During the laborious research stage of this article, I discovered that Sonic Blast Man originated as an arcade game. This only bears mentioning because I am certain that the arcade version of this game is way, way better. How, you ask? Allow me to show you with the words I’m writing and copying and pasting from the Wikipedia entry:
The arcade version is notable for the unique set-up and controls for the game. The game consists of hitting the enemies and targets, in order to win, each target has a set a number of tons (t) of resistance. Once they are depleted, they will be defeated. To hit the target, the game features a mechanic punch pad that rises when it is time to attack, and a pair of gloves. The player must wear the gloves and with it, punch the pad strong enough to deal the damage. Only three hits are allowed.
So it’s an arcade game you have to punch. I love punching. I played an arcade game where you had to punch a target. I loved it. Already, the arcade game is better than the Final Fight rip-off SNES version. But wait! I said wait. Wait, ok? There’s more!
The stages in the game:
- A woman being assaulted by a thug.
- A baby carriage pushed in the middle of the freeway by accident, and a truck will soon run over it.
- An armed group took control of a building, which is its center of operations.
- A giant crab is terrorizing a cruise ship.
- An asteroid is set to crash into Earth.
Look at those stages. They’re brilliant in their simplicity. In the SNES version, Sonic Blast Man wanders the streets, punching thug after thug for no discernible reason other than they’re trying to punch him. His goal is simply to punch his way through all the thugs. In the arcade version, he only has to deal with one thug, and then things get serious. It already makes things feel way more super heroic!
“Take that thug! Hey lady, you ok? Great, I—oh no a baby in the freeway! I have to punch it clear of that truck! Phew, that was close. That baby really—what’s that? An armed group has taken control of a building and are using it as their centre of operations? Punches away! Man, I’m getting kind of tired of all—HOLY SHIT A GIANT CRAB ON A CRUISE SHIP THIS IS GOING TO REQUIRE A FAIRLY HARD PUNCH. Alright. Alright, there. One giant crab punched to death. Hey, why is it dark out? Huh? OH COME ON!”
Glorious. How can the SNES version ever compare to its predecessor? Quite simply, it can’t. On its own, the SNES version of Sonic Blast Man would have been a decent Final Fight beat ’em up. In the shadow of greatness, its flaws are way too apparent.
Did you think I was finished talking about how cool the arcade version of Sonic Blast Man was*? I’m not!
In March 1995 Taito recalled Sonic Blastman machines after reports of players who sustained injuries by playing the game. A year later, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that Taito had agreed to pay a fine of $50,000 (USD) for failing to disclose these injuries.
The game injured kids! Clearly the best game ever.
* Full disclosure: I never played the arcade version or even saw it. But the arcade game where I punched was fun, so I assume it was great.