Sonic Advance 3 Game Boy Advance
  • Publisher: THQ
  • Release Date: Jun 7, 2004

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. The value of this cartridge will keep you playing and playing until your fingers rub raw.
  2. They've tweaked and improved the gameplay considerably, included two fantastic multiplayer games and wrapped it all up in a beautifully drawn and dynamic sounding environment.
  3. 90
    The addition of two tag-team characters in Sonic Advance 3 definitely changes things up considerably, as do the much larger and more expansive level designs.
  4. While the game still maintains the same traditional platformer level design and old-school Sonic action, the game is designed around teamwork this time around and this is handled superbly throughout the game.
  5. With the well developed co-op, blazingly fast single player, and the underused but excellent multiplayer, and with an excellent soundtrack, Sonic Advance 3 expands in ever way over Sonic Advance 1 & 2.
  6. Sonic Advance 3 doesn't revolutionize the franchise but the new multi-character system allows it to keep it from being redundant and allows for an enjoyable experience.
  7. Faster than ever, with loads of replay value - let down slightly by some extremely dodgy level design. One for speed-addicts. [GamesMaster]
  8. The level design is fantastic, with large imaginative interactive environments. [Summer 2004, p.33]
  9. Sonic Advance 3 actually brings something new to the table--a tag-team play mechanic that ultimately enhances the overall product rather than mucking it up.
  10. Graphics and sound are, as expected, top-notch (I love the remix of old Green Hill music), and the bosses are outstanding. [July 2004, p.71]
  11. It can be a little too difficult at times, especially when trying to make finicky jumps on a small screen while, for example, riding a bus. But the balancing issues are confined mostly to the bosses. [Aug 2004, p.91]
  12. The combination of the terrifically-executed side-scrolling action game that became the killer app for the Genesis, along with the replay-enhancing tag-actions feature, makes Sonic Advance 3 a winner.
  13. Another excellent side-scroller with a special focus on variety.
  14. The strongest point of the game is also its weakness. The fact that for most of the games features it remains the same as all the older 2D sonics will have some fans happy but other gamers wondering why they should again fork out for a few new features.
  15. 80
    When the speed stops, the fun stops. Otherwise, Sonic Advance 3 moves fast, looks and sounds good (Sonic fans will certainly groove to a remixed tune or two), and has a few multiplayer options to boot.
  16. Sonic Advance 3 doesn't make any significant changes to the traditional Sonic gameplay but what it does it does bigger and better than any previous handheld Sonic game before it.
  17. As you explore the seven extensive worlds, you'll find hidden Chaos that you can maintain in the Chao Garden. [Aug 2004, p.122]
  18. 8 / 7 / 7 / 8 - 30 silver [Vol 810; 25 June 2004]
  19. 75
    The core mechanics and level designs are all excellent enough that the extra characters won't detract from the game should you decide to ignore them. In the end, this is the best and most realized of the Sonic Advance games.
  20. 75
    Sonic Advance 3 finally comes up with a way of introducing teamwork and variance between characters that doesn't overwhelm Sonic's bread-and-butter gameplay.
  21. 75
    We can't help but feel a little disappointed by Sonic Advance 3. There's nothing really wrong with the game, it's just feeling like Sega are treating this game like an EA update, with a few roster changes and minor enhancements. This feels more like Sonic 2.5 than a full fledged sequel.
  22. Everything else is just as you'd expect from the blue blur's 2D exploits; dynamic momentum and solid-but-clunky feedback making for a satisfying game regardless.
  23. Easily the best Sonic title for a long time...there's something here for everyone, no matter which era of Sonic you prefer. [July 2004, p.118]
  24. Whereas the previous Sonic Advance titles have seemed to miss that little bit of soul that made the series' first appearance's on the humble Sega Mega Drive, Sonic Advance 3 has it in abundance.
  25. Surprisingly, it's this split between the game's determination to showcase new elements while reintroducing more traditional gameplay that makes Sonic Advance 3 such a success; there's something here for everyone, no matter which era of Sonic you prefer.
  26. 70
    The hedgehog species is heavy on attitude but has a hard time with evolution.
  27. If you're tired of Sonic's antics and you've been yearning for some innovation, you won't find it with this title. The multiplayer does its best to keep things interesting, but it's not enough to make Sonic's latest outing a must have.
  28. These are great characters that have been the same since the start of the franchise. I want more now. [July 2004, p.123]
  29. It's Sonic business as usual, with few surprises. We still love the little guy and the game looks gorgeous, but maybe it's time for the old dog to try some new tricks.
  30. Sonic is a bit like the band you used to love when you were a nipper but just refuse to change their sound: they keep a loyal crowd and play all the hits on demand for nostalgia's sake, but the new tunes sound like the old ones. Only the real obsessives need worry about this one.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Aug 30, 2012
    The first Sonic Advance was a great game that took advantage of all the traditional Sonic game elements and weaved them into an impressiveThe first Sonic Advance was a great game that took advantage of all the traditional Sonic game elements and weaved them into an impressive handheld title. Sonic Advance 2 made some changes, focusing in on the speedier 'on rails' elements of the Sonic series. Whilst not as good as it's predecessor, part 2 was still fun, featuring a myriad of memorable bosses. Sonic Advance 3, however, just feels tired right from the off. The level design is uninspired, the sprites are too big and the new switch pushing gameplay is boring and unnecessary. I love Sonic but frankly speaking, this game did absolutely nothing for me. Full Review »
  2. Nov 23, 2013
    Tag action really adds a lot more to the core gameplay than one might expect. In fact, it makes it my favorite of the Sonic Advance series asTag action really adds a lot more to the core gameplay than one might expect. In fact, it makes it my favorite of the Sonic Advance series as it adds more noticeable replay value than Sonic Advance and Sonic Advance 2 to the game. Furthermore, they've added a 3 act, which means that there's more levels than your typical Sonic game, always a plus.

    This game features some excellent levels, that are structured to the nuance of each individual team. They're also quite large, which encourages you to find quicker paths, especially if you're big on time attack. Dimps was smarter when making the chao search as opposed to the special rings for the chaos emeralds as well. This makes it more enjoyable to go hunting through the enormous stages than finding them all in one go, which would be nigh on impossible in this game.

    This wraps up the Sonic advance series well, and it's the best of them. I still have it sitting in my DS' game boy cartridge and still play from time to time, even today.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 27, 2012
    Sonic Advance 3 was the first Sonic game I ever got on the GBA, and it just might be the best one I ever got too. A perfect combonation ofSonic Advance 3 was the first Sonic game I ever got on the GBA, and it just might be the best one I ever got too. A perfect combonation of speed, platforming, and design, Sonic Advance 3 is the one game that you should have if you have a GBA. The story of this game is pointless. It's just an excuse to run around and beat up robots. Dr. Eggman has taken the master emerald and used it to break the world into 7 different parts, leaving Sonic and Tails seperated from everyone else. Now Sonic has to find his friends and stop Eggman once again. It's not important, but what I find cool is that Eggman to Emerl from Sonic Battle and turned him into Gemerl, an evil rovot who works for him. The game looks great from head to toe. colorful, dteailed enviorments and great looking sprites add to the games charm. Add nice music large levels, clever design and chao to look for, and you've got yourself a level. Unlike the other two installments in the Advance series, this one has the best balance of speed and platforming, so you never feel like you're only enjoying one part of the Sonic magic. A total of 7 world, 3 acts and a boss in each one makes for a decent lasting game. The biggest change is that you can choose a partner to help you out in the level, and for once the character isn't useless. In fact, it determines how you play. Depending on what different combonation of characters you play as determines your attacks, tag team move, jumping, speed and the ability to break certain walls it adds depth into the levels and with differemt characters, you can do different things to help you to get to Chao... and that's my only complaint. The chao. To get into a special stage you need to collect 10 chao in a world, then find a key hidden in one of the stages, then go back to the hub world, find the special stage spring and do the special stage to win. The chao are hidden in the most complicated of spots. You have to search EVERYWHERE if you want to find the chao. This is annoying, and I find myself replaying levels 17 times just to look for that last chao that I need, then going back into the same stage to find a key and then searching the hub world for the spring, and if I loose the special stage, I have to find another key! AAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHH!!! This take away from the fun of speed in the game, so now you'll just be slowly platforming. I don't want to hunt for chao in a sonic game, I just want to blast through as sonic. ughh..... another problem with this game is that when you turn off your syestem, any lives that you had before will automatically go back down to three, so if you had 10000000000 lives, and your battery dies, you'll go straight back to 3 lives. Also, only 9 lives are displayed at one time, so if you have 29 lives, you won't know because it only shows 9. Great... well the good thing is that these were the only bad thing I had to say about this game. The special stages are fun (but getting to them is a pain), the boss battles are extremely creative, as well for the regular levels. The character combo sytem is a nice touch and over all, this game is a must have for GBA users. I don't understand why you're still reading this when you could be playing Sonic Advance 3. Full Review »