Top critical review
on 29 April 2017
Let's start with the good thing. The design of the book is really nice, it's very interesting and stylish.
But that also ties into problems of the book. Sometimes the design is too stylish for it's own good, there's several bits where screenshots of the games are distorted or rotated in ways that make them just kind of unclear and messy. And at few bits the fade effect they use for different pieces of art makes them look unclear.
All the good design in the world can not save the lackluster content of the book. For all the talk about creation and design of Sonic and other parts of games/series, there's hardly any concept art. Most pieces in the book are clip-art, sprites or models that most people have already seen several times.
Writing is also a mess. Typos are a concern, but minor one when timeline of Sonic's history jumps around haphazardly, which really doesn't give you a good image of what was actually happening, who was part of which teams, what was being developed where and when. Plenty of things... no actually everything could have also benefited from writers going into more detail about this. Yes, the book has multiple writers, which probably explains the disjointed feel.
I do understand that the book is supposed to be celebration of Sonic, but more neutral view would have definitely helped. There's plenty of bits where they talk about games that were generally disliked by the audience, but play the problems down, such as with Sonic Shuffle or 2006. And some games like Knuckles Chaotix, Shadow the Hedgehog and Tails' Skypatrol are not mentioned in the history segment at all. Then again, some of the mainline games get barely page of content, so I'm not surprised. Most pages are filled with huge promo graphics from different games, leaving very little room for actual text.
You also have to wonder who this was meant for. It talks about elements of series and characters expecting reader to be familiar with everything, but doesn't really bring up anything interesting that more dedicated fan wouldn't already know, there's no mention of Sonic's art being changed for the Western releases and spin-offs like comics and animations are either glossed over or not mentioned at all. And actual history of Sonic only takes 1/3 of the book. Another 1/3 is for listing all the games in the series, and last part is for character profiles.
I imagine the content would have benefited tremendously if other two parts were scrapped, and entirity of the book was actual history of the series. But then again, the tone of book is so annoying that reading any more of it would be just extended annoyance.
Shortly put, very disappointing.