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Sonic The Hedgehog Meets The Ugly Stick

onic the Hedgehog 3 box Sega did a lot of great things during the company's glory days, but unfortunately decent box art isn't necessarily one of them.  There were a lot of great games hiding inside terrible boxes, particularly in the case of the adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.  Over at The Green Hill Zone fans (the good kind of fans, not the wacky folks who have trouble telling fiction from reality) are discussing the worst box art the Sonic series has to offer.

Sonic 3 -- US & PAL versions: The US version has a lovely background that lacks any of the qualities that we actually associate with Sonic games, Sonic himself has a boring pose except maybe for his "three fingers up" hand, which looks uncomfortable to say the least, and we've got Tails in his classic "ready for anal" pose. Meanwhile on the other side of the Atlantic, they've got a more game-inspired background and a way cooler pose for Sonic, but the colors are not especially eye-catching, and Knuckles is not especially well-drawn. Also, Sonic seems to be holding up three fingers, but he's got a thumb in there too. Does anyone else find this confusing?

I've always found it interesting to compare how character art evolves over the lifetime of a character.  In Sonic's case he's become much more, well, bendy.  His arms and legs seem to lack joints, as they can bend any which way at just about any time if box art is to be believed.  He's also become filled with what the kids today call "attitude".  I don't think Sonic has smiled since 1997 or so.  Then again, considering the quality of Sonic titles since that time, neither have his fans (*zing!*).