Friday, 19 October 2012

Sonic: The Story

Sonic: The Story

"An account of the superhero's rise from his humble beginnings as an ordinary hedgehog to his status of saviour of the planet Mobius. This book gives the lowdown on the hedgehog with attitude and introduces the evil genius Dr Robotnik and his plans to trap and enslave Sonic's friends."
Sonic: the Story was originally published in 1994 to promote the Sonic the hedgehog ahead of the release of Sonic 3. It aims to tell the origin story of Sonic and it told from the perspective of Sonic’s best friend Tails.

Well, that’s what it’s meant to do, however, in the early 90’s it was pretty common practise for Japanese games to be reconceptualised when released  in America and Europe, this would occasionally mean characters names would change (Like Sonic’s nemisis Dr. Robotnik, who had his name changed from Dr. Eggman) and sometimes games whole stories. Game art would also sometimes be swapped and censored.

In the case of Sonic the hedgehog this resulted in three separate versions of the Sonic character and story, the original Japanese, the American (which featured characters like sally acorn and the cast of the satAM cartoon series) and the European/U.K. version. So, when it says this book is telling the origin story of Sonic, it’s actually telling the U.K. version and not the true origin story…..confused yet?

What’s it matter? Well the U.K. story is completely different from both other versions. In this version, Sonic is originally Brown and is only turned blue when he first breaks the sound barrier while running. It also introduces the character of Dr. Ovi Kintobor (a character unseen in the original story) a kindly scientist who, after an explosion, isturned into the evil Dr. Ivo Robotnik (see what they did there?).

Ok so now that’s sorted, onto the book itself, the story’s not great but it’s obviously written for little kids, it tries very hard to show how cool sonic is, an annoying trait of any Sonic merch at the time. The highlight of the book for me was the art, each page has lovely full colour illustrations, sadly the artist is left uncredited, as is the writer of the story. Not an uncommon practise for this type of book but it’s a shame that there aren’t even any credits in small print tucked on the inside cover.

It’s not a terrible book, like I’ve said, it’s for kids and kids would probably enjoy it. It tells a story that the sonic games from 1999 onward have abandoned so it feel quite quaint and out of date.
If you’re a Sonic fan or collector though, you could do worse than add this to your collection. 

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