Worlds Unite Weekly Reviews: Sonic: Worlds Unite Battles #1

by Mighty No. X

Sonic is enjoying a run through Green Hill Zone when the powerful Zavok, femme fatale Zeena and melancholic Zik arrive through a portal. The three make a quick show of power before warping the four combatants to Station Square, the metropolis featured in Sonic Adventure.

A blue rose for a blue hedgehog?

When they arrive, the three villains introduce themselves as members of the Deadly Six. Sonic finds that his attacks do no damage, but is spurred on by the citizens of Station Square to persevere. Zik directs an energy blast meant to kill the civilians, but Sonic successfully intercepts it.

You big, fat liar. You're not afraid of that at all!

Unfortunately, this leaves him open to attack; although Zavok does land a direct hit on Sonic, he also gets Zeena soaking wet. Given her obsession with beauty, Zeena is furious and warps Sonic to an abandoned Eggman scrapyard. Sonic finds himself surrounded by dozens of old Badniks reanimated by the Deadly Six; unable to escape, he faints and is captured.

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Roll receives a message addressed to “Red,” urging her to come alone to the simulator room. Once there, Roll is surprised to find a furious Sticks manning the control console.

"Merchandising! What else?"

Sticks sends out a  robot and opens a trap in the floor, but Roll succeeds in using her broom to evade both. Incensed, Sticks presses every button on the control module, leading into the only full page of Roll combat we are likely to ever see. Fending off robots from various Classic series stages, Roll eventually uses her broom as a rocket and arrives at the control console. Sticks detonates an explosive, causing Roll to drop her broom; this is the chance Sticks needs.

Uh-oh... she tore the dress. You don't tear the dress...

Having finally found the object of her spy-broom search, Sticks attempts to interrogate “Red the Broom”; of course, it was the broom Sticks was looking for all along. Roll plays along and announces that the broom is in fact a double-agent, a hero who deserves to remain at the Sky Patrol. Although suspicious, Sticks agrees to let the broom remain on the ship.

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"Go figure... shooting at little animal-based things in video games isn't exactly my day job, either... funny how that works out."

As Knuckles fights the body-controlled Break Man, the two arrive at something of a stalemate when Knuckles hides behind a wall, giving them a chance to talk.

Try Hard 2: Try Harder

Break Man suggests that Knuckles detonate Break Man’s nuclear core, destroying Break Man and possibly some of the other rogue robots as well. Knuckles declares the solution idiotic and demands Break Man find another way.

Although Knuckles doesn’t remember ever having met Break Man before, he says Break Man seems like the kind who lives his own way, and needs to find a way to do that even in this situation. Through the sheer power of his will, Break Man succeeds in dropping the Proto Shield, allowing Knuckles to land an incapacitating blow and letting the two of them each find victory in his own way.

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Unlike in Mega Man: Worlds Unite Battles #1, each of the stories here is written by a different person (none of them Ian Flynn). As a result, each of them feels very different, almost too different to compare directly. Despite this, just like last time I’ll go through them from the one that I liked least to the one I liked most.

The Mega Man vs. Deadly Six fight from the last Battle Book was great for two reasons: fantastic art by Ben Bates, and a well-written script from Ian Flynn that ended with a harrowing scene of Mega Man shooting himself in the head. The art here is fine, but nothing exceptional, which would be fine if it were in service of a good plot.

Unfortunately, nothing really surprising happens here. Sonic fights the villains, the villains eventually find a way to defeat Sonic with robots, and Sonic faints. There’s nothing aggressively underwhelming about this, but nothing that really warrants giving the space in this book.

The central conceit behind the Break Man/Knuckles fight is rather good; it’s never a bad thing to see Break Man show his unique sense of independence, remarkable in itself when X and Zero cannot do so in the same situation.

What brings the fight down is the dialogue; Break Man is true to form, but Knuckles delivers an incredibly clunky monologue that feels out of place and completely destroys the pacing. This sequence had a great deal of potential, and if done well this would have easily been my favorite.

Whether the Roll vs. Sticks fight is well-written is almost irrelevant; the sheer fact that a Roll vs. Sticks fight exists almost automatically makes it my favorite.

Thankfully, there’s a lot to like about the execution: Roll comes across as a very capable combatant, whose ability to dispatch with low-level foes equals or even exceeds that of Mega Man; it’s also entirely believable that this is something Sticks would do.

Still, part of me dislikes seeing Sticks actually attempt to injure someone as part of her perceived reality. Sticks has always been crazy and delusional in the comedic sense of the terms, but juxtaposing her behavior against a serious background makes her seem more clinically schizophrenic than adorable. Plus, the artwork for Roll is fine, but there are at least three or four terrifyingly off-model depictions of Sticks towards the end of the story.

When the whole crossover finishes, I’ll be doing a final review of the entire saga, but I can say now that I was pleasantly surprised with the Battle Books. The fights took some very creative and daring risks with plot and art direction, and more often than not they succeeded.

Check back soon for the start of Act 3. Just like the Act 3 levels in the original Sonic the Hedgehog this act promises to have a series of overwhelming challenges, with a sinister foe waiting at the end….

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Mighty No. X is a member of The Mega Man Network's User Content Submission System, and the views expressed here reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mega Man Network.