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Thread: Sonic 3 VS Sonic and Knuckles, and everything in-between. My thoughts on it.

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    The Gentleman Thief Baloo's Avatar
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    Default Sonic 3 VS Sonic and Knuckles, and everything in-between. My thoughts on it.

    Played through all of the Sonic games again this week, starting with 1, then 2, and now I just finished playing through the ROM Hack Sonic 3 Complete, which basically synthesizes Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles into one complete game with a few extra cutscenes, and a bunch of customizable options to keep the music from Sonic 3 in Sonic 3&K as well as the possibility to put Flying Battery Zone in its original place between Carnival Night Zone and Ice Cap Zone. I just finished playing through the game with Sonic and got all of the Chaos Emeralds but not all of the Super Emeralds, and here are my thoughts.

    Sonic 3 is a vastly more developed, better game that Sonic and Knuckles in my opinion, and Flying Battery Zone being finished during the production of Sonic 3 seems even more apparent as being a great Sonic 3 level. I'm convinced that Sonic and Knuckles levels just aren't up to snuff, and the themes and graphics of the game just seem quite different and dark, reminiscent of Japanese Sci-Fi movies and Genesis games of the time, but not so much feeling like prior Sonic games. Very dark and unpleasant.

    I really love Sonic 3 as a game as a whole, as I feel its varied but the levels are fun, fast, and challenging. Angel Island Zone, Hydrocity Zone (Perhaps the only fun underwater level in the entire series), Marble Garden Zone, Ice Cap Zone, Launch Base Zone all have great speed and are really unique and don't feel like rehashes of levels from previous Sonic games. Carnival Night Zone is definitely the worst level in Sonic 3, but it could be worse. Those candy-stripe loops are cool.

    Sonic and Knuckles levels on the other hand are freaking frustrating. Mushroom Hill Zone is decent. Sandopolis Zone is absolutely frustrating and puzzle like. Reminds me a lot of something that would be in Castle of Illusion. Lava Reef Zone Act 1 is great, Act 2 is meh. Hidden Palace Zone is boring. Death Egg Zone tried my patience unbelievably, and I felt like I was playing Zero Wing or Thunder Force IV with the music the entire time. Miniboss is unbelievably hard, while the 2nd Boss is unbelievably easy. Sky Sanctuary Zone has amazing music, but looks really ugly for a Sonic game. It makes you wonder if the level was really finished. I think Sky Sanctuary Zone looks like something out of a Sonic ROM Hack. The Doomsday Zone is probably the best epic Final Final boss in all of the series though, and it makes getting the chaos emeralds worthwhile.

    Music in Sonic 3 without a doubt is better than S&K. The MJ sampled vocal tunes are like no other Genesis music, and really make the game. Even the other songs in the game are quite pleasant. The credits music is undoubtedly epic as well. The miniboss tune makes the game by itself. Sonic and Knuckles I think has a really cool opening theme and Invincibility theme. I dig Flying Battery and Lava Reef music. Sky Sanctuary Music is absolutely epic. The rest of the game's music is not too memorable though.

    I think getting the Super Emeralds would have felt more important/relevant to the story if the Special Stages in Sonic and Knuckles were changed up. Otherwise it feels like drudgery getting 14 emeralds for basically no difference in ending to the game.

    The story makes more sense in Sonic 3 Complete with the cutscene of the Death Egg falling to earth, but you do still wonder how Knuckles was tricked the entire time into thinking Sonic stole the Master Emerald when Dr. Robotnik had it the entire time to power the Death Egg and the DeathRobo, especially after the thing falls from the sky.

    I think Sonic 3 and Knuckles still deserves to be played as a whole and is still amazing, but man, I do feel like the game would have flowed a lot better if they were allowed to present Sonic 3 as all one long game. Put Flying Battery Zone where it originally was, cut out Sandopolis Zone and maybe even Hidden Palace Zone.

    What are your guys thoughts on Sonic 3 and Knuckles?
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    Heat Guy WCPO Agent Lync's Avatar
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    My thoughts haven't changed since I was 6, and that's that Sonic 3 & Knuckles is one of the most perfect games I've ever played.

    I've said it somewhere else, but Sonic 1 was the classic, 2 was the favorite, CD was the unappreciated, and 3K was the best.

    But what's interesting to me is when people compare 3 to Knuckles; I never understood that - two halves of one complete game, I couldn't find the reason to play them separately once I had the game in its masterful entirety.

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    I was happy with how Sonic 3 and Knuckles were released separate. And had a great time playing them separate then together back in the day. Played this game a lot back in the day (then a lot more on Sonic Jam compilation). In my recent playthrough of all the Sonic games, they still hold up really well to me.

    As to which of the two I preferred more? As a kid I liked 3 better, then later though Knuckles was better, and with the recent playthrough... I'm not sure anymore. I loved it all. And thought the series ended on one of the most epic finale ever with that last Death Egg stage and it's final bosses and music, then ending.


    My fave stages are Carninval Night, Ice Cap, Mushroom, Sandopolis Act 1 and Lava Reef. Liked Marble Garden a lot more as a kid, but not so much anymore.

    My fave tunes are Lava Reef, Ice Cap, then Final Boss music on that platform before the all Chaos Emerald flight chase.

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    Antiquing Hedgehog Lord QuickSciFi's Avatar
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    @Baloo: Did this ROM hack include a full battle of Sonic 3's final boss? It's the main thing that separates playing them separately from playing with the lock-on tech.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lync View Post
    My thoughts haven't changed since I was 6, and that's that Sonic 3 & Knuckles is one of the most perfect games I've ever played.

    I've said it somewhere else, but Sonic 1 was the classic, 2 was the favorite, CD was the unappreciated, and 3K was the best.

    But what's interesting to me is when people compare 3 to Knuckles; I never understood that - two halves of one complete game, I couldn't find the reason to play them separately once I had the game in its masterful entirety.
    agree with you entirely there

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    Now with 33% more @$$! Master of Shinobi Assman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuickSciFi View Post
    @Baloo: Did this ROM hack include a full battle of Sonic 3's final boss? It's the main thing that separates playing them separately from playing with the lock-on tech.
    It's a toggleable option, yes, along with a million other things. It's a truly beastly hack and the definitive way to play the game (or games, if you wish, as you also have the option to play each half separately).

    http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_3_Complete

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    Antiquing Hedgehog Lord QuickSciFi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Assman View Post
    It's a toggleable option, yes, along with a million other things. It's a truly beastly hack and the definitive way to play the game (or games, if you wish, as you also have the option to play each half separately).

    http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_3_Complete
    'Don't know if I'd call it "the definitive" way of playing the games; but I'm just one purist speaking for myself. However, this is the kind of good stuff I wouldn't mind trying out on the go via some Android tablet or phone with a good controller.

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    The Gentleman Thief Baloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuickSciFi View Post
    @Baloo: Did this ROM hack include a full battle of Sonic 3's final boss? It's the main thing that separates playing them separately from playing with the lock-on tech.
    Yes, you get to face Big Arm as well at the end of Sonic 3. I think it makes the game better for sure, Big Arm as a final boss is not all that difficult but it is nice to get a solid act 2 Boss for Launch Base Zone too. It works well.
    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor View Post
    The Sega Saturn was God's gift to humanity. This is inarguable fact!



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    Stuck in the Past Shining Hero The Jackal's Avatar
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    Sonic 3 had the weaker levels imo. Marble Garden & Carnival Night just bore me. The music is top notch though, and def is essential to play on it's own just for that reason.

    Sonic & Knuckles has the better levels, but just feels incomplete without Sonic 3.

    Sonic 3 & Knuckles is just perfection, as Lync said. The quintessential Sonic game. Only thing that subtracts from it is the Sonic 3 music, esp the boss themes and Knuckles', get replaced with their S&K counterparts.

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    Beat Em Ups Master of Shinobi cowboyscowboys's Avatar
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    I think they are both incredible albeit a little brief on they're own. Sonic and Knuckles to me is definitely the better half of the game though. The levels are even bigger and slightly more challenging. Combined it's my second favorite game ever to Streets of Rage 2. I will note if Sega had released the game on one cartridge it would probably be tied at #1 with Streets of Rage 2. Sonic 3 complete is awesome just slight improvements and options to Sonic 3 and Knuckles and the definitive way to play the game today.
    Women Asian Please
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    Social Justice Ninja Master of Shinobi IrishNinja's Avatar
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    Sonic

    great writeup - as a kid, i read all the gaming mags i could, but still took 3 as a complete game in itself, so when Knuckles showed up, it was just amazing: more levels, plus more ways to play my old games. i didn't feel gypped even for a moment.

    swear to god though, i have "get all the #$%^ing chaos emeralds in sonic 2" on my new year's resolution list this year, it's the only one i've never done it in! and after all these years, i realize that playing it one player means sadly ditching tails, he just loses all our rings too much in those damn halfpipes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lync View Post
    My thoughts haven't changed since I was 6, and that's that Sonic 3 & Knuckles is one of the most perfect games I've ever played.

    I've said it somewhere else, but Sonic 1 was the classic, 2 was the favorite, CD was the unappreciated, and 3K was the best.

    But what's interesting to me is when people compare 3 to Knuckles; I never understood that - two halves of one complete game, I couldn't find the reason to play them separately once I had the game in its masterful entirety.
    agreed with all this - yeah, once i got the lock-on i never played 3 by itself again

    Quote Originally Posted by Assman View Post
    It's a toggleable option, yes, along with a million other things. It's a truly beastly hack and the definitive way to play the game (or games, if you wish, as you also have the option to play each half separately).

    http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_3_Complete
    damn, okay definitely playing it that way next time then!


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    Master of Shinobi midnightrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lync View Post
    I've said it somewhere else, but Sonic 1 was the classic, 2 was the favorite, CD was the unappreciated, and 3K was the best.
    Works for me. 2 might be tighter(coding/level design), but 3&K has substance.

    It's like the same reason why a hardcore wrestling/wrestling video game fan would be willing to import the Fire Pro Wrestling series. Sure, you don't get the fun match types, or as many of the wrestlers you recognize, but it's got more than enough substance to keep one coming back to it.

    It's also why I like the character hacks(though they're usually only Sonic 1). Usually new characters add so much to it, just by playing a little differently, and Tails having his own skill set, as well as Knuckles, does that for S3&K.

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    The Cat in the Hat Shining Hero NeoVamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by midnightrider View Post
    or as many of the wrestlers you recognize
    Luckily the real hardcore wrestling fan who plays FirePro knows they can just download the mega save and get 9000 wrestlers all sorted by federation (and sometimes even era)

    NWO Macho Man & 80s Hogan & Zandig Vs EVERY DAMN TIGER MASK EVER!

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    Master of Shinobi midnightrider's Avatar
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    Actually, I guess I didn't think that line through. A real hardcore fan would watch more than the WWE and probably would know all the wrestlers in the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    Played through all of the Sonic games again this week, starting with 1, then 2, and now I just finished playing through the ROM Hack Sonic 3 Complete, which basically synthesizes Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles into one complete game with a few extra cutscenes, and a bunch of customizable options to keep the music from Sonic 3 in Sonic 3&K as well as the possibility to put Flying Battery Zone in its original place between Carnival Night Zone and Ice Cap Zone. I just finished playing through the game with Sonic and got all of the Chaos Emeralds but not all of the Super Emeralds, and here are my thoughts.

    Sonic 3 is a vastly more developed, better game that Sonic and Knuckles in my opinion, and Flying Battery Zone being finished during the production of Sonic 3 seems even more apparent as being a great Sonic 3 level. I'm convinced that Sonic and Knuckles levels just aren't up to snuff, and the themes and graphics of the game just seem quite different and dark, reminiscent of Japanese Sci-Fi movies and Genesis games of the time, but not so much feeling like prior Sonic games. Very dark and unpleasant.

    I really love Sonic 3 as a game as a whole, as I feel its varied but the levels are fun, fast, and challenging. Angel Island Zone, Hydrocity Zone (Perhaps the only fun underwater level in the entire series), Marble Garden Zone, Ice Cap Zone, Launch Base Zone all have great speed and are really unique and don't feel like rehashes of levels from previous Sonic games. Carnival Night Zone is definitely the worst level in Sonic 3, but it could be worse. Those candy-stripe loops are cool.

    Sonic and Knuckles levels on the other hand are freaking frustrating. Mushroom Hill Zone is decent. Sandopolis Zone is absolutely frustrating and puzzle like. Reminds me a lot of something that would be in Castle of Illusion. Lava Reef Zone Act 1 is great, Act 2 is meh. Hidden Palace Zone is boring. Death Egg Zone tried my patience unbelievably, and I felt like I was playing Zero Wing or Thunder Force IV with the music the entire time. Miniboss is unbelievably hard, while the 2nd Boss is unbelievably easy. Sky Sanctuary Zone has amazing music, but looks really ugly for a Sonic game. It makes you wonder if the level was really finished. I think Sky Sanctuary Zone looks like something out of a Sonic ROM Hack. The Doomsday Zone is probably the best epic Final Final boss in all of the series though, and it makes getting the chaos emeralds worthwhile.

    Music in Sonic 3 without a doubt is better than S&K. The MJ sampled vocal tunes are like no other Genesis music, and really make the game. Even the other songs in the game are quite pleasant. The credits music is undoubtedly epic as well. The miniboss tune makes the game by itself. Sonic and Knuckles I think has a really cool opening theme and Invincibility theme. I dig Flying Battery and Lava Reef music. Sky Sanctuary Music is absolutely epic. The rest of the game's music is not too memorable though.

    I think getting the Super Emeralds would have felt more important/relevant to the story if the Special Stages in Sonic and Knuckles were changed up. Otherwise it feels like drudgery getting 14 emeralds for basically no difference in ending to the game.

    The story makes more sense in Sonic 3 Complete with the cutscene of the Death Egg falling to earth, but you do still wonder how Knuckles was tricked the entire time into thinking Sonic stole the Master Emerald when Dr. Robotnik had it the entire time to power the Death Egg and the DeathRobo, especially after the thing falls from the sky.

    I think Sonic 3 and Knuckles still deserves to be played as a whole and is still amazing, but man, I do feel like the game would have flowed a lot better if they were allowed to present Sonic 3 as all one long game. Put Flying Battery Zone where it originally was, cut out Sandopolis Zone and maybe even Hidden Palace Zone.

    What are your guys thoughts on Sonic 3 and Knuckles?
    I really couldn't agree more and I miss the days you're more active as regular member of the forum due to posts like this.

    S&K feels uninspired and convoluted when compared to Sonic 3.
    A lot of the level design became a mess, palettes are all over the place, enemy placement is way worse, etc. Sonic 3 Complete is really the ultimate Sonic experience IMO, but a lot of it for me is thanks to the options that allow you to apply S3's style into the rest of the game.

    Angel Island, Hydrocity and Ice Cap are the zones I like most. They really deliver an awesome atmosphere for the environment they purpose to create.
    Then you get Mushroom Hill and it's depressingly generic, recycled, flat and ugly. Really sad.

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