(MD / Mega Drive)

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (MD / Mega Drive)

Game Review

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

Sonic and Tails are back for another adventure as they again battle the evil Dr. Eggman (AKA Dr. Robotnik), who is desperately trying to collect all the Chaos Emeralds in order to rebuild his Death Egg.

After the sublime Sonic 2 Sega decided to stick with the same tried and tested formula for the sequel – a move that disappointed many fans that hankered for an experience more akin to Nintendo’s groundbreaking Super Mario World.

Sonic 3, for all intents and purposes, is very much a continuation of the franchise; there’s not a lot of new elements here to be brutally frank, and many hardcore fans of the blue hedgehog still maintain that the second game (not to mention Sonic CD) is better than this third instalment.

That’s not to say Sonic 3 is without merit, however – it certainly retains the killer gameplay found in the previous titles and the introduction of Knuckles (his first outing in a Sonic game) adds something different to proceedings. Gameplay tweaks such as improved shield abilities and a save feature are also very welcome. The plot is also fleshed out more than usual.

Graphically, Sonic 3 has divided gamers for years. Many maintain that it’s one of the best looking 2D titles in the series while others feel it’s inferior to the gorgeous Sonic 2. I’m in the latter camp – the visuals are good but there’s something not quite right here. The main Sonic sprite has also been re-drawn and in my opinion looks much worse as a result; he appears dumpier. Plus, the game showcases the infamous ‘dotty’ textures that many Megadrive/Genesis games were sporting around this time.


If you’re a fan of the previous iterations then this will be a no-brainer – Sonic 3 certainly manages to offer more than its fair share of super-fast entertainment, but those of you that were unmoved by Sonic 1 & 2 should probably give this a miss – it’s not going to change your perception. It's a shame that Sega didn't take the chance to expand the remit of the series in the same way Nintendo did with Mario 3 and SMW, but Sonic 3 remains a worthy Virtual Console purchase.

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User Comments (15)



Roo said:

This is my favourite Sonic The Hedgehog game - perhaps even my favourite 2D Platformer. I prefered this new, considerate appraoch to the series, and accordingly, prefer Sonic 3 to either of it's Mega Drive predessors. They're all classics, of course.



Jazzem said:

My least favourite of the main four Sonic MD games, but it's still a brilliant game Late 8/10 or early 9/10 for me.



WyvernKnight64 said:

A 9/10 for me. Would be a 10 if the cylinder room of Carnival Night Zone didnt cause me to pull my hair out and they could've added one more type of level although I guess thats why there is Sonic & Knuckles. The multiplayer level Azure lake could've been a cool level to play in 1P mode.



WyvernKnight64 said:

Oh I knew that the second I picked the Mega Collection a number of years back and I passed with little to no effort, I am ashamed it was so easy compared to my childhood experience. Oh well.



YorkshireNed said:

Cylinder room? I'm still constantly getting squashed by the moving wall on level 2. I think the difficulty curve rises too steeply on this one



TKOWL said:

My favorite Sonic is still Sonic 2, but 3 is still an awesome game.



Katzii said:

This is a really poor review by standards. It doesn't actually say much about the game, and seems to spend half the time bashing it in comparison to Sonic 2, before still giving it 8/10.



TailsSonicDX said:

man, i love this game. I finised the game in 3 hours, and it took an extra 2 hours to get all 7 chaos emeralds. It's a great game, but short. I give it a 9/10.



CrimsonMoonMist said:

I don't think this review really does the game justice,
Sonic 3's levels are extremely expanded compared to Sonic 2.
Both in length and design complexity and it's just overall an endlessly replayable game because of the large amount of alternate routes,
especially when taking Tails into consideration

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