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Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Knuckles


Sheff

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Well, since Nintendo is oh so nice enough to put S3&K on the VC, (NOT) I decided I needed to play this game. Badly. So, I took the illegal route and got a ROM of it. (So sue me if you have any complaints.)

Aaaaaanyway, I've been playing it for the last few days with much joy, finally being able to play the combo of two games for the first time. I even managed to finally beat Sandopolis Zone, which I've never been able to do before. One problem is I'm still trying to complete Death Egg, thanks to that last boss.

Back to what the point of this topic is about, I would like to hear everyone's opinions on this game. Of course, I wasn't around when it originally was released, (born that year actually) so go ahead and express your opinions, compare it to other Sonic games, any other platformers, memories you had when you got it, etc.

After a few posts, I'll type up more of my opinions, so post away!

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Pretty much the Mario 3 of the Genesis. It took everything that made the originals great and multiplied it several times over. The levels were new and intricate and featured many new challenges. Some people consider Sonic 2 to be the greatest 2D Sonic game, but S3&K was the real deal, and felt like an adventure every time I played it, and was always an experience thanks to it's transitions between each stage. It felt like I was traveling all over Angel Island and I could almost map out the whole game on the model sprite.

It was definitely Sonic's biggest adventure that drew you in every time and immersed you in the whole experience with it's simple yet very effective plot. It was pretty much the epitome of what Sonic is all about.

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That VC also made me miss S&K so I went ahead and I played it today. Just finished Doomsday. I love it, it's my favourite Sonic game(s). I'm not that fond of 2 I prefer the first.

Edited by redmenace
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S3&K is a great game, quite possibly the best Sonic game, but as far as the fanbase is concerned I worry it's too often overrated. Too many people act as if it (or another Genesis era Sonic) is the utterly perfect interpretation of Sonic, that nothing of significance can be changed, added, or removed without making a worse game. And frankly I think that's utter horseshit.

But, that's not what this topic is about.

S3&K. 3 playable characters working from the same base gameplay style, but with their own unique quirks to make them interesting. Almost a dozen zones of (usually) two acts each, with large and well-connected layouts, and different challenges depending on your character choice (especially if you're Knuckles. I played as him recently and I had forgotten how much different his game is. It's actually very SA, in the extent that some of the levels are divided by character). Probably the most complex and interest story of the Genesis games, even though there's no dialogue and only a handful of cutscenes (though, you do have to read the Japanese manual to get the full story). Overall, a definite A+ game, one that I can continue to enjoy even more than a decade since its release.

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Still the best Sonic game.......and chances are it always will be.

Random thought, We all know the Doomsday Zone is as great as a final boss gets but how awesome was it for Knuckles final boss to be Super Metal Sonic? (or whatever that robot Sonic is called)

Edited by speedfreak
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Ah, S3&K. It's amazing how well this game stood the test of time- I never played it until Mega Collection and it's still more addictive and well done than most other titles I've played on the GCN. I agree with Diogenes that perfection is impossible, but until I see something better, this is the gold standard.

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When I played Sonic 3 with knuckles attached, and for the first time in 2003, beat it, I was like "What? No way! I go to stage one of Sonic and Knuckles from here?? Rad!" ...A bit of internet sleuthing and I found out that the games were always meant to be one. How slow I am.

But anyways. This is a really really great game, but I still prefer Sonic 1 over it. The series lost most of the surreal environment charm in this game. None of the levels had interesting designs except maybe the hidden palace... And the game just feels too easy compared to Sonic 1 too. This is were story finally started to really develop, even if you had to squint to see it. Im not sure if it's the best story in the world, but oh well.

Don't get me wrong. I still think it's one of Sonic's best games ever. I just prefer part one.

This game will never be associated with Nostalgia for me. I may have played it when I was a kid...but I played it just a few years later... and then a few years after that... Sonic Mega Collection came out, and I have had the game ever since then. I still play it some times.

Edited by Lando The Bat
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Yeah, I see where the "series lost it's surreal environment" comes from, but still there's a lot of funky looking levels, like Hidrocity, Carnival Night (which I hated as a kid and grew to love), mushroom hill and sky sanctuary. Sonic 2 had even less surreal environment, emerald hill is almost a copy of green hill, chemical plant, casino night and metropolis are probably the only ones that surreal comes to mind when playing it.

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Just finished playing Knuckles version today, and I was disappointing that I sucked pretty hard on it. I KNOW I used to be really good but just goes to show that you gotta keep up at it.

Playing some parts reminded me about how they're making games today, and they're not so different. There were some parts that made me asked why they'd program that there...things I've been saying in Heros and StH. Like one part was after I beat the 1st act boss of IceCap Zone and I didn't have any rings. I'd have to hit a spring to get to the top of a ledge and with a badnick at the top. I can avoid getting hit by the badnic but there was a falling icicle just before the next set of rings and if you moved too slow, after sneaking past the badnic it'd hit you, with a 1HitKO. I also miss how the rings in the 3D games just land around you in a nice circle. You can at least catch one before they disappear. The ones in this game scattered so far all over the place it was unfair.

But once I got into the S&K part of the full game it was easier, because those levels were MADE for Knuckles and you can get all 7 Chaos emeralds in Mushroom Hill with Knuckles, making the rest of the game a lot easier to just run through it. Made me think though that Sonic Team has been doing the same weird idea the whole time, but they had more control over 2D stuff and not be cursed by the flaws of CGI in general (which is having to deal with cameras and fall through floors). Sure Old Sonic games had these issues but the way the levels were built you could come out of those problems easier. BIG DEAL HERE> No grading system. I think I feel a lot better playing this game even after having died 5 times, not having my score get erased and then get graded with an E because of their bad programming. I mean really, I shouldn't FAIL the test because the paper kept ripping or the pencil was writing different letters then I was trying to write.

I'd say the one thing that makes this whole game the best is how complete it is. Even though Sonic 3 and S&K were released separately, they took the decision to divide the game up and give us a means to play it as a full set rather then giving us the full set in one game and do it half assed. We got TWO complete Sonic games that were ment to be connected to give us a great story. The graphics are great, the levels are unique and each character plays well.

Edited by Annie-Mae
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Yeah, I see where the "series lost it's surreal environment" comes from, but still there's a lot of funky looking levels, like Hidrocity, Carnival Night (which I hated as a kid and grew to love), mushroom hill and sky sanctuary. Sonic 2 had even less surreal environment, emerald hill is almost a copy of green hill, chemical plant, casino night and metropolis are probably the only ones that surreal comes to mind when playing it.

Don't forget Hill Top Zone.

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Overrated by the fanbase, but it is most definitely a good game and you can see that there are good reasons for this.

However, I find a lot of the stages, especially in the S&K half far too long. Sandopolis and even Lava Reef can make me lose interest after a while. I'm not sure if it's because I tend to prefer the shorter stages (Speed Highway, Starlight, Plant Kingdom, Twinkle Snow, etc) but sometimes they get a bit tedious. Nonetheless, I do love Hydrocity and Carnival Night (barrel be damned, it's easy once you know), and every level has their own level specific gimmicks. I always preferred Carnival Night to Casino Night. The fact that people put this stage down just because of the barrel is retarded.

I found all the stages to be too natural aside from like 4, I think the game would have felt rounded with another Starlight/Stardust Speedway style zone personally, but I'm a whore for highway stages :P

Special stages in Sonic 3 were fine, but the S&K ones had me tearing my hair out, they pulled some dumb shit with them. Nice concept though tbf. I get nostalgia from Sonic 3, but never played S&K until years later. I find the S&K half to be better for the story, but much more tedious to play. Sonic 3's stages are just easier to handle and don't go on for as long.

Also a thing: I've noticed that Launch Base is one of those "dividing zones" in that you either like it or you really don't. I personally thought it was a unique idea for a base, and there's a lot of speed to be offered, as well as some underwater travel, which is always nice as it isn't tedious in Sonic 3 like it was somewhat in the first 2 games (it's not too bad in CD I guess).

And the shields, god damn I love the shields, especially the bouncy water bubble one. So epic. The bosses for a change weren't bullshit easy or just boring like in the games before it (Sonic CD is an exception), and especially in S&K, the bosses really got creative in the ways to defeat them. My favourite bosses are the last 3 in Death Egg, and then Doomsday zone, where Eggman is being a persistent twat and coming at you multiple times, refusing to back down and give up the emerald, and attacking you with a GIGANTIC MECH THAT DESTROYS THE PLATFORM YOU ARE ON.

The music is pretty good, as good as the rest of the mega drive games, but I preferred CD's soundtracks. I guess I prefer the newer soundtracks mostly :P however, Hydrocity (act 1 is my favourite, but 2 is good too), Carnival Night act 2 (oddly sinister), Lava Reef act 2 (ambient as hell), Death Egg and Doomsday all have great music.

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I'm the only one who prefer the Sonic 3 part and think the Sonic and Knuckles part wasnt that good compared to Sonic 3? (levels and music except Lava Reef, that level was godly.). Not saying is bad, its still a cool game, but IMO the worst of the 4.

Anyways, I love the game, though IMO the best 2D game was CD, but I liked some of the changes, especially having a plot to follow (althoug, as Diogenes said, you need to reas the japanese manual to experience it at its fullness).

I always preferred Carnival Night to Casino Night. The fact that people put this stage down just because of the barrel is retarded.

Carnival Night is one of the most fun levels in S3&K, and is way better than Casino Night.

As for the music, I loved the new style of Sonic 3's music (with the MJ influences), but the S&K music wasnt that good (some songs were awesome, like Sky Sanctuary, Lava Reef and Doomsday, and some were bland and unnspired, like Mushroom Hill, Sandopolis, Death Egg or the new Knuckles theme).

I always loved the 2p competition songs (Chrome Gadget, Endless Mine, etc).. i think those songs should have been in the stages of S&K and not what we got.

Edited by Ferr
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I love S3&K. Overrated? Not a chance. This game is legend, and deserves to be. From the elemental shields to the 3D special stages, mini-bosses and story progression? Awesome stuff. The size of the game was perfect, and the storytelling through in game scenes is something I wish the series would've kept as they moved into 3D.

When Angel Island is set on fire by the mini-boss, the entire level changes to an orange brushfire color. You got the idea what was going on in the story. Same with Lava Reef, when the giant Death Egg lights up behind you and Eggman starts dropping missiles on you, or the whole Hidden Palace scene. Very nicely done, no cutscenes even needed.

Sonic 3's stages are just easier to handle and don't go on for as long.

Interesting that you like the Sonic 3 stages better, Semi-colon (^ and Ferr). I do too, partially due to me never having Sonic 3 on Genesis and needing to borrow it from my friend for the full experience. But in all Sonic 3 has a great opening stage which beats Mushroom Hill IMO, a water and ice level where S&K has no water at all, and Carnival Night which adds some color to the game. While the stage design feels uniform enough between the two halves, S&K always felt like it was reaching for level themes in Sandopolis. Sky Sanctuary is also pretty unconventional in its design, not that it's a bad level though.

Anyways. If a Sonic fan somehow hasn't played this, they should get out there and grab a copy. This game along with Sonic CD are what I consider the height of 2D Sonic, and should be studied. And the music. Play this game, people.

Edited by Badnikz
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Yeah, S3&K sure is the greatest Sonic game ever. If i had to choose just one of the two games it's composed of though, i would choose S3. Not that there is any consistent flaw in the S&K levels, it's just that most of the S3 levels are even better.

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I think it's extremely overrated by fans, which sort of kills any nostalgic or retro factor this game could give me. But I'll admit, for a genesis game, this really is a big game. Pushes its limitations. The art detail is impressive. Save feature is cool. Music is different for each act, which breaks up repetetiveness.

As for negatives. I don't like sonic's sprite. He just doesn't look cool. His cheeks are too cutesy, and his smile is goofy. And he's too shiny (funny, because people complain about that in heroes, but not here). Some of the levels can also be just plain hard and most of them are way too big for their own good. There's a lot of paths, but usually you have to come to a stop to do some boring platforming (the parts that have good platforming are the parts where you can perform different actions, like jumping on enemies, while still maintaining your speed.) Or spikes/enemies will pop out of no where. The levels can also get a little too clustered (Lava Reef, crap coming out of areas that blend in). The special stages blow ass. I seriously cannot see how anyone can find, walking around a disorientating sphere collecting blue stuff, fun. Everytime I see that giant ring, I avoid it like the plaque. The level Carnival Night also has disorientating graphics. I get confused everytime I play that level, because there's just way too much detail in the backgrounds. The detail is amazing, but they went too far. 2P is tacked on, but at least they put it there.

The game is better than sonic 1 & 2, but not as fun or well designed as Sonic CD, Sonic Advance 2, or Sonic Rush.

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Best game ever? Maybe not. Best Sonic game ever? Maybe.

One of the greatest platformers of all time? You bet! I love this game. So many memories are locked away in that lock-on cartridge! It needs a 3D HD remake... just 'cause... :P

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I'm the only one who prefer the Sonic 3 part and think the Sonic and Knuckles part wasnt that good compared to Sonic 3?

Carnival Night is one of the most fun levels in S3&K, and is way better than Casino Night.

Nope I too agree that S&K part wasn't special except mushroom, lava, and doomsday. And the only part of the lava stage I really like was when it was the S vs K battle that led to them teaming up. Oh I don't know how many times I repeated that level or started the game just for that level.

Who all thought super/hyper tails was a beast compared to knux hyper form? I mean I rarely died with OMEGA tails but died many times with knux just because tails' birds attacked for me and I rarely fell to my death because I was able to fly or swim. Tails' best appearance in any game! But Hyper sonic was still the best. 2x jump and a screen full of enemies are gone and you hit 1/2 speed by doing it.

Is sonic 3+k overrated? HELL NO! Is it the best sonic game? In 2d yes! (my opnion) in general? I dont know, I enjoyed that just as much as SA2B.

One of the greatest platformers of all time? You bet! I love this game. So many memories are locked away in that lock-on cartridge! It needs a 3D HD remake... just 'cause... tongue.gif

NO!! Sonic team may mess a legend up.

Edited by SHADIC360©
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I still think that Doomsday Zone is the best Sonic last boss EVAR. The music is epic, the premise is epic, AND as far as I can recall it's the last game where the final boss actually is Eggman.

'Tis how Sonic last bosses should be, damnit!

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I think it's extremely overrated by fans, which sort of kills any nostalgic or retro factor this game could give me. But I'll admit, for a genesis game, this really is a big game. Pushes its limitations. The art detail is impressive. Save feature is cool. Music is different for each act, which breaks up repetetiveness.

Some of the levels can also be just plain hard and most of them are way too big for their own good. There's a lot of paths, but usually you have to come to a stop to do some boring platforming (the parts that have good platforming are the parts where you can perform different actions, like jumping on enemies, while still maintaining your speed.) Or spikes/enemies will pop out of no where. The levels can also get a little too clustered (Lava Reef, crap coming out of areas that blend in). The special stages blow ass. I seriously cannot see how anyone can find, walking around a disorientating sphere collecting blue stuff, fun. Everytime I see that giant ring, I avoid it like the plaque. The level Carnival Night also has disorientating graphics. I get confused everytime I play that level, because there's just way too much detail in the backgrounds. The detail is amazing, but they went too far. 2P is tacked on, but at least they put it there.

The game is better than sonic 1 & 2, but not as fun or well designed as Sonic CD, Sonic Advance 2, or Sonic Rush.

I'm sorry that Sonic Team hadn't figured out how to make a game play itself yet. It sounds to me like you're fighting the game, you're not willing to play it correctly.

As for negatives. I don't like sonic's sprite. He just doesn't look cool. His cheeks are too cutesy,
I love how you complain about that here but not in Sonic Adventure 2:

sonicadventure2_screen004.jpg

Wow, looking at it close up, I can hardly believe someone was paid to make that model.

and his smile is goofy.

Ok, how on earth is that smile goofy but the Nike Swoosh not?

And he's too shiny (funny, because people complain about that in heroes, but not here).

Sonic3_3_1189529944_640w.jpg

Two one pixel highlights on his head, only one is white.

sonic-heroes-4.jpg(there's supposed to be a picture of Sonic Heroes here, but it seems to be blocking the hot link. I'll sort it out later)

I'm amazed that someone was paid to make that model. The shading (mostly) hides a lot of the mistakes, but I can spot them. Also note massive clipping and low poly count. But on the subject of being shiny, that highlight on his head is massive. I was going to make a joke about it but it's true: That models specularity map is larger than it's texture.

Edited by Phos
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Two one pixel highlights on his head, only one is white.
To be fair, this one bugs me too. I don't think Sonic's fur should be shiny enough to reach pure white, and that one pixel has a tendency to draw my eye to it. It's not a huge complaint, but I think it's a valid one.
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I've said it before, Sonic should not look like he's made of rubber. He's not a dolphin, he's a furry creature. I'm seeing the texture on his quills in M&S Winter Olympics and I'm liking that a lot. But I don't think it brings down S3&K at all, the game is still great. I hadn't noticed the shininess much before this topic. It's an issue that's more apparent with a 3D model than a 2D sprite, besides.

Edited by Badnikz
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