Sonic and Knucklesa game by Sega
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Tired of Sonic games? Think that hedgehogs are good for nothin' but road kill? Wish you'd never heard the word "Robotnik? Prepare for a surprise. Whether you're a fan of the world's favorite 'hog or not, his newest adventure is a revolution in gaming.
Okay, okay, so the story line's nothing new. The Death Egg that blew up in Sonic 3 didn't really blow up, and now Sonic has to roam Robotnik's Island one more time to destroy it. Remember Knuckles, the echidna from Sonic 3? He's back, and this time you can play as him. Even better, there are really two different games in one. As Sonic, you follow one story line, and as Knuckles you follow another. Both characters play through the first four zones of the game, but they finish it by going through entirely different areas.
Knuckles has two moves -- flying and climbing walls. These moves enable him to reach play areas that Sonic can't. So even in the zones they both travel through, the game play is very different.
Back to the Future
So you say that's not enough, it's still just another Sonic game with another fuzzy character added? Well, try this on for size. If you hook up your Sonic and Knuckles game with Sonic 2 or Sonic 3 (we can't tell you how yet -- we promised Sega), you can replay those games as Knuckles (in the one- player mode only). That's right, backward compatibility. It's never been done before.
Sure, you say, there's nothing new to play in Sonic 2 and Sonic 3, right? Wrong! As Knuckles, you have access to areas in both games that were unreachable before. In fact, in Sonic 3, you'll find Acts that you've never seen before, and best of all, they're much tougher than those in the original game -- it makes them worth playing again. Stay tuned, because Sega promises further compatibility with other Sonic games, all to be announced soon.
If you're not into the backward- compatibility thing, you probably wanna know about this new game itself. Seven regular zones, all with original themes, are filled with new gadgets and mechanical Robotnik cronies.
Familiar power- ups abound,but there are two new Bonus Rounds -- a pinball-style bounce- fest and something that resembles a slot machine. The Special Stage is the same as in Sonic 3, but it's much tougher and has several interesting new elements, such as yellow balls you can jump off. The game play, fortunately, is much tougher than Sonic 3's.
Even if you've never picked up a Sonic game before, you'll master the controls of Sonic & Knuckles in no time. Sonic and Knuckles both have all of Sonic's traditional moves, and they're exactly the same. Knuckles' wall climbing takes a little trick to learn, but it's like bike riding -- once you've got it... well, you know.
Looks Good, Too
Sonic and Knuckles looks good -- the graphics resemble Sonic 3's the most. The Death Egg Zone in particular has beautiful backgrounds. Knuckles is a much more intriguing sprite than Tails; his new moves actually make him more fun to play and more amusing to look at (he uses his dreadlocks to fly). Interestingly, when you hook up with Sonic 2 and 3 through Sonic and Knuckles, the colors in the original game look somewhat enhanced. The classic tunes include new themes for every zone and more sound effects, along with the ever-classic Sonic repertoire of pings, plings, and sound bites.
If you're still not convinced, go pound Bison into the dirt and leave us Sonic lovers alone. The little guy's captured our hearts, and this latest innovation in game technology makes it even better. For hours of killer platform action/adventure, try Sonic and Knuckles, and Knuckles and Sonic 3, and Knuckles and Sonic 2, and, well, you get it-it just can't be beat.
- To let fly on this gadget in the Mushroom Hill Zone, just spin dash into it.
- When you reach dead ends with rungs in the Flying Battery Zone, grab the right rang to be lowered to another level.
- In Sandpolis wait until the Scorpions turn away from you, and then Spin Dash into them.
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