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"Sonic 3 & Knuckles (Mega Drive)"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'Sonic 3'.
Wed 13/05/09 at 23:04
Regular
"Ghosts Can't Die!"
Posts: 774
There are several decisions Iím glad Iíve made throughout my life. In fact thereís a whole list of them and itís hard to choose the best. But one that would definitely be in the running is deciding to keep my Sega Mega Drive rather than sell it off as the newer generations turned up. Sure I could play some of the classics on the Wiiís Virtual Console or Xboxís Live Arcade even if I had, but to fully experience my favourite game in its true form I need my Mega Drive. What game is that? Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.

Originally when SEGA released this adventure it was in two separate cartridges. Sonic 3 and then later Sonic & Knuckles, a game that featured a never before seen ďlock onĒ technology that allowed you to plug the third Sonic into in order to access new content. While both were great alone, it became a phenomenal quest when you slotted one game into the other. This is one of those titles that I constantly find myself coming back to year after year and every time it remains as addictive and fun as the last.

The red echidna Knuckles catches you off guard, stealing the Chaos emeralds and itís now your job as Sonic to retrieve them and also defeat the evil Dr. Robotnik once again. Story wise there is a little more than you may expect with small cutscenes used to allow some feeling of changeover from zone to zone. Itís cooler to see Sonic making his way between these random environments rather than just automatically starting a new one after finishing the last. It gives a feeling of a story taking place.

If you donít know what a Sonic game is about then where have you been!

Here things are fast requiring quick reflexes and if you like a good sense of exploration for those secrets. Youíll be running, spinning and jumping from left to right grabbing rings and dodging deadly spikes and enemies ending each stage with a tough boss battle. The formula was used in the first and then again in the second and it remains fairly unchanged and it still works fine. Collecting rings is vital to staying alive since as long as youíre always holding one when youíre hit, youíre still good to go. It doesnít stray far from the games before, which is definitely a good thing but there are some additions. New to the series are special force fields that offer unique abilities. One acts as a giant air bubble that lets you breathe underwater, one makes you resistant to fire and the final one attracts rings like a magnet. These add a nice sense of relief to some of the more difficult levels where for example the fire ring may prove extremely useful in a level full of lava.

Each new zone brings different ideas to the table and prevents it from becoming a chore with the overall journey lasting you around four or so hours. Unlike its predecessors you arenít forced to finish the entire game in one sitting thanks to a handy save system which is much appreciated. The main single player adventure has well over ten zones each with two acts and two bosses taking you from huge mushroom forests and underground water cities to sandy dunes and even in space. You plummet down steep hills in Marble Garden Zone, try to gasp for air in Hydrocity Zone and enter a haunted temple in Sandopolis Zone. Bosses each have their own weaknesses to find and patterns to learn and when you think youíve seen all the game has to offer you see something new. Youíre faced with so much and taken to so many varied places you arenít going to forget the experience for a long time.

What is great about this game is you can tackle zones how you like. While some will prefer memorizing routes and dashing through ignoring nearly everything and getting the best time possible, it also pays to venture and explore grabbing rings and special bubbles. You can also find some of the most addicting bonus stages involving pinball machines and crazy giant orbs, Chaos emeralds and also Super Emeralds if youíre lucky. Furthermore, when you are done with Sonic you can tackle the stages with Tails and then Knuckles who can fly and climb walls respectively. Not only does this add replay value but it also allows you to try new paths that Sonic couldnít take before. It may look like a short game with not a lot to offer, but itís one of those titles that can be enjoyed again and again.

Thereís even a two player race mode to accompany an already awesome single player. Here you can pick between the three heroes and race against one another on five courses. Itís like a racing game but with platforming. Items add an element of surprise to the unfolding events offering bonuses and hindrances. While not brilliant it is still good fun and perfect for a quick ten minute session with a friend.

Visually I still feel the graphics hold up to a pretty decent standard today. Each of the many zones are bright, bold and colourful using Sonicís unique home world of Mobius as the setting. I prefer it and wish newer Sonic titles would refer back to Mobius rather than feel the need to take the blue hedgehog into real life countries or futuristic, industrialised environments.

A real highlight for me in this game is the music. Hands down one of the greatest soundtracks Iíve had the pleasure of listening to in any game before. Whether it be Marble Garden Zone, Flying Battery, Angel Island... thereís so many to name. Attention to detail even goes down to slight variations in stage music when moving onto the second act. Youíll also smile in delight with the usual classic Sonic jumps, spring and ring noises that are sadly absent in recent adventures.

While itís great playing a story driven game like Bioshock or a mass online multiplayer like Call Of Duty there are times when a good simple experience cannot be beaten. Sonic 3 is a great game, Sonic & Knuckles doesnít disappoint either and the only real complaint you could give is alone they are both a little short. But combine them and play them as SEGA originally intended (as a single title) and you have one of the best platformers and one of the best games to be released to date. Will I be using my Xbox 360 or Wii this week? No way! Iím off to find those remaining emeralds and start the adventure all over again!
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Wed 13/05/09 at 23:04
Regular
"Ghosts Can't Die!"
Posts: 774
There are several decisions Iím glad Iíve made throughout my life. In fact thereís a whole list of them and itís hard to choose the best. But one that would definitely be in the running is deciding to keep my Sega Mega Drive rather than sell it off as the newer generations turned up. Sure I could play some of the classics on the Wiiís Virtual Console or Xboxís Live Arcade even if I had, but to fully experience my favourite game in its true form I need my Mega Drive. What game is that? Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.

Originally when SEGA released this adventure it was in two separate cartridges. Sonic 3 and then later Sonic & Knuckles, a game that featured a never before seen ďlock onĒ technology that allowed you to plug the third Sonic into in order to access new content. While both were great alone, it became a phenomenal quest when you slotted one game into the other. This is one of those titles that I constantly find myself coming back to year after year and every time it remains as addictive and fun as the last.

The red echidna Knuckles catches you off guard, stealing the Chaos emeralds and itís now your job as Sonic to retrieve them and also defeat the evil Dr. Robotnik once again. Story wise there is a little more than you may expect with small cutscenes used to allow some feeling of changeover from zone to zone. Itís cooler to see Sonic making his way between these random environments rather than just automatically starting a new one after finishing the last. It gives a feeling of a story taking place.

If you donít know what a Sonic game is about then where have you been!

Here things are fast requiring quick reflexes and if you like a good sense of exploration for those secrets. Youíll be running, spinning and jumping from left to right grabbing rings and dodging deadly spikes and enemies ending each stage with a tough boss battle. The formula was used in the first and then again in the second and it remains fairly unchanged and it still works fine. Collecting rings is vital to staying alive since as long as youíre always holding one when youíre hit, youíre still good to go. It doesnít stray far from the games before, which is definitely a good thing but there are some additions. New to the series are special force fields that offer unique abilities. One acts as a giant air bubble that lets you breathe underwater, one makes you resistant to fire and the final one attracts rings like a magnet. These add a nice sense of relief to some of the more difficult levels where for example the fire ring may prove extremely useful in a level full of lava.

Each new zone brings different ideas to the table and prevents it from becoming a chore with the overall journey lasting you around four or so hours. Unlike its predecessors you arenít forced to finish the entire game in one sitting thanks to a handy save system which is much appreciated. The main single player adventure has well over ten zones each with two acts and two bosses taking you from huge mushroom forests and underground water cities to sandy dunes and even in space. You plummet down steep hills in Marble Garden Zone, try to gasp for air in Hydrocity Zone and enter a haunted temple in Sandopolis Zone. Bosses each have their own weaknesses to find and patterns to learn and when you think youíve seen all the game has to offer you see something new. Youíre faced with so much and taken to so many varied places you arenít going to forget the experience for a long time.

What is great about this game is you can tackle zones how you like. While some will prefer memorizing routes and dashing through ignoring nearly everything and getting the best time possible, it also pays to venture and explore grabbing rings and special bubbles. You can also find some of the most addicting bonus stages involving pinball machines and crazy giant orbs, Chaos emeralds and also Super Emeralds if youíre lucky. Furthermore, when you are done with Sonic you can tackle the stages with Tails and then Knuckles who can fly and climb walls respectively. Not only does this add replay value but it also allows you to try new paths that Sonic couldnít take before. It may look like a short game with not a lot to offer, but itís one of those titles that can be enjoyed again and again.

Thereís even a two player race mode to accompany an already awesome single player. Here you can pick between the three heroes and race against one another on five courses. Itís like a racing game but with platforming. Items add an element of surprise to the unfolding events offering bonuses and hindrances. While not brilliant it is still good fun and perfect for a quick ten minute session with a friend.

Visually I still feel the graphics hold up to a pretty decent standard today. Each of the many zones are bright, bold and colourful using Sonicís unique home world of Mobius as the setting. I prefer it and wish newer Sonic titles would refer back to Mobius rather than feel the need to take the blue hedgehog into real life countries or futuristic, industrialised environments.

A real highlight for me in this game is the music. Hands down one of the greatest soundtracks Iíve had the pleasure of listening to in any game before. Whether it be Marble Garden Zone, Flying Battery, Angel Island... thereís so many to name. Attention to detail even goes down to slight variations in stage music when moving onto the second act. Youíll also smile in delight with the usual classic Sonic jumps, spring and ring noises that are sadly absent in recent adventures.

While itís great playing a story driven game like Bioshock or a mass online multiplayer like Call Of Duty there are times when a good simple experience cannot be beaten. Sonic 3 is a great game, Sonic & Knuckles doesnít disappoint either and the only real complaint you could give is alone they are both a little short. But combine them and play them as SEGA originally intended (as a single title) and you have one of the best platformers and one of the best games to be released to date. Will I be using my Xbox 360 or Wii this week? No way! Iím off to find those remaining emeralds and start the adventure all over again!

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