History Lesson: Sonic and Knuckles

I’m a pretty die hard Sonic fan – just ask Heretic. Naturally I was excited to see that one of my favorite games of all time is back! Sega Vintage collection has graced us with the release of Sonic and Knuckles for Xbox Live Arcade. The game is just like how we remember it. For all you noobies, (anyone born after 1994) Sonic and Knuckles were adversaries in the past games. In Sonic and Knuckles, Knuckles realizes that he was just Dr. Robotniks bitch. I don’t call him Dr Eggman because that’d be stupid. Now, Knuckles teams up with our ADHD filled friend to battle this common foe and acquire the master emerald to save their home land of Angel Island.

I'd be yellow too if I were in space without a suit, for a different reason however.

At its core the game has been left alone, thank the gaming gods for that one. we still get our side scrolling goodness that made us love the series way back in the day. Yes, there was a time when Sonic the Hedgehog was better than Super Mario. That’s right I said it.

The graphics are classic Genesis greatness, none of this HD fancy pantsy stuff. This is from a time when games relied on actual gameplay rather than the pizazz of graphics. The environments are large with more than one way to get from point A to point B, adding a lot of extra game time. The sprites are still from Sonic 3 but that’s ok, why fix something if it isn’t broken?  The sounds of yesteryear are here with a little added clarity. There is something about the chime of the rings that sends me to my warm and happy place.  Back in the day I used play games on a mono speaker TV, sad I know.  Now that I have full surround sound all the classics just sound awesome. Sorry got a little emotional there for a second, i’m just glad to see Sonic being so awesome again.

The gameplay is classic Sonic. Sonic and Knuckles uses the same engine as Sonic 3 with a few additions. In 1994 everything had to be updated to make Knuckles work in the Sonic universe. As we know he can glyde, climb at will and also run through certain block walls. This was a big deal back then but now, not so much. Sorry kiddies, you just had to be there to appreciate it.

Sonic and Knuckles has always been a solid game and the re-release of this great title promotes that statement even more, and it’s still a blast to play. What really makes this game so great on XBLA is that we also get Sonic 3 and Knuckles, Knuckles in Sonic 2, and Blue Sphere. This download is Achievement whore friendly. I earned 5 achievements in less than twenty minutes. If you’re a Sonic fan, this game should be in your virtual library. For 400 Microsoft points you can’t go wrong, especially when you’re given three other games to go with it. ‘Nuff said.

How boss was this? It's the reason I still get Kids Meals!
The Pit
The Pit

Great game, nice to see it available again! :)