Sonic & Knuckles
Review by Onion Kid
"The best Sonic game ever and quite possibly, the best for the Genesis console."
Sonic and Knuckles was a game I happened to find on the Internet in the form of a ROM image. Unlike all the other Sonic games I gathered for the Genesis, I found myself really attracted to this one. I have no clue what it was that made me love it so much. The graphics? The sounds? The fun? Who knows? All I do know is that I loved Sonic and Knuckles and still do.
Sonic and Knuckles was originally supposed to be released as Sonic 3 & Knuckles but for one reason or another, it was split into Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. However, Sonic Team incorporated a way to allow you to play S3&K. This, of course, was made possible by how the cartridge was made. The cartridge allows you to plug in any other Genesis cartridge into it and brings about five different games. These are: Sonic 1 & Knuckles, Sonic 2 & Knuckles, Sonic 3 & Knuckles (obviously), Sonic & Knuckles (even more obvious), and the S&K cart with any other Genesis game. In order for this review to be complete, I will critique each one save the last due to the fact that S&K combined with any other cartridge is extremely similar to S1&K. I might be mistaken but as far as I'm concerned, that last game isn't worth the time of day anyway =P
Sonic & Knuckles
This is just the cartridge with nothing attached.
The controls are great. Directions to go in specified direction, A, B, and C to jump, and a few tricks that are easy to figure out and I'm sure I wouldn't have to describe for one to figure it out. The game plays very nice and smooth with hardly any glitches all-throughout the entire game. Although there are a few that can come from really abusing the game by using some tricks... But other than that, the gameplay is superb.
Kinda bland. Just the basic ''save the Emeralds'' storyline with hardly any twists at all. But it doesn't seem so dumb and overdone as it might seem and can make the game quite enjoyable. Of course, there is a rather shocking change that happens at the end of the Knuckles storyline...but I won't ruin that for you ^_-
All the songs fit the scenarios perfectly. Most are light and happy and others are downright silly. But they're all crystal-clear and beautiful songs at that. And the sound effects are fantastic as well. Of course, there are a few annoying sound effects but they can be stopped by simply pressing ''Start'' twice. This can help if you don't like some of the sounds.
Without a flaw. Perfect. Amazing. Everything looks great and not overdone like some of the 3D Sonic games in my humble opinion. If you can find one graphical error by just playing through, you're too picky =P
This game is good at anytime. Not only as a time-waster at home but also with friends on a weekend. I'd say the only way to out-play it would be to play it continuously for unimaginable time. Of course, I doubt anyone would ever do that...
If can find a Sonic & Knuckles cartridge, buy it. Genesis games are fairly cheap as of now and will only get cheaper. It's worth the 5 or 6 bucks. But of course, you'll need a copy of this game, whether in cartridge form or in ROM form to be able to play...
Sonic 1 and Knuckles
This game can be formed by either putting the Sonic the Hedgehog (1) cartridge into the Sonic and Knuckles cartridge or copying the Sonic the Hedgehog (1) ROM image onto the Sonic and Knuckles ROM image with a simple DOS command. Either way, you'll get a screen that says ''No way? No way!'' and if you press A B and C at the same time you'll get to play a really cool mini-game that's based on the Sonic and Knuckles game to get the emeralds. Of course, there are literally millions of levels or more (the exact number escapes me) that would take even the ultimate gamers their entire lives to beat.
Far too aggravating. Although the game is somewhat interesting for about the first few levels you might play, the difficulty and endlessness of this game far outweighs it. No matter how good you are at puzzles, this game will kill you and wreck your mind if you try and actually find a way to beat it.
There is no story. It's just a mini-game. Or should I say very-large-side-game.
While all the songs and sound effects are good and all, they are all FAR too repetitive. Still though, they're very well done.
The pseudo-3D graphics are nicely implemented but unfortunately are overused as is the case once again. Still, they aren't as bad as some of the other aspects.
Unless you're crazy, don't try to even beat this mini-game once let alone replay it. In fact, I'd say play a few key levels and then quit.
If you have STH1 and S&K, play it. If not, don't waste your time.
Sonic 2 and Knuckles
This game can be formed by combining the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic and Knuckles games. The result is that you get to play STH2 as Knuckles instead of Sonic and/or Tails.
The added challenge of playing as Knuckles in a world made specifically for Sonic and Tails is a fantastic aspect. Knuckles jumps much lower and is slightly slower than Sonic and Tails. But of course, he can glide and climb whereas Sonic and Tails cannot. However, it is very difficult to play as him but fun nevertheless.
It's entirely STH2's plot but with Knuckles in place of the real characters. Still though, the story makes sense but has practically no originality.
Again, this part is taken entirely from STH2 but the music is still fantastic. Not as good as the later games in the series but not bad either.
Surprisingly enough, Knuckles's sprites blend well with STH2's graphics which are stellar themselves. No matter how good or bad STH2's graphics are, the actual blending of a character that doesn't belong in the game in the first place is fantastic. It deserves a 10 just for that.
I'd say only the hardcore Sonic gamers would really want to beat S2&K more than once. Still, a regular gamer would probably be up for the challenge as well but might not be actually able to beat it more than once.
If you have STH2 and S&K, play them together! You won't be disappointed in the least. If you don't have either game, consider getting them. Even if it's only S&K so that you can pick up STH3 and play...
Sonic 3 and Knuckles
Ah yes. What S&K was originally supposed to be released as. To play this game, just combine the two cartridges or two ROMs. What ensues is quite possibly the best Sonic game ever made.
Perfect controls. Very smooth gameplay. And plenty of fun in between! The special stages allow you to get a special, souped-up form of each Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. The ultimate forms of each as shown in this game were never shown in any other later Sonic games. Still though, the extra forms add to the uniqueness and fun of this game.
The other great part of the gameplay is the length. I for one love how long the game is in contrast to other, shorter games. This one really takes a while to beat and lets you take advantage of that save feature.
Overall, the gameplay is fantastic and I shouldn't need to go on to convince you that S3&K is quite possibly the best Sonic game out there. But I will...
Even though there is absolutely no text or speaking within the entire span of the game, you really see some character development. Sure the plot line is basic ''evil Dr. Robotnik stole some very important emeralds'' but it goes much deeper than that and, well, you'd have to play through to see what I mean.
Stupendous. The music matches all the respective areas of the game and all the sound effects really sound like what they're supposed to be. There is nothing wrong at all with the sounds and Ice Cap Zone is the best Video Game Music I've ever heard.
16-bit never looked so good. The graphics are all vivid and lush. When having the ultimate forms of our heros, there is practically no lagging in graphics rendering. The only way to actually make the graphics look bad or lag is by using a certain debug mode that you can activate by performing 2 specific actions. But even then, the graphics aren't bad. =P
Sometimes I just find myself replaying STH3&K for no apparent reason. This game is so alluring, you'd be hard pressed not to beat it at least once.
S3&K is the most perfect game in the Sonic series. I dare say even for the entire Genesis console. If you play just one game this year, make it S3&K.
Sonic and Knuckles. The most unique game and most enjoyable game for the Genesis. If Sonic Team had done a better job, there would be too high a standard for video games today. If you have never gotten Sonic 1, 2, 3, or Sonic and Knuckles, you should at least get STH3 and S&K. Even the most stingy gamer who only plays ROMs should dish out the cash for a Genesis and the 2 games. It's just that good.
Extremely well done Sonic Team.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/19/03, Updated 07/19/03
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