Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 3 (2022)

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 3 (1)

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode3 a 2.5D platforming game co-developed by SEGA and Dimps. It is the direct sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 and the third installment in the Sonic the Hedgehog 4 saga. Itwas released onNovember 19th, 2013 in celebration of the 20-year anniversary of Sonic CD on Xbox Live Arcade on Xbox 360, PlayStation Network on PS3 and PS Vita, Nintendo eShop on Wii U and 3DS, PC,and mobile devices.

Contents

  • 1 Story
  • 2 Gameplay
    • 2.1 Elemental Shields
  • 3 Zones
    • 3.1 Bosses
    • 3.2 Special Stages
    • 3.3 Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode Metal II
      • 3.3.1 Story
      • 3.3.2 Zones
  • 4 Development
    • 4.1 Reception

Story

The Death Egg mk.II was powered down, but not destroyed. Little Planet was still imprisoned, and Dr. Eggman was holding Amy hostage the entire time. Sonic and Tails arrived back on their home planet only to see robot guards patrolling everywhere and South Island under Eggman's rule. Worst of all, Angel Island was falling. While Sonic and Tails were up in the Death Egg, Eggman sent out robots to take over South Island and rob the Master Emerald. Sonic and Tails set off to retrieve the Master Emerald. After Sonic and Tails dash through the four main Zones: Hieroglyphic Island, Neon Egg Capital, Rainbow Rush, and Sky Monarchy, and fought Knuckles on Angel Island,Sonic and Tails infiltrate the Death Egg mk.II's exterior to free Little Planet, rescue Amy, and return the Master Emerald. After Sonic defeats Metal Sonic, Mecha Sonic, Silver Sonic, the Egg Bonder, and Egg Bomber (returning from Sonic 3 & Knuckles but improved), Sonic returns the Master Emerald to Angel Island, lands safely on the surface with Tails, Amy, and Knuckles, and watches Little Planet orbit the starry skies once again.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 3 (2)

Metal Sonic's story takes place during the events of Sonic 4: Episode II in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode Metal II.You play as Metal Sonic in Sylvania Castle and White Park, you play as Mecha Sonic in Oil Desert, you play as Silver Sonic in Wing Fortress, and Metal Sonic once more in Angel Island Zone.It starts in Sylvania Castle Zone, when Sonic and Tails leave Metal Sonic gives out Dr. Eggman's commands to slowly start take over South Island to the other Badniks. In White Park Zone, Metal Sonic thaws out Mecha Sonic, and in Oil Desert Zone, Mecha Sonic fishes Silver Sonic out, and in Wing Fortress you play as Silver Sonic as the trio try to reach Angel Island. Finally, you play as Metal Sonic who steals the Master Emerald from Knuckles on Angel Island.

Knuckles's story takes place after the events of Sonic 4: Episode III. While Sonic and Tails are on vacation, Dr. Eggman reecacts his plan to take over the planet by stealing the Master Emerald. With Sonic and Tails gone, Knuckles must save the day. After Knuckles goes through the four main Zones anddefeats the Egg King in Sky Monarchy, Knuckles goes into Hidden Sanctuary to find out that the Master Emerald wasn't there. Knuckles returns to Angel Island to find out that Eggman built a base there: the Angel Egg. Once Eggman frees the Master Emerald from the Angel Core, Knuckles fights Metal Sonic, Silver Sonic, and a ferocious final boss fight with Mecha Sonic. After Knuckles defeats Mecha Sonic, Knuckles demolishes the Angel Egg base and Angel Island returns to its natural state, where Knuckles watches the Master Emerald once more.

Gameplay

Sonic 4 Episode III plays a lot likethe previous 2D platforming games in the Sonic franchise. In Sonic 4: Episode III, you have the option to play as Sonic & Tails, Sonic only, Tails only, Knuckles, and Sonic's robotic counterparts in Episode Metal II. For Sonic & Tails, their gameplay formula remains unchanged: they still have combo moves, but they are not required except for access to secret areas. If you play solo as Sonic or Tails, their gameplay is altered to have no Combo moves. Sonic can run fastest and use Homing Attack and Tails can fly.Knuckles's gameplay is similar to Sonic's and Tails's, except with the absence of Homing Attack or flight, but with the addition of gliding and Wall Climbing. Metal Sonic, Silver Sonic, and Mecha Sonic playalmost identically to Sonic. Silver Sonic, while in rolling form, can climb up walls and Mecha Sonic can temporarily hover.The physics and graphics remain unchanged from Sonic 4: Episode II, except for Super Sonic's physics to control more like Sonic 4 Episode II and III's physics engine, in addition to invincibility and more speed. Knuckles also has the ability to transform into Super Knuckles. Blue Sphere Special Stages return from Sonic 3, with enhanced graphics and different layouts, and Bonus Stages return, but not the exact same Bonus Stages. Rotating Slot Machine returns and a new Bonus Stage called Falling Ring Heavenwhere you must rotate Sonic around in a 3D course collecting lots of rings, 1-ups, and Elemental Shields until you fall or get hit by a bomb. Elemental Shields also return as well: Fire Shield, Electric Shield, Bubble Shield, and the new Ice Shield that freezes enemies, and a Tornado shield that lets Sonic fly.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 3 (3)

Multiplayer returns in Sonic 4 Episode III, with multiplayer co-op as Sonic and Tails, or new Versus mode, where you can choose to race across Act I of Hieroglyphic Island, Neon Egg Capital, Rainbow Rush, or Sky Monarchy, or compete for the most Rings in Rotating Slot Machine or Falling Ring Heaven.

Elemental Shields

Flame Shield: A shield that can withstand fire and lava and give Sonic a burst of speed, charging through Badniks in Sonic's path.

Bubble Shield: A shield that allows Sonic to breathe underwater and bounce up and down.

Electric Shield: A shield that attracts Rings and gives Sonic a double jump.

Ice Shield: A shield that withstands freezing obstacles and allows Sonic to freeze enemies so he can hit them easier.

Tornado Shield: A shield that attracts Rings and Badniks (Badniks are automatically smashed after caught in tornado) and allows Sonic to fly for a limited time.

Zones

Hieroglyphic Island: An island where ancient grounds once lay, with some parts buried in the sand or under water. Act I takes place on the beach and partially in the jungle, where you run on top on ancient towers, sand, and shallow water, surrounded by newly built statues of Eggman and flags claiming the island under Eggman's rule everywhere. In Act II, the majority of the level is underwater, where you'll run on top of ancient sculptures, towers, fossils, and underwater plants, and eventually go inside a sunken ship. Then you return to the surface and reach the goal. In Act III, the sunset is out, and the level's visuals are similar to Donkey Kong CountryReturns or Rayman Origins's silhouette levels.You run across similararchitectures to Act I, bouncing on gigantic bubbles along the way. In the Boss Act, you fight the Egg Sphinx, who fires lasers out of its mouth, launches missiles with its tail, and can dissolve into a mass of small particles similar to sand in the wind.

Neon Egg Capital: A futuristic city built entirely in Eggman's image, with giant jackpots and lots of cannons. In Act I, you run across the streets of the city, collecting rings in ring slots, running through and across buildings, jumping on flying cars,and defeating robotic Egg Cops. There's also a segment where you ride on a robot's hand to ascend through the rest of the level. Act II takes place above the city, where you platform across flying cars and giant ships, take down giant towers, and use Warp Pads to warp to different areas, like an area with caged animals. In Act III, it takes place on the streets again as you use cannons to fire yourself across the level. In the Boss Act, you fight the Egg Chaser, which is a giant mobile that resembles Eggman that stomps out laser waves and fires bombs to block your path.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 3 (4)

Rainbow Rush: Rainbow Rush is a stage set in the skies above South Island. Rainbow Rush, according to legend, used to be home to a community of supernatural beingsandwas used as a bridge to the fantasy-like castle Sky Monarchy.It is made entirely of rainbow roads and pathways, with old structures made of goldand giant gardens with plants that come to life. Lots of robots patrol it now because it's near Sky Monarchy, which Eggman rules. In Act I, the first segment is an endless running segment, where you run up, down, and across the rainbow streets. After that segment, you continue without having to run automatically being launched by ancient statues through rainbows and clouds, running up ancient towers, and crossing rainbow bridges. Act II is another silhouette level, where you enter a fortress with lots of rain pouring in it.The first segmentin non-linear, and you much explore the area to activate switches that lead to the exit of the tower. Then you must swing across giant plants' vines and run through mist to reach the goal post. Act III is a level that takes place at night, in a giant garden. You must jump on bouncy plants, climb stems, ride ziplines made of tree roots, fight giant plants, cross a giant water fall to reach the goal. In the Boss Act you fight the Venus Egg Trap, which will try to scoop you up from the ground and eat you, grow spiky roots out of the ground, and spit seeds that turn into bombs.

Sky Monarchy: Sky Monarchy is a Zone set in a castle inthe sky now under Eggman's rule. According to legend, a majestic leader used to rule this castle and watch over the heavens. In Act I, you must bounce on clouds, run on magical paths of stardust that appear from thin air, get slingshot from magic statues, fight the castle's defenses, and run on crumbling platforms to reach the goal. In Act II, the majority of the level takes place underwater in the castle's moat and fight your way throughmechanical crocodiles and robotic mermaids,ridefish,get shot really far throughfountains,and at the end use the Ice Shield to freeze the water so you canrun on the frozen waters. In Act III, another silhouette level,a large segment of the level is where you automatically run, using the paths of magic stardust to ascend, evading giant knights, running through stunning constellations, rainbows, and shooting stars, and then a non-auto running segment where you must avoid the shooting stars and reach the goal. In the Boss Act, you enter a giant throne room to fight the Egg King, who commands a swarm of robots, which you must use to find a path to hit the Egg King's head, and then he will use his staff to try and hurt you.

Hidden Sanctuary (Knuckles only): An short level that bears extreme resemblance to Sonic 3's Hidden Palace Zone. You must run through a level full of rocks that look like Chaos Emeralds, statues that try to shoot arrows at you, and snapping vines. At the end of the level you find out that there is no Master Emerald there.

Angel Island: Angel Island is a longer level that returns from Sonic 3. The level layout is different though, of course. You must fight Rhino Tanks and Coconuts, ride across ziplines, swing across vines, and jump across vanishing platforms in a tropical jungle-like Zone. You then fight a yet again misunderstood Knuckles, who was told that if he defeated Sonic that Eggman would put the Master Emerald back, which was a lie. You then ride Tails's rocket to fly to the Death Egg mk.II.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 3 (5)

Death Egg mk.II Exterior (Sonic and Tails only): The Death Egg mk.II is still floating above the planet, imprisoning Little Planet and poor Amy Rose, and have Eggman and the robotic Sonics waiting for you. In Act I, you steer Tails's rocket to avoid asteroids, robots, missiles, and other obstacles. You can also shoot projectiles. In Act II, you run across the outside of the gravity-defying Death Egg, running on walls and ceilings defeating massive swarms of robots, using meteoroids to ascend, and a segment where you must hop across a small group of of planetoids using the laws of gravity to get across (sphere-walking, moon jumping). In Act III, you must escape a series of traps like giant fiery balls, walls closing in on you, giant towers being launched at you, and a segment where you must shut down an energy chamber by attacking power towers. In another segment, you must avoid flying off the Death Egg and being thrown into space by the wind.Then you must fight through an enemy tower, with Silver Sonic, Mecha Sonic,and Metal Sonic all beingmini-bosses.Then you must fight the Egg Bonder, who can pinpoint you location and cause laser explosions where you were standing, levitate and throw objects, and send shock waves through wires. After defeating the Egg Bonder, the Death Egg falls apart, freeing Little Planet. If the Chaos Emeralds aren't collected, the "Bad" ending is shown.The Boss Act can only be accessed if all Chaos Emeralds are collected. In the boss act, the Egg Bomber returns, but you must chase him through a series of obstacles, like towers, asteroids, fire, laser beams, missiles, smoke, and blades. Then you must enter a hot crater of a giant planet and retrieve the Master Emerald while avoiding hot gas and lava spouts, right before Eggman's robot blows up from the intense heat and damage taken.

Angel Egg Base (Knuckles only): Angel Island under Eggman's rule. In Act I, motion detectors detect you and call in robots, trees try to collapse on you, explosives sit everywhere, and almost everything is on fire. There is a segment where you must run up a falling giant tree. In Act II, you enter ancient pyramids, with angry spirits that appear when the light is off, a room that repeatedly switches gravity, and you must use Knuckles wall climbing and gliding abilities to exit, and a room where you must use a torch. In Act III, it is a silhouette level. In a small segment, you must use special golden gloves to dig through ground to make objects fall into place in a pyramid. Then, for the remainder of the level, you must go upwards to Eggman's Angel Egg Base headquarters, avoiding geysers, falling rocks and boulders, Air Swooping robots, running across crumbling platforms, and digging your way through soil to reach the Goal Post. In the Boss Act,you must fight Eggman who is in the Angel Core, powered by the Master Emerald. It creates projectiles and Badniksfrom thin air and can command evil spirits to block you. You use Knuckles gloves to thaw the Master Emerald out of the core. Then you fight Silver Sonic, Metal Sonic, and the powered up Super Mecha Sonic, in which first you must interrupt him from charging up in a giant energy mass by digging to the center with you gloves, then hitting him the same way you do in Sonic 3. After he is destroyed, Eggman's base dissolves into thin air and everything on the island returns to its natural beauty like nothing ever happened, and Knuckles goes back to guarding the Master Emerald.

Bosses

Egg Sphinx (Hieroglyphic Island)

Egg Chaser (Neon Egg Capital)

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 3 (6)

Venus Egg Trap (Rainbow Rush)

Egg King (Sky Monarchy)

Knuckles (Angel Island) (Sonic and Tails only)

Silver Sonic (Death Egg mk.II Exterior/Angel Egg Base)

Metal Sonic (Death Egg mk.II Exterior/Angel Egg Base)

Mecha Sonic (Death Egg mk.II Exterior/Angel Egg Base)

Egg Bonder (Death Egg mk.II Exterior) (Sonic and Tails only)

Egg Bomber (Death Egg mk.II Exterior) (Sonic only)

Angel Core (Angel Egg Base) (Knuckles only)

Special Stages

Blue Sphere: The main Special stages in the game extremely similar to Sonic 3's Blue Sphere stages, but with different layout and 3D models and textures. You navigate around the pseudo-3D area collecting all blue spheres and avoiding red spheres to collect the Chaos Emerald.

Rotating Slot Machine: One of two Bonus stages, this one returning from Sonic 3, with 2.5D graphics. In this bonus game, you rotate Sonic around in a 2.5D plane entering jackpots to collect rings and avoiding End Panels.

FallingRing Heaven: Another one of two Bonus Stages. The bonus stage is set in a 3D plane in the skies rotating Sonic around tocollect rings, shields, and 1-ups, but avoiding pit-falls and bombs.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode Metal II

Story

Metal Sonic chases after Sonic on Tails's rocket and lands on Sylvania Castle. After Sonic and Tails leave, Metal Sonic instructs the Badniks to start taking over South Island by capturing Flickies and demolishing the land. Then Metal Sonic heads to White Park Zone to thaw out Mecha Sonic from ice, where he ended up from his previous encounter with Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Mecha Sonic then fishes Silver Sonic out of the oily sea in Oil Desert Zone, where he ended up from his previous encounter with Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The trio then hitch a ride on Wing Fortress Zone so they can be in reach of Angel Island Zone. Metal Sonic attacks Knuckles and steals the Master Emerald. By the time he did this, South Island was already taken over and Eggman's plan was already in effect. Metal Sonic then flies up to the Death Egg mk.II to battle Sonic.

Zones

Sylvania Castle Zone: Sylvania Castle is a Zone that originated from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II and is an ancient castle surrounded by a mystic lake. In the level, you move across rotating stone platforms, crash through stone structures to ascend, and make your way through the overflowing waters of the old castle in a segment of the level. You play as Metal Sonic.

White Park Zone: White Park Zone is also a Zone that originated from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II and is an old abandoned amusement park surrounded by snow. In the level, you race across the snowy roller coaster rails, avoiding walls that crush you and snow balls, and there's a segment where you must snowboard. You play as Metal Sonic.

Oil Desert Zone: Oil Desert Zone is an oil factory set in a sandy desert and is a Zone that originated from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II. In the level, you fight against tough winds, ride in oil slides, avoid Sandworms and Scarabesques, and there's a segment where you must escape a rising sand trap. You play as Mecha Sonic.

SkyFortress:Sky Fortress Zone is a Zone that originated from Sonic 4: Episode II inspired by Wing Fortress from Sonic 2.The levelis a giant metallic air ship with lots of Badniks, propellers, ring shooter cannons, and there's a segment where you must run on a wall. You play as Silver Sonic.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 3 (7)

Angel Island: Angel Island Zone is a Zone returning from Sonic the Hedgehog 3. You must avoid the thunder, fight Coconuts and Rhino Tanks, go across ziplines, swing vines, and hop across vanishing platforms. At the end of the level you fight Knuckles to take the Master Emerald. You play as Metal Sonic.

Development

Development on Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 3 began sometime in June 2012.Since they used the graphics and physics engine from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, they had time to make more content, like new playable options (Solo Sonic, solo Tails, Knuckles, Mecha Sonic, Silver Sonic) and additional content like Bonus Stages and Versus Mode. The story plot was in the works before development on the game actually began.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode III was announced at E3 2013 as the conclusion to the Sonic 4 saga. SEGA announced it would be released on November 19th 2013, 20 years from when Sonic CD was first released. A beta was leaked on PC on October 25th 2013.

Sonic 4 Episode III, at first, was said by SEGA that they had "no plans" for it, but presumably they immediately got to work on it after they said this.

Reception

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode III received critical acclaim. IGN gave it a 9.5, calling it "the true successor to the classic Genesis games". Giant Bomb gave it a 9.0, saying "a classic Sonic throwback done right" and "possibly Sonic's best game since Sonic 3 & Knuckles". GameSpot gave it 10, saying "Sonic finally reaches his full potential for the first time in almost two decades". The game only got one mixed review from Electronic Gaming Monthly, who gave it a 6 out of 10 saying "it's way too short and easyand the graphics and music just don't remind me of the Genesis days". Reviewers praised its level design, story plot, multiple playable options, and classic gameplay, but criticized is short length and low difficulty.

ReviewerReview Score
IGN9.5 out of 10
Giant Bomb9.0 out of 10
GameSpot10 out of 10
Electronic Gaming Monthly6 out of 10
1Up.com

A+

Digital Spy 5 stars out of 5

Metacritic

93% (Wii U)

92% (PS3)

92% (Xbox 360)

88% (3DS)

92% (PS Vita)

92% (PC)

85% (iOS)

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