There was once a time when Sega was creating the ultimate sequel for Sonic, they had the idea of making a big game with lots of levels. Yes this was going to be a big one…but because it was suffering from production problems, Sega took the decision to amputate the game in half and release it separately.
So lets start with the one they released first, Sonic 3, developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega, could this be the best game in the series?
So without trying to spoil Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Robotnik loses (what do you think), he crash lands in a floating island called Angel Island, then Robotnik finds a master emerald, the biggest emerald of them all, but it’s guarded by Knuckles the Echidna in his first appearance. Robotnik meets up with him and knowing his nemesis would soon return, lies to Knuckles about Sonic being the bad guy, so Knuckles has to stop him while Dr Robotnik plans to take the master emerald.
So the game actually starts with Sonic with the chaos emeralds as Super Sonic flying to the island where he gets jacked by Knuckles off his emeralds and thus starts the game.
So same controls as the sequel, you know what the levels consist off, you get new power-ups this time round, there are new shields like The Fire Shield, which you’re immune to fire attacks and can do a direct dash attack after you jump, but will disappear when in contact with water, speaking of water, The Water Shield which you can stay underwater without drowning, some projectiles can be dodged and you can bounce with it.
Then there’s The Lightning Shield which is a magnet that can pull rings close to you and can do a double jump. You’re also immune to electric attacks but will disappear when in contact in water (which i’m surprised nothing got fried in the water, Kentucky Fried Badniks, I don’t know why, just go with it), so why do I mention water, like all of the previous games, he still hasn’t taken the time to learn how to swim, but all of these shields are very useful for different types of attacks and can be really be helpful when you’re in certain levels.
You can even play as Tails, again same controls as Sonic 2, but you can now use him to fly by tapping one of the trigger buttons (Mega Drive controls, yay).
The bosses are even more varied and probably the best in the series. The water level, HydroCity Zone (according to SegaSky from Hellfire Commentaries, it’s Hydro-City, not Hydrocity)…it’s one of my favourite water levels in a game (DUH DUH DUUUUUUUUUUUH), level design is colourful, giving it a calm image and you can flow through the level like any other level and it has a great difficulty.
The most unique thing about the game is the fact that it now has a save feature, auto saves whenever you complete a zone. Which is a very great feature but try to challenge yourself by completing it in a day. There is a new multiplayer called Championship which is two-player mode from Sonic 2 but made new levels never seen in the main game and no frame rate issues (YAY!!!)
But the biggest mystery is the music, not that there’s something strange about the music, no, it’s who did or was considered to do the music, yes, it turns out that the black man turn white King of Pop Michael Jackson apparently made music for this game.
We don’t know what happened but there are many rumours, like how Micheal was in trouble with press at the time, so Sega dropped him, another rumour is that he was considered to do it but never done it, and another one was that he didn’t like the audio limitations of the Mega Drive (but then again, he had his own game Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker on the Mega Drive using his own songs in the game so I think that’s false).
But whatever the rumour, it will remain a mystery until Michael’s guys who worked with him tell us the real story. However, some people believe some remain in the game like Carnival Night Zone where you can hear a sample of music from ‘Jam’ and the ending theme would then become ‘Stranger in Moscow’.
This was a massively impressive game, even though it didn’t do better in terms of sales, everything has improved for the better, I love the levels they’re just so fun and memorable, the level design is colourful like previous Sonic games but have vastly improved the colour palette from the sequel.
The music is fantastic and so memorable I could hum to those songs all day, I love the fact that they gave the game mini-bosses at the end of act 1 as it gives the game a greater challenge and the story for once is actually interesting and easy to follow. I recommend this to any Sonic fan.