Sonic Blast was one of the more ambitious outings for the blue blur when it initially released on the Game Gear. Though a handful of other titles such as Donkey Kong Land previously attempted to bring pre-rendered visuals to underpowered portable handhelds, Blast did so with actual color at its disposal. Aspect and Sega deserve some credit for attempting to add a twist to the comparatively routine aesthetics of Sonic’s other outings on the handheld.
Playing the title on the 3DS today, however, only reveals the general lack of polish that was perhaps defensible in 1996. The pixelated sheen given off by pseudo-3D Sonic and his world is not particularly dazzling and much less so on the expanded screen of a 3DS (never mind the XL model). Even tapping into the Virtual Console functions to restore the game’s native resolution reveals the artistic design is decidedly dated. While not game-ruining and certainly not as poor as some have claimed, the game in motion often looks and feels disconcerting.