- This article is about the Game Gear game. For the Sega Genesis/Sega Saturn/PC game, see Sonic 3D Blast.
Sega (Game Gear version)
Toshiaki Araki (Programming), Fumikazu Sugawara (Design), Kojiro Mikusa (Sound)
ESRB: Kids to Adults
Cartridge, Digital Download
Sonic Blast is a video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series developed by Aspect and published by Sega for the Sega Game Gear. It is known as G Sonic in Japan. It was released in November of 1996 for both North American and European markets. A Japanese release followed on December 13, being the last commercial title released for the system.
The game was also ported to the Sega Master System in Brazil by TecToy and released in December 1997, making it the last game ever made for that system.
Sonic Blast was later compiled with other Sonic titles in Sonic Adventure DX and Sonic Mega Collection Plus, and a demo of its ending can be unlocked in Sonic Gems Collection. Sonic Blast was released on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console in 2012, but has not yet seen release in North America.
While this game was released at the end of 1996 in conjunction with the similarly named Sonic 3D Blast, it is worth noting that the two games have little in common. No enemies, levels, or bosses, are shared between the games. The story is also completely different. Sonic and Knuckles join together to collect five of a Chaos Emerald's pieces and confront Dr. Robotnik at Silver Castle.
It's a peaceful afternoon on South Island, and renowned resident hero Sonic the Hedgehog was enjoying a nap on his palmtree hammock. His repose is interrupted, however, by the blinding flash of a Chaos Emerald. The Emerald shattered into five different-colored pieces with an earsplitting shriek, scattering off into the distance. Suddenly, the booming laughter of Dr. Robotnik echoes above him - the villain had been aiming for Sonic with a laser beam, but struck the lone Chaos Emerald instead. Despite his error, Robotnik was pleased with the unexpected results. He impulsively wanted to use the five shards of shattered Emerald to fortify his new aerial base, the Silver Castle, which he created after he realized that the other Emeralds began to scatter away from South Island. Just as Sonic prepared to set off in search of the pieces, Knuckles the Echidna stepped out from the shade of a nearby tree, having witnessed the event. The two heroes resolve to foil Dr. Robotnik and restore the Chaos Emerald.
Unlike its pseudo-3D counterpart, Sonic Blast for the Game Gear was a side-scrolling run-and-jump platform game. It was among the last new Sonic the Hedgehog games released for the Sega handheld, and sported some of the most advanced features of the 8-bit series.
The two playable characters in the game are Sonic the Hedgehog and Knuckles the Echidna. The object of the game is to collect five pieces of a Chaos Emerald, in stages visually similar to the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Special Stages, but instead require Sonic and Knuckles to collect rings as in the Special Stages from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Emeralds can only be obtained in the second act of each level. Finishing a special stage in the first act will gain the player an extra life instead. Similar to Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Special Stages are entered through large rings hidden in the regular stages.
Much like Sonic Triple Trouble, when you get hit by enemies, you only lose some rings as opposed to all of them (in this game, 10 rings per hit). Sonic's maneuvers are similar to those in other games, but he has a special double-jump ability that allows him to reach greater heights, like with the lightning shield in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Knuckles' abilities are his standard climbing and gliding, as seen in Sonic & Knuckles.
- Eggmobile (Boomerang) - Green Hill Zone
- Prodding spear robot - Yellow Desert Zone
- Ball and chain robot - Red Volcano Zone
- Submarine - Blue Marine Zone
- Eggmobile (Laser cannon) - Silver Castle Zone
A prominent feature of this game was its rendered graphics, which had become popular in Nintendo's 16-bit hit Donkey Kong Country (also known as Super Donkey Kong). The rendered graphics give the game a more advanced look than most other 8-bit games. The character graphics also took up a big portion of the screen.
The game received mixed reviews overall. Retrocopy gave it a score of 5/10 praising its level design, music and graphics while criticising the fact that the character graphics took up a large portion of the screen and that it had slower gameplay compared to previous 8-bit Sonic titles on the Game Gear. Defunct Games gave the game a C-, stating that it offered "a much more traditional affair, the type that would probably appeal to a lot of die hard Sonic fans," but criticising the game's graphic style, sluggish controls and power-ups. They concluded their review by stating, "That's not to say that Sonic Blast can't be enjoyed, but there are definitely more enjoyable 8-bit platformers on the Game Gear."
- The name of the game's five zones each begin with a type of color (Green, Yellow, Red, Blue, and Silver respectively). These colors relate to the Chaos Emerald piece found in each zone.
- At the end of Act 1 of Blue Marine Zone, there is a checkpoint on the left, but the goal is at the right, rendering the checkpoint pointless.
- The game's storyline might imply that Knuckles quickly tossed a Chaos Emerald between the sleeping Sonic and Dr. Robotnik's laser beam to save him. As a certain game would later indicate, he's not above breaking some Emeralds to scramble the Eggman.
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