I know I played the first level a fair bit, but I don't recall ever getting very far through Sonic 3. Perhaps a couple play throughs will jog my memory. Like, Sonic 2, the aesthetics look fairly different from it's predecessor. This time around, the Sega team kept a similar colour palette to Sonic 2, but added a lot more detail to the surroundings. (Sorry about the crappy image comparison, but I still need to get some console recording hardware).
|Sonic 2 (left) detail compared to Sonic 3 (right)|