Big's Big Fishing Adventure 3: The Trial is a browser game created by Sega of Virgin Islands based on a Running Gag from the official Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account. A trial version was released on April Fools' Day in 2016, and has a surprising amount of effort put into it, with loads of Continuity Nods, Ascended Memes, and Self-Deprecation. The game was initially "teased" during the "History of Sonic" panel at South by Southwest on March 11, 2016, but written off by everyone there as a joke, after which Sonic's twitter claimed that absolutely nothing was happening on April 1st.
The Trial can be played here, no Genesis controller required.
Hold on, Tropes! I'm coming!:
- A Day in the Limelight: Big the Cat gets a whole game to himself here!
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: Much like one of his cameos in Sonic Adventure 2, Big can survive in the vacuum of space with no trouble at all.
- The Bus Came Back: After being retired from the series for several years (save for sporadic cameos), Big the Cat not only returns, but gets to headline his own game.
- Continuity Nod/Mythology Gag: By the truckload.
- Eggman name-drops Sonic Adventure 2 and Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine while listing the reasons why he's more popular as a character than Big is. Sonic later points out that Mean Bean Machine technically wasn't made for Eggman, referencing the fact that it was a Dolled-Up Installment of Puyo Puyo.
- Eggman also mentions Perfect Chaos and Biolizard by name if you ask him where Froggy is.
- Big brings up his last solo game, "Big's Fishing," numerous times throughout the game, which almost everyone claims doesn't count due to being nothing more than a kid's meal toy.
- Big says that he helped Sonic run in his last game, which Eggman dismisses as a "glorified cameo."
- Before Big enters the labyrinth to rescue Froggy, wavy text reading "The programmer has a nap. Hold out! Programmer!" briefly appears on screen, accompanied by the Sonic the Hedgehog CD special stage music. This is a reference to one of the early prototype builds of Sonic CD, which had the same phrase pop up during one of the special stages.
- During the "Have you seen Froggy?" dialogue with Eggman, when Eggman learns that Big is seriously developing his own game, he exclaims, "No way! I can't believe this was ever approved!" This was based on a line of dialogue he repeatedly said during a boss battle in Sonic Adventure (as well as the cutscene after said boss).
- When Knuckles recommends Big to delay his game, he mentions that Sonic's philosophy is to go fast, a reference to the 4Kids Entertainment dub of Sonic X.
- Excuse Plot: Big is trying to develop his own game, and the deadline is tomorrow. Unfortunately, he has no programming experience, and Froggy, who was supposed to help him, has disappeared.
- Here We Go Again!: After the credits, Big wakes up from a strange dream, only to find Froggy has disappeared yet again.
- Nintendo Hard: The Flappy Bird parody is as hard as the original.
- Official Parody: It's a game by Sega that makes fun of both the Sonic series and themselves.
- Percussive Maintenance: Big's method of operating any form of machine is to bash it with his fishing pole, which somehow always works.
- Recurring Riff: The few pieces of original music in the game are either covers of or contain snippets of "Lazy Days ~ Living In Paradise" from Sonic Adventure.
- Take That!: Eggman comments on his infamous American redesign from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog that was used in Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine and some of the western box arts:Eggman: What about my solo game? Sure, I looked a little... odd... in it... but "Mean Bean Machine" was a smash hit!
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: At certain points, the game becomes a maze game, a Flappy Bird clone, and the inevitable Fishing Minigame.