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Why is Sonic 3 & Knuckles so awesome?


Chaos Rush

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Recently, I haven't played Sonic at all. Then one day I decided to boot up Sonic Mega Collection, and I chose to play Sonic 3 & Knuckles. As soon as I started playing, I started remembering how awesome that game is. I pre-ordered Sonic Classic Collection, and the only game I play on it is Sonic 3 & Knuckles. I can't even explain how awesome the game is, it's just too awesome for words to comprehend. The only thing I don't like about the game is the title screen saying, "& KNUCKLES". I wish with the whole lock-on thing, they just put, "SONIC 3: Complete Version". I was a member of the old SSMB, and after playing S3&K, I'm suddenly obsessed with it, and that's what got me to re-join.

Does anyone else besides me think that the full version of Sonic 3 (AKA Sonic 3 & Knuckles) is the best Sonic game of all time? I still don't know why I think it's really awesome.

Edited by Chaos Rush
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S3&K gets the ultimate leg up on the rest of the Sonic competition in the fact that it is twice as much game to love. Technicalities aside, it is basically two games. I actually liked the fact that they ended up on two separate carts though. The lock-on feature was a cool piece of technology that the home console market hadn't really developed yet. It really gave you the sense that Sega was giving you the cutting edge stuff to maximize your enjoyment.

On top of that, Sonic 3 just upped the stakes from Sonic 2. More emeralds, Hyper Sonic (and Tails and Knux too) as well as the save feature really made the game more enjoyable and "pick-up-able" to the masses whom couldn't take on the daunting challenge of a start to finish Sonic game. Lots of good stuff there.

Personally, I am partial to Sonic 2 though. (and even a bit of CD).

Oh, and welcome back to the obsession that is Sonic, Chaos Rush. You should have known that you could not escape the addiction.

Edited by Sega DogTagz
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S3&K was a pretty good game and I think it was also my first Sonic game too. I'll admit it was pretty epic... Until the barrel showed up.. Which led to me beating the entire game with Knuckles.

One good thing about S3&K was the levels and how many it had. You know that you couldn't beat the game in one sitting. Unless you hardcore it. It was a pretty good game. It had its twists and turns and it was pretty epic.

And that's why Robotnik is lacking funds in Sonic 4. XD

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Technicalities aside, it is basically two games. I actually liked the fact that they ended up on two separate carts though.

Well, I was born in 1995, and I had no idea what a Sega Genesis was until I was at a friends house who happened to have one. To me, it doesn't feel like it's 2 games, it just feels like one really large Sonic epic. When I first got Sonic Mega Collection, after playing Sonic 3, and playing Sonic & Knuckles, I was like, "Wtf Sonic & Knuckles is exactly like Sonic 3 but with different levels". And I always wondered why the first zone in Sonic & Knuckles felt a lot harder than other first zones. Then when I unlocked Sonic 3 & Knuckles, as soon as I got to the save file select screen, I was like,

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT'S LIKE SONIC 3, BUT WITH MORE LEVELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was simply amazed at the fact that you could save your progress even in the Sonic & Knuckles levels. And to finally find out why Mushroom Hill Zone is a lot harder than other first zones, which is because Mushroom Hill Zone isn't a "first zone".

Oh, and this picture from Sonic Retro proves that Sonic 3 isn't really a separate game:

SSS_SONICL_.png

(the PART ONE at the bottom)

So I guess that means the whole Episode thing with Sonic 4 isn't entirely new. I hope they have something similar to the lock-on feature to combine the Sonic 4 episodes, just like Sonic 3 Episode I & II (lol) could be combined .

EDIT: Oh god, the Carnival Night barrel. I was stuck on it for a week, until I just looked up on the internet how to get past it.

Edited by Chaos Rush
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Sonic 3 & Knuckles remains my favorite Sonic game as well.

The level design is the main factor. It flows flawlessly, and each stage uses unique platforming gimmicks to make them all highly memorable. Even if some of them could be a annoying (CNZ barrel). Then there's the soundtrack. I always love games with incredibly catchy sountracks (Jet Set Radio, Sonic Rush, LittleBigPlanet, etc.). The in-game "cutscenes" were a great touch too. Made the game feel more like an epic adventure than just a slapped together platforming campaign. Smaller touches like the upgraded graphics and elemental shields added a lot of charm too. And, even though I think the Sonic paths are better, Knuckles ability to take different routes was appreciated.

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S3&K was a pretty good game and I think it was also my first Sonic game too. I'll admit it was pretty epic... Until the barrel showed up.. Which led to me beating the entire game with Knuckles.

I have a running theory going (and I am sure it is one that many of you share along with me) that the reason Knuckles has such a sizable fanbase is directly due to the fact that such a large portion of the fanbase had to abandon Sonic in this game because of that blasted barrel.

99% of us became well acquainted with Knuckles weather we liked it or not.

Well, I was born in 1995, and I had no idea what a Sega Genesis was until I was at a friends house who happened to have one. To me, it doesn't feel like it's 2 games, it just feels like one really large Sonic epic. When I first got Sonic Mega Collection, after playing Sonic 3, and playing Sonic & Knuckles, I was like, "Wtf Sonic & Knuckles is exactly like Sonic 3 but with different levels". Then when I unlocked Sonic 3 & Knuckles, as soon as I got to the save file select screen, I was like,

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT'S LIKE SONIC 3, BUT WITH MORE LEVELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and this picture from Sonic Retro proves that Sonic 3 isn't really a separate game:

http://info.sonicret...SSS_SONICL_.png

Its no secret that Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles were meant to be a single game (I beleive time constrictions got the better of the project) but at the same time, both titles are completely playable (and still really good) on their own. In this light "Sonic 3" was an incredebly ambitious undertaking that quite literally was twice the game of any Sonic title before or after it. Its hard to overlook the 2 for 1 deal when we are looking to crown a Sonic title as best in the series.

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But the thing is, even though they released Sonic 3 as two separate games, they let you "combine" them to play what Sonic 3 was meant to be. And you have to admit, the full version of Sonic 3 is pretty epic. 14 Zones, 14 Emeralds (sorta), cutscenes, epic storyline (not really, but it seems epic because of how large it is), UGH. Even though they couldn't release it as a single game, they let you play the 2 games as 1 anyway. Heck, look at this picture:

Sk-box-us.jpg

The bottom of it heavily implies to put your Sonic 3 cart into your Sonic & Knuckles cart.

SONIC 3 & KNUCKLES IS THE BEST GAME EVER.

Edited by Chaos Rush
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It's a mixture of a few things for people who love it, myself included. It's a mixture between the great level design, the unique environments and how each one feels different, interesting enemies and characters with differences in gameplay, great bosses (and many of them), reason to explore, not too short, and extra easter eggs and details all over the place.

The main thing it's awesome though is the mixture of well designed levels and good physics and interesting abilities and enemies.

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Sonic 3 and Knuckles rules all other platformers with an iron fist in my book. Even beats out Super Mario World, despite being the shorter title. The level design is great, the zones are diverse and colorful, the music is godly, the story has a great sense of progression without taking too much focus. It's one of the few games where I have absolutely no complaints. Oh, well there is the barrel, but I first played it when the internet existed, so the barrel wasn't an issue for me.

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In Launch Base Zone, when you're above the water, you see the surface of it extending ff into the background. Whenever you go under water, you can the underside of the surface extending off into the background. The game dynamically replaces background tiles depending on your altitude relative to the water level.

In Sky Sanctuary Zone, The Egg Robos flying in from the background are scaled in software. Noting else in the game uses this scalar, it was made for a single pretty short level.

I could go on. But I think I've made my point clear: They didn't half ass anything when they made this game. Fun is thick on the ground, so to speak. In contrast, in a lot of the new games, you would barely be able to tell the levels apart if they didn't look different.

Edited by Phos
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I could go on. But I think I've made my point clear: They didn't half ass anything when they made this game. Fun is think on the ground, so to speak. In contrast, in a lot of the new games, you would barely be able to tell the levels apart if they didn't look different.

Yeah, I think this is what separates the wheat from the chaff in terms of Sonic games. The old games didn't need that many characters because the levels were deep and diverse enough to be called characters in themselves.

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*sigh* If only I can join the S3&K support...

Unfortunately, I can't. The game was a lot of fun when I was younger, and I love how the environments, stages, special stages, and setting are played out to develop the game's story. But gameplay-wise, over the past few years, whenever I pop in the game, I don't get excited at all. All I get is a boring, predictable chore, NOT "awesomeness." The more I play, the more boring the game becomes. I can only play the game for about fifteen minutes before quitting it and putting back on the shelf. Because I played it so much then, I don't find this game to be that fun at all anymore, to be honest. The only part of the gameplay that interests me currently is the Special Stages, which still kick ass.

Edited by Dark Qiviut
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Funny this topic came up, because I just recently replayed S3&K! I gotta say, it is my favorite classic Sonic game. I loved everything about it: the levels, the addition of the Super Emeralds, the save feature, and the music. Besides, it was the first classic Sonic game I had ever beaten, so there's some sort of nostalgia there.

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I used to be able to get a full set of 14 Perfect Runs in the Special Stages. I need to relearn how to do that again.

S3&K still blows away every other entry in the franchise, and I actually like a lot of those games. However, because of the fact that I played it to death years ago, I no longer get any sense of challenge or excitement from the game, but that doesn't bother me, because I still want to play it. This is a game I first played in 1997, folks. A game you can still play and enjoy after over ten years is insanely awesome no matter how you look at it.

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What really nailed it for me was that Sonic 3 & Knuckles was the epitome of what Sonic was.

While other franchises ran off to follow whatever bandwagons they could, Sonic stayed true to his roots until he'd perfected them. Sonic the Hedgehog has flaws. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 improved on so much, and came so close... but just fell short, for some reason (although I'd never give it anything less than 10/10, personally). So they stuck with it and, despite having to release it in two separate cartridges, Sonic 3 & Knuckles became the perfect, can't-find-a-single-fault Sonic 2D platform game. With that done, Sonic Team could move on, and Sonic 3D: Flickes' Island was the next logical step. For some, hurrah. For others, meh. But at least they did move on after perfecting their brand, 'cause otherwise Sonic might never have survived.

I have fond childhood memories of so many Sonic games, but from a cold and logical standpoint, Sonic 3 & Knuckles deserves never-ending praise.

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Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Aah, my favourite game as well. I just woke up so I have not read through many posts here as of yet, so most of this probably already has been mentioned.

Sonic 3 & Knuckles builds upon Sonic 3, which initially was my favourite Sonic game. Sonic & Knuckles is a sequel to Sonic 3 where you may only play as Sonic or Knuckles. Sonic 3 & Knuckles mends stuff into one game: You have all the levels available. Once you progress through the original Sonic 3 levels, you just continue onto the Sonic & Knuckles levels, the game goes on. Also, you may choose to play as Sonic and Tails, Sonic, Tails and finally also Knuckles for all levels of the game, not having Tails limited to the first part of the game and Knuckles to the second half of the game as the initially individual games suggest.

Mending both the games' levels into one single game makes this pretty much a really long game, twice the length I was used to when playing Sonic 3. After reacquiring all the chaos emeralds, or some of them, you once again "lose" them halfway through the game. You need to reacquire them through even tougher bonus stages with new obstacles to master. If all are passed, your reward will become a better one than the Super Sonic state, you will become Hyper Sonic (was that what he was called?) Several of opportunities to enter these bonus stages (I love these huge rings and the sounds they make upon contact) are well hidden within more or less every stage there is. This is why this game is awesome also for those who love searching for things while simultaneously having to finish the level within a given time limit.

Then come the things that took place before the merging - the music. The soundtrack is pure awesome, and you know it. This game was why I started my SSR radio show in the first place.

I simply feel everything fits so well, and despite that the Sand Polis Inside Pyramid thingy stage scared the very Diz ghost out of me, I enjoyed progressing through every bit of the game.

Another thing I feel is awesome is that once I have completed the game, perhaps after replaying some levels in order to successfully gather all the enhanced emeralds, I can simply level select to any level I desire playing at that point and become Hyper Sonic. Yes, I am one of those few losers who actually do think it is a little fun zooming through the levels like an unstoppable yellow blur. I earned it through the tough bonus stages throughout the game, so deal. X3

Oh, oh! I almost forgot, damn! Multiplayer support! Although it all ever happens on one screen in the main game, it is awesome how, when playing "as both" Sonic and Tails, a secondary player may simply jump in at any time, taking over the CPU-controlled Tails. This adds a lot of fun into the game IMO. Tails can simply lift Sonic to places that might otherwise have taken time or even been impossible to reach alone. Tails falling out of screen is absolutely no problem at all - He automatically flies to Sonic's location real shortly, and Tails also has infinite lives when Sonic is the primary character in the game. I so love flying~

Uhm, me likeley forgotty somethingy here, but I think this was what was worth mentioning briefly anyways. Sonic 3 & Knuckles is awesome, and I am darned happy that I decided to download it for my emulator on my computer back then (I never owned any Sega consoles). One of the few games I have enjoyed this much. =3

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Ah, Sonic 3 and Knuckles. Probably the first real Sonic game I owned (first played was Sonic 2 on a Genesis). I got this game on the PC, in the Sonic and Knuckles Collection. Now back when I had game difficulty issues and usually dropped the game not so long after I entered Hydrocity (for some reason the "chase" sequence in the beginning of Act 2 scared the snot out of me), and I'd usually drop the game and go beg to play Sonic 2 at my cousin's house on his Genesis. I now find it funny to go back and play S3K again and prefer for several reasons over S2. Strange how things change isn't it? ;p

Though this game is still an impact on my childhood as one of my first Sonic games I completed (first being Sonic CD), and my second favorite Sonic game ever (behind.. You guessed it, Sonic CD).

S3K has so much to offer that I see people speak every day of places not even I got to before. It literally has everything. Multiplayer, competitive racing, levels made especially for those racing competitions, amazing and charming characters that are all a blast to play with and all have that "same but different" structure to them, massive levels with branching paths and platforming galore and intense speed sections, level specific gimmicks, awesome badniks, epic Special stages, elemental shields, minibosses, the factor that some songs were somewhat written by Michael Jackson, Super and Hyper states, a story perfectly told through the characters' actions rather than words, final bosses when Robotnik was hardcore, Master Emerald shenanigans that didn't have to do with breaking it, islands falling and rising from the skies, Mecha Sonic and SUPER Mecha Sonic, and most importantly, the base of classic Sonic gameplay. What more could you frikkin' ask for this game to have?!

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In Launch Base Zone, when you're above the water, you see the surface of it extending ff into the background. Whenever you go under water, you can the underside of the surface extending off into the background. The game dynamically replaces background tiles depending on your altitude relative to the water level.

When I first played Hydrocity again I was AMAZED by this special effect. I never even remembered it from when I saw the game as a kid, but me, as a 14-15 year old when Mega Collection came out still managed to be astounded.

For me Sonic 3 and Knuckles just oozes perfection. There were a few slip-ups (the barrel of course most notably), but mostly the level designs were innovative, intuitive, varied, gorgeous and balanced, moreso than any previous Sonic game. They just... really mastered their craft with this one.

Though I do prefer to play Sonic 3, THEN Sonic 3 & Knuckles starting from Mushroom Hill Zone. I like the Sonic 3 final boss, and there's something delightful about how laid-back and summery Launch Base is for a final stage (even if it wasn't MEANT to be a final stage).

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One thing I like is how much detail was put into this game. I mean, seriously, EVERY ACT PER ZONE has slightly different music and graphics. For instance, in Hydrocity you see distant ruins in the background during Act 1, and then in Act 2 you get to explore those ruins. In Carnival Night, you see bright colorful lights in the background during Act 1, and during Act 2 you see the mountain that probably contains the Ice Cap and Lava Reef Zones in the background. In Ice Cap, you get to explore the inner cave during Act 1, and then the icy summit during Act 2, and yet, the cave parts of Act 2 actually have a slightly different background. The most awesome transition is the whole Lava Reef section of the game, you start out in Act 1 with epic music, with burning lava everywhere, and you can see the Death Egg very far in the background. In Act 2, you transition into a much deeper part of the cave, with crystals growing everywhere, and the overall theme has slowly changed from red to blue. Once you emerge, you can see the Death Egg much bigger, giving an awesome impression that Sonic & Tails are actually going somewhere.

And I love what they did to signify how Knuckles story takes place after Sonic & Tails, for instance, in Angel Island Zone, when you play as Sonic & Tails, you can see the ocean above all the trees. When you play as Knuckles, all you see is the sky, indicating that Sonic & Tails already rescued the Master Emerald. In Launch Base Lava Reef, and Hidden Palace zones, you don't see any Death Egg while playing as Knuckles, further indicating Knuckles storyline.

The amount of tiny details they put into this is amazing...

I remember before I unlocked Sonic 3 & Knuckles in Sonic Mega Collection, I would do Level Select in Sonic & Knuckles and do Doomsday Zone, thinking I would never be good enough to get that far in Sonic & Knuckles. Then I unlocked Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and since my save file from Sonic 3 transferred over, I just continued on, since I already had 7 Chaos Emeralds. For some reason I never found a rainbow Special Stage ring, so I never lost my Chaos Emeralds, and I remember thinking how epic the Death Egg Zone boss fights were. A few weeks ago I started a new file as Sonic & Tails, and usually my brother would play as Tails, and I thought it was simply epic how first in Death Egg Act 2 you fight an average Act 2 boss (which was actually pretty hard at first), and then you fight the giant Eggman robot with the epic music. And not only that, but then you have to chase him and try not to fall (lol I had my brother use Tails to hit Eggman during the laser & chase parts; while Sonic ran for his life, Tails had to hit Eggman's machines). And then after the chase part is over, I'm thinking, "is this the end?". And then all of a sudden,

SUPER SONIC DOOMSDAY ZONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I find very little to fault with Sonic 3 and Knuckles. The game gets so many things right. It has graphics that certainly seem to push the envelope of what the Mega Drive is capable of and yet are no less Sonicky for it, masterful music that no one will forget anytime soon (Endless Mine's theme is pure magic), a great story and it's glorious length.

The only drawbacks to it is that some of the levels seem to be a bit too long and drag on. Flying Battery is a particularly bad offender. It's not a bad fault because length just makes you commend the developers more going by how much effort was invested. Like someone else pointed out, I adored how much variation was present in level design between acts. Like Angel Island starting out as a lush paradise and then getting nuked into a flaming landscape. Or Launch Base's first act taking place outside the base and the second act apparently taking place much closer to the base as evidenced in the level's background.

And who else finds it annoying in Sky Sanctuary when the music is screwed by sound effects sharing the same sound channel as the main tune in the song? Sky Sanctuary's theme is EPIC, jumping sfx screws it up big time.

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The only thing the game fails at is multiplayer.

Just bring back Sonic 2's splitscreen **** it.

BLASPHEMY :angry: !

How can you hate the Endless Mine? The level design and music theme were amazing!

Also, this is easly the single best Sonic game I have ever played. EVERY aspect about it was perfect. I wish all Sonic games were still like that.

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The best thing about the splitscreen multiplayer in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 was the "FAULT!" starts you could get.

For some reason, my flatmates and I spent more time faulting one another and laughing hysterically about it afterwards than actually racing. :lol:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I always found Sonic 3 overrated, and Sonic & Knuckles underrated, so I always just skip the Sonic 3 part and play Sonic & Knuckles, it's not like anybody ever missed Tails. Thanks to Classic Collection I get to save as well. To me Sonic 3 has the most tedious levels in the series (though I love Ice Cap), especially Marble Garden (argh!).

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