Howdy ladies and gents, time for another review and today I’ll be giving you a convention review as I attended Summer of Sonic in London yesterday and I thought I’d give you my thoughts on what could be described as a very memorable day.
So for those not away, I’m a stupidly big Sonic the Hedgehog fan, have been since the 90’s with Mega Drive and the characters are the reason I’m an illustrator too, and regardless of how questionable/crappy the current games are, I still show love for the hedgehog because I’m loyal. So you have to understand, going to this convention was mandatory, especially considering that its been going since 2008 and I’ve missed each one because of a lack of funds, university or bad timing with clashing events. Luckily I threw my money at the Kickstarter for SoS not too long after it went online, and then months down the line its August and I was so hyped to finally be going to the convention, and while I was late on my first train and my second got delayed by around 30-40 mins, I finally got to the venue and that’s when the magic started.
It sounds kind of silly/lame, but there was a certain joyful/magical energy about being in the convention hall where everything’s Sonic, from the games new and old to the merchandise to the cosplayers and so on. Plus it was just nice to be surrounded by other people who share your same passion for the blue hedgehog, most times I’ve been to MCM London Expo or London Film & Comic-Con you’ll only meet a handful of fans, and the rest will just be haters and question while you still support the franchise. But yesterday it was all love and positivity, whether you mentioned Sonic 06 and Shadow the Hedgehog, standing in long queues or could hear Sonic R music playing in the background, it was all good vibes and that’s something I appreciated.
When it came to what I did personally I did a lot and not too much at the same time, but I’ll try to highlight some stuff below:
- Watching the cosplayers: As soon as I got in there was the official person in a Sonic costume taking pictures with fans and I had to be mine done obviously. But then there was all the nice little moments like seeing this awesome Perfect Chaos costume or ladies dressed as Amy Rose or Rouge the Bat. But my favourite moments was when Sonic and Chaos were having a dance off and when the guy cosplaying as Eggman picked a fight with Sonic.
- Playing Sonic Mania: No way in hell did I expect this game to be at this event considering how recently it was shown off to the world, but I stand from a distance and knew I had to line up. And so I queued up for what felt like an eternity as the first line was a line to get into the official line for the game! 😛 But after around an hour of waiting and extreme leg pains, I got to play Sonic Mania and it was just as wonderful as I’d hoped. While I really wanted to try out Green Hill Zone for the chances made to the layout and use of elemental shields, but I had to go with Studiopolis Zone because that’s the new stuff. Mania was very pretty, the animation was super smooth, the art direction was great and most importantly the gameplay was accurate, this was classic Sonic and after messing around with my usual tricks I can say that this game is the good stuff and I can’t wait to play it in full next year. 😀
- Talking to fans: While waiting in lines or playing games, it was just cool to be able to talk about Sonic stuff the maximum level of nerdiness. Whether we were sharing gaming experiences, expectations for new games or talking about our favourite games or characters, it was just fun, plus I got to meet these two really awesome dudes who I got to hang out with and share some cool experiences with. 🙂
- Meeting Duncan Gutteridge: For me growing up in the 90’s, there were a few different art style for Sonic, but none of them were as popular or notable as Duncan Gutteridge’s work. His art style made Sonic look striking, dynamic and super detailed, and he’s almost the whole reason I started drawing because I wanted to draw just like him. So getting to meet him, shake his hand, show my appreciation and buy some of his artwork was a big deal for me.
- Jun Senoue & Crush 40 Live Music: Firstly, it was so cool to get to hear Jun Senoue jam away to some of my favourite tunes from Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 especially when it came to Emerald Coast, Prison Island, Pyramid Cave and Metal Harbour, but the sing along to “Escape from the City” was the best. But nothing could prepare me for Crush 40, no word of a lie, I have been waiting to see these guys live since 2003. I’ve been in love with their music since I played SA 2 and SA1:DX on Gamecube, and seeing Johnny Gioeli and Jun Senoue performing together on-stage was so surreal and beautiful. If I had time to cry I probably would have. But all I was doing his shouting my head off, waving my arms and bouncing around while I heard some of my favourite Crush 40 songs. The highlights was definitely “Open Your Heart“, “His World“, “I Am… All of Me“, “Live & Learn“, “Knight of the Wind” and of course “What I’m Made Of“. It was such an incredibly interactive, beautiful and badass session! 😀 😀
- Meeting Mike Pollock & Takashi Izuka: I’ve watched, heard and read interviews with Mike Pollock and he’s always come across as a nice guy, but I didn’t expect to meet him in person, get my copy of Sonic Colours signed and get a picture taken with him too. The dude was SO nice, funny, modest, charming and delightful, definitely one of my favourite moments ever. And just as the convention was ending Takashi Izuka was walking amongst the fans and I was luckily enough to shake his hand and get a picture with him too, su ch a cool way to finish the convention. 😀
In conclusion Summer of Sonic was a lot of fun, it was great to just be around all of the fans, play some games, and check out some cool live music among other things. I was glad to have gone and while I didn’t get around to doing everything I wanted to, overall it was a great session and I really hope this is isn’t the last time this convention goes down in the UK.
Well that’s my review done, so did you go to Summer of Sonic and if so what did you think of it? Also was it your first time or are you veteran of this convention? Whatever your thoughts be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀