The barrel is one thing that hardly bothers me at all. The first time I played the game I got stuck on the barrel for a short time, but at most only a day passed before I figured it out. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Am I remembering correctly that other barrels like that appear earlier in the zone? Just not ones that are actual obstacles? I always found the level select method to be really dumb in Sonic 3, but for the longest time I had only heard of the Angel Island route.