Sonic Advance Game Boy Advance

  • Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Feb 3, 2002
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 48
  2. Negative: 2 out of 48
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  1. 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.
  2. Jun 18, 2012
    7
    Sonic Advance is a great title that places more focus on precision platforming and less focus on the speedier elements of Sonic's gameplay. It feels nicely old-school as a result and comes the closest to the original trilogy of the more recent 2D games. There are a few annoying faults that restrain it from true classic status, though. These would be the game's cruel placement of spikesSonic Advance is a great title that places more focus on precision platforming and less focus on the speedier elements of Sonic's gameplay. It feels nicely old-school as a result and comes the closest to the original trilogy of the more recent 2D games. There are a few annoying faults that restrain it from true classic status, though. These would be the game's cruel placement of spikes (usually waiting at the end of an 'autopilot' ramp jump) and the way that the enemies always fire their projectiles either while they're off screen or as soon as they appear on it. Basically speaking, both those obstacles are neigh on impossible to avoid, ninja reflexes notwithstanding. The final boss also deserves a mention for being a huge disappointment, requiring more luck than skill. Sonic Advance is a great game in the franchise but it doesn't quite rank up there among the best. Expand
  3. 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.
  4. 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".
  5. Jan 7, 2013
    7
    Sonic Advance is the first game in the Sonic Advance series and, ironically, is for the most part better than the two sequels that followed it. The first Sonic Advance doesn't contain poorly implemented team gimmicks and brokenly convoluted level designs from Sonic Advanced 3, nor does it have the hurling a million miles an hour through bland empty levels filled with cheaply placedSonic Advance is the first game in the Sonic Advance series and, ironically, is for the most part better than the two sequels that followed it. The first Sonic Advance doesn't contain poorly implemented team gimmicks and brokenly convoluted level designs from Sonic Advanced 3, nor does it have the hurling a million miles an hour through bland empty levels filled with cheaply placed bottomless pits and obnoxious enemy placement from Sonic Advance 2. Sonic Advanced instead borrows from the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Sonic trilogy game roots for inspiration. There is a nice balance between platforming segments and speedy segments in all of the levels, going out of your way to slow down and explore your surroundings is rewarded with new routes, unique springs that lead to Special Stages and various kinds of power-ups. the boss battles are very creative and are a decently difficult without feeling too cheap. There are multiple playable characters each with unique controls and abilities to make the experience playing with each character different. The level design is kind of both good and bad, although it does borrow amazing concepts from the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Sonic trilogy, it kind of plays too safe for the most part leading to only very few truly new objects or concepts to explore, another problem is that the level design from the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Sonic trilogy is designed for a larger screen resolution and when converted to the screen resolution of the Gameboy Advance, doesn't work as well as it could have unless you where able to see farther ahead of yourself and therefore more of your surroundings, it would make enemies and traps like spikes much easier to avoid due to more visibility giving the player more reaction time. The music is decent with both classic sonic music from the Genesis/Mega Drive games and music completely original to this game both coexisting, and doing a pretty decent job at it. For those that like other things to do, you have a Mini Chao Garden, Time Trials and a Multiplayer VS mode to mess around with. overall, the game is decent and a nice tribute to the classic games in the series of old from the early 1990s, it has it flaws, sure but it is a fun game that is easily superior to the absolute wrecks that where the two sequels, Sonic Advance 2 and Sonic Advance 3. Expand
  6. 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
  7. 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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  8. 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.
  9. Oct 7, 2012
    0
    No platforming what so ever. THis game features four characters to play as and the only interesting one in Amy Rose.....wow. Why is there no platforming. This game basically took everything cool about Sonic and took it away
  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. Apr 24, 2012
    4
    Don't read any of the reviews here. Only trust reviews below 6 for this game. It's terrible for me. Why? I'll explain it to you.
    Sonic Advance is supposed to be basically what everyone calls "itz awsme, lik Soonic CD". I don't agree with any of that. This game is like an insult from Sega, telling everyone to screw off until next time. Why do I say this? Because the level design is
    Don't read any of the reviews here. Only trust reviews below 6 for this game. It's terrible for me. Why? I'll explain it to you.
    Sonic Advance is supposed to be basically what everyone calls "itz awsme, lik Soonic CD". I don't agree with any of that. This game is like an insult from Sega, telling everyone to screw off until next time. Why do I say this? Because the level design is terrible. The first two levels were enjoyable. But that's the issue, it's ONLY those two levels. While it makes sense that the later levels are supposed to get harder, it already loses my patience, reaching the "maximum ragequit" mode. You want a collection of hates? Here you go.
    First of all, the spikes. They. Are. EVERYWHERE YOU SEE. And plus, they place them at the rudest places ever. There's a spike where you are going to land. There's a spike where you are running. There's a spike where you are stopping at. There's a spike near your rings/items. There are so many freaking spikes, there is no way you can speedrun this game without dying at LEAST once. Another thing is the new enemy, the robot mole thing. It's exactly like spikes, except you can destroy it. And the level design has so many of these guys, like the spikes. I don't need to go through the same rant of how they are everywhere. And also, near the final levels, there is an overkill of enemy spawns. It's like the TMNT game for NES, where every house has hundreds of enemies on your screen. That's what the final levels do. What, are Sega the inventors of that game too? Are they trying to bring back "classic" frustration?
    Now let's get on with good things. You can become the awesome speedy guy that you saw in the older games. No, not those terrible older ones. I mean the classic Genesis ones. Those ones were fast. So is this game. That's a good thing, children! But the overkill of enemies of the levels just limit the speed, because you have to keep stopping, and then you go. The original Sonic games never wanted you to stop, you could keep going! Nope, not with Advance. And the extra moves for the characters don't help. Sonic has a roll attack thing like he does in Sonic Adventure. He also has an extra jump attack if you hit the A button twice. What help does an extra jump do?
    Oh, did you hear me again too? If you are a grammer person, that's right. MULTIBLE CHARACTERS. It was bad enough in Sonic Adventure. It was even worse in Sonic Adventure 2. Don't tell me you're gonna screw up classic Sonic with this. You have the following characters. Tails is basically the clone of Sonic, except it's a tiny bit slower but he can fly. Knuckles is an EXACT clone of Tails, and his punching moves don't help at all. Amy is useless, and the hammer doesn't help.
    Now the final two things I want to talk about are VS. mode and Tiny Chao Garden. VS. mode is the multi-player mode for this game, and it's fun. At least, if both players are equaly skilled. And the level design is terrible with all the stupid loops everywhere. What it is, explaining. You and a partner try to kill each other with loops and stupid power-ups. Done deal. The rings kind of take out the fun though.
    Tiny Chao Garden must be the main reason this game was created at all. To use it, you must BUY a GameCube and BUY Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. Then you BUY a GameCube-to-Gameboy Advance cable and get some Chaos and other stuff in the GameCube version. Connect the two games. Do something that I can't explain. You have your Chao in Sonic Advance. The thing is that you can basically raise him on the go on Gameboy, send him back on GameCube, and his upgrades are there. The thing is, the only way to raise him is get food, and the food is crazily expensive. And the two minigames have the most stupidest amounts of points you get when you win. Not worth the time.
    If you see this game, find it for a price of free, or at least $1 buck. Don't get this game at all on any of other price. The game is frustrating, stupid, and is NOT like Sonic CD at all. Don't even try calling it the masterpiece it was. Get the 2nd or 3rd, those two were so much better than this. Nope, don't even reach for this game because it has Tiny Chao Garden. Not for VS. mode either.
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  13. 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.
  14. KaineC.
    Apr 30, 2005
    10
    It's the best like all of them.
  15. 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!
  16. KarlA.
    May 17, 2003
    10
    Sonic advance is cool. with cool music, characters and backgrounds.
  17. HamishB.
    Jul 26, 2005
    6
    This game could have been excellent, but it is completely ruined by levels that are too long and too frustrating. It's totally unbalanced. You can't have sudden bits of precision platforming in a game that encourages you to zoom around at high speeds!!! You'll constantly die from things that weren't your fault and there's nothing more annoying in a video game than This game could have been excellent, but it is completely ruined by levels that are too long and too frustrating. It's totally unbalanced. You can't have sudden bits of precision platforming in a game that encourages you to zoom around at high speeds!!! You'll constantly die from things that weren't your fault and there's nothing more annoying in a video game than that. Do Sonic Team even test their games anymore? Former Sonic games have always just about managed to stay on the right side of this little misdemeanour, like running into enemies that suddenly appear as your hurtling at breakneck speed. But this oversteps that line completely, it's a nightmare. And as for the number of blind jumps? It's totally unacceptable. Expand

Awards & Rankings

#6 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2002
#21 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]