Review by CallMeD
"The Best Sonic Game of the Franchise"
Sonic & Knuckles is simply a real good game on its own, but it is not complete without its lock-on capabilities. It is undoubtedly a masterpiece though with the lock-on feature, which allows you to play the Sonic 3 & Knuckles and the extra bonus of Sonic 2 with Knuckles. Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles are not truly completed unless they are put together. That is namely why I will evaluate Sonic & Knuckles in this review mainly through the game of Sonic 3 & Knuckles (Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles).
The story overall is pretty good and rather easy to follow. The best part about the story is that it picks up right where the last game left off. Dr. Robotnik rebuilds the Death Egg and tries to re-launch using the power of the Master Emerald from the Floating Island. Overall, the storyline is a minimalistic one. Some people may see that as a bad point, but actually it makes the game play even better because there is no inference of storyline with long, drawn out cut-scenes.
The graphics for Sonic 3 & Knuckles are superb. The shading and use of color is done so excellently that it can give a 3D-like effect. This is very much a step up from the graphics that are used in Sonic 2. This game truly shows the capabilities of the Genesis when it comes to graphics. The characters, backgrounds, and enemies were all done stupendously.
The music for Sonic 3 & Knuckles is spectacular. It really is quality video game music. The music fits the stages perfectly and is quite catchy too. Another great aspect of the music is that it differs not only from stage to stage but rather act to act, which adds great variety. The music truly makes the game even more enjoyable. The sound is also great too. It uses sounds very similar to that of the previous Sonic games.
Game Play 10/10
The game play is a phenomenal experience. It is a diverse experience too with the different characters you can choose from. The choices of Sonic, Tails, Sonic with Tails, and Knuckles each have fairly different paths to take in the stages of the game. The characters also have different specialties that increase the variety of game play. Sonic is faster, can jump higher, and has different unique abilities while having a special shield. Tails has the ability to fly. Knuckles can glide and climb up walls. It is amazing the difference in game play with each character. Another great aspect of the game play is its sheer simplicity of the controls, which are easy to learn and yet harder to fully master. Also, the layout of the stages makes the Sonic 3 & Knuckles even more fun to play mostly because the stages are even less linear than the previous games. You don't ever just go to the right to finish the stage but instead you can choose from multiple paths that zigzag up, down, left, and right in the zone. The bonus stages of Sonic 3 & Knuckles were also pretty good too. They are fun and the 3D blue sphere game added greatly to the game play because allows you to collect the chaos emeralds. Another great thing is the ability to become Hyper upon collection of the new, more powerful, seven super emeralds in addition to the classic ability of becoming Super with the collection of the seven normal chaos emeralds. Overall, the game play of Sonic 3 & Knuckles was nearly flawless and a gamer can't really ask for any better.
The innovativeness is one of the great aspects of the game. The lock-on technology is as innovative as it can get. You get to pick up exactly from where you left off in Sonic 3 or play as Knuckles in Sonic 2. Also, playing as Knuckles is great because he introduces a brand new style of playing stages. Also, the ability of Tails to pick up and fly around with Sonic is one of the best new ideas yet.
The compilation of Sonic 3 & Knuckles is almost to much goodness to bear. This overall is perhaps one of the greatest games ever made and without a doubt one of the best Sonic games ever made. I highly suggest that if you never played this or a Sonic game before, that you do now. It is also now released in the Sonic Mega Collection for Game Cube, which makes it even more accessible to play for newer gamers.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/15/04
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