Review by peach freak

"Sonic and Knuckles + Sonic 3 = Best. Sonic. Game. Ever."

Since Sonic 3 came out on the Sega Genesis, Sonic and Knuckles was the next Sonic game released on the Genesis. Sonic and Knuckles had lock-on technology, which meant being able to attach any Sega game onto the top of Sonic and Knuckles. This was a huge improvement in the Sonic series and one of the best features a game could have.

If you were to lock Sonic 1 or any other non-Sega game onto Sonic and Knuckles, you would get a "No way" screen. From here, once you pressed A+B+C this allowed you to go into a game with thousands of special stages from Sonic 3 and Sonic 3 and Knuckles. You were to collect all of the blue spheres. There was also a password to access each special stage. If you entered the password in you could revisit that level anytime each time you play the game. This is one of the fun parts.

Then, you have Sonic 2 you can lock on. This gave you the same old Sonic 2 gameplay, but instead of being Sonic or Tails you got the ability to play as Knuckles in the Sonic 2 levels. Cool, huh? Well, this made the game slightly harder. Yeah, with Knuckles' gliding ability and to climb up walls you could reach areas Sonic and Tails couldn't get to. Most of these secret areas had extra lives. The bad part is Knuckles' low jump. This made the game harder in some situations.

Of course, there was Sonic 3 too. Once you locked Sonic 3 onto Sonic and Knuckles, you got the greatest Sonic game ever made. There was so much you can do in the game and it was fun. The actual game started from the first level of Sonic 3 to the last level of Sonic and Knuckles (depending on your character). So you know what this meant? You got it. You could play as Knuckles in the Sonic 3 levels and Tails in the Sonic and Knuckles levels! Yes, this was really cool. This actual game is called "Sonic 3 and Knuckles."

Remember those save slots from Sonic 3? Yes, they're still here, and they have been improved! Instead of 6 save slots you got 8. And now Sonic 3 and Knuckles saves your lives and continues! This is a really useful feature.

The real story is this: After Sonic blew up Robotnik's Death Egg from Sonic 2, the Death Egg crashed into the floating island, where Knuckles lived. Knuckles spotted the Death Egg and found Robotnik. Robotnik convinced Knuckles he was a good guy and said that Sonic was a bad guy. He told Knuckles to go retrieve the 7 chaos emeralds from Sonic. Now, Sonic and Tails decided to follow the crash site on their plane "The Tornado". Sonic jumps off and becomes Super Sonic. He told Tails to go hide the plane, while Sonic got on the island. Knuckles pops out and knocks out Sonic, stealing the 7 chaos emeralds. Knuckles runs off, and gives them to Robotnik. Robotnik is luring them into a trap. Sonic must stop Robotnik from repairing the Death Egg. It was damaged so bad that not even Robotnik could repair it himself. He needed to steal the Master Emerald to repair it, which kept the island floating in the air. But Knuckles guarded the Master Emerald, and Robotnik needed a plan.

The gameplay is the most fun I have ever had in a Sonic game. You go through 14 levels as Sonic, 13 as Tails, and 12 as Knuckles. You got to go around the floating island, defeating enemies and trying to collect each of the 7 Chaos Emeralds. Now, the special stages in this game are different. You have to collect all the blue spheres in a special stage to get the emerald. The thing is, if you hit 1 red sphere, the stage ends. Also, the floor is spinning towards you, making it hard to control, but easy once you got used to it.

You also know how Sonic 2 had 2 acts in most of the levels and there was a boss at the end of each? Now, there is a mini boss at the end of the first act in most of the levels. These bosses were quite easy however. But the bosses in act to are pretty easy itself as well. These gave you small to moderate challenge, depending on how new you are to this game. The levels are fun in this game too and they provide moderate to high challenge, they can be really hard to new players.

Onto the Sonic and Knuckles levels. If you collected all 7 chaos emeralds from the Sonic 3 levels you got to collect Super Emeralds here. These aren't any harder to get, as these are just the Sonic and Knuckles special stages. But once you got all 7 Super Emeralds, this was another big change in the game. You got to be Hyper Sonic, Super Tails, or Hyper Knuckles. Awesome feature. Each character now has its own special abilities.

In the Sonic and Knuckles levels they were pretty harder. There are more puzzles throughout the game, and many of them can be hard, especially when you are playing as Knuckles. Most of these levels do have a high challenge, but they are pretty fun if you get the hang of them. The bosses are pretty hard too, some are easy, but the rest are tricky and still provide moderate to high challenge. This is the last half of Sonic 3 and Knuckles.

The graphics in Sonic 3 and Knuckles pretty much stayed the same, but these are very good graphics. Possibly the best 2D Sonic graphics I've seen. These are colorful and easy to see. Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles have been designed well. Some of the enemies look great and so do Robotnik's bosses. The backgrounds for many of the levels are outstanding. Most of them go with the levels, like the pyramids in the Sandopolis zone, making it look realistic and awesome. The special stages even look great too. The floor tiles are really colorful and the backgrounds are a bit pretty.

You also have the audio in this game. There is nothing to complain about right here. The music in this game is outstanding, such as Flying Battery, Lava Reef, and the Death Egg. You have the special stage music, which is great too. In Sonic 3 and Knuckles (and both games without locked on), you'll notice that the music is slightly different in act 2 of a stage than in act 1. Sometimes the small remix in act 2 is better, sometimes it isn't. In Sonic 3 and Knuckles you'll also see the music for meeting with Knuckles has changed, and it is better too.

However, the sound effects are pretty average for a Sonic game. Just the same old "bloops" when you jump and the sound of collecting a ring. But there were cool sound effects to this game too, such as the sound of collecting an emerald, the sound of a laser charging up and firing, and the sound of collecting a blue sphere during a special stage. The sound effects aren't bad but they are average.

Replaying this game is fun with any character. Once you beat the game you can replay it again to become a better player, collect all the emeralds, or to have fun and mess around in the game. You know how there are 8 save slots in Sonic 3 and Knuckles? You can split them evenly. 2 for Sonic/Tails, 2 for Sonic, 2 for Tails, and 2 for Knuckles. A cool thing I do.

I highly recommend you buy Sonic and Knuckles. If you also have the chance, get Sonic 3 too, and lock Sonic 3 on and play Sonic 3 and Knuckles. You'll get the greatest Sonic game in the world. Sonic 3 and Knuckles is an outstanding game and Sega Genesis games are rare these days, so I would buy these two and a Genesis if you see them.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/03/05

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