Gaming of the Past: Sonic 3D Blast

For an attempt into 3D, this game brought memories, but also spawned the blue guy downhill. After the high pace of Sonic the Hedgehog 3, I am pretty sure that this was the game that tipped the Mario vs Sonic rivalry in the plumber’s favor.

fter a conspicuously long absence, that spiky blue guy has finally popped onto the Saturn. However, entering the 3-D world hasn’t changed Sonic much. He still runs pretty fast (although not nearly as fast as he did on the old Genesis platform), he still has to regain the Chaos Emeralds, and he still has to beat Dr. Robotnik by jumping on the glass dome of his spherical ship. The only real difference is that Sonic has the freedom to run in many different directions. And while the game doesn’t break any new ground from either a technological and story standpoint, it does prove to be good fun with an old-school feel.

In Sonic 3D, players must complete a task in every level. Gone are the days when Sonic would blaze through a level, leaving nothing behind but a blue streak. The 3-D hedgehog must beat five enemies (and there are only five enemies in each section, so Sonic’s main chore is finding these little guys). A defeated enemy reverts into a little bird, called a Flicky. (Score yourself an extra five points if you remember the ultra-obscure Genesis game Flicky, where these crazy birds were born.) Sonic must carry these Flickies to the giant ring at the end of the level and see them through it. Only when the task is complete can you and Sonic move on.

Tails, the two-tailed fox, and Knuckles, the Echidna, are also hiding in this game. Give them 50 rings and they’ll spirit you to a bonus stage right out of Sonic 2. The only real difference is that the Saturn has the processing power to handle these 3-D half-pipe runs properly, whereas the Genesis version is choppy and lacks color.

Sonic 3D Blast is an entertaining game. The music is great and the graphics are very colorful. But wandering around the levels looking for the last enemy gets boring very quickly. Had this game been more action oriented, with more enemies and much faster gameplay, it would have truly lived up to the Sonic name.

The gist…aside from finding enemies, the game brought a decline of speeding through each level, and that is what Sonic is all about. Mario was my chill, strategist game whereas Sonic was the whole, “I wanna run like a bat outta hell” thing. Next Sonic game should be in this direction.

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