RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Jan 30th 2009 at 07:45:35 AM by (Nionel)
Posted under Review, Genesis, Sonic

Sonic 3D Blast, also known as Sonic 3D: Flicky's Island, was released for the Sega Genesis in November 1996. In this game, Dr. Robotnik has discovered birds called Flickys, these birds are from a different dimension and have the ability to travel to different areas through large rings. Robotnik decides to turn the Flickys into robots and use these abilities to help him find the Chaos Emeralds so he can use their power to conquer the world. Later Sonic arrives on Flicky Island and is shocked to find that all the Flickys have been turned into robots, he then decides that he must stop Robotnik and rescue the Flickys.



The gameplay is 2D but uses and isometric view to give the game a more 3D feel, the core gameplay is similar to your standard Sonic title with Sonic collecting rings and defeating enemies as you make your way through the games seven zones. Different from the previous entries in the series, each act is broken down into two to three areas, each requiring you to rescue five Flickys from the enemies in each area to progress, this of course affects the difficulty of the game because each level only contains ten to fifteen enemies, with the exception of the final level, this leaves the game feeling repetitive since all the levels are essentially the same just with a slightly different layout and visuals. Tails and Knuckles appear in the first two acts of each zone, with the third act consisting only of a boss fight similar to Sonic CD, and when you give either of them fifty rings they will send you to their special stage, the special stages are identical with the exception of the background. The special stages are similar to the Sonic 2 special stages except that you are on a rope bridge instead of in a half pipe, the stages consist of three check points where you must have 50 rings by the first check points, 100 by the second, and 150 by the third, this is made very due to the fact that you only have to dodge spiked balls to keep from losing rings and the number of rings in each special stage is so great that it is not uncommon to have 150 rings by the time you get the to second checkpoint, making this one of the easiest games to acquire all seven emeralds. Super Sonic is absent from this game, as gathering all of the emeralds allows you to face the final boss and see the true ending. The controls aren't the worst I've seen, though controlling Sonic on the isometric field is trying with only a d-pad, this view also means that Sonic is unable to crouch in this game so doing a Spin Dash requires you to press and hold the B button. Another change to this game from its predecessors is the speed, this game isn't very fast for a Sonic game, even when you have the speed sneakers the game just doesn't have that feel of Sonic's trademark speed, which could be another reason for the absence of Super Sonic.

The graphics in this game use a rendered style for the sprites, similar to Donkey Country on the Super Nintendo, and make for some of the better visuals on the Genesis, though at the same time the special stages really show the consoles age and that it was never really meant to pull off 3D. The game's rendered opening and opening cutscene are still impressive for the Genesis, even if they're nothing special by modern standards.

The Sonic games always were known for bringing out the best of the Genesis' limited sound capabilities, and this game is no exception. The music in the game, while not the best in the series, still some great songs and has a wide array with multiple boss themes and each act of a zone having its own remix of that zone's theme, Sega was no slouch in the sound department and the game is a good example of that.

It's worth mentioning that this game was developed by Traveler's Tales, as opposed to Sonic Team, but even with that in mind, Sonic 3D Blast remains one of the series' weaker outings on the Genesis. It's short, repetitive and the difficulty seems more like it was designed with new players in mind. All things considered, game is still worth at playing through if you're a Sonic fan though, and while I won't recommend picking the game up by itself, unless you're a collector, it is included on the Sonic Mega Collection and the upcoming Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection. Ports of the game were also released for the Saturn and PC, and while I have heard the Saturn version is the better of the three, I have yet to play it myself, but expect either a comparison or a mini-review on that version once I have had the chance to play it.

Gameplay - 5
Slow repetitive gameplay, easy difficulty, and less than stellar controls all lend to make
a sub par Sonic game, and while this isn't the worst game in the series, it's no where near the top.

Graphics - 7
The game sports some of the best visuals on the console, but the attempts at 3D really show the consoles age.

Music - 8
Sega really knows how to get the best out of the Genesis when it comes to sound, and this game is no exception.

Overall - 6.5


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Comments
 
My least favorite Sonic game to date, I cannot STAND this piece of, well, shit... Tongue
 
If you get used to the isometric view and the controls that are meant to compliment them, then gameplay isn't extremely horrible but it still hinders the fun in gameplay by a margin. It does get tiring looking around for birds. If the goal was simply to get to the end of the level, then it would have just make things better, less tiring, and repetetive. Sonic Team relied on visuals to capture the audience and this game just isn't comprable to that of the glorious Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. I wouldn't say this is the worst. I like the music though. Sega never seems to fail in that department. Classic tunes on both the Genesis and Saturn variations.
 
I meant Travellers Tales, not Sonic Team :X

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