Sonic 3D Blast is next to the best Sonic game on the Saturn.

User Rating: 8 | Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island SAT
After Sonic Xtreme was rudely canceled, gamers were still waiting for that Saturn system seller that they hoped would be Sonic's first 3D adventure. Instead, what they got was a port of a Genesis game that wasn't really 3D, but also not 2D. While it didn't satisfy the majority of gamers back then, Sonic 3D Blast on the Saturn is an excellent port and is worth playing.

If you played the Genesis version, you'll know what to expect here. Sonic 3D Blast is setup like a 3D game, but it's presentation is more 2.5D. Sonic explores a variety of worlds that he can roam around in freely from a semi top-down perspective. Each world consists of two levels and a boss fight. You will find some power-ups in each level like shields, extra lives, and invincibility. Although there are loop-dee-loops and speed-up power-ups, the game plays at an overall slow pace.

In each level, the main goal is to.....rescue birds? That's right. There are enemies scattered throughout the level, each holding a bird called a Flicky. You have to jump on these enemies to make them release the bird, and you'll then have to touch them so that they fly behind you and follow. If you get touched by an enemy, they will scatter about and you'll have to collect them again. When you've rescued every bird in the level, you will have to take them to a giant ring which serves as the level "gate" to the next level. You will jump onto this giant ring and all the flickies will vanish into the ring, which will open up the hole to transport you to the next level. This is how the entire game is played.

Of course, what's a Sonic game without rings. Rings serve their same purpose as in every Sonic game: As long as you have one ring, you can take one hit. Take a hit with no rings, and you lose a life. If you collect 50 rings and locate Tails or Knuckles in a level, you'll be able to play a bonus stage which has Sonic running through a half-pipe-looking course, collecting more rings. You'll have to collect enough rings to pass through a few gates by running along the sides of the "pipe", and later on you'll have to jump over objects or you'll lose rings. Reach the end of the bonus stage and you're rewarded with a chaos emerald.

The controls can sometimes be frustrating as controlling Sonic in a 3D environment using the D-Pad isn't very efficient or easy. Navigating around platforms and jumping using the D-Pad can cause some nasty falls.

The games graphics are naturally more colorful and polished than the Genesis version, and the bonus stages perform much better with a nice framerate. The games setup gives you a nice view of everything, and each world has a unique look and some have weather effects like snow and rain.

The game also features an excellent soundtrack, remastered from the Genesis version, that needs to be listened to by everyone. Richard Jacques did an excellent job composing the music which makes you feel all 90's nostalgic. Many of the music tracks are worth listening to on their own from your IPod as nice, relaxing tunes. You can also pop the disk into your PC and listen to them on your PC.

Overall, this game is Sonic, but it's not the Sonic everyone wanted. But if you have a Saturn, Sonic 3D Blast is your only choice for a 32-bit Sonic adventure game. The biggest thing it lacks is a save feature. But being a nice polished port with a splendid soundtrack, Sonic 3D Blast is worth playing, and it's a blast to play.

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