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if you were to make a sonic advance 4...


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so now I understand how most people think about the advance trilogy

  • Sonic advance is middling or the best, which says more about to other two than this game.
  • Sonic advance 2 is either seen as an abomination of all man kind, or a fan-favorite. maybe somewhere in the middle by others.
  • Sonic advance 3 is seen as the worst of the trilogy, or made by Dimps by others, but by others seen as underrated, or surprisingly the best sonic game of all time looking around on YouTube.

so that begs the question, if you were to make a sonic advance 4, how would you do it?  What lessons should this game learns from it's predecessor's? Mechanics? Story? Level Design? Levels in general?

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I assume when you say "Sonic Advance 4", you don't mean a literal sequel for the Game Boy Advance? I take what you mean is a sequel based on the Sonic Advance games specifically?  I'm not really sure such a thing could ever happen. I mean, making a sequel to say something like Sonic CD would make sense, since the time travel aspect of that game is so integral and unique. Whereas for Advance, I'm not sure what makes Advance stand out from other 2D games.

I havn't played the Advance trilogy, but from what I can gather is unique about them is:

SA 1-3: Use a unique pixel art style that isn't 8 bit, 16 bit, or trying to mimic the classic 16 bit like Sonic 4 or Sonic Mania.

SA 1-3: As well as Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles playable, Amy and Cream are playable characters. I struggle to think of any 2D games outside of Advance where I can play as either.

SA2 has the big focus on speeding through levels, more so I believe than any other 2D game.

SA3 has the co-op mechanic, which is probably the most unique aspect of the Advance games.

So I mean, to answer the question, I think bringing back the SA3 co-op for a sequel makes the most sense. Bring back the 5 characters + a few more and have the levels designed to be able to have lots of alternate paths making for lots of replayability with different combinations.

I dunno, I'm sorry, I guess I'm just curious about the question. I feel like it would be asking for a sequel to Sonic Rush, or the 8 bit Sonic & Tails games (Sonic Chaos and Sonic Triple Trouble.)

To me, I think the next 2D Sonic game is either going to be Sonic Mania 2/Sonic 5, another game milking the mostalgia of the 16 bit games, or a 2D game with fully 3D sprites, like Mega Man 11.

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they're the modern incarnations of classic sonic, it's like 3d sonic put completely into 2d, like new super Mario bros. 3d mechanics like the air dash, the ground attacks like the somersault, tail swipe, punch combo, and all of Amy & Cream have been shared with the 2d mechanics such as the insta-shield, flight, gliding and climbing. while also adding new ones like Boost mode, and the trick system. that's what makes the advance games stand out as cult classics.

so to make things more specific: what ideas would you use, or leave out of in your sequel?: if you were to add new mechanics, what would they be? if you were to make a story for it, what would the premise, tone, theme and plot be? how would the level design work, what is the approach? how would the levels be themed (like the setting, the atmosphere, and the overall background).

take your time and think about it if you want.

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I could write whole pages on this topic.

  1. I'd improve the physics. The Advance games have a decent physics engine that vaguely resembles the one of the classic games, but it has some flaws, mainly less precise collisions and some messed up values (acceleration etc). I would work on the physics of the game in order to make it as close to perfection as possible... not necessarily a copy of the classics, but at least a solid engine where the physics feel natural.
  2. I'd bring the series back to Advance 2 and work from there. I feel like Advance 2 is the game with the strongest identity in the trilogy, the game that put the first step into the creation of Modern Sonic, the one that introduced the boost, the special rings that later became the red star rings, and many other mechanics that became iconic of the modern era. When you think of the Advance trilogy, Advance 2's gameplay is the first thing that comes to your mind, like it or not. With this said, while the tag actions are cool, I would put them aside for a while and just focus to one character at once.
  3. Heavy focus on the characters' movesets. Sonic Advance 2 was likely rushed, the movesets are unbalanced and some moves feel unpolished or useless. I'd redesign the movesets of all the characters in order to make them unique and well crafted. Despite having Advance 2 as the main inspiration, I would bring back Amy's gameplay from Advance 1 and improve it.
  4. Art-style... I don't think the Advance games' identity relies on them being pixel-art. I think that the feel that the games were supposed to give was that they were hand drawn. I would make it a 2D game with hand drawn animations... think of something like Warioland Shake It, Cuphead, A Boy and His Blob (remake), or Hollow Knight.
  5. If the game is going to be an Advance sequel or spiritual successor, I would keep the old cast of characters (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Cream). If anything, maybe add Blaze just as a reference to Sonic Rush being the former spiritual successor of the Advance games already... or maybe Gemerl too at best... but I'd prefer to keep it as simple as possible, especially because I would like to put a lot of effort in the movesets, and having too many characters would not be a good idea for that.
  6. I would keep the focus on speed, and many of the game's gimmicks such as the Boost Mode and the grind rails, but I would redesign the levels completely, to make them less about reflexes/mindless speed and more about traditional platforming (I mean a bit more like the classics). I would try to rely less on bottomless pits and to make the levels as fair and intuitive as possible (no cheap deaths).
  7. I would think of a new way to access the special stages that's still based on collecting the red star rings (that would replace the special rings), but at the same time I would make it so that the player is not forced to collect them all the times (and not with all the characters), and I would also put something in the game to help the player to find them (such as character-specific skills, like, Tails has a red ring radar in his computer, Knukcles can sense the red rings when they are close, Cheese asks help to other chao that will show to Cream the way that let's you collect all the rings...).
  8. Stage transitions, in-game cutscenes like S3&K, level design used as a form of narrative (events happen during the level, the level changes and tells a story; think of the blackout in Carnival Night, the change of seasons in Mushroom Hill, and the rocket level in Sonic Advance 1). The game must feel alive.
  9. I would expand the mechanics of being faster when you collect more rings (that was only in Advance 2). I would make it more effective and noticeable, and specific to Sonic... but other characters would get other buffs from rings as well. Tails would get flight buffs, Knukcles maybe would get bigger shockwaves from his attacks, Amy I don't know... as for Cream, I've my concept of implementing chao garden mechanics to Cheese and rings could enhance Cheese's stats.
  10. As for the formula, I would keep it as it has always been. 7 stages, one for each emerald, plus a secret Super Sonic final boss for good ending. The only difference is that maybe I would allow Super Sonic to be playable in the regular stages... maybe let the other characters turn super too. Cream would turn into something similar to Spring Cream from the Forces mobile game, using nature/plants for attacks similar to how Blaze uses fire. I would keep the amount of acts per zone at 2, and remove the hub worlds. If the game feels too short, I'd rather add a second chapter with a new set of 7 zones similar to Sonic & Knuckles to Sonic 3. Running bosses from Advance 2 are cool and all but I would go back to the more traditional bosses; a couple of running bosses cold still be in but definitely not all the bosses of the game.
  11. I would change Tails' gameplay a lot, to give him a lot more air mobility and overall make his air movements more exciting and fun. Knuckles' glide would be faster and heavier too, and his gameplay would focus a lot more on punching and breaking stuff; I would implement digging as part of his moveset too. As I said, Amy would be an evolution of her Advance 1 gameplay. Cream would be modified a lot too: she would get her own replacement of the spindash based on the bunny boost from the Forces mobile game, and the gameplay would be based on getting passive skills from Cheese; as you destroy a robot and release the animal inside, Cheese can absorb the animal's traits and gain passive skills for Cream. The chao attack would not destroy the enemies anymore but only stun them... stunning would make them stop moving, falling from the ceiling or air, and stop their attacks. With this system Cream should be able to do a pacifist run of the whole game by only stunning the enemies and never destroying them (excluding bosses); though some animals may improve the chao attack to make it actually offensive for a limited time (passive skill).
  12. I would make the boost mode more important to the gameplay. Like time travelling in Sonic CD... something that makes you want to reach it and keep it for longer. I don't know how, but I'm thinking of a mechanics based on the Metal Virus from the IDW comics... in boost mode the infection decreases while in regular mode you slowly get more infected and risk to become a zombot... just an idea, not necessarily a good one, but to make my point clear.
  13. Keep Sonic's homing attack, desing the badniks so that homing attack them is a challenge. make them have barriers, counter attacks, dodge moves, weapons, so that you have to calculate the timing and the angle of the homing attack in order to hit them (Sonic Advance 2 was already kinda like that but the HA mechanics were unpolished, a lot more can be done with that concept).
  14. Cream should still be able to cancel the flight and drop on enemies to stomp them. Tails should get different new skills that allow him to fight while flying too.
  15. The trick system would be the same as it was in Advance 2, but maybe the moves would have more variety between the characters. Also, it would never be required by the level design, it would only be an optional feature to make the stages easier to navigate at insane speeds.
  16. The stage locations should be as unique as possible, I would try to stay away from the recurring tropes.
  17. I'm not sure about the story, but the tone of the game should be the same as the other Advance games: lighthearted but still cool, with focus on spectacle, and some cute moments here and there. no pontaff-like bad jokes.
  18. I would put some chao-themed mechanics or side-game like the Tiny Chao Garden... if not a Chao Garden, something in the same style, some parallel side game that you can spend rings into, and kill some time when you want to make a break.
  19. New mechanics...I would cap the rings at 100, and make them respawn after a while... the badniks too! You can never clear an area and stay safe, you will constantly be in danger... but rings will respawn so you can always recover. Rings are also useful for level design, because they can show you hints about where to go. So having them respawn will make the levels easier to navigate; when they disappear (because you collected them), they still leave a spark in the place they were, so that they will stay visible even if they are missing (this is inpired by Sonic Runners Adventure). Also, I would introduce a new gimmick for when you are hit and lose the rings. There is an hidden stamina value, and it needs some (short) time to recover. If you are hit once or twice likely nothing will happen, but if you are hit thrice or more in a short time, some rotating stars will spin over Sonic's head for a small amount of time to show that he's dizzy. In that time, you can't collect the rings back. The more you are hit, the longer the dizzy time will last. This would make the game harder but more balanced. You can still be hit infinite times, but you must try to not be hit too often (try to let a few seconds pass between an hit and another to recover the stamina). Bottomless pits and crushing traps will no longer kill you. You will be teleported to the last safe place in the form of a light orb, then you will transform back to Sonic, and lose your rings only after you are back to normal form. It would make you lose the super form too. In the same style, drowning will not kill you instantly anymore: when the countdown reaches 0 the music will be muted and you will start releasing rings all around you and they disappear fast. It will only kill you once you reach 0 rings. Maybe I would consider using the Mania Encore lives system were the characters are used instead of the traditional lives... but I'm not sure if 5 characters (7 if we add Blaze and Gemerl) are enough to allow the game to not feel unfair with gameovers. Maybe with some changes (maybe still keep the traditional lives and make them a lot harder to gain, make it so that you only lose a life when you lose all the characters, and give some bonus if you manage to bring all the characters at the end of a stage... maybe that could be the Special Stage access?).

There's probably more, but that's all for now. Good luck reading the huge block of text.

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I think it'd only make sense to make Gemerl a playable character. It just feels like the logical progression from Sonic Advance 3, you know? Maybe give him some customizable mix-and-match options where you can kinda build your own moveset based on the other characters' abilities?

Other than that, I'd really just like to see a good modern 2D sprite sidescroller in the spirit of the original trilogy. Some nice original zone themes, some inventive Eggman bosses, special stages that aren't too big of a headache (looking at you, Advance 2!), and so on.

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