I’m going to keep this brief: My memories of SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 3.
I’ll first start with the strange change of the opening title: To wave a finger in my face once again is Sonic, but with a 3-D render. Sonic’s appearance, his graphic during gameplay, was given less vague changes as we approach the era of 3-D.
Also, there is the introduction of a new character, Knuckles The Echinda, who is a guardian of Floating Island.
“Angel Island is the start level.”
Not many changes from the previous titles. Like Sonic 2, you go through two acts per stage and there is two player battle mode. Tails returns as an A.I, or you can control him using second controller. Stages were still solid, music was still great,controls are still simple, Robotnik (former Americanized name of Eggman) was still showing off his “genius gadgets” and he can still run quick for a fat dude, etc.
I DON’T LIKE THE SPECIAL STAGE! It would make me so nauseous and tensed up at the same time. This time, you’re set in a 3-D field to collect blue spheres. If you don’t collect them fast enough, and you usually don’t, the music and the speed quickens. Also, if you touch a red sphere, the stage is over. Of course it gets harder in later stages.
How to get to the special stages has changed once again – you had to find large rings in fixed secret rooms, which was either a pain or sometimes by accident. You’d run into a wall thanks to your high speed and it’d be there. I wasn’t fond of Sonic CD’s special stage either but that’s for later.
Stages were fun too, from Carnival Night (even though I got stuck there for a while…) to Ice Cap. I enjoyed the tension you got from Sonic 2’s Hill Top Zone, where there were earthquakes, so there was a similar tone of it in 3’s Marble Garden. Marble Garden’s also beautiful and has an interesting boss fight. For the first time, you can fly with Tails.
Also, Sonic 3 is another “start” are two trends. One is Ice Cap Zone’s snowboarding, which leads to Sonic Adventure’s urban boarding in the first level and snow boarding, Sonic Riders, etc.
The other is barriers having different functions. One of the best things about the game. For Sonic 1 & 2, they were just there to protect your rings for only one hit. However, in Sonic 3 you had barriers of fire, lightning, and water. Water looked like a bubble and gave you UNLIMITED OXYGEN! UNLIMITED! The fire type protected you from all flame and lava, and it’s very useful. Then, there was the lightning one, which served like a magnet, absorbing rings from a distance without fail. Each barrier had a double jump (pressing jump button twice) for higher places, the fire type shooting you forward like a destructive bullet.
Pressing the jump button twice briefly surrounded Sonic with a flickering aura attack. I think it helped you with hitting close range twice.
Music is superb too. That’s something that would not wane. Sonic 3 also holds one of my favorite song tracks in the entire Sonic game series.
Next is Sonic 3 & Knuckles, which would have the obligatory lava stage.