Archie Sonic Comic Issues #230-231 Review “Lost in the Moment”

“The best” That’s the two words Paul Kaminski used to describe issue 230 and onward when I interviewed him back at the San Diego comic Con in July and I’ll be damned if he wasn’t right. After the mediocrity that was “Sonic: Genesis” and the bland story of Naugus trying to take the throne in the background of Sonic and Sally’s romance (which had way too much focus placed on it), I was worried that the quality of the book was starting to take a nose dive. But when tragedy hits and Eggman gets a huge victory, the story starts to get epic. This is Ian Flynn at his absolute best.

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Fanatics: Sonic & Knuckles Finale

The final boss battles of Super Sonic & Knuckles meet in this work by Mit-Man.  Dr. Robotnik’s final mech at the Doomsday, the Death Egg, and Hyper Metal Knuckles are being destroyed by our powered-up heroes…in space!  The Mit-Miester comments:

[T]he pictures depicts Super/Hyper Sonic and Super/Hyper Knuckles defeating Robotnik’s final robot form and Hyper Mecha Sonic. They didn’t do it at the exact same time like this in the game, nor was Knuckles in space, but hey, it’s a cool effect I think that I incorporated into the picture, that sums up the ending quite well.

This piece was submitted for the Black Knight art contest, but was rejected.  If this piece was rejected, then the art that was selected better be the fuckin’ bomb, because I’m really happy with Mit’s work.

Fanatics: Death Egg & Sunset Park Memories

January 6th belongs to Hazard the Porgoyle (What in the blue hell is a “porgoyle?” Fan characters just get weirder and weirder.), because he absolutely dominates at Sonic art. The two pieces that I’d like to display here are absolute gems, giving moments in Sonic history a new perspective, literally. The top one at right here is a rendition of a boss in Death Egg, act 2. You all recall this encounter, I’m sure. Use gravity to make the spike tanks hit the giant egg ball, rinse repeat, get owned by the giant Egg Mech. It’s a wonderfully drawn scene from the game that someone could mistake for an HD remake of Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Hazard comments:

Sonic doesn’t seem too concerned about Eggman’s new devious machine as he checks his glove cuff. Well, he’s done this stuff enough, right?

The second piece follows a similar style, but of a bit more esoteric moment. Sure, most people can recall that boss fight from Death Egg, but how many of your friends owned Game Gears and experienced Sonic: Triple Trouble? I know that most of us at TSS and SSMB have. The photo at right is a scene from Sunset Park’s famous train boss. I can hear the song now…

Check out Hazard’s DeviantArt profile for awesome renditions of moments from Sonic games, including boss fights from the Adventure and Advance series!

Sayonara, Sonic Yoda

This is some very sad news. Sonic Yoda, the website that always took a light-hearted, optimistic view of the Sonic franchise, has closed its doors today. The webmaster, Lewis ‘Hairyman’ Clark, has stated that he simply cannot be optimistic about the series anymore following the release of Sonic Unleashed. Before you start, the chap played both current gen and Wii/PS2 versions. Apparently, what he saw and felt doesn’t resonate with what made him a fan of the franchise in the first place, so has decided to bow out rather than continue his fansite.

To be honest, I’m feeling sort of the same really – Sonic’s 20th Anniversary is fast approaching and what we have to show for it are a decade’s worth of games that range from average/fun for a bit to utter tripe. It’s a far cry from the sublime character and level design seen in the 16-bit era, and the situation is compounded by the splitting of the fanbase. Instead of going back to its Mega Drive roots like they probably (read: very much) should, the introduction of the modern Sonic fan has meant we now have a pocket of fans who want the games to stay in this downward spiral of mediocrity. Apparently ‘classic’ play is backwards thinking – nobody wants unique level design and original badniks, unpatronising stories and green hills, while we should embrace evolutions of the series such as broken cameras, boring enemy designs and apocalyptic monsters.

Enough about my ranting though, this is Lewis’ time to speak out. The Sonic Yoda website has been replaced with a page that details why he’s taken the sad decision to drop out of the fanbase:

I cannot continue this hobbie of mine knowing what Sonic has become. When I play Sonic games today, I have to force myself to finish them. I don’t enjoy them anymore. There’s no love in my relationship with the little blue guy. What’s made this worse is the release of Sonic Unleashed; another game which promised so much more than it could deliver. I’ve got to face the fact that Sonic will never be what I loved as a child. Werewolfs, multiple characters, ridiculous speed, guns, the end of the world and Eggman are all things I don’t want to see anymore.

What annoys me more about this than anything is the excuses that SEGA make. Whenever an interview occurs or a public statement is made, they’re always hiding the fact that they don’t know what they want Sonic to be anymore. This results in heavy rivalry in the fan community because people are told to like one thing when others grew up with another. The fans are confused and angry and all they want is a classic Sonic game with well designed, platform-based levels with multiple routes, lots of colour, happy music and Sonic as the only playable character going head-to-head with Dr. Robotnik.

The webmaster will start a brand new website called SEGADriven, which will be similar to another pet project of his, MegaDriven, only it will cover everything SEGA. A good idea, given many people look at Sonic games and judge SEGA as a whole by it. I mean, Valkyrie Chronicles, Yakuza 3, and Mad World to name a few awesome modern SEGA titles. Oh, and The Club. Why did nobody care about that game except for me?

From 2002-2008, Sonic Yoda has been one of the small sites that made it big; an unassuming fansite that didn’t quite get the attention it deserved, but to be honest never really wanted it. It was happy to simply tell the world about Sonic the Hedgehog, one of the best platforming franchises ever created. And it’s fansites like these that have the charm and charisma to stay the distance. We can’t all be fans of the same thing forever, and it’ll pain me to say ‘so long’ to Sonic Yoda. In honour of your retirement, we offer you tea and something to eat. Rest in peace.

Sonic Yoda Has Closed

Fan Spotlight: GregTheCat’s Malicious Fingers

Word.  Fan Spotlight is showcasing some marker and color pencil work today with some artwork from GregTheCatofGordawn.  In this work of art, Greg depicts one of the final boss battles of Sonic (3) & Knuckles.  What I like about this work the most is Sonic’s facial expression, because it’s absolutely ridiculous.  “WHOAMG LAZOR:”

Click the image for a larger view.

Check out Greg’s DeviantArt profile for more cool stuff.

As always, you can send me you or a friend’s art via SSMB private message.  Who knows?  You might be featured on this here front page!