Sonic Advance 2 Review

Developer: Sega Publisher: THQ
Release Date: March 11, 2003 Also On: None

It’s pretty hard to hate that blue blur. Back in the early 90’s, Sonic was considered the “anti-Mario,â€? and wasn’t your average day platformer. Not only did it have speedy gameplay (a genre which Sonic created entirely), but it also had the length and replay value which no other game had. Sonic the Hedgehog and its two sequels were practically the reason to own a Genesis. However, once the Genesis was finally considered “deadâ€?, we wouldn’t see another 2D Sonic game for a long time. It wasn’t until the GBA, other than the Neo Geo Pocket Color, that Sonic Team decided to release another popular Sonic game. Sonic Advance failed to achieve the gaming excellence that the previous games of the series attained. The level design wasn’t as exquisite. The game length was minuscule. The biggest flaw, however was that the game made you play the same redundant levels over and over again, just with different characters. Sonic Advance 2 ends up sharing the same flaws.

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Dr. Eggman is up to his old tricks again, and it is up to Sonic to stop him. Though the story is practically the same thing when compared to previous Sonic games, it really doesn’t matter. Eggman’s plan is pretty simple.

Step 1 – Capture cute little animals and make them into evil robots

Step 2 – Capture Tails, a rabbit by the name of Cream, and her mother

Step 3 – Trick Knuckles into fighting Sonic

Step 4 – Collect the Chaos emeralds and finish his new Death Egg ship

Step 5 – Conquer the Sonic-free world

The game’s graphics are pretty good. It takes advantage of the GBA’s hardware and actually look like the Genesis Sonic games. You have got your Casino lights, snowy areas, and your grassy plains. Sonic Advance 2 really gives you nostalgia. The audio is exactly what you expect from a 2D Sonic game. You have got your jump effects, winning music, and boss music. Audiowise and graphically, the game truly shines.

There are a lot of new moves, but the same flaws still exist that were in the previous game. This is a game that is way too short and could be beaten in less than 3 hours. When compared to the good ol’ Sonic games, you’d think that Sonic Advance 2 was a simple demo. In this game, you could press the right button on the D-Pad for a couple of minutes and beat the first act. Do that again for another 1-3 minutes and you could beat the second act. Once you beat the first two acts, you have to fight Eggman in a powerful machine. Eggman’s creations come in all shapes and sizes. Sonic Team decided to change the “average boss levelâ€? by letting both characters running at the same time instead of the hero barley moving. Though the idea of changing the boss battles was nice, the outcome wasn’t. The boss battles were tedious as well as unfun. I remember losing all of my lives for like 9 times when I was facing the boss of the zone called Ice Paradise. What is even worse is that if you lose all your lives in one of the three acts, you automatically go back to the first act. In previous Sonic games, your game gets saved after you beat an act. This is one of the worst changes in the game, so if you are playing the boss of a zone, and you lose all your lives, just be ready to curse at Sega.

Sonic and friends do get a lot of new moves in this game. Now you could do boost jumps using the R button, which I thought was cool. What was even cooler was the after-image move. When you happen to go really fast, you see a double of yourself (just in blue). While you have an after-image, you could do some extra moves. There is a lot more grinding in this game, which was one of the best additions of Sonic Adventure 2 for the Dreamcast. Another big addition in this game was the way you collect the chaos emeralds. Now you have to find 7 “SP rings� in one act and then go to a special stage. After you beat the special stage, you get a chaos emerald. This increases the replay value, but not by a whole lot.

Ever since Sonic Adventure hit the Dreamcast, Sonic Team never stopped increasing the non-Sonic characters’ importance. However, most of the characters play like Sonic, just with a couple of special moves. The bad part is, for all those who want to unlock the Super Sonic level (which is my favorite level), you have to not only collect all the chaos emeralds with Sonic, but beat each character’s single player mode. There is a very high chance that you will get bored after playing the same single player mode by the time you play your 3rd character.

If Sonic Team just decided to make a very long Sonic game where Sonic gets at least 90% of the attention, and the boss battles more entertaining, it could have been nearly as great as Sonic the Hedgehog 1, 2, and 3. Overall, the game was fun, but was too short and repetitive, to really be called a Sonic game. Play it only if you are a die-hard Sonic fan, otherwise, just stick with another platformer.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 7.2
Written by Simon Review Guide

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