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Sonic Underground: Volume 1

Score: 70%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Shout! Factory
Region: 1
Media: DVD/3
Running Time: 8 Hrs.
Genre: Animated/Family
Audio: English

Features:

  • Exclusive CD soundtrack:
    • Sonic Underground Main Title
    • Let's Do It To It
    • Where There's A Will, There's A Way
    • Mummy Wrap
    • The Mobius Stomp
    • We're The Sonic Underground
    • Lady Liberty
  • Developing THe Underground - A retrospective interview with Executive Producer Robby London
  • Songs From The Underground Featurette
  • Music Videos Jukebox
  • Storyboard-to-Screen: The Opening Titles Sequence
  • Original Concept Art

Sonic Underground: Volume 1 is the first half of the 1998 series that once again portrayed everybody's favorite blue hedgehog freedom fighter. This time though, Sonic has a little more help in a brother (Manic) and a sister (Sonia).

As an unusual twist from most recent Sonic series, this one has a very musical aspect to it. Where the previous two had their own style in a somewhat serious show (the first series) and a very slapstick comedic style (the second series), and Sonic X (the fourth series) followed the more recent games pretty closely, this one feels very out of place and it has a lot of liberties taken to the overall feel of Mobius and the Sonic Universe in general.

When Dr. Robotnik takes over the world, he dethrones Queen Aleena who has a set of hedgehog triplets. A seer goes to the Queen and explains that the kids are the key to removing Robotnik from power, but it is too dangerous at the moment and she must give them away. Each child is left on the doorstep of a different citizen and each live very different lives, but they all have these strange crystal medallions that they can't seem to bear to take off.

Sonic, who had his adopted parents roboticized at an early age, joins the freedom fighters. Manic is raised on the streets and has learned how to be a pickpocket, while Sonia has become a member of the aristocracy. When the three finally meet, they realize they are siblings and that their strange medallions are actually magical instruments that help them not only work together and help Mobius, but can cause roboticized people to become temporarily under their own free will. So the trio roams around the world trying to stop Robotnik and find their mother.

Most episodes contain some voyage to a place where their mother was reported and when they get there, they typically have a run-in with Robotnik's bounty hunters, Sleet and Dingo. Ultimately, the hedgehogs will stop the trap and at some point, they will pull out their instruments and play a song that is somehow related to the events in the show.

This DVD set starts off with the three part Origins story that explains why the hedgehogs were left alone and how they found each other and started up their band, Sonic Underground, and now work to stop the Doctor. Other episodes include their trip to the fabled land of Mobodoon and The Mobius Hanging Gardens. The trio will also team up with various freedom fighters and eventually run into Knuckles, who of course, has been tricked by Robotnik into thinking that Sonic and his group are the bad guys.

Besides a couple of featurettes and concept art, Sonic Underground: Volume 1 also comes with a bonus CD that contains some of the more popular songs from the first half of the series. This is a nice addition, though it's a shame they weren't able to include the songs from all of the episodes on the CD so that fans could listen to any of the tunes.

While not my favorite of the Sonic shows, this was still enjoyable and it was great to finally see many of the episodes I had missed back when the show was first aired. This set is good for both general fans of Sonic, as well as people who fondly remember this particular series.



-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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