Sonic Blast Man 2


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

"Sonic Blast Man" has an odd little history. It started off as an arcade game that made players punch a pad to defeat various enemies. The SNES version wasn't so much a port as it was an entirely different game, though it did have the arcade stages as mini-games. The SNES only sequel abandons the original concept entirely, focusing solely on the beat-em-up aspect. It works on most levels, just be prepared for a few frustrating segments.

Our heroes are the usual set, ranging from the weak but quick girl to the hulking slow guy with little speed. Sonic Blast Man sits in the middle. The other two are new additions, solid fighters and completely usable. Co-op support, so desperately needed in the first game, has been added at the sacrifice of sprite size. It's a fair trade.

The enemy has shifted and it's now all alien cyborg types, a change from the drug addicts and groupies of the original. This is where all the trouble lies. Some of these foes are just flat-out cheap, including the exploding robot monkeys (sounds good on paper though). It's nearly impossible to hit them without causing damage to yourself while others hop around the screen to avoid being hit. A fine job they do say the least.

To combat these cheap tactics, a decent array of moves is available. Carried over from the first game, the megaton blasts are high-powered shots that require two button presses to pull off. A quick knock down move is available to all characters, and in a pleasant change of pace from other genre games, it doesn't require a sacrifice of health. Of course the basic combo will take you though most of the game. These are brutal; especially Sonic Blast Man's himself.

Even though the size has changed, detail remains high. That classic over-shaded look that so many SNES excelled at is present, showing off extreme color that's easy on the eyes. Enemy combatants are less detailed for the most part, but the bosses copy the style the game is going for just fine. Animation is fair even if it won't win any awards. Flicker is completely non-existent, a major improvement.

Sound effects are standard fare and you won't really feel each hit. There's not a lot of, punch, behind these punches. The music on the other hand is great, very adventurous, especially the opening level (a theme that is repeated for the final stage).

"Sonic Blast Man 2" joins a very crowded group of games on the SNES, but it does manage to stand out. It's a little bit unique even if the gameplay is not, something this genre severely lacked before dying a slow painful death at the hands of 3-D gaming. This one is worth a play if you can track it down and in the end, it's a major improvement on the first game.


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Last updated: Monday, January 03, 2005 08:18 AM