|Series||Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Release date(s)||Game Gear
Sonic Blast is a video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series developed by Aspect and published by Sega for the Game Gear. It was released on December 12, 1996 in North America and in Japan a day later as G Sonic (Gソニック Jī Sonikku?), being the last first party title released for the system, and the second-last officially licensed Game Gear title (preceding 1997's The Lost World: Jurassic Park). It was later released in Europe in 1996.
While this game was released in conjunction with the similarly named Sonic 3D Blast in North America, the games have little in common. No enemies, levels, or bosses are shared between them. The story is also completely different; Sonic and Knuckles join together to collect five of the Chaos Emeralds and confront Eggman at Silver Castle.
Unlike its pseudo-3D counterpart, Sonic Blast for Game Gear was a side-scrolling run and jump platform game. It was the last new Sonic the Hedgehog game released for the Sega handheld, and sported some of the most advanced features of the 8-bit series (although it was not very well received).
The two playable characters in the game are Sonic the Hedgehog and Knuckles the Echidna. The object of the game is to collect five Chaos Emeralds, in stages visually similar to the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 special stages, but instead require Sonic and Knuckles to collect rings as in Sonic the Hedgehog 2's special stages. 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 3, special stages are entered through large rings hidden in the regular stages.
Much like Sonic Triple Trouble, when the player is hit by an enemy, he only loses some of his 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 electric shield in Sonic 3. Knuckles's abilities are his standard climbing and gliding, as seen in Sonic and Knuckles.
A prominent feature of this game was its pre-rendered graphics, which had become popular in Nintendo's 16-bit hit Donkey Kong Country. The rendered graphics give the game a more advanced look than most other 8-bit games. The character graphics also took up a bigger portion of the screen.
|This section requires expansion. (February 2012)|
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" however 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."