Review by kif

"Not one of the greatest Sonic game ever, but so very close"

Sonics first game on a Nintendo console is finally out in Europe, but will it be another Classic Sonic game?

Story

To be honest, no-one is really bothered with the Sonic stories. Most people care about how well the game is played. The Dreamcast games contained quite a decent story line but for this game, its gone straight back to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis days -

''The evil scientist Dr Eggman has hatched a dastardly plot to build an empire with unimaginable powers. You can’t just stand around and watch this happen! Command Sonic and friends as they dash into action on a thrilling mission through challenging environments to rid the world of Dr Eggman for good''

When you start the game, you will be shown a character selection screen. The playable characters are - Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy.

All four of the characters have different moves. For example, Sonic can do his somersault, Tails can fly, Knuckles can punch and glide and Amy can… use her hammer to bash the enemies.

When your character is selected, you then have to work your way through 6 stages, which consist of 2 levels with a boss at the end of the second level.

Gameplay

Gameplay is very important in all of the great Sonic games. The things that make a Sonic game so great is the speed of the game and the shear size of the game. Luckily, this game has both of these qualities, and then some. All of the playable characters move quickly around the level at a sensible speed. This means that although the game moves along very quickly through the levels, the player always knows what is going on. The levels are also much more larger and non-linear than previous Sonic games. There are several routes you can take to get to the end of level in and also many hidden places in each level.

Graphics

The graphics are very nice in this game. Every character has several different animation’s which flow very well. The scenery is also very detailed and rich with colours. The only minor problem with the graphics is when your character is moving slowly up a ramp. This is because the sprites do get a little bit blurry. However, usually this doesn’t matter because most of the time your moving very fast through the level.

Sound

The sound is very similar to the previous Sonic games. The music is of good quality and it usually matches the level well. The sound effects in the game are also very well created. Every jump, dash, bounce, hammer smash and punch all make a very clear sound.

Extras

There are so many extras in this game, there are almost too many to list -

Bonus Game - Through-out each of the levels, there are special springs that take you to the special stages. Unfortunately, the special stages in this game aren’t as good and in any way original compared to other Sonic special stages. The special stage involves your character going through a sort of 3D-ish path, moving to collect rings, very much similar to the Sonic 2 and Sonic 3D special stages. Although not quite as good.

Tiny Chao Garden - This neat little extra allows GBA owners to raise their very own Chao. This can be done by buying food and toys from the rings you have earned in the action stages and in the 2 Chao mini games.

Your Chao can then be uploaded to the GameCube version of Sonic Adventure 2 : Battle. Unfortunately, this mode can’t be used yet since the GameCube but it should be something to look forward to once SA2B is released.

Time Attack - This allows you to play through all the levels that you have completed to try and achieve a quicker time. Your times will then be stored onto the GBA cartridge.

VS player - This mode allows for a multi-player game of Sonic Advance on the GBA.

Replayability

Once you have completed the game with one of the characters the other three are waiting to be completed. And when the game has been completed with all four characters, there is still the challenging time trail, and the addictive Chao Garden to spend many hours on.

To add to the replayability factor, when the GameCube is released, players will be able to upload their very own Chao into the Sonic Adventure 2 : Battle game.

Overall

This is one of the greatest games on the GBA. Weather your a Sonic fan or a general GBA fan, you will find Sonic Advance a very enjoyable yet a very challenging and rewarding game. It’s not one of the greatest Sonic games ever, but it is one of the most rewarding Sonic game ever.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/09/02, Updated 03/09/02


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