Play this amazing game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series! You will always come back to enjoy this timeless classic.
Developer: Sonic Team/Sega
System: Steam (PC)
Total Score: 86/100
Value Score: 8.6/10
• Story: 8/10
o Sonic the Hedgehog returns again but helped this time by his sidekick Tails to thwart Dr. Eggman/Robotnik's plans to turn all the animals into his robotic minions to take over the world. The level designs foreshadow the overall storyline and path which Sonic and Tails take to save their world and the animal friends (similar to the Mario series). This time around however Knuckles the Echidna makes an appearance and acts as a thorn on Sonic's side as he tries to reclaim the lost chaos emeralds. Eventually in the 2nd half of the overall game, Knuckles becomes playable as he attempts to reclaim the Master Emerald which was taken by Dr. Eggman.
• Characters: 8/10
o Sonic , Eggman, Mecha Sonic and Tails return with an addition of a new character: Knuckles. Other than that the enemies from the first two sonic games come back with new form and appearances. There are a few new enemies and of course new boss type fights that Sonic and Knuckles must go through. You can also play as Tails this time around.
• GamePlay: 10/10
o Gameplay focuses on platforming and a bit of racing aspects (although not the main point of the game), the game is divided into Zones and Acts with Zones being areas and Acts being the level and a boss battle at the end of the Zone. The game includes several paths you take as Sonic the Hedgehog. You can zoom through a stage however in the later parts in the game it gets tougher to the point where you will have to time your jumps and movement otherwise you will die or get damaged in the process. Sonic the Hedgehog is a platformer like no other with its type of gameplay. You can collect rings which is Sonic's defense. As long as you have one ring you can take a hit. The more rings you have, the more chance of survival though since once you get hit you lose all your rings. Collecting 100 rings will give you a 1-up although in the PC version there's no need for it since you can save state with the F5 button (and F9 for loading). If you collect all of the master emeralds from the bonus stages you can turn into Super Sonic which will make the game a lot easier and traveling and defeating enemies a easy task. Unlike the first two games, this game consists two games all in one. You can play as Sonic by himself , Sonic and Tails and/or Knuckles in his own stages and storyline.
• Graphics: 7/10
o Sonic the Hedgehog has a decent colorful set of visuals. The game's environment glows with all sorts of lighting depending on where you are. The character models are quite well done and have a very detailed design on several of the characters like Dr. Eggman/Robotnik for an example with his machines and boss battles. They've added several new animations in the environment and on the screen which adds a nice touch to the atmosphere of the game.
• Sound: 8/10
o There are several sound effects in the game that offer to you on what you are doing just like any other platformer although the game introduces a varied amount from being hit to losing rings, to Sonic jumping and destroying certain enemies make a unique sound from each other.
• Music: 10/10
o Possibly the best aspect of the game. It includes a well made soundtrack which sound more industrial tune than a orchestral tune. The sound effects go well with the game's soundtrack. There are several iconic tracks which appear again in later games and make cameo appearances.
• Length: 8/10
o Sonic 3 & Knuckles consists of two games which divide themselves in first with Sonic the Hedgehog 3 which gives you about 6 zones with about 2-3 acts each and Sonic & Knuckles which divides itself into 8 zones with 2-3 acts. At the end of each zone there is a boss battle and in the first half of the game you will encounter a mini boss which you will fight at times. Each level takes you about 2-4 minutes max and there are a few levels at the end that may take you more than 5 minutes. Overall the game should not take you no more than 3 hours even if you go and play a slow pace.
• Replay Value: 7/10
o Sega has learned from the replay mistakes of the first two games and have allowed some replay value. For one thing you can play as Sonic with and without Tails which gives you a different experience along with that you have the option to play as Knuckles who has a different path from Sonic.
• Player Value: 10/10
o Sonic 3 & Knuckles combines the best aspects of both Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles into one package. The improvements in sound, music, gameplay and storyline will surely bring you back again and again to this game as this is considered to be one of the best Sonic games and the first Sonic game to introduce a ever changing storyline which paves way towards for future Sonic games to focus more on the storyline aspects. Everything about the first two Sonic games have been enhanced with a addition to a growing storyline makes the experience really worth it. Along with that the game includes more zones, acts and boss battles than the first two games combined and you now have a save slot feature unlike the first two games.