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    Sonic 3D

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    Rhys the Porcupine
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    Sonic 3D

    Post by Rhys the Porcupine on Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:32 am



    Sonic 3D is an isometric platform game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It was developed in the United Kingdom by Traveller's Tales and published by Sega. The Japanese version was also Sega Saturn exclusive. The Mega Drive/Genesis version has been released on the Wii's Virtual Console service in late 2007 on the European and Japanese markets, and on November 19, 2007 for North America. The Genesis version is also available in Sonic Mega Collection for GameCube, and Sonic Mega Collection Plus for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. This game is also available as part of a collection called Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for both the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360.

    Archie Comics published a comic adaptation of the game for a 48-page special, published in January 1997. A loose adaptation of the game also appeared in issues #104-106 of Sonic the Comic.

    The North American title Sonic 3D Blast should not be confused with the game Sonic Blast for the Sega Game Gear.

    Story

    Doctor Robotnik discovered that some strange birds, called Flickies, live on an island in an alternate dimension. He learned that they can travel anywhere using large rings, so he decided to exploit them by turning them into robots to help him search for the Chaos Emeralds. One day, Sonic visited Flickies' Island and saw what Robotnik had done to them. He decided to free the Flickies and stop Robotnik from finding the Emeralds.

    Gameplay

    The game is played from an isometric viewpoint in a 2D environment and uses pre-rendered 3D sprites, displaying 2.5D graphics. Sonic must collect Flickies (first featured in the 1984 Sega arcade game Flicky) by finding and destroying Badniks located around the level, and bring them to a warp ring in order to advance in a zone. Sonic can use the Flickies he has rescued to reach items above springs to earn continues. If Sonic is hit, the Flickies and all of the rings he has collected thus far will scatter and Sonic will have to gather them up again. They will also individually scatter if they are hit separately to Sonic. Each zone consists of two regular acts and one boss act. There are 10 or 15 Flickies in each zone's regular acts, barring Panic Puppet's, while in each zone's third act the player faces Doctor Robotnik (Dr. Eggman in some regions) in one of his many machines.

    Flicky Types

    The Flickies Sonic rescues in each level come in four different colors. Each color has its own personality.

    * Blue Flickies make a conscious effort to find Sonic. If they cannot find him, they fly around in a tight circle, making them easy to locate.

    * Pink Flickies act largely like blue ones, but fly around in bigger circles if unable to find Sonic. In the Volcano Valley Zone in the Mega Drive version, the pink Flickies are replaced with bright orange, flaming Flickies, presumably due to color palette limitations.

    * Red Flickies constantly move between two close points, not making any effort to find Sonic. Their movement range is small, but they jump very high and can thus be hard to catch.

    * Green Flickies wander randomly with no interest in finding Sonic, they even sometimes appear to try to avoid Sonic.

    Chaos Emeralds

    The Chaos Emeralds seen in the Mega Drive version are emerald cut instead of the usual brilliant cut (coincidentally, the Sol Emeralds are also emerald cut).

    To warp to a bonus level where the player can try for a Chaos Emerald, either Knuckles or Tails must be located within the regular levels. When the player stands next to one of them, they will absorb all the rings he has collected. If Sonic has over fifty rings, or supplies them with fifty rings or more with multiple visits, they will take him to the special stage. Clearing the stage earns a Chaos Emerald or in the event that all emeralds have been gathered, an extra life. The Knuckles/Tails warp can only be used once each per act, but the player can give them extra rings to increase the bonus given at the end of the level.

    Collecting all 7 of the Chaos Emeralds allows the player to reach the Final Fight Zone.

    There are three different versions of the bonus levels.

    * Sega Saturn: Sonic must run down a three dimensional half-pipe covered in rings and bombs and must collect enough rings to progress to the end of each stage.
    * PC version: Sonic must run down a half-pipe similar to those in Sonic 2 and the Sega Saturn version.
    * Sega Genesis/Mega Drive: Sonic must run down a bridge, collecting rings and avoiding bombs.

    Release History and Versions

    In addition to the original Sega Mega Drive version, Sonic 3D was also available for the Sega Saturn to make up for the cancellation of Sonic X-treme, which was intended to be Saturn's killer game for the 1996 holiday season; the game was ported in seven weeks, during development of the Mega Drive version. It features FMVs, higher quality graphics (including a true 3D Special Stage) and an entirely new, CD audio soundtrack composed by Richard Jacques (who later produced the Sonic R soundtrack). A European release followed in February 1997.

    In September 1997 a port of the Saturn version was released for PC in Europe and North America, with the videos and soundtrack intact, as well as the notable addition of a save game system, but lacking some of the Saturn's effects (such as the fog in Rusty Ruins) and with a less impressive special stage that mixed the 2D sprites from the Mega Drive version with the basic 3D gameplay of the Saturn version. The Saturn version was eventually released in Japan on October 14, 1999, the same date as Sonic Adventure International.

    Only one version of the Mega Drive game was released, with the title differing depending on whether it is played on a PAL or NTSC console. In PAL regions the title is Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island, and in NTSC regions the title is Sonic 3D Blast. This caused a problem, however, when the Mega Drive version was re-released in the Sonic Mega Collection. Due to the aforementioned feature, the game is titled Sonic 3D Blast when played on a PAL 60 or NTSC-J system.

    Although the PC version's title differed between regions, its executable was titled "Sonic 3D Blast: Flickies' Island", a combination of both names. In addition, "Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island" was the title that was used for the Japanese Saturn version, but when the Mega Drive version was finally released in Japan as part of Sonic Mega Collection, its name was once again changed to "Sonic 3D Blast".

    The Japanese Saturn version has slightly improved load times compared to its PAL and NTSC-U counterparts although there are a few quirks such as the music of the first stage being delayed upon startup and some sound effects changed. The character artwork in the manual was influenced by the style later used in the Sonic Adventure games and most other subsequent character artwork for the series, though it portrayed the classical style Sonic characters in this style.

    In October 2006, a 95% complete prototype was acquired and dumped for Internet distribution.

    The game has also been released as part of the Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, released in March 2009.

    The game's most recent release has been on the PC as part of Sega's recent game releases on the Steam network as well as other digital distribution services.

    Development

    Sonic Team filled in for development of the special stage in the Saturn version of the game

    Music

    The Mega Drive/Genesis version soundtrack was composed by Tatsuyuki Maeda, Seirou Okamoto, Jun Senoue, and Masaru Setsumaru, the latter two would later write music for Sonic Adventure in 1998. Several incidental themes are reused from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, e.g. the game over and continue themes (also present in the ROM but not accessible via the sound test is the theme from those games' gumball bonus stage). Elements of this soundtrack were reused in later Senoue projects, e.g. the Sonic Adventure stage Windy Valley incorporates elements of Green Grove Zone, Special Stage and a section of the boss theme.

    The Saturn and PC versions' soundtrack was composed by Richard Jacques, and is stored as Red Book audio. This soundtrack features the song "You're My Hero" performed by Debbie Morris, which is played during the end credits.

    In addition, an unused track in the Mega Drive version of the game has been remixed as boss music in Sonic the Hedgehog 4.

    Reception

    Sonic 3D has gained mixed responses from critics and fans since its release.

    The Saturn version in particular received better reception than the Mega Drive version due to superior graphics and music, offering a solution to the control problems via the 3D Control Pad, and for restricting getting an emerald from the special stage to one per act, changing the special stages to play more like Sonic the Hedgehog 2's special stages, and for making the special stages far more difficult. Gamespot praised its graphics, soundtrack and challenging boss fights. Unfortunately, the Saturn version has also been criticized for lacking a save feature, which many people saw as an enormous oversight, and for its lengthy loading times.

    The PC version of 3D Blast received an horrendous reception, due to having worse controls and an inferior special stage, and for lacking some of the Saturn version's graphical effects. It was praised, however, for including a save feature.

    Screw Attack called Sonic 3D Blast "a 2-D overhead with a bad angle" and named it the 5th worst Sonic Game.

    I've played Sonic 3D and it was actually difficult to play. It wasn't one of Sonic's best in my opinion. Post here to leave your thoughts and opinions about Sonic 3D here.


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