Bashing Sonic 3 & Knuckles OTHER THAN THE BARREL

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Sid Starkiller, Jul 21, 2020.

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  1. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    So we had one for Sonic CD, we've got one for Sonic 1, how about we tackle the big one?

    Before we begin: why not the barrel? Too obvious. Literally every post would mention it. Just wanted to save people the trouble.

    Just one for right now, related to the split: since Launch Base all of a sudden had to be the last level in Sonic 3A, they decided it needed to be harder. But why was their approach to "make it harder" just to remove some rings and randomly throw spikes above some doorways that your unlikely to hit? Could the really not alter the level geometry? Is there some technical reason that would hamper lock-on?
  2. Linkabel


    I think one of my only problems with the game is that I wish Knuckles story would've mix the order of the levels and not follow Sonic's path.

    To me that would've helped a lot in the game not feeling too repetitive, especially when you play both their stories back-to-back.

    But I know they most likely did that due to time/budget/it was easier to do.
  3. SuperSnoopy


    I like Sonic Advance Member
    Learning how to draw, studying Japanese
    Sonic 3&K was my favorite 2d Sonic game before Mania, I don't know if I can really find too much to actually criticize. It's such a good fucking game, holy crap.
    Didn't age at all, too. It's perfectly playable by today's standards, which I don't think is the case for 1 and 2. Anyway, onto the complains...

    -Tails sprite didn't receive the upgrade treatment, it's lame. I think it's slightly different, but I wish they redid it from the groundup like Sonic's sprite.
    -No Super Sonic music
    -You have to use a second controller to get Tails to help Sonic's fat ass

    ...mainly nitpicking really. My only real complain? I think the "3" portion of the game is slightly better than the "&K" part. It's not a big deal or anything, but I do think the game decreases in quality as you progress trough it. Just a little bit though.
  4. Sonic 3 is sublime. It is the series’ pinnacle. It is the third-best game ever made. There is nothing to nitpick except that it’s not as good as Mario 64 and Diddy’s Kong Quest.
  5. nineko


    I am the Holy Cat Tech Member
    Sonic 3 & Knuckles is the best game of all times, but it does contain a few things I don't like, especially in the "& Knuckles" half.

    I won't lie, the Sandopolis - Lava Reef duo always felt like a chore to play for me, especially after arriving from two good levels such as Mushroom Hill and Flying Battery.

    Sandopolis 1 isn't that bad per se, but its boss is boring, almost as much as Lava Reef 2's one. I'm not much into speedrunning, but those two bosses are such pace killers. I don't think I need to explain why I don't like Sandopolis 2, but Lava Reef 1 is ok.

    But hey, Sky Sanctuary, despite its confusing layout, has one of the best songs in the series. I've seen people complaining that that song was also reused for some of the ending cutscenes, but I actually like that. Whenever I hear the first 6 notes of that song I always see the Tornado coming to the rescue in my mind, either versions (especially Sonic rescuing Knuckles) are just too beautiful representations of friendship and trust to dislike.
  6. Marble Garden and act 2 of Sandopoils.

    There, my bash for the game.
  7. Palas


    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    Sonic 3 is the worst classic Sonic game. By far.

    • All stages have water but none of them actually uses it well.
    • The sense of progression is barebones. What's the common thread between Angel Island and Launch Base?
    • The music is disappointing, if compared to the other titles in the classic series. Marble Garden is especially sucky.
    • The bosses are boring, when not downright annoying. Marble Garden with Tails must be the worst classic Sonic boss.
    • Far too many, far too incomprehensible gimmicks. I'm not even talking about the barrel here: the floating platform in Carnival Night is much worse.
    • Sometimes backgrounds have too much information. It's a case of Late Mega Drive Syndrome, sure, and it's better than Ristar in this regard, but Sonic CD doesn't suffer from that. So I can't really excuse Sonic 3 for that and, besides, not even Sonic & Knuckles has such busy aesthetics.
    • 2-player mode is horrible. It's just not worth it.
    Thankfully Sonic & Knuckles redeems all that and then some.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
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  8. Billy


    RIP Oderus Urungus Member
    Colorado, USA
    Indie games
    I'm probably outing myself as a little thick, but it literally took me years to get passed Sandopolis Act 2 because I didn't realize you need to jump from one sand slide to the other. Granted, that was on-and-off playing as a young child, with no saving because we only had S&K.

    I never liked how the S&K boss music etc. override the S3 ones when locked on, but we have hacks and ports to fix that now.

    The two player mode always kind-of felt like a downgrade from S2's to me, especially since the zones are much shorter. That said, I love the art and music of the two player zones.
  9. Sai Start Marker

    Sai Start Marker

    Sonic 3 excels at everything except its art design. You can see the realistic rot start to set in with this game, and all the 3D rendered sprite work looks a little wonky and dated. The most glaring artistic choice is Sonic's sprite. I'm genuinely surprised when people say that this is their favourite Sonic sprite. I find that it looks genuinely awful.

    I also dislike the name "Sonic 3 & Knuckles". It's super clunky and it doesn't work for me anymore. Whenever I say "Sonic 3", I'm usually referring to the whole combined game.

    (Both these criticisms are why Sonic 3 Complete, with its extended customisability, will always be better than Sonic 3 AIR to me.)
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  10. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    On the one hand, I completely agree with the sentiment. On the other, I don't expect non-hardcore fans to know that I'm talking the whole game and not just the first half, so "Sonic 3 & Knuckles" is kinda the safe option.
  11. Overlord


    I want to get off Madame Rona's wild ride Moderator
    Berkshire, England
    Learning Cymraeg
    2P mode isn't as good as Sonic 2's, Chrome Gadget's music aside; one or two acts are a little too long (you already know which ones) and one of the S&K Special Stages can frankly suck on my balls, but other than that.... nope.
  12. Xilla


    OH NO! Member
    I don't like Sonic's sprite and personally I feel Sandopolis (and to a lesser extent Lava Reef) just drags. Also always felt the 2P felt tacked on compared to Sonic 2.

    Plus a minor complaint: Robotnik's sprite is off model at times.
  13. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

    size of a tangerine Member
    Sonic 3 (& Knuckles) is a great game, but it's my least favorite classic Sonic game. Why? I'll probably repeat myself here and there because this is an offshoot of the Sonic 1 discussion, but here we go.

    To start, the art style. I don't like it very much. Sprites, backgrounds, most everything. Some of the in game art is just messy looking. Sonic's sprite in particular is messy and blobby, and it doesn't hold a candle to the iconic sprites from the other games. It's ugly, and the running animation has less dimension than Sonic 2's. Tails' flying sprite is also a downgrade from Sonic 2. A lot of the level art misses the mark for me. Some of the backgrounds look like little chunky blocks of jumbled pixels repeated over and over. Overall, it's missing a lot the more geometric and abstract elements present in all the previous Sonic games. Launch Base Zone is maybe closest to getting it right in that respect, though the & Knuckles half has some good level art and backgrounds too.

    Next, the music. Sonic 3&K's soundtrack is a mixed bag. I love a LOT of stuff in it. But it doesn't have the consistent style and quality of Nakamura's work on Sonic 1 and 2, or even CD. Tracks like Angel Island Zone, Hydrocity Zone, Flying Battery Zone, Sandopolis Zone, Sky Sanctuary Zone, and Death Egg Zone are all beautiful and consistent. But others don't fit in as well. Some tracks, such as Marble Garden Zone and Mushroom Hill Zone, just sound bad. Even if the whole soundtrack was as consistent as the best zones, I think it just isn't quite as good of a soundtrack as Sonic 2. That stuff is funky. And the worst offender of the 3&K soundtrack is the absence of the theme song and the other jingles composed by Nakamura. The Sonic theme song and the Act Clear tune can't be replaced, however neat or catchy the Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles tracks are. There's no contest.

    Now the meat of the experience, level design and gameplay. Being able to fly as Tails brings a dimension to the game that should have been in Sonic 2. But creating levels designed around three different movesets might be one of the causes for my biggest problem with the level design. Nearly every act of the game is too long. Long and meandering. Even three relatively short acts in Sonic 1 is better than that. Many zones have more than a few tedious segments, bosses, and gimmicks (though I was never bothered by the barrel of doom in particular), and I'd argue that Sonic 3 has just as much or more BS hazard placement as the first two games. 2 Player race is just plain bad in comparison to Sonic 2.

    Finally, the story. I actually have very little to complain about here. It's fantastic that they were able to be so ambitious. But my one complaint is that the ending is underwhelming for me. Sonic and Tails retrieve the Master Emerald and save Angel Island, and they fly around in the Tornado. The way it's presented just feels a bit lame after the perfection of Sonic 2's ending. I honestly don't know how they could even improve it, that's just how I feel about it.

    In praise, I also want to say that the insta-shield is amazing, and the mid-level palette swaps are groovy.
  14. LucasMadword


    LucasSaturn Member
    I do think people will disagree with my critiques, but putting them here for the sake of the discussion lol:
    • The forced setpieces that you cannot interact with. Within Sonic 1 and 2, there are setpieces that you can interact with (for instance, GHZ with the bit where you roll down those S slopes, can't think of the term for it). For Sonic 3K, they decided to up the production quality by implementing sequences that the user cannot interact with. This includes the intro cutscene on the Tornado, or the first boss that isn't actually a boss, or the huge spaceship that you run after, to name the first few elements in the game (from what I recall it all tend to be at the start of the game anyways). These elements are engaging the first time you play through the game, but by the millionth time you've seen them, it just becomes dull. This was the start of Sonic's trend to introduce non-interactive elements into the games, and it's done just as poorly here. I never want to see that airship chase again, it's not engaging to hold right and do nothing. You basically waste a bunch of time watching this cutscene with the airship chase; at least some of the other cutscenes are brief (and so I don't hate those as much).
    • As stated by a few other people, the spritework isn't great. I personally think Sonic 3K is the ugliest of the classic games, with Sonic's model looking particularly off. The art design is kind of inconsistent, and whilst it's more detailed than Sonic 1 and 2 (and CD I suppose), it's not good detail. It feels like Sonic is made of plastic. The 2D sprite looks like a different design to the one used in the special stage, and it's a jarring transition. You can see this art clash compounded by how cluttered the main menu screen is, with so many elements just thrown on-screen at once. It's impressive the Megadrive can handle drawing it, but it doesn't mean it looks good.
    • 2 player is pretty lackluster. Would've preferred how Sonic 2 did it, with full-fledged levels that you can play through and time trial against each other. The cut-down levels and physics just feels off and not very engaging to play with friends due to it's simplistic nature.
    Those are the main critiques that come to my head.
  15. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

    Better than Sonic Genesis... Member
    Honestly, I really like Sonic's sprite from this game. He actually has a mouth compared to the 1, 2, & CD mouthless horror. Ok, joking about that last part, but really he needs a mouth. I typically have to mod Sonic Mania to include this style sprite because I like the visual progression.

    The only major flaw I can really find with Sonic 3 aside from the barrel (which isn't all that bad imo) would be Sandopolis Act 2 with all the juggling of lights and timed door switches. Add to that how labyrinthian it can get at the slide section.

    I also dislike Sonic 3's miniboss theme. I gather than the chord might've been harsh because of the limit of channels, but it sounds unpleasantly harsh and doesn't really sell the stakes of the fights well. I honestly like S&K's (S3 beta's?) miniboss theme more.
  16. sonicthesnot


    My favorite of the five original sonic games (1, 2, 3, S&K, CD).

    A few things I don't like:
    • Some levels were way to long. Should have been split up into three acts (perhaps the 3rd being a "night version" of the zone), or 8 shorter levels instead of 6 monstrously long levels.
    • Not enough MJ music in the soundtrack.
    • 2P mode kinda sucked (but didn't it always?)...
  17. TheOcelot


    Scooty Puff Jr sucks! Member
    What, no "Bashing Sonic 2" thread yet? Shame on you :V

    Sonic 3 & Knuckles is the best Sonic game ever made, but since this thread is about bashing and not praising, well lets see...

    We all know the game had to be split into two halves (S3 and S&K) because Sonic team didn't have enough time to complete the full game before the release window and as a result Sonic 3 is a very buggy/glitch-fest of a game, more so than any of the other classics. I was one of the many fans bamboozled by the barrel in Carnival Night and yet I still managed to beat the game several times by glitching passed the barrel, until I finally learnt the correct way (I seem to recall learning it from an old episode of "GamesMaster" where Sir Patrick Moore explained how to get passed the barrel - maybe it can be found on youtube).

    The Sonic 3 half is awesome but the game finishing at the end of Launch Base zone feels too early, definitely anti-climactic.

    Something that really annoys me is that when playing Sonic & Knuckles on it's own, you can't play as Tails even though there are "Tails only routes" in S&K, and you also can't play as "Sonic & Tails" which is a fucking stupid decision. You can only play as Sonic or Knuckles so it lacks replay value. I know you're supposed to lock S3 onto S&K to play the full game (with Tails alone and Sonic & Tails) but I can't believe Sonic Team couldn't add playable Tails (or Sonic & Tails) to S&K. Such a lazy decision.

    I also don't like playing S&K alone because it's boring just going for the chaos emeralds again (by playing the seven new blue sphere special stages) whereas going for the Super Emeralds in S3&K is so much more rewarding.

    The beta name of "Mushroom Valley" should have been used instead of Mushroom "Hill" which sounds generic after Green Hill & Emerald Hill.

    Ice Cap zone is probably the most popular zone in Sonic 3 even though it has the worst level design in the game. The music & aesthetic is the only reason why Ice Cap is liked so much.

    Despite the stupid barrel, Carnival Night is one of my favorite zones out of all the classic games.

    2p player vs is good but doesn't hold a candle to the superior vs mode in Sonic 2.

    Sonic 3's soundtrack is awesome but why the fuck Sonic Team didn't use the beta music instead of the MJ inspired tracks (for CN, IC, LB, Knuckles Theme etc) is beyond me. I'm not suggesting using the beta music would have prevented all the legal shit regarding the soundtrack, but, you know it might have.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  18. Fadaway


    The split necessitated super emeralds. That isn't a complaint. However, because of this, you can gain chaos emeralds, become Super Sonic for a large portion of the game and then lose it in Mushroom Valley/Hill. Then, you have to collect super emeralds. BUT if you skip the big flashing rings, you can keep Super Sonic.

    IF you decide to go ahead and lose Super Sonic and get the super emeralds and complete the game without getting them all, you can go back to any big flashing ring in any zone that has them through the save file. Flashing rings start at Mushroom Zone through to Lava Reef. All earlier big rings from the Sonic 3 half of the game aren't the flashing variety. This is a weird thing to me. I feel they should upgrade to big flashing rings after gaining chaos emeralds. It is like the game still exists in two halves, although it is together.

    The whole thing is handled in a very wonky way.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  19. SystemsReady


    I Have No Idea What I'm Doing At Any Given Moment Member
    The Twin Cities
    trying to not fall asleep while writing Selenium tests
    Needs more tails routes.

    That's basically it to me.

    Pretty much the only flaws I can think of regarding the game are level-specific nitpicks, like how Sandopolis Act 2's infinite scrolling section doesn't really let you know how to break out of it (unlike Icecap, which hints by having you repeatedly pass by the platform you need to get out of it), Marble Garden's tops, or how I just don't like most of the gimmicks in Launch Base Act 1. Oh and the awful lead melody in Flying Battery Act 2.

    Basically, I've always seen S3&K as one game with S3 and S&K being too-short incomplete halves that snap in together into one of the best sidescrolling platformers ever made, so they don't even register in my head as actual games to me, and until reading this topic I completely forgot there was a shitty 2P mode.
  20. Frostav


    This is going to be controversial but I actually really don't like 3&K much. My first two Sonic games were SA2:B on the gamecube (shocker) and 3&K's old-ass PC port with the different music. I sure didn't know that there was different music, though, because I never got past Marble Garden.

    And that's really why I don't like 3&K. I just do not like 2/3's of the levels in the game. Stages like Marble Garden and Sandopolis are miserably tedious bullshit and stages like Carnival Night are shorter but still annoying stuff (funnily enough I think the barrel is one of the most fun sonic gimmicks ever put in an absolutely annoying stage).

    Mania is the best Classic game almost solely because instead of wildly ping-ponging from "great" to "abysmally miserable" like 3&K does it just stays at "really good" nearly the whole time except for Flying Battery and Lava Reef which absolutely suck and oh shit they're the 3&K levels who coulda guessed

    Like, I don't think 3&K is badly-designed, I just absolutely cannot stand so many of the levels. Mania perfected the sense of flow and speed that a Sonic game should have. 3&K is weirdly full of tedious gimmicks or strangely flow-less platforming unless you're a speedrunning god (note that I said flow-less, NOT "slow"). A proper Sonic game should allow you to flow every single section of the level together in a single graceful momentum-driven rhythm, IMO.
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