With enough tweaking and fixes, it could have worked probably. However, when the game came out, despite the mixed reception, it wasn't overall loved and that therefore meant it needed to be scrapped. As such, the game nowadays just feels like a weird tech demo. I personally think it's just okay. I don't have a problem with the idea of revisiting it from time to time but it's safe to say that whatever Iizuka's plan for the new standard of Sonic was, there wasn't too much artistic integrity there to keep it going past this point. It is a bit weird that this game got all the DLC and attention that Sonic Generations should have gotten though. There was the Nights into Dreams level. The free Yoshi's Island DLC, the free Legend of Zelda DLC, and even a patch happened that fundamentally changed how the game functioned. Getting a hundred rings suddenly gave you a life again. Motion controls for the wisps were no longer mandatory which meant I could actually properly USE the fucking asteroid wisp. Items even started appearing on the world map. It was appreciated... but still odd that THIS was the game they did it for. I guess if it was supposed to be the new standard, it makes a little more sense, I suppose. The Deadly Six - My opinions on the Deadly Six have shifted and done backflips over and over, to the point where I'm not even sure if the opinion I have of them now will remain the same down the line. Hype for new villains turned to fondness which later turned to indifference a short time after the game came out which has now, somehow, circled back around to being fondness... I don't know. Something about them, I DO actually find a bit charming. I really like the fact that they have a master and that the master ISN'T the leader of the team. I like how crazy Zazz is. I like Zor's weird gimmick. I like how Zomom reminds me of Gluttony from Fullmetal Alchemist. Even Zeena had an amusing interaction with Zavok that I like to recite a lot of the time. Zavok himself was actually a fairly effective villain in terms of what he managed to accomplish. The fact that it was undone because Zomom, uncharacteristically, left a sandwich with a toothpick behind on Tails' operating table is kind of unfortunate. They also were responsible for making me FEEL like something important was happening when Zavok gloated about turning Tails into a robot, accompanying a scary version of the Deadly Six theme and following a level with haunting but soothing music with Dragon Dance, all the while Zavok taunts you in the sky. I can't hate them like everyone else. They did legitimately entertain me. I do find their lack of proper development and clarification behind what the Lost Hex IS and why they're so evil to be frustrating but I'm perfectly willing to embrace them should someone come along and fix it. Also, they're theme kicks so much ass. It's such a perfect tune. Mario and Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games - Waste of money. I consider this to be an even bigger waste of money than Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. It's just the Winter Olympics again except with even less content and far more annoying motion controls. The Wii U gamepad SUCKS for motion controls in my opinion. The only interesting thing was seeing the neat animations for the characters at the end of the tag-team races because some of them would react differently depending on who they teamed up with. I watched all those on Youtube though. Played this for about 2 hours on the day I bought it and have not touched it since. 2014 2014, otherwise known as "The Year of Sonic". This was what SEGA had to say about 2014 before it happened: "2014 will mark a renaissance for Sonic the Hedgehog. Please Join us to be the first to hear about SEGA's exclusive announcements and plans for the Sonic brand". So, of course, 2014 ended up leading towards, what was then, one the biggest fucking disasters for the brand that down the line ended up just being largely forgotten. Sony Announces Sonic Movie - The Sonic movie used to belong to SONY. In a pre-Spider-Verse world, this was the literal worst thing ever. It turns out that things were actually going to get way worse before they got better though. It still wasn't, and isn't, a good sign that a movie coming out in 2020 was announced in 2014 and at that point in time was owned by a completely different studio. Sonic Boom - The Comic - The comic came to be first and it was good. Had a rocky start but it picked up eventually... but much like Sonic Boom as a brand, it's fall was swift and instant. Sonic Boom - The TV Show - The premiere of the TV show happened and boy, was it exciting. It had been so long since I had seen a Sonic show on TV and I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode. I thought it was better than the second episode, despite liking that one too, but people had the reverse opinion at that time. I'm used to that by now. Either way, it was an undoubtedly fresh take on Sonic that is actually somewhat respected today, even if it debuted amongst a sea of negativity and disappointment coming off of the bad vibes people were getting from the game. Of course, the TV show had its fair share of scrutiny too. The reveal of the first scene where Sonic is chasing Eggman through a gorge and we see Burn-Bot for the first time had the typical, hyperbolic overreactions of "This is how Sonic fucking DIES" attached to it. If Sonic 06 couldn't kill Sonic, then I don't see how a TV show would. Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal - Never played it but apparently it's just okay... what I do find strange is how it's got a completely different story from the Wii U version of the game and is one of the examples of how poorly handled this Boom franchise was because of it. There were A LOT of press releases and information being pushed about Sonic Boom. Remember Stephen Frost? Yeah... him... I'm not a huge fan of him, we'll just say. It was stated that these games were supposed to be prequels to the TV show, which is strange in and of itself, but the fact that both the Wii U and 3DS versions of this game have two completely different stories with two completely different handlings of Lyric and Shadow just baffle me. Stranger still is the fact that the tone of the games are completely different from the show. It's somehow inconsistent with its own brand ON TOP of being inconsistent with Sonic as a whole. And even STRANGER than that is the fact that it's totally unnecessary. None of what happens in either of these games is necessary to know about in order to understand and enjoy the TV show. Not even when it came to the supposed backstory for Sticks... oh and by the way... Sticks the Badger - A character introduced as an exclusive for Sonic Boom. She exists to promote Sonic Boom. She was put in one of the later Olympic Games to promote Sonic Boom. When Sonic Boom stopped being a thing, she stopped being a thing. There was no Harley Quinn moment where she transferred to the main series despite her getting artwork from Sonic Channel and even a Sonic Channel comic for the 25th anniversary. That was all because, at the time, Sonic Boom was still a thing that existed. One of the press releases said that Sticks' backstory was that she used to be a loner but made friends with Amy Rose and that helped her to form more friends and what not. None of this is ever talked about or explained within the show proper. It's not brought up in Rise of Lyric and it's not talked about in Shattered Crystal. There's no real development to work off of for Sticks. Sticks' character has a gimmick. She's a crazy jungle girl who believes in weird conspiracy theories (that somehow almost always turn out to be true) and people call her crazy for it. It works in a comedy TV show. I'm not sure how much it'd work in the games though. Sticks is a character I never hated but I also never fell in love with. If she got into the games or not, I'd be pretty neutral on it. Though, I would have a bit of increased concern for how they'd handle her when they can't even get a handle on the cast they have now. It'd probably just be like "Welcome Sticks. Here are your Pom Poms. Go stand in the corner and cheer on Sonic like the rest." Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric - Ah, but alas, we've come to the big one. The reason this was hyped up as the Year of Sonic. The Final game in the Wii U exclusivity deal. Right off the bat, I want to say that I enjoyed aspects of this game. I enjoyed the bare-bones story, if only because of the character interaction and how much of it felt like an active adventure compared to some of the games we were getting at the time. I also enjoyed the way some of the environments looked. I also found that the animation was actually really impressive. The expressions and movements of the characters is FAR better than in something like Forces where it looks like Sonic is one bad movement away from falling apart like a pile of sticks. The characters are SO stiff in Forces but so fluid here. It's amazing. All that said, this game was a pile of shit. The dreaded horror story behind the development of this game over at Big Red Button is a very astonishing and sad one. The fact that they're still around is both surprising and good to hear. The way SEGA screwed them over with their weird demands concerning sudden shifts in game engines and time crunches was not at all justifiable. It was ultimately in service of a game that overshadowed any and all good will that could have been built up by how good the show and the comic were. Sonic is a game franchise first and as such the games are what people are going to pay the most attention to. It was quite the overwhelming failure at the time. Nowadays, because of how bland and forgettable it is compared to something like Sonic 06, it does feel largely forgotten except for when people need to bring up how bad Sonic games are. The so-called "Year of Sonic" turned out to be the "Year of Sonic Boom" and Boom itself, as a push to create a completely new sub-section of the Sonic brand, fell through. At the time of it's reveal, SEGA had to put out a statement that said that Boom would NOT be replacing Modern Sonic because people were so concerned that it would. Nowadays, the idea that it could is laughable. It came and died so incredibly fast that it's just a weird blip on Sonic's history. They came out firing on all cylinders like a hillbilly who won the lottery. They didn't quietly invest and spend their money wisely. They just pushed everything out at once. T-Shirts, keychains, toys, a comic, a TV Show, two games at the same time with two completely different stories, the works! What did it lead to? The lowest selling Sonic game in the franchise's history, a comic that was cancelled after 11 issues, and a TV show that had a good run but was killed off because it was kicked to Boomerang for its second season, ending sadly on a joke that made it seem as though there was more to come. Then Stephen Frost returned to his home planet, never to be seen or heard from again. Such a show of excess and an extreme waste of money for something that would have been completely forgotten had the show endured in the popular consciousness. 2015 Otherwise known as "The Year Where Nothing Happened" to some. Sonic Twitter Explodes - The Sonic Twitter was always around but this was the year where it exploded into being more... we'll say "noticeable" than it was before. Aaron Webber came down from on high and ran with it for better or worse. I would say for the better. It does things here or there that are embarrassing or something it REALLY shouldn't do (like making fun of Mighty No. 9) but it's led to more positive stuff than not in my opinion. The best thing to come from it are the Twitter Takeovers. They're so much fun and it's great to see the voice actors get to cut loose like that. Sonic Runners - Uh. So this games existed, I think? It was pretty neat in terms of a lot of the elements and concepts it had but it ended up being shut down because of incompetent handling which is a shame. This was also the year where SEGA admitted to "betraying" the fans. I don't know if you guys remember that but it was a pretty big deal at the time. The second Megaman crossover happened in the comics, the Sonic Boom comics were cancelled, and Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice was delayed. Mostly just a lot of stuff ending or being pushed to different dates. What little we did get wasn't very good. 2016 Eggman's Dozen - I'm just giving a special shout-out to the best Sonic Universe story arc ever. Eggman's Dozen is just a marvel. I love stories that focus on villain teams. It was also one of the few Universe arcs where the ending didn't dissatisfy me. The Case of the Pirate Princess began this year which, as we now know, is the final Sonic Universe story arc. Either way, you'll remember this as the year that Eggman's Dozen came out and you will all rejoice and bask in the glow of its brilliance. Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games - The only Olympics game that I completely skipped over. The only thing about it that enticed me in any way was the fact that it had boxing in it but I wasn't about to spend 60 bucks to amuse myself by having Tails punch Sonic unconscious. The guest characters could have been the thing that did it but then I found out they were only around for a single event. Plus, some of the ones they picked ticked me off. Wave but no Storm. Espio but no Charmy (although he was still IN the game), and spots for two of the Zeti but no Omega? I'm speaking purely about the Wii U version of course. The 3DS version, I'm sure was its own bag of tricks. However, the big thing I couldn't get over was that, yet again, there was no story mode for the console version and on top of that, no Dream Events. Fuck off with that. After I wasted my money with Sochi, a game I played for two hours and never touched again, I knew it'd have been a mistake to get this one so I didn't. When I thought there would be no more Olympic games I considered getting it at a discount but Nintendo never drops the prices of their games so it's STILL 60 bucks. Even having not played it, I know that's a rip off. Now, there's literally no reason to because Tokyo 2020 is out and it has boxing, as well as a story mode and 3 Dream Events. Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice - A game that when it was announced I said was going to come out and be completely forgotten. If you've bothered to read this far you probably are surprised to be reminded of it because that's exactly what happened, despite some minor push back I got for daring to suggest such a thing. Still, I do have to say that I admire Sanzaru for giving it another go. They made the better of the two Sonic Boom games but weren't content with that and tried their hand once more, even delaying the game to make sure it was as good as it could be. I don't own any handheld games but I heard it ended up being for the better. It got good reviews, which was nice. It was a little amusing seeing a weirdo online get upset at it getting good reviews, literally just because it was a Sonic Boom game. The fire and ice jokes the internet made at the trailer's expense was also kind of fun. Also, the story actually felt like an offshoot of the TV show this time and not some weird disconnected thing like the last two games did. This was also around the time Season 2 was about to happen and when Sonic Boom got kicked from it's awful time slot of 6/7am to Boomerang, a channel where it's entire point is to showcase cancelled or completed cartoons... Sonic in LEGO Dimensions - Another neat little surprise for Sonic, the LEGO Dimensions cutscenes did for Sonic what Sonic Generations should have done for Sonic back in 2011. The writing wasn't perfect. There was one awful segment in particular where Sonic and Eggman are rapid firing disgustingly horrid jokes at each other but for the most part, it was a really well done, fun little escapade. For some reason, Tails in LEGO form is the cutest thing ever. I don't know why. This game also featured Big the Scrapped Character Cat for the first time in a long while. He was played by his 4kids voice actor here. I can't speak on the game itself because I don't own it but the whole toy collection thing seems to have gone the way of the dinosaurs now. Not even Disney could keep Disney Infinity alive. It seemed like the perfect way to scam more money out of kids but I guess it was just too cost effective. 2017 Archie Comics CANCELLED - Okay so, despite my love, love, LOVE for the IDW Comics... I can't in good faith say that the Archie Comics cancellation was in anyway a thing I was so-so on or happy about. The idea that I wouldn't get anymore Sonic comics at the time was a viscerally hard thing to accept and even though it was immediately rectified the next day or so when the IDW comics were announced, that doesn't really change the fact that a comic I was engaged with, ended unceremoniously. At the very least, I wish both continuities could have had a proper ending but being a comic that was designed to be ongoing kind of left it with too many open doors for it to really feel all that satisfying. At least the reboot ended at a more appropriate spot than the Pre-Reboot did by virtue of actually wrapping up the Unleashed storyline and being in the middle of an escapade with Classic Sonic that I didn't care about. There's also a tiny bit of comfort in knowing that the final page of the book was a full-page spread of the Chaotix chilling in their agency. The Classic and Modern Sonic Split - Classic is from Another Dimension - The Classic and Modern split isn't something that gets under my skin on its own. It bothers me in the sense that it's yet another example how how wishy-washy this series is with it continuity but the act of splitting them in and of itself is something I don't care too much about. One of the reasons is because I kind of already did that in my mind anyway. Whenever I talk about or get excited for something with regards to Sonic it's always something in relation to the Modern continuity. On top of that, a lot of the elements in Classic Sonic still do exist in Modern Sonic. There still is a Green Hill Zone in Modern Sonic. There still is a Chemical Plant Zone in Modern Sonic. There's still a Death Egg in Modern Sonic. I'm willing the bet other classic zones still exist within Modern Sonic as well. Everything that happened in the Classic games I still view as having happened in the Modern continuity just with different colored eyes for the characters. It really didn't change much of anything to me. Whether Classic Sonic is Sonic from the past or from another dimension, I don't mind it. I can even see the benefits of having him be from another dimension. You can do a Sonic Mania and continue the story of Classic Sonic without worrying about when the timeline interconnects with Modern. This is all mostly because I'm indifferent to Classic Sonic. I tolerated him in Generations but whenever there was an Archie storyline focusing on him or a new line of merch that featured him I just couldn't get into it. I assume it's the same for people who love Classic Sonic and don't care for Modern Sonic. Then there's people who like both and I do wish I was in that camp because it would mean there was more Sonic for me to enjoy. As it stands, it's whatever. The Human and Animal World Split - THIS however, is some bullshit. I understand it's one of those things that may or may not have always been a thing that's been there (which explains why Sonic X did what it did despite the fact that there were humanoid looking people who lived in Sonic's dimension in the third season) but it doesn't matter because the games never once told us this. Even now that we know it, it still hasn't provided an explanation for how this is supposed to work. We don't know how they go from one world to another. We don't know WHY they randomly switch from one world to another. We don't know why Angel Island was in the human world in Adventure or how the Mystic Ruins... makes sense. We also don't really know how Silver can come and go from the future which is just another example of them just doing shit without any regard for how it connects to anything. I'm so sick and tired of the relevance the characters and the world used to have just being sucked dry by these very bad attempts to explain away things that were better left well enough alone. What purpose does this serve, if only to enrage and confuse people? Sonic Mania - It's a game that I literally just got for Christmas of 2019 and still haven't actually played but I know more than enough about it to know it was an extremely positive shock to the system that the Sonic series was in desperate need of. Even if it's a game that caters to a section of the fanbase that I'm not a part of, a high quality, largely celebrated and beloved game coming out for the Sonic franchise can only ever be a good thing at this point. Even as a game that doesn't appeal to me, it serves as a reminder of how good Sonic can be to a lot of people and even exemplifies why some of the arguments against what used to be positive elements in Sonic's series are STILL positive elements. Like other playable characters, for example. Tails and Knuckles are both playable in this game and then later Mighty and Ray were playable in Sonic Mania Plus. I can't stress how great it is to have another example of "It's not the characters fault but the gameplay they're given" out there. One can only wish they take heed of its success in the CORRECT way by incorporating this philosophy into the 3D games. Hopefully, it's done in a way that isn't them seriously believing that Modern 3D Sonic needs even LESS 3D and more Classic Sonic. There's truly no hope if that's what happens. At least for the people currently in charge. Omelette - So this happened. It's a cute little thing that blew up amongst the Sonic fanbase. While I don't feel one way or the other about her, I do tend to enjoy it when new phenomenons result from something spontaneous and seemingly mundane. I would never put her in any of my fan made stuff but I can't help but enjoy other people's enjoyment of this. Paramount Takes Over the Sonic Movie - Development hell was in full swing with this thing at this point. Shrug. Sonic Forces: Speed Battle - The first mobile Sonic game I ever allowed myself to become fully invested with... which is odd considering it deals with playing against other people across the world and I typically hate doing that. However, it was just so enchanting how initially easy it was to unlock characters. All my favorites were so easy to unlock so I got gratification rather quickly. That said, I did eventually fall out of love with it when how well you did in races started affecting your awarded points a little too harshly. Even when you won a race, losing one could set you back so badly that it would render your success pointless. I'm glad it's still a thing though. The people playing it are getting constant updates and have what has to be the best roster of playable Sonic characters ever. How unlike the actual Sonic Forces. Sonic Forces - I hate this game. I hate the way this game is set-up. I hate the way it squanders it's potential. I hate everything this game stands for which is probably astonishing considering this game stands for nothing. After Sonic Team's tech demo failed to IMMEDIATELY wow the masses, they scrapped it and spent 3 and half years doing nothing and then spent the last half of one of those years cobbling together this piss-pot of a game. All of a sudden, they didn't know where to take Sonic anymore despite still being on the relatively right track with the games that came out from Unleashed to Generations. This game is a hodgepodge of shit that SEGA and Sonic Team THINK Sonic fans like and want. Darker elements. Light-hearted elements. More characters but still ONLY Sonic. Classic Sonic. Deviantart fan characters. Wisps. Green Hill Zone. Chemical Plant Zone. The Death Egg. Modern Sonic has shorter quills and is a lighter shade of blue so that he looks more like Classic Sonic, (We split Modern and Classic apart and yet we invoke the name of Classic Sonic SO MUCH in this Modern Sonic game!). The now obligatory Metal Sonic fight where you either use the US or Japanese version of Stardust Speedway as the music and wait to fight him again next game. A collection of villains that aren't actually the villains because that would require something of substance to happen rather than just be something to act as baseless fan-service. What's the deal with Infinite? He's a wuss who got beat up by Shadow and hid his face. What happened to him at the end? Dunno. What happened to Eggman at the end? Dunno. Was the Phantom Ruby created with various existing prototypes or did it fall on Eggman's doorstep like the comic showed us? Dunno. Omega's broken but now he's fixed and he joins the final fight to miss all his shots and do nothing. Then it ends on a completely unearned final note and a pair of songs that evoke feelings the game does not deserve. 4 years of waiting for a game that I literally beat again the other day from start to finish on a whim in just a 2 to 3 hours. Maybe the people behind Unleashed and Generations really have moved on and there's no way to recapture that magic again... but if that's truly the case, you need some serious help. Anymore waiting this long for a game like THIS and it's over. The absolute worst part is the fact that so much about it had so much potential. It still has the best premise for a Sonic game ever. Dr. Eggman, the main villain of the popular Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and a iconic villain in gaming has FINALLY taken over the world...! It wasted on Sonic Forces...! The reason this one hurts as much as it does is because it was the first time I was well and truly HYPED for a Sonic game's story leading up to its release. Everything about it's story was selling me on it, from the prequel comics that showcased stuff like the Pachacamac village and sections where the characters got to act on their own without Sonic, to little tidbits about what everyone was doing, to the promise of talking during the levels solely being about what was happening in the narrative and not tutorial advice. It would have been the biggest and best way to capitalize on the characters and the world again but... in the end it was just a game that functioned. It knows how to function and that's it. 2018 Tangle the Lemur and "Silhouette Gate" - So, close to the launch of the IDW comics we got a preview image of a new character with a question mark over her. Now, because Sonic the Hedgehog character design tends to revolve around a certain body type regardless of how cool and unique they may look, a lot of people were drumming up hope that this new character was Sally Acorn. This was based on literally nothing except the fact that you could tell it was a girl in the image and it maybe, kind of, sort of, resembled a possible re-design of Sally if you squinted a bit. I can't speak for anyone else but I was having the time of my life seeing people react to this. Positive or negative, watching and reading the back and forth was far more entertaining than playing Sonic Forces. I've gone back to read through the stretch of the IDW thread where it took place a couple of times. It was amusing the first go around and the second go around was even better knowing that it wasn't Sally but the now beloved Tangle the Lemur. Knowing the punchline at the end of that long ride was grand. Super Sonic DLC for Sonic Forces - Super Sonic isn't that great of a reward in my opinion. I understand why people wanted it back after so long and they got their wish with Colors in 2010 but it never did much for me as far as the current games go. In Generations his rings drained way too fast, making him practically useless and Classic Sonic's was basically just an invincibility skin. Lost World, he was okay. He functions fine in Forces too but the reason this DLC isn't a good thing is the method initially used to dish him out. He was originally supposed to be free for a limited time and then, when time was up, was going to be sold to the player for about 2 or 3 bucks. Any money at all for Super Sonic is ridiculous on the face of it but it was even worse considering it had been free for so long. Hell, they made Episode Shadow completely free and that had way more value than Super Sonic. This continues to baffle me even now that it's long since been reversed after the backlash to this weird decision. It's free forever now but even so, the fact that they decided to do this at all when stuff like Yoshi's Island, Zelda, and other DLC that would have been worth paying a little for had been free for so long is really confusing. Sonic Mania Adventures - The return to animated Sonic in an astonishing way. Going off the success of Sonic Mania's animated opening we got a fully animated series for the Sonic Youtube channel that enchanted and delighted me beyond comprehension. It really was a great time to be a Sonic fan. Sonic works so good when the fact that he's supposed to be a lively and well animated cartoon character is taken advantage of. These shorts are the proof. Sonic should get down on one knee and propose to the art of animation. The IDW Sonic Comics Launch - This year also saw the new IDW comics finally hit the scene and it's been everything I've always wanted and more. I had always, always, ALWAYS wanted a Sonic comic that was based on the modern version of Sonic the Hedgehog that I grew up with. Clearly, I enjoyed the Archie comics for what they were but the truth is that I could never fully get into them no matter how much I tried just because of the disconnect between the direction the world and its characters were taking. The Freedom Fighter system that tied the heroes down to a kingdom and later the Sky Patrol thing that felt like the Superfriends in the Hall of Justice just didn't resonate with me at all. I had a lot of respect for those comics and the method of incorporating as much stuff from whatever continuities they were allowed to use within the book but my heart and soul was yearning for something that just felt like it's focus was on the modern world of the games and would branch out from that with new characters created for just that world mingling with the game cast that I fell in love with when I played Adventure 2: Battle and Heroes all those years ago when I first got into Sonic. I suppose some might find it strange to not be all for throwing in everything from every continuity into the same world and utilizing them for one cohesive world and junk but I gotta be honest, I'm really not that kind of guy. It's something I can respect if its done well (and Archie did it well) but this is way more up my alley. The Metal Virus Arc has been and continues to be the most exciting, heart-pumping, and invigorating a Sonic story has been for me since... we'll say since before anything that's happened in this particular decade. Scary Sonic Movie Poster and Sonic's Hairy Legs - The poster for the movie was revealed and the shadowy monstrosity it posed an image of made the rounds as something to fear. The official twitter of the Sonic movie making fun of itself absolutely didn't help matters either. At this point, talk of waiting for a trailer should have been laughed at and promptly ignored but the trailer would indeed come... oh boy did it come... Sonic Adventure - 20th Anniversary - Happy 20th Sonic Adventure. There's not going to be an adventure remake or a return to the Adventure formula, probably, but we still have you and Adventure 2. 2019 Team Sonic Racing Overdrive - Confirmation that the animated shorts thing wasn't just for Classic Sonic. This one I love even more than Mania Adventures despite the shift in style, simply because it's in my wheelhouse now. Modern Sonic love is my jam and seeing the characters animated like this does good for the heart and soul. I've watched it so many times now, it's insane. Should have been unlockable in Team Sonic Racing proper. The First Sonic Movie Trailer - This hit the internet like a unnatural disaster. We got to see what live-action Sonic looked like and, surprise, he was a horrible, ugly, abomination. Who could have guessed? Honestly, it was somehow worse than anything anyone could have imagined and the backlash against it was so hard and powerful it launched Sonic back into the mainstream for a brief moment in time. Funny that, at the time of the movie's announcement under Sony, they had to convince us to stop worrying about it being like The Smurfs. Then the trailer comes out and it's got the story of the Smurfs and a design that looks even worse. It also tickles me that Coolio's Gangster's Paradise will now forever be associated with Sonic the Hedgehog. Even Jim "Inasequentiallyrankedhierarchybasedonlevelofcriticalimportancethedisperitybetweenusistoovasttoquantify" Carrey didn't seem like he was able to save this. It was even more doomed than it already was. The studio panicked and decided to immediately change it. Team Sonic Racing - The third in the All-Stars racing line-up, only this time it's just Sonic characters. It was the opportunity of a life-time to give some of the spotlight to characters that hadn't been playable in a long time. That chance was squandered when the roster was revealed to only be 15 characters. We had now reached a point where a franchise that was once hated for having billions of "useless" characters would only fill out the roster of a racing game with 15 of them. The game also recycled some tracks from the last All-Stars racing game and the new ones either highly borrowed assets from the last ones or were yet more stages we've seen too much of lately, like Rooftop Run. There were little surprises here and there like the return of the Sand Hill music and King Boom Boo but that was ultimately it. All that said, this game is a hell of a good time and I'm actually a little obsessed with it. It's so much fun to play. The most ironic thing about it is that the team mechanic was the thing I worried about the most leading up to its release and yet it ended up breathing such new life into the game that playing it without it feels like it's missing so much. The mode I wanted so badly where I could race on my own left me missing my teammates (as well as the cool team ultimates we'd pull off together). This game and it's tracks were not designed for you to race alone, that's for sure. The lines the characters drop in the races allow them all to cut loose here as well. They were all so boring and interchangeable in Forces but here you've got Tails saying he was kicked out of the casino for counting cards, Zavok saying that bouncing is undignified, and Eggman being a loveable bastard. It really makes me wish more than anything that Espio and Charmy could have participated. Hell, the dialogue exchange between Sonic and Silver in the story mode where Silver doesn't understand smack talk finally bumped Silver up into my Top 10 favorites. I was already turning around on him but that direction for his character as well as Bryce Papenbrook, the anime protagonist voice actor, just made him so adorkably endearing. It's a shame that it's not another All-Stars racer and that as a Sonic racer it couldn't capitalize on the opportunity it had to really use the world and its characters to its advantage but... it's still a great game. It's really, really fun and this is actually a case where I would have been more than happy to pay for some DLC. Just not Super Sonic DLC because that would be dumb. SatAM Season 3 Crowdfund - Stop. OK K.O.! Crossover - Let's Meet Sonic - This was a pleasant surprise and a really neat treat. Kind of the opposite of Sonic Boom in terms of what it does to poke some fun at the series, it's got a much more positive and fun outlook on what it means to be a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog. Even though it takes most of its inspiration from AoSth and the OVA, tidbits from the other parts of Sonic's history are there too. What's really gratifying is that it's not just a vehicle for fan-service but it tells a story that, in my opinion, shines a light on why Tails is so awesome and how the idea of him being jealous when it comes to Sonic's affection isn't a bad one at all. Also, the voice actors really do shine their best when on TV. Sonic sounds perfect here. Goodness me, it might even be Roger's best performance. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games - Tokyo 2020 - After thinking the Mario and Sonic olympics may have fizzled away and died an unceremonious death, the ceremony begins again in Tokyo for 2020. It's got new clothes for the cast, a ton of new 2D events reminiscent of old NES sports games, BOXING, and a story-mode! FINALLY! I get to play the story-mode for one of these Olympic Games! The dialogue isn't as flavorful as it was for Team Sonic Racing but whatever, I'll take it. It only took the Nintendo Switch taking over the Nintendo handheld market for the stories to be incorporated into a home console. Is it the best one? Probably not. That might still be London 2012, I'll have to go check... but it's a step up from Sochi. That's for damn sure. Still not jazzed about having the SAME roster of 20 characters and these tiny little guest spots as compensation. I mean, the original Winter Olympics one was in 2009. It's been OVER a decade now. The Second Sonic Movie Trailer and the Redesign - They fixed him! Hurray! Sonic looks like Sonic now and he got to show his stuff in a brand new trailer that uses more appropriate licensed music and even threw in a theatrical sounding Green Hill Zone remix. The scenes they showed were actually better. A few moments were even a little bit funny. The action definitely looks cool. The movie itself.. will probably still be bad but knowing that didn't stop the internet from throwing a party and setting whatever music they wanted to that scene of Robotnik-Carry dancing. I'm expecting to at least have some fun now. That's it. I just covered the entire decade. I have no idea why I did it. No one's going to read this. I guess I just really like to write. Someone help me, please.
  18. The amount of times Ian has had to answer this question on his podcast has kind of reached the point of being silly. It's like the disease imposed by the over exaggeration of the mandates spreads faster than the cure of a clear mind and solid information. He always likes to explain it by saying that whatever rules are in play aren't these restrictive laws that are set in stone on tablets reading "THOU SHALT NOT MAKE SONIC CRY!" or whatever. Most of it is common-sense stuff that any company putting their property out there would probably want adhered to. Sonic can shed tears, he just can't be huddled up in a corner hugging his knees and bawling because that's not the way his character would express his sadness. Other stuff are things that exist only because SEGA feels like having it be a certain way one day and a different way later. Cream used to be off-limits. Now she's not. Omega used to be off-limits. Now he's not. Infinite's off-limits right now. Maybe he won't be down the line. Who knows? The IDW comics haven't been that resistrive at all when it comes to the vast majority of what he's allowed to do here. Even Ian was surprised when his pitch of the Metal Virus came back with no notes. Which makes it stranger when weird stuff they do take issue with crops up from time to time. It's good to have rules because when your property is out of your hands you can sometimes get stuff like the original look of Sonic in the movie.
  19. Most haven't heard this line of dialogue because it activates when the Chaotix take a short-cut that requires them to use the flying flower in one of the forest stages when most opt to just move forward. The Chaotix will fly past the giant mushroom and comment on it like this: Charmy: "Holy magical mushrooms! I've never ever seen one so big!” Vector: “Stop that, Charmy. You're startin' to drool...” My boy's high on them mushrooms, ya'll.
  20. Heroes also wins for me because its the game where Vector says "Who's this broad?" and Charmy says "Holy magical mushrooms".
  21. General opinion time? Sure, I can restate my position. Yeah, this comic is and continues to be the best written and most exciting Sonic anything that's happened to me in well over a decade with the runners up being the O.K KO Episode and those Sonic shorts on Youtube. There's a heavy catharsis to actually seeing the characters utilized at all but getting to see them written consistently is a heavy treat. Year one was a good introduction arc for them all and Year two has been an exceedingly heart-pounding and gloriously bleak situation for our heroes. It's of the calibour of something I never thought I'd see in Sonic again and a rare case of me getting what I asked for and not regretting it at all. The themes of the arc are doing exactly what they're supposed to be doing; eliciting conversation and an interesting back and forth between those who may agree with some ideologies and those who may not. It's shaved off quite a good amount of time at work, just thinking about it. At the moment I'm on the side that doesn't see this as Sonic's fault due to how unforeseeable the entrance of Dr. Starline actually was. It really is kind of a freak happenstance that this dude who just happened to be super smart and also an Eggman fan just showed up and got his memories back. Metal Sonic being released accelerated the process but that's all it did. Eggman was coming back anyway, which makes it easy to understand why it's a negligible point. The way the characters are handling the situation has led to some of the most badass and effective moments associated with their characters. The Chaotix issue remains one of my favorites due to Vector's pragmatism and Charmy's heroism being put to the test with Charmy being sacrificed for the heavy optimism he held as a bright eyed child. To then see that paid forward when Vector and Espio couldn't let their buddy go and have that lead to the most awesome exit and salute from my favorite croc-man was gratifying. Especially since it actually WASN'T their fault things went haywire there. I don't think Espio fully realizes that. It's such strong character focus with such strong conviction from all three of them. Charmy may have been the first important character to become a victim but it wasn't without merit and I hold such strong appreciation for it. Even some of the small arcs that have been going on with the characters who've stuck around have been good. Cream going from the one person who was determined to keep smiling so that everyone can remain happy to a dead-eyed child who can barely manage to say hello to one of her friends is the icing on my favorite cake. Do I think it's too much. No. Hell no. Absolutely not. Precisely because it is a Sonic the Hedgehog comic, we all know it's going to get better. Faced with that reality, pushing for as far as you can go before the inevitable turn around is what I want to see. Maybe not ALL the time but for this, absolutely. I'm happy that Ian's happy that SEGA keeps approving all the stuff he wants to do these characters. I'm also in disagreement with the most commonly brought up complaint about the arc being too long. At the time of that complaint reaching its height, it had only been going on for about 8 issues but the silliness of it becomes a little more unstandable when you realize that 8 issues equals 8 months in real time. Back in the Archie days, it was relatively easier to let go because not only was the release schedule more consistent but we could reliably look forward to a comic every 2 weeks thanks to Sonic Universe. I got into the comic consistently at around 196 so the time before Sonic Universe is very hard to even imagine. As a story, in and of itself, it's been the appropriate length to me. One of the criticisms I do have and one that I've always had with regards to Ian's writing, however, is the way arcs tend to end. It isn't a surefire thing that the ending will be disappointing but I've noticed a formula where, more often than not, they tend to be. Most of the reasons for why just boil down to being rushed. He'll have really great setups and a really great middle but the ending, while usually having nothing wrong with it story-wise, will generally feel a bit half-baked or sudden. I've complained about this plenty when it came to Sonic Universe. The third issue would always end with a big one page spread of the big bad we're supposed to fight in the fourth issue and then the fourth issue will begin with said big bad being beaten really quickly following a super quick way to tie up all the arc's loose ends. Already something similar has happened with these comics twice now. I was not fond of the final four issues of year one. There were some good moments in the fight with Master Overlord but ultimately it was a collage of stuff happening that only really had significant focus on about 4 or 5 characters there despite the entire cast being around. It felt easy and it felt a little like Metal was suddenly a huge idiot. I got way more out of his and Sonic's fight in Issue 7. Tangle and Whisper was a good overall story but of course the ending was disjointed. So much of the issue's beginning was taken up by a pointless fight with some Eggman robots and the confrontation with the real villain of the issue didn't really amount to too much in terms of a fight. Fights are rarely ever good in these comics. They're at their absolute best when they're given time to breathe, which is why I love Issue 7 so much. Sticking one in at the tail end of a book does tend to not go over too well. Those are my main sticking points with the book. I could go into how he sometimes goes a little too far with song and meme references but it's been so dialed back here that I only really have one example that I even remember and that example was one of the rare times when I liked it so... That's it. I love the book and thank God for its existence because I honestly don't know how cynical I'd be if I had to wait another 4 years for the next main line game to come out without it. Edit: I just remembered Master Overlord saying the "Black mark on the floor" line. That was cringy. Which Ian has not seen. Neither have I, actually.
  22. Yeah, I would definitely go with Heroes between the two. As the game that had to introduce me to the Chaotix, establish Omega, re-establish Shadow, and sell me on Team Rose being a thing I feel it got a lot of mileage out of that. I'm a huge Chaotix fan because of that game and how their characters were presented to me while playing. The story in Heroes didn't have much in terms of focus on plot but it was dripping with character, thats for sure. Just re-counting all the different reactions to the frogs that summon rain or the weird shit in Hang Castle makes me smile. My cartoonish hatred of Sonic Colors' story has died down a little bit however my opinion on it remains the same. Its scenes were constructed with a joke in mind and they didn't care much if sometimes the joke didn't make sense (Eggman forcing the Taxi Driver reference when there WAS someone else there) or went on too long (they ran the Sonic talking to robots joke into the ground) or they had to explain the joke (because Cubot is an idiot I guess). There was some character to Sonic and Tails explored there but it felt in service of something that was mostly annoying. Any scene they took serious felt like mood whiplash and I couldn't take it seriously despite really wanting to. Neither game is perfect on this front but I do find Heroes had way more to offer me. I'm a huge Chaotix and Omega fan for a reason.
  23. I'll be honest, I've never liked it when Ian does song references. That example with Open Your Heart was one of the only times I did like it. It might have just been because I was enjoying the back and forth so much.
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