Review by cutiepie

"Good game, but short"

Introduction
Sonic, the world's most famous blue hedgie, is back again in yet another great adventure! Sonic Advance is portable, so it can be carried around practically anywhere. Linking up with friends isn't a problem here, unless you don't have a GBA connector cable, which would be a BIG mistake. The stages, animations and graphics in this game are AWESOME, yet it lacks the replay value. Sonic seems to keep his plot as it was many, many years ago at the release of the first game. So nothing new to expect, except of course new dazzling levels and lots of hours of game play fun! So what if Sonic's on a Nintendo system? Such a small thing shouldn't stop true Sonic fans from buying this game!

Story – 9/10
The Sonic Team seem to like their Sonic plot, and they haven't really changed it in this game, either. The Chaos Emeralds have to be collected by Sonic before Eggman destroys the world, and the newest feature: a portable Chao garden! Raise your own Chao by collecting rings and buying it food and toys, as well as playing mini-games with it. But that isn't really part of the plot, it's just an add-on feature. If you have a GCN, you’re in for another surprise! All you need is a GBA-GCN Link Cable, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle and it's possible for you to raise your Chao in the GBA and the GCN. This is probably just the beginning of game-console-connection, and it sure is a good start!

Gameplay – 8/10
This game is great not only because of its cool stages and graphics, but you can also pick from 4 different characters. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy are there to pass the stages, and make you play the game with different characters that have their own special abilities. It's very challenging to pass the stages with Amy, as she is the hardest character to use. I won't spoil anymore, because this is not a FAQ.

The controls are pretty straightforward, and require no special skill to use. Buttons will remain buttons, and there's nothing you can do about it! The different characters share some basic moves, yet each and every one of them has his or her special moves and abilities. Sonic runs faster than anyone else, yet Tails can fly with his propeller tails. Knuckles can glide and climb up walls, and Amy has way too many special abilities to name! She is good for advanced players, Sonic is a character for high intermediate players, Knuckles is for intermediates, and Tails is mainly for starters who still need to explore the levels properly and can use his flying to pass obstacles easier.

Sonic games have (and hopefully always will be) always been fun, including this one. The variety of characters makes even the most boring days seem fun. But not only do the characters brighten up this entertaining game, the levels and the music play a big part as well! Not to mention the Chao Garden, which is a very fun feature! When you've beaten the game and don't know what to do, try and raise your Chao's stats to lvl. 99! It's a tough job and may take you a long time, but if you have the GCN, SA2:B and a GBA-GCN Link Cable, it's DEFINITELY worth it!

Audio, Video – 10/10
This is probably one of the most detailed and very well designed games available for the GBA! Maybe even the best! The graphics are just plain AWESOME, and are defiantly one of the greatest aspects of this game! The animations are extremely detailed, and you can see a lot of work was put into them. The stages are just excellent, with vivid colors so that they are more entertaining. They are extremely detailed, with great shading and light affects, not to mention movement in the background to make it more realistic (and it works!). The stages are perfect. There, I've finally managed to describe them properly. =P
Why did they make these Special Stages so horrible, though?! It seems as though all the work was put into the game levels, and the Special Stages were done in a rush! Really, those 3D affects are pretty confusing at times!

The sound is amazing. The music fits to every stage like two jigsaw pieces that go together. Whoever the composer was, big thanks to him. The music makes a big difference. Without it this game was probably likely to get a 6 from me. The added Sound Test makes the music bit even better! If you really seem to like the music in a particular stage, or maybe the ending, you can always go to the sound test and listen to it: for as long as you want if it's level music! Yet another great feature in Sonic Advance…

Replay Value – 5/10
MY LORD, WHAT HAPPENED HERE?! The replay value is horrible! The only thing that supports this chapters rating is the Chao Garden and the Time Attack! Sonic Team, you seemed to have forgotten to add some replay value so people can enjoy the game longer… Looks like some one fell asleep at work… hehe. So anyway, back to the review. The levels can get a bit boring after you get to know most of their secrets and get a fast time in Time Attack. If, by any chance, you get TOTALLY bored with Sonic Advance, I suggest you'd better get yourself a Genesis and try playing Sth1, Sth2, Sth3 or/and S&K to pass the time.

To buy or to rent? That is the question...
Hmm… I guess it would be wiser to rent if you just want to see if this is the right game for you. Buy it if you seem that most reviews say it's great. And I tell you, if I'd have cut out the replay value, this game would definitely have gotten a 9 or even a 10 from me! If you're still not sure whether to buy or rent this game, try asking the SAdv. Message Board. They could help you decide.

OVER ALL RATING - 7/10


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 09/05/02, Updated 10/28/02


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