A satisfying experience.

Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Adventure/ Platform

When the news first broke that Sonic X-Treme got put on hold and Sonic 3D Blast was its replacement, I had to wonder. Would Blast for Saturn be nothing more than a game to tide us over until while we wait?

Well, the best answer would be yes and no. While the gameplay is identical to the Genesis version, this is by no means, a hack job.

The graphics are much better looking than the 16-bit version, with detailed textures, even if they're 2D. The isometric perspective doesn't shift, so it's the sprite capabilities of VDP1 that get taxed. Gameplay follows like a typical Sonic game, except you get left-right movement. Also, the birds that Sonic rescues makes for some interesting gameplay. Chains of birds extend your reach, and Sonic's pets can reach places where he cannot.

While the sound effects haven't changed since way back with the first Sonic, the addition of CD audio really adds to the game's presence. It adds some atmosphere to otherwise "been there, done that" gameplay.

Although different enough from the Genesis version to make it a valid Saturn title (weather effects, tilting tiles, high-res textures, analog stick control), the game doesn't have the panache or technical prowess Saturn owners have come to expect from a great Sega game. Even the 3-D bonus levels only make one pine for an early Sonic X-Treme release date. Until then, though, Sonic 3D Blast will prove a satisfying, experience.