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Best GBA or DS sonic game


Commander Metal
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Well, it depends which sort of game you're after. For something really similar to the classics (I assume it's the closest we'll get to Sonic 4 because Sonic Lightning turned into Rivals) go for Sonic Advance 1, or possibly number 3. Of course, 3 uses that 'marmite' partner system and the level design is questioned by some.

Sonic Advance 2 I'd say it the worst of the bunch. It's fun, but really is the first iteration of a hold-right festival. I think in the first stage you need to let go of right/press a different button something like 3 times. Seeing Knuckles behaviour in the Zone 5 Boss however is enough to warrant paying full price for a never before opened copy of the game.

The Rushes. Now, these are the games you should be looking at. Both of them are a damn near perfect evolution of style that was back in the early 90's. The first game is longer because it has two stories instead of swapsies and is somewhat (cheaply) harder. Rush Adventure has the better main theme, fun sea vessel minigames and 10,000,000,000,000,000 less bottomless pits. Story and character wise it's more fun, even though I sorely missed Cream here.

If you're going for just one, take your pick between Rush and Rush Adventure. Going for two, then both of the Rushs.

1 game: Rush/Rush Adventure

2 games: Both in the Rush series

3 games: Rush series and Advance 1

4 games: Rush series, Advance 1&3

5 games: Duh

Pinball Party's nothing fantastic, but Battle is actually fun. It's totally different to all of the others of course, so you should do your own research there.

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Seeing Knuckles behaviour in the Zone 5 Boss however is enough to warrant paying full price for a never before opened copy of the game.

Well, that or you could just delete the game data and start over? D=

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The entire Advance series was horrid (well the first one was inoffensive and still somewhat playable to this day, the others simply grated against my mind and stood out as some of Sonic's worst games yet), and Sonic Rush was only barely better, but still was a bit wanky and amazingly unenjoyable, and it had the worst music in a Sonic game ever. Sonic Advance aside (which I found to be just plain boring), the other three games had abysmal level design full of annoying trial-and-errors, pitfalls, arbitrarily-placed enemies and traps, and overall very unmemorable layouts and level themes. They also had the most retarded methods of accessing the Special Stages in a Sonic game ever. How did we go from simply collecting 50 rings by the end of the level to trying to find all the Special Rings in a single run without dying? Not to mention the Special Stages themselves were nothing to write home about - then again, neither are most Special Stages in the series.

Sonic Rush Adventure is a different story; I've always had tremendous fun with this game, and it's my favorite handheld Sonic title. The level design didn't suck, the level themes were really great (Pirates' Island was a great deviation from the usual mechanical/air fortress zone and you know it), and the bosses were pretty fun. Even better were the vehicle mini-games, which were extremely fun (except when it came to races against Johnny or being swarmed with enemies in the submarine) and the main reason why I go back to play the game, rather than the levels proper. Oh and the music composers for this game had actual talent, unlike Naganuma, and could compose a coherent, catchy melody for the levels.

So SRA is the only GBA/DS game that doesn't suck ass and is actually a genuinely wonderful game to play.

Oh and as for Sonic Battle: this is Sonic among his worst yet. Sonic 2006 is unplayable? This game is unplayable. The entire game consists of nothing but running to your enemy, heavy attack/kick/heavy attack/kick/heavy attack/kick ad infinitum until you win each battle - and you usually have to do this 20 times because after ten kills, your enemy decides to rechallenge you for some reason. This is beyond repetition, this is the exact same thing throughout the entire game. Simply horrible.

Sonic Pinball Party was amusing.

Edited by Jake
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I know! Pirates' Island is one of my favorite Sonic last levels ever, if not number one. The music is incredibly happy and joyous, and the level had great visuals and altogether was a fun romp through. Like I said, a great change from the usual factory final levels.

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Okay, let's see if I can't put my opinion to use for you.

Advance: I got this one as my first GBA game, and I can say that, while not exactly the greatest, it was pretty decent overall. I'd suggest renting/trying it out at least.

Advance 2: I agree with the others; this game is down-right horrible. Not only is is one massive "hold right untill the goal", but the level design, themes (except for Music Plant, which I sort of enjoy), and overall gameplay massively sucks major @$$! I say get it ONLY if you want to be able to claim that you own it.

Advance 3: This one is more of a platformer than the other titles in the series, which can make playing through some of the levels very much confusing. Not only that, but the whole character tag-up thing is just unimpressive & complicates things even more. Not to mention the fact that getting into just ONE of the special stages is probably the most asanine thing ever (Find ten Chao, get the key, then find the special spring). However, despite these drawbacks, I find this game to be somewhat better in quality & enjoyment than Advance 2, so I recomend either finding a friend who owns it & borrow it to see for yourself, or rent it (GameFly anyone?).

Rush: Another handheld Sonic title that I personally own, and I have to say that it is MUCH better than the entire Advance series combined, but it's not without it's problems. As had been said before: There are quite a few bottomless pits that you can fall down & enemies are often placed inconveniently. However, despite these flaws, this game is a worthy successor to the original games from the Genesis/Mega Drive. THIS is a definate buy. (On a small, personal side note: the Music in the game isn't as bad and some would have you believe. My personal favorites in the game are "Back 2 Back" (Water Palace), "Metal Scratchin'" (Boss Theme), & "Bomber Barbara" (Final Zone theme (and by Final, I do not mean the Super Sonic/Burning Blaze stage).)

Rush Adventure: Only one word comes to mind when I think of this game: "Perfection". Seriously: I cannot think of anything really wrong with this game! I'm sure that there IS something, but I have so much fun when playing this that I really don't notice when something isn't up to par. ABSOLUTE BUY!!!

So, for a quick recap...

Advance 1: Rent/Try

Advance 2: Skip

Advance 3: Rent/Try

Rush: Buy

Rush Adventure: Definate Buy

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The only handhelds of this generation I've played are the first two sonic advances. I'm in the minority when I say I prefered Sonic Advance 2. I found everything an improvement over the first. The graphics were cleaner, sharper, and cooler. The engine was drastically improved. The game was faster. Better vfx. That phase running effect was a sweet touch. Grinding was better used. And I actually thought the game was challenging.

The first advance had boring level design, and it was slow as molasses. The music was more laid back. Everything about Advance 2 felt more exciting.

As for the sonic rush's which I haven't played. The first one actually looks more interesting. From what I've seen, the graphics are more detailed. And the music, while irritating to listen to as a soundtrack, brings flavor to the game. The environments also look cool and stylish. Rush Adventure looks more like generic, cartoony, including that stupid looking racoon girl. Also heard those rpg elements suck. But the boat looks fun.

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Like others have said, I definitely think Sonic Rush Adventure is by far the best handheld Sonic game, and to me one of the best Sonic games period (yes, I actually am comparing it to the classics). Everything about that game is amazing: the levels, the soundtrack, the light-hearted story (a nice change from some of the more "dark and edgy" stories of recent Sonic games), online multiplayer, and just everything else about it.

Also, although some would strongly disagree, I really like Sonic Advance 3 a lot and would recommend that as well.

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Advance: I'd suggest it if you want to play a classic Sonic game, only you want to actually play something different. It's alright, but pretty boring to be honest, and feels like it's trying to be the classic games too much, and in the end feels like a cheap knock-off. Of course that doesn't mean the games bad, it's enjoyable for a simple runthrough.

Advance 2: Level design is much more linear(not like Advance 1 was any less linear) in favor of being much faster. This game suffers from poor level design, horrid enemy placement, and bottomless pits that literally can take several seconds to actually reach the bottom of(you'd think they could have put some, you know, LEVEL in that big empty space of nothing). But one good thing out of it though is that it has, IMO, the best physics in any Sonic game I've played, allowing the player to move slowly at will without slippery and quick acceleration, but is still able to be insanely fast using an intuitive boost that doesn't overshadow the physics or spin-dash, and even gives the dash pads some good use.

Advance 3: If you were too used to the physics of the first and second Advance titles, your gonna have a hard time getting used to Adance 3's slippery control. The level design in this game is way more complicated than in the first 2 games making it almost impossible to properly memorize. This game feels like trying to play Sonic Advance 2 in Sonic CD's level design; it just doesn't mix. The game wants to be fast, but the level design won't let it. And the team system is pretty pointless and feels a bit tacked on due to the AI having the intellegence of a dead banana peel and only being used for their team actions on occasion.

Rush: It's alright, but greatly overrated. In this game, it's the boost button's world, the rest of us just live in it. Every last thing in this game revolves around boosting. You kill enemies with the boost, you do tricks so you can fill your boost gauge up more so you can boost more, the boost is important for beating most bosses, you access things such as shortcuts or break through roadblocks by boosting, you unclog your toilet by boosting, you milk your cow by boosting, EVERYTHING. Level design also revolves around boosting, but also suffers from unnecessary pits. Overall, the whole game revolves around beating levels as fast as possible without any sort of regard for anything else. You just get the fastest time and mash the trick button because people might have gotten boerd waiting to land so they can boost more.

Rush Adventure: No different from the first, just with slightly better level design and more depth. Sea travel is fun, and by "sea travel" I mean the waterbike was fun, all the other vehicles were BOOOOORRRRIIIIINNNNGGG!! Though the game had a cool atmosphere and it really sticks out after playing it. It's certainly worth playing, but only if you've either played and liked the first Rush, or you haven't already played the first yet. It tries to pull a wool over our eyes by giving us a completely different setting, and tons of content outside of the main games to get away with giving us the exact same gameplay as the first without making any effort to improve anything. But when you really compare it to all the other handheld games, I guess you could say that it is the best of them, but that's not by much.

Edited by Pidgeot
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You kill enemies with the boost, you do tricks so you can fill your boost gauge up more so you can boost more, the boost is important for beating most bosses, you access things such as shortcuts or break through roadblocks by boosting, you unclog your toilet by boosting, you milk your cow by boosting, EVERYTHING.

The Boost is disabled in all boss battle, apart from the final part of the Sonic & Blaze battle which is button mashing.

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Advance and Rush Adventure are the ones I'd suggest getting. Great level design, fun boss fights, and good music make them the best two handheld Sonic games, IMO.

Advance 3 and the first Rush are also good, but not quite as good as the above two. Advance 3 is hurt a bit by the partner system, and Rush's level design is not on the level of Rush Adventure's. Still worth buying, though.

As others have said, Advance 2 is just plain awful. Terrible level design which consists mostly of holding right and dodging bottomless pits, and very annoying bosses, in stark contrast to the other two Advance games. Avoid it altogether.

I haven't played Batle, so I can't comment there.

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I'm evidently an odd person, I liked Sonic Advance 2 over the first and third ones. Sonic Advance 3 had a lot of dead spots and boosts directly into spikes or bottomless pits which instantly makes it dead last on my list. The first Advance game was pretty good, more of a "Here's your Sonic 4" type game in many respects. Sonic Advance 2 had good pacing, and in my opinion an appropriate level of trial and error that only felt off on Angel Island Zone to me. The bosses were the best in the entire series due to the creative and challenging nature of a constantly moving boss.

I've not played Sonic Rush Adventure, so I can only recommend the first Sonic Rush. It took everything I liked from Sonic Advance 2 and improved upon it ten fold. The controls felt more quick to pick up speed, no trial and error, and a bit more directional switching. The only thing that bothers me about Rush is the trick system. Not that its unfair to me, but that hearing, "Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah, alright, ring, ring, ring, bwweeev!" every time I hit a button gets really, really annoying, really really fast.

If you enjoy Special Stages, stay away from the entire Advance series. The first game has relatively simple to enter special stages that are impossible to beat (For somebody who can get all 14 emeralds with all 3 characters in S3&K, I can only get one emerald in the first Advance game), the second Advance game has special stages, but due to the way they're entered I have yet to manage to get into even the first one, so I can't comment on their difficulty. If I recall the third one was simpler in both respects, more of an in the middle approach, slightly convoluted to enter and not as difficult as the firsts, but still convoluted and difficult. But considering I avoid the third Advanced game like the plauge anymore, I can't be 100% sure about that.

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Gameboy Advance: Sonic Advance 2

Nintendo DS: Sonic Rush

I did like all 3 Sonic Advance games but 2 was simply the most fun to me, and Sonic Rush was just plain great, Rush Adventure wasn't nearly as good in my personal opinion. (I didn't like the boat sections, having to replay levels quite a bit etc)

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Sonic Advance: ................................................ *yawn*

I think there's some of the old stages in there... like Carnival Night from Sonic 2.

Sonic Advance 2: .....Pretty Colors. 83

I thought it was pretty fun. But, the only problem is unlocking everything. So hard collecting all the badges, I had to use a guide...

Sonic Advance 3: Meh. It's okay...

and I forget how you got to the special stages... I think it involved collecting chao...

Sonic Battle: SMASHY! SMASHY! YAY! x3

Haha. not like your usual Sonic Game. You gotta like, fight. and stuff.

Sonic Pinball Party: Eh... it's really just pinball with Sonic's face on it. Kinda fun though.

Sonic Rush: Fun as hell to play. But, those cutscenes where just so looooonnnnngggg

The Special Stages for Sonic are similar to Sonic 2. And easy to find and get into. (Blaze gets the Sol Emeralds automatically.) Presented some challenge. x3

Oh, and the music is EPIC WIN.

Sonic Rush Adventure: After playing LoZ:PH, all I can really say is... Sonic meets Legend of Zelda. You got like... the boats and stuff. Though, those races for the Chaos Emeralds are fun. x3

Not as many cutscenes, nor are they that long. Blaze is optional this time, and you have a ton of optional secret island levles. Plus, Wi-Fi.

The music isn't as great as Rush's though...

Sonic Chronicles: SONIC! In an RPG? Great idea, not-so-great execution.

Plus.. HOW CAN YOU HAVE GHZ WITHOUT GHZ MUSIC!?

and the Super Sonic battle is horrid.

Though, I liked the way you can decide what Sonic says. x3

Sorry, kinda rushed... I'm gonna go to see my friend and I dunno when she'll get here.

Edited by Blue Streak
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The best Sonic handheld game is Sonic Advance 1, hands down (imo). After that, I'd recommend skipping the two horrible follow-ups and jumping straight into the quite-good Sonic Rush. If you really enjoy that game, you might as well get the slightly dissapoint Sonic Rush Adventure as well.

But I really do recommend skipping Advance 2 and 3.

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I'll agree with the general opinion here.

Out of the GBA games, the first one was closest to a good Sonic game. It feels like something between the 8-bit and 16-bit games, because the platforming elements are a bit more out there like the 8-bit, but the 16-bit speed is there. They basically feel like Sonic on the SNES to me, for the music and color quality. A step down, but still good. I didn't like the level design for the second because it's just a bunch of slopes with split second shortcuts, with not enough control over Sonic for that kind of movement. The third was okay. Obstacles and Badniks in all three games seem placed to frustrate the player to death. They're okay but not priorities.

The Rush games were great. I think the music is a matter of opinion, but the boost and tricking additions really make standard Sonic gameplay fresh. About bottomless pit complaints for the first, I find that the pits are only really a problem if you enjoy the boost a bit too much. Caution on certain levels avoids this problem for the most part. The special stage in the first game is great. I haven't played Rush Adventure, but I get the idea that it's basically the same thing only slightly better or worse depending on how you felt about the first. Level design is much better than the GBA generation. Highly recommended for Sonic and non-Sonic fans with a DS.

I would also recommend Sonic Chronicles if you like your Sonic with a bit of story. Just know what you're getting into. It's an RPG so it won't be speedy like the sidescrollers. It's kind of short and the audio is terrible. Sometimes the missions seem a bit pointless and circular, but each RPG has sections that feel like chores. I enjoyed seeing Sonic characters in an RPG, especially Eggman, and thought the stylus controls were pretty nice. Overall a good experience for me, and I hope for the rumored sequel.

Seriously try the Rush games though. I think I saw them bundled together once. They're popular games so you should be able to find some kind of deal on them. Best 2D Sonic since the Genesis IMO. Yeah, I said it!

Edited by Badnikz
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Sonic Advance: ................................................ *yawn*

I think there's some of the old stages in there... like Carnival Night from Sonic 2.

Sonic Advance 2: .....Pretty Colors. 83

I thought it was pretty fun. But, the only problem is unlocking everything. So hard collecting all the badges, I had to use a guide...

Sonic Advance 3: Meh. It's okay...

and I forget how you got to the special stages... I think it involved collecting chao...

Sonic Battle: SMASHY! SMASHY! YAY! x3

Haha. not like your usual Sonic Game. You gotta like, fight. and stuff.

Sonic Rush Adventure: After playing LoZ:PH, all I can really say is... Sonic meets Legend of Zelda. You got like... the boats and stuff. Though, those races for the Chaos Emeralds are fun. x3

Not as many cutscenes, nor are they that long. Blaze is optional this time, and you have a ton of optional secret island levles. Plus, Wi-Fi.

The music isn't as great as Rush's though...

I agree with this guy 90% I've played all of the titles in this quote and to this day I'd say SA1 and 2 are the best then SB falls right behind them. SA3 wasnt all that great, think SONIC heroes in 2D and SRA is overrated. It got old, repeating stages over and over again just to get certain minerals to go on to the next set of levels.

Edited by The 360©
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To be honest none of them are that good, but I recommend Sonic Advance the most. Why? Because it's the first 2D Sonic game in years which actually feels like I'm playing a new Mega Drive Sonic game, I dunno why but it has that retro feel to it, even though it's not.

Sonic Advance 2's nowhere near as good- not enough robots/badniks for my liking, plus the level designs are boring.

Sonic Advance 3 would be my 2nd choice, but it's not very memorable, I can only remember a few levels, so it mustn't be that good, it didn't keep me hooked that's for sure.

I've never played Sonic Battle, Sonic Pinball Party or Sonic the Hedgehog, but they're not very highly rated, which is why I've avoided them.

Sonic Rush is alright, but overrated. I don't think it's as good as most people say it is, it's basically running as fast as you can to the finish and that's it, I know this is pretty much every Sonic game's goal, but even more so in this game, it's just running non stop with annoying music, and that's it.

Sonic Rush Adventure is the worst of them all, I HIGHLY recommend avoiding it, it's rubbish! It's got too much work involved getting to one island to another and it takes a lot of patience to get to a new island, I've been trying forever to get to the 3rd island, but don't have the patience as too much work's involved.

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Sonic Advance and Sonic Advance 2 were fun on the GBA, but don't be afraid to try out Sonic Battle though.

When it comes to the DS, either Rush game is fine. Rush Adventure may be a bit better, but I still love the original one too. It also has better music. :P

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Honestly, I would say just about all the Sonic games were good on the GBA. But if you're going to buy a sonic game, I would say the advance series should be your first. That, or SR. I never played SRA, but from what I heard about the raccoon she can be pretty annoying. So I would hold off on that.

Edited by Kyo Karamaoh
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