Friday, February 21, 2003

GBA - Sonic Advance review


Developer : Sonic Team

A.) Sonic in high resolution for an handheld. Still a blast to play even after the 7 years Sonic Team discontinued the Sonic the Hedgehog 2D games (since Sonic CD for Mega32x in 1995) There was Sonic Pocket Adventure for the Neogeo Pocket, but I'm so unfamilar with that game.

Publisher : Sega

B.) Good sound track. Familar sonic the hedgehog tunes

Released on February 05, 2002

C.) A practice area where someone can increase their skills at coverting to white shielding or black shielding in the game. A lot of practice will be needed for an average gamer to get past the C grade level at the end of the practice run.

D.) A co-op option letting a friend battle evil with you.

Type : Platform

I played Sonic the Hedgehog on the Genesis. Yes I've played it and I played it for free thanks to emulation. Haven't we all at one time or another? Could Sonic Advance be the best 2D sonic ever? Look at the "colorful" history of Sonic games. Well back then it was good, now Sonic's Director Cut(s) are in the dark ages it seems like. Sonic Adventure was not exactly a very successful game on the Gamecube.

Let me ask this question, many say, including me that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for Sega Genesis was the best Sonic the Hedgehog game in the the history, until Sonic Advance came out. Needless to say that Sonic 2 was a more high profile game then the first and the 3rd wasn't has high profile as the 2nd, so like wise, Sonic 2 would be the most famous Sonic game around. Sonic the Hedgehog could easily of been a mediocre platform title in it's time if it wasn't for the fast pace, colorful world that was better then most action shooters of the day. If you have played the old sonic you'll first realize that the GBA has 2 buttons while the genesis controller had 6 buttons. However Genesis didn't come with triggers which made it difficult to hold 2 buttons at once. But the originals didn't use more then 2 buttons anyways. The Sonic the Hedgehog was known for it's industrial level, the second zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It had a good soundtrack, a long level, lots of secrets and it wasn't boring. If you played the casino level in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 then you know that it was fun trying to get the best score. Sonic could spin in the jackpot cubes and win big or loss it all. Sonic Advance is like the original Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The graphics are twice as colorful as those in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. They look like it's in high resolution, which beats all the other 2D Sonic the Hedgehog games.

So graphics aren't the only thing that makes this game fun, although the game is already amongst the prettier bunch as GBA games go. In the game, Sonic is usually running. The first zone is easy to start out with. It's impossible to die in this level and the stage 2 of zone 1 is also easy. Zone 2 is still easy. This time your in a slightly different world. If you followed Sonic very much you'll know that Sonic has a world with familiar characters that appeared in past Sonic games much like Mushroom Land with Mario. Sonic Advance has a famous beach level seen previously in the Dreamcast demo disc and Sonic Adventure. But the game also has other zones like the lava stages seen in the 16-bit generation. The game doesn't stray too far from the other 2D Sonic games because they are all timed, the game features 3D bonus stages, the game has the final encounter with Dr. Robotnic. The 3D stages look better then the Genesis version of Sonic 3D Blast! I find that the control on the GBA controller is hard to work with when doing 3D. Although the game is still one of my top GBA picks next to my personal favorite Super Mario Kart - super Circuit. The level design is better then most GBA games although the 3D platform Sonic the developer also makes for Gamecube is out of date and needs considerable updating. (article posted August 07, 2003 2:41PM)

Summing up Sonic Advance



Has scrolling background, looks like flash on the Internet. Everything is sequenced to happen the same way at the same time in every game. But Treasure has some nice 2D artwork. I admit that the bosses are cool looking in 2D shooter 3D form. I really like this game okay. It's next to genius. All levels flow at a good frame rate. There is a lot of color including my favorite, the opening level. It's like Super Mario Bros 2. Except Mario or Luigi don't go loop for loop or in a spiral like what Sonic does. The backgrounds are so bright and are in high resolution when they scroll with each frame that goes by. You don't get low resolution artwork that makes other games only average in comparison.



I don't really know about the Games control. I doesn't deserve a perfect score because I've seen what Super Mario Advance is capiable of. But in this 2D age the game either sucked or didn't suck. You can't measure the control in 3D like if the game had a 3D engine. The control is much like the old school Sonic games. The first Sonic the Hedgehog in it's day was a must buy because the control was pretty good and most people liked the gameplay. I'm not going to go so far to say that games aren't like they use to be, because this game is a good example of how a game that once was on a console 10 years ago came back into something that was worth buying at full price. Only in my own opinion though.



I couldn't give this game a perfect score but if it's not broken then why fix it. Remember the old Metal Slug games by SNK. I mean I've played it on a emulator and it was enjoyable. Reminded me of Metroid. The series just continues. The levels are really well constructed partly due because the team that invented Sonic the Hedgehog 10 years ago made Sonic Advance and Sonic Pocket Adventure. Not many developers keep their original license that long.



Unless you got a Gameboy player for your Gamecube, you don't have a very 3D sounding game hear. Nothing can compare with that of Final Fantasy or Golden Sun. It' just is that, the game has no 3D sounding music on the GBA. Most games don't have any sacrificing 3D sounding on the limited hardware that the Gameboy Advance can generate. I haven't heard of any MP3 technology before on Gameboy Advance. But midi can if done carefully should sound just as good. You have the original Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2 music which is excellent idea although the majority is okay. The infamous ring chime does well on the GBA I thought.



It's funny how emulation can steer you always from playing the same game twice. Because your not forced to play it twice. With emulation you have many choices. This game though is fun. I like it. You should find the ROM or buy it at a store. The game has a save option which is needed in all GBA games. But like the old school games before it, it's probably best to play the whole game through one time. This game is a BLAST to play!

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