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SurrealBrain

Weaknesses with Sonic 3 and Knuckles

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In light of certain debates, I decided to make a thread dedicated to them. Lock this thread if it's inappropriate or that there is something exactly like this.

 

I'll start with my own thoughts: yes, I do think it aged fairly well. Sure, it had its flaws (that damn barrel being the most notable), and it could be irritating at times, but overall, I enjoyed my time with it, especially when connected to Sonic & Knuckles. If you can unlock it/connect the cartridges/whatever other method works, you pretty much have the definitive version.

 

Your thoughts?

 

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I would be more interested in hearing an argument that the game hasn't aged well as a result of its weird quirks and flaws, then yet another one defending the game as something good. It seems a given consensus that the classic games are timeless, and aside from individual dissatisfaction with them I've never read any arguments that influenced enough of an attitude shift to even bother asking this question. It's like asking "Is Disney's Beauty and the Beast still good?" All signs point to "Yes."

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The nuances and frustrations that Sonic 3 does possess really has nothing to do with time or age.  The barrel problem, for example, is just bad design in an otherwise solid game.  Most of the glitches in the game are self-initiated and the ones that aren't are pretty rare.  You can love or hate some of the mechanics, but the problems you have with them really don't have to do with the technology that was available at the time.  I mean, yes, there are obviously some mechanics they probably couldn't pull off with Genesis-era technology, but nothing that was in the final game, to my knowledge, could be or has been objectively done better in later iterations as a result of technology.  The only thing I think would be considered dated are the graphics and the music, but they're still pleasant to look at and listen to, so I'd say those have aged considerably well.

 

So yes, I think Sonic 3 has aged just fine.  In general, I think the 16-bit era is probably the best aged era due to a lack of awkward transition as with the 64-bit era.  But that's just my opinion.

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This remembered me about an article I read some time ago:

Good Games, Bad Design: Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles

 

It primarily focuses on the bad design choices of the first level of Sonic & Knuckles, but we can see the beginning of tendencies that would plague future games. Among other things, it mentions the overreliance of gimmicks that don't really add much to the gameplay and just servers to slow down and frustrate the player, like that elevators on Mushroom Hill Zone that take forever to operate, or that vines that hold you in place and you have to escape. The article also cites lack of reward for exploring or take a different route, and the different paths for different characters seems forced and there is not an actual reason for a path only to be taken by a certain character.

 

What I can say is that in spite of its issues, Sonic 3 has more than enough of redeeming elements that makes the game worth playing. However SEGA seems to had misunderstood what made the classic games successful, and on later games they focused on the bad elements instead of the good ones. Or at least, Sonic 3&K had signs about what direction the series was starting to take.

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well.. this game only has 20 years.(i guess?).. i think when it have 30 or 50 .. we can say that better :D haha

 

but  though the years still been one of my favourites.. its still being very interesting everytime i play it..

 

besides.. its said that this game made History on the console wars on 90's...

 

so...i say even though this game still young; yes.. its aging well.. ^_^

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I'm going to take the unpopular opinion and say it hasn't aged well for me. I can honestly go back to Sonic 1 or 2 and enjoy them, but playing 3&Knuckles feels like a chore.

Don't get me wrong, the first time I played the games I thought it was the most epic thing ever. But now I feel like most of the levels are boring, Knuckles and Tails "skills" don't really add that more to the levels for me (it doesn't help Knuckles story has the same level progression as Sonic's) and it overall feels too easy (including Blue Spheres, honestly they are not even a challenge.)

Saying that, it does have the best presentation of the classics with its visuals, and the music is great (but I prefer CD'S Japanese soundtrack.)

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I would say that some of the level designs/way of arranging paths have a different mood to them; that can sometimes be tedious, but helped it to be and to remain unique. 

 

and, all of the elements are there for amazing new versions of the zones to be created either in Sonic Worlds or through hacking/recoding.  It would be great some day to see a few new acts of Angel Island Zone created where there are large lagoons to run across mid stage; or, a combination between Hydrocity and Sky Sanctuary where there is access to both areas! :o 

^_^

 

 

 

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Sonic 3&K is the best Sonic game, Mega-Drive game and best 2d game ever made. It has aged incredibly well.

The soundtrack is amazing, which is even more impressive considering the number of composers who contributed and the - so called - legal issues regarding the music in recent years. The level design, gimmicks, physics and fluidity of the gameplay hasn't been matched by any future Sonic games. The replay value is mouth watering. I still haven't discovered all the secrets despite having played it countless times.

The Carnival Night barrel is a minor issue which could have been avoided with slightly tweaked level design, or if the way to get passed it had been clearly explained.

All you have to do is look at the recent demand for a StealthTax remastered version to see how much fans still like this game.

It's not perfect. It has it's flaws like all games, but any issues are only minor and doesn't affect the overall experience.

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The soundtrack is amazing, which is even more impressive considering the number of composers who contributed and the - so called - legal issues regarding the music in recent years. The level design, gimmicks, physics and fluidity of the gameplay hasn't been matched by any future Sonic games. The replay value is mouth watering. I still haven't discovered all the secrets despite having played it countless times.

 

The Carnival Night barrel is a minor issue which could have been avoided with slightly tweaked level design, or if the way to get pasted it had been clearly explained.

 

yes!  i remember in the lost Sonic 3 topic realizing that the Sonic 3/ Knuckles soundtrack is as much of a musical album as Sonic CD, one that uses the Genesis sound chips like an incredible band.  The composers other than Jackson's team created music that is up to his standard of unbelievably intuitive bass and melodies that feel like magic spells from some type of ancient nature-centered practice, and, of course the music from the Jackson/Buxer/Scirocco etc team is really experimental.

 

oh!  this is fairly interesting i think ^__^

 

 

I do hope some day for a hack or somehow a Worlds/otherwise game that uses the barrel mechanic as part of a travelling object... imagine Sky Chase but with breakable scenery and an object that controls similar to the barrel, which your character is piloting!  it could have a limited number of hits until being destroyed... lowered by unbreakable obstacles and salvos from the miniboss or end level boss character, .  The Doomsday is similar to that actually, so it could help figuring out some of the coding. 

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I think it has aged very well actually. It can stand against many current platformers.

 

I think this game was ahead of it's time, on Genesis standards at least.

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Its pretty hard to find any real problems with the game that would take away from the experience honestly. Most of the problems are either minor or just generally faulty design choices in 1 or 2 levels and hardly take up a majority of the game. 

 

I mean if you don't like Sonic 3 that's perfectly fine, but I really can't find any fault with the game that would deter the average gamer. The mere fact that the classic games are still held in high regard today, over two decades when they first came out, should be probably be a good indicator that, yes Sonic 3 has aged extremely well.

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Sonic 3, by itself, is still a great game. Its flaws could be perceived at the time just as much as now. The most distinct of them being its weird level progression.

 

I mean, Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic CD and Sonic & Knuckles all give a feeling of going somewhere that Sonic 3 simply hasn't. The tone of the levels doesn't change in any meaningful way, so it feels less redeeming than the other classic games. I can't say for sure, but I think people noticed it at the time too.

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Sonic 3, by itself, is still a great game. Its flaws could be perceived at the time just as much as now. The most distinct of them being its weird level progression.

 

I mean, Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic CD and Sonic & Knuckles all give a feeling of going somewhere that Sonic 3 simply hasn't. The tone of the levels doesn't change in any meaningful way, so it feels less redeeming than the other classic games. I can't say for sure, but I think people noticed it at the time too.

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The most distinct of them being its weird level progression.

 

I mean, Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic CD and Sonic & Knuckles all give a feeling of going somewhere that Sonic 3 simply hasn't. The tone of the levels doesn't change in any meaningful way, so it feels less redeeming than the other classic games. I can't say for sure, but I think people noticed it at the time too.

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I genuinely believe Sonic 3 to be the pinnacle of not only 16 bit gaming, but 2D platforming in general. It is as close to perfection as a game can reasonably be, in my opinion. The level design, story, and mechanics all come together in a way I've never really seen from a game of its genre (or even from its era, honestly) to create a resoundingly powerful experience that no other game in this series has even come close to matching.

 

There have been great Sonic games before and after Sonic 3, but it very easily eclipses them as the king, and in terms of scope and quality it will likely never be matched.

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I agree Sonic 2 doesn't have much of a coherent level order, but it still has an underlying theme. It does go from something "nature" to something "machinery", something "open" to something "claustrophobic". It is possible to reach Oil Ocean or Metropolis, look back and think "wow, haven't I gone far", something I don't see in Sonic 3.

 

Launch Base may be harder than Angel Island, but the kind of difficulty you find in both are basically the same - that is, if Launch Base isn't even faster than Angel Island in a sense. Indeed, the progression from act 1 to Act 2 is a lot more fluid both in terms of animation and how the mechanics are played with, but, in my opinion, the game as a whole lacks in something you'd call an all-encompassing feeling of adventure.

 

(That all levels have water doesn't help either)

 

I don't exactly blame Sonic 3 for it, because it's supposed to be played with Sonic & Knuckles anyway to become an astonishing game. But Sonic 2 does feel more complete - the fact that you can't become Super Sonic in Death Egg is part of this feeling for me. I mean, even if you got all 7 emeralds in your first playthrough and are feeling almighty, Death Egg comes to make you feel like there's no home for you there. It's Eggman's. Metropolis Act 3 is where I feel and it's such an ominous feeling that it alone puts Sonic 2 above Sonic 3 in my top list.

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I feel like Sonic 2's level theming has ups and downs for the first half of the game, alternating between natural and industrial habitats, and then from Oil Ocean onwards starts to build up and up into more and more dangerous/Eggman-focused territory, works nicely.

 

 

Sonic 3 definetly has a feel of going through the motions, though I will say that because Angel Island is meant to feel like a secluded place, the smaller number of zones actually sits well with me and I do feel like I am going on a tour of the island even if there isn't quite as much to see of it overall.

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Based on one of the subtopics being discussed here 't is somewhat intriguing to think of alternate zone sequences for this era of Sonic!!   Many are possible when including the 2 player zones and Sonic & Tails 2 / Triple Trouble.  ^______^

 

Intense one wherein the ending sequence of Sonic 2 is determined to have been partially imagined in stress/ Sonic re-enters using a piece from the outside of the space station as a shield and then as a sled/ snow board.  a few of the scenes mid level would have to be changed but this could be a valid hack one day!

 

Ice Cap

Launch Base

Angel Island

(Hydrocity?

Marble Garden?)

Sandopolis

Lava Reef & Hidden Palace

Sky Sanctuary

Death Egg

 

This would have to be a fan game although i suppose with a lot of work it could be a hack too. ^__^

I guess the idea is this is an alternate storyline where instead of relaunching the Death Egg from the volcanic region, it is made into a domed base/city, so the zone would still be named Lava Reef.

 

Mushroom Hill

Meta Junglira

Hydrocity

Tidal Plant

Chrome Gadget

Launch Base

 

Desert Palace

Great Turquoise

Endless Mine

Ice Cap

Azure Lake

Sunset Park

Sky Sanctuary

Lava Reef

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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