Bengus, Reyyy, Alex Ahad, and Linzb0t join a massive talent pool
// Jonathan Holmes
At this point in Udon's history, it's tough for them to top themselves. They've already published so many amazing books, containing work from both official production art from AAA videogame publishers and original work from t... read
Udon Entertainment has been accepting submissions for its latest art book, Capcom Fighting Tribute. Professionals and fan artists alike are being asked to create tributes to Capcom's many fighting game franchises. Udon h... read
Who wants an electric punch? Please gather around Dean
// Jonathan Holmes
Like the WWE, Capcom has been around long enough to have history that spans several distinct eras. They may be in the "all our old fans hate us but we still put out some good games sometimes" era now, but in the '90s, they we... read
My homeboy David Oxford, writer at The Mega Man Network and and fellow editor on NF Magazine, has planned a special charity event alongside Ian Flynn, lead writer on Archie's Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog comic series. For ... read
San Diego Comic-Con came and went, and despite my best efforts to use the Dtoid team to my own ends, I was unable to score the coveted hardcover edition of MM25. Thanks a lot, DALE!
But no worries! UDON promised that all its ... read
The blue beauty pictured above? That's the Comic-Con exclusive blue laser foil hardcover edition of MM25: Mega Man & Mega Man X Official Complete Works. This thing is heavy, packed with over 400 pages of content -- everyt... read
San Diego Comic-Con kicks off next week, and UDON will be there with a mountain of convention-exclusive tomes. Being the guy I am, I only have eyes for MM25: Mega Man & Mega Man X Official Complete Works, the 432-page fol... read
Exclusive Brutal Legend and World of Warcraft volumes will be available as well
// Tony Ponce
As it does every year, comic and videogame art book publisher UDON Entertainment will be attending San Diego Comic-Con with a bunch of event-exclusive goodies in tow. Technically, all these books will be available elsewhere i... read
When you're not busy dying, have a look around. Dark Souls is as beautiful as it is difficult, so it's nice to see that UDON will be bringing art book Dark Souls: Design Works to us this October. This is a full-color har... read
Close enough to taste it, the wait is almost over for the UDON release of the MM25: Mega Man & Mega Man X Official Complete Works art book. To tide you over, here's some sample pages of the upcoming book by way of Capcom-... read
The adventures of Bravoman, Super-Unequaled Hero of Excellence, continues with the second episode of his new web cartoon. As before, voice actor legend Rob Paulsen is the number one reason to tune in, lending his talents to ... read
The cartoon adaptation of ShiftyLook's Bravoman: Super-Unequaled Hero of Excellence went live on May 20, exactly 25 years to the day since the launch of the obscure TurboGrafx-16 game Bravoman upon which it was based. Geeze,... read
If you're a Mega Man fan, you're probably aware of the rare Mega Man and Mega Man X Complete Works books that can fetch a price anywhere from $100-$200 each. Thankfully, after years of demands for reprints, UDON is on the cas... read
I bought a coffee table earlier this year. I big, shiny, attractive one. Never had one before, but I knew I needed one for all of these beautiful videogame art books I've been collecting. I've got lots of Japanese imports, a ... read
Hyrule Historia is pretty awesome. The History of Sonic The Hedgehog is not bad either. But for me, the best game series bible is Mega Man Official Complete Works. Released to celebrate the franchise's 20th anniversary, it co... read
And it stars Rob Paulsen of Animaniacs and TMNT fame!
// Tony Ponce
I know you're looking at that headline and saying to yourself, "What the hell is Bravoman?" It's a fairly unknown Namco arcade game from the 80s that was later ported to the TurboGrafx-16 -- and incidentally is also available... read
Feb 27 //
The History of Sonic The HedgehogEditor: Pix'n Love PublishingPublisher: UDON EntertainmentReleased: January 1, 2013MSRP: $49.99
Sonic The Hedgehog. The "The" is supposed to be capitalized. According to former SEGA of America head of marketing Al Nilsen, Sonic "was not just a hedgehog, but THE hedgehog" and that the three-letter article was essentially the speedster's middle name.
Sonic's rise to fame is filled with many such wonderful bits of trivia, compiled from various print sources, interviews, websites, and documentaries over the past 20 years. A lot of the info is readily available knowledge, but you are still likely to trip over an obscure factoid now and then.
The book itself is your archetypal coffee-table tome -- a thick hardcover binding that measures an almost square 9.25" X 8.5". Greeting you on the front is a classic-era Sonic, encircled by an iconic gold ring, while the reverse side plays host to Sonic's modern incarnation. Not that I really care one way or another who gets what spot on the cover, but I'm sure many of you will pleased that ol' daddy long legs was shunted to the rear.
Flipping through the pages, however, you'll notice that the text and images have been laid out in a way that treats each two-page spread as a single "widescreen" page. This gives the book a much more expansive feel, and considering that Sonic's claim to fame is racing across wide open spaces, the design is quite appropriate.
Oh, and there's a 16-bit sprite flip animation in the bottom-right corner. No biggie, but those always add an amusing touch.
As mentioned already, The History of Sonic is split into three major parts: a written account of the Blue Blur's career, a listing of nearly every Sonic series game, and character bios and artwork. Inserted at the very end is a tiny section devoted to Sonic's cameo appearances in SEGA-developed software -- oddly enough, Sonic's very first appearance in a videogame was not in the original Sonic The Hedgehog but rather in the arcade racer Rad Mobile as a rear-view mirror tchotchke!
Sonic's history is tied directly to that of his parent company, thus the book first explores the founding and early years of Service Games, known today as SEGA. We are also reacquainted with Sonic's predecessor, Alex Kidd, who failed to be the Mario-killer SEGA hoped for.
Sonic is actually quite the anomaly when you think about it. Other attempts to best a popular videogame franchise -- so-called Zelda-killers, Halo-killers, and the like -- tend not to live up to the hype. In Sonic's case, he was carefully and meticulously constructed to be the "anti-Mario" in every way, but the planets aligned and he almost single-handedly helped SEGA pull a large chunk of market share away from Nintendo.
Another thing that fascinates me about Sonic's conception is how, much like in other games from the early '90s and prior, many key design decisions were made based on the capabilities of the hardware. Sonic rolls into a ball so that jumping and attacking could be accomplished by a single button. Sonic is dark blue because his former sky blue color scheme caused him to be camouflaged when standing in front of similarly colored backgrounds. And Sonic has very prominent spikes because they offered the illusion of speed.
The SEGA hardware years give way to the company's current role as a third-party developer, and Sonic's continued developments are detailed up through his team-up with Mario in the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series, bringing this tale around full circle. Capping off the history is a trio of interviews with Yuji Naka, programmer on the first Sonic The Hedgehog and the most famous Sonic Team member of all; Naoto Oshima, graphic designer who actually gave birth to Sonic; and Takashi Iizuka, series artistic director since Sonic Adventure.
The history does an excellent job of walking us through Sonic's game career, but I'm nonetheless disappointed that there was next to no discussion of his ventures in other media. A major reason for Sonic's popularity in the '90s was his omnipresence -- from Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to cans of spaghetti -- so it seems odd that his four cartoon shows, one Japanese direct-to-video animation, and the Archie and Fleetway Sonic comics would only be mentioned in passing. Not going behind the scenes on those projects feels like a missed opportunity.
The games list section, which covers all the franchise installments from the original Sonic The Hedgehog in 1991 through Sonic Generations in 2011, is broken down further into 2D era, 3D era, handheld excursions, and spin-offs. Major titles are naturally given more real estate than, say, the Sonic Café series of cell phone time-wasters, but every entry is accompanied by screens and box art, release information, brief synopses of the games and their market impact, and extra trivia you can use to impress your friends.
For example, Sonic can throw Hadoukens in Sonic Chaos on Game Gear. I did not know that!
Though even the strangest of Sonic's outings are covered, there is a small handful of curious omissions. I'm specifically talking about the compilations like Sonic Jam on Saturn -- the game.com version gets an entry, however. In Sonic Jam's case, its "Sonic World" environment served as the prototype for Sonic Adventure, so you can't say it didn't play a major role in the grand scheme.
I also would have loved concept art for cut levels and other cutting-room-floor materials, such as the four axed zones in Sonic The Hedgehog 2. And if you were hoping for a straight answer on the whole Michael Jackson-Sonic 3 music connection, keep looking elsewhere.
The character section is the most straightforward of them all, providing short biographies for most of the key players as well as their various art designs. Only characters that have had prominent roles in the post-Sonic Adventure era are present, so be sure to pour a 40 for forgotten third-stringers like Mighty the Armadillo, Ray the Squirrel, Nack the Weasel, Bean the Dynamite, and Bark the Polar Bear.
A scant six pages are dedicated to artwork of Badniks and bosses, which makes this the laziest portion of the whole book. Only 11 games are represented, and only two or three enemy designs are presented for each, which makes the entire section about as comprehensive as any one of the friggin' Genesis game manuals!
But The History of Sonic is so rich in lore and insight that it more than makes up for my gripes. I don't even mind the numerous typographical errors or humorously paradoxical character stats -- Knuckles is noted as the same height as Sonic (3 feet, 4 inches), yet on the very next page, there's a chart that clearly states Knuckles is taller.
There is a delightfully optimistic tone throughout the book, even while discussing the less-than-stellar chapters in the Sonic saga -- I'm looking at you, Sonic 2006! I find that to be quite reflective of the Sonic fanbase, but in a good way. We know the series isn't the most consistent in quality, but ol' Mr. Needlemouse was once on top of the world, so there's no reason why he can't make a comeback as long as the passion remains.
The History of Sonic The Hedgehog is must-read for the diehards and lapsed fans. We may be unsure of where Sonic is heading, but I think we can all admire his storied journey.
Blue streak... speeds by... Despite the Sonic series' many missteps over the past decade, I remain a huge fan. I remember the first time I played Sonic The Hedgehog at my cousins' house into the wee hours of the night. I remember long school field trips... read feature
During New York Comic Con, UDON announced World of Warcraft Tribute, an art book that will compile selected pieces from professionals and fans across the globe. The last "Tribute" book that the publisher put out was the amazi... read
If you love the Valkyria Chronicles franchise as much as I do, this artbook should go on your Christmas wish list. UDON Entertainment has announced Valkyria Chronicles 3: Complete Artworks for a December release.
There's 256 ... read
DISGAEArt!!! Disgaea Official Illustration Collection! debuted tonight at San Diego Comic-Con 2012's Preview Night at their booth on the already crazy show floor. This lovely art book sports 600 illustrations covering everyth... read
The Blue Blur has had his ups and downs, but on the whole, he's a remarkable icon with a rich history extending across two decades. Earlier this year, Sega and French videogame book publisher Pix'n Love -- responsible for sev... read
Damn. That's one mean stink eye.
Hot on the heels of Marvel vs. Capcom: Official Complete Works is Street Fighter X Tekken: Artworks. Released in Japan this past April, the 192-page book is being published by UDON for America... read
UDON Entertainment has packaged sunshine, happiness, and unicorns into a 192-page tome and wants to gift it to you, the adoring fans... for a price, of course.
In late November, Marvel vs. Capcom: Official Complete Works will... read
Fact: The English-language VA for Laharl in the original Disgaea is Barbara Goodson, who also voiced Rita Repulsa in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Boom! Suck on that knowledge!
Now that your minds have been properly blown, le... read
The Mega Man series may have the largest cast of unique characters in videogame history. The new Robot Masters introduced in each sequel are not merely cardboard standees to be knocked over, rather they are diverse individual... read
I love UDON, especially for bringing over the various Mega Man art books and comics from Japan. Naturally, I've been anticipating the Robot Master Field Guide, a handbook that catalogs just about every single character from t... read
Udon has collected another crapload of offical Capcom artwork and out it in a book you can buy. It's a total luxury item, and will make for the perfect gift for the thrifty Street Fighter fan. I'm definitely&nb... read
Udon Entertainment, publishers of fine videogame art books (mostly Capcom stuff), is continuing the tradition with Persona books. They've got three lined up for the next half year, reports Japanator. Here's what you can expec... read