It's not 3D, and it's far from a blast.
Game Gear owners had it rough. Not only did the handheld drain batteries quickly, but it never saw the level of support of its competitor, the Game Boy. However, the Game Gear did have its fair share of exclusives, including several Sonic the Hedgehog games. Sonic Blast, which was released at the same time as Sonic 3D Blast on Genesis, is one of them. Despite the game being a sidescroller instead of an isometric 3D platformer, it does share one major thing in common with the Genesis game: it’s not very good.
Sonic Blast’s story involves Dr. Robotnik building a floating island to do terrible experiments on, and Sonic and Knuckles have to stop him. Sonic and Knuckles’ campaigns are largely the same in terms of zones, but they both have their own abilities. Sonic can double-jump, while Knuckles has the ability to glide and climb up walls. These abilities work fine, but since the screen is zoomed in so close to your character, it’s hard to make proper use of them, since it’s difficult to see what’s coming up ahead.
Controlling both Sonic and Knuckles felt fine on land zones, but when I got to the Blue Marine Zone, three water-based levels, I was just about to give up. The game ran at half speed, controls got sluggish, and I kept getting caught in underwater currents. I am extremely thankful for the Restore Point feature of 3DS Virtual Console games, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to complete the zone.
Originally I was going to write this game off as an okay, but shallow, platformer; unfortunately, the Blue Marine Zone was what sent me over the edge. This is by far one of the worst Sonic games I’ve ever played, and should be avoided at all costs.