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ups: Durable cord ideal for swinging controller around head, which is more fun than actually playing the game.
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Sonic Blast (phemy)
game: Sonic Blast
one star
posted by: Tristan Mayshark
publisher: TechnoSource
developer: Sega
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date posted: 12:25 AM Sun Feb 19th, 2006
last revision: 12:25 AM Sun Feb 19th, 2006

Click to read.TechoSource makes a variety of handheld games and devices that connect to your TV. One of them is \"Sonic Blast\", an orange and blue controller that hardly resembles a Sega Genesis controller.

I was immediatly skeptical, as the box offered \"15 levels + bonus stages\", and appeared to depict screens from numerous different Sonic games. My skepticsm was justified. As soon as I opened the box, I realized that any similarity to a Genesis controller was only cosmetic - Sonic Blast\'s controller is cheaply made, feels flimsy and is awkward to hold.

Connecting the device to the TV is straightforward enough, and once I slapped 3 AA batteries in the back and turned it on, I was greeted with a very low resolution splash screen, which allowed me to play as either Sonic or Knuckles. I\'m not sure if Sonic Blast is actually in a lower resolution than the Genesis, but I suspect it is - it does not even come close to filling my TV screen, there is a large black border around the game area.

Resolution problems are not limited to the splash screen. The entire \'game\' (if the term even applies, as this truly as a semi random transversal of various levels from Genesis Sonic titles) looks substantially worse than any Sonic game made during the late 80s or 90s. In fact, this looks worse than most Master System games I can recall. Remember all that amazing parallax from Sonic that gave the backgrounds unprecedented depth? That\'s all gone, and we\'re left with a single-rate background.

The \'bonus levels\' do not appear to me to be out of any previous Sonic game - they are similar to the 3d bonus levels from Sonic 2, but are flat and slow, and of course do not look as good.

The sound effects from the original game survived mostly intact, but they sound tinny and distorted compared to Sonic the Hedgehog for Genesis emulated on the XBox. And ultimately that is the bottom line: Sonic Blast is so inferior to any other version of Sonic currently available, that it is not worthwhile to spend time with even if it is free. It is not a good gift for a child because even the smallest or slowest children will quickly realize it is simply no fun to play.

On the positive side, Sonic Blast may not pose much of a hazard for the unwary gamer, because you\'re probably not going to be faced with a chance to buy it. I say this because I cannot find a place to buy this product. Amazon.com has never heard of it, nor has Froogle. TechoSource\'s webpage claims that Toys \'R\' Us and Wal*Mart are both distributors, but I can\'t find any mention of the product.

In recent years we\'ve seen several very good plug-and-play devices that emulate classic home consoles and arcade games ranging from the Commodore 64 to the Sega Genesis. For nearly the same price, one could buy a Sega Genesis plug-and-play game with two different Sonic franchise games (real titles actually released by Sega, not cut-up samples of watered-down Sonic) in addition to a half-dozen other classic Genesis titles. Even for parents who want a quick and cheap fix for their kids\' gaming habit, Sonic Blast is not worth the heartache.

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