Sonic 3D Blast - Sonic World


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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Sonic 3D Blast


Sonic 3D Blast, known in Europe as Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island, is a 1996 platform game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series for the Sega Genesis and Sega Saturn. As Sonic the Hedgehog, the player embarks on a journey to save the Flickies, birds enslaved by Doctor Robotnik. The player must guide Sonic through a series of themed levels to collect Flickies and defeat Robotnik. Though it retains game mechanics from prior Sonic games, Sonic 3D Blast is differentiated by its isometric perspective, with pre-rendered 3D models converted into sprites.

The concept for Sonic 3D Blast originated during the development of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994). Most of the programming was outsourced to the British studio Traveller's Tales, as the Japanese Sonic Team staff was preoccupied with Nights into Dreams (1996). Development lasted eight months, and the team drew inspiration from Donkey Kong Country (1994) and Sonic Labyrinth (1995). Sonic 3D Blast was developed alongside the Saturn game Sonic X-treme. When X-treme was canceled, Sega commissioned a port of 3D Blast featuring improved graphics for the Saturn.

Both versions were published by Sega in November 1996, with a Windows port released the following year. Sonic 3D Blast was the final Sonic game for the Genesis and has been rereleased through Sonic compilations and digital distribution platforms. Though commercially successful, it received mixed reviews. Criticism was directed at its isometric gameplay, controls, and pace, although the visuals and soundtrack were praised. Journalists retrospectively consider the game one of the series' worst. An unofficial director's cut version, featuring adjusted gameplay elements and improved controls, was released by the Genesis version's lead programmer, Jon Burton, in 2017.

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