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Sonic Boom (SatAM Episode Review)

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We should probably discuss SatAM’s introduction. It’s the most cheesy, nineties thing in existence. The lyrics tell us that Sonic, “can really move” and that he’s got, “an attitude” and the vocalist is hamming it right up. It’s wonderfully nostalgic for me and while it certainly beats you over the head with the show’s premise, it seems really appropriate for a Sonic cartoon.

In this episode (entitled Sonic Boom) we get the first look as to what the visual style of SatAM will look like for the rest of this season. The colours have been dramatically muted and the whole thing has a dirtier, grungier look about it. Robotropolis is a nightmarish dystopia where Robotnik rules from and SatAM’s Robotnik is definitely the most fearsome interpretation of the character. He always appears to be seething with anger and his voice constantly sounds like it’s being delivered over a PA system.

Sally, Cat, Antoine and Sonic infiltrate Robotnik’s headquarters in an attempt to retrieve information from his computers. We get an introduction to Sally’s personal computer Nicole; a device I always thought was cool as all hell and I always wanted to own one. Maybe I’ll make a replica one day. Nicole retrieves a simple message that reads, “BEAN” and Sally interprets this as a message from her missing father who used to call her Bean when she was younger. Tracing the message reveals its source to be Iron Lock Prison in the Dark Swamps of Mobius. The team accidentally alert Robotnik’s Swatbots and make a quick escape, losing Cat in the process.

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Sonic decides to double back on himself and see if he can rescue Cat while Sally and Antoine make their way to the Dark Swamps to see if they can find Sally’s father. Upon arriving in Iron Lock Prison, Sally sees a piece of her father’s cloak and discovers the computer he was transmitting his message from. The computer contains blueprints for the entire system of tunnels under Robotropolis and Sally quickly downloads this to Nicole. This offers some welcome character building that gives us a reason to care about these characters outside of simply rooting for them because they oppose Robotnik.

Meanwhile Sonic finds Cat in a prison cell back at Robotnik’s headquarters. Cat tells Sonic that Robotnik knows Sally is in the Dark Swamps and is sending Stealthbots to eliminate her. Cat insists Sonic tries to save her and he reluctantly goes into the Dark Swamps, leaving Cat behind. Sonic manages to dispatch the Stealthbots and catch up with Sally and Antoine before the room they are in falls away and drops them into the sewers. I couldn’t help but laugh at the scene in the sewers simply because the characters looked like they were covered in faeces; probably not Dic’s intentions.

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After a short encounter with one of Robotnik’s robots, the gang use the recently downloaded maps of Mobotropolis to navigate their way back into Robotnik’s headquarters and sabotage Robotnik’s Stealthbots. Once again, Robotnik is alerted to the presence of intruders and sends the Stealthbots after Sonic, Antoine and Sally. Thankfully, due to the team’s previous tinkering, the Stealthbots explode and Sonic delivers a message back to Robotnik saying, “That was for Cat”. That’s right; Cat is completely lost to the Freedom Fighters in this episode. The world of SatAM is a much harsher mistress than Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Boom is definitely the best introduction to this world.

The only negative I would level at this episode is the portrayal of Antoine. The French stereotype is constantly terrified and irritating to watch. He has no strengths of his own and he’s difficult to relate to. A real shame as Sonic, Sally and Cat get to prove themselves in their own individual way, while Antoine merely provides comic relief.

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Written by Lewis “Sonic Yoda” Clark 6/12/2016

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