Sonic and Sega Retro Message Board: Opinion of the Mega Drive Sonic Trilogy - Europe vs North America - Sonic and Sega Retro Message Board

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Which Sonic game does either country prefer?

1: Which game do you think is the best? (Keep North American and European votes separate, please and thank you)

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Opinion of the Mega Drive Sonic Trilogy - Europe vs North America Just a little experiment stemming from curiosity.

#46 User is offline Yeow 

Posted 28 December 2016 - 12:00 AM

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Generally agreed with the comments about the public being more aware of Sonic 2 due to various factors (holiday release, long campaign / massive promotion, height of Genesis popularity, not being split into two games). I also agree about the Genesis pack-in element too, though internet searches seem to indicate there actually were Genesis bundles for the games--one for Sonic 3 (Europe), one for Sonic & Knuckles (NA and Europe), and even one with both Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles (NA). That said, all these bundles seem to be ultra-rare (rather telling that the sources I've found for the sheer existence of these bundles are only their presence as auction bidding listings or Sega enthusiast websites--some of them not even in English!), and --based on the Genesis models used-- look like they were budget bundles released in the twilight years of the console's life, if not well after the fourth generation outright (during N64/Saturn/PS1 times). I'm not really even sure if some of them are even official bundles from Sega as it is. A far cry from the heavily promoted Sonic 1/2 bundles that were released during the console's peak and when those games were still hot on the market; to say the least.

European Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles bundles:

Spoiler


NA Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic 3 + Sonic & Knuckles bundles:

Spoiler


View PostBlack Squirrel, on 07 November 2016 - 05:06 PM, said:

Which leads to the other point - Sonic & Knuckles was launched for the holidays. And I wouldn't be at all surprised it sold more copies as a result.


According to The Magic Box's Platinum US Chart for Videogames, that was exactly the case for that territory, though it's not by a significant amount. Sonic & Knuckles moved 202,000 more copies than Sonic 3 did.

View PostSir_mihael, on 18 November 2016 - 06:37 AM, said:

They knew there was some cool gimmick where "you could like- plug in the games and play as Knuckles in like... sonic 1 or 2 or something?", but that was about it.


Also this. Lock-on was mentioned quite a bit with Sonic & Knuckles' promotion, but it was more about bonus content like the aforementioned Knuckles in Sonic 2 or Blue Sphere rather than how it made Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles one intended cohesive experience. You can see this reflected in the reviews too at the time of release--most reviewer's praise its inclusion of the game more for the additional features rather than how it connected Sonic 3 as a game.

That of which kinda leads into a bigger point I've felt for a while, in that Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles were never really played up as two (episodic) parts of one big game--they were marketed and viewed as back-to-back sequels, and you can see this reflected in reviews. A fair amount of reviews at the time about Sonic & Knuckles fault it for being too similar to Sonic 3, though it's still praised for being a good game. Sonic 3 didn't get hit with this quite as much, though there are also negative points about the numbers of zones and the multiplayer component in comparison to Sonic 2. Most of these complaints (except multiplayer) are squashed when they're viewed as one big Sonic 3.

Really is a shame the game was never released as one big title and given a similar marketing push as the previous two IMO. Likely would had sold significantly better, and everyone --rather than just dedicated Sonic/Sega fans-- would be contesting it on whether it or Sonic 2 is Sonic's highest point, if not be in wide agreement it eclipsed Sonic 2 outright. Sorta like how common consensus can't decide if Mario 3 or Mario World is the Mario series' best (2D) game.

All that aside, to answer the question--NA (US in particular) person here, and as much as I love and hold a big spot for Sonic 2 (one of the first games, if not the first game, I ever played, let alone my first Sonic game), I think Sonic 3&K edges it out as the superior game. Part of it is for its further expansion of the formula (bonus stages, character-exclusive abilities and routes, elemental shields) and having more overall polish put into it (stuff like save states and the overall presentation). Only a few things I'd fault Sonic 3&K compared to Sonic 2 that aren't cosmetic (I'm more fond of Sonic's sprite design and music jingles from Sonic 1/2 as opposed to those from 3&K) is the multiplayer component, the CNZ barrel (yeah, I was one of those who got stuck with it lol), and to an extent, even the level design to some extent.

I think Sonic 2 has the upper hand on 3&K in terms of having more varied level structure. The collective map structures for zones like Casino Night, Mystic Cave, and Wing Fortress can be said to be less similar in general level path direction in comparison to Carnival Night, Lava Reef, and Flying Battery. Levels in Sonic 3&K feel more like they are, with some exceptions, largely designed around an "ant colony" mindset, and this applies from beginning to end; while Sonic 2 starts off simple and gets more busy, while also having more unique level setpieces. With that said, I also do think Sonic 3&K totally has Sonic 2 beat with its overall more sizable level design scope, and larger emphasis on exploration (including character-specific routes and hidden rooms for Special Stages). A even share of the two level design philosophies or a third philosophy that finds a "sweet spot" between them, would be the best route to take for future Sonic games in my opinion. (I think Sonic Mania may be hitting this "sweet spot" bit in particular--judging from what I've seen from the shown levels so far, it looks like it has Sonic 2's varied level structure approach adapted to Sonic 3&K's giant level sizes, with Sonic 3's character-specific routes and hidden Special Stage routes added to the mix).
This post has been edited by Yeow: 28 December 2016 - 12:38 AM

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