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The Sonic Advance Appreciation Thread


azoo
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Ahhh, Sonic Advance.

This game is probably one of the most unnoticed video games of all time, probably because it was related to the fact it's an original Sonic game being released on the Gameboy Advance, which at the time was absolutely unheard of. Little did people understand that while on consoles Sonic was (arguably) falling apart with SA2/SA2B, classic Sonic gameplay was as alive as ever on this small purple doohickey.

I might as well cover all the sections of this game.

GRAPHICS:

This game features some of the most colorful graphics I'd ever seen in a Sonic game since 1999. The "surreal-yet-reasonable" artstyle remains intact, with checkered hills, shiny-blue shaded pillowy snow mountains and colorful carnivals. Newer objects like rails and dash panels mesh nicely with classic items like non-automated springs, bumpers and yes, even the dreaded CNZ barrel. Classic-styled badniks return, and animals come out of them as well. And surprisingly, the newer character designs are in the game, and ironically modern Sonic looks great beside Neo Green Hill Zone. Eggman returns with his goofy, awesome boss machines with giant hammers and springs, and even with a couple more new tricks up his sleeve. Signposts are back, and so are animal capsules (really awesome animal capsules that drop on you if you're in center of the screen after you defeat the boss). Overall, fantastic graphics; it gives me goosebumps because of how much love (and childhood nostalgia =P) was put into this game's graphics department. It's even more surprising to know that this isn't the only section that doesn't fail.

MUSIC:

The music is absolutely delicious. First we start off with a flaring, epic opening/title screen music that feels like an overpowering brass line booming in your ears with nothing but awesome. By the time you get to the character select, a funky groove plays as you choose which character you'll be today. Then we meet up with a brave sounding, and rousing tune play as you go to the stage select. After that, we begin with Neo Green Hill Zone, which contains a very coastal, warm-type feel with ukelele-esque strumming in the background. In Secret Base, the music gets very much like spy music from a random 70s television show, and that's definitely not a bad thing; being so bold and swing-oriented (although it does contain several clever breakbeats thrown in). Casino Paradise gives you virtual massage with smooth, echoing lounge jazz (daddy-o), and even contains a charming, almost improvised-sounding piano solo! Ice Mountain is soft, calm and almost-eerie in Act 1, while Act 2 bursts with loudness and excitement. Angel Island is bold and energetic, while in Act 1 it remains fast and in Act 2 it slows down some. Egg Rocket Act 1 is a spinechilling tune that reeks of eeriness, while Act 2's is much more upbeat and eccentric, being bold like a good bit of the others, but having that different feeling I just can't put my finger on. X Zone is probably the most awesome music in all of the Sonic series' existance; being a hardcore bouncing rave song that pumps you up to the core. Moon Zone gives a nice little "epic Saturday morning cartoon battle" music thing going on with it. But oh no, it doesn't even end there. Boss music is some of the most dastardly sounding peices (most menacing boss music since S1 IMO), and the fake final-boss music scream "EPIIIICCCC". The music-before-credits and the credits music are pretty nice and comforting for songs that show you just beat the game. Invincibility is also awesome and stuff for containing Sonic 1's invincibility music, and X Zone's minibosses are awesome because they return with their respected songs from the respected bosses in Sonic 1 and 2. It seems that Masato Nakamura had alot of honors in this because of how many songs from S1 & S2 appeared in this game.

If you haven't already guessed, I adore the music in Advance. :lol:

And last, but certainly not least:

GAMEPLAY:

Classic Sonic, anyone? The gameplay is basically the complete return of physics, speed and platforming all in one, just like it used to. Nothing is out of place; as just like the games SCD and S3K, I'm still enjoying using the worlds as your playground and I'm still finding new things in the game every day. Rolling and the Spin Dash are fully functional, and it feels like a dream to play. My only complaints about gameplay is that at times Amy can get annoying since she can't Spin Dash, roll or spin jump. And although the B button shows usage of different moves for every character, none of them are necessary and only there for if you just wanna toy with them. Speed is a major reward in this game, as sometimes the background parallax is slow in this game, and it's nice to see you're going so fast even THAT moves quickly. Sure, running speed is rather slow, but sometimes people will just have to notice that Sonic's running speed wasn't necessarily ever supposed to be that fast. ;P

OVERALL:

It dissapoints me to know that so few people ever even mention this game's existance, and I am also disappointed that it was released on such systems that left it unnoticed (noting that the GBA had such a huge library it was barely noticable in the crowd of others, and the N-Gage was just plain obscure). If it wasn't for it's portable release and newer-gen character designs, I could've been fooled into thinking this is truly Sonic the Hedgehog 4. In fact, I'm glad to call it that, because it suits it very well. Really, my only disliking of this game isn't even a fault of the game; it's that the screen resolution is so small you can't see that much of the stage and all at the same time, which is why I would've loved to see it be on a console with a higher resolution (like the PSP or something :) ).

So, what do you guys think? Do any of you happen to love this game as much as I do? Or do you just throw in the heap of trash that is the rest of the newer Sonics?

Discuss.

Edited by Azukara
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Your honestly giving this game too much credit. SAdv was just..... BORING. Sure the gameplay and the characters worked well in the game and were quite close to the classic feel, but the levels are just uneventful and not exciting at all. This game is just so safe and doesn't try to push any envelopes that it offers absolutely nothing new or interesting to the game. At least it's successors did something new with the gameplay, for better or worse, but it at least felt fresh and new. Advance 1 just feels like a watered down version of the classics, like taking the last few drops of lemonade and filling it with water so it's enough to fill one more glass; it still tastes like lemonade, but the flavor is gone.

Not to say Advance wasn't bad. It wasn't bad at all, but it wasn't really good. It just wasn't fun, and frankly, they can do a "Sonic 4" a LOT better than that.

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I appreciate Sonic Advance in so much as it was a stepping stone leading to the Rushes, which I enjoyed much more.

But seriously, it's basically as Black Spy said; not bad, not good, just sort of there. I don't actively hate it like some games in the series, but neither do I have any desire to play it any more than I already have.

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I liked Advance alot. Azukara said everything that was in my opinion awesome. The only thing that I didn't really like was the special stages. I liked the Rushes, but this game feels more like the classics. It could have been longer, though.

And he forgot to mention the tiny chao garden.

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I liked Advance. It was simpler than the original titles, but it was pretty fun on its own. I mainly like it for the levels. The environments have good variety, but what really stands out to me was the Egg Rocket level. The vertical structure and segmented time limits made it very unique. The game's other elements were just a bit above "meh," though.

The bonus stages were autofail due to Mode 7 crap, but they're still better than Sonic 2's since there are no corners to turn with spikes coming out of nowhere.

I'm a bit mixed on the music, though. It has a delightful charm, but it seems to only use one or two instruments which just seems very bland, frankly.

The characters were well varied, but my only complaints are that Tails' flight is very hard to manipulate and Amy is generally useless without the spin dash.

In retrospect, I think Advance 3 was the best of the bunch, closely followed by 1 and distantly followed by 2.

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Hmm... pretty much what most people have said here I tend to agree; Sonic Advance 4 wasn't exciting at all.

Simple stages, bland music perhaps a bit too slow and mind-blowing easy. Although I may need to play it again to confirm on that last point (this further reinforce how non-memorable it was XP; )

It's a nice entry to the GBA world, but I enjoyed the sequels much more.

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I liked Advance alot. Azukara said everything that was in my opinion awesome. The only thing that I didn't really like was the special stages. I liked the Rushes, but this game feels more like the classics. It could have been longer, though.

And he forgot to mention the tiny chao garden.

Yeah, I forgot about the Tiny Chao Garden because I never really used it ^^; But hey, the more extra stuff to do, the more playtime. Which reminds me, I forgot to mention how absolutely fun it is to time attack on that game!

I liked Advance. It was simpler than the original titles, but it was pretty fun on its own. I mainly like it for the levels. The environments have good variety, but what really stands out to me was the Egg Rocket level. The vertical structure and segmented time limits made it very unique. The game's other elements were just a bit above "meh," though.

Well, to each their own, I guess.

The bonus stages were autofail due to Mode 7 crap, but they're still better than Sonic 2's since there are no corners to turn with spikes coming out of nowhere.

Special Stages were painful, in which I also completely forgot about. I dunno why I forgot that one; I was tired last night.

I'm a bit mixed on the music, though. It has a delightful charm, but it seems to only use one or two instruments which just seems very bland, frankly.

Well, what did you expect from the Game Boy Advance? The majority of the console's music was made up of two or three instruments, so yeah, the music processing wasn't the strong selling point of the GBA. Still, they did alot with what they had, and I'm impressed by that.

The characters were well varied, but my only complaints are that Tails' flight is very hard to manipulate and Amy is generally useless without the spin dash.

I blame most of the movement issues on the fact that you can't see that much of where you're going (thanks to the GBA's low resolution), but yes Amy was a pain to play as. Only true annoyance about the actual gameplay for me.

In retrospect, I think Advance 3 was the best of the bunch, closely followed by 1 and distantly followed by 2.

Advance 3 was... tedious, to say the least. Seemed to be too much going on in the screen at once. Bottomless pits and messy team-systems sort of ruined it for me. And Advance 2 was indeed a hold-right-fest, even though half the time you didn't even feel like you were going that fast, because they removed the whole "spinball physics" bits and instead based it on "hold right for so long and then you go fast but watch out for stuff you can't see". Advance 1 was least problematic with these things.

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If there's one thing I disliked about the Advance series, it's how the level design seems detrimental to consistent speeding. Unless you've memorised stage layout, you're as likely as anything to go barreling or jumping onto some meanly placed enemy or spikes.

That said, I am fond of the Advance series but the two Rush games got it so much more right. Much better level design, arguably better music, marginally better visuals. I really like Sonic Advance 2 in particular because it's faster than the other two and is enormously challenging to complete.

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The original advance was ok. It was kind of bland since you had to go through it with all 4 but it did it's thing.

Advance 2 was better. I mean it was faster than the orignal and the sequel but I never seemed to jumped at all. I used the R button too much.

Advance 3 is a personal favorite. Well it had two characters to worry about but it wasn't as bad. You could tackle the stage with different approches. Oh for some reason Tails and Amy is a pretty good combo. lol

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And Advance 2 was indeed a hold-right-fest, even though half the time you didn't even feel like you were going that fast, because they removed the whole "spinball physics" bits and instead based it on "hold right for so long and then you go fast but watch out for stuff you can't see".

Unless your talking about level structure, the game's physics were arguably the best of the three. Advance 1's physics felt loose and you didn't get good momentum from running, and Advance 3's also felt loose, but in the exact opposite of Advance 1's in that you gain too much momentum from barely walking, and it feels like the equivalent of having the momentum from running full tilt round a loop, only you've taken just a few steps. Advance 2's physics were very tight and pretty much felt like the originals, but with higher top speed and slightly tighter momentum, and it worked.

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Sonic advance 2 was basically just pressing right in most stages.

It has the same problem as rush adventure and unleashed. They should stop making these kind of "speedy" sonic games where you dont do shit except for watching and pressing some buttons

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Well, what did you expect from the Game Boy Advance? The majority of the console's music was made up of two or three instruments, so yeah, the music processing wasn't the strong selling point of the GBA. Still, they did alot with what they had, and I'm impressed by that.

Actually, it was more the style they went for with the game. Sonic Advance 2 and 3 proved they could do a diverse, interesting soundtrack if they wanted to. They just wanted to go with a sort of jazzy rock organ style with a bit of classic bleepy-bloop.

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I liked the first game, but to me it did see a bit bland at times. The stages were very linear in my opinion. Ya there were branching paths, but the other games had a bit more paths to chose. The bosses in the game were laughable easy except for a few of them. The special stages felt broken to me because I could never seem to position the character in the right area. The music, however, was great! I loved the Jazz feel to it, and the music is very catchy.

Honestly I felt like the sequels were a bit of an improvement to the first one, and they're the ones I seem to come back to more than the first one.

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I really liked the music. Ice mountain and Angel Island have some of my favorite Sonic music.

Sonic Advance 2 is my least favorite. It was the hardest and the bosses were really annoying (With Cream they were really easy, though). And it had the worst non-Super Sonic final boss ever. I mean you have to fight all of the bosses again? xO. And to unlock Super Sonic you need to collect all emeralds with everyone, except Amy? And Amy you don't unlock till you beat it with Super Sonic, I think. And getting to the special stages is annoying. I never totally beat the game. :-/

Sonic Advance 3, I can't find anymore, so I played a rom. I don't know if it was because I was playing on a keyboard, but the level seemed very annoying, because of all the jumping and stuff. Maybe it was more fun on the GBA, because it was more comfortable. :-/ I like SA3, though, even though I could have done without the team feature. Team features always make me feel like I'm missing something, because I don't have a different team.. I can't really remember the special stages, though. I think it was the one in the Tornado right? They were the best of the Advance one, then. They were also alot less annoying to get to than SA2's..

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I used to hate advance 1 but for some reason now I love it, I love how it looks so much like the classics, I also love the levels and the music, for some odd reason I also love Amy in this game (it's like a hard mode, unlike cream in the other 2 games)...

But oddly enought, my favourite is advance 3, it has fun, i has good music, and even tries to be innovative (something that advance 1 lacked), it also has the most awesome special stages in the series and an awesome multiplayer... Chao hunting sucked thought...

Off-topic: I also love how Amy goes through the series from "a slow and weak hadgehog" to "Sonic with a hammer", its like she started like that and after trying very hard (with training sesions and stuff) he managed to have enough speed to keep up with Sonic and do almost everything he can do, she wants to prove his beloved hedgehog that she is able to help (and catch) him... it looked like a lovely character develpment to me. :)

Then, Sonic06 happened. :(

p.d: this post used to be longer, but the electricity went off and I don't want to type all that stuff again :angry:

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I don't think my opinion has flipped on a game as much as Advance 2. I used to hate the game, but maybe I wasn't looking at it the right way. After falling in love with the Rush series, I went and played Advance 2 and it's now my favorite of the three. I don't think I was fair to it the first time, and I didn't own a GBA when it released. I'm always advocating pinball physics and all that, and all the flipping and high speeds in 2 and the Rushes aren't really classic style, but I accept them as a style of their own. The stunt moves in Advance 2 are actually really good for stopping or adding to momentum though, which makes for some interesting platforming. But this was a topic about the first game, right? That one is still mediocre to me, and I can't really explain why. It's like they took Genesis Sonic and put him through a modern filter, and what came out the other side was some kind of hybrid I neither like or dislike. He moves differently from the 16-bit titles, so I wouldn't say it's too much like the originals. My biggest issue is with the level design, which feels very unlike other games. I'd say Advance 1 is bumpy enough that it resembles the 8-bit titles more than the Genesis ones. Specifically Chaos and Triple Trouble. Obstacles seem cluttered sometimes and gimmicks seem strangely placed, even if they work well. I see a Dimps game in here more than anything, and I guess I prefer their new Rush style over their classic interpretation. This game's not really bad, it just doesn't do it for me. And Advance 3 gets really weird, like they put the first and second together, with inspiration from Heroes. If there's one thing I love about the series, it's the music. I don't really like the GBA's sound quality (I find it kinda chirpy and annoying) but as usual the Sonic series delivers on some great tracks. I hope I don't feel this way about Needlemouse. I could end up just not liking the game because it feels like a classic imitation rather than an evolution or homage. Typing this makes me want to play Advance 1 to see if I'm justified, or what exactly it is I wouldn't want to see in Needlemouse.

Edited by Cupcake Hedgehog
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Sonic Advance 1 was okay, but it gets really boring. They made sonic so damn slow. I also hate how the game punishes you for running fast.

I never played the third one, but the second one is my favorite 2D sonic game ever. Seriously, I had so much fun with 2.

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huh? sonic 2 mode, i have never seen that. How do you unlock that

cheat?

Like in the video -

Click 'Game Start' at the main menu, this can not be done in Time Attack. On the character select screen press Up on Sonic, Down on Tails, L on Knuckles, R on Amy then select Sonic. You will hear a ring collecting sound. Tails will now follow you in the game.

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I love the Advance series myself, handheld 2D Sonic is full of epic win.

How could you forget to mention Sonic 2 mode in Sonic Advance? If anything makes it a Sonic 4, it's that.

I remember that cheat! IIRC, I found it in some sort of magazine, and then I would always use that cheat whenever I played as Sonic.

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