Sonic Blastman (ソニックブラストマン) is a video game franchise by Taito starred by the titular superhero, Sonic Blastman. The game originally started as an arcade game, but eventually made its way to the Super NES, with much different gameplay. Both versions received a sequel.
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.
The game features five stages. Within each stage, there are fairly typical scenarios that most super heroes encounter. Each level is progressive in terms of difficulty.
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.
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.
Super NES version
The Super NES version is a beat 'em up. In this version Sonic Blastman must save the Earth from diverse kinds of evil forces, from street gangs and terrorists, to aliens and robots and finally, an evil clone of himself. The fight starts on a construction site in Earth and ends up in outer space.
The game is only for one player. As in any beat 'em up, the game consists of defeating the enemies on screen before continuing in the stage. Sonic Blastman can punch, jump, and grab his enemies, too. He also uses a special attack that knocks any enemy nearby, but it reduces some of his energy and dizzies him temporally. Another particular feature is the way Sonic Blastman holds his enemies: When he approaches his enemies, the is able to grab them in order to shake them and throw them back from him, or unleash a series of punches. However, if he punches repeatedly them, he will eventually hold them, so that he can blast them with a sonic wave, hit them with a whirlwind punch or throw them backwards. All of this throwing effects depend on the direction the d-pad is pressed when pressing the punch button. His most powerful attack is his D. Punch, which must be charged with a certain button, which can be discharged, and then punch. The D. Punch is limited.
The bonus levels are an adaption of the arcade version. The major difference is that since there is no punch pad, the player must charge strength by rotating repeatedly the d-pad.
Like with most beat 'em-ups of the era, the Japanese version had female enemies which were replaced by male ones in the American and European versions, mostly because of Nintendo of America's strict censorship issues at the time.
Both games received a sequel. The arcade sequel is similar to the original game, but with new levels and was only released in Japan and Europe.
The Super NES sequel, entitled Sonic Blastman II, plays similarly to its predecessor, as well, and adds more options, such as new playable characters, two-player modes, among others.