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February 26, 2018

Grand Theft Auto V (Part 4)

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6

Minigun. Mega damage.
It’s now time for the next major event: The Paleto Bay bank heist. We have everything we need, the last few missions allowed us to get our hands on the required arsenal. Since most of this heist will serve to fund the FIB’s mission, we’ll get away with only a fraction of what we’ll steal – but it should be worth it. See, that bank’s used for money laundering by the local cops, so they really don’t want anyone stealing it. That’s why the cop cars don’t take too long to show up after the team has walked into the bank. And when the team walks out, they’re in heavy soldier armor, wielding miniguns and other major weapons. And now, we just kill everything on sight, switching between Michael and Trevor, while a third shooter (of your choice among heist crew members) takes care of the rest.

Lock and load, and hope the loader's driver doesn't die.

Franklin arrives in a front loader to bring the guys away, but the goddamn army’s involved now, and the guys make their way through a factory and onto a train in order to leave. Successful heist! We got a little less than 8 million dollars, the FIB takes more than 6M$, hands the rest over and lets the group split the cash. Franklin, Michael and Trevor each get about 400,000$. That’s more than enough to live comfortably, no? I mean, that’s 15 years of my current salary.

Train-biking: Safer than car-surfing!
There are still plenty of side-quests around, whether it’s Franklin heading out for a triathlon or following some crazy extreme sports guy who keeps dragging him around on parachuting ventures. Meanwhile, Trevor decides to steal the contents of a Merryweather-owned train as it’s got to be something valuable. As long as it isn’t another nuke... As for how they do it, Trevor literally jumps with his motorcycle onto the train, drives up to the locomotive, gets in the cabin and drives past the stopping point, then crashes it into another train on a bridge. Michael’s down there on a boat, ready to blow up the doors of a wagon. He ventures inside while Trevor shoots down the Merryweather army men coming to stop them.

Pictured: A woman who fell for Trevor...
And a woman Trevor fell for.
Two-way Stockholm!

I suppose it's gonna be useful to pay our apologies to
Madrazo... but I feel like Trevor would like that statue
better if it was filled with meth.
The two make it out alive with some of the loot in the wagon: A golden statue that Michael plans to offer to Martin Madrazo, as apologies since, y’know, Trevor kidnapped Madrazo’s wife and all. Speaking of which, Trevor’s really in love with Patricia Madrazo, we can tell. I’d say “poor guy” because he also has to bring back the kidnapped love of his life, but… he kidnapped her. Also, it's Trevor; he’s a serial killer with a head count in the four digits, so you can’t really feel too sorry for him. I actually feel more sorry for patricia, who has somehow grown to genuinely love Trevor. In return for this, Michael does promise that with Lester’s help, they should try to attack the biggest cash reserve in all of Los Santos: The Union Depository. That’s a loot that would make even the most careful criminal salivate with envy at the thought of potential success.

Once again, we have a quick moment of gameplay that is
unexpected, fun, and story-relevant. Shame we never get
a chance to cut out a steel grid ever again afterwards.
Could have been fun as part of a side-quest.
But now it’s actually time to go help the FIB in their mission against the IAA. As it turns out, in this big story of funding, the IAA figured they would get more help from the government if they provoked an actual terrorist attack or two, and so they’re preparing to release a neurotoxin on Los Santos. Quick reminder that the IAA is a reference to the CIA and are depicted as complete douches with no regards for human life, even that of the people they’re supposedly protecting, if they don’t mind killing a bunch just to get a few extra billions. Well, okay, billions is a lot of money, I can see why the less scrupulous folks would decide to kill people to get such amounts. But it's supposed to be the freaking CIA! The irony being that they want that money to prevent more terrorism from happening… so… Jesus fucking Christ this is dark.

Must not drop the container... must not drop the container...
Must not- OH SHIT
We’re now introduced to diving suits, which are used here but may be acquired to find other secrets hidden underwater around the map. We sneak into the lab and use a tazer on whoever gets in the way of the neurotoxin. Then, after Michael gets his hands on the vial, Dave, Steve and he shoot the guards on the way out. They get outside and secure the toxin in a freezing chamber, then Trevor, piloting a helicopter, grabs the package and drops it back at the miniature airport he owns, where Franklin is waiting. There we go, we no longer have to work with the FIB, at last!

Don't worry, they stay in touch. In secret.
Dunno if that's heartwarming or creepy.
That’s when Michael tells Franklin that his debt to Madrazo has been paid off with the gold statue taken earlier, so there’s only one loose end left. And that loose end is Trevor, on the verge of tears, bringing Patricia back to her husband while Chicago’s “If You Leave Me Now” plays on the radio. Oh, she’s never going to be mistreated by her husband ever again. Let’s just say Trevor made sure Martin Madrazo would remember forever this encounter, each time he looks in a mirror. You don’t notice how important for symmetry your ears are until you’re missing one of ‘em. Oooh, that’s nasty. Well! That’s one more plot thread resolved!

Speaking of resolving plot threads… Trevor goes back to Floyd’s apartment and meets Debra, Floyd’s girlfriend. The two are kicking him out. After trying bargain, and see that it isn't working... Trevor comes out of the apartment covered in blood. We see none of what transpired in there. All we know is that, in order to put this behind him, Trevor brings his associate Wade to the strip club. As if nothing happened. Even though Floyd is Wade’s cousin. That’s alright, though; Trevor drives to the Vanilla Unicorn and decides to, ahem, dispose of the owner, so that he becomes the owner. Geez, I didn’t know strip clubs worked by the Klingon promotion system.

"If nothing major happens to break our group apart,
we should be able to do this score just fine, very soon."
Now, our trio of protagonists can meet at the Vanilla Unicorn to discuss their next and biggest coup: The Union Depository. In preparation for the Big Score, we scout the area around the U.D. with Michael in his car and Trevor in a helicopter. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like this plan will come to fruition soon, as Michael is confronted by Trevor shortly afterwards. Yes, these two are arguing all the time, and it’s getting more and more irritating as it goes; It IS a major part of the plot that Michael betrayed his friend, after all. Trevor drops the question: Michael had an arranged funeral so he could flee with his family into the Witness Protection Program. Trevor has finally figured out that there has to be something or someone who was buried in that coffin ten years ago, and he intends to find out.

In the events that follow, Michael takes a plane and then drives to the North Yankton graveyard. He finds Trevor well at work, already about to open the coffin. And as it turns out… their old partner in crime who died on the night of the failed score, Brad, is the guy buried in there. See, Trevor thought Brad was alive and jailed. However, Agent Dave Norton was writing to him pretending to be Brad, to uphold the masquerade of Michael being dead. However, in the past missions, Trevor has started to feel increasingly betrayed by Michael and his lies, getting more and more fed up by his old friend’s dishonesty, and this reveal of Brad being dead all along is the last straw. Trevor runs away…

And then criminals show up. The evil ones.
I guess, in a game featuring three protagonists who are
three different types of criminals despite retaining a slight
edge of moral high ground (however slim it is), we need
some way to distinguish the "good", "decent" criminals
from the... "evil" ones?
Y'know... shades of grey and all that.

I'll be honest, of all the missions in the game, this was one
of the hardest for me. Only a pistol against hordes of
opponents, being forced to sneak your way around and
gather better weapons on your way out... It felt very different
from many other missions. The stakes were high, it was
more than just a shootout, danger was everywhere.
It's one of the best (if toughest) moments that GTA V
has to offer.
…But Michael doesn’t have the time to leave. Following the botched meth and weapons deals with the O'Neil brothers because Trevor killed the O'Neils), the Triads want Trevor dead. They followed him to North Yankton, and were ready to kill him there – only, Trevor left too quickly, so they decided to attack Michael instead. Whom they mistake for Trevor’s gay lover. Cue the homophobic insults from Asian mobsters. Class act What follows is one of the hardest missions in the game, as Michael has been stripped of his weapons before embarking on the plane, so he only has a pistol and whatever he can get from the guys he kills. He’s badly outnumbered; that group was on its way to battle Trevor, of course they’d send a few dozen guys at a dude who does mass-murdering carnages for fun.

Michael fights well, but ends up captured by the Triads who decide to hold him at ransom. Their leader, Wei Cheng, personally calls Trevor. Wei Cheng’s reveal as a major villain doesn’t come out of nowhere; he tried to connect with Trevor Philips Industries much earlier, but the deal went through, and Trevor also murdered anyone else that the Triads tried associating with. While Trevor was living in Los Santos, he would receive reports from his ally Ron that some Chinese people had been snooping around his trailer. Forget Madrazo; Wei Cheng is the true final boss of Trevor’s story.

Literally partaking in crime, using a James Bond-esque
vehicle. It that blasphemy?
Phew! Sorry for the text dump, I do that way too often as I come close to the ending of a game. I should probably speed things up a bit. In the next mission, Franklin and Lamar steal the last car demanded by Devin Weston. This is too easy. They bring it to Trevor, who drives the Packer carrying all the stolen cars. They’re told to deliver the cars to Paleto Bay, which is a few hours of in-game time away. Even for the player, it’s a good 10 minutes. But they’re then attacked by the police, and Franklin has to use the car he stole from Vinewood Studios to derail the cops. Dropping spikes on the road, shooting with the mounted guns… I love that car! They manage to bring the cars to the meeting point, but Weston’s assistant, Molly Schultz, robs them of payment by saying her boss invested the payment’s money instead. You see what I meant all this time: Our criminal bosses in this game always find an excuse not to get the player characters paid.

I remember blowing my way through the factory.
Literally so; with sticky bombs where the enemies stood, and
blowing them up from afar. That was amazing.
Franklin later tries to talk with Trevor about what happened at North Yankton ten years prior, but he gets no answer. He calls Lester who traces Michael’s phone and Franklin finds him; he’s hanging from his feet in a meat factory. I think the Triads are trying to pierce the honest market of long pork pies. Franklin kills every Triad guy on the way, and gives a gun to Michael who frees himself. The two work together on their way out, killing more Chinese gangsters. They come out. steal a car, and Michael goes back to his empty home. Though he finally explains to Franklin why he did what he did in North Yankton 9 years ago.

"We gonna get outta here Mike, hang in there!"
"It's only the 47th time I hear that joke today!"

That brown board will be covered in papers, plans.
blueprints and stuff to plan the heist.
Now free, Michael can go back to Solomon Richards, only to see his idol getting beaten up by Rocco, the star agent that we forcefully brought back to Richards. This time, no prisoners – Michael chases down Rocco and his associate Gianni, and kills them both. As a reward, Solomon shows Michael some cuts of Meltdown, the film he’s working on, and the part of the credits where Michael de Santa is listed as Assistant Director. Then we also need to help Lester steal a hard drive containing important data from the FIB building, as what is (hopefully) the last mission Michael has to do for Steve Haines. This is yet another heist, and you can once again pick between a sneaky way or a more dangerous way to get things done. Whatever you choose, multiple missions have to be accomplished: First, we steal janitor uniforms. Then, we get the plans for the building (they have to be stolen in paper form, as Lester couldn’t find them online, so we beat up and rob the building's architect). Last but not least, a getaway car and a fire truck will be needed. Got all this? Good! We’ll be ready to go.

Just a normal family outing for these.

This is as good a time as any for Michael to get his life in order while we’re at it. His son Jimmy visits him at home and brings him around the area to pick up his wife Amanda and his daughter Tracy before bringing everyone to Doctor Friedlander, his psychiatrist. We also take that opportunity to get some revenge on Fabien the yoga instructor and Lazlow, the host of Fame or Shame who had been making insistent, creepy advances to Tracy. Phew! Ah, Michael. When he’s not a distant jerk of a dad, he’s an overprotective, violent jerk of a dad. A perfect picture of parenting!

Sure, she was working for an asshole, but almost everyone
in this game is working for ana sshole. Plus, she had no
personality whatsoever.
I don't know if I should feel sorry. I'm at a loss!
Last but not least, Michael visits Solomon Richard, who says the movie Meltdown has been completed. However, Devin Weston and his assistant Molly are there, saying they want to tear down Vinewood (AKA: That universe's version of FREAKING HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS) because movies are, oh, so passé! And they might as well build condos over the lot instead. Molly flees with the physical copy of the film that Solomon was carrying, and Michael chases her all the way to the airport, where she eventually flees on foot into the buildings… and Holy Shit! She gets sucked into a plane turbine. When did this turn into Final Destination?

So Michael gets the movie, escapes the police, and comes back only to learn that Solomon had plenty of digital copies anyway. In other words: This particular mission was entirely pointless!

My words can’t quite convey it, but that final mission was pretty awesome. But killing Westn's lawyer might have repercussions. I think I’m going to stop there for today. Meet me in Part 5 for the last two heists in the game, and hopefully the final missions.

February 23, 2018

Grand Theft Auto V (Part 3)

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6

We’re now preparing for our next heist. There’s got to be something valuable in that Merryweather boat.

Yes, this is the entire house. It's bigger than Michael's.
Who's winning the crime game now?
We can of course visit Franklin’s new house, and it is fucking gorgeous. Lester sends Franklin to a few assassination missions that greatly impact the in-game economy, and if you know what to invest in, you can practically multiply the amount of money you own. We can make hundreds of thousands of dollars, perfectly legally (if you forget the assassination part), as long as we buy the right stocks in time, sell them afterwards, buy other descending stocks and selling them when they get high. This actually works! Have you ever actually seen a game that teaches players how to play the stock market?

That mini-game on the Mii Plaza on the Nintendo 3DS doesn’t count.

It's actually pretty bullcrap in comparison.

Meanwhile, Michael gets wrapped in the FIB drama, as he meets Dave Norton again, who’s accompanied by Steve Haines, another guy who really, really wants the info known by Mr. K, a guy detained in the IAA offices (their CIA). Norton and Haines enlist Michael, Franklin AND Trevor into a mission where they fly in a helicopter to the IAA tower, steal the guy, kill the guards and also shoot down the IAA helicopters sent at them. Phew!

Michael's ability lets him slow down time during shootouts.
Very useful when he needs to kill multiple targets.

Jesus Christ... this... this isn't fun. Only Haines and Trevor
seem to be enjoying this. I don't enjoy this.
Thank God it's only one mission in the game.
Oh, and later, we get a mission in which Dave drags Michael around to chase a potential Azerbaijani terrorist, while Trevor and Haines are getting info out of the guy we just kidnapped from the IAA… with good old torture. Yes, in case you thought GTA couldn’t get any darker, here we literally participate to cold-blooded torture on an Azerbaijani guy who just happened to install electronics for another Azerbaijani guy who IS secretly a terrorist. The worst part might be how you play the mini-games required to make the guy suffer, and he eventually gives enough info so that Michael and Dave kill a guy from afar – and we certainly hope it was the right guy. Holy shit, that scene is just horrifying. It’s not fun. Steve Haines sure has a blast as the scene goes, and even Trevor seems to be doing it so... nonchalantly. In fact, when this mission ends, Trevor is told to kill the guy they were torturing, but instead brings him to the airport, wishing him luck wherever he decides to flee. Shit got dark, man. That Steve Haines guy is nothing good.

February 19, 2018

Grand Theft Auto V (Part 2)

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6

What a beautiful day to become a criminal again.

Following an impulsive desire for revenge, Michael de Santa has torn down the deck of a house belonging to Martin Madrazo, the leader of the Mexican cartel in Los Santos, and now they owe him two millions and a half. Well there’s a reason to go out and commit crimes, huh?

Trapping phones doesn't sound like the type of
criminality that I'd be a part of. But hey, sometimes you
gotta do stuff you don't like.
In order to go back to a life of heist, as he desires, Michael contacts one of his old friends, Lester, a handicapped genius who can figure out plans on the spot. He’ll be happy to help… as soon as we complete a little task for him. There’s that new phone prototype about to be revealed by the company LifeInvader, this world’s version of Facebook. Michael dresses up “hip” and “trendy”, infiltrates the place, helps a guy with his virus-laden computer, then traps the prototype with a device created by Lester. Then we just go home and watch the prototype reveal on TV. When Jay Norris, the clear Mark Zuckerberg pastiche, presents the phone, Michael calls him and... BOOM! On live TV! Oh good, we just committed terrorism. Nice upgrade from bank heists! I don’t see this blowing up back in our faces anytime soon!

Well... that is certainly a novel way to kill someone, that's
for sure... By GTA standards,. anyway.

I mean, it's not a perfect representation of real-life
stock trading... mostly because we influence it way too much.
That’s okay, Norris was an asshole anyway. Like everyone in that world. Might as well nuke it all right away. The following conversation with Lester does reveal another element of interest in this game: Thanks to their Internet, you can actually follow stock information, invest in some companies before they get big, and then re-sell the stocks just before you participate in a story event that will make them plummet. Criminal? This game is all about criminality anyway!

LifeInvader, stock trading, a parody of Twitter… delving into this bonus material just shows the insane amount of detail put into this game by the developers. The in-game Internet can also lead to a LOT of foreshadowing for stuff you’ll be able to do later, involving people, organizations, and so much more.

I suppose it's good to check the merchandise before coming
back to... "take it".
Anyway, time for a heist. On the way to Lester’s holdout, we get called by the guy who let us into the LifeInvader offices, Rickie Lukens, who has caught on to us. He says he’s out of a job after the stunt we pulled. And he might actually be useful: See, for a heist you need a getaway driver, gunmen, and a hacker. You will often meet people who can be useful in your heist teams, and then it’s all about finding the most useful people or the ones who’ll take the smallest cut off any successful heist. In the end, your choices will make a big difference. Gunmen can die in these heists, after all.

February 16, 2018

Grand Theft Auto V (Part 1)

(Title card... whenever I can. Sorry about that, as I said before, stuff has been hectic.)

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6

Oh, BTW, I played all of GTA V in French. So be prepared
to read a lot of French on my screenshots.
(Disclaimer: Remember that this is only the second GTA game I’ve ever played, after GTA: Chinatown Wars on the Nintendo DS. As such, I can’t make comparisons between this GTA or any previous GTA, outside of maybe the other one I’ve played; I have no other frame of reference. If you’re a GTA fan and this is a problem to you, I apologize. Also note that due to the sheer size of this game and the amount of content it has, I WILL forget to mention some things. It’s inevitable. I don’t want this review to be 15 parts long, it’s still going to be a long one either way. Hell, if I went for an in-depth analysis, I could spend three parts speaking about the themes of this game alone.)

No UPlay review this time, I want to get rid of this one. Not that GTA V isn’t a good game, I’m sure it is; but it’s so freaking huge (what, 70 gigabytes?), it’s taking too much space on my computer, I just want to review it and be done with it.

Chinatown Wars was an impressive game. Then again, each
time Rockstar makes an astounding GTA game, and we ask
"How can they make something better?", they answer
"Hold my beer"... and MAKE AN EVEN BETTER GAME!
So… Grand Theft Auto… Quite the franchise, huh? There’s a lot I would say about it, if my sole past experience wasn’t “Chinatown Wars”, which represents the setting on a smaller scale. Hell, even as a Nintendo DS game, it was massive – dozens of plot threads, seven or eight different folks to receive missions from, and Huang Lee played for and against every group by helping his Uncle Kenny, the grand Triad Boss Hsin Jaoming, two cops, and I’m forgetting many. The plot was extremely convoluted, but as per GTA tradition, you didn’t even have to follow it all that much; it was more fun to just cause random acts of mayhem, murder and destruction, along with the easy money amassed through drug deals. The game itself was a technical marvel, fitting this giant map on the space of a DS cartridge, along with every little secret that could be found in it.

Random destruction! Fight the power young man!
Steal your plastic bags, no paying 5 cents for those!

So wait, does that mean people are aware when the
crosshair is pointed directly at them? 
However, GTA:CW was a top-down game because that made it save space on designs. Not so much for any large, full-3D GTA title, such as GTA V. This one has amazing 3D graphics as well as an even larger city to visit, and it probably has so many secrets and side-quests that I’m going to forget some. Whereas Chinatown Wars put a lot of emphasis on drug deals, this one focuses on bank heists. There’s an Online version of the game, a massive multiplayer experience with factions and whatnot – but as usual, I can hardly find any interest in that. Oh, I’ll certainly talk about it later, but for now I’d like to focus on the single-player campaign. I know, I know, not everyone plays GTA for the single-player aspect, or if they do, it’s not for the Story Mode proper. Well, let me remedy to that. I can actually see Rockstar Games putting some effort into their stories for the series, and it would be a shame to miss all of that!

Join me in Los Santos. There will be crimes, there will be heists, there will be backstabbing. And, because we aim for every crime, get ready for a lot of jaywalking. And gunfight murders. And loitering. And car-stealing. We are falling into a life of crime again!

And of course, be aware that I’m spoiling the Hell out of this entire game, from start to finish.

February 6, 2018

Update: GTA V review delayed a week

Okay, so... I'm sorry to say this, but for the first time in forever, I actually have to delay a review.

In my defense, it's GTA V, a game so humongous I need 6 parts to talk about it. A game so big, I kept getting side-tracked by the additional quests. It's all a testament to how good that game is, that even if my entire reason for reviewing it now is so I can delete it later, I actually don't want to delete it anymore.

So yeah, my opinion of it is going to be pretty positive in the end. Unfortunately, I did run into a few issues in writing.

First off, yes, playing that game took me a while. I spent at least the last four weeks playing this game as often as I could. It's dedication I've rarely had for a game - and remember, that also meant writing while playing, which obviously made it longer to beat the story mode.

Even now, as I have started writing Part 6, I am still discussing the various hbbies and activities that can be done in the game. And that's before my final thoughts!

I would usually have finished that review earlier on, but a lot of real-life factors happened, too. First is work; I had some pretty hectic work weeks lately, including one in which I worked six nights in a row. That week physically exhausted me, so much that I didn't play much GTA V at all that week, nor could I work on my review all that much. My exhaustion meant sleeping during the day to recover for the night of work (which is normal), but also a two-hour nap in the evening too, severely limiting my free time. The past week and the current one gave me much more free time, so I got a lot of progress done there. But not enough, because...

Then the flu happened. Freaking flu, man. I believed I had some luck for once and had narrowly escaped it. Nope! It caught me. And over the 4 free days I had, I spent as much time playing as I could, but my time was otherwise limited to sleeping to recover from the flu, painfully sneezing because of the flu, and taking whatever medication I could. Thankfully, I'm recovering now, but I still need some more rest (which I can't entirely get, because I gotta work in spite of my illness... yay.)

I normally try to have a review ready at least a week ahead of time (the comfortable period is 3-4 weeks ahead of time, since the final edit can take a full week, spell-checking the whole thing and adding images from footage I now record thanks to OBS). I don't even know if I can complete Part 6 by Friday, so...

Yeah, I'm taking an extra week to get things done. Sorry about that.

(Boy, I sure hope I won't have to resort to that when I write my review for the fifth anniversary...)

February 2, 2018

Top 12 Fourth Wall Breaks in Sonic Boom

For a while I’ve wanted to make something more special as a Top 12. It’s been six months since I last discussed Sonic Boom, and Season 2 has had a satisfying 2-part finale. I’ve wanted to make a list about the Sonic series, but I couldn’t find any ideas. I thought about a list of best secondary characters, but the definition of a “secondary character” is pretty elastic from a Sonic game to another – anyone aside from Sonic could count. So, I settled again on what I knew. And what do I know? Sonic Boom.

"I don't get it. We followed the instructions, we did everything required,
we even gave fans what they wanted. And Sonic Forces only got a 57
on Metacritic?"
"Maybe we should try the Mania route again."
"I told you that Infinite guy was a bad idea!"
"Of course it only got a 57. It didn't have enough chili dogs."

As I said time and time again, the Sonic Boom TV show is one of the more impressive tour de force achieved by the franchise. The games associated to the Boom sub-series weren’t too great, and even the current new Sonic games (aside from Sonic Mania) have received lukewarm reception at best. That’s a shame too, because I had high hopes for Sonic Forces. However, the current TV series goes on, undisturbed, with brilliant writing and tons of great ideas. Partway into the first season, the show started breaking the fourth wall more and more. By this point, they aren’t just breaking the fourth wall. They’re punching through it, blowing it up with dynamite, carrying all the remains into an empty field and dropping an A-bomb on it, just to be sure that it’s obliterated for good. And there’s Deadpool on the sidelines, looking at his Adventure Time watch and going “Come on guys, leave some for me!”

There are plenty of ways to break the fourth wall: Address directly the viewer, have the characters acknowledge that they’re in a work of fiction, reference the grander scale of the franchise (if any). The Sonic franchise can even go a step further since, as a long-running franchise that has been going on for over 25 years now, it has gathered a gigantic fanbase (of which the quality is… um… variable) and that fanbase has contributed with fan works and memes, which are all elements that a fourth wall-breaking joke can pick from.

Sonic Boom has broken the fourth wall so often, I could make two lists like this one. But I’ll do only one, because we really don't need more, no matter how many seasons this show ends up having. I could do a Top 12 Sonic Boom episodes, but I feel like I’d be cutting out tons of episodes that I also love. Sure, I could instead do a Top 24 list split over two articles… but that would still be a lot of work. Have the current list where I explore the many ways that a show can break the fourth wall, and many great examples from a single show (and, on a rare few occasions, the games).

Only one rule: Each episode must make the list only once, because many episodes feature multiple noteworthy instances of fourth wall breakage.