"SA and SA2 were good, but nothing compared to this classic!"

Nowadays, Sonic has taken a whole new level of gameplay in 3-d. Sure, it's great to play, and SA and SA2 were great games, but if you want some good old, 2-d, horizontal scrolling gameplay dealing with our favorite blue hedgehog, this is it. Sonic & Knuckles, at its time, brought a new gaming experience for Genesis/Megadrive players everywhere. Not only could you play S&K by itself, but you can combine it to the first 3 original Sonic games using a ''lock on'' on the cartridge! I won't get much into that, but I will give a review for all 4 games that can be played through.

Sonic & Knuckles:
The game itself is pretty much awesome. You have a choice between Sonic and Knuckles, who is now playable. Sonic's adventure is the round about usual: go through the zone and finish the acts. Knuckle's adventure is a bit shorter, taking on different routes Sonic can't take. Also, his adventure changes from Sonic's later on in the game. The game here has the same sprites as Sonic 3, and there's a reason for that. *See Sonic 3 & Knuckles Review* Getting the seven emeralds is a bit tough, but there are patterns to each special stages and soon, you should be able to handle them pretty well. Super Sonic is quite a marvel here, especially in a final battle. (Where you must have all 7 emeralds to be in) The bonus stages, (there are two) are quite simple as well, and pretty fun. The only problem was that the fun loving tails wasn't involved in this game, but all in all, it's an adventure you can't miss.

Sonic 1 & Knuckles: (At the No Way sign, hold A+B+C, press start)
This is pretty simple, and kinda boring. This is basically similar to Sonic 3's and S&K's Special Stages, but each one is different, and there are over 32,000 of them. Each time you end one, you get a password. I won't get into it too much, but if you feel like you have a lot of time in your hands, and a good challenge, this is for you.

Sonic 2 & Knuckles:
Here's another great challenge. Play through Sonic 2... as Knuckles! Again, you can take different routes that Sonic couldn't take before, and it's pretty interesting what and where it gets you. However, being that Knuckle's has a lower-heighted jump than Sonic's, some stages prove to be difficult. All in all, it's a good game to play in to see how Knuckles would fare in this game.

Sonic 3 & Knuckles:
Ahh, this is where the whole puzzle fits together. If you played Sonic 3 before, then you will enjoy this combination!

If you haven't known before, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles were meant to be one game. However, due to the time (and the greediness of money) they decided to split it into two games. However, with this lock on, you are now able to see the complete story. Basically, Sonic 3 & Knuckles is just that: Playing Sonic 3's stages and S&K's stages consecutively, with a grand story behind it all. Plus, an extra surprise: the Master Emerald makes it's real debut here, where it shows its power: transforming the chaos emeralds into super emeralds! However, i won't spoil it for you! Try to get these emeralds by playing the game the whole way through. S3&K has the elements of both games, and if you know both of these games, then it should be a piece of cake for you. This is where Sonic 3's save option comes in handy: the adventure is LONG, the longest Sonic adventure on the Genesis/Megadrive. But it's quite a trip, and seeing the 2 games come together as one is really breathtaking.

All in all, S&K is a great game to have for the Genesis/Megadrive. If you can get this game, great! If you can lock this onto Sonic 3, that's even better! All in all, classic gaming like this will have you on the old system for hours!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/10/02, Updated 03/10/02

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