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What's Your #1 3d Level


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No doubt there's so many memorable, thrilling levels in the 3d games. But which one stands out to you the most? Which one keeps you coming back for more? Which one never gets old, no matter how many times you replay it? Which one has you looking at all the scenery?

Also, please try not to list top 5's or anything like that. Just pick one level, not a bunch just because you like them. And don't list any levels you hate.

For me, it's City Escape. No matter how simplistic it is for todays standards, no matter how short you can finish it, no matter how linear it is, I just always come back to this stage. This stage was my first experience playing sonic in 3d. Man what a blast. The way they start you out, on a board, going down 300 degree streets, and pullin' off tricks. It just never gets old for me. The physics just make that experience even better. I've also been to san francisco. They really nailed it, from design and scenery.

Whenever I walked down those streets, I felt like I was actually in the level. And I really love the scenery. I always loved the look of those palmtrees when I grinded down that stairway, and those cool billboards. And who can forget that memorable truck chase scene.

The only problem is that there aren't a whole lot of routes to take, but still, this stage just showed off how much cooler sonic has become since his early 90 days. I was never interested in sonic back then, but for this stage, I like how they weren't afraid to put him in a popular, california city. I can't really describe it, but it just showed off this cool vibe that got me into the character. He wasn't like mario, going around these made up environments with cutesy mushrooms and koopas.

The downhill streets of the city itself suit sonic perfectly. I just wish they'd put ramps in future games.

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Man that's a hard one. Now I think about it, hardly any of them made my jaw drop at any point ever, and I think that's part of what the Sonic series has been lacking for a very long time. I really don't think I could decide on just one stage, though I think Unleashed had the most jaw drops from me.

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For me it's got to be Cool Edge Act 1-Daytime from Sonic Unleashed.

Just for those 20 seconds or so when I run into that cave and suddenly I'm dodging I'm diving for my life way past falling ice blocks, it's a great mood builder for the moment when I burst out of that cave at 300mph and suddenly I'm running on the ocean. Once again I'm dodging left, right and center as ice caps crumble around me, and at the same time I'm smashing up Eggman's robots and diving off ramps. I can't stop or I'll die so there's no choice but to keep pounding on and on across the ocean.

Those 20 seconds have to be the most exhilarating and breathtaking moments I've ever seen in a Sonic game. It's incredible.

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It's hard to pick just one "favorite". There's plenty of levels that I like, but none really stand out beyond all the others...

I guess, if I'm going to say something, I'll go with SA's Windy Valley. It's a bit short and like the rest of SA it hasn't aged too well, but it does a good job of getting both the platforming and the speed into one level. The first section is disappointingly short, but even so there's a lot to do; a bunch of items to grab (which you actually have to put some effort into), a few neat gimmicks, and...well, it's not so much that the paths are interconnected, but that they occupy the same space. Am I making any sense there? It's not just a bunch of lines that cross each other at a few points, but there's an area with all those lines drawn inside it. Anyway, you get past that and into the tornado (a pretty nice set piece for its time, I think), then you're launched into the sky for the speedy part. You've got this racetrack in the sky, 3D Blast music kicking in, and you know now's the time to run full speed, zip around loops and bounce off springs as fast as you can.

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Emerald Coast for me, something about that level takes my breath away everytime I play it. The whole stage is absolutely gorgeous and its one of the few 3D Sonic stages where you actually feel like you're going somewhere, you start at the Station Square Hotel and end up in the middle of the ocean. Apparantly the stage is based off of a beach in Cancun where Sonic Team visited for inspiration for stage ideas, if Cancun is even half as gorgeous as Emerald Coast it must be one hell of a nice place. Heh, ever since I was 8 in 1999 I've always thought one of the clouds in the background looks like Ditto from Pokemon :P.

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Speed Highway. You know as soon as the sirens in the music track kick in that it's gonna be some epic shit. Blazing across highways suspended in the sky, loads of high speed action, alternate routes, rollercoaster sections, even some platforming here and there. Then, you run down the side of the building to even more thumping music, dodging loads of stuff and getting powerups before reaching the bottom safetly. And then there's more, loads of complicated platforming above the city streets, dodging cars, running along even more buildings, and in the end you jump into a fountain that launches you well high into the town hall.

Nothing else took my breath away like that. Nothing. I'd like to see a Speed Highway style stage again someday.

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Agreed with both ENVY and Diogenes. Cool Edge 1 is my favourite moment from "new style 3D Sonic" and Windy Valley from oldstyle. Windy Valley has a great mix of platforming and speed, as well as just having a very "sonic-y" feel. Cool Edge 1 just looks fantastic and bright, and running over huge bodies of water is one of the most exhillerating gaming experiences I can remember having.

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Green Forest from SA2, I had one of my first 3D Sonic experiences at a Circuit City playing that level, it was amazing, the speed, the rock music in the background, and Sonic's attitude at the time. I thought "Whoa, Mario's got nothin' on this!" (I was a big Mario fan back then but that level made me switch sides.) :P

I also adore Jungle Joyride, running through thick jungle and then across the water reminds me of the Incredibles, a movie I really liked. =p

(Sorry for naming two)

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I must agree with Semi-Colon e, my very first Sonic game was Sonic adventure, all of its stages were so wonderful but Speed Highway was just too awesome! it was breath taking. Zipping through the night sky on top of buildings, jumping across all of them evading police cars (even though they were badniks) hanging on a helicopter, zip down a humongous building at top speed, collecting items, evading more cars watching the beautiful city, platforming and getting propelled to the town hall bell thingie.....sigh.....there just cant be any better than that! also even if it was a high paced stage I loved to role play and explore bit by bit the city get on top of the buildings like if it was real :lol:

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You want me to only name one? Not going to happen I'm afraid.

Sonic World - Not technically a stage from a "proper" Sonic game, and it's pretty slow, but it's close enough, and actually manages to do things no Sonic game has managed since. It's simple, it's colourful, it makes full use of the extra dimension it has been given and it manages to be a free-roaming world without pits. As my first 3D Sonic experience, this level said to me "yeah, we're gonna make Sonic in 3D, but don't expect any drop in style, exploration or platforming". Oh how wrong I was.

Emerald Coast - Hell yes. I don't care if it was 3D, and I don't care if it was glitchy as hell at the whale part, Emerald Coast started off linear and easy, and opened up later on. Sonic Adventure was the last 3D Sonic game with a decent amount of nonlinearity IMO.

Windy Valley - Same reasons as Emerald Coast, but extra points for also having a major highspeed section with Sonic 3D Blast Music. Why can't more 3D Sonic games borrow music from older outings? Also the weird flying snake badniks were a nice touch.

Speed Highway - It had RAAAAW speed, but it also had more than it's fair share of platformming sections and alternating routes. Then you smashed through glass, ran down a building and landed in a significantly awesomer area of Speed Highway with nostalgic music, many splitting paths, quirky billboards and NO DEATH PITS WHATSOEVER.

City Escape - The best level of SA2 is no doubt the first. It had one of the only good vocal Sonic tracks, had plenty of speed and platforming, few death pits outside of those moving hexagon barrel sections, and it introduced rails as an actual level element as opposed to random floating strips in the sky (*cough* every level with rails since City Escape). Only bad thing was that you could see many open roads that you couldn't access - don't advertise something if you're not going to let us have it.

Apotos (day - PS3/360) - I just loved this level. The buildings had a smooth charm, there was nothing particularly of annoyance, the music was catchy and Act 3 had a nice sunset effect.

Chun-Nan (Day - PS3/360) - Running up a big floaty dragon? Nice? Wierd rotating platforming moments? Cool? Oriental music and scenery? Hell yes.

In fact, I like most Sonic stages from Adventure and Unleashed. And funnily enough, none of my favourite levels involve treasure hunting, shooting, werehogs, swords, guns or the power of teamwork.

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Yeah I'm gonna be annoying and mention more than one.

I just simply can't choose between City Escape and Rooftop Run Day Act 1. Both are so varied and exciting, with so many different styles packed into one level, a great atmosphere thanks to scenery and music, and without a doubt my most exciting stage in terms of feeling like I'm blasting through MY Earth at such a high-speed. The beauty of these levels is you can WALK through them and still have a good time because they almost feel like real places. But then you can speed up and let your imagination fly. God I'd love to run through the city I live in at Sonic speed like that.

A special mention should also go to Green Forest. Back when I wasn't used to the speed of Sonic platforming, the bits where you swing round trees just blew me away with how fast it was.

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No doubt there's so many memorable, thrilling levels in the 3d games. But which one stands out to you the most? Which one keeps you coming back for more? Which one never gets old, no matter how many times you replay it? Which one has you looking at all the scenery?

Also, please try not to list top 5's or anything like that. Just pick one level, not a bunch just because you like them. And don't list any levels you hate.

For me, it's City Escape. No matter how simplistic it is for todays standards, no matter how short you can finish it, no matter how linear it is, I just always come back to this stage. This stage was my first experience playing sonic in 3d. Man what a blast. The way they start you out, on a board, going down 300 degree streets, and pullin' off tricks. It just never gets old for me. The physics just make that experience even better. I've also been to san francisco. They really nailed it, from design and scenery.

Whenever I walked down those streets, I felt like I was actually in the level. And I really love the scenery. I always loved the look of those palmtrees when I grinded down that stairway, and those cool billboards. And who can forget that memorable truck chase scene.

The only problem is that there aren't a whole lot of routes to take, but still, this stage just showed off how much cooler sonic has become since his early 90 days. I was never interested in sonic back then, but for this stage, I like how they weren't afraid to put him in a popular, california city. I can't really describe it, but it just showed off this cool vibe that got me into the character. He wasn't like mario, going around these made up environments with cutesy mushrooms and koopas.

The downhill streets of the city itself suit sonic perfectly. I just wish they'd put ramps in future games.

I have totally agree with you :lol: , City escape is not only my favourite Sonic Stage, and my first Sonic 3d game I owned, It was actually the FIRST time I played a Sonic game, which only made me being a Diehard fan of the series....ahh, it was love at first sight :P

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City Escape. Sonic literally skydived naked. Gravity? Fuck gravity, I can use the helicopter's wing to make a skateboard. Now I'm going to beat up a pack of armed robots with nothing but my bare hands. Hey, why'd the music just change? Jesus christ look that that truck it must get like two miles to the gallon highway. Hoshit that was intense.

Congratulations on beating THE FIRST LEVEL.

I still play that game sometimes. :)

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Unleashed, Apotos - Windmill Isle Day Act 3

I just love the atmostphere created by the sunsetting, and thus the colours. I like the rails because it's platforming but you don't have to slow down to do it. Also the glitch I found that causes me to fly off the rails, over half the level 'course' and off into the pit lol, there's something very fun about doing that every so often.

Unleashed, Spagonia - Rooftop Run Day Act 1

I love Spagonia generally because of just how it looks. It's a really fun level to blast through, but also fun to wander slowly through if you feel like it.

Edited by Mollfie
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Its a tie between two for me.

Cosmic Wall, it was a nice change from the other SA2 levels where you dash about alot.

I never had some much fun trying to blow the crap out of things, it made me like Eggman.

Getting an A was bugger though.

City Escape, cool music and a generally fun level that suited Sonic. Its the level i played over and over again simply cuz of the fun of it and not cuz i was trying to get anything.

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I'm not one for deciding on one favourite in particular, but I can at least narrow it down to two for right now.

Sky Deck - Always loved this stage and the feeling of "so much shit going on" you would have whilst playing it. Whether it be the gravity changing with the ship, stuff falling on you, parts of the ship falling off, cannons firing huge lasers - this level just felt like the Egg Carrier was out to kill you in any way possible, and it was really exciting because of it. Not to mention that even ten years ago I was flabbergasted at how the music captured the atmosphere of the stage to a T. Really fun and tricky at the same time.

Cool Edge Act 1 - It's been mentioned a few times but it still stands as an awesome stage. It had gorgeous visuals all round (and penguins placed randomly!) along with some really neat twists to the gameplay like slippery physics and sled riding, and a criminally catchy piece of music to accompany it all. Act 2 was quite good as well although very tricky, and I've yet to play the DLC levels. Regardless, I don't think I've ever played a Sonic stage with a more lovely atmosphere to be honest, and with it being a lot of fun to boot it's a shoe-in for my shared 1st place.

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I don't really understand all of the Cool Edge (PS3/360) praise here. It's a great level, sure, but in graphic/visual design it is unarguably one of the plainest in Unleashed, it adds slippery physics to a game that never exactly had tight controls in the first place, and all of the best moments of the level, like that part with the whale, are completely automated.

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I don't really understand all of the Cool Edge (PS3/360) praise here. It's a great level, sure, but in graphic/visual design it is unarguably one of the plainest in Unleashed, it adds slippery physics to a game that never exactly had tight controls in the first place, and all of the best moments of the level, like that part with the whale, are completely automated.

Whilst this is correct, you could also say the same thing about the whale section in Emerald Coast; and that hasn't stopped people from mentioning that level in their favourites. It's fair enough if almost the entire level is automated and there's no fun involved, but automated sections like those two whales are just small segments used to transition straight back into the user-controlled parts of the level, and it just ends up adding to the experience and making for something to remember.

I suppose you can't argue that the level is plain, but with it being an ice level that's like it being unarguable that water is wet. With most ice levels you're guaranteed lots of white and blue, but I really appreciated that they added lots of neat things in the background like icebergs falling into the sea, mountains and penguins, and that's what stopped it being too plain for me at least.

Whilst you're right about the controls being quite loose anyway - I never found them impossible to get used to by any means. Of course when I first played the game (and most definitely this level) I was falling off and running into all kinds of stuff, but now that I've become so at home with the controls I can get through levels without taking too much damage and can actually navigate them properly, Cool Edge included. Plus I just love skidding around in the level and seeing Sonic go all over the place, it really wouldn't be the same with the tank physics of other Sonic games.

Regardless of all this though, they're just opinions and there's no real fact of the matter - people just like the level I suppose. I could say I don't get all the love that City Escape is getting, but it would still remain popular for whatever personal reasons those people have.

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Twinkle Park- Just awesome. From the bumper car driving to the roller coaster to the mirror house to the bowling alleys to the castle, no level had a greater use of the Rule of Cool in any of the 3D games.

City Escape- I could literally feel the essence of Sonic's character in this level. Plus, it holds a lot of dynamic; snowboarding down the streets of Frisco, running down a skyscraper AND being chased by an illegally oversized Semi all in one five minute level!

End of the World- Perhaps the only level of the Sonic 06 (outside of Crisis City) that I sincerely loved. It was colorful and dynamic and you could really feel the tension building as the song became more intense and the world became more distorted.

Cool Edge Day Act 1- Of all the levels in Unleashed this one felt the most Sonic-y to me. Plus, it was absolutely gorgeous; a true demonstration of the best the Hedgehog engine can do.

Edited by SuperStingray
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