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Where's the love for Sonic Advance 3?


mikeblastdude

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I'm not too incredibly active on these forums anymore like I used to be, but I've been browsing through quite a bit and I've seen a lot of hate for Sonic Advance 3.

I usually try to avoid doing "appreciation topics" or anything like that, but I just don't get why Sonic Advance 3 is so looked down upon. Personally, it's my favorite out of the three Advance games, and while I don't think it's quite as good as the classics, I still think it's a great game overall.

One aspect that seems to be criticized the most is the level design. I can definitely understand this, as there are moments in the game where the layout seems weird or just plain annoying (like the entirety of Sunset Hill Act 3), and I think that level design is one of the most important things in a platformer, but overall I really don't think it's that bad. Twinkle Snow, for example, has huge levels with loads of multiple paths and, in my opinion, is really fun to play through. There's also Chaos Angel, which is gigantic and provides a major challenge.

Also, I may be alone in this, but I thought that the partner system was a really cool idea. By choosing different character/partner combinations, you can completely change how you play through the game. With the classic Sonic and Tails combination, you can have Tails fly you around and give you a huge leap when you need it. With Sonic as your partner, you can get bursts of speed at any point. I think it's a good idea, and I wouldn't mind seeing it in future Sonic games.

One last thing I want to mention is the soundtrack. To me, the soundtrack in Sonic Advance 3 is excellent overall, and has some of the catchiest tunes in the series. Twinkle Snow, Special Stage, Cyber Track, and Chaos Angel are a few examples, but I love pretty much every track from the game. I wish my remixing skills were better than they are right now, because I'd love to do some awesome remixes of some of those songs.

Anyway, the point of this post isn't to try and change anyone's mind. If you don't like Sonic Advance 3 then you don't like Sonic Advance 3, it's all good. I just don't understand why it's so looked down upon compared to the other handheld Sonic games. Also, I want to see if anyone else here likes this game as much as I do. :D

Edited by mikeblastdude
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It's my favorite of the Advance series. The first Advance had many control issues in my opinion. It just felt slow and clunky, I hated it. I felt like I was playing Sonic who was wearing shoes weighing 50 pounds.

Advance 2 uped the speed, but a bit too much where the game definitely felt too automated. Again, a severe lack of balance, this time, speed overruling platforming.

Advance 3 manages to meet a good balance, plus it adds a very nice partner system. I loved the partner system, one of the best things ever added to a Sonic game. Some levels were pretty annoying design wise, and it's not the best Sonic game in the world, but it's no doubt better then the first two.

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The love for Sonic Advance 3 is dead, buried and hopefully forgotten, because Sonic Advance 3 is an awful, awful, awful game.

The level design is some of the worst (if not the worst) in the entire series. It is so absurdly trial-and-error based that it makes Eggmanland in Unleashed look like a Mario game. It is so schizophrenic in the transitions from high speed running and low speed platforming that it makes Power Plant from Heroes look brilliant. Astoundingly, the level design is even more linear than that of Sonic Advance 2, because it is absolutely loaded with broken bridges whose only purpose is to make it so the team mechanic has some gameplay purpose. Backtracking of any kind is also all but impossible for the same reason.

The physics in the game are blatantly designed for the same type of speed-run gameplay that Sonic Advance 2 had, but Dimps decided that they would force low speed platforming into the mix anyways. This is even more silly, because they did nothing to the engine to compensate, so there are now entire sections of levels made up of the absolute worst parts of Sonic Advance 2, played with the floaty piles of mush that makes even simple jumps in Advance 3 hard to judge. Even better, the sections that actually use the engine the way it was intended almost always shoot you directly into a hazard or bad guy, making it analogous to an FPS where you take damage every time you shoot a gun. Before long, you start playing the game as slow as possible, just in the hopes that the game won't fling you into an obstacle that has no logical right being there. And even that doesn't work half the time, because the level design is just so convinced to send you to your doom with speed boosters and bottomless pits.

The team mechanic was not only a lazy gimmick obviously added on to the game just to make it different from the other two, but it actively hurts the game in several areas. For starters, it makes the level design just that much worse, as mentioned above, because you need to arbitrarily switch between partners just to explore some levels. This is all the more insane because some characters who can't get past obstacles have a far easier time even getting to those obstacles than the ones who can. It also greatly strips away the standard move pool of the characters (including moves that characters had been able to do since Sonic Advance 1), so even simple fundamental stuff like Sonic's trick moves can't be done unless you are paired with a certain partner.

The music is a huge step backwards from Sonic Advance 2. While the compositions are technically impressive (and occasionally pleasing despite themselves), the sound driver that was used sounds even worse than the one in the original game, making everything sound overly scratchy and distorted. Coupled with the rather odd decision to add character voices to the game when they weren't necessary or particularly appropriate makes it the worst sounding of them as well, which is saved only by how terrible Sonic Battle sounds even in comparison.

And, honestly? It is quite a shame. Dimps had some legitimately good ideas here (like the Chao collection in stages to get to the Special Stages, or the Special Stages themselves). But the execution of practically every other part of the game either overrules them or outright sabotages them.

For more information, see Or Or Or wait until Sean or remy or Phos see this thread.

And I'm not actually here yada yada yada.

Edited by Tornado
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Yeah, no. I can't bring myself to like this game either for basically all the same reasons as Tornado said. I'm sure you'll find people who really like it, but I honestly can't stand it. I hate it for the same reasons as Heroes for the most part.

I actually quite liked the music tho'.

Edited by Chooch
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I'm gonna have to go with Chooch and Tornado, Adv. 3 always rubbed me the wrong way when playing it, and its levels didn't really stand out much for me; And before someone accuses me of not fully playing the game, yes I did, I beat everything, I got all the Chao, went Super Sonic, and got the true ending, and everything, and even then I thought it was just average.

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I actually quite liked the music tho'.

I think I legitimately could like the music (I really do enjoy the compositions that Route 99 had, for example), but I have too much of a hard time getting past how... chunky everything sounds.

And I'm not actually here yada yada yada.

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Yeah agreed on the music. Beautiful melodies and arrangement but terribly scratchy and whiny sounding samples used for the midi. The return of the awful electric guitar midi sounds from Sonic Battle was not a good idea. Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure is what a midi soundtrack with electric guitar samples should sound like.

And yes, level design sucked. It's somewhat playable but very frustrating. Sonic Advance 1 was slow but tight, Sonic Advance 2 was simple but satisfying, but Sonic Advance 3 is... I dunno what it is but it's frustrating.

But I am nostalgic of the time it came out. What was known as the dark period of Sonic games now was actually new and exciting at the time.

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I admit the game had decent music: Cyber Track, and Chaos Angel(Especially Act 3) are my faves, and I liked how they finally remixed Green Hill for that level whose name escapes me.

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Personally I think Dimps had it closer to perfect with Sonic Advance, and then their games fluctuated from there - aside from not being long enough, having some ridiculous Special Stages and opting out of including some of the best features of S3K (super forms, multiple bonus stages, and so on), SAdv was a very good game and stayed true to everything I expect from Sonic. Then they started fluctuating, from average games to bad games.

I like Advance 3 for all it's ideas but they didn't quite succeed in execution. In retrospect, Dimps probably should have just kept everything that worked from Advance and Pocket Adventure, and made games with new and bigger levels. Like the strategy Sonic Team had in mind when making the Genesis games. Sonic 2 is Sonic 1 but bigger and better; Sonic 3K is Sonic 2 but bigger and better. Dimps avoided this and just switched things up each game, pushing them further and further from perfection each time.

Edited by Gamenerd
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Heh, I was totally expecting some responses like this. Like I said though, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind or make them like it, I just wanted some more insight to the Sonic Advance 3 hate, which I guess is what I got here, so thank you. :P

Anyway, I can agree about the level design to a degree. Like I said before, Sunset Hill Act 3 is a mess and not very fun at all, and there are other parts of the game that fall in to this category as well. But for some levels, once you start to get to know the layouts, they can be http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gAFm3zWjeY.

Other than the jumping, I don't really understand the problem with the physics. I'll admit the jumping does feel a bit weird (kind of like you're being pushed forward a bit too much), it's kind of the exact opposite of Sonic 4 where there's no jump momentum at all.

Advance 3 manages to meet a good balance, plus it adds a very nice partner system.

Edited by mikeblastdude
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I won't go into detail since Tornado (and I'm pretty sure plenty of others) are/have already summed up all my thoughts on this game.

Horribly convoluted and generic level design, atrocious controls, overall useless team gimmick, worst enemy placement I've ever seen, bosses that range from "Ok this is pretty cool-oh you fucker!" to "Oh you fucker!"

And a Special Stage gimmick that shows that DIMPS have learned jack SHIT from Advance 2 and in fact made it WORSE by being just as tedious and horribly complicated, only this time including MORE sprawling and confusing level design, and spreading all the Chao over the 3 acts. The only saving grace is that any Chao you find is permanently saved, not like that helps any, since good luck having the patience to find them all on your own.

Basically the worst thing DIMPS ever made, and from now on whenever I try to describe what I hate about DIMPS, I'll point at Advance 3 and say, pretty much that, plus the boost.

It's pretty fun to mess around in, but I'm honestly surprised how I managed to 100% it without realizing what I was dealing with.

Did I mention DIMPS utterly FAIL at level designing? Not ONE of their games had anything short of relatively average level design. The closest they ever came to decent was Egg Rocket Zone. I'm utterly surprised that not even Unleashed Wii's level design made people realized that DIMPS are TERRIBLE at what they do. The only reason they get away with it is because their name isn't trailed across the boxart in blazing orange letters.

Other than the jumping, I don't really understand the problem with the physics.
Edited by Black Spy
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I liked Sadv3 much more than most people, other than the Chao collecting and the Ice Land boss, and I had few problems with level design and physics. But then again, I consider myself to be a biased fanboy, so my opinion probably isn't worth much.

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Sonic Advance is easily my least favorite handheld title. I mean, it isn't bad per se, but it isn't as good as the others, mostly for the reason Tornado stated. Sonic Advance 3 just isn't that fun. It did have some interesting ideas, but it just isn't well put together enough to be enjoyed.

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Sonic Advance 3 is an abomination, and probably the worst Sonic game ever. Not freaking kidding.

My hatred for this game peirces the heavens thousands of times over. No Nextgen, Black Knight, Rivals or Sonic Drift could kill this monster, oh no. This game is freaking evil, man, and it's unexcusable with how bad it is.

The music is blaring and annoying, the art style is cringeworthy (talk about the worst things about Battle and Heroes and anime and the Uewaka style COMBINED), the engine is wobbly and uncontrollable, unreliable 'teamwork' gameplay, and the level design.. just putrid. How could anyone have fun playing this crap? Really. Advance 3 was pathetic. I can't play 20 seconds of any level in this game without feeling bored to death, disgusted by the style the game has, and/or falling off a cliff while simultaneously hitting a badnik just as I hit the boost speed with these wonky physics and without the ability to see where I'm going and ffffdsafjlksafjlksaflksaflsafjslflsfajlsfa. Everything I never wanted from a 2D Sonic.

And if you thought this spoiler meant that I was kidding, well I wasn't! This game is absolute trash! >:I

EDIT: Before anyone takes me seriously, realizing I was mostly trolling and am not taking it that seriously, although I still think it's my least favorite Sonic game by a long shot, and I wholeheartedly agree with everything Tornado and Chooch and the rest of my fellow haters said. :V

Edited by Azukara
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I thought it was great, a lot easier than SAdv2 (which I gave up on cus the 7 special rings in the zone were impossible to find within the time limit... and they only gave you one shot at a special stage before you had to collect them all again)

My only beef was (me) being unable to get the last Emerald ( I recall 3 rings just before a spike trap?)

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030...whoa man, I never knew this was the '06 of the handheld games to people. I always just thought everyone liked all 3 of the advance series by default.

I actually got some fun out of it the first time around. ._.

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Hey! I like Sa3. Except Sunset Hill, that was shit. My only real gripe with the game (except sunset hill) is Amy & Cream/Cream & Amy combo. For one of the few combos actually given a name, taking away the spindash was a completely utterly god stupid move.

Of course, I generally really enjoy Sonic games. I only really can't enjoy two, and that's '06 and CD.

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030...whoa man, I never knew this was the '06 of the handheld games to people. I always just thought everyone liked all 3 of the advance series by default.

Haha yeah I had no idea either until recently, which is kind of why I made this topic because I had no idea why people hated it so much. Unlike Sonic '06 though, Sonic Advance 3 was more or less well-received by the critics, so I assumed that it was in pretty good standing with Sonic fans.

Ah well, I guess as the saying goes, haters gonna hate. :P I actually played through the game a bit after making this topic, and I still have a lot of fun running through zones like Twinkle Snow and Cyber Track.

Hey! I like Sa3. Except Sunset Hill, that was shit. My only real gripe with the game (except sunset hill) is Amy & Cream/Cream & Amy combo. For one of the few combos actually given a name, taking away the spindash was a completely utterly god stupid move.

I totally agree with everything you just said. It's kind of a shame about Sunset Hill though, because I really like the look and music of it, but when it comes to that zone I can't deny that the level design is just awful. >_< And yeah, the Amy/Cream combinations are pretty lame.

Edited by mikeblastdude
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:huh: I loved Sonic Advance 3, defintely alot better than 2 and I think better than 1.

I like it mainly for the levels, they were fun and cool themes. I liked the two character thing but I actually barely use the second character. My main reason for liking the game was the levels, they are so cool!

I especially loved Chaos Angel which (while I know Sonic Advance 3 didn't really have much of a story it did say something along the lines of Eggman spliting the world apart)) I always assumed was Angel Island Roboticised somehow and the surrounding land broken into pieces floating around it, I just loved the concept of a Roboticised Angel Island and it was a cool level!

That's another reason why I always HATED the shit game that was Sonic Unleashed cuz it acted as if Eggman had never split the world apart before (that and the game being utter shit)

I personally don't see where all the hate for Sonic Advance 3 comes from, but then again I try not to understand these random fans these days as I loved Sonic Heroes and consider it my favourite 3D Sonic game of all time yet it seems the most hated Sonic game ever for some reason. I just don't understand people. :huh:

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Sonic Advance 3's level design wasn't particularly memorable, but I don't see what makes it so horrendously bad. I don't see how it's any worse than, say, Pocket Adventure or Rush Adventure. It's not like Sonic Unleashed where it occasionally throws things in your path or Sonic Advance 2 where it doesn't present any obstacles at all. I mean, it's not very memorable, but I don't see how it's anything worse than harmless. Hell, some of the level ideas are pretty novel for a Sonic game like Cyber Track and Toy Kingdom. And the Team system's a lot more interesting than in Heroes since it gives you the option to mix things up rather than play the same game with the same controls four times. It didn't exactly add much to the experience, but I thought it was pretty cool. Bosses were very hit and miss, though. But in the end, I'd rank it Advance 1 > Advance 3 >>>> Advance 2. Advance 1 really had great and memorable level design- not Sonic 2 standard, but it was enough to make each one unique and interesting. I especially liked the vertical twist in Egg Rocket Zone.

Can't say I'm a fan of the music in the Sonic Advance series though. Except maybe 2. The melodies are good, but the instruments are annoying as hell after a while. Still, I blame the hardware limitations more than the composers.

Edited by SuperStingray
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I adored everything about this game. Really. When I played it my first thought was, "Holy crap, it's like Sonic Heroes but done CORRECTLY." I loved the levels, save Route 99 and Ocean Base, and the music was fantastic. I'm not a midi lover, but I have fond memories listening to the tracks via headphones on my gba. Only Route 99 and Toy Kingdom had bad music if you ask me. Now Sonic Advance 2 had some shitty music. If it's not Music Plant Act 1, it's gotta go!

I never understood the hate either for this game either. Everything about it was just perfect to me....

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