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Not to be confused with Sonic the Hedgehog Blast or Sonic 3D Blast.

Sonic Blast (Gソニック G Sonikku?, lit. "G Sonic") is a video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series that was developed by Aspect and published by Sega for the Sega Game Gear. It was released on 12 December 1996 in North America and a day later in Japan,[1] along with being ported to the Sega Master System in Brazil a year later. Sonic Blast was the last Sonic game for the Game Gear.[4]

In Sonic Blast, Sonic teams up with Knuckles the Echidna in order to explore South Island and find the scattered fragments of a Chaos Emerald, that was shattered by Dr. Robotnik, before the doctor does. The pair must also destroy Robotnik's latest fortress: the Silver Castle.

Plot

Spoiler warning: Plot, ending details or any kind of information follow.

Sonic seeing the Chaos Emerald being shattered.

South Island is a peaceful island that is protected by mysterious stones known as the Chaos Emeralds. One day, renowned resident hero Sonic the Hedgehog is resting in a hammock with a Chaos Emerald in his hand. Suddenly however, the Emerald starts to shine with a blinding light that wakes up Sonic. In front of Sonic's eyes, the Chaos Emerald continues to glow stronger and more intense, until it eventually breaks down and shatters itself into five smaller pieces that fly away.[5]

Sonic is initially stunned from what he has just seen. Then, he hears a familiar laughter from above him, which he realizes is Dr. Robotnik. Sonic curses the doctor, but Robotnik dismisses him. He gloats that he had planned to zap Sonic with a laser beam, but he missed him and hit the Chaos Emerald instead. He then continues, saying that though he was surprised by the results, he is nonetheless going to take advantage of it by building a new stronghold on South Island called the Silver Castle, then find the pieces of the Chaos Emerald. Robotnik leaves in a good mood, confident that he has finally defeated Sonic. After that, Knuckles, who had seen all of this, appears from behind a palm tree. Unwilling to leave Sonic do all the job alone, the echidna teams up with him to find the shards of the Chaos Emerald and thwart Robotnik's ambitions.[6]

Sonic and Knuckles proceed to travel across the various Zones of South Island, destroying Robotnik's various contraptions along the way while hunting the Chaos Emerald shards. Eventually, they enter the, now finished, Silver Castle and have a final showdown with Dr. Robotnik in his new vehicle. After that, the game's ending will depend on the player's process:

  • If the player has not managed to gather the five shards of the Chaos Emerald, the Silver Castle will fall into the sea while Sonic/Knuckles watches from South Island. Robotnik will then fly away before his fortress is sunk.
  • If the player manages to get the five shards of the Chaos Emerald, they will have a definitive battle against Dr. Robotnik after defeating the Silver Castle Zone's boss. After defeating it, the ending will be the same, except that Robotnik will not escape and Sonic/Knuckles will juggle around the pieces of the Emerald with his left hand.

Characters

Image Character Description
Sonic 47.png Sonic the Hedgehog The hero of South Island. He's the world's fastest sound-speed hedgehog who protects the peace by thwarting every evil scheme of Dr. Robotnik.[7]
This time, he'll face off against Dr. Robotnik for the Chaos Emeralds.[7]
Knuckles in Sonic Blast.png Knuckles the Echidna Sonic's rival, the flying echidna.[7]
When he finds out that the Chaos Emeralds are in danger, he decides that he can't leave it to Sonic.[7]
But in truth, his goal is to punish Dr. Robotnik, not the Chaos Emeralds.[7]
Eggman in Sonic Blast.png Doctor Robotnik He's the world's greatest super-genius scientist! But he's also the world's most evil man.[8]
He's the most vindictive in the world! But he's also the world's worst screw-up.[8]
This time, he's going to beat Sonic to a pulp! But this time, he's going to get beaten up by Sonic again.[8]

Gameplay

Sonic in Blue Marine Zone.

Sonic Blast is a 2D side-scrolling platform video game, which plays similar to past 2D Sonic games. In this game, the player takes control of either Sonic or Knuckles, each with their own abilities: Sonic is able to perform the Sonic Boost Blast to gain extra height in midair, while Knuckles can glide and climb walls.

The main objective for each character in the game is to pass through five Zones, each divided into three Acts with a boss fight at the end of the third. The Zones have multiple routes to the goal along with many secret locations to be discovered by the player though the use of the characters' abilities. To finish an Act, the player has to spin a Bonus Plate at the goal or defeat a boss.

In gameplay, Rings appear scattered through the Acts. The number of Rings the player carries is indicated in the top left corner of the HUD. Like in past games, they serve as the player's main method of protection from harm; if the playable character is hurt while they carry at least one Ring, the player will survive, though they will lose ten Rings. Receiving damage while not having any Rings will cost the player a Life. The player can also lose a Life if they drown or get crushed. After losing a Life, the playable character will respawn at the start of the Act. If the player runs out of Lives, they will get a Game Over. Extra Lives can be obtained by breaking Extra Life TVs,[9] collecting one-hundred Rings, running through the Bonus Plate, and in the first Special Stage Acts. Up to nine Lives can be carried at once.

Knuckles in Red Volcano Zone.

The secondary objective in the game is to collect the five Chaos Emerald shards. This can be done by entering a Big Ring in the second Acts of the Zones and completing the Special Stage that follows. Only one Big Ring can be found per Act. Getting all five shards will not modify gameplay, although it will unlock a secret boss that will lead to the good ending cinematic if the player defeats it.

Scoring system

Main article: Point#Sonic Blast

Controls

Button formation Movement
Game Gear Master System Sonic-Icon-Sonic-Blast.png Sonic KTE-Icon-Sonic-Blast.png Knuckles
Controlpadds.png left/right Walk/Run
Controlpadds.png up Look up
Controlpadds.png down Look down/Crouch
Controlpadds.png left/right + down Spin
Game Gear I Button.png/Game Gear II Button.png Spin Jump
Controlpadds.png down + Game Gear I Button.png/Game Gear II Button.png Sonic Spin Dash[10]
Game Gear I Button.png/Game Gear II Button.png (midair) Sonic Boost Blast[10] Knuckles Sliding Attack[10]
Controlpadds.png up/down (on wall) N/A Climb
START Game Gear I Button.png Pause

Objects

Items

Gimmicks and obstacles

Bonus Plate rewards

Like in previous 8-bit Sonic games, a Bonus Plate appears at the end of the first two Acts and will grant different bonuses when they stop spinning after the player passes them.

Icon Name Reward
Gsign-Sonic.png
Sonic Plate (ソニックプレート[11] Sonikku Purēto?) Extra Life (Sonic)
30 Rings (Knuckles)
Gsign-Knuckles.png
Knuckles Plate (ナックルズプレート[11] Nakkuruzu Purēto?) Extra Life (Knuckles)
30 Rings (Sonic)
Gsign-Emerald.png
Emerald Plate (エメラルドプレート[11] Emerarudo Purēto?) Continue
Gsign-SuperSonic.png
Super Sonic Plate (スーパーソニックプレート[11] Sūpā Sonikku Purēto?) Extra Life +
30 Rings
Gsign-ring.png
10 Ring Plate (10リングプレート[11] 10 Ringu Purēto?) 10 Rings
Gsign-Eggman.png
Eggman Plate (エッグマンプレート[11] Eggumanpurēto?) Nothing

Characters

Playable characters

Non-playable characters

Enemies

Bosses

  1. Green Hill Zone boss
  2. Yellow Desert Zone boss
  3. Red Volcano Zone boss
  4. Blue Marine Zone boss
  5. Silver Castle Zone boss
  6. Final boss (extra boss)

Zones

  1. Green Hill Zone
  2. Yellow Desert Zone
  3. Red Volcano Zone
  4. Blue Marine Zone
  5. Silver Castle Zone

Special Stage

Sonic in a Special Stage.

Special Stages are a set of ten different extra levels from which the player can get rewards. These stages can be accessed through hidden Big Rings in the first two Acts of the Zones. In Act 1, completing Special Stages will grant the player an Extra Life, while completing those in Act 2 will give them a Chaos Emerald shard.

In the Special Stages, the playable character will run forward through a checkered area. The player cannot stop their character from moving forward, though they can move them left and right and make them jump. To complete a Special Stage, the player has to collect a certain amount of Rings. After either completing or losing a Special Stage, the player will be taken back to the normal Act, where they will be able to continue as normal.

Reception

 Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
Nintendo Life 6/10 (3DS)[12]
Digitally Downloaded 2/5 stars (3DS)[13]
Jeuxvideo.com 9/20 (3DS)[14]
Pocket Gamer 3.5/5 stars (3DS)[15]

Sonic Blast received mixed reception at the time of its release, although retrospective commentary has been far more negative. Nintendo World Report summarized the game as "a step back" from previous Game Gear Sonic titles, due to what they called "the attempt at aping Donkey Kong Country's pre-rendered sprites on a handheld".[16]

Most critics disliked the graphics, some even claiming they ruined the game.[14][13] Digitally Downloaded stated the visuals were more distracting than impressive, writing they hampered the fluidity of the gameplay and prevented the use of elements they considered integral to the series.[13] Nintendo Life thought the game aged badly when compared to the other Sonic 8-bit entries, citing "muddy colours and shaky animation",[12] and USgamer said the character graphics were too big, especially for the Game Gear's small screen.[17] Jeuxvideo.com found the character animations poor and noted the gameplay limitations they caused.[14] Despite their mostly negative reaction to the graphics, many critics did acknowledge that the visuals were impressive when considering the limitations of the Game Gear.[14][13] Pocket Gamer noted that prior to the game's release, "the capabilities of [the Game Gear] had seemingly been fully explored"; they wrote while they offered some compromises, the visuals made the game stand out.[15]

Sonic Blast has been called one of the worst games in the Sonic series.[16][17] Nintendo World Report exclaimed the game "should be avoided at all costs",[16] and Retro Gamer stated that the game's title screen was its only redeeming quality.[18] USgamer wrote it was "an unpleasant end to the Game Gear" and attributed its shortcomings to the system's discontinuation.[17] Complex declared it "the worst handheld Sonic game ever" and said "thank God they didn't attempt the '3D' aspect of its 16-bit older brother."[19]

Re-releases

In 2005, Sonic Blast was released as a plug-and-play console by Techno Source, entitled Sonic Blast.

Sonic Blast was re-released in later Sonic compilations, including Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut and Sonic Mega Collection Plus, along with there being an unlockable demo of the game's ending in Sonic Gems Collection. Sonic Blast was released on the Nintendo 3DS's Virtual Console in North America on 20 June 2013.[2][4]

Staff

  • Producer: Hiroshi Aso
  • Director: Ryushin Hamada
  • Planner: Katsunori Murakami, Hiroaki Suzuki
  • Map design: Akira Okamoto, Ken Sasaki
  • Chief programmer: Toshiaki Araki
  • Programmer: Yoshiaki Makishima
  • Chief designer: Fumikazu Sugawara
  • Designer: Taro Murayama
  • Sound composer: Kojiro Mikusa
  • Special thanks: Kazuyuki Oikawa, Aspect, All Staff

Trivia

  • The name of the game's five Zones each begin with a color: green, yellow, red, blue, and silver, respectively). These colors relate to the Chaos Emerald piece found in the given Zone.
  • The Bonus Plate featuring Super Sonic is the latter's only appearance in an 8-bit System Sonic title, even though Sonic himself cannot transform in the game.
  • Due to the game's large ROM size, it will not work on early Master System models.
  • The international logo for Sonic Blast is very similar to that of Sonic 3D Blast.
The unused Super Peel Out-like animation.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 G Sonic (Japanese). Sega (JP). Archived from the original on 14 June 2012. Retrieved on 24 February 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sonic Blast. Nintendo (US). Archived from the original on 23 June 2013. Retrieved on 24 February 2022.
  3. Sonic Blast (French). Nintendo (FR). Archived from the original on 10 August 2019. Retrieved on 24 February 2022.
  4. 4.0 4.1 G Sonic. The Green Hill Zone. Retrieved on 23 April 2018.
  5. G Sonic (Sega Game Gear) Japanese instruction booklet, pgs. 4-5.
  6. G Sonic (Sega Game Gear) Japanese instruction booklet, pgs. 6-7.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 G Sonic (Sega Game Gear) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 9.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 G Sonic (Sega Game Gear) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 20.
  9. Sonic Blast (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction booklet, pg. 12.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Sonic Blast (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction booklet, pg. 5.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 G Sonic (Sega Game Gear) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 17.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Newton, James (25 June 2012). Sonic Blast Review. Nintendo Life. Retrieved on 23 April 2018.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 A., Clark (14 August 2013). Review: Sonic Blast (3DS). Digitally Downloaded. Retrieved on 23 April 2018.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Sire, Godefroy (11 June 2017). Test du jeu Oldies : Sonic Blast, un episode pas si indispensible que ca (French). Jeuxvideo.com. Retrieved on 23 April 2018.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Willington, Paul (18 June 2012). Sonic Blast. Pocket Gamer. Retrieved on 23 April 2018.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Ronaghan, Neal (21 June 2013). Grinding Game Gears: An Overview of Sonic's Portable Origins. Nintendo World Report. Retrieved on 23 April 2018.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 USgamer Team (18 August 2017). Gotta Go Fast: Ranking All of The Sonic The Hedgehog Games. USgamer. Retrieved on 23 April 2018.
  18. Delaney, John (28 July 2008). Sonic Blast. RetroGamer. Retrieved on 23 April 2018.
  19. Knight, Rich (16 July 2013). Ranking Every "Sonic the Hedgehog" Platformer. Complex. Retrieved on 23 April 2018. "The worst handheld Sonic game ever. It feels like such a rush job. Thank God they didn't attempt the "3D" aspect of its 16-bit older brother"

External links

Sonic the Hedgehog handheld games
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