Sonic Forces @EGX 2017 Hands On Impressions

This week was the Eurogamer Expo (EGX), I attended the convention over two days and I was able to play Sonic Forces several times across all platforms (PC was not available).

I tried and tested every Avatar weapon and power up, each stage was played multiple times and I ended up discovering all the pathways on each stage.

This will be a long read because if I were in your position, I would want a very detailed impression on this game so I have a very clear idea as to what I can currently expect.

Music

[This applies only to the tracks in the demo, not tracks released on YouTube]

Every time I listen to Forces’ soundtrack on YouTube, I really don’t like it. So why did I really enjoy the music when actually listening to it in the game? Even the Green Hill Boss fight was quite catchy.

Even after I finished the Avatar stage I found myself humming the tune and singing the lyrics for a few hours after it, it’s that addictive.

It’s down to the simple reason that the music compliments the action quite well, even the silly sounding synths during the Green Hill fight work as Eggman slowly advances towards you.

I’m as shocked as anyone, I actually like the music in Forces.

Performance & Visuals

[This does not apply to the Switch version; I will talk about that separately at the end of the article.]

Aside from the fact the colour scheme is dark and moody, graphically it’s ok. Textures are high quality; the frame rate appears to be a constant 60fps. I didn’t notice any slowdowns or issues on the PS4/Xbox One versions of the game; it’s a nice game to look at in motion.

Tiny details are scattered around, like a blurry reflection of Sonic and the surrounding scene in a puddle, grass blades blowing in the wind during Green Hill and there’s a huge level of detail on the ending models when you beat a stage.

Sadly though, if you stop in Sunset Heights and try to look at some of the ruined buildings, their textures are lower than they probably should be, shop names appear to be blurred and some details outside the boundary of the path are also low quality. Which is a shame since this is detail you can see from the playable area.

Loading times were also very fast on the PS4 and Xbox One versions; don’t have a time, but they were fast, 2 or 3 seconds at most.

Sonic Forces was running off the systems HDD, unsure if the consoles were pro or standard systems.

Controlling Modern Sonic

Modern Sonic still cannot perform a spin attack, he cannot roll and he still has the same control problems which have plagued the boost era since Unleashed.

At times the gravity in Sonic Forces seems to switch from low to high depending on the situation. For example, quite often I ended up leaving a ramp, went flying through the air only to find the falling arc is not what you expect, as if gravity is much lower or Sonic is somehow floating away, this also happened when attempting to jump across platforms too.

Other times it feels like gravity is higher than it should be. For example; in Sunset Heights after the rail grinding section if you turn back the other way, there are 3 platforms to reach a red ring. The jumps here do not feel natural, Sonic feels heavy at this section and failing what appears to be a set of simple platforms is quite common occurrence.

It does not feel natural to land jumps at all, most of the time you cheer when you make a difficult landing not because you estimated the jumps naturally, but because you finally figured out what kind of auto motion was being put on your character or natural circumstances have been put into place to create an artificial sense of difficulty instead of designing a naturally challenging level in which the physics remain constant throughout.

Sonic’s acceleration also has a problem… the following diagram illustrates Sonic’s acceleration speed if you just hold the ‘left/right button’ in Sonic Mania.

See how there is a constant acceleration until top speed is reached? Unless you go down a hill or get a power up, it’s a constant rate.

Here is how it works in Forces.

For some reason, and this is very noticeable at the start of Sunset Heights since you cannot boost at the start of that stage, Sonic begins to gain speed at a rate you expect, but the moment his animation changes there is a sudden and dramatic increased in speed, not a natural acceleration speed, this happens on two different occasions until max speed is reached.

It doesn’t feel right, it makes Sonic harder to control and it feels as if Sonic is on ice as he lurches to the left or right from the sudden acceleration. The moment you hit the higher speed bands, you suddenly lose control of Sonic and he weirs off to the left or right.

The issue of scripting and automated segments come into play here too, there is a lot of automated and scripted segments which force Sonic along a specific part of the route, otherwise when these are not enabled, Sonic hugs the left or right wall even when boosting no matter how hard you try to make him move towards the centre.

The only time this doesn’t happen and Sonic remains in the centre is during scripted or automated segments where the game itself is keeping you in the centre (The start of the Tag-Team stage does this), or if the game has a cut scene or something which puts you in the centre and you remain there unless you move (the Double Boost sequence).

Modern Level Design

Sunset Heights level design is as basic as you can possibly get. The stage is incredibly linear with absolutely no real alternative pathways and very little in terms of exploration.

You may have seen that moment where Sonic grabs a zip-line and swings through a building and grabs a red ring, below him is the section you take if you if you don’t take that zip-line? That’s about it for alternative pathways.

The only other instance of an alternative pathway comes during the camera switch to the 2D perspective section, this depends if you boost or not after you leave a ramp, do so and Sonic reaches a higher path, meaning you skip out a few badniks and a spring, it’s only a few seconds difference before the paths merge again, not a big change nor does it make for creative or inspiring level design.

Otherwise exploration in this stage is literally ‘there is a platform above me, I’ll jump on it, now the platform above that… oh there’s a red ring here.’ It’s so basic and the rewards are just red rings, no power ups, no extra lives, no rings, no destroyed statue of Fang, it’s just for red rings.

In many ways, the game feels like it was designed for an absolute basic player, someone new to games, or a child who has just got their first gaming system. There is nothing challenging or insightful here, the game forces you to go forward at all times, be it through boost pads, automated segments or being practically forced to use the boost in order to progress.

The level design also employs automated and scripted sections to guarantee a player ends up where the developers want you to go, over where you want to go or where your ability should take you.

For instance, use the boost as you approach a ramp, even for a split second and you’ll definitely make it to a higher platform. Don’t use it and you’ll fail each time regardless as to if you were at top non boost speed or not. They key to making it is if you were at ‘boost speed’ or not.

On other occasions, control is completely taken out of your hands to ensure you go in the right direction or to complete difficult jumps for those cinematic like moments where you fly over a huge chasm. Other times it’s just bizarre choices; during both the modern and avatar stages, control is completely taken away to ensure you actually finish a stage. Yes the game will actually finish the levels for you.

Level design is also poor when you factor in enemies; they are simply not a threat or an obstacle. You know how in Mania you sometimes have to time your attacks or attack an enemy in a specific way to defeat it? Here you just press the boost button; you’ll just go through them.

There is no challenge, no difficulty, no tactics and no options. It’s just ‘see the enemy, boost at the enemy’ it feels like a Fisher Price my first video game at times.

You constantly feel like you are being made to go forward, no exploration and no thought into how you do it, just hold down the boost and away you go, congratulations you just won the game.

The Homing Attack May Have Changed…

Something about the homing attack in this game feels off and I cannot place my finger on exactly what it is.

In Sonic Forces, say you have this enemy set up.

You approach enemy A and homing attack it, you then lock onto enemy C, the game will not allow you to attack enemy B. Even if you can still see it and aim for it, the moment you pass it you have to go forward.

Same if you attack B first, you must go onto C.

Now can you do A, B, C? Possibly… but I couldn’t get this to work, I tried several times in different areas of Sunset Heights and Tag Team, chaining homing attacks in Forces seems to have a problem.

Previously, if you just pushed the attack button, Sonic would auto move to the closest enemy and defeat them, or if you held the analogue stick, you could ‘aim’ Sonic at the target.

In Forces, when you jump, you must aim at an enemy using the analogue stick, or else you cannot lock onto it and perform a homing attack.

But something is off about it. It’s as if, not only do you have to be in range, but the target icon has such a high margin of failure that you must be so precise with your aim or it won’t lock onto your target. For quick chaining attacks in succession this presents a problem unless the target is almost directly in front of you so the game can auto lock, hence why I’ve never been able to perform a homing attack behind me, even if I can see the target.

In Sunset Heights, the initial enemies leading up-to the Zip-Line like segment don’t have this problem, but when you reach that wider area after the boost hill going down into the park square, it’s very noticeable and very easy to miss a target.

If this was the case in Generations, feel free to discard this section since I genially cannot remember it being there, certainly not this bad, but the homing attack definitely felt off, it felt much harder to aim and chain attacks, I can see enemies I want to target, sometimes being right next to them but I’m unable to do so. Something is wrong with it.

Controlling Classic Sonic

It’s very hard to judge this, it’s the Green Hill Zone boss fight again with a twist. There is very little to do here, but for the most part, Classic Sonic pretty much controls as he did in Generations with one key difference.

You how have to hold ‘down’ and mash the jump button to perform a super spin attack.

That’s about it, Classic Sonic has all the benefits and problems from Generations otherwise, he still feels a bit floaty at times when you jump at speed. But otherwise, it’s very hard to judge since this is a highly restricted boss fight.

He controls as you should expect him to, but it’s way too hard to judge in a level with a flat surface in which you cannot move for long periods of time and are fighting a boss which barely requires you to actually jump at him.

Classic Level Design

Again just judging the boss here… there’s nothing that can be said, it’s a flat plane for the majority of the fight. There are issues though when the level design meets the interface.

Aside from constantly being yelled at by Sonic’s friends, the radio obstructs both the boss and the player in the GHZ fight, meaning you have to guess where you are if you perform an attack at that moment.

Enter the Avatar

Sega had a number of randomly generated Avatars for you to play as, all had exactly the same abilities despite being different species, all moved the same and played the same.

The only difference in gameplay is based on the weapon you pick.

So, armed with a gun and a grapple hook, what’s the avatar like?

Controlling the Avatar

It’s pretty bad.

Considering how much has gone into marketing the Avatar as being the big thing of this game, controlling him is horrendous. He suffers from feeling sluggish, his jump distance at times feels random as does his jump height, he is not a fun character to play as and just begs the question as to why this was implemented?

There are moments where you have to jump on a platform or over a series of platforms over a bottomless pit, above you is the Giant Spider foot waiting to stomp on you, meaning you have to use precision platforming and speed to navigate this section.

The problem is the same as modern Sonic, at times the gravity feels either too strong or too weak, it’s almost dynamic depending on the section of the level, what worked in an earlier part of the stage will not work later on, even if the platform is exactly the same and the distance to it is exactly the same.

Often the Avatar will either float too far or seemingly drop like a brick despite what you do, often your momentum comes crashing to a halt as you have no choice but to stop at an edge and before basic jumps just to ensure you make it, you constantly feel like you’re fighting the physics instead of using them.

Avatar Gameplay

I feel that I have been very much mislead when it comes to the gameplay for the Avatar character, this character is nowhere near as cool or interesting as the trailers make him out to be. The main issue here is with the weapon you use and the Wisp power ability the accompanies it, your fun mileage varies greatly depending on the weapon you pick since it feels that stages have been designed with specific weapons in mind over others.

The options available to you in terms of how you progress through a level are also dictated by the weapon you use. There is a standard non power pathway, but there is also a specific one to each weapon type.

However, for the Cube Hammer power, I could not find a single use for this one. Even it’s standard attack special is completely useless, yes it takes out enemies faster than the homing attack and it gives you rings for doing so. But there’s no point to them, the levels are flooded with rings so it’s very unlikely that you will ever be pressed for finding rings.

You can only attack enemies by using weapons, you cannot jump onto them, you cannot roll/spin to attack enemies, despite the fact the avatar can roll down S-Tubes. You must use weapons or the grapple/homing attack.

Grapple Hook Gameplay

This is a contender for most pointless grapple hook in any game of all time. This is how you use it.

  • Scripted sequences which you have no control aside from QTE events.
  • Very rare occasions when there is a specific point that you can use to access a higher path or in some cases, continue with the stage, you push one button when the target indicator blinks.
  • Homing attack enemies.

That’s it. There is no free use of the grapple hook, you cannot use it to swing over pits, you cannot use it to reach higher platforms, climb vertical surfaces, or do anything interesting or fun.

Do you want to swing over those enemies? You can’t.

Do you want to climb up that wall? You can’t.

Do you want to swing through the stage? You can’t.

Do you want to use the hook to pull items towards you? You can’t.

Do you want to do anything remotely fun with it like you can do in any game that has a grapple hook? You can’t.

Early on in the stage I was running down a hill, hit a ramp and right at the peak of the jump I pressed the button to use the hook, it felt like exactly the right moment to do that and feel amazing except…! Nothing… I just fell to where the game wanted me to be.

I then find a section with a platform above a pit… can I use the grapple hook to swing over this? No… Nothing.

I can only think of one grapple hook in gaming which is even less fun to use is the grapple gun from Resident Evil 0 because it takes two inventory slots and usually requires a player to backtrack through the entire mansion to pick it up because most people discarded it after the train!

You can use the grapple hook to attack enemies, but this is completely pointless and boring. The Avatar can only destroy one enemy at a time doing, yes it can chain attack like Sonic’s homing attack, but this move is far slower and you will not want to do this as it ruins the pace of the game.

This is how Sonic’s homing attack works.

  • Jump into the air.
  • Lock onto enemy.
  • Attack enemy (zoom into it).
  • Recover/Lock onto 2nd enemy, repeat.

This process is less than a half a second long. Here is how it works for the Avatar.

  • Jump into the air
  • Lock onto enemy
  • Fire grapple hook at enemy.
  • Zoom toward enemy.
  • Kick enemy/defeat it.
  • Recover/Lock onto 2nd enemy, repeat.

This is at least half a second long, whilst that may not seem like much, when you take into account there are normally 4-5 enemies in a row, this is a slower attack by a few seconds vs just 1 which would be what happens if Sonic were in the same situation.

Whilst you press the same buttons for the Avatar as Sonic, the process to defeat just one enemy is so slow, you will eventually resort to using the guns since the pace of the game collapses and the gameplay becomes amazingly boring by using the grapple hook to attack since it’s so slow and there is no ammo/cool down for the weapons.

When the grapple hook does lock onto an enemy, the distance on it is also broken. I was able to lock onto enemies not even on the screen yet and zoom to them, even if I didn’t know they were there, it felt at times like I wasn’t playing the game but just watching stuff happen.

How to make this grapple attack more fun: Do it like Sonic 06 where if you grapple attack an enemy and kick it, it could fly into another enemy and blow it up.

Weapon Types

The game practically forces you to use weapons and there is absolutely no consequence for doing so which basically turns the game into boost 2.0 or turns on a pseudo invincibility mode.

Lightning Whip

The lightning whip attack launches the avatar forward and whips the enemies, it’s range is huge, it can easily take out 10+ enemies together on a 2D plane, in a 3D setting it’s arc is well near 180 degrees if you wiggle the analogue stick at the right time.

It’s also very broken, in 2D view mode, you can clip through enemies using this attack, but the whip won’t have impacted them as you pass through, yet they will still blow up with the others. This also happens in 3D view mode.

Flame Thrower

The flame thrower is also broken. You can hold down the attack for the entire level, there is no consequence to doing so, the range on this thing is somewhere between 1 quarter to half the screen and every enemies dies the moment they get struck by it.

There is no fuel for this gun or cool down time, so holding it down you effectively turn on an endless boost mode that only turns off if you jump and you can then activate it again.

Cube Hammer

This weapon isn’t broken… just boring. There is absolutely no reason at all to use this unless you are going for a 100% stage completion.

This was the last weapon I used when testing the characters, so after beating this stage with the fire and lightning weapon I was very familiar with the stage.

I was forced to take the standard path in the pyramid section; the attack from the hammer was so boring and repetitive that I quit the stage because it was that dull. It’s by far the most dull weapon, in the Avatar stage I could not find it’s accompanying wisp power nor a unique use for it. In the Tag Team section, there was one Wisp power up for it, but I couldn’t find where I was to use it.

Wisp Powers

Each Avatar can be equipped with a weapon, a Lightning Whip, a Flame Thrower, a Cube Hammer (turns enemies into an Ice Cube).

Each weapon can be super charged with a specific Wisp.

But here is the catch; if you have the Lightning Whip and you pick up a Red Wisp… it does nothing. You need to find a Yellow Wisp. Same goes for the other weapons.

How much fun you have on a stage radically differs to the weapon type you use. Here is what they do.

Flame/Burst: Launches your character up into the air, in 3D mode you can move in all directions.

Lightning: It becomes the Light Speed Dash or Light Speed Attack, only you must hold down the activation button to maintain it.

Cube: Creates blocks that you can climb on.

Personally, I found the burst the most fun, the reason being is that you at least feel like you are playing the game and making some progress. You choose when to activate it, you choose the direction you want to go in, you need to time the bursts in order to reach your target.

The light dash is cool to look at, until you realise it’s another automated attack which can go on for several seconds in some stages. In the Tag Team stage, you can clear the entire pyramid by doing only this attack and one homing attack section.

The Cube, if the demo had any moments that you could actually use this I’d be more than willing to comment on it. Right now it’s completely useless.

Artificial Replay Value

So you might now be thinking… why not just use the one you find the most fun? Well… there’s a catch to that.

If you want to get 100% of the collectables, you must replay the Avatar & Tag Team stages using different weapons! Even if you master a stage with one weapon, the game forces you to replay using another weapon.

Take the Avatar Green Hill Zone. Using the burst enables you to get to the very top of the stage and you can find a red ring, but from what I can see, it’s impossible to do this as the Lightning or Cube, they cannot make that distance and the level design doesn’t allow you to get there through any normal means.

Later in the stage a bridge collapses over a bottomless pit. There is a number of rings here and a red ring. I was only able to get this ring if I used the Lightning Wisp power. It might be possible with the burst if you save it and the cube… if they add cube wisps to this stage!

The Tag Team level has the same problem, the lightning special allows you to collect one red ring, but you have to go through the slower/normal route to get at least an additional two.

Tag-Team Gameplay

The above video is of myself playing through the Tag-Team section, it includes an analysis which helps compliment the issues I raise in this section.

Changing things up from tradition, Sonic and the Avatar team up to take on a level, that’s the idea, here is how it works.

You start off as Sonic locked into a scripted/automated section in which your options are to either use the boost button or the slower homing attack to defeat a few enemies… you hit a ramp, the Avatar then has the option to grapple swing to a higher platform.

That is the extent of the complexity of tag-team.

  • There is no switch in/switch out.
  • There is no choice to make a character active or primary.
  • The game auto decides which character is the primary character.

For example, outside the pyramid, the player is practically forced to use, long straight corridors, boost wisps and speed ramps practically force you to use his abilities. Only once does the Avatar have the option to use his grapple attack, this move is tied to the jump button, meaning Sonic could have and has done a similar move using his homing attack and has done this exact ranged jump before (Generations/Chemical Plant Zone).

Inside the pyramid, it’s another story, you are practically forced to use the Avatars powers, grapple hook jumps to move to the next cog, to then instantly become surrounded by enemies, use the weapon (it’s faster than the homing attack by a long way) to defeat enemies or else you cannot progress through the stage.

Given how you cannot set a character as being active or primary results in some strange behaviour. Despite being on very restrictive circular platforms, Sonic can still use the boost meaning you can fly off the stage even though you’re under the impression that you are using the Avatar as a primary character.

There is nothing that suggests a symbiotic relationship in the tag team mode, not even a partial one, it’s literally “Here is the Sonic part, here is the Avatar part, here is the Sonic part.”

What’s the difference? One is boost to win; the other is use the weapon and wiggle the analogue stick to aim.

The following video is of myself playing through the tag team section of the game, I used the lightning wisp to show you the fastest way through, you can see in the video most of the issues I wrote about here.

When you watch it, it looks cool. But to play; it’s amazingly simplistic and dull.

Edit: Just as I was going to press, according to the Tokyo Game Show livestream, you can switch in and switch out Sonic/Avatar as the ‘leader’ but based on the stage I played there is no point in doing so, the stages seem to be clearly designed for ‘this is the Sonic part, this is the Avatar part.

Tag-Team Level Design

As I said before… it’s literally ‘This is the Sonic Segment, this is the Avatar Segment’ there is nothing clever here which means you’ll use both their abilities in harmony, it’s essentially two levels stuck together with tape.

The design is so basic it’s hardly worth reporting on, the initial Sonic section has a few higher paths, but they’re simple to get to, your options are literally ‘use the boost, or the slower homing attack’.

If you have seen official playthroughs of the interior of the pyramid, the impression you get is that there are loads of pathways, that you can jump on different cogs to progress… You cannot.

If you take the basic non wisp power pathway, you follow a strict route, each instance is the same dull gameplay.

  • Jump on a cog.
  • Defeat enemies
  • Jump on next cog
  • Repeat

The Lightning Wisp power allows you to bypass this, but again, you are effectively holding down one button to do so, it looks cool, but it’s boring to play.

The Burst Wisp power allows you to bypass the cogs, it’s much more enjoyable than the lightning, but only because you actually feel like you’re finally doing something and having control over your game in a non scripted or automated segment.

The Pyramid section is full of automated sections through the use of the grapple hook, you do not decide where it takes you, the second ends with a boost pad sequence and loads of rings, so even if you did badly you’ll still get a ring bonus.

Another really odd design choice was the very end, when you fall into the bomb room, I took my hands off the controller because I wanted to see what was behind me when I landed, but Sonic and the Avatar automatically ran forward and finished the level without my input.

Double Boost Is Pointless

This Double Boost move… You hammer the button to do a fist bump within a time limit and off you go!

Ever wonder what happens if you don’t do that? Do you get less boost power? Do you fail the segment?

What happens? …Virtually nothing.

My partner tried this before me and she mashed the button, succeeded and the double boost section began.

When it was my turn I said “I’m going to deliberately fail this, I want to see what happens!”

What happened made us both laugh, Sonic and the avatar fist bumped, Sonic yelled ‘Double Boost’ they stumbled a little, but that was it. I got the exact same double boost power and the segment played out exactly as it did for someone who bothers to do it.

You do not even need to move the characters or touch the controller in order to complete the stage, predating this section is a scripted section which lasts for 5 seconds, you then enter the double boost section which lasts for another 25 seconds before you regain control in the pyramid free fall.

So for 30 seconds you are not playing the stage, it’s virtually completely automated.

The only difference I could see was that you don’t get a point bonus if you fail the fist bump, but it’s still possible to get an S rank even if you fail this section!

During the double boost even though you have the ability to move left and right during it, there is no point in doing so since the game immediately centres you on the pathway, you might as well stay there since you’ll still hit all but maybe 3 enemies only this time you’ll collect all the rings at the end of the segment.

You are literally rewarded for doing nothing!

Overall Gameplay Thoughts

This is one of the most scripted and automated Sonic games I’ve seen. I want to actually be able to play a Sonic game, not watch an automated or scripted section. I want a Sonic game where I’m not just sat there waiting to turn off the boost button or push jump at the right time and that’s the extent of my decisions.

Modern Sonic still has all the problems he previously did; it’s still boost to win, only now the homing attack seems to be a little broken.

Classic Sonic controls exactly like he did and you’d expect, nothing else to really report until we can finally get a level to play instead of an easy boss fight.

The biggest disappointment comes from the Avatar. Aside from being sluggish to control, his one unique selling point is barely used, all the weapons are fantastically over powered, the Wisp special attacks are either boring or appear to do nothing.

Other universal issues are just baffling, there seems to be a lack of shadows under the characters at times, which means that it’s very hard to see if you are directly over a platform or not during platforming segments, this is basic game design for 3D games which has been around since the days of the N64, why is it not here in Forces?

Characters jumps can either be floaty or their arcs cut shorter than you feel they should be.

Overall Level Design Thoughts

The level design is poor, it feels like it’s just recycled parts from previous games masquerading as something new.

It’s like running through a movie back lot and seeing all the old scenes that we’ve seen before in movies past, here is that platforming segment, here is that free fall segment, here is that boost segment, here is the chase segment. Done it all before, it’s boring now.

How does this happen? Especially with the debut of a ‘new’ character with ‘new’ gameplay. Here we go playing the Avatar stage, a new idea with a new gameplay mechanic; instead it’s just pound shop Modern Sonic. The first boss for this character is literally a QTE chase sequence which involves the quick step.

You know, I think we’ve played this boss before… wasn’t this done in Unleashed, Generations, 06 and Rise of Lyric?

Hang on, we have a character here with a grapple hook fighting a giant spider, why is this boss not an open area in which you have to use the hook to grapple onto the Spider Bossswing between its legs as it tries to grab at you, climb onto the top of it and use your weapon to try and break parts off it or open it’s head to rip out its circuits. The boss battle ends with the robot crashing down, you leap off it as it explodes and pull a victory pose.

That would be fun!

That would be giving me something to do! Instead I’m watching a chase sequence which is feels lifted and recycled from Sonic Unleashed that ends with a QTE. And at the time I forgot to check if failing that sequence results in a death or if it’s just a point bonus since you still win if you fail the double boost so why not here too?

Here is our Modern Sonic stage, it’s another linear corridor/path like level, here are our enemies which do not present a challenge, your options are boost through them or use the slower homing attack. You don’t need to think, you don’t need to react, just hold the boost button and you’ll do it, maybe press jump on occasion.

If you are wondering about the length of the stages? Based on the fact the demo levels let you find all the red star rings, they really are between 60 and 90 seconds long, with up-to 30 seconds of automated segments in some stages.

You want to explore the stage? You want to go back, tough, there’s boosters everywhere to force you in one direction, only now we don’t even allow you to go back to attack enemies with a homing attack.

There is something wrong with a level when you can hold down 1 button and either boost or fly over the entire thing and still come out with an S Rank. It’s catastrophically wrong when on my estimation when you can beat the Tag-Team stage in under 1:30 get away with only 10 presses of the controller buttons, collect nearly 700 rings and still get an S rank after only two playthrough’s of the stage!

There are also some perspective problems with some objects, take a look at this part of the Avatar Green Hill.

At this section of the stage, below you is a bottomless pit, you have to use these platforms to get past it (unless you have a yellow wisp power). Due to the positioning of this platform, it lines up perfectly with that checkered wall. It looks like it’s a wall preventing you from progressing… but it’s not!

I saw other players get very confused here, even I made an error the first time I encountered this part of the stage. Some players tried to use the weapon to break through the wall, I saw others trying to jump left (blue arrow) to what looks like a ledge, others just stopped and were killed by the spiders foot because they had no idea that you can just walk right off the block, because it looks like a solid barrier when you actually sit down and play it.

The Nintendo Switch Version…

…Is absolutely atrocious in it’s current state.

The Switch version was so poor when critiqued both as a stand alone product and directly to the PS4 and Xbox One version I question why it has been let out into the public demo space in it’s current state.

It was not just the worst of performing Sonic title, out of all the Switch games I played at the entire convention, it was the worst performing game of the lot.

The loading times on the Switch version are long, much longer than all other counterparts, which is to be expected since it’s running off a cart and not a hard drive but still, the difference in time is not just the odd one or two seconds, we’re talking around 5-10 seconds of extra time waiting at loading screens in some cases.

Technically, the Switch version is ugly, both graphically and in terms of performance. Graphically, the low res textures are poor, the comments from E3 and Gamescom are not an exaggeration, it really does look like an early PS2 era game, it’s an ugly horse. Blurry low quality textures in a ruined city blur together in a brown bury mess add onto of that a blur filter when boosting, it’s hideous to look at.

Even when not using the boost, it’s hideous.

Frame rate is also a problem, whilst there is no way I can accurately measure it in a demo pod, it’s certainly no better than 30fps, I was also sure that I saw some drops during Sunset Heights.

This might explain one of the worst offenders in the Switch version, the controls are much poorer across all characters compared to their rival system counterparts.

Platforming becomes much harder, precision jumping is much harder and frustrating, even basic things like the homing attack become a problem. Remember how I mentioned that the homing attack seems to have altered slightly? Combine that with the lower performance of the Switch and homing attacks become an utter mess.

There was also some noticeable input lag during certain levels which becomes a nightmare for avoiding hazards and bottomless pits and chaining the homing attack.

Based on what I have played, there is absolutely nothing positive to say about the Switch version of Forces at all, it’s not fit for purpose in any respect.

There was no portable version available to play anywhere in the convention, Nintendo had a booth but I did not see Forces anywhere in it. They did however have Mania.

The Switch version also lacked the Tag Team stages, which adds more questions as to the Switch versions current quality and performance.

It’s extremely concerning to be nearly 2 months away from release and seeing the Switch version at a public demo in the state its currently in missing an entire level/gameplay mode and yet it’s currently at a much higher price point worldwide.

Final Thoughts

Based on the demo I played…

If you have already played any Sonic game since Sonic 06, you have already played this game, there is nothing new or interesting here, it’s the same old level design which if you can believe it feels even more tired than it previously did.

If this is your first Sonic game, it’s going to feel amazing and new because to you it is new.

It’s a highly automated game which results in dull automated and scripted gameplay, the player is limited in what they can do and is forced to proceed in one direction through automated moments and deliberate design choices.

I’ve been waiting since 2011 to play a new 3D Sonic game on a system that I own, I think I’m still waiting.

Positives:
+ Music is pretty good.
+ PS4/Xbox One versions are technically fine.
+ Sonic’s animations when you S Rank a stage are really good.
+ Very accessible experience, no high difficulty/experience level required.
+ Low price point.

Negatives:
– Level Design is poor, feels recycled from previous games, stages are painfully short.
– Avatar gameplay lacks ambition & potential.
– Modern Sonic still suffers from decade old problems.
– Switch version is currently abysmal.
– The most automated/scripted Sonic game in years, makes the gameplay feel boring.

Fun Fact I Learnt: The Green Wolf Avatar is actually female. You can tell by the noise it makes when you perform the stomp move.

Previews: Sonic Universe #82 and Sonic Super Digest #15

We’re going across time and space for the long awaited conclusion this month!

It’s been nearly three months since the last preview came out, and as a treat this one is a double whammy going into two separate time directions at once!

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First up, Comic Book Resources has the preview for Sonic Universe #82, and the conclusion’s set to reach new heights! Silver’s finally about to face up to the Second Devourer…but he’ll a job given that he’s only a metre tall. Can the combined abilities of Professor Von Schlemmer and Gold the Tenrec give him that edge he needs to win the battle? And with timey wimey heavily involved, who knows what the eventual ending will even be! This is “The Silver Age”; part 4.

STORY BY: Evan Stanley
ART BY: Tracy Yardley, Jim Amash
COLORS BY: Matt Herms
LETTERS BY: Jack Morelli
COVER BY: Evan Stanley, T. Rex
PUBLISHER: Archie Comics
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: Jan 13th, 2016
ENTER THE FINAL FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE! “The Silver Age” part four: The finale to Silver’s latest adventure! Silver simply doesn’t have the might to stop the creature menacing his time. Maybe the combined brain power of Gold and Prof. von Schlemmer can help! It’s a knock-down, drag-out fight for the fate of the future with a shocking ending you’ll never see coming-even if you’re psychic! Featuring cover art by the “Silver Age” writer herself, Evan Stanley, plus a special “Movie Poster Variant” by the terrific T. Rex!

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And secondly, Newsarama deliver a preview of Sonic Super Digest #15, along with a brief interview with editor Vincent Lovallo. Not only does it keep the pattern of reprinting the latest and greatest stories in a handy pocket format, this particular issue delves into the past as we examine the origins of the sea-faring tough guy, Razor the Shark. You asked for it, and they delivered with “Castaway”.

SONIC SUPER DIGEST #15
Sonic Comic Origins continues this month with an ALL-NEW story featuring Razor the Shark! This never-before-seen tale showcases an EXCLUSIVE back-story to the underwater side of the new Sonic Comic universe with one of the most popular new characters to debut in the series! It’s a real splash this month in Sonic Super Digest! Plus, don’t miss all the classic fun and adventure you love in stories from the comics’ 20+ year history as Sonic and his friends embark on daring adventures, face evil villains and save the day one chili dog at a time! Race into the fun that only Archie Comics and Sonic Super Digest can bring! Featuring super duper cover art from Tyson Hesse and story & art from the biggest names in Sonic comics history!
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Adam Bryce Thomas, Rick Bryant, Jack Morelli, Matt Herms & Various
Cover: Tyson Hesse
On Sale Date: 1/13
128-page, full color comic
$4.99 U.S.

Both of these issues are due out tomorrow, January 13th. With these officially back on the schedule, this should hopefully mean a return to normal routine, so expect the previews to swing back into full force within the next fortnight!

Sources: Comic Book Resources, Newsarama

Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #278

This month could be called the month of sand and stone.

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Newsarama has got the preview for Sonic the Hedgehog #278. First up, Sonic, Antoine and Big are in Shamar to get another Gaia Key for their quest by helping another guardian, but the threatening Egg Army is on their tail! The local Freedom Fighter team are on hand to help…but there’s something that strikes deja vu about them. This is “Face of the Enemy”: part 1. Then, We continue our look at the mission for the last Chaos Emerald as Bunnie and Cassia square off, cyborg to cyborg. Alignments and perspectives clash in “Hidden Costs”: part 2.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #278
SONIC’s planet-wide chase CONTINUES!”Face of the Enemy” Part One: Sonic, Antoine and Big head to Shamar to rescue another Gaia Key Guardian! They’re calling in the reinforcements and getting some help from the local Freedom Fighters-but will that really be enough to get past the fearsome Egg Army? Then, in “Hidden Costs” Part Two: Get ringside seats to Bunnie vs. Cassia. It’s the can’t-miss Cyborg fight of the century! Featuring cover art by jamming Jamal Peppers and a “Maniacal” variant By CG artist Rafa Knight!
Script: Ian Flynn, Aleah Baker
Art: Adam Bryce Thomas, Evan Stanley, Terry Austin, John Workman & Gabriel Cassata
Sonic the Hedgehog #278 CVR A Reg: Jamal Peppers, Terry Austin, Elaina Unger
Sonic the Hedgehog #278 CVR B Variant: Rafa Knight
On Sale Date: 11/18
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Sonic the Hedgehog #278 is out next Wednesday. Make sure you don’t let your opportunity go like sand through your fingers! Or stones through your fingers, that’d just be painful.

Source: Newsarama

Preview: Sonic Universe #81

Kick off the Sonic Stadium celebrations with…uh, something completely unrelated to the Sonic Stadium celebrations.

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It’s time for a glimpse into the fictional and real futures once again as Comics Alliance brings us a preview for Sonic Universe #81. Silver, Von Schlemmer and Gold have been captured by the council, and the first two are guinea pigs for their plans. But all that cold, ruthless scientific research may not stack against the evil might that their experiments bring forth! Gold’s past and connection to this utter disaster is put under the spotlight, but it’s on Silver’s shoulders to save their future. This is “The Silver Age”; part 3.

SONIC UNIVERSE #81
SILVER FIGHTS for his FUTURE in “The Silver Age” Part 3: Silver is at the mercy of the heartless council, but their cold nature is nothing compared to the evil then unleash! Gold’s mysterious past is now revealed, as well as how it’s tied to the current calamity. Will it be up to Silver to save his future once again? Featuring cover art by long-time Sonic Comic artist, Tracy Yardley and a “To the Future” variant by newcomer Adam Bryce Thomas!
Script: Evan Stanley
Art: Tracy Yardley, Jim Amash, Jack Morelli & Matt Herms
Sonic Universe #81 CVR A Reg: Tracy Yardley & Matt Herms
Sonic Universe #81 CVR B Variant: Adam Bryce Thomas, Terry Austin & Steve Downer
On Sale Date: 10/28
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S

Sonic Universe #81 is due for release next Wednesday. And don’t think this is going to pass by without mentioning that Silver and Von Schlemmer have a fitting Marty and Doc dynamic going on considering that all of the Back to the Future events became our past about two days ago. Great Scott, it was their plan all along!

Source: Comics Alliance

Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #277

We may be on the plains, but this mission won’t be plain-sailing.

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After a much longer gap than anticipated, Sonic the Hedgehog #277 is officially right around the corner, and Comics Alliance has the preview for it! In the first story, Sonic, Sally and Bunnie have met up with an old face with a brand new coat of paint; Lupe the Wolf! While taking on another Super Badnik, find out how they know her…and what they don’t know about her that links into the Shattered World Crisis, in “Thunder, Rain and Lightning”. Then, Sally, Nicole and Bunnie have picked up the track of the last Chaos Emerald needed, but the problem is that it’s right in the thick of Egg Boss Clove’s territory! What tricks and traps will the team encounter, and what is the deal with Clove, Cassia and their army? Uncover a bit about it in “Hidden Costs”; part 1.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #277
SONIC TAKES THE LEAD in the race to fix the planet! “Thunder, Rain and Lightning”: Sonic and the team link up with Lupe to destroy one of Dr. Eggman’s super badniks! How does this tie into fixing the shattered world? And just what secrets does Lupe keep? Then, in “Hidden Costs” Part One, Sally and Bunnie hunt down the final Chaos Emerald—which is in the heart of Egg Boss Clove’s forbidden territory! Featuring cover art from jammin’ Jamal Peppers and a “BATTLE!” variant from Sonic comics all-star Tyson Hesse!
Script: Ian Flynn & Aleah Baker
Art: Adam Bryce Thomas, Evan Stanley, Terry Austin, Gabriel Cassata and John Workman
CVR A Reg: Jamal Peppers, Rick Bryant and Ben Hunzeker
CVR B Variant: Tyson Hesse
On Sale Date: 10/21 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S.

Sonic the Hedgehog #277 is officially released in stores and digitally next Wednesday. However, with the original release date having been October 14th, the Sonic comic app had it available accidentally for a short period of time. If someone tells you they’ve already bought it, that’s probably why. Don’t worry, you haven’t missed out!

Source: Comics Alliance

Preview: Sonic Universe #80

This month’s issue is going deeper down the rabbit hole, complete with mysterious voices.

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Newsarama has released the preview for Sonic Universe #80 as the mystery continues to unfold. Silver and Von Schlemmer are now a (not quite close) team, but Schlemmer’s efforts to propose a solution to the council fall on deaf ears. Why do they not want to hear it? To make matters worse for Silver, a voice starts calling out to him, which is bound to drag him even further into this mess. Can Silver and co. get to the bottom of this mystery before it gets them? Find out in “The Silver Age”: part 2.

SONIC UNIVERSE #80
The FUTURE is in DANGER, and only Silver the Hedgehog can make things right! “The Silver Age” Part Two: Silver has teamed up with Prof. von Schlemmer and they have a plan for stopping the Genesis Portals! This seems like the solution everyone’s been waiting for—but why doesn’t the Council want to hear it? The mystery deepens as a voice calls out to Silver—a voice that only he can hear! Will our unlikely heroes uncover the conspiracy, or die trying? Featuring cover art from the Sonic comic master Tracy Yardley and a CHAOS CRISIS variant by Rafa Knight!
Script: Evan Stanley
Art: Tracey Yardley, Jim Amash, Matt Herms and Jack Morelli
CVR A Reg: Tracy Yardley and Matt Herms
CVR B Variant: Rafa Knight
On Sale Date: 9/23
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S

Sonic Universe #80 is due out this Wednesday. As those Bits might say, “01000100 01101111 01101110 00100111 01110100 00100000 01101101 01101001 01110011 01110011 00100000 01101111 01110101 01110100 00100001”

Source: Newsarama

Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #276

We may be in the ice cold, but the action’s gonna be red hot!

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The Shattered World crisis is back into full swing with Sonic the Hedgehog #276, and Comic Book Resources has the preview for it. Sonic, Chip and Rotor are up in Artika to retrieve another Gaia key to reunite the pieces of the world, but they’re going to come across a bit of an ice block when Egg Boss Tundra gives the team a particularly chilly reception in “Cold Hearted”. While this is going on, Eggman has restarted his Dark Gaia energy-gathering operations for his grand scheme, but before anything else he needs to find his weapon of terror, Metal Sonic. How will he fare when he’s forced to traverse the treacherous to do this? Find out in “Back in Business”.

STORY BY: Ian Flynn
ART BY: Adam Bryce Thomas, Terry Austin
COLORS BY: Gabriel Cassata
LETTERS BY: John Workman
COVER BY: Adam Bryce Thomas, Rick Bryant, Steve Downer
PUBLISHER: Archie Comics
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: Sep 9th, 2015
The BLUE BLUR IS BACK from the events of “WORLDS UNITE” and ready to save the world! In “Cold Hearted,” Sonic embarks on a quest through the arctic to find and recover the all-important Gaia Keys! Collecting them all is essential for fixing the shattered world. It’s a pretty chill mission until Egg Boss Tundra steps in to put the freeze on Sonic’s plans! Meanwhile, Dr. Eggman is “Back in Business” as he braves the unknown to find his most treasured killing machine Metal Sonic! Featuring cover art by newcomer Adam Bryce Thomas plus a “HERO” variant with art provided by SEGA!

Sonic the Hedgehog #276 is due out this Wednesday. Don’t get cold feet if you want to get the issue!

Source: Comic Book Resources

Preview: Sonic Boom #11

Sonic Boom is ending with more meta madness than ever in its final issue!

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It feels like yesterday when we announced that Sonic Boom would be getting a monthly comic, but we’ve reached the final issue and Comic Book Resources has the preview of it. Sonic Boom #11 sees Eggman become frustrated with his usual fare of robotic warfare, so he decides to hire Kyle the Gorilla to aid him. But this may not be the greatest idea if the help doesn’t exactly want to help! Can Eggman turn the situation to his advantage? This is “Eggman Gets a Gorilla”.

STORY BY: Sam Sandak Freiberger
ART BY: Diana Skelly, Rick Bryant
COLORS BY: Matt Herms
LETTERS BY: Jack Morelli
COVER BY: Diana Skelly, Rick Bryant, Steve Downer
PUBLISHER: Archie Comics
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: Sep 2nd, 2015
Follow up after the “WORLDS UNITE” crossover with a BOOM in this EXPLOSIVE eleventh issue! “Eggman Gets a Gorilla”: When Dr. Eggman’s regular robotic enforcers just can’t cut the mustard, he hires some additional help! (Because, seriously, how hard is it to cut mustard?) Introducing the mighty, Kyle the Gorilla! Is he really the next APE wonder of the world? Or will Sonic get yet another reason to point and laugh? You’ll be pointing and laughing too-but in a good way! Featuring cover art by rising star Diana Skelly plus a “BOOMTASTIC” variant with art provided by SEGA!

Sonic Boom #11 is due out this Wednesday. Start September out by sending off Sonic Boom’s monthly series for the last time!

Source: Comic Book Resources

Preview: Sonic Universe #79

Let’s literally do the the time warp again!

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There’s a new arc to behold in Sonic Universe #79, and Comic Book Resources has the preview for it. Silver’s future may not be haunted by a fire god any more, but an Orwellian future isn’t so peachy either. Especially not when he’s pulled into the thick of a conspiracy going on that’ll prove perilous to our hero! See how Silver first got involved with the Genesis Portal shenanigans that were so pivotal to Worlds Unite in “The Silver Age”: part 1.

STORY BY: Evan Stanley
ART BY: Tracy Yardley, Jim Amash
COLORS BY: Matt Herms
LETTERS BY: Jack Morelli
COVER BY: Evan Stanley
PUBLISHER: Archie Comics
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: Aug 26th, 2015
SILVER THE HEDGEHOG RETURNS in an ALL-NEW adventure! Enter: ”The Silver Age”: Part One – Silver the Hedgehog’s future may no longer be a terrible burning ruin, but it certainly is far from safe! Mystery and danger abounds as Silver is dragged into a dangerous conspiracy linked to the reality-warping menaces known as the Genesis Portals! Featuring cover art by Sonic comic extraordinaire Evan Stanley plus a “HERO” variant with art provided by SEGA!

Sonic Universe #79 is due to be released this Wednesday. If there’s one thing you can guarantee, it’ll be ahead of our time!

Source: Comic Book Resources

Preview: Mega Man #52 (Worlds Unite part 12)

After three months, we’ve finally hit the end of the line of the second comic crossover!

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It’s time for the final weekly song and dance as Worlds Unite wraps up for its finale! Comics Alliance recaps the events of the prior issue, has one last chat with Vincent Lovallo (amongst which is a confirmation that Sonic Universe’s upcoming Silver Age arc is a prequel to the prologue that leads into Worlds Unite) and contains the last preview for this 12+ issue event. Desperate times have called for desperate measures as Sonic and Mega Man have gone super, but even in this form Sigma may prove a challenge. On top of that, reality itself is falling to pieces with the Genesis Portal abuse! It’s going to take some super-powered teamwork, and perhaps some evil maniacs’ sabotage, to end Sigma’s threat for the last time! This is “Worlds Unite”: part 12.

MEGA MAN #52
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Tyson Hesse, Jim Amash, Jack Morelli and Matt Herms
Cover: T. Rex
Variant Cover: Reilly Brown
Covers Unite Variant (12 of 12): Ben Bates
The ALL-NEW Sonic/Mega Man Crossover sequel comes to a chaotic close with “Worlds Unite” Part Twelve: The grand finale to “Worlds Unite” sees our super-powered heroes Sonic and Mega Man face off against the evil Sigma in his final, most lethal form! If that wasn’t enough, the Genesis Portal-ravaged reality is falling apart and time is running out to fix it! You don’t want to miss the stunning conclusion to the biggest crossover event of the year! Featuring the worlds of STREET FIGHTER, SKIES OF ARCADIA, NiGHTS INTO DREAMS, OKAMI, GHOSTS ‘N’ GOBLINS, ALEX KIDD and more! Featuring cover art from the legendary T.Rex, a special “SUPER-POWERED” variant by Reilly Brown and the final part of the epic 12-part connecting variant cover series by artist Ben Bates!
On Sale Date: 8/19 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S

Mega Man #52 is due to come out this Wednesday. Pick it up if you want to see how this entire debacle concludes in its explosive ending!

Source: Comics Alliance

Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #275 (Worlds Unite part 11)

Enjoyed the week long respite? Because this train’s got no brakes now.

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It’s that time again, folks. Comics Alliance has their usual recap of the previous issue, an interview with Vincent Lovallo (this time on the recruiting choices and Sticks’ general weirdness) and a preview for Sonic the Hedgehog #275. We’re finally at the story’s climax as the multi-universe spanning heroic army, led by Sonic, Mega Man and Mega Man X, have been gathered together for the first time and are now launching their final no-holds-barred attack on the increasingly powerful Sigma! Have they managed to bring themselves together in time to stop him, or is his power just too great? Find out in “Worlds Unite”: part 11. This issue is a double length issue, which can mean extra story time, a reprint of past events or both at the same time, we’ll find out on the day. It also comes in six different variants, so you may want to decide which ones you want beforehand!

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #275
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Tyson Hesse, Jim Amash, Jack Morelli and Matt Herms
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #275 CVR A REG: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante and Matt Herms
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #275 CVR B Wrap-around Variant: Edwin Huang
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #275 CVR C Wrap-around Variant: Lamar Wells, Rick Bryant and Matt Herms
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #275 CVR D Wrap-around Variant: Tracy Yardley, Terry Austin and Steve Downer
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #275 CVR E Wrap-around Variant: Rafa Knight
Covers Unite Variant (11 of 12): Ben Bates
CELEBRATE 275 ISSUES OF SONIC THE HEDGEHOG with his good buddy Mega Man and the worlds of STREET FIGHTER, BILLY HATCHER, NiGHTS INTO DREAMS, MONSTER HUNTER and more in this DOUBLE-SIZED ISSUE! “Worlds Unite” Part Eleven: It’s pan-dimensional pandemonium as the unified army begins their attack on Sigma! Sonic, Mega Man and X lead an all-star roster of heroes from across the SEGA and Capcom universes in an all-out assault against the villainous robot from the future! Will they be enough to save all their worlds, or has Sigma already become a god? Featuring a wrap-around cover from the legendary Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante! PLUS 5 variant covers from Edwin Huang, Lamar Wells, Tracy Yardley, Rafa Knight and part 11 of the epic 12-part connecting variant cover series by artist Ben Bates! Don’t miss the penultimate chapter to the biggest crossover event in Archie Action history!
On Sale Date: 8/12 | 48-page, full color comic | $4.99 U.S.

Sonic the Hedgehog #275 is due out next Wednesday. As a milestone issue of the main Sonic comic, it’d be madness to miss this one!

Source: Comics Alliance

Preview: Sonic Boom #10 (Worlds Unite part 10)

Part 10 in issue 10? Well now that’s just weird, I tells ya.

SonicBoom_10-0

As we hit the double digits of Worlds Unite, Comics Alliance has another recap of the prior issue’s events. Along with going over the previous otherworldly recruits and an interview with Vincent Lovallo (this time bringing Ian Flynn’s knowledge of Skies of Arcadia), there’s a preview for Sonic Boom #10. The recruitment drive continues as our heroes go across six more game franchises to look for help. Would you like your escapades egg-celent, breath-taking, simply viewtiful, or a different punny adjective entirely? Meanwhile, Eggman, Wily and Xander aren’t under watch from the heroes any more, which can only mean one thing; there’s an evil and/or wacky scheme on the horizon! Catch all this in “Worlds Unite”: part 10.

SONIC BOOM #10
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Tyson Hesse, Jim Amash, Jack Morelli and Matt Herms
SONIC BOOM #10 CVR A REG: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
SONIC BOOM #10 CVR B Variant: Reilly Brown
Covers Unite Variant (10 of 12): Ben Bates
The SONIC/MEGA MAN Crossover event explodes beyond the worlds of just our two blue heroes! “Worlds Unite” Part Ten: Sonic, Mega Man, X and Sticks continue to rally heroes from across the wide expanse of the SEGA and Capcom universes! Who will be brave and join the unified assaulted against Sigma? PLUS with all of the heroes busy, who’s keeping an eye on the malicious Xander Payne and Evil BFFs Drs. Eggman and Wily? The villains MUST be plotting something now—but what? Featuring the worlds of VIEWTIFUL JOE, GOLDEN AXE, BREATH OF FIRE, PANZER DRAGOON, BILLY HATCHER, MONSTER HUNTER and more! Plus cover art from the legendary Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante, and variant cover art from Reilly Brown and part 10 of the epic 12-part connecting variant cover series by artist Ben Bates!
On Sale Date: 7/29 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S.

Sonic Boom #10 is due to be released this Wednesday. Might want to make sure you’re up to speed now, because the ending looms on the horizon!

Source: Comics Alliance

Preview: Sonic Universe #78 (Worlds Unite part 9)

Hop aboard, because the multi-dimensional tour is about to embark!

SonicUniverse_78-0

Comics Alliance delivers with another weekly dose of Worlds Unite. There’s the usual recap, a Vincent Lovallo interview (this time focused around the end of act 2), and an exclusive preview for Sonic Universe #78. This time around it’s a plethora of SEGA and Capcom references as the heroes go about the Genesis Portals to recruit new heroes (and for Sigma to recruit new villains). The franchises may be listed in the solicit, but see if you can recognise all the characters individually! But it’s not all fun and games; not everyone went dimension hopping, and Sigma’s more than willing to punish them for that mistake…This is “Worlds Unite”: part 9.

SONIC UNIVERSE #78
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Tyson Hesse, Jim Amash, Jack Morelli and Matt Herms
Cover: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
New Worlds Variant Cover: Jamal Peppers, Jim Amash and Matt Herms
Covers Unite Variant (9 of 12): Ben Bates
The third and final act of the EPIC SONIC/MEGA MAN CROSSOVER EVENT begins here! “Worlds Unite” Part Nine: Sigma has begun his conquest of ALL the worlds. Now it’s up to Sonic, Mega Man and X to unify those worlds AGAINST Sigma! It’s a “who’s who” of SEGA and Capcom heroes answering this important call to arms! But with Sigma still active on the unified world, he turns his gaze upon those left behind..! Featuring the worlds of STREET FIGHTER, SKIES OF ARCADIA, NiGHTS INTO DREAMS, OKAMI, GHOSTS ‘N’ GOBLINS, ALEX KIDD and more! Plus cover art from the legendary Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante, and variant cover art from “Worlds Collide” penciling star Jamal Peppers and part 9 of the epic 12-part connecting variant cover series by artist Ben Bates!
On Sale Date: 7/22| 32-page, full color

Sonic Universe #78 is out this Wednesday. If you have a love of SEGA or Capcom franchises beyond the blue mascots, this is sure to be a delight for you!

Source: Comics Alliance

Preview: Mega Man #51 (Worlds Unite part 8)

The second third of the crossover may be closing, but that doesn’t mean the action is cooling down any!

MegaMan_51-0

Comics Alliance has its usual weekly recap and interview with Vincent Lovallo (including a hint to Archie Action stuff not related to Sonic or Mega Man, possibly), and SDCC hasn’t stopped them bringing out an early preview of Mega Man #51! Sigma has gathered his Maverick and Mechaniloid army and has seized control of the Genesis Portals. What does this mean for our heroes? Nothing good despite their efforts, that can be assured! But as they grow weaker from the attack, Sticks comes back from her dimension hopping shenanigans, and she brings some pretty well known faces into the wake! This is “Worlds Unite”: part 8.

MEGA MAN #51
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Edwin Huang, Gary Martin, John Workman and Gabriel Cassata
Mega Man #51 CVR A Reg: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
Mega Man #51 CVR B Variant: Diana Skelly, Rick Bryant and Gabriel Cassata
Covers Unite Variant (pt 8 of 12): Ben Bates
IS ALL LOST?! The evil Sigma unleashes an unstoppable army in “Worlds Unite” Part Eight: Sonic, Mega Man and X lead the unified army against Sigma’s horde of resurrected Mavericks! Sigma has now taken command of the Genesis Portals, threatening to fuse together even MORE worlds! With our heroes’ time and strength running out, Sticks returns with reinforcements—and you’ll never believe who she recruited! Featuring cover art from the legendary Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante, and variant cover art from Sonic rising star Diana Skelly and part 8 of the epic 12-part connecting variant cover series by artist Ben Bates!
On Sale Date: 7/15 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S

Mega Man #51 is due out next Wednesday, the same day as Sonic: Worlds Unite Battles. You can kill two birds while finishing off the second act of the crossover, because from here it’s only going to be more chaotic!

Source: Comics Alliance

Preview: Sonic: Worlds Unite Battles #1

Get ready for round 2 of the one-off fighting face-offs!

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There’s another book on the horizon for Worlds Unite, and Comic Book Resources has an early preview for it. Sonic: Worlds Unite Battles #1 covers three more fights that just didn’t have space to be featured in the main comic pages. First off, Sticks confronts her mortal enemy the broom…and there’s Roll with it too! Then, Knuckles is forced to fend off Break Man after he’s controlled with deadly intent! Finally, you can see how Sonic fared against the Deadly other three of Six during his capture back in the first issue! Like the Mega Man counterpart, this book features a slew of veteran talent and fresh blood at the helm!

STORY BY: Joel Enos, Ryan Jampole, Aleah Baker
ART BY: Tracy Yardley, Ryan Jampole, Diana Skelly, Rick Bryant , Terry Austin , Rachel Deering , Elaina Unger
COVER BY: Evan Stanley, Jamal Peppers, Phyllis Novin, Ben Hunzeker , Roger Robinson , Idalia Robinson
PUBLISHER: Archie Comics
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: Jul 15th, 2015
SONIC: WORLDS UNITE BATTLES #1
ALL-NEW DIRECT MARKET-EXCLUSIVE special! There are so many epic battles in the SONIC/MEGA MAN crossover event that the biggest brawls of the bunch have exploded into their very own book! Twelve issues just isn’t enough to contain all the frantic action of “Worlds Unite!” The action spills over into this second special stand-alone issue where an all-star cast of creators bring you an extraordinary all-action issue! Watch as Sonic battles the Deadly Six, Knuckles throws down with Break Man, and Sticks… goes after Roll?! LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE! Also featuring variant cover art from Roger and Idalia Robinson, and a special wrap-around sketch variant by Sonic and Mega Man superstars Evan Stanley & Jamal Peppers!

Sonic: Worlds Unite Battles isn’t due to be released until July 15th, which is nearly two weeks from now. That gives you plenty of time to train for going down to the store, as it is exclusive to the direct market.

Source: Comic Book Resources

Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #274 (Worlds Unite Part 7)

Things are going a bit haywire thanks to alien shenanigans this week.

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Comics Alliance has it’s usual recap and interview for the week, and with comes a preview of Sonic the Hedgehog #274! The robotic members of the heroes’ army have come under control by a force unknown to them, and they’re being made to attack the rest of their allies! Dr Eggman and Dr Wily may have the answer to this problem, but is there something more sinister in their minds? Meanwhile, Sigma is increasing in power all the time, and plans to make his next move to become even more formidable! This is “Worlds Unite”: part 7.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #274
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Edwin Huang, Gary Martin, John Workman and Gabriel Cassata
Cover: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
Heroes Collide Throwback Variant Cover: Rafa Knight
Covers Unite Variant (7 of 12): Ben Bates
The heroes of the SONIC/MEGA MAN crossover event: AT WAR?! “Worlds Unite” Part Seven: The unified army is not so unified anymore! What has driven Mega Man, X and their robot companions to attack Sonic and the Freedom Fighters? Drs. Eggman and Wily may have the answer! Or a weapon. Could a weapon be the answer? Or is it more trademark treachery? Meanwhile, Sigma grows in power, preparing for the next phase of his master plan! And speaking of masters, this issue features cover art from master-artist Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante, a Heroes Collide Throwback Variant cover from Rafa Knight and part 7 of the epic 12-part connecting variant cover series by artist Ben Bates!
On Sale Date: 7/8 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S.

Sonic the Hedgehog #274 is scheduled to be released nest Wednesday. Make sure you take note to not miss it, and make sure your electronics don’t attack back in the process.

Source: Comics Alliance

Preview: Sonic Boom #9 (Worlds Unite Part 6)

Another weekly dose of the crossover, this time with 100% more explosions!

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Comics Alliances brings us the next part of their recap for Worlds Collide! Aside from running through the events of part five and and another interview with editor Vincent Lovallo (bringing up the age old mystery of Spy Brooms along the way), there’s a preview for Sonic Boom #9. The moment’s finally arrived for our heroes to engage Sigma, the Deadly Six and the Mechaniloid forces in all out combat. You know they’ll be fighting with all they have, but Sigma’s bound to be packing a rotten trick up his sleeve to work against them! Meanwhile, Sticks somehow ends up in a predicament when she falls off the Sky Patrol and into a Genesis Portal herself! Where could she have landed? Never mind that for now, our fighters are going into combat in “Worlds Unite”: part 6.

SONIC BOOM #9
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Edwin Huang, Gary Martin, John Workman and Gabriel Cassata
Cover: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
Evil Friends Forever E.F.F. Variant Cover: Brent McCarthy
Covers Unite Variant (6 of 12): Ben Bates
The SONIC/MEGA MAN crossover event GOES BOOM! “Worlds Unite” Part Six: The war against Sigma has been waged! Sonic, Mega Man and X lead their unified friends against hordes of mechaniloids led by the armored, super-powered Deadly Six! That sounds pretty scary and exciting, and now is definitely the time for everyone to work together and pay close attention. Especially Sticks. She tends to do some distracting stuff, like falling off the Sky Patrol and landing into a Genesis Portal or something—wait? Did she really? Well, where did she land? No way! Is that – -?! You won’t believe where Sticks lands, but what you BETTER believe is that this issue sports some awesome cover art by Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante and the return of the EVIL FRIENDS FOREVER (E.F.F.) variant by Brent McCarthy! Plus part 6 of the epic 12-part connecting variant cover series by artist Ben Bates!
On Sale Date: 7/1 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S.

Sonic Boom #9 is due to be released in stores next Wednesday. Let’s hope you don’t run into a portal if you want to pick it up yourself!

Source: Comics Alliance

Preview: Sonic Universe #77 (Worlds Unite Part 5)

Worlds Unite enters act two in the latest issue of Sonic Universe!

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Comics Alliance has another installment of their weekly recap for the crossover, and alone with the usual rundown of previous events and interview with Vincent Lovallo, there’s a preview for Sonic Universe #77. Due to the shenanigans of act one, Sonic’s and Mega Man’s worlds are now fused together, and the heroes have to set up a unified front in order to take on the new threat. Aside from heroes getting to know each other for the first time, there’s an interesting turn as Xander Payne joins in…with Eggman and Wily in tow, revealing more about Sigma’s plan! But there’s bound to be questions over the situation as we get into “Worlds Unite”: part 5.

SONIC UNIVERSE #77 REG CVR
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Edwin Huang, Gary Martin, John Workman and Gabriel Cassata
Cover: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
Super-group Variant Cover: CLAUS-Justin Harder
Covers Unite Variant (5 of 12): Ben Bates
The next exciting chapter in the SONIC/MEGA MAN “WORLDS UNITE” crossover event starts here! “Worlds Unite” Part Five: The worlds of Sonic and Mega Man have been joined together by Sigma, and it’s going to take a full-on army of unified heroes to make it right! Actually—scratch that—it’s going to take some heroes AND some villains! When the mysterious and malicious Xander Payne inexplicably arrives with Drs. Eggman and Wily in tow, our heroes get new insight into Sigma’s plans! Featuring cover art from the legendary Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante and variant cover art from CLAUS-Justin Harder (Thor: the Dark World, SNL) and part 5 of the epic 12-part connecting variant cover series by artist Ben Bates!
On Sale Date: 6/24 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S.

Sonic Universe #77 is due to be released next Wednesday, be sure to tune in as the stakes start to build in this next act!

Source: Comics Alliance

Preview: Mega Man: Worlds Unite Battles #1

Prepare the fisticuffs, Marquess of Queensbury rules!

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In the first of two auxiliary books, we’re covering some early battles that just didn’t have space to be covered in the main events. Comics Alliance has another instalment of their weekly recap and interview with Vincent Lovallo, and a preview for Mega Man: Worlds Unite Battles #1. Here, there are three fights to be played out; go back to the start where Mega Man squared up against the Deadly three of Six before capture, find out the stepping stones the Mega Man X cast took from fighting Vile in their world to reaching the Sonic Boom universe, and see the first defence of Mega Man’s world as Dr Light’s Robot Masters attempt to stop the roboticised Sonic Man!

MEGA MAN: WORLDS UNITE BATTLES #1
Script: Ian Flynn, T. Rex
Art: Ben Bates, Jamal Peppers, Brent McCarthy, Rachel Deering and Elaina Unger
Cover: Jamal Peppers, Phyllis Novin and Ben Hunzeker
Sketch Variant Cover: Jamal Peppers
United Variant Cover: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
ALL-NEW DIRECT MARKET-EXCLUSIVE special! There are so many epic battles in the SONIC/MEGA MAN crossover event that the biggest brawls of the bunch have exploded into their very own book! This extra-special bonus issue features exciting duels spilling over from the pages of the much-talked about “Worlds Unite” event, and feature an all-star cast of creators! Watch Mega Man bring the ruckus to the Deadly Six, the Maverick Hunters ultimate showdown with Vile and Dr. Light’s Robot Masters tussle with the unstoppable power of hero-turned-uber-villain Sonic Man! LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE! Also featuring variant art from Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante, and a special wrap-around cover and sketch variant by Sonic and Mega Man superstar Jamal Peppers!
On Sale Date: 6/17 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S

 Mega Man: Worlds Unite Battles #1 is coming out exclusively to the direct market next Wednesday. Make sure to keep a sharp eye out so you don’t miss this gut-punching action!

Source: Comics Alliance

Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #273 (Worlds Unite Part 3)

Sugar, we’re going down (in robotic carnage).

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Worlds Unite is kicking things up a notch, and Comics Alliance has another interview with Vincent Lovallo and a recap, this time of part 2, as well as a preview for Sonic the Hedgehog #273. Sonic Man, with his plethora of abilities transferred into roboticised form, is proving too much for the robot masters to handle! And the Freedom Fighters aren’t faring much better against an Eggtech-equiped M’egga Man! With both familiar and unexpected faces showing up to lend a hand, who can come in to save the day? Who knows, but the answer is surely hinted at in “Worlds Unite”: part 3.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #273
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Dan Schoening, Tracy Yardley, Terry Austin, Jack Morelli and Luis Delgado
Cover: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
Villain Variant Cover: T.Rex
Covers Unite Variant (3 of 12): Ben Bates
The ALL-NEW Sonic/Mega Man Crossover sequel explodes onto the shelves with “Worlds Unite” Part Three: It’s a cascade of cross-dimensional chaos! On Sonic’s World, the Freedom Fighters are battling with the terrifying arsenal of M’egga Man! On Mega Man’s World, the Robot Masters can’t keep up with the super speedy Sonic Man! Who can possibly save our heroes? The answer is sure to surprise you! After the history-making “WORLDS COLLIDE” crossover event, Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man unite once more—and this time Sonic Boom and Mega Man X are joining the fray! Featuring cover art from the legendary Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante, villain variant by T.Rex and part 3 of the epic 12-part connecting variant cover series by artist Ben Bates!
On Sale Date: 6/10 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S

This next instalment of Worlds Unite is due out this Wednesday. Events are entering the slipstream, so don’t get left in the dust!

Source: Comics Alliance

 

Preview: Sonic Super Digest #12

I love you baby, but face it she’s…Topaz…Mary Garnet…oh, I don’t know.

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To break up the flow of Worlds Unite a bit before we inevitably jump into the upcoming fire, let’s take a look at the future that is the past. Newsarama has released a preview for Sonic Super Digest #12. To recap on the crossover event, parts of Worlds Collide are being reprinted in this edition, amongst other tales from the vast library of Archie Sonic stories over the years. Most notable feature of this issue, however, is the Sonic Comic Origins story focused on our resilient traitor Snively. See how he worked with Eggman, turned tail for his own gain and ended up where he is in “The Traitor”.

SONIC SUPER DIGEST #12
Get ready for fun & adventure—it’s Sonic Super Digest! As the Sonic/Mega Man WORLDS UNITE crossover reaches a fever pitch, see how it all began with a look back at Worlds Collide, the story that started it all, in a special Sonic/Mega Man spotlight feature! Also in this issue is an ALL-NEW edition of SONIC COMIC ORIGINS spotlighting the insidious G.U.N scientist (and villain?!) SNIVELY! This new story fills in some crucial and never-before-revealed gaps in the new Sonic comic universe, and you can ONLY scope this exclusive new story in Sonic super Digest! But that’s not all! Don’t miss all the classic fun and adventure you love in stories from the comics’ 20+ year history! Plus new cover art from Sonic comic super-star Jamal Peppers!
Script: Ian Flynn & Various
Art: Adam Bryce Thomas, Rick Bryant, Jack Morelli, Matt Herms & Various
Cover: Jamal Peppers, Jim Amash and Matt Herms
On Sale Date: 6/10
128-page, full color comic
$4.99 U.S.

Sonic Super Digest #12 should be out next Wednesday at its regular stockists. Be on the lookout for it then, and read to see if are any other fun cameos in there!

Source: Newsarama

Preview: Sonic Boom #8 (Worlds Unite Part 2)

What’s better than one Sonic and Mega Man universe? You tell me.

SonicBoom_08-0

Perhaps a bit awkwardly tangential in light of recent news, Comics Alliance have held an interview with Archie Action Comics editor Vincent Lovallo, Not only does this recap part one and give us another behind the scenes insight, but it comes with the preview for Sonic Boom #8. After the events of the last Sonic Boom story have unfolded, Sticks gets a real surprise when she runs into some of the cast of Mega Man X! But there’s hardly time to joke about as Sigma makes the two wacky doctors get to work on retooling the main universe heroes into minions of his own. This cannot be good! This is “Worlds Unite”: part 2.

SONIC BOOM #8
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Dan Schoening, Tracy Yardley, Terry Austin, Jack Morelli and Luis Delgado
Cover: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
“Happy fun-time crossover” Variant Cover: Ryan Jampole, Gary Martin and Steve Downer
Covers Unite Variant (2 of 12): Ben Bates
It slices! It dices! It joins line-wide crossover events: it’s SONIC BOOM! “Sonic/Mega Man: Worlds Unite” Part Two: It was just another day at the races—y’know, the ones with the giant spider-mechs? Things start to get weird, even for the lovable, paranoid Sticks, when X and the Maverick Hunters arrived! Meanwhile, the epic bromance of the century is rekindled as the captured Drs. Eggman and Wily are forced to turn their life-long nemeses—Sonic and Mega Man—into minions for the terrifying Sigma! After the history-making “WORLDS COLLIDE” crossover event, Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man unite once more—and this time Sonic Boom and Mega Man X are joining the fray! Featuring cover art from the legendary Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante, a special “happy fun time crossover” variant by Ryan Jampole and part 2 of the epic 12-part connecting variant cover series by artist Ben Bates!
On Sale Date: 6/3 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S

Sonic Boom #8 is scheduled for release this Wednesday. If you’ve already started to read the epic tale of crossover mayhem, remember to set a date for the continuation!

Source: Comics Alliance

Preview: Sonic Universe #76 (Worlds Unite Part 1)

And now it’s time for our main event!

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After months of hype, the crossover between Sonic, Mega Man and a slew of other branches is finally on our doorstep! Destructoid have conducted an interview with writer Ian Flynn regarding the behind the scenes of it, and with it a preview for Sonic Universe #76 is also provided. Dreaded Maverick Sigma manages to make his way to the Lost Hex in Sonic’s World, and the first port of call is enlisting the Deadly Six to his side by promising more power than Eggman can offer. This can only end badly for the good doctor, and it’s not much better for our two blue heroes as their heroic duties are halted by a disastrous ambush! It all kicks off in “Worlds Unite”: part 1.

SONIC UNIVERSE #76
THE SONIC/MEGA MAN CROSSOVER EVENT BEGINS HERE! It’s the epic first chapter of the biggest story in Sonic/Mega Man comic book history with “Worlds Unite” Part One! Get ready for cross-world treachery as the wicked Sigma escapes the world of Mega Man X and arrives in Dr. Eggman’s secret Lost Hex base! When Sigma promises new power to the Deadly Six, how long do you think they’ll stay loyal to Dr. Eggman? We’re not betting for long! And just where exactly are our heroes during all this? Looks like Sonic and Mega Man are right in the middle of an ambush! The sense-shattering sequel to “Worlds Collide” starts right now! Featuring cover art from the legendary Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante, Rafa Knight, and part 1 of the epic 12-part connecting variant cover series by artist Ben Bates!
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Dan Schoening, Jack Morelli and Luis Delgado
Cover: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
CROSSOVER KICK-OFF Variant Cover: Rafa Knight
Epic Poster Variant (pt1 of 12): Ben Bates
On Sale Date: 5/27
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S

Sonic Universe #76 should be out in all good comic stores and on digital formats tomorrow. Remember that there should be a new comic coming out almost every week (save for five week months where there’s a week of no comics), so we’re going to be accelerating through this story!

Source: Destructoid

Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #272

We finally get the missing piece of the story puzzle for this week’s comic preview!

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This is the last Sonic issue before we unite for the worlds crossing over, and Arcade Sushi delivers a hint of the story that lies between Sonic Comic Origins #6 and Sonic Universe #75. In Sonic the Hedgehog #272, Sonic and the Freedom Fighters finally make it to Apotos with Knuckles and Chip in tow. Sonic and the light Gaia head off to find their first Gaia Gate to figure out how to restore their shattered planet. But there’s plenty of signs that a certain metal somebody is back for revenge against the blue blur! And the Freedom Fighters aren’t exactly throwing tea parties for Knuckles when they come face to face with a titanic force…dare I say of a Dark Gaian nature?  This is ” A Ray of Hope”.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #272
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: James Fry, Evan Stanley, Terry Austin, John Workman and Gabriel Cassata
Cover: Edwin Huang
Metal Sonic Game Art Variant Cover: Provided by SEGA
Time is up—the WORLDS UNITE crossover event is almost upon us! “A Ray of Hope”: As Sonic and the Freedom Fighters continue their journey to save the shattered planet, Sonic and Chip journey to Apotos to uncover the secrets of the Gaia Gate! Meanwhile, Knuckles and the Freedom Fighters take on a TITANIC challenge of their own! Does Sonic have a hope in saving the world? Will battle tear the freedom fighters apart first? Find out the answers to these and more exciting questions as our heroes journey to the much-awaited crossover event of the year—WORLDS UNITE! Featuring new cover art from Edwin Huang (Uncanny Skullkickers) and a crazy-new Metal Sonic game art variant provided by Sega!
On Sale Date: 5/13 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S.

Sonic #272 is scheduled for release this Wednesday. Enjoy the calm calamity while you can, because it all kicks off in the next Sonic comic release!

Source: Arcade Sushi

Preview: Sonic Boom #7

It’s a race to rescue…the fourth wall.

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Sonic Boom is revving straight towards the crossover, and Comic Book Resources has a preview for it. Following on from last issue, Sonic is in peril as Eggman sprung a trap on him when that is cheating, who’d have thunk it. After being helped out, Sonic makes it his mission to win fairly and show up the doctor, but he has to survive the rest of the course in order to do that. And while we’re here, what will Sticks come across away from the races? This is “Everybody’s Super Sonic Racing”: part 2.

STORY BY: Ian Flynn
ART BY: Ryan Jampole, Jennifer Hernandez, Rick Bryant, Jack Morelli , Matt Herms
COLORS BY: Matt Herms
LETTERS BY: Jack Morelli
COVER BY: Jamal Peppers, Rick Bryant, Matt Herms, Erik Ly
PUBLISHER: Archie Comics
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: Apr 29th, 2015
A multi-part story? In MY Sonic Boom comic?? You got that right! It’s wacky-racin’ adventure in “Everybody’s Super Sonic Racing” Part Two: Dr. Eggman’s fun and “friendly” go-kart challenge has turned deadly! But, really, who didn’t see that “twist” coming? Can Sonic salvage the race and prove to the bad doctor he can win fair and square? More importantly—can Sonic survive long enough to return to the race course?! Discover the fate of life, limb and ego in this super-fast story with cover art from Sonic comic fav Jamal Peppers, and an all-new “insubordination” variant cover from painter Erik Ly! …And BOOM goes the dynamite!

Sonic Boom #7 is already out in comic stores and on digital formats. As long as your commute to the shops isn’t as deadly as Sonic’s you should be fine.

Source: Comic Book Resources

Free Comic Book Day is May 2nd, Plus a Free Advanced Preview of Worlds Unite

Worlds Unite creeps ever closer with the free prelude AND a sneak peek at part 1.

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Remember to set your alarms for early; Free Comic Book Day is tomorrow, and no doubt people will be snapping at the heel for free goodies. In honour of the occasion, IGN have interviewed new editor Vincent Lovallo regarding Worlds Unite. Lovallo speaks at length about the behind the scenes of getting so many familiar faces together, the prelude story included in the FCBD issue, how some thing will be running down in the crossover itself, and even hints at the wake that follows!

If that wasn’t enough to get your appetite going, there’s a preview for the Free Comic Book Day issue for both sides of the book, where we reflect on the path worn for Mega Man to reach this point and begin to learn about the Genesis portals that are so integral to the events of Worlds Unite. Not only that, but there’s a sneak peak at part 1 of the main event with some pages from Sonic Universe #76!

We will have even more on the start of Worlds Unite closer to its release in about three weeks time. In the meantime, plan according to snag your copy of the FCBD issue. Me, I’m already routing my bus times to compete with the comic runner in the Roebuck for my issue.

Source: IGN

Preview: Sonic Universe #75

Sonic and Metal Sonic duke it out in this milestone issue of the side comic!

SonicUniverse_75-0

Newsarama is where we’re looking to for the preview for this occasion, and we’re rushing into the crossover head-first! Sonic is on the pursuit as Metal Sonic comes with attack on the mind and a Chaos Emerald in his possession. But this mutual beatdown can’t stay within the confines of just one place; thanks to the Genesis Portals, it’s going all over, to places unknown! Teaming up with Silver, who has made it his quest to close the portals, can the two bring down Metal Sonic long enough to get that Chaos Emerald back? And what sinister forces are at play while Eggman isn’t looking? Find out in “Fury”.

SONIC UNIVERSE #75
Sonic Universe has reached 75 thrilling issues—and we’re celebrating in style! “Fury”: The race is on as Sonic chases down Metal Sonic for one of the sought–after Chaos Emeralds! But when their chase takes them to a very unexpected place, Sonic’s worth as a hero may be put to the test! Can Sonic win the day, secure the emerald and retain his sense of self by the end? As our journey to WORLDS UNITE crashes to a close, join us in celebrating the longest-running Sonic the Hedgehog spin-off comic in history with 7.5 variant covers from your favorite Sonic artists! Featuring cover art from Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante, Tracy Yardley, Ben Bates, Tyson Hesse, EGA Studios, Patrick Thomas Parnell, Lamar Wells, Evan Stanley and Jonathan H. Gray! To name a few!
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Tracy Yardley, Jim Amash, Jack Morelli and Matt Herms
Cover: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
Variant Cover 1: Tracy Yardley
Variant Cover 2: Ben Bates
Variant Cover 3: Tyson Hesse
Variant Cover 4: EGA Studios
Variant Cover 5: Patrick Thomas Parnell
Variant Cover 6: Lamar Wells, Gary Martin and Gabriel Cassata
Variant Cover 7: Evan Stanley, Jim Amash and Matt Herms
Variant Cover 7.5: Jonathan H. Gray, Gary Martin and Matt Herms with Patrick Spaziante
On Sale Date: 4/22
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S

Sonic Universe #75 is already out at all good comic stores and digital formats. Engage thrusters to enter Worlds Unite on high velocity!

NB: Sonic Universe #75 is set after both the Free Comic Book Day issue story and Sonic the Hedgehog #272. Just for those keeping track at home.

Source: Newsarama

Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #271

I wonder if Ant and Dec would have been up for doing some of their schtick for Breezie.

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 The final round of the current arc is about to commence, and Comic Book Resources is providing pre-match commentary. It all boils down to the final two competitors, Sonic and Knuckles. Both have good reason not to lose this match, but they’re not going to hold back for this spectacle! While they fight for the fate of the world though, the Hooligans are still at large and set on carrying out Eggman’s orders, and Metal Sonic is en route to become a wild card in the fray too! Can the heroes finish the match and fend off the attack? Find out in “Champions”: part 4.

Grab a front row seat for the finale to the brawl-iest, punch-iest, contest-iest Sonic comic saga yet! “Champions” Part Four: It’s the battle you’ve all been waiting for (again!): Sonic versus Knuckles—for the title and the Chaos Emerald! The old rivalry blazes to life as the True Blue and Rad Red throw down for glory—and for the fate of the entire world! But with the vengeful Hooligans waiting in the shadows, and Metal Sonic en route, will they even get to finish their fight, or will their foes beat them to the punch? Featuring new cover art from Sonic art legend Tracy Yardley and a super-special new ARCADE VARIANT by the latest Sonic art superstar RAFA KNIGHT!
STORY BY: Ian Flynn
ART BY: Ryan Jampole, Diana Skelly, Terry Austin
COLORS BY: Gabriel Cassata
LETTERS BY: John Workman
COVER BY: Tracy Yardley, Terry Austin, Ben Hunzeker, Rafa Knight
PUBLISHER: Archie Comics
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: Apr 8th, 2015

Sonic the Hedgehog #271 is slated for release later today, don’t get beaten to the punch for this knock-out finale!

Source: Comic Book Resources

Preview: Sonic Boom #6

I much prefer Reactive Factory’s music, thank you.

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Comicbook.com has the preview for Sonic Boom #6 (not the first issue as the cover would lead you to believe), and it’s a quaint day at the races for our heroes…on paper. But when Eggman challenges Sonic to a race in go-karts, no amount of rules like no powers and no robots or weapons will shake off the feeling that there’s something off about this particular drive. And where is Sticks going exactly? Perhaps the answers will lay in “Everybody’s Super Sonic Racing”: part 1.

SONIC BOOM #6
What…What is that sound? No, really—what on earth is that noise? Waitaminute… is that the sound of go-karts??? IT… IT—IS! LET THE RACE BEGIN IN “EVERYBODY’S SUPER SONIC RACING” PART ONE! (IS THE CAPS LOCK STILL ON, OH WAITAMINUTE, there we go. Much better.) When Dr. Eggman sponsors a go-kart race around Sonic’s Island home, you know that dude is up to no good. The rules are as follows: no special powers, no weapons, and everyone has to drive a kart to keep things fair. Since when does Eggy care about “fair”? What will happen to throw this race into a SPIN? How many rhetorical questions can we ask in one paragraph of solicit text?? Find out in this hyperbole-packed issue! Featuring cover art from Sonic comic extraordinaire Tracy Yardley, plus a new BOOM-Crew Sega art variant!
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Ryan Jampole, Jennifer Hernandez, Rick Bryant, Jack Morelli and Matt Herms
Cover: Tracy Yardley, Rick Bryant and Matt Herms
BOOM-CREW Variant Cover: Art provided by Sega
On Sale Date: 4/8
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Sonic Boom #6 is scheduled for release later today, although I don’t think you’ll have quite as much of a perilous commute for it.

Source: Comicbook.com

Preview: Sonic Universe #74

What better way to bring us back to the present than with the finale of the technological terror!

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Comicbook.com has the preview for Sonic Universe #74, and there’ll certainly be sparks flying! Sally, having subjected herself to the digitiser, is now fighting alongside Nicole against Phage for the fate of the Digital World. But it’s not just data in peril as Tails, Big and Dr. Ellidy are all under attack from Phage’s influence from the outside. To beat this monster will require wit, strong friendship and something a little extra, otherwise they’re doomed to be done in by the past. See how it all comes to a close in “Spark of Life”: part 4.

SONIC UNIVERSE #74
The final showdown for the fate of the digital realm is HERE! “Spark of Life” Part Four: It’s pandemonium aplenty in this conclusion to the stunning “Spark of Life” story arc! Who, or what, is Phage? Introductions aren’t necessary—she’s creating havoc for our heroes anyway! Tails and Big—menaced by badniks and Dark Gaia Monsters alike! A Chaos Emerald—about to fall into enemy hands! Nicole—on the brink of deletion! Will Sally sacrifice it all to save her friends and the world? Only the dramatic conclusion to SPARK OF LIFE can tell! Featuring cover art from Sonic comic artist extraordinaire Tracy Yardley, and a special SEGA-art TAILS variant cover!
Script: Aleah Baker, Ian Flynn
Art: Tracy Yardley, Jim Amash, Jack Morelli and Matt Herms
Cover: Tracy Yardley, Jim Amash and Ben Hunzeker
TAILS Variant cover art provided by SEGA
On Sale Date: 3/25
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Sonic Universe #74 came out today in comic stores and on digital formats. Get it today and complete the story circuit for yourself!

Source: comicbook.com

Previews: Sonic the Hedgehog #270 and Sonic Boom #5

Worlds apart, they couldn’t be more opposite if they tried.

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Well, haven’t the last few weeks been interesting. SSMB has been down (and undergone a slight time warp), and a few technical hiccups have delayed these comic updates. But now we’re aiming for the right track with a catch-up on what’s gone down. And as luck would have it, we got a very rare occurrence; two comics came out on the same day!

Comic Book Resources has the preview for Sonic #270. The Chaos Emerald Championship draws on, and more big names bite the dust. Amy takes on Knuckles as he goes about his mission, Sonic tackles the mischievous Honey, and the Hooligans are still running about like loose cannons. But things aren’t as straight forward as they look on the surface, there’s treachery afoot, and it has Eggman all over it, and there’s more shade about Breezie’s past than one would think! All this fights its way into “Champions”: part 3.

“Champions” Part Three: The battle for the Chaos Emerald is reaching a fevered pitch! Hero versus hero! Villain versus villain! Will Dr. Eggman be content to play by the rules? Will Metal Sonic come in and shake things up? And what exactly is the secret history between Metal Sonic and casino mogul Breezie?! All of the answers await you in this thrilling, penultimate chapter! Featuring all-new cover art from one of the newest Sonic superstars Jennifer Hernandez, plus a special “Marvel at the Showdown” variant cover by the incomparable Brent McCarthy!
STORY BY: Ian Flynn
ART BY: Diana Skelly, Terry Austin
COLORS BY: Gabriel Cassata
LETTERS BY: John Workman
COVER BY: Jennifer Hernandez, Terry Austin, Matt Herms, Brent McCarthy
PUBLISHER: Archie Comics
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: Mar 11th, 2015

Meanwhile, we trade fighting garb for Lederhosen for Sonic Boom’s latest offering.

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Arcade Sushi are the ones with the preview for Sonic Boom #5. Eggman wants to manipulate the village for his own sick amusement, but how can he take advantage of them with a zero publicity rating? The solution to try and get into their good graces, and the answer for that to him is to throw an event for them. But he’s not going to get far with that unless he calls in the help of our heroes. Join in the ‘festivities’ and make a trip to the fair in “Eggtoberfest”.

SONIC BOOM #5
Script: Bill Freiberger
Art: Steven Butler, Rick Bryant, Jack Morelli and Matt Herms
Cover by Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante
X-RAY Variant Cover by Diana Skelly, Rick Bryant and Matt Herms
SONIC BOOM is your antidote to comics that lack AMAZE-MA-TUDE! The NEW ONGOING SONIC COMIC BOOK SERIES keeps on BOOMIN’ IT UP with Sonic Boom #5: Eggtoberfest! Dr. Eggman’s sick and tired of no one trusting him! How on earth can he take advantage of people if they don’t trust him to begin with?! The answer? Easy—EGGTOBERFEST! Just one small problem: the mechanical master forgot to hire ride operators for his carnivorous carnival creation! So it’s Sonic to the… rescue?! If a good guy helps a bad guy, is that “helping” at all? Ponder this and other philosophical queries in the latest action-packed issue of Sonic Boom, written by Sonic Boom TV Series writer Bill Freiberger! Featuring cover art from Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante and an X-RAY variant from the newest sonic superstar Diana Skelly!
On Sale Date: 3/11 | 32-page, full color comic | $3.99 U.S.

Both of these comics are already out. If you haven’t picked up a copy already, make a date to do so. Just have it more like a nice day trip and not a fighting match.

Sources: Comic Book Resources, Arcade Sushi

Preview: Sonic Universe #73

The danger in the digital world is all too real in this month’s issue of Sonic Universe!

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Comic Book Resources has the preview for Sonic Universe #73, and the truth hurts as much as physical pain as we see quite plainly here. Sally uncovers Nicole’s tragic origins, and her friendship with her brings her at loggerheads with Dr. Ellidy considering the pain it’s wrought on him. Meanwhile, Nicole herself is besieged on by the monster of megabytes, new villain Phage. What’s her place in all of this malarkey, and can Sally and Ellidy agree to something before Nicole can be deleted? Find out in “Spark of Life”: part 3.

It STARTS with a SPARK! “Spark of Life” Part Three: Shocking truths are exposed as Dr. Ellidy reveals the tragic origin of the beloved A.I., Nicole! Meanwhile, Phage erupts from the shadows of the Digital World to sew chaos on the island! Can our heroes rally to save Nicole and drive off this new threat? Night is falling, and terrible monsters are closing in! Don’t miss this exciting next chapter in the latest Sonic Universe epic, featuring all-new cover art from Sonic artist supreme Tracy Yardley, and a special new “EXTREME BFFs” variant cover from My Little Pony artist Agnes Garbowska!
STORY BY: Ian Flynn, Aleah Baker
ART BY: Tracy Yardley, Jim Amash
COLORS BY: Matt Herms
LETTERS BY: Jack Morelli
COVER BY: Tracy Yardley
PUBLISHER: Archie Comics
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: Feb 25th, 2015

Sonic Universe #73 is out now, so be sure to pick it up to discover the next part of the digital dilemma!

Source: Comic Book Resources

 

Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #269

The fighters are assembled, so it’s time to get round one underway!

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Archie Comics themselves have a preview for Sonic the Hedgehog #269, and the fists sure are furious in this months issue! With the fighters all gathered, the tournament can commence and the blows can be dished out by the second! But who will triumph and progress to the second round, and who will crash out at the starting gate? Whatever the answer to that, the baddies working in the shadows won’t let it affect their game plan. This is “Champions”: part 2.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #269
The contestants are BRAWLIN’ and the SAGA continues in “Champions” Part Two! The fighting tournament for the Chaos Emerald is in full swing! Tails vs. Honey! Espio vs. Bean! Knuckles vs. Bark! But it’s a sure bet that if a competition’s going down, something’s fixed with thugs like Breezie and Nack involved. Sonic will need some inside info—and he finds it from some surprisingly familiar faces! Featuring new cover art from Jammin’ Jamal Peppers and a Wrestling Entertainment Variant cover by the indomitable T.REX!
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Diana Skelly, Terry Austin, John Workman and Gabriel Cassata
Cover: Jamal Peppers, Terry Austin and Gabriel Cassata
Wrestling Entertainment Variant Cover: T.REX
On Sale Date: 2/11
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Sonic #269 is out today in stores and digitally. Now the time isn’t for talking, let’s get ready to rumble!

Source: Archie Comics

Preview: Sonic Boom #4

The first not-arc concludes in the latest issue of Sonic Boom.

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Comic Book Resources has a preview for Sonic Boom #4, and it’s the end of the beginning for our heroes. Eggman is back with his Big Boy, and this time it’s new, improved and more than capable of standing up to the old tactics of the last few fights. What can overcome the meaner threat? Sticks thinks she has the answer, but who knows what would happen when she puts her ideas to the table. Let’s hope they don’t lose their heads as we get to “Sticks and Stones”.

STORY BY: Ian Flynn
ART BY: Ryan Jampole, Jennifer Hernandez, Rick Bryant
COLORS BY: Matt Herms
LETTERS BY: Jack Morelli
COVER BY: Tracy Yardley, Rick Bryant, Matt Herms
PUBLISHER: Archie Comics
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE Wed, January 28th, 2015
The NEW ONGOING SONIC COMIC BOOK SERIES from Archie Comics keeps on BOOMIN’ with Sonic Boom #4: Sticks and Stones! Dr. Eggman’s Big Boy mech has been refined into its final, deadly form. Sonic and his friends are on the ropes—but have no fear! Sticks has brought her secret weapon! It’s a… wait, seriously? This thinks THAT’s going to help?! Find out what her secret weapon is in the weird and wacky conclusion to the first story arc of the brand-new series SONIC BOOM! Featuring cover art from Sonic art guru Tracy Yardley and an all-new “Sticks-with-stones-being-chased-by-bones” variant cover from rising Sonic star Diana Skelly!

Sonic Boom #4 is already out in stores and on digital formats, so rock the boat and roll out to get a copy for yourself!

Source: Comic Book Resources

Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #268

The die have been cast for an adventure in pandemodium!

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Comicbook.com has a preview of Sonic #268, and we’re starting a new arc at Casino Park! Breezie the Hedgehog; a woman with a sordid past and the Chaos Emerald that Sonic and the Freedom Fighters. As they put their most favourable forward to earn the emerald fairly at her Fighting Tournament, plenty of other factions are in on the fight as well for numerous reasons, both noble and nefarious. We can already tell that there’ll be adaptations of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Fighters abound, including a first appearance that’s simply sweet as candy! This is “Champions”: part 1.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #268
TEST YOUR MIGHT with the first chapter in an all-new 4-part SAGA! “Champions” Part One: Sonic is in for the fight of his life! Casino Park is holding an epic fighting tournament, and the grand prize is a much sought-after Chaos Emerald! How many fighters will answer the call? Which champions will make the roster? The knock-down, drag-out battle for the world starts right here! Featuring new cover art from Sonic rising star Evan Stanley, plus all-new variant art introducing Breezie the Hedgehog by Sonic artist Jonathan H. Gray!
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Diana Skelly, Terry Austin, John Workman and Gabriel Cassata
Cover: Evan Stanley, Terry Austin and Ben Hunzeker
Breezie Variant Cover: Jonathan H. Gray, Terry Austin, Jack Morelli and Gabriel Cassata
On Sale Date: 1/21
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Sonic the Hedgehog #268 came out today in stores and digital platforms, so don’t leave things to chance and make sure you check it out!

Source: Comicbook.com

Preview: Sonic Universe #71

There’s danger lurking in your gadgets for this Christmas time.

SU_71_Regular

The initial spark has been lit for Sonic Universe #71 to kick off its new tale, and Comic Book Resources has a preview of it. When Nicole is suddenly summoned to the digital world, Tails, Sally and Big head to Isolated Island to get the low-down. Meeting with one Dr Ellidy, he appears to have quite a connection to Sally and Nicole’s lives. But they’re not there for tea and biscuits; there are monsters afoot, perhaps more than they anticipated, and one in particular seems to have its eyes on the AI Lynx. This is “Spark of Life”: part 1;

STORY BY: Ian Flynn, Aleah Baker
ART BY: Tracy Yardley, Jim Amash
COLORS BY: Matt Herms
LETTERS BY: Jack Morelli
COVER BY: Tracy Yardley, Ben Hunzeker, Rafa Knight
PUBLISHER: Archie Comics
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: Wed, December 24th, 2014
ALL-NEW STORY ARC! “Spark of Life” Part One: Nicole detects a distress signal from the Digital World—but how can that be if nobody is supposed to know about the Digital World?! Sally, Tails and Big must travel to Isolated Island to answer the call for help! Who is Dr. Ellidy? And in what way does he link the lives of Sally and Nicole? Featuring a stunning new cover by Tracy Yardley and “Web Lynx” Variant cover art by rising Sonic star Rafa Knight!

Sonic Universe #71 came out on Christmas Eve. With the presents and the turkey out of the way, now would be a great time to pick it up if you were too busy preparing for the big day!

Source: Comic Book Resources