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Sonic 3 30th Anniversary: AIR vs Origins

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by RetroJordan91, Feb 2, 2024.

  1. Unidasu

    Unidasu

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    One thing I love about A.I.R. that isn't mentioned anywhere (other than the comments in the script files) is the amount of quality of life that's been added. The door switches and blocks in Sandopolis? They don't take as long to push now. The Guardian boss in Sandopolis 1? It will slide against the ground after you hit it so you can push it toward the quicksand faster. Ever accidentally step into one of those ring transporters in Death Egg that often take up more time than they save? You can jump out of them now!

    A few other features I love include the ability to have the music stay the same (no speed up) when you transform, the option to mix and match the prototype/final tracks to each Act, Sonic 1&2 boss music in Sky Sanctuary for their respective bosses, the ability to keep your current shield after finishing a Zone, and the more engaging Angel Island 2 bombing section that require you to jump over the bombs instead of just having you hold right the entire time.

    I also should note that a ton of smaller (mostly visual) bugs found in the original game have been and are still being fixed thanks in part to others contributing to the project, like certain object sprites using the incorrect palette line, Lava Reef 2's glowing crystal palette cycle accidentally using duplicate colors, making the crystals look less detailed, and behavioral bugs like characters falling right through the anti-gravity platforms in Carnival Night when taking damage.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2024
  2. sayonararobocop

    sayonararobocop

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    Couldn't agree more. I've recently gotten into making my own mods for AIR which has finally made the Reverse Engineering boards here make sense to me :)
     
  3. Sparks

    Sparks

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    I avoid Origins like the plague simply because of the proto songs; I'm too spoiled by the vast touch-up remixes and even the bare Nov 1993 versions of the songs to ever accept Senoue's recent renditions.
     
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  4. Fadaway

    Fadaway

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    That is the only one I play. But, I use original hardware so it makes it the most accessible to me.
     
  5. Mr. Cornholio

    Mr. Cornholio

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    3 Complete I still occasionally use to replay the game. Outside of the obvious advantage of it being the only 'updated' version of Sonic 3 that works on real hardware, anything that can run a Genesis emulator (Picodrive or whatever) can also run it as well. It makes it very 'portable' compared to the other two versions (though I understand AIR is Open Source now and probably has been ported to a couple of things). 3 Complete also has a couple of very minor things that didn't exist as mods last I touched AIR (Unique Title Card graphics for each Zone and some of Valley Bell's PC MIDI arrangements I actually prefer over what was found in the 1993-11-03 build - namely the unused track that you can assign as the Super theme). Really the only major things I miss when playing this release are the Drop Dash and widescreen, but the latter isn't a huge deal for me since I don't think 3 really suffers from not having it. I guess you also have the benefit of choosing if you just want to play Standalone Sonic 3 and Standalone & Knuckles as well.

    Otherwise? Yeah, AIR is my preferred way to replay the game now! It's really well put together and there are tons of little quality of life things that make the game a lot more enjoyable for me to replay without feeling excessive (namely disabling that awful Ghost Gimmick in Sandopolis Act 2). The 1993-11-03 build tracks are also great to have control over and most I prefer having over the final tracks now. The only final set of tracks I really prefer is Ice Cap, though I'm unsure if that's an unpopular opinion. Carnival Night Act 1 in particular is great and I'm really upset the PC MIDI arrangements weirdly sped up the tempo for that track, as it completely changes the feeling I think it was originally going for.

    I'm still super happy Origins 3K exists regardless, even if it's not my immediate go-to choice. It was really obvious to me prior to release there was no way (insert Blue Spheres joke here) Sega was going to touch the Brad set of tracks again with how mucky the rights are and with the public comments floating about now. That, and I know an official 3K remaster is something the Mania team wanted to do for ages. It's kinda nice they finally did get to fulfill that dream, even if it took 9 years. It's still a nicer option than playing vanilla 3K even with some of the oddities left in it.
     
  6. sayonararobocop

    sayonararobocop

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    While I understand the apparent difficulty in building S3K in the RSDK environment, it's jarring every time I play Origins because the amount of variance in the physics is conflict with 20+ years of muscle memory playing these games and learning them inside and out. I get that I'm being picky, but I think really don't enjoy playing Origins CNZ2 and knowing I'm most likely going to die every time I hit the power switch and try to spindash through the spike corridor that works in the original, S3Complete and S3Air.
     
  7. Mr. Cornholio

    Mr. Cornholio

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    Oh yeah. The Retro Engine's crush detection is the only thing that feels really off when going back to it from the Genesis originals. I've beaten the original trilogy a good couple of times now both through the Retro Engine remasters and the originals, and that's the one thing that always throws me through a loop.

    The other minor physics differences rarely bother me. Not that it's wrong to say they're more noticeable to others, but none seriously impact me to the point where I feel like I'm playing an entirely different title using 3's assets (if that makes sense). I'm still blown away by how good the rest of it feels. Having 60FPS and the Drop Dash are just things I really like having to the point I'd probably hop back to that version over vanilla 3K. I guess a more accurate statement is that outside of nostalgia or wanting to see what the original is like, vanilla 3K offers very little in the way of a unique or superior experience. It's now an option that just kinda exists somewhere in the middle for me.

    Of course, I'm also the kinda guy who grew up playing the Donkey Kong Country GBA port first and it took me a second to realize the physics differences when I got to the SNES originals.
     
  8. BenoitRen

    BenoitRen

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    The original Sonic 3 & Knuckles was already 60 FPS.
     
  9. sayonararobocop

    sayonararobocop

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    Well until you start killing the fps with debug mode like me.
     
  10. Childish

    Childish

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    if you have a PAL console :p, then it's 50
     
  11. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    I mean, yes, but when people say this they're usually referring to the stability of framerate and various instances of smoothing. No slowdown when you lose dozens of rings, much smoother scrolling special stages etc. This is one of those annoying things where people don't always use the right terminology but the point is still there. Like when people talk about how the "3D battle sprites" in new Pokémon games aren't as good as the 2D sprites...

    It's a non-issue for AIR for the RE remaster because they're ports running on more powerful engines, but it's a big difference between them and the original.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2024
  12. qwertysonic

    qwertysonic

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    I've said it before, but honestly the definitive version for me is just Sonic 3&K. I have no real issues with the base game on Genesis that need QoL improvements. I haven't tried AIR or Origins yet so I can't comment on them. I have played Sonic 3 Complete, and enjoy it, but it's more of a novelty for me than the definitive way to play it.
     
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  13. MastaSys

    MastaSys

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    S&K collection with general midi is the defenitive version of course.

    And that's only because Sonic Jam for the Game.com isn't widely available.

    Now seriously, A.I.R. even unmodded have a large amout of QOL features that makes it hard to go back on any device that isn't the Mega Drive.

    On that one Sonic 3 Complete is the bee's knees.
     
  14. Antheraea

    Antheraea

    Bug Hunter Member
    if AIR didn't exist it would've been Origins for Amy and the widescreen alone over the original game. alas, AIR exists, and I play it unmodded, and it's basically the best version the game could ever be. The physics are accurate, I can change to the original (proto) music, and it's in widescreen so the camera feels less claustrophobic.
     
  15. Billy

    Billy

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    I know you're joking, but I mean, depending on what MIDI hardware you have it can sound pretty good. (Definitely not definitive, or better than the Genesis version, but good)

     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2024
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  16. BenoitRen

    BenoitRen

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    People laugh at Sonic & Knuckles Collection, but unlike Origins it's a 99% accurate port of the game. (I say 99% because of a palette oversight in a bonus stage)
     
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  17. Jason

    Jason

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    Sonic 3 Complete is the best way to play on official hardware (thought I still want someone to get the original prototype tracks on there). AIR is the best modern way to play the game, bar none. Origins is unfortunate, but the only easily accessible version to new players. I hear good things about UltraFix, but I haven't purchased the Steam version of Origins. I haven't played S&K Collection in a long time, but that did get some patches to make it closer to the original, so that's a nice curiosity.
     
  18. RetroJordan91

    RetroJordan91

    The REAL Blue Sphere Guy Member
    I highly recommend UltraFix and the HQ OST compilation mod for Origins on PC.. it’s a much better experience for sure with so many bug fixes and QOL changes that SEGA can’t even dream of.. there’s definitely more coming soon based on the team’s most recent tweet

     
  19. Mookey

    Mookey

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    These sort of fixes are always nice...for PC. Every other owner of Origins is still chuffed though.
     
  20. Shade Vortex

    Shade Vortex

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    While a mod like this is nice, these things should have been fixed on SEGA's end... And I can't give up my Mania-like mod, which this isn't compatible with. Oh well...