Goron_3

Sonic 3 & Knuckles is Absolutely Incredible and You Must Play It.

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...In fact, it's so good I'd go as far as saying that it is the most complete 16-bit platformer and actually better in many ways than games like DKC and Super Mario World.

 

Now, we all know the modern Sonic games are absolutely terrible, however I want to take people back to when the games were something really special. Sonic 1 and 2 were great and were huge system sellers back in the day, but for me the greatest game in the series was Sonic 3 & Knuckles. In fact, I firmly believe that this is one of the greatest platform games ever made.

 

What makes it better than Sonic 1+2?

 

A lot of people claim Sonic 2 is the best Sonic game and I can see why they’d think that. It was a huge improvement on the original Sonic the Hedgehog title; it was faster, featured an additional character and there were more levels. That said, that game also had some flaws. Tails didn’t offer much that was unique in single player and the levels were hit and miss. Chemical Plant had incredible music but the levels were both VERY short and there were some hit and miss levels including Oil Ocean and Hill Top Zone.

 

Sonic 3 & K was another story. Firstly, the levels themselves were absolutely huge and had a variety of different pathways, often with paths specific to characters. Take a level like Flying Battery Zone or Hydrocity…you could play through these levels multiple times and discover different paths and secrets on each play through. Unlike in Sonic 2, non of the levels were too short (you could get through both chemical plant levels in under a minute in Sonic 2); in fact, each were 3-4 minutes long even for an experience player whilst feeling diverse and unique at the same time.

 

Soundtrack

 

S3&K had an advantage here in that Michael Jackson basically composed the whole soundtrack (which is pretty obvious when you listen to Launch Base or Ice Cap) but it wipes the floor with most Genesis soundtracks. In fact, it has a better soundtrack than most games from that era.

 

Personal favourites include:

 

 

 

 

Story

 

Yes, this game actually had a story and playing as different characters led you to different bosses. The story took a backseat for most of the game but on levels like Hidden Palace it really worked. The on going rivalry with Knuckles before the Knuckles-Robotnic cutscene in Hidden Palace…got damn, so so good. It also featured one of the best final chapters of any game that I’ve played. The crescendo to the final boss was just so perfect..it’s like playing Super Contra but in Sonic form.

 

Gameplay

 

The game also feels incredible to play. Each character feels completely unique but they are just so responsive. Whereas modern Sonic games tend to be a ‘hold forward’ experience, S3&K really challenged your platforming skills, particularly in the second half of the game. Playing as Knuckles or Tails felt different enough to warrant separate a play through without taking away the feel of a true Sonic game. It just…worked.

 

To me, these games are near perfection. Little details such as Act 2 levels having remixed music of their Act 1 counterparts and how every level linked together with a little ‘cutscene’ after you had defeated a boss just polishes the overall experience which was already pretty fantastic to begin with. The game is challenging without ever being unfair and it features some incredible boss and level design. It’s just a shame that the franchise went down the shitter after this.

 

So that’s my opinion on this incredible game, which for some reason is always overlooked when people talk about great platformers. Was it because the game was released in 2 parts (Sonic and Knuckles came out a few months after S3) and people overlooked them, or is it simply because I’m blinded by my childhood love for the game? I've replayed the game over the past few years on multiple occasions and I still consider it to be one of the greatest video games ever made and certainly one of the best of the 16-bit era.

 

What do you guys think?

Edited by Goron_3

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I need to properly play it, Sonic 2 was my first ever game and I played it to death. Never had the third game but did play a little of it on emulator.

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I always really enjoyed Sonic & Knuckles but im not sure I ever completed it. I'll probably have to play through it again soon as I just got the cartridge. Sonic 2 is still my favourite though.

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Sonic 3 + Knuckles is my personal favourite Sonic game(s) of all time. Which isn't really a lot to go on, considering there isn't much of a choice in the "good Sonic games" category.

 

I originally had Sonic 3 as a birthday present, seeing as i had 1 and 2 already. First thing i noticed was that Sonic looked different but Tales looked the same. And it had a stage save system, so at least if you died you could continue on from the stage you left off at. Which i quite enjoyed. As i was playing the stages, i seemingly was enjoying them more than playing previous Sonic stages in 1 and 2. The music was a lot better, and it seemed that Sega had put more work into the 3rd than they did with the previous 2. But i noticed there were only 6 stages and felt this game was incredibly short.

 

That was until my cousin said i've only got 1/3 of the game, and he lent me his Sonic and Knuckles cartridge.

 

Then that opened me up to the full game and a nice addition. After all, i had all the Chaos Emeralds in the first 6 levels and i thought to myself "woo, Super Sonic in the later 1/2." Wrong, had to get them so called "Super Emeralds" for the next few levels. But if you played each game as separate entities, you collected Chaos Emeralds. And you could get Super versions of Tales (only if you got the Super Emeralds) and Knuckles as well.

 

As it's been said, playing the game as Sonic, Tales and Knuckles felt new enough to warrent separate playthroughs. I did it many a time, and got all Emeralds for each. And with different exits and routes per character was also a nice addition, with some levels looking slightly different depending on the character used.

 

And i loved the additional factor of being able to play Sonic 2 as Knuckles if using the Sonic 2 cart with the S+K cart, but that's a different story.

 

A brilliant 16bit game, still up there as one of my favourite games of all time. And i still play it via Xbox Live Arcade as i can't find the Mega Drive power lead.

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So that’s my opinion on this incredible game, which for some reason is always overlooked when people talk about great platformers. Was it because the game was released in 2 parts (Sonic and Knuckles came out a few months after S3) and people overlooked them, or is it simply because I’m blinded by my childhood love for the game?

 

I don't think you're being overly nostalgic at all - they were definitely overlooked compared to the first two. Thinking back to how it felt at the time, when Sonic 3 was on its way, people had simply stopped being hyped by the Megadrive. I remember how Sonic the Hedgehog was a smash hit, and many of my friends, even ones with very little interest in gaming, proudly told me they were buying Sonic 2 on Day 1. Fast-forward to magazine previews of Sonic 3 and... nothing. The hype had gone, even more so by the time Sonic & Knuckles was released.

 

I do agree with you that Sonic 3 (either on its own or with Knuckles) is better than Sonic 2, which to me seemed rushed, with overly long Stages and a frustrating difficulty level. The mini-game alone is fairer and more enjoyable (and a precursor of Super Mario Galaxy!) Personally, it was very satisfying to play Sonic Mega Collection on the GameCube, complete Sonic 3 with all the Chaos Emeralds, bolt Sonic & Knuckles on and do that as well.

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I love all the Sonic MegaDrive games. I spent exclusively my younger childhood on them!! Feeling really nostalgic now!

 

I remember when I got Sonic & Knuckles for xmas. I screamed!

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I loved these games so damn much, got them for Christmas one year and played them non stop for months! it's easily the best sonic, followed closely by sonic CD (which is far superior to Sonic 2)

 

I so so so very much want sega to release a 3D classic of these games, they cannot stop at sonic 1

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So that’s my opinion on this incredible game, which for some reason is always overlooked when people talk about great platformers. Was it because the game was released in 2 parts (Sonic and Knuckles came out a few months after S3) and people overlooked them, or is it simply because I’m blinded by my childhood love for the game? I've replayed the game over the past few years on multiple occasions and I still consider it to be one of the greatest video games ever made and certainly one of the best of the 16-bit era.

 

What do you guys think?

 

You're not being overly nostalgic at all. I share your opinion that it is one of the finest platformers ever conceived. It was ambitious, well-executed and hit every note of good game design. Even from a technical standpoint, it is marvellous, and the end result is incredibly well-polished.

 

Why is it overlooked? Sonic 2 was pretty good, while its two separate sequels were underwhelming by comparison. In the realms of mortal beings, it is most common to superficially perceive all matters of things, instead of looking deeper, and discovering the holy grail hidden in plain sight, for Sonic 3&Knuckles breaks free from the physical shackles of their plastic shells, and transcends into a higher, most divine existence, a state often ignored but by the most enlightened men.

 

:mad: Or maybe it was them SNES fans, downplaying this hidden gem with their propaganda, those dirty motherf-[/pent-up bitterness]

 

...In fact, it's so good I'd go as far as saying that it is the most complete 16-bit platformer and actually better in many ways than games like DKC and Super Mario World.

 

I always thought that SMW was overrated, but the DKC trilogy is definitely on par with Sonic3&Knuckles... The entire trilogy, I mean :grin: No individual game of that series is better than S3&K

 

Chemical Plant had incredible music but the levels were both VERY short and there were some hit and miss levels including Oil Ocean and Hill Top Zone.

 

Oil Ocean was so trippy and different, I loved it. I think the level variety in Sonic 2 is really good, as even simple stuff like Hill Top provides a "breather".

 

Personal favourites include:

 

Broadcast Yourself
Audio

 

That music is so good!

 

Yes, this game actually had a story and playing as different characters led you to different bosses. The story took a backseat for most of the game but on levels like Hidden Palace it really worked. The on going rivalry with Knuckles before the Knuckles-Robotnic cutscene in Hidden Palace…got damn, so so good. It also featured one of the best final chapters of any game that I’ve played. The crescendo to the final boss was just so perfect..it’s like playing Super Contra but in Sonic form.

 

You know, even today, few games understand this kind of wordless, minimalistic storytelling. It's incredible how the game really did everything right.

 

Sonic 3 & K was another story. Firstly, the levels themselves were absolutely huge and had a variety of different pathways, often with paths specific to characters. Take a level like Flying Battery Zone or Hydrocity…you could play through these levels multiple times and discover different paths and secrets on each play through. Unlike in Sonic 2, non of the levels were too short (you could get through both chemical plant levels in under a minute in Sonic 2); in fact, each were 3-4 minutes long even for an experience player whilst feeling diverse and unique at the same time.

 

[...]

 

The game also feels incredible to play. Each character feels completely unique but they are just so responsive. Whereas modern Sonic games tend to be a ‘hold forward’ experience, S3&K really challenged your platforming skills, particularly in the second half of the game. Playing as Knuckles or Tails felt different enough to warrant separate a play through without taking away the feel of a true Sonic game. It just…worked.

 

To me, these games are near perfection. Little details such as Act 2 levels having remixed music of their Act 1 counterparts and how every level linked together with a little ‘cutscene’ after you had defeated a boss just polishes the overall experience which was already pretty fantastic to begin with. The game is challenging without ever being unfair and it features some incredible boss and level design. It’s just a shame that the franchise went down the shitter after this.

 

You know what blew my mind as a kid? Knuckles could actually break a rock wall from the level in Angel Island Zone. That rock had been there for the longest time in Sonic 3, and that much time later, a new character (practically DLC!) could just break apart a piece of the level I took for granted, and breathe entirely new life into it. And he did it seamlessly, without altering the level design itself! It made the game world so organic.

 

God, I could gush about this game for hours.

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I think that's probably fair, but for me the Sonic games aren't actually good games to begin with. They were amazing at the time because they moved super fast, looked great and had catchy music (still do). But each of the levels is an exercise in either rote learning or frustrating start/stop gameplay that isn't satisfying to me because it doesn't let you build up any momentum without having you run into a wall, or spring hopping into a spike, unless you know from trial and error where they are.

 

Compare it to something like Mario 3 where it's more a matter of mastering the way Mario moves. Once you have his jump trajectory down, you can pretty much encounter any new level and be fairly sure that you have a good chance of getting through it almost without stopping.

 

So yeah, that broadly is the difference between platformers I like and platformers I don't. The first kind expands from mastery of a moveset into an environmental challenge, the second type is more of an abstraction of learning a song or something; you practice until you can either get through it or make it feel fluid (in the case of sonic games).

 

Not to shit on Sonic too much, I still play the Megadrive games because my brain is weird and I'm constantly mesmerised by the colours that chipset produces, along with the fantastic music.

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Woah! Overwhelmed by the responses in this thread! Glad to get people talking :)

 

I need to properly play it, Sonic 2 was my first ever game and I played it to death. Never had the third game but did play a little of it on emulator.

 

You really need to invest in Sonic 3 dude. I think it's on PSN (you have to buy S3 and S&K separately but you should be able to play the full game once you have them both). That said, I think many people were in your situation growing up...Sonic 2 was huge but Sonic 3 came out when the genesis started to struggle.

 

I always really enjoyed Sonic & Knuckles but im not sure I ever completed it. I'll probably have to play through it again soon as I just got the cartridge. Sonic 2 is still my favourite though.

 

Get on it! Play the full game (S3 and K) and I'm sure you'll love it. Sonic 2 is great but I do feel as though S3 improves on it in every way, particularly level design and music.

 

Sonic 3 + Knuckles is my personal favourite Sonic game(s) of all time. Which isn't really a lot to go on, considering there isn't much of a choice in the "good Sonic games" category.

 

I originally had Sonic 3 as a birthday present, seeing as i had 1 and 2 already. First thing i noticed was that Sonic looked different but Tales looked the same. And it had a stage save system, so at least if you died you could continue on from the stage you left off at. Which i quite enjoyed. As i was playing the stages, i seemingly was enjoying them more than playing previous Sonic stages in 1 and 2. The music was a lot better, and it seemed that Sega had put more work into the 3rd than they did with the previous 2. But i noticed there were only 6 stages and felt this game was incredibly short.

 

That was until my cousin said i've only got 1/3 of the game, and he lent me his Sonic and Knuckles cartridge.

 

Then that opened me up to the full game and a nice addition. After all, i had all the Chaos Emeralds in the first 6 levels and i thought to myself "woo, Super Sonic in the later 1/2." Wrong, had to get them so called "Super Emeralds" for the next few levels. But if you played each game as separate entities, you collected Chaos Emeralds. And you could get Super versions of Tales (only if you got the Super Emeralds) and Knuckles as well.

 

As it's been said, playing the game as Sonic, Tales and Knuckles felt new enough to warrent separate playthroughs. I did it many a time, and got all Emeralds for each. And with different exits and routes per character was also a nice addition, with some levels looking slightly different depending on the character used.

 

And i loved the additional factor of being able to play Sonic 2 as Knuckles if using the Sonic 2 cart with the S+K cart, but that's a different story.

 

A brilliant 16bit game, still up there as one of my favourite games of all time. And i still play it via Xbox Live Arcade as i can't find the Mega Drive power lead.

 

My Mega Drive doesn't work anymore but I still have my copy of Sonic 3...tucked into the S&K expansion.

 

I don't think you're being overly nostalgic at all - they were definitely overlooked compared to the first two. Thinking back to how it felt at the time, when Sonic 3 was on its way, people had simply stopped being hyped by the Megadrive. I remember how Sonic the Hedgehog was a smash hit, and many of my friends, even ones with very little interest in gaming, proudly told me they were buying Sonic 2 on Day 1. Fast-forward to magazine previews of Sonic 3 and... nothing. The hype had gone, even more so by the time Sonic & Knuckles was released.

 

I do agree with you that Sonic 3 (either on its own or with Knuckles) is better than Sonic 2, which to me seemed rushed, with overly long Stages and a frustrating difficulty level. The mini-game alone is fairer and more enjoyable (and a precursor of Super Mario Galaxy!) Personally, it was very satisfying to play Sonic Mega Collection on the GameCube, complete Sonic 3 with all the Chaos Emeralds, bolt Sonic & Knuckles on and do that as well.

 

Dude, I completely forgot about Mega Collection. I need to hunt it down and get it set up on my Wii. Out of interest, did you ever complete the Knuckles story arc of S3&K? The final boss (Mecha Sonic) is absolutely awesome :D

 

I love all the Sonic MegaDrive games. I spent exclusively my younger childhood on them!! Feeling really nostalgic now!

 

I remember when I got Sonic & Knuckles for xmas. I screamed!

 

Funnily enough I got my Mega Drive with Sonic 1 and cried because it wasn't a SNES with Mario. One hour later I was in love :heart:

 

I loved these games so damn much, got them for Christmas one year and played them non stop for months! it's easily the best sonic, followed closely by sonic CD (which is far superior to Sonic 2)

 

I so so so very much want sega to release a 3D classic of these games, they cannot stop at sonic 1

 

Don't hate me but I just can't get into Sonic CD...There's something about the level design that I don't get on with. Maybe I should try it again?

 

You're not being overly nostalgic at all. I share your opinion that it is one of the finest platformers ever conceived. It was ambitious, well-executed and hit every note of good game design. Even from a technical standpoint, it is marvellous, and the end result is incredibly well-polished.

 

Why is it overlooked? Sonic 2 was pretty good, while its two separate sequels were underwhelming by comparison. In the realms of mortal beings, it is most common to superficially perceive all matters of things, instead of looking deeper, and discovering the holy grail hidden in plain sight, for Sonic 3&Knuckles breaks free from the physical shackles of their plastic shells, and transcends into a higher, most divine existence, a state often ignored but by the most enlightened men.

 

:mad: Or maybe it was them SNES fans, downplaying this hidden gem with their propaganda, those dirty motherf-[/pent-up bitterness]

 

 

 

I always thought that SMW was overrated, but the DKC trilogy is definitely on par with Sonic3&Knuckles... The entire trilogy, I mean :grin: No individual game of that series is better than S3&K

 

 

 

Oil Ocean was so trippy and different, I loved it. I think the level variety in Sonic 2 is really good, as even simple stuff like Hill Top provides a "breather".

 

 

 

Broadcast Yourself
Audio

 

That music is so good!

 

 

 

You know, even today, few games understand this kind of wordless, minimalistic storytelling. It's incredible how the game really did everything right.

 

 

 

You know what blew my mind as a kid? Knuckles could actually break a rock wall from the level in Angel Island Zone. That rock had been there for the longest time in Sonic 3, and that much time later, a new character (practically DLC!) could just break apart a piece of the level I took for granted, and breathe entirely new life into it. And he did it seamlessly, without altering the level design itself! It made the game world so organic.

 

God, I could gush about this game for hours.

 

I agree with this word for word. And you're right about the simplistic story..it's told so well through basically nothing and in many ways reminds me of how Super Metroid tells its story.

 

Also..you love this game AND Melee? I think you're my soul mate :heart:

 

I think that's probably fair, but for me the Sonic games aren't actually good games to begin with. They were amazing at the time because they moved super fast, looked great and had catchy music (still do). But each of the levels is an exercise in either rote learning or frustrating start/stop gameplay that isn't satisfying to me because it doesn't let you build up any momentum without having you run into a wall, or spring hopping into a spike, unless you know from trial and error where they are.

 

Compare it to something like Mario 3 where it's more a matter of mastering the way Mario moves. Once you have his jump trajectory down, you can pretty much encounter any new level and be fairly sure that you have a good chance of getting through it almost without stopping.

 

So yeah, that broadly is the difference between platformers I like and platformers I don't. The first kind expands from mastery of a moveset into an environmental challenge, the second type is more of an abstraction of learning a song or something; you practice until you can either get through it or make it feel fluid (in the case of sonic games).

 

Not to shit on Sonic too much, I still play the Megadrive games because my brain is weird and I'm constantly mesmerised by the colours that chipset produces, along with the fantastic music.

 

God damn it. For the love of god, please play S3&K. Please? And then once you've completed it, write a blog piece :heh: Honestly, the game is fucking ace.

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Dude, I completely forgot about Mega Collection. I need to hunt it down and get it set up on my Wii. Out of interest, did you ever complete the Knuckles story arc of S3&K? The final boss (Mecha Sonic) is absolutely awesome :D

 

No, don't think I did actually. Sounds interesting though.

 

I forgot to say one thing - the reason I like the original, and then 3, is helped massively by Sonic 3 being the first game in the series with a save state. Sonic 2 not having one was the real reason I couldn't get through it, but Sonic 3 was nice because I could take it at my own pace.

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Get on it! Play the full game (S3 and K) and I'm sure you'll love it. Sonic 2 is great but I do feel as though S3 improves on it in every way, particularly level design and music.

 

Sorry, I've definitely played enough of S3 & K to be able to say that Sonic 2 is still my favourite :P Doesnt take away from the fact that S3 & K was still a brilliant game. The lock on stuff blew my mind as well when I was a kid!

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I was never big into Sonic, but somehow back in the good ol' days when we had AOL my brother somehow, and I don't really know how or why, managed to end up with some sort of PC demo of sonic and knuckles that I think contained the first 3 levels? Then the demo ended.

 

Being as I was back then, I played the fucking shit out of that demo and its meagre 3 levels. There was something about it that I loved(especially the choice of the different characters). I ended up eventually buying the Sonic mega collection on Xbox, probably just because of that, but I tried playing it all in order and never got round to this before falling off. Maybe I'll dig out this and the good ol' chunky xbox and see how I get on...

 

....after I've finished the immense backlog I've built up in the generations since 10 years ago ;)

 

(though i guess technically this would be at the top of that list...)

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I remember the lock-on function Sonic 1 had with the S+K cart, giving out Sonic 3/S+K Emerald special stages. Another great moment in gaming. Something i can't forget, i chose a Mega Drive over a SNES and i don't regret that decision one bit. Sonic the Hedgehog on the early Sega consoles was brilliant.

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You should really give Sonic CD another shot! i managed to play a little on a Friends Mega CD when i was a kid, and thought of it as an extension to Sonic 2 on the CD drive, got it for PC and never had it running right, it was slower, glitchy and the special stages made no sense

 

but then every mega collection that has come out, i've looked for CD to be included and it never has (for unknown reasons to me) and when it came out for iOS/Android, i bought it again to finally try it properly (using a bluetooth contorller) and it ble me away, the animated intor, the music, the more platform like level design with the time travel mechanic, and now i know what to do in the special stages they aren't so bad - they can be unfairly hard but they are very challenging to do.

For the money it goes for its worth a shot if you can try it (with a controller - the touch controls are not responsive enough for any sonic game)

 

But Sonic 3 & Knuckles was/is just the perfect sonic game

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I agree with this word for word. And you're right about the simplistic story..it's told so well through basically nothing and in many ways reminds me of how Super Metroid tells its story.

 

Also..you love this game AND Melee? I think you're my soul mate :heart:

 

Yeah, we do have similar opinions, don't we? (I remember you being a fan of Ace Attorney as well) :)

 

I think that's probably fair, but for me the Sonic games aren't actually good games to begin with. They were amazing at the time because they moved super fast, looked great and had catchy music (still do). But each of the levels is an exercise in either rote learning or frustrating start/stop gameplay that isn't satisfying to me because it doesn't let you build up any momentum without having you run into a wall, or spring hopping into a spike, unless you know from trial and error where they are.

 

Compare it to something like Mario 3 where it's more a matter of mastering the way Mario moves. Once you have his jump trajectory down, you can pretty much encounter any new level and be fairly sure that you have a good chance of getting through it almost without stopping.

 

So yeah, that broadly is the difference between platformers I like and platformers I don't. The first kind expands from mastery of a moveset into an environmental challenge, the second type is more of an abstraction of learning a song or something; you practice until you can either get through it or make it feel fluid (in the case of sonic games).

 

Not to shit on Sonic too much, I still play the Megadrive games because my brain is weird and I'm constantly mesmerised by the colours that chipset produces, along with the fantastic music.

 

What you described sounds like the Sonic Advance/Rush/portable series. Where really all one has to do is press forward and most of the level is beat.

 

The Mega Drive games are good because they possess a really good physics engine, where Sonic himself actually has momentum. Sure, speed is an option, but only because it is something you can achieve, rather than it being the default (or even the expected) mode. A lesson that the Rush/Advance series never got.

 

Sonic games were made to be easier (or more fun) to rush through the levels like a speedrunner, but it also expects you to learn the levels at your own pace before you try (why else would they throw you so many waiting obstacles in the first game? You know, like pendulum platforms, or the entirety of Marble Zone). Granted, Sonic 3&Knuckles do offer more moments of speed, but they're interactive (and short) set pieces at best.

 

Furthermore, different speeds and different terrain slopes lead to different jumping heights and angles (unlike Super "My jumps are directly proportional to my speed" Mario). Also unlike Mario, Sonic has more than 3 set speeds. If we're talking about platforming depth and complexity, Sonic has more than mere elaborate obstacle courses. If you don't learn how Sonic moves, you'll never beat Hydrocity Act 2, for example.

 

Just saying, your words sounded like a shallow evaluation of the games.

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What you described sounds like the Sonic Advance/Rush/portable series. Where really all one has to do is press forward and most of the level is beat.

 

The Mega Drive games are good because they possess a really good physics engine, where Sonic himself actually has momentum. Sure, speed is an option, but only because it is something you can achieve, rather than it being the default (or even the expected) mode. A lesson that the Rush/Advance series never got.

 

Sonic games were made to be easier (or more fun) to rush through the levels like a speedrunner, but it also expects you to learn the levels at your own pace before you try (why else would they throw you so many waiting obstacles in the first game? You know, like pendulum platforms, or the entirety of Marble Zone). Granted, Sonic 3&Knuckles do offer more moments of speed, but they're interactive (and short) set pieces at best.

 

Furthermore, different speeds and different terrain slopes lead to different jumping heights and angles (unlike Super "My jumps are directly proportional to my speed" Mario). Also unlike Mario, Sonic has more than 3 set speeds. If we're talking about platforming depth and complexity, Sonic has more than mere elaborate obstacle courses. If you don't learn how Sonic moves, you'll never beat Hydrocity Act 2, for example.

 

Just saying, your words sounded like a shallow evaluation of the games.

 

I think your argument hinges on the idea that the Sonic games weren't designed (poorly), marketed and evaluated on their ability to confer a speed of movement on the player, and secondly (as well as more subjectively) that they were actually fun to play through in their capacity as slow moving platformers. I reckon you're wrong on the first count, and weird on the second :heh:.

 

Saying the games are good on the back of their "physics engine" isn't exactly a statement that screams quality analysis - the gist of my argument was that the way the environment is organised is incommensurate with the movement of the character, in the same way that Sonic's top movement speed is incommensurate with any average person's reaction times. There are the frequent environmentally imposed stops from hitting a wall, a spike, or misjudgment of an enemy movement path, added to the fact that his momentum takes a while to build, leading to you getting near a decent flow within a level, hitting a wall and then having to bumble around collecting rings before working at building your speed up again. What you get is a recipe for initial runs through any given level after the first three or four being full of frustrating starts and stops as you try to find the most expedient course in a platformer that's sold on the promise of its speed of movement; a promise that's never actually delivered to someone who doesn't want to play the same levels again and again.

 

And for real, the physics engine argument reminds me of when people used to say this or that FPS is amazing because it has Havok physics and that means levels play out differently each time because every time you cap an enemy they fall a different fucking way. You can't seriously be the person to make that argument with a straight face when what they do with that physics "simulation" is inconsequential or actually detrimental to the game. You basically pointed out about three disparate parts of the game (momentum, jump angles etc) and presented them as if naming them adds up to a well designed game when my argument is more that unlike Mario, the actual game surrounding the way Sonic feels and behaves with a controller is dissatisfying to play for people who don't want to learn the levels by rote.

 

And hey, I think it's healthy to have a discussion where not everyone is unconditionally singing praises, so don't take this as me saying the games are worthless - I'm just trying to provide an alternate perspective.

Anyway, I like the games for reasons other than the platforming, so I'm off to play Sonic 2. Dat Chemical Plant Zone music...

 

God damn it. For the love of god, please play S3&K. Please? And then once you've completed it, write a blog piece :heh: Honestly, the game is fucking ace.

 

Dude I fucking love that game but more for the way it modified Sonic 2 and 3. Don't think I ever actually played the game proper all the way through!

 

Also get on Streets of Rage Online, let's get our coop on and fuck up some 16bit shitkickers.

Edited by The Bard

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Such a shame that Sonic games are complete dog shit now :(

 

What did you say.

 

Sonic Colours is awesome, brah. Great game, worth playing.

 

I can't distinguish between the MegaDrive Sonic games. I played them such a long time ago and they all merge into one. Bluddy awesome though, loved the games when I was younger. Temptedings to search for my console when I go back home next. Dat nostalgia.

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Sonic Generations is also suprisingly good. Be nice if we could actually get a sequel to that instead of these other Sonic games that have been made lately.

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I think your argument hinges on the idea that the Sonic games weren't designed (poorly), marketed and evaluated on their ability to confer a speed of movement on the player, and secondly (as well as more subjectively) that they were actually fun to play through in their capacity as slow moving platformers. I reckon you're wrong on the first count, and weird on the second :heh:.

 

My argument hinges more on Sonic being good despite the intended focus on speed. Or rather, Sonic Team went the best way possible in trying to create a sense of speed, and the end result is more versatile than simply the intended goal.

 

So I'm being weird on both points! :heh:

Saying the games are good on the back of their "physics engine" isn't exactly a statement that screams quality analysis - the gist of my argument was that the way the environment is organised is incommensurate with the movement of the character, in the same way that Sonic's top movement speed is incommensurate with any average person's reaction times. There are the frequent environmentally imposed stops from hitting a wall, a spike, or misjudgment of an enemy movement path, added to the fact that his momentum takes a while to build, leading to you getting near a decent flow within a level, hitting a wall and then having to bumble around collecting rings before working at building your speed up again. What you get is a recipe for initial runs through any given level after the first three or four being full of frustrating starts and stops as you try to find the most expedient course in a platformer that's sold on the promise of its speed of movement; a promise that's never actually delivered to someone who doesn't want to play the same levels again and again.

 

And for real, the physics engine argument reminds me of when people used to say this or that FPS is amazing because it has Havok physics and that means levels play out differently each time because every time you cap an enemy they fall a different fucking way. You can't seriously be the person to make that argument with a straight face when what they do with that physics "simulation" is inconsequential or actually detrimental to the game. You basically pointed out about three disparate parts of the game (momentum, jump angles etc) and presented them as if naming them adds up to a well designed game when my argument is more that unlike Mario, the actual game surrounding the way Sonic feels and behaves with a controller is dissatisfying to play for people who don't want to learn the levels by rote.

 

And hey, I think it's healthy to have a discussion where not everyone is unconditionally singing praises, so don't take this as me saying the games are worthless - I'm just trying to provide an alternate perspective.

Anyway, I like the games for reasons other than the platforming, so I'm off to play Sonic 2. Dat Chemical Plant Zone music...

 

Controlling the main character in a platform game is much different than checking out the effects of Havok in FPSes. The latter very much affects how the game is played, designed, and also how fun it ends up being [EDIT: I meant former. Jeez, typos.]

 

DKC is fun because your main monkeys are fast, fluid and responsive. Wario Land is fun because the main character does feel like a thuggish brute. Mario 64 would not be as revered as it is if Mario didn't have the freedom of movement he has in that game. How your own character moves is a crucial part of any platformer.

 

Sonic's movements need to be learned, which in itself confers depth to the game. Granted, I was giving that argument more as a contrast to his more recent games (like Sonic Rush), where you barely control the character himself.

 

You do admit that the games are fun, despite everything, so I was probably just pressing the wrong point.

Edited by Jonnas

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Bizarrely I was playing this yesterday. Gets me emotional, taking me back to the pure gaming bliss of my childhood. It's dream-like in presentation and direction and the lock-on features are brilliant. Overall, Sonic 3 is my favourite in the series (dat music, the double jump power ups and ingenuity at play) but with S&K it becomes even greater. The sum of its parts.

A special, special game and for me, a special time in the history of gaming.

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I very much agree with @Jonnas here.

 

The Sonic games were marketed on the main character's speed, but to fully appreciate them you needed to learn much more than that (if you played them fast at all, which I didn't). Jonnas talks about physics, for example... Sonic's jump trajectory has just the right level of complexity, and is far more important to learn than just running fast through the stage. It's the difference between landing on a platform or not.

 

You also needed to learn about taking the higher ground, which often offered more power-ups than at ground level. Then there are the various mechanisms throughout each stage. Yes, there are some completely unfair traps, but most are fair and just require careful watching.

 

These games aren't perfect, but learning the gameplay of them does give you a fairer chance of getting through the levels than a lot of other platformers.

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I can't really be bothered to weigh in all the prose everyone else has time to offer, but I take a moment will say that S3&K is one of my all time favourite games, amazing music, amazing atmosphere (the Lava Reef Zone/Hidden Palace Zone/Sky Sanctuary Zone 3-hit combo is just one of the best groups of levels in any game, ever).

 

I was also reading Sonic the Comic at the time which did an amazing arc all about the Death Egg and Robotnik tricking Knuckles that really felt like it filled in the game's blanks.

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