Sonic Advance: My Review

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With Playing Games with Snat finishing soon I figured I would do some reviews of games I was going to play and with Retroarch having achievements I figured I would do them as I completed them. All screenshots and gameplay have been taken using Retroarch while playing on my Surface Duo.

The Story

The story for Sonic Advance is pretty simple and it just boils down to Sonic and the gang sets out to defeat Dr Robonik from capturing animals and turning them into robots. Beyond that, there isn’t much more story although its sequels do have an actual story.

The Gameplay

Amy Rose nearly falling over into a hole.

Just like other Sonic games you take control of different characters Sonic Tails, Knuckles and surprisingly Amy who all have their style of gameplay. Sonic has his speed, Tails can fly, Knuckles can glide and Amy can use her hammer. Surprisingly for a Sonic game, it is quite hard and playing as Amy can be very challenging for the sake of this review, and because Amy is my favourite character, I decided to play as her to start with and honestly for the first time I would recommend against it.

There are a few zones in the game and sadly they are short and there are only two acts per zone. These zones are similar to the ones you will find on the Mega Drive releases and in a way they feel like the actual successor to Sonic 3 and Knuckles compared to the likes of Sonic 4 and I would have loved to see more like this.

One thing the game does carry over from the Mega Drive eras are a ton of traps where you are invited to speed and then suddenly you are murdered by something which when you remember where things are is rewarding to dash through the level dodging everything.

The Bosses

Amy Rose fighting Dr Robonik underwater with her hammer.

The bosses in Sonic Advance were disappointing and when playing as Sonic they were pretty easy but when playing as Amy they were harder mostly due to the lack of speed when it comes to movement. The boss designs were nothing new and you would have seen versions of them before in other Sonic games.

It is worth saying that the bosses were still fun to do and they follow the classic you hit eight times and the bosses get faster as it goes on with some adding a little extra once you hit them a certain amount of times. I am aware there is a true final boss but I never got around to unlocking it.

The Graphics

Amy Rose running down a hill.

Sonic Advance is a colourful and pretty game and this is something that carries over to most of the zones. There isn’t much I can say that isn’t shown in the screenshots but in some zones, the background can be hard to see things an example can be found at the top of this review where you can see the drop-down part can be hard to see when running around. I do think the game would have benefited from having the camera move so you could see more in front of you when running.

The sprites for all of the characters look lovely and unlike some people, I like the artwork of the modern character designs (although for obvious reasons Amy needs a slight design like they did in Sonic Boom) and it is a shame that Sega has gone down the “classic” route for 2D designs for future games such as in Sonic Superstars.

The Music

If there is one thing that Sonic games you can always be sure they will get right (… excluding Sonic 4) is the music and Sonic Advance delivers this. I would recommend popping onto YouTube and have a listen and you will be happy that you did.

Conclusion

Amy Rose flashing her underwear while being blown into the air.

So should you play the game? If you are a fan of the Sonic series I would recommend this wholely and you should pick up a copy right away and play it. If you are not a fan of the series I would recommend playing a more modern one such as Sonic Superstars and then coming back to this but regardless you will not regret it even with the problems it has.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Need to reference?

Ellis, M. (2024). Sonic Advance: My Review. [online] Snat's Narratives & Tales. Available at: https://snat.co.uk/reviews/video-games/sonic-advance-my-review.html [Accessed 18 Jun 2024].

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