Sonic The Hedgehog 3
Box Shot
Sonic The Hedgehog 3
Platform: Genesis
Publisher: Sega
Designer: Sega
Genre: Action
Players: 2 (Simultaneous)
Published Date 1994
Reviewed by: Chuck Roberts

Sega decided once again to have their mascot blaze the screens in this wonderful, yet small, sequel. It's almost the EXACT same deal, robots, Robotnik, Death Egg, but the only new factor is that this takes places on the mystical Floating Island, home of the Chaos Emeralds Knuckles is the last of his kind, an echidna, a special protector of the Emeralds and what a nice job he did during 1 and 2 huh? Anyway, Robotnik convinces him that the Emeralds were stolen by the proclaimed evil Sonic and Tails. Does Knuckles fall for it? Completely!

Sonic and Tails are cruzing in the plane from Sonic 2 and Sonic still has the Emeralds when he crashes into Knuckles and stands there like an idiot while Knuckles grabs them, laughs and takes off. STUPID ALERT! Now Sonic must race through six 2 act zones to destroy the Death Egg and stop Robotnik. Now you may be thinking 6 zones, how short! But these zones are much longer than the first 2 games zones were. Many take at least four to seven minutes apiece.

You still have Tails, who can now fly you up to places when a second player is controlling him. There is a better and faster split screen, but all you do is race through dumb short zones, they repeat all the time (it's a bit fun for competition though). This is horrible, unless you like racing more than anything else.

There are all-new Special Stages were you must collect blue spheres, while avoiding red ones. It's at a birds-eye view as Sonic and Tails race across a checkerboard planet. It's very hypnotic. It's pretty easy after a while. What's dumb is that you can get an Emerald 20 seconds into the game. Does Knuckles plant them in Special Stages at light speed, or why doesn't he just hold on to them? STUPID ALERT #2! Sonic and Robotnik sport a slightly closer to a 3D look, Sonic's head and feet are more proportional, much better. Now Act 2 starts right where Act 1 left off, and there's transitions between levels. The baddies are just different looks, nothing special, but this game has superb scrolling, especially in the Hydrocity and Carnival Night zones. The graphics are a little better than the first 2, though image break up still occurs. Sonic and Tails have more poses than before and look cooler and slightly meaner, though the animals are still tiny and jump down pits and go through solid things! Sonic's only reason to go to a counselor now is that he has a horrible attention deficit problem (or impatience, whichever).

The music is my all time, absolute FAVORITE on the Genesis and deserves a solid 10! I love the way it changes beat from Act to Act now instead of Zone to Zone. Sometimes it changes completely in Act 2, like in the Angel Island and Hydrocity zones. It also matches a zone so well and the boss music rocks! They kept the horrible SEGA voice! Arrggghhhhhh......and the jumping noise remains again!!???!!!?? That prevents a perfect 10 in this department, even though new sounds appear in this game quite often.

The gameplay is really no different from Sonic 2. All three buttons are jump and down and any buttons is still the Spin Dash move. Be warned, this game can move really fast and you better be ready for some fast paced action! Don't pee your pants O.K., I haven't. This game is more speed based than the last two were in my opinion, for you spend more time running and zooming around than anything else. The difficulty is up in the fact that the zones are larger, much larger and that the boss is Robotnik in yet even more contraptions. The end isn't as hard as the second one and the ending is absolutely HORRIBLE and short. My god, it looks like 1 minute was put into it and still with the Chaos Emeralds, it barely changes. It gets the award for worst ending in a Genesis game from me, not worth working for.

I didn't get it for the lame ending, I got it for the wonderful graphics and such that really made it good. What's best is that you can hook it up to Sonic and Knuckles for a long, involved Sonic game. This stands O.K. alone, but with S&K, it's a winner all the way! You can also save your game, which there isn't much of a reason to do so, except to save the game with the Chaos Emeralds you collected. The secret debug mode for this game is SO hard to do, I have to drag my brother in the room to do it for me. I usually only do it to listen to the music. Sega invented a true blue winner with this game, though it has some bad qualities that can be overlooked ( except for the horrible ending you get). Give it a whirl, it rules!