Review by AEmmott
"You'd do better to play any of the Genesis titles..."
I'll keep this brief, I merely want to offer my dissenting opinion. First, I truly believe the majority of the GOOD reviews for Sonic Advance exist for two reasons:
1) The reviewer never played the Genesis Sonic games much.
2) The reviewer is a hard-core Sega fan who, after seeing Sega stumble about with the Saturn and Dreamcast systems, just couldn't bear the fact that the newest 2D Sonic is total donkey cheese, in comparison to other Sonic games anyway. (Keep in mind I really don't intend to insult any one with this comment, it's just my opinion. I've lied to myself about certain games just to validate my spending 40 bucks on them before, so I'm only imagining others doing the same thing).
You would spend your money better to buy a Genesis and the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Even better, the orasmic combo of Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles is arguably the best 2D platform game ever. I wasn't expecting Sonic Advance to be BETTER than that, but it's certainly a huge departure from the utter perfection of the Sonic formula found in those two cartridges.
Keep in mind all my gripes stem from the comparison of Sonic Advance to other 2D Sonic games.
Sonic Advance is far from bad. It certainly feels, looks, and plays like a Sonic game. I dare say it is a good game, but it just pales in comparison to its predecessors. By leaps and bounds. It's too easy and too short, and the bonus stages are totally uninspired, in fact down right aggravating. If it weren't for the fact that depth perception in the bonus stages is impossible, they would be annoyingly easy, but thanks to the poor execution, they are annoyingly hard instead. The bonus stages are so bad as to almost dissuade me from trying to get all the Chaos emeralds. If you want a fun ''3D'' bonus stage, play Sonic 2.
To praise this game, I can think of three things it has over the other 2D games, everything else has been done better in one of the Genesis games.
1) The graphic are undoubtedly the best in the franchise, (Excepting Dreamcast games of course).
2) There are more characters to play with and additional moves to use, (However,I point out that playing as Knuckles before used to drastically alter the game, now it doesn't).
3) The method of making the bonus stages hidden within the levels as opposed to a function of how many rings you had at certain points is certainly a nice design idea. It forces you to explore the levels and adds a level of depth to the game. Too bad the bonus stages aren't worth it.
Is Sonic Advance a total piece of crap? No, I'll even concede that it's fun enough to play through all of it's easter eggs. But you'd be wiser to spend ten bucks on the PC release of Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles than spend 30-40 bucks on this disappointing title.
I write this review as warning to all the loooong-time Sonic fans who will likely have similar feelings as I. If you truly enjoy this game, great, but I want my 40 dollars back.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 02/14/02, Updated 02/14/02
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