Sonic Advance - GBA

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Viewed: 2D Side-on, Scrolling Genre:
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Dimps Soft. Co.: SEGA
Publishers: Infogrames (GB)
Released: 8 Mar 2002 (GB)
Unknown (US)
Ratings: 3+, ESRB Everyone
Connectivity: Link Cable, GC/GBA Link Cable


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Sonic Adventure for the Game Boy Advance represents some of the craziness of the games industry in 2001/2002. It follows Sega's shift from hardware manufacturer to multi-platform developer. Released around the same time as Super Mario Advance 2, it feels like the beginnings of the SNES/Megadrive console war starting all over again, but now on one single portable platform. It’s weird, but we like it.

Joining Sonic from the GameCube and Dreamcast 3D adventrues are Amy and Knuckles. Tails is also on hand to help out with the quest. Dr. Robotnik / Eggman is up to his usual underhanded tricks. He has delusions of grandeur, and to realise them he needs to collect the Chaos Emeralds. If he collects all seven emeralds, his evil water-based team mate Chaos will be unstoppable. Of course, Sonic isn’t going to let him get away with this, and he needs your help.

Sonic Adventure demonstrates the sprite handling capabilities of the Advance. This game moves at a ridiculously fast pace, as any good Sonic game should. To further enhance the visual side, clever use has been made of the Advance’s hardware functions. Imagine Sonic being ‘SNES-ified’, with Mode 7 backgrounds, and scaling and rotating of the character and object sprites.

This game is like taking a fresh walk down Retro Lane, classic 2D platform action, but with new levels, ideas and graphics. In traditional Sonic style, 100 rings can be collected to earn an extra life. Rings also have the benefit of protecting Sonic from danger. If he's hit, he’ll lose his collected rings, if he gets hit again then death occurs. Sonic can now grind, adding a new tweak to the gameplay.

Sonic Adventure is one of the first games to support the Advance/GameCube link-cable. Players can download Chaos eggs from Cube to the Advance where they can raise and train them by playing two mini-games. Then the eggs can be uploaded back onto the GameCube to participate in more games. How well the eggs perform is directly linked to how well they were raised.

Overall, Sonic Adventure has all the trademarks of a great game. There’s plenty of substance in both single and multi-player modes. There are two fun games for up to four people, Chaos Emerald Hunt and the Battle mode. Both of these sub-games require one cartridge, but obviously four consoles. Sonic Adventure is a top title for newcomers and veterans alike.