Bashing Sonic 3 & Knuckles OTHER THAN THE BARREL

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

  1. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

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    Nope, not vanilla either. The JP manual seems to pinpoint Mushroom Hill as Sonic going to the altar for the first time, so it's consistent with that. Maybe there's something weird about the S3 levels trying to access the Special Stage data from S&K? Probably not and it's just arbitrary.
     
  2. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    ...which one? The actual DEZ Act 2 boss can't be harmed by any means aside from slamming its own traps in it, while only the first phase of the new death egg robot is damageable by the flickies without help (they can't damage the master emerald cage in phase 2 without you opening it first - and you have to keep moving or die, and tails stops being super when Eggman tries to escape after the boss).
     
  3. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    Super Tails' Flickies will automatically destroy the traps before they can be used to attack the first boss in DEZ2. With perfect timing you can defeat the boss before the Flickies attack the traps, but it's incredibly difficult and feels like a bit of an exploit. Typically you'll just have to wait around for Tails' Super form to run out before you can beat the boss, which then leaves you with zero rings.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  4. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

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    There's no modern TaxEngine Remake. A.I.R. is the closest we got (and it's pretty good), but I still would've loved Stealth/Tax's official take released in a collection with their 1, 2 and CD ports. Hell, make it a duel disc release with Mania and give fans the ultimate 2D Sonic retro experience.

    The music debacle makes this game far harder to port for future generations. It gets a decent steam release and a dedicated community backing it, but the damn music rights issue needs to be sorted out already.

    Sonic 3's Super Sonic, Knuckles, and mini-boss themes suck and I'm glad they were replaced. Jackson's team made some great tracks, but these weren't it.

    Tails is great, but should have had more pathways dedicated to his abilities. There's a few, but not near enough for how cool his flight ability was.

    Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles on their own are very unsatisfying. I essentially have no reason to ever play them again beyond sheer artifacts and research into the changes.
     
  5. Xiao Hayes

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    Umm... As I said before, I never had that issue, maybe because I wasn't super with Tails at that boss, or maybe because the way I played it interfered with their mechanics, if that was possible. I more or less fought that boss by non-stop spindashing and entering the gravity lifts, paying attention to sometimes wait a second for the boss to drop more drones I could hit before I resumed that cycle.
     
  6. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    I usually enter a bonus stage at the checkpoint before the boss anyway, because it's a waste being super on a boss that doesn't hurt you.
     
  7. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    Sure; you can avoid the issue with the right setup or existing knowledge about the fight. But the issue still exists whether you come across it or not. It's a small one in the grand scheme of things and one that could be really easily ironed out in any kind of enhanced re-release.
     
  8. kyasarintsu

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    Disabling super forms that I triggered on accident is the only value I get out of bonus stages.
     
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  9. Aesculapius Piranha

    Aesculapius Piranha

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    3&K in general just wasn't as fun to me. To me I think there is one glaring flaw that effects my perception of a well polished and well designed game: Aesthetics and audio.
    • In general, music and art style don't live up. Where with Sonic 2 I only saw Oil Ocean as a miss of a track, 3&K is the only one of the classics with tracks I just outright do not like. I mean, it had Ice Cap and I would listen to the 2pvs tracks any time, but in general some of the music just bores me or annoys me. AIZ, MGZ, CNZ, MHZ, Sandopolis. Just, no. I was always glad to get done with those levels. Depending on my mood same for Hydrocity. Art isn't bad per se, I just don't think it is as pretty as 2, 1 and CD. They had great sprite work that was more realistic feeling but in general I think ditching colorfulness wasn't a great move. Oh and I don't like the invincible/super themes at all so doing well at the game just makes it worse.
    Mechanics were solid. Most levels were well designed. Boss fights were fun. But in general when I play 3&K I think most of the time I am playing through the levels to get to the bosses, which are typically fun to fight and have great music. I don't typically enjoy myself outside of this until I hit Ice Cap, and then after that it feels downhill until Lava Reef, which you may ask "what about Flying Battery?" Music is amazing for a few loops but gets old, don't enjoy the aesthetic and I don't even really like the bosses in that one. S&K doesn't really pick up until Lava Reef for me. From there it is pretty fun.

    I mean, I'm not trying to shit on it, and if stranded on a desert island with only that game I would gladly play the fuck out if it. Just compared to other Sonic games, I never really liked it as much.
    Edit: Oh yeah, and fuck that barrel. :p
     
  10. Mana

    Mana

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    Wow, so it only took 3 weeks for this to be true.
     
  11. Mr. Fox

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    The discrepancy between the two halves of the game always bothered me. Just to list a few:

    - Sonic 3 is a lot more colorful while Sonic & Knuckles features rather drab levels. FBZ, SPZ, LRZ and DEZ are all just a mixture of grey and brown.
    - Most of S3's levels have water yet it's absent in all of S&K's levels completely ignoring all water based physics and mechanics.
    - Knuckles ambushes Sonic in almost every level in S3 but only a couple of times in S&K (MHZ and LRZ shortly before his boss fight).
    - The "laughing with his arms crossed" animation of Knuckles is only ever played in the S3 half. Could they really not fit it into S&K?
    - Different boss/invincibility music.

    I believe a different level order would have smoothed out most of these issues. No idea why they went for such a dramatic shift.
     
  12. Fred

    Fred

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    Both the MHZ1 and LRZ2 events originally used the cutscene art block, but evidence seems to suggest that the LRZ2 Knuckles object was hastily rewritten to use the player art block (which doesn't contain the chuckle animation) when S&K was split off into its own ROM (which doesn't contain the cutscene art block).



    Incidentally, the MHZ1 Knuckles object was never rewritten in this manner, despite all required sprites being present in the player art block. (Knuckles peering outside the room is a separate object.) This is okay though because under normal circumstances, the event only plays when the Sonic 3 cartridge is connected and thus the cutscene art block available.
     
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  13. Level Zone Act

    Level Zone Act

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    I've never been a fan of these two-way split paths on the loops in Marble Garden:

    [​IMG]

    Or of these yellow corkscrews in Carnival Night:

    [​IMG]

    In order to make effective use of them, you have to learn and memorise several things:

    1. Where each one is in the level. (Because if you're not expecting it, you'll probably be approaching them so fast you won't react quickly enough to make a decision about which way to go. One of the corkscrews in CN Act 1 is placed immediately after a wall you need to spindash though!)
    2. In Marble Garden, which way each one goes by default. In Carnival Night, which one you're more likely to hit instinctively.
    3. Which route is faster, or leads to beneficial items: the default route, or the non-default route?

    Plus, the Marble Garden ones have the added complication of requiring you to jump during a tight timing window.


    You might ask: "When navigating Sonic levels, you make decisions all the time about where to go: whether to stay at ground level or jump up to a platform, etc. Why are these split paths any different?"

    Most of the time in normal gameplay, you remain in control of any decisions you make about platform jumps, you can explore them at your own pace, and you can usually backtrack to go the other way. The MG loops and CN corkscrews are one-way trips, to which you have to commit. Also they confuse you by rapidly alternating Sonic between left and right, making it unclear which entrance corresponds to which exit.

    You might ask: "There are lots of other gadgets in Sonic games that ask you to make a decision about which direction to go, and then mix you up before spitting you out somewhere. (For example, the tubes in Sonic 2's Chemical Plant - which have the added complication that they are timer-dependent, so to most players the direction probably seems randomised, therefore harder to systematically compare by trial and error.) Why do you object so much more to the MG/CN ones than to any of the others?"

    My issue is that even with the aid of Zone 0 maps, both Marble Garden and Carnival Night are such complicated levels to memorise that I have always been too daunted to make the effort to work out which routes through those path splitters count as "shortcuts"!

    I mean, look at all the possible permutations of routes you could take in this section of MG Act 2:

    [​IMG]


    Nobody's got time to learn that!


    "So which S3&K levels do it better?"

    I think I prefer it when S3&K puts its decisive path splitter elements near the very start of a level (making it easier to memorise where they are in advance), and when the decision you make has very major and obvious effects on your overall route through the whole level. Placing these major decision points near the start of a level makes it easier to systematically compare the difference between the routes just by playing them, without needing to consult maps.

    For example, look at the three-way zero-gravity tunnel at the start of Death Egg Act 2:

    [​IMG]

    It's effectively a two-way splitter, since one of the three paths (the bottom one) leads to a lightning shield then sends you back to make the choice again. It has some advantages over the Marble Garden and Carnival Night route splitters:
    1. It stops you automatically at the moment you have to make a decision about which way to go, and holds you in place, giving you all the time in the world to decide.
    2. Unlike the Carnival Night corkscrews, it's clear that the direction you enter matches the direction you exit: left takes you left, right takes you right.
    3. It's placed near the very start of the level, and has major obvious effects on your overall path through the whole level.

    Other levels that ask you to commit to decisions at the very start, which I don't mind, for similar reasons:
    • Marble Garden Act 1 (go right at the rotating platforms, or fall all the way to the bottom?)
    • Marble Garden Act 2 (as Sonic/Tails, take the default route, or spin through the wall to Knuckles' route?)
    • Flying Battery Act 2 (get off the vertical corkscrew platform first chance at the right, or stay on until the bottom?)
    [​IMG]


    For an example of someone who (unlike me) has learned the fastest way through those Marble Garden loops, here's Mike89's mostly-"glitchless" S3&K speedrun - he hits the Act 1 loop at 8:30, and the Act 2 loops at 10:30:

     
  14. E-122-Psi

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    In hindsight the obstacle format is pretty uneven between games. Sonic 3 spams water like crazy yet not a single level uses it in SK. Given water often provides a huge difficulty spike it's weird only the first levels have it, even in levels you don't expect them to.

    Also a minor nitpick, but as expressive as Sonic is in this game, I found it a shame he has no cutscene interaction based animations. Like glaring or taunting at Knuckles before their fight like he does in Advance 1, or even a simple 'knocked out' animation when Knuckles first punts him (something resembling that S2 beta 'bounce off wall' animation would have been ideal) instead he just always stands there 'blanking' him and whatever Eggman throws at him, which takes a bit out of the story.

    I mean looking at how they struggled to fit in so many damn sprites for Sonic into the game in the first place, I can see WHY this wasn't done, but still a shame.

    Knuckles also fails to be much of a challenge when you finally face him at last, to the point nearly every player deliberately goes easy on him to make the fight seem more epic. I can see why Knuckles is a breather boss, but it would have been more cathartic if he was at least a LITTLE more evasive and aggressive, even if just like his Pocket Adventure fight.

    Also, no unique Super music always bothered me, especially with how repetitive both invincibility themes are
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020 at 3:28 AM
  15. To be fair I always liked those elements in Marble Garden, made each play through feel fresh as it was hard to learn the level!
     
  16. Lithium

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    Color palette. Instead of using the vibrant colors like they used in the first two games, they preferred using dull brown colors.
     
  17. SomeSortOfRobot

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    Fuck that game. How dare it be that good.
     
  18. Sid Starkiller

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    They do? I always just went Super and slaughtered him.

    I suppose you could argue that it gives each half a separate identity, although that is a complete ass pull on my part.
     
  19. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    I always try to beat him by just holding on to Tails and kicking him. It's a fun challenge and looks exactly nothing like it's supposed to.
     
  20. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    I do disagree with the criticism about, say, MHZ having a bunch of permutations. That keeps it fresh, even though in practice I have a specific path I follow because of playing it for so damn long. Last month or so I marathoned Sonic 3 AIR (with the original layouts!) and I managed to actually find new giant rings and paths through MHZ that I didn't know about despite first beating it two decades ago. Most platformers wish they had that kind of replay value.