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Book - The History of Sonic the Hedgehog

by Nicholas Bray - March 8, 2013, 5:41 am PST
Total comments: 6

Sonic the Hedgehog gets his own extensive history book.

Unlike many NWR staffers, I did not grow up playing Mario. I was a Sega Mega Drive owner back in the day, so my mascot of choice was Sonic the Hedgehog. I recently picked up “The History of Sonic the Hedgehog,” a 300-page hardcover book that goes over the blue blur’s games and history.

The book was originally published in French and was released in mid-2012. A company called UDON later secured the rights to translate and release the book in English, which released in December 2012. Then, around the end of January, original publisher Pix’n Love announced it would release 1000 copies of a limited edition version of the English translation, mimicking the look and style of the French hardcover. Luckily, I found out about the book when the English limited edition was announced, so that’s the version I was able to get.

Mr Needlemouse was an early name for Sonic.

The quality of the cover and the printing is great. The front features the classic Sonic logo, while the back features one for the 20th anniversary. The cover has an interesting, slightly rubbery feel, Inside, book covers everything from before Sonic’s inception right up until his latest exploits. The book is something along the lines of the Hyrule Historia, and features a ton of interesting artwork and information. (One of the points of interest I found amusing was that an early plan for the first Sonic game’s story was to have a human love interest named Madonna. Sonic saving a human princess actually did end up happening eventually, with the ill-fated Sonic the Hedgehog game of 2006.) It even includes interviews with the major creators of Sonic, Yuji Naka, Takashi Iizuka, and Naoto Ôshima.

Madonna, Sonic's love interest.


This image is from a cancelled Sega Saturn Sonic game called Sonic X-Treme.

The included interviews and history are presented well, with a pleasant layout. Overall, I really enjoyed reading the book; it’s nice to have a detailed history and resource for Sonic.

It seems as though it is still possible to order the collectors edition of the book from Pix'n Love, although, the regular UDON release is still readily available and cheaper. Check out more images from the book in the gallery below.

UDON cover.

Websites for both publishers are below:
Pix'n Love
UDON

Images

Talkback

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterMarch 08, 2013

This looks cool! Even though I more or less gave up on truly great Sonic games I still have a soft spot for him. I think I'll have to pick this up.

Pixelated PixiesMarch 08, 2013

Somehow I doubt this will present an accurate history of the Sonic franchise. If it did, this book would be real depressing.

We don't want a glossy idealised history of video games. We want the dark, seedy and completely scrupulous version, in which people's career's are ruined, an icon is destroyed, and sad fans hang on in forlorn desperation for the series to return to it's former glory...

Or maybe that's just me?

Ian SaneMarch 08, 2013

Quote from: Pixelated

Somehow I doubt this will present an accurate history of the Sonic franchise. If it did, this book would be real depressing.

We don't want a glossy idealised history of video games. We want the dark, seedy and completely scrupulous version, in which people's career's are ruined, an icon is destroyed, and sad fans hang on in forlorn desperation for the series to return to it's former glory...

Or maybe that's just me?

I want an accurate picture of what went on, good or bad.  It's impossible to not take the bad with Sonic and it isn't even just with the quality of his games dropping.  The whole story of Sonic X-Treme cannot be seperated from the internal feuding between Sega of Japan and America.  Sonic's history is tied in with Sega hanging itself.

The problem with retrospectives is that any creative IP turns to crap if it goes on long enough.  It is very rare for something to burst in, do its thing, and ride off into the sunset with its dignity intact.  So either the retrospective has to gloss over the inferior later years or give it the same attention, in which case the whole thing fizzles out at the end.

If Sonic ended when the Dreamcast did then things would end on an emotional downer but the general body of work covered would be generally well regarded.

The book isn't overly positive with the games that weren't well received. It mentions the poor reception of Sonic 2006 and how the team was having trouble, but Sega released it anyway.


The Sonic X-Treme team actually asked and started using the Nights engine for the game, but once Yuji Naka found out he took it away from them.

pokepal148March 08, 2013

Quote from: Pixelated

Somehow I doubt this will present an accurate history of the Sonic franchise. If it did, this book would be real depressing.

We don't want a glossy idealised history of video games. We want the dark, seedy and completely scrupulous version, in which people's career's are ruined, an icon is destroyed, and sad fans hang on in forlorn desperation for the series to return to it's former glory...

Or maybe that's just me?

what you want is sonic 06

pokepal148March 09, 2013

on a more positive note there is this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09gDAnMXQoM

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