Worlds Unite Weekly Reviews, Part 10: Sonic Boom #10

by Mighty No. X

Welcome to "Worlds Unite Weekly," your source for weekly Worlds Unite reviews. Uniting the worlds of summary and opinion, I am Mighty No. X.

This issue and the last are essentially two halves of the same book; last issue we saw half the worlds to which Sigma sent Unity Engines, and now we see the rest.

"A scarf? You mean like that red guy with the shades? Eh, I doubt it'd stick..."

X and Sticks arrive in a grassland within the world of Monster Hunter, only to find the revived X-Hunters waiting for them. Agile seems to have recruited a couple of the series’ feline helper characters to his cause, but quickly casts them aside to start a fight with X.

"If only I had a club of my own... it could be red, with a big long blonde ponytail flowing from it..."

The battle is cut short by the arrival of the gigantic Gore Magala dragon, which eats the three X-Hunters whole. X is willing to fight the monster if necessary, but Sticks has a better idea. Calming the monster with soothing babble, she plans to bring the enormous beast through the Genesis Portal and sic it on Sigma.

Wind Crowrang, in the process of getting egg on his face.

Billy Hatcher and his friends are already dealing with Wind Crowrang by repeatedly ramming him with an egg when Mega Man and Amy arrive in Morning Land. Before the group can make introductions, Dark Dizzy appears; Billy summons a dragon from his egg that makes short work of the Maverick. The heroes don’t need to do any convincing for the chicken-suited heroes to join their cause; the voice of Menie-Funie, the god of Morning Land, commands Billy and his friends to fight against Sigma.

No funny comment here; just want to say that Burn Dinorex looks awesome up there.

Rotor and Bubble Man find themselves in the watery post-apocalyptic setting of the original Panzer Dragoon, facing the Mavericks Mattrex and Gigavolt Man-O-War. The heroes are unable to stop Mattrex from activating a Unity Engine, but help arrives in the form of mute dragon-rider Keil Fluge. Fluge and his dragon make short work of both Mavericks at once, by launching Gigavolt into Mattrex. Rotor commands Fluge’s dragon to destroy the Unity Engine, and then encourages him to join the heroes in fighting Sigma.

Toxic Seahorse and Spiral Pegasus: Horses of a different color.

Toxic Seahorse and Spiral Pegasus: Horses of a different color.

The heroes of classic RPG Breath of Fire III face the Skiver and Toxic Seahorse using a combination of weapons, spells, and skills. Protagonist Ryu, goddess-created guardian Garr, princess Nina, and scientist Momo take care of the Skiver, while thief Rei and the sentient vegetable Peco handle Toxic Seahorse. Big the Cat and Hard Man show up just as the Mavericks are defeated, but have little to explain as Momo has already deduced the Unity Engine’s purpose.

Hey, Gareth's lion finally has a chance to do some-- never mind.

Much to Shadow Man’s displeasure, he and Antoine are assigned to go through a portal together; as it turns out, they end up in the world of Golden Axe, where elderly Gilius Thunderhead, muscular Ax Battler, and magic user Tyris Flare engage in war against the evil Death Adder. Reploids Gareth and Berkana find their strength and magic-like abilities insufficient to vanquish their foes; Gareth is destroyed by Battler’s sword, while Flare ultimately incinerates Berkana.

I'll bet that "stings"...

Film fanatics Joe and Sylvia witness Sting Chameleon and Squid Adler fighting against Axl and Sticks (who apparently fell through a Genesis Portal). Using the power of their V-Watches, Joe and Sylvia morph into their superhero forms: Sexy Sylvia and, of course, Viewtiful Joe. The two make short work of the two Mavericks; as Sticks recruits them, she is thrilled to find another set of characters who break the fourth wall as well.

Meanwhile, the heroes left on the Sky Patrol escape in an emergency pod as Sigma snaps the Freedom Fighters' mobile headquarters in two like a cracker, and are guided to safety by the returning Metal Sonic. When the portal-bound heroes start coming back to Lost Hex, Sonic reveals the plan; the group will unite towards the Delphinus from Skies of Arcadia, and initiate a final assault against Sigma.

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It was definitely clear from the comments on the last review that there were a number of people who strongly disliked the third act’s structure and method of incorporating characters. I can understand this viewpoint: three pages is nowhere near long enough to deeply develop the characters; the cameo characters are much more powerful than any of the Sonic or Mega Man ones; everyone miraculously speaks English and immediately trusts the heroes, even though this would make no sense in the context of each character’s game; and the world-exploration arc takes place far, far too late in the crossover. When I wrote that the writing was excellent in the previous issue, I meant it within the context of the story.

Given the extreme brevity of each appearance and lack of familiarity readers may have with the source material, however, I appreciate the way the creative team is presenting the story.  It’s not a Pulitzer-contender opus, to be sure, but each world is efficiently given a personality and the heroes demonstrate their abilities clearly over the course of three pages.

By definition, issues 9 and 10 are alienating for fans who are unfamiliar with the franchises at hand, but the writing is as accessible as it can be. I myself had to learn about many of the franchises for writing this review; although researching the games helped to flesh out the sequences a little bit, I already got what I needed from the issues themselves. Arthur is a knight whose armor will fall apart the instant it is touched; the Blue Rogues are a group of adventurous sky pirates; Billy Hatcher uses eggs for combat.

I’m just so regretful that the writers placed this sequence so late in the story (Note: Capcom/SEGA didn't allow the other characters to come in before the third act. --Ed.). Two issues is not enough time at all for properly depicting these franchises working as one. When Unite ends, the Mega Man series will be ending, and many of these SEGA and Capcom franchises will never see the light of day again (except for maybe in Project X Zone 2). Having these rushed introductions might even have been the best approach if it were meant to give more time for combat; but as it stands, we have these introductions and then almost nothing. I’m sure 11 and 12 will be good issues, but unfortunately the flaw here is in the structure; even if the last issues are the best of the crossover, it could have been so much more.

Easter Egg Watch:

  • The Mega Man and Sonic felines in the Monster Hunter segment are actual DLC released for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.
  • The emergency pod is a homage to Opa-Opa from the Sega game Fantasy Zone.
  • Flynn uses Japanese names for all Mega Man X5 Mavericks. For ease of reading I’ve switched their names to the American versions.

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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.