“The confusion is solved after 8 months”
As you stood there confused, wondering why your game has ended so quickly. It seemed as if Robotnik went down way too easily this time, and we just assumed that he was finally taken down, but something just kept nagging at us in our head saying “NO there’s no way this can be the end!” In October 1994 we finally had our questioning finished when Sega released Sonic & Knuckles for the Sega Genesis, which was a direct sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 3 which If you’ve read my review of that before starting this one (Don’t know why you’d read this one first?) you’ll remember I said that they actually wanted Sonic 3 to be a bigger game but in the end due to limitations they had to split their idea into two separate games Sonic 3 and its sequel released 8 months later known as Sonic & Knuckles. Anyway now that you’ve made Robotnik’s Death Egg ignite into fire and explosions as it falls along with its ashes into hopefully for Sonic...the sea, but the destruction of the Death Egg has also thrown you down deep into a mysterious spot on Floating Island known as the Mushroom Hills. Our blue-blur knew he didn’t have any time to waste as he knew Robotnik would eventually come along to look for the Master Emerald located on Floating Island which is the most powerful emerald known to the Sonic World as it has the power to stop the chaos emeralds (and most likely the Super Emeralds as well). However; one problematic scenario appears before us, while we try and stop Robotnik how are we supposed to fend off against that stubborn echidna Knuckles who always seems to try and prevent us from moving forwards. It’s time for another adventure so as Sonic would say “This is gonna be way past cool” so let’s begin the review!
Graphics: 9 out of 10
The only reason I have rated this a 9 out of 10 is because compared to other levels in Sonic 3 this game had better visual backgrounds and stages in my opinion my personal favorite being either Mushroom Hill Zone or Sky Sanctuary, if you were to just ask about the basic graphics I would only give it a 8 out of 10 because all the characters look the same as in Sonic 3...Also since like I said this was supposed to be a single game but had to be divided because of limitations I guess we can’t really blame Sega for this. Anyway I feel the levels in Sonic & Knuckles put more emphasis on their levels such as the rotating conveyor belts in Flying Battery Zone, to the ancient and home to the Super Emeralds known as Hidden Palace Zone, and even the toadstool field land of Mushroom Hill Zone (I bet Mario would love it here). Although the graphics may have been the same (especially since it has a good reason) I don’t think it’s a reason to not give this game a chance to impress you at all as I’m certainly sure that at least one point in this game will make you smile so I’d give this game a 9 out of 10 for its graphics.
Sound: 10 out of 10
This is definitely my favorite out of all the Sonic genesis games especially for the music as there is only 1 song in general that I dislike but not so much as I did with Sonic 3’s version which is the Super Sonic theme since this one has a nicer sounding tone and it doesn’t sound as repetitive because of it. What are my most favorite tracks you say? To be honest I don’t have one song in particular I like but if I had to choose then my favorite tracks would be from 4 different levels: Flying Battery Zone, Sky Sanctuary Zone, Death Egg Zone, and finally The Doomsday Zone and I shall explain in detail why I like these songs in their own individual sections. For Flying Battery Zone I enjoy how it starts off sounding soft but yet it has a feeling of speed at the same time, then it goes into a more hardcore beat giving you an even greater feeling of adventure as you traverse the flying aircraft. In Sky Sanctuary Zone I love how even though you know that it’s dangerous you have an ambient and calm tone playing in the background almost making it seem as if you’re just enjoying the scenery as you speed through the level. At Death Egg Zone it’s exactly what you would expect of a villain’s main hideout/fortress to sound like, very dark and mysterious with that hint of danger lying ahead of you along with the fact that you’re almost at the Evil Doctor Robotnik’s location. Lastly The Doomsday Zone gives you a strong feeling of empowerment as well as ecstasy since you know you’re at the end of the line as you take down the doctor’s last ace in the hole and save Floating Island. Finally we should talk about the sound effects for Sonic & Knuckles which as I stated in Sonic 3 I found them to be superb especially the shield power-up sound effects (Static like for Electric, Torch like for Flame, and I guess you could say Spring like for Water). I’d say if you want a Sonic game that’ll have great music while you play along then Sonic & Knuckles is definitely for you so I’d give this a 9 out of 10
Addictiveness: 10 out of 10
As you know I really enjoyed the previous game (Sonic 3) because of how the story of the game started off exactly at the end of Sonic 2. This game was no exception as this one I enjoyed how it left off from the 3rd entry in the series because I didn’t enjoy how the last game ending with Sonic jumping in front of the screen after destroying Robotnik’s newest machine which made me scratch my head since I knew that couldn't’t have been the end of the game so when this game started off in Mushroom Hill Zone I was relieved to see that this was in actuality where Sonic 3 would have continued had it been as long as intended. Not only that but you can play as Knuckles the Echidna in this game, where he does not only have his own path to traverse through in certain levels but also a new story for him as well because in the game Knuckles has a new foe known as Egg Robo who threw a bomb into the lands of Mushroom Hill Zone where Knuckles just happened to be relaxing at. I’m guessing that’s it for everything you can do on Sonic & Knuckles right?! So sorry to inform you but that is incorrect as this game cartridge was designed with something known as Lock-on technology where you could lock on the previous Sonic Games to play extra modes that couldn't’t normally be accessed such as putting a Sonic 2 cartridge on a Sonic and Knuckles cartridge enabling you to play as Knuckles in Sonic 2, and including Sonic 1 with Sonic and Knuckles makes it so you can play a game known as Blue Sphere which is basically playing Sonic 3’s special stages until you reach the last level, as well as locking onto Sonic 3 with Sonic and Knuckles which basically lets you play Sonic 3 if it had been made as long as originally intended. However; I shouldn't’t dwell too deep into those facts since this is a Sonic & Knuckles review and nothing else, so in terms of addictiveness I’d definitely suggest picking up Sonic & Knuckles since it deserves a 10 out of 10 in my books.
Story: 9 out of 10
You’ve now finished the showdown between you and the despicable Dr. Ivo Robotnik upon the Death Egg, and as Sonic as well as his partner Tails watched his fortress fall into oblivion they’d assumed that this was the end of the Death Egg as well as Robotnik’s plan for Floating Island. But then in the blink of an eye they found out that the mechanical fortress had just fallen onto a part of the Floating Island having been severely damaged in their confrontation though, Robotnik has decided to find the Master Emerald in order to power his creation to have the Death Egg be born anew. Sonic knows he must race against time while crushing through the badnicks and areas in order to stop Robotnik from stealing the emerald and return peace to the Floating Island which in turn means he’ll have to help that pesky echidna even if it means having to deal with him in a fight, will this rivalry end up with the destruction of the Island? Guess that’s something only you the player can find out by playing this game so the story gets a 9 out of 10.
Depth: 9 out of 10
Compared to Sonic 3 This game is in all actually longer containing 15 acts or in simpler terms 7 worlds with 2 acts and the final world with only one act (Doomsday Zone). However; there are only 6 worlds with 2 acts if you play as Knuckles although you can access the Death Egg Zone with Knuckles by using the level s
elect menu, Still having this many levels and worlds each with their own traits by which player you choose to play as...is one of the main reasons why this is my favorite Sonic Genesis game of all time. I already mentioned above that you can choose between Sonic or Knuckles where each one’s levels can vary in what path you take which I find very intriguing and a fun addition to this game since they could’ve just made you play as Sonic and leave Knuckles as an enemy, finally there is one character that I haven’t mentioned yet and he plays differently depending on who you fight against him with. This character is known as Mecha Sonic, now you’re probably thinking “So...is this just an upgraded version of Metal Sonic?” In a sense yes but that’s not 100% true and an easy way to tell you about Mecha Sonic is to imagine having Silver Sonic and Metal Sonic combined into one creation. Basically having the electrical powers and energy blast of Metal Sonic and the speed and spinning blades of Silver Sonic, now let’s say if you were to play as Sonic you could consider him a normal boss and once you defeat him he’s done on the other hand if you play as Knuckles during this boss he won’t go down so easily and will use the power of the Master Emerald to transform into Super Mecha Sonic which you can think of as the Final Boss for Knuckles. With all of this in consideration it’s certainly fair to give the game a depth rating of 9 out of 10.
Difficulty: 7.5 out of 10
In my opinion Sonic & Knuckles difficulty has been both spiked up a notch and toned down a bit as if you want a harder game it’s best to choose Sonic since he can’t climb walls like how Knuckles can, even with this ability this game will still give you a few stabs here and there so don’t take this game too lightly because of this. Just like before in Sonic 3 you have the 3 shields that were introduced to help you out in various situations the electric, fire, and water shield which if you’ve read my previous review they should be self-explanatory but just in case you haven’t read it let me just put it like this (Electric + against anything electrical, - against water, and – against water. Fire + against lave and fire attacking enemies, - against water and electricity. Water + being underwater without the worry of drowning, - against fire and electric) I guess we could also include the insta-shield which Sonic can use by pressing the jump button twice but since this isn’t a shield that you pick up so I didn’t add it in the above scenario. One thing I will say is the final boss can be tough if you’re not good a ring collecting and dodging obstacles since you’ll be losing rings due to your Super Sonic form and if you run out you lose a life so keep an eye out for rings and be quick on your feet, all in all I’d give the difficulty a 7.5 out of 10.
It’s finally time to face against the foul doctor once more by going into space and chasing after him as Super Sonic in order to stop him by retrieving the Master Emerald and returning it to the Floating Island so the hot-headed echidna can watch over it again to hopefully protect it from being stolen once again. We’re now prepared to leave this Island and head back home having done our deed by bringing justice to the lands of Mobius, as we fly away our rival as well as newly acquired friend Knuckles watches us depart and most likely thinks to himself “I’m willing to bet this isn’t the last I’ll see of that hedgehog” This tale has finally reached its conclusion so I guess just like Tails and Sonic I’d better be off as well.
*Activates Hyper Form in front of the Tornado*
*Sonic57’s Sonic & Knuckles Review Tm*
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