Are you ready to close the book on 2017 once and for all? I certainly am, and with this last look back at the games I played for the first time that year, I can not only close that book but toss into a fire and then kick it a few times for good measure! But hey, I guess not EVERYTHING was bad that year; even if half the games I’m referencing in this list are from different years altogether! Heck, even the bad ones managed to distract me from the nonsense going on in the world every freaking agonizing day, so why not take one last look at them to see what we can learn from them? Let’s get started!!
Developed by Sonic Team
Here’s the thing about this game which I played for the very first time in 2017. As much as it has the reputation of being THE WORST GAME EVER, it honestly isn’t THAT bad of a time. It’s not GOOD by any stretch, but I never found it to be flawed enough to be more than just boring which is STILL better than offensive garbage like Hatred or Call of Juarez: The Cartel. Heck, on a fundamental functional level, I actually found it to be sounder than something like The Evil Within which ALWAYS felt extremely uncomfortable to play; like it was some sort of facsimile of a video game made by people who had only ever heard of such a thing. Sonic 06 is absolutely terrible, but in the pantheon of bad games I find it to be more amusing than painful which I GUESS is an achievement of sorts; just ask Tommy Wiseau! Sonic is always a fascinating character to think about as there’s something… engrossing about him and the myriad of stuff that has built up around him, and maybe it’s this weirdly unique identity that has allowed it to preserver despite numerous setbacks like this game, Sonic Boom, and even the rather poorly received Sonic Forces. The fact that ANY character survived the monstrosity that this game ended up being (even if I don’t think it’s THE WORST thing ever) is a testament to the longevity of Sonic’s success and the way he managed to connect with fans. It’d be impressive if it weren’t for the fact that it basically let Sega get away with releasing such terrible games with impunity.
I guess with any comic book series, things can’t stay simple for long; not just in terms of plot and character depth which I am absolutely for, but in terms of spin-offs, specials, and the intermixing of continuity between them which I’m more or less totally against. I’ve never gotten into super hero comic books for this reason as the amount of effort to understand any ONE book in its entirety is predicated on an absurd amount of disposable income so that all the issues of every connected series can be purchased. Well I guess I have no choice with this series as we’re gonna be talking its very first Special today and it’s only going to get more unwieldy from here. Strap in folks! Things are gonna get bumpy!
The special starts off with a continuation of the story line from issue 18; namely that Sally’s lifelong mentor who we’ve never heard of has just died and it turns out that she has left everything to her, including this spiffy vest!
We’re back with even MORE Sonic the Hedgehog to talk about because… well I’m on a Sonic the Hedgehog kick again and it’s gonna take a bit more time to burn itself out! We’ll be looking at three issues today because this stretch of issues includes some TRULY fascinating changes for the series and is a turning point in a lot of ways. I’m always fascinated by stuff like this where you can pinpoint an EXACT moment where things are different from what they were before, and while I’m not equipped with the knowledge as to WHY these changes happened in the series, it’s going to be a lot of fun to point them out!
Issue 16 (November 1994)
So the first thing we need to acknowledge is the change in Sally’s design. Based on accounts from Michael Gallagher (the first writer for the comic book including the four initial test issues that I have yet to cover in this recap series) we know that the SatAM series was being developed at the same time as the comic which is why the basic outline of the story is the same, but it seems that some early concepts made it into the comic book before they were finalized for the series. We know this happened already when Boomer was renamed to his cartoon name Rotor in issue 9, and the very first episode of the SatAM series had a design for Sally that is SOMEWHAT close to her appearance in the comics up to this point. The big question I’m still left with is why her design wasn’t changed earlier as the comic was only on its second official issue (not including the four test issues) when the SatAM series premiered. It could have just been a scheduling conflict as I have no idea how far ahead the books were written and illustrated before release, or maybe no one was too concerned about it until much later when it became clear that Sonic was going to be A THING for the foreseeable future. Interesting fact! This is not the first know redesign of the character as one of the earliest known pieces of concept art for the SatAM show portrayed a blonde princess with a dress and crown, and the first issue of the test series had her blonde as well; though it was corrected by the second issue to the design we know now.
REALLY hoping that this isn’t all leading to a Crisis on Infinite Earths scenario.
That’s right! We’re doing another four issue recap! Mostly because there’s little substance to any of the issues we’ll be covering today, but also because I’m kinda anxious to get the real meat of this series and for it to take itself a bit more seriously. Not in the grim dark sort of way (we are SO far from running into Shadow and Tails Doll) but for them to cut back on the puns and for the stories to have the SEMBLANCE of an ongoing arc. Issue sixteen isn’t quite there yet, but that’s certainly a turning point in a lot of ways so I want to get there as soon as possible damn it! Anyway, let’s get started!!
Issue 12 (July 1994)
So right off the bat we have one of the least interesting stories from the books so far; ALMOST as bad as when they tried to do A Christmas Carol. You wouldn’t think it from the initial premise though! Seems like a GREAT idea for a story, but its squandered on, what else? Lame jokes and half-baked ideas! Sonic does his usual Sonic thing of making Doctor Robotnik’s life a living hell, but this latest ass kicking seems to have jogged something in the robo bastard as he comes up with an ingenious plan! He’ll send Sonic back in time! OF COURSE! IT’S SO OBVIOUS, RIGHT!?