The Mezunian

Die Positivität ist das Opium des Volkes, aber der Spott ist das Opium der Verrückten

A Nostalgic Look @ Sonic 3D Blast

Or, as it’s called in Europe: Sonic 3D: Flickies’ Island.

Since I’ve been talking ’bout ol’ Game Boy Advance, I might as well write ’bout the other games for which I have strange nostalgic stories.

Though my family had a Genesis, we only had a few games, & only 1 o’ which I cared ’bout & involved Sonic: Sonic 3D Blast. As strange as it’ll sound, this was the only Sonic game I’d played or known ’bout for a while, till playing Sonic 3 a few years later. I didn’t play any o’ the other ol’ Sonic games till I was a young teen, on some GameCube collection.

‘Cause o’ this, this game has still been rather embedded in my mind as the iconic Sonic game; & in particular, the “Green Grove Zone Act 1” song is to me the prime Sonic song, not the forgettable “Green Hill Zone.”1 But in truth, just ’bout every song in this game makes me ooze with nostalgia.

Seriously, the 1st 30 seconds o’ this video encapsulates a huge part o’ my childhood. Also, look @ the rest o’ that video to see some fine cutscene animation. That shit’s Pixar-quality.

So, having grown up adoring this game as a kid, I was surprised when I saw so many people on the internet not like this game so much—in fact, thinking this game is shit & blaming it for all the embarrassing lameness, furry fetishes, & shoddy sprite comics that apparently later plagued the series.

Here are just a few review headlines from GameFaqs:

  • You could’ve worked on a real 3D Sonic game instead, Sega.
  • Not a blast. Not 3D. Not really even Sonic. What the hell is it?
  • Close, but no Cough Drop [ed: ¿What the fuck does that mean?]
  • Not quite a blast – more a snap, crackle and pop
  • Where the franchise first jumped the shark – in glorious “3D”
  • It’s okay, but not up to the usual standard
  • I guess Sonic Isometric Blast was not catchy enough [ed: this is a good point, to be fair]
  • The most ridiculously average game I will ever play.
  • A Mediocre Effort From Sonic Team and Traveller’s Tales
  • Play it for the bosses. The rest sucks.
  • Picking up birds isn’t fun in this game.. [sic]
  • A great game, if you like headaches
  • The Controls Suck
  • Mediocrity never tasted so bland

There’s e’en a hack o’ this game that lets you remove the Flickies, whom you need to collect from defeated enemies to go through checkpoints & exits in the normal game. ¿Why? That’s the whole point: without the Flickies, it’s just a lame straightforward line to the exit, with no challenge @ all.

This ‘splains why I liked Sonic 3D Blast mo’ than Sonic fans. Sonic fans apparently despise exploration—or anything that gets in the way o’ going in the straight line. This game’s also much slower than the 2D games, which does sort o’ go gainst the main gimmick o’ the series. Granted, I quite like being able to tell where I’m going, so I didn’t mind that too much. Also, to be fair, the 1st Sonic the Hedgehog game had quite a few slow platforming sections, too. I mean, it wasn’t as if “Labyrinth Zone” was a rocket race. That level also had obnoxious music that droned on for the million minutes you had to spend in it—fuck that level.

Looking back, Sonic 3D Blast is mo’ like a mediocre Mario game than a Sonic game, which is why I rather liked it as a kid, since I always preferred Mario to Sonic. That said, I’ll admit it hasn’t aged well. While the game’s not so fast, Sonic’s movements still are, which makes him feel slippery & hard to control, ‘specially if you’re used to Mario’s steadier controls. (‘Gain, to be fair, the 1st Sonic the Hedgehog game had this exact problem). The isometrics mixed with these controls make actual platforming sections a huge pain in the ass.

But I still stand by this game’s soundtrack is some o’ the best Sonic music e’er—2nd only to maybe the Japanese soundtrack for Sonic CD.

Recommendations:

I’d only recommend watching a speed run o’ this game, honestly, if you don’t have any strange nostalgia for it. Otherwise, you probably won’t give a shit.


Footnotes:

1 I will defend my belief in 2 points:

  1. The composer for the Genesis version o’ Sonic 3D Blast, Jun Senoue, was much more o’ a consistent composer for Sonic games than the composer for the 1st game, Masato Nakamura.
  2. This song got a remix in Sonic Adventure (also composed by Jun Senoue), so it wasn’t as if this song was some ugly forgotten bastard child.

Posted in Video Games