(XBLA) Sonic & Knuckles
Posted 3 years ago By - Marko Djordjevic
Recently, Sega has not shied away from re-releasing classic Genesis games for Xbox Live Arcade as part of their Sega Vintage Collection. This time around, it’s the 1994 Sonic & Knuckles that sees an XBLA release. Depending on how you look at it, this is either a nice pick up at a mere 400 points or something that long time Sonic fans already own and don’t need a second copy of.
For those who never played Sonic & Knuckles, this is the continuation of Sonic’s epic battle against Doctor Robotnik. The game starts off shortly after the completion of Sonic 3 and you’ll once again have to traverse through various locations in order to defeat Dr. Robotnik again.
This time around, rather than having your buddy Tails as a playable character, you can choose to play as either Sonic or Knuckles the Echidna, which was an enemy in the first game. While both characters tackle the same areas, they both can perform different actions; Sonic is super fast while Knuckles can climb walls and break through certain areas his Hedgehog friend can’t. Because of their differences and the branching layouts of each Act, you can go through a level in a number of different ways with both characters.
Essentially all of your actions are done with the analog stick and the A button, which is used to jump and other movements. Even though the controls are extremely simple to grasp, that doesn’t mean the game is a walk in the park. There are still the same amounts of frustrating moments throughout. Just when you’re thrilled at how fast Sonic is going, you will get angry when an enemy pops up to ruin your flow. It’s been a staple of the series from the beginning and it still exists here. Even with all your frustration, the ability to save your games at any time will be very helpful, especially with those who might find the game a bit difficult at first.
Graphics and Sound
This is a direct conversion of the original Genesis game. What looked great then has not transferred that well onto most HD televisions. There is the ability to turn on graphics smoothing but the difference is negligible; most people will probably not bother to turn this option on. Sonic and Knuckles still both manage to animate well and there are a lot of different colors which are used effectively, but it still can’t hide the fact that this is a 15 year old game.
On the sound end of things, nothing has changed from its original release either. The same MIDI sound effects and music are here and while they don’t sound bad, there is nothing worth noting. Sonic fans will appreciate the throwback but new time players won’t hear anything spectacular.
One of the key features in the original Genesis game was the ability to connect previous Sonic titles into the Sonic & Knuckles expansion slot to unlock bonus content in those games. Sega has managed to the same thing here. For those who have Save files from those re-releases can enjoy the same bonus content. It’s a nice feature that adds to the value for those who purchased the previous games.
While the additional un-lockable content is nice, there is still one key factor that cannot be overlooked with most of Sega’s XBLA re-releases. For those who already own Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, you already have this game. Considering the low price of that release, the 400 MS point price tag does not justify a second purchase. Even if you are a Sonic fan, buying the game a second time is probably not something you’ll do, while those who didn’t buy the Genesis collection are more than likely not fans devoted to the franchise anyway.
As stated before, if you already own The Genesis Collection, you really don’t need to buy this. Only absolutely die-hard Genesis and Sonic fans will appreciate the game for what it is. If you were tempted to see what all the fuss is about when it comes to Sonic, try the game first and if appeals to you, then by all means buy it. But please remember you can also get this game and so many others for less than 30 dollars.
+ Sonic and Knuckles both play very differently
+ Un-lockable Content if you have the other Sonic games
+ Save anywhere
- Graphics Smoothing doesn’t really make a noticeable difference
- Hasn’t aged well
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Release Date : 2009/09/09
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : SEGA
Developer : Sega
Category : Platformer
ESRB : E
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