Every now and then, something just grabs you. It gives you a solid shake, resonates down to your very core, and leaves you a different person forevermore. Maybe it’s a particular actor or movie. Perhaps a song that remains a permanent fixture in your iTunes playlist.
For me, it’s typically franchises. I’ve been a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan since I can even remember, and I love the fact that the current iteration on Nickelodeon has allowed a new generation of kids to grow up with the same characters I so adored. I mean, there’s the Michael Bay movies, too – but they are more hideous than the Mutagen Man, and we need not mention them further.
One of my most indelible influences was courtesy of Sega’s long-running mascot, the talented Mr. Needlemouse himself. Sonic the Hedgehog was built from the ground up to challenge Mario’s stranglehold on the industry. While Mario was a humble everyman, and his games focussed on exploration and timing, Sonic was the embodiment of speed. His games were fast. His personality was edgy and impatient. Levels were mere obstacles in your way – your goal was to find the quickest route to the finish. It didn’t matter what you left behind.
As an impressionable 90s kid, Sonic was tailor made for me. Sega’s whole campaign shifted towards yanking Nintendo’s chain as much as they could (because after all, Genesis does what Nintendon’t!), and Sonic was at the forefront of the attack. Looking back on it now, it’s hard to quantify exactly why Sonic was able to capture imaginations so wildly. He just did. And in my case, he never quite let go. Such was my pure, unabashed joy when they revealed the retrotastic Sonic Mania last year. Basically, old Sonic and me, we’re homies.
Belonging to a fandom is a funny old thing. You feel such highs and lows as the franchise provides a veritable roller coaster of moments. When things are bad, how do you react? Do you feel cheated or wronged? Do you make excuses on behalf of the product, like a desperate PR person? Look introspectively for a moment, if you will, at the things you enjoy. The elation. The despair. The knowledge that if people don’t feel the same way about this as you do, they may never quite understand.
Things look bright for our boy blue. Mania is the true throwback that classic Sonic enthusiasts have been begging for for over a decade, while his other 2017 release, Sonic Forces, promises to deliver the same variety of gameplay options that made 2011’s excellent Sonic Generations so popular. Plus, the aforementioned classic Sonic is also popping his head into this one as well, and that’s always sure to put (blue) butts in seats.
It’s been over 25 years since this quirky little critter first spin dashed into our hearts, and one can only wonder where he’ll be 25 years from now. By then, it’ll probably be hardwired directly into your brain, making each plummet into a bottomless pit incredibly horrifying. I’m most certainly looking forward to it, but first things first. A quick browse through my dad’s garage revealed the Sonic Halloween costume I so adorably brandished over two decades ago in 1995.
…So of course, I had to try it on. It’s what Sonic would want, after all.
A review of DB Super’s newest episode can be found here…
Or how about a preview of what’s coming up for Luffy and friends?