- Hardcover: 300 pages
- Publisher: Udon Entertainment; 1st Edition edition (January 1, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1926778561
- ISBN-13: 978-1926778563
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 55 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,119,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The History of Sonic the Hedgehog Hardcover – January 1, 2013
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The book is broken down into several big sections with quite different focuses for each one. The first hundred pages or so goes into great detail about Sonic's real life history. Starting all the way back in the 1960's when Sega Enterprises was formed, to Sonic's inception as a character, all the way until the present, the book goes into great detail. It's a really fascinating read that gives a lot of insight into Sonic's history in the context of the bigger Sega picture, and the even bigger picture of the video gaming industry as a whole. Sonic is a trailblazer in many ways, and the history section of this book really makes you appreciate that. To end the history section are a series of really interesting interviews with some of the most important people behind Sonic, such as the ingenious Yuji Naka, arguably the father of Sonic, Naoto Oshima, the man who gave him his iconic look, and Takashi Iizuka, who has been his artistic director since Sonic Adventure. I love these kinds of interviews in books of this nature, and the quality of writing and information in this book is fantastic. I love it all. Great start.
After the history section, there are four big sections that are all about Sonic's games. They are broken down into 2D, 3D, handheld, and spin-off categories respectively. Some games get a lot of page space, such as Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which has about five or six pages. Other, more obscure titles, such as Sonic Shuffle, has only one or two. Some get less than that. The majority of the info is a summary of the game itself, its content, its innovations, a little real life history, features, a bit about the story, some really interesting trivia, etc. Each game also features a lot of great visuals, ranging from concept/official art to actual screen shots of the games they're from. It's all really well-done and classy. Even screenshots from the older systems and handhelds look very crisp and colorful. It's great.
Next is a rather large section about the characters of the Sonic universe. From the obvious like Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, to the totally obscure like Jet the Hawk, there's quite a few characters represented. I was saddened, however, to see some of the more obscure ones don't get their own page, such as Fang the Sniper (aka Nack the Weasel), Ray the Flying Squirrel, or Mighty the Armadillo. Characters as obscure as these are thankfully referenced in the entries regarding the games they appear in (Sonic the Fighters in Fang's case, and SegaSonic the Hedgehog for Mighty and Ray). Each character that does make the cut in this section gets some history and in-universe information, as well as lots of beautifully printed pictures ranging from concept art, to official art, to actual screen shots. Again, as is the case in the entire book, all of the pictures are beautiful to look at, and the information is quite intriguing. The only let-down is the entry for the "Badniks and Bosses," where each game only gets about three pictures to show, and only 11 (with most being totally obscure or downright horrendous in the case of Sonic 06').
The book ends with an "Extra Zone" section that just boils down to a list of all the obscure, bizarre cameos that Sonic has made in other games over the years, like being able to use Sonic as bait in Sega Bass Fishing, or having him appear as a map shape in Shining Force II (A real classic). This part is quite silly and and enjoyable, but nonessential if you ask me. I would have preferred they ditched this section in favor of putting more pictures and info in the "Badniks and Bosses" part of the character section, but oh well.
All in all, this is an awesome book for a Sonic fan. Seeing as how Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was my first video game as a child and is still one of my all-time favorites, and given that I spent years of my life obsessing over Sonic's next adventure for years as a kid even into my teens, I think it's safe to say I'm a massive Sonic fan. I've been with him in the best of times, and endured his worst of times. That been said, this book was a real treat for me to read. The information is fascinating and full of insight, the art and pictures in the book scream high-quality and attention to detail, and that cover, featuring Classic Sonic on the front and Modern Sonic on the back, is just downright rad. The whole book is just awesome, and really captures Sonic's trademark "coolness" and attitude. Go ahead and add this book to the ever-growing list of fantastic publications from Udon (this book actually was made by the French comapany "Pix'N Love, and localized and published here by Udon). So whether you yourself are a big fan of the blue blur, or you have one in your life that you want to buy a gift for, look no further than this book.
THE HISTORY OF SONIC THE HEDGEHOG contents are spread out through as: History, 2D Games, 3D Games, Handheld games, Spin-off games, Characters, and Extra Zone.
--History goes over the time frame of games before and after Sonic's creation, his long road to being a rabbit into what he is today, the development cycle and stress of getting Sonic done right for games and media from the Genesis through the Dreamcast era's, and all two interviews with Sonic's original of creators Yuki Naka and Naoto Oshima, and 20 questions with Takashi Lizuka.
--2D games covers all of Sonic's games on the 2D plane with all his Genesis appearances and even his most current 2D game, Sonic 4.
--3D games go over his start on the realm of 3D starting with the Dreamcast all the way through the current age of modern consoles into the most current 3D game, Sonic Generations.
--Handhelds go over Sonic's start from the SEGA Gamegear all the way through modern age of handheld gaming of the Nintento 3DS with Sonic Generations.
--Spin-Off games covers all other miscellaneous games Sonic has appeared in or stared in since the Genesis all the way up to current gaming consoles with Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
--Characters are profiles of each and every type of main character, sub characters, and villains in Sonic's long history.
--Extra Zone show is a small 4-page set of extras that go over some fun moments and cameos through various media and games.
Aside from those main categories, the book has phenomenal art narrative that other reviewer "Parka" has covered beautifully to give you an idea of what the book looks like.
Added with the main categories covering the highs and lows of Sonic's life in far greater detail to name off, the visuals, the music, and just about everything else; this book has it ALL! There are also fun facts and many other little pieces of information to be found (Sonic could also refer to the purpose of Sound and related to Greek background. Do I need to know this? No, but that amazing it is added regardless). And the book itself is even a flip-book! Look at the lower right-side corner of the book and flip the pages and you'll see. Little things like this can make a world of a difference.
The only piece of information that writers didn't touch base on (and I'm sure hardcore Sonic fans will know more missing pieces of Sonic lore the book doesn't mention, but this the only one I really noticed) is the history of Micheal Jackson doing music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3. This is one of the most controversial and unconfirmed pieces of Sonic lore to this day. I would of liked the book mention it for it being a highly discussed topic in the Sonic fanbase today, but the writers probably couldn't talk about it or feature it. One day though, Sonic fans (and MJ fans) will get some official answers on that topic. But besides missing piece, the book is flawless in other regards.
And special mention must be noted that the book is published and made through Udon Publishing, a japanese company that makes books which can become rare and hard to find in most U.S. book outlets. So if your a fan, you might want to buy ASAP or it might not be available again.
THE HISTORY OF SONIC THE HEDGEHOG is the first true complete and ultimate anthology on the Blue Blue's history that fans of all ages will adore within his prior 20+ history until currently. We can only hope this won't be Sonic's last book on the hedgehog's history in gaming and media, and maybe see Sonic 20 more years. Now go Super Sonic and buy this book as fast as you can!