Review by Gen2000

"Old School Sonic with New School Sonic Attitude."

Basic old school Sonic type story. Dr.Eggman (this is his REAL name) has stolen the Chaos Emeralds and Sonic and co. (Tails, Knuckles, and Amy) tries to stop him.

The gameplay as I mention is pure old school. Sonic is now back in 2-D glory and isn't a bad thing either. Sonic moves very fast on the GBA w/o any slowdown at all. You choose from 4 characters, but there they follow the same path in the story, no problem though seeing as how some of the Zones in the game are really big and long. The Zones each are common Sonic levels we all come to love, from the basic ''beginner Hill'' type Zones to the ''Death Egg wannabes'' type zones. Mighty funny the first zone is called Neo Green Hill. The four characters are:

Sonic the Hedgehog: The blue supersonic hedgehog we all come to know and love. Sonic in this game gets back his Insta-Shield move or more know as his ''flashkick'' back. If you were a Genesis Sonic lover, then you will surely enjoy him having this move back. Its even better than before now. Sonic also has some new tricks in this game such as the cartwheel slide. Just like in Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic keeps his ability to grind on rails. As you probably guessed, its more easier to do in this game than in Sonic Adventure 2, heh.

Miles ''Tails'' Prower: Tails is back, but this time not in his mecha (thank god). Tails is known for flying so you can expect to be doing alot of flying with this little fox in the game. Tails also get the ability to Spin Dash again which helps him move as fast as Sonic sometimes. Also, like Sonic, borrowing from the Adventure series, Tails also has his ''Tails Attack'' move from Sonic Adventure 1. Its a very effective move with good range.

Knuckles the Echidna: Knuckles also joins the party with old school type gameplay, no more hunting levels here folks, sorry, heh. Knuckles has alot of moves, Gliding, Climbing, Spin Dash (yep, just like Tails regains his lost move from the Adv. series), Spin Attack, Swimming (just like in the Adv. series) and his infamous ''1-2-Uppercut'' combo from Sonic Adventure 2. I'm sure Knuckles fans will have a great time blazing thru the levels with this red echidna. Be on the look for his end zone poses which are some of the cooler ones in the game.

Amy Rose: Sonic Team brought Amy's Sonic Adventure 1 type gameplay to the GBA. Lacking most of the rolling type moves of the other characters, Amy uses Hammer (Mako Mako Hammer?) to smash all that is her way. She can also do the Hammer Jumps from the Adv. games as well which gives her the highest jumping character award.

Even though the story is the same no matter who you choose, you should be able to find more areas with different characters or just have fun playing with your personal favorite Sonic character.

The Special Stages in the game are probably some of the low points in the game. It tries to do 3-D, but seems very off as most of the times when you think you are getting rings, you actually just are passing by them. As I write this review, I haven't gotten all the Chaos Emeralds cause of how hard (more like bad) they are.

The Tiny Chao Garden is way better than Chao Garden from Sonic Adventure 2 since you don't have to be running with
characters back and forth and such. Also you can change its name and play games w/o having to have a battery in a VMU which probably ran out of juice the first 3 days.

The only reason I don't give this game a perfect 10 is because the ending is pretty much nothing, even the old school Sonic games at least alittle bit of story (at least Sonic 3 & Knuckles/Sonic CD did). But you can't really complain seeing how this game went back to its roots (less story, more gameplay heh).

Very good soundtrack for a portable Sonic game. All of the new zones has their own new themes, but also thru-out the game there are remixes of older Sonic themes, i.e. in the Options Menu, a remix of ''Scrap Brain Zone'' plays. In the last stage, boss remix themes from Sonic 1 and 2 are played. Even the invincibility items are from Sonic 1 (or 2?)
The sound effects very good as well. The ring sounds EXACTLY the same as it did about 10 years ago.

The is clearly one of the best GBA games out there, competing with even some of the RPGs out there for GBA. Sonic fans, this is a must! GBA owners, I'm sure most of you will enjoy the game. Sonic has come to show other GBA platformers how it is done! His next goal, the Gamecube itself (Sonic Adventure 2 Battle)! Now if only Sonic Team could make a 2-D Sonic game like this with next-gen graphics (i.e. for Gamecube), then that would just be the best Sonic game ever w/o a doubt.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/28/01, Updated 12/28/01

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