Sonic Advance

Game Boy Advance
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Feb 3, 2002
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 62 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 62
  2. Negative: 3 out of 62
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  1. Nov 26, 2016
    9
    Sonic Advance is everything Sonic the Hedgehog 4 should have been. High-paced yet precise sidescrolling. Physics that rival the original trilogy. Characters that provide new levels of fun. It's tragic that the Advance series as a whole has fallen into obscurity.

    The story is very much standard for the old-school 2D Sonic games. Eggman has captured a bunch of animals, and has decided to
    Sonic Advance is everything Sonic the Hedgehog 4 should have been. High-paced yet precise sidescrolling. Physics that rival the original trilogy. Characters that provide new levels of fun. It's tragic that the Advance series as a whole has fallen into obscurity.

    The story is very much standard for the old-school 2D Sonic games. Eggman has captured a bunch of animals, and has decided to take over the world. Why? For plot convenience, of course. It's not the most interesting story, but it's a Sonic game, and gameplay takes priority.

    The gameplay is almost as if it was ripped from the genesis games themselves. The physics are pretty much perfect, and the level design is, for the most part, enjoyable. There are a few levels where trial and error are involved, but this is true of all 2D Sonic games. After playing it through once or twice, you'll know where to control your speed, and you will do absolutely fine.

    However, there is of course, a catch, as is tradition for Sonic games. The special stages are absolutely horrendous. They're slightly reminiscent of Sonic 2, which is fine in itself, but it involves a 3D plane, which really doesn't work well on the Gameboy Advance. It's incredibly difficult to determine where to place yourself, and as a result, makes collecting Chaos Emeralds tedious and frustrating. Fortunately, they're not necessary to enjoy the bulk of the game.

    The graphics are truly some of the best GBA games have to offer. Most of the environments are vivid, and the character animations are incredibly detailed. Sonic Team did an amazing job of the spriting. Even idle animations capture my attention, giving the characters a huge amount of personality.

    The game features four playable characters; Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and most interestingly, Amy. All play in a unique way, offering different paths and speeds. Sometimes these differences will benefit you, and at other times, you'll wish you picked another character. Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles play as they did on the original Genesis games, albeit with a few extra moves, such as Tails' (useless) tail swipe, and Knuckles' (useless) punches. This game introduces Amy as a playable character for the first time in a 2D Sonic game. Amy is most certainly the most enjoyable character to play as- She offers a whole new level of depth to the game, requiring you to master your timing, as she lacks the ability to curl up. Instead, she can use her hammer to attack, which is actually advantageous in many situations. For example, she can jump higher using a special move, and has a longer range than Sonic's insta-shield. She can even defeat certain bosses easier than the other three, as her range far exceeds the others. It is a common complaint that Amy is "not fun" and "too hard", but to that, I say, unironically: Get good. These characters introduce a large amount of replay value, as well as fun, new ways to play.

    The sound of this game is, as always, very memorable. Sonic games almost never get this wrong. However, whilst the tracks are memorable and the sound effects are great, it definitely suffers due to the limitations of the GBA sound card. This doesn't stop them from being catchy and appealing, though.

    Overall, Sonic Advance is a brilliant game, and most certainly the best out of the trilogy. It keeps speed to a good pace, but isn't too fast, and also has 4 unique ways of playing. It's not without flaws, but it's still an extremely solid experience. I definitely enjoy them more than the Genesis games, myself... but that's a matter of opinion.
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  2. KaineC.
    Apr 30, 2005
    10
    It's the best like all of them.
  3. AndrewC.
    Feb 18, 2003
    8
    The levels are excellent, but raising chao is pretty much pointless unless you buy Sonic Adventure 2. With SA2 it's excellent!
  4. KarlA.
    May 17, 2003
    10
    Sonic advance is cool. with cool music, characters and backgrounds.
  5. May 1, 2011
    8
    Even if it's a bit formulaic, Sonic Advance is one of the funnest Sonic titles since Sonic CD. Pros: Rich, colorful graphics; basic controls; it's fast, but easy to learn; fairly decent multi-player mode. Cons: Regardless of the control's will to run faster and never stop, a lot of the levels were designed to refrain you.
  6. Apr 20, 2011
    9
    Let's see. Classic Physics? Check. Long, platforming-challenging levels? Check? Result. The closest thing to a classic Sonic game since Sonic 3&K. It has beautiful graphics and fluid gameplay.

    However, it does have problems that keep it from being perfect. There are a few moments where there are cheap bottomless pits. It's good to have four playable characters, but some of them don't do
    Let's see. Classic Physics? Check. Long, platforming-challenging levels? Check? Result. The closest thing to a classic Sonic game since Sonic 3&K. It has beautiful graphics and fluid gameplay.

    However, it does have problems that keep it from being perfect. There are a few moments where there are cheap bottomless pits. It's good to have four playable characters, but some of them don't do anything to improve the replay value of the game. I always use Tails to find the special stage springs, but that's pretty much it. Knuckles doesn't have walls or routes specified for him, and Amy is COMPLETELY WORTHLESS. Also, the special stages aren't anything special.

    Still, awesome game for awesome GBA fanatics.
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  7. May 20, 2011
    8
    It's not "groundbreaking", but at least it sticks to its roots, resulting with one of Sonic's fastest adventures to date. Pros: Beautiful graphics; fast and fun gameplay at classic Sonic speed; excellent multiplayer; lots of characters. Cons: "Hit-or-miss" level design; nothing "brand new".
  8. Dec 15, 2013
    8
    I find it weird how DIMPS could pull of classic Sonic style physics on the GBA with the Sonic Advance trilogy and on the Neo Geo Pocket Colour with Sonic Pocket Adventure, but can't get it right with Sonic 4, anyway. Sonic Advance is a fantastic game, and in my opinion, the real Sonic 4, it has classic Sonic style physics, multiple characters that play similarly with their own uniqueI find it weird how DIMPS could pull of classic Sonic style physics on the GBA with the Sonic Advance trilogy and on the Neo Geo Pocket Colour with Sonic Pocket Adventure, but can't get it right with Sonic 4, anyway. Sonic Advance is a fantastic game, and in my opinion, the real Sonic 4, it has classic Sonic style physics, multiple characters that play similarly with their own unique abilities, a fantastic soundtrack, great graphics, and overall fun gameplay, all of which, for the most part, Sonic 4 lacks. I recommend both Sonic Advance and Sonic Pocket Adventure if you have both a GBA and a Neo Geo Pocket Colour. Expand
  9. Nov 23, 2013
    8
    I've recently replayed through this game boy classic. It's still just as enjoyable now than it was before. With a more classic style, this Sonic game brings 2-D Sonic back on the Game Boy Advance.

    The levels are all enjoyable, but most not beyond the classics. There are also different characters (Tails, Amy, Knuckles), which allows you to tackle each zone in a different fashion,
    I've recently replayed through this game boy classic. It's still just as enjoyable now than it was before. With a more classic style, this Sonic game brings 2-D Sonic back on the Game Boy Advance.

    The levels are all enjoyable, but most not beyond the classics. There are also different characters (Tails, Amy, Knuckles), which allows you to tackle each zone in a different fashion, though most will just stick to Sonic. The zones are quite large, with the chaos emeralds being buried in obscure areas of the zone. If you want to see the games best ending, you'll find them all to unlock the Super Sonic Stage.

    The music is standard stuff for Sonic. There's nothing that's really as special as the classic games though in regards to music.

    Probably the most memorable part though is the first stage of the 6th zone, which was kind of a first for Sonic and hasn't been done in such a way again. Rather than trying to beat the zone as fast as possible, you're trying to beat the clock and it's a great challenge. The zone is massive and full of setbacks to make sure you don't make it, and it's one of my favorite Sonic zones of all time. None of the acts really excite me as much as this one does.

    The game is prone to Sonic's most annoying issues though with enemies that await while you're running, giving you no time to respond, and there are a few cheap traps thrown in, but otherwise, it's a standard 2-D Sonic experience with one zone in particular being one of my favorites.
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  10. Jun 12, 2015
    9
    When I first played this game I was flabbergasted to see how amazing it was. The game has gorgeous graphics, nice set of characters,good music and it's 2-D. There are two complains one Sonic is not that fast and that Amy is useless but other than that this game is amazing I recommend it to anybody who has a game boy or Ds lite.
  11. Nov 24, 2015
    9
    This is an amazing game. I remember playing it back when I was 6. It takes what the older genesis games were about, and built more onto it. But, it has some cheap deaths here and there.
  12. Aug 6, 2016
    10
    DarknessDude needs to shut up cause the level design is bomb and from my reading I can see he just sucks at the game. I'm a master at it and this game is fun listen to the reviews 8 and higher.
  13. Aug 16, 2017
    8
    This is a really great game, and was a good way to start in the Sonic The Hedgehog series. It feels a lot like the original Sonic games, but with some modern stuff to it. This is honestly my favorite Sonic Advance game.
  14. Aug 30, 2017
    9
    They brought back classic sonic and people still hate it? Sure the soundtrack isn't the best and has some flaws but the soundtrack got better in the 2 other games. The stages are original but still holding that classic sonic. Sonic Advance has more characters with unique powers! Sonic Advance is a fantastic game.

Awards & Rankings

8
6
#6 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2002
5
#5 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2002
Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. What really shines, even on top of the great graphics and sound and gameplay, is the replay value.
  2. Pocket Games
    95
    It looks, sounds and plays like a cartoon, and most importantly, it's just damend fun. [Spring 2002, p.30]
  3. Despite the 12 years since his debut, it's as captivating, exciting and, more importantly, as fun as it ever was - but of Sega, we'd expect no less. [GamesMaster]