Sonic Advance

  • Original Platform: Game Boy Advance
  • Versions played: GBA and Android
  • Where to get: Second Hand, Wii U eShop (Japan Only)

Despite loving Sonic and having a Game Boy Advance, for some reason I never played Sonic Advance, but it seems I was missing out.

Sonic Advance is a lot like the classic Mega Drive Sonic games, although Sonic himself is more like his modern design. It takes the original level design philosophy of Sonic – multiple routes, higher is quicker – and creates some expansive levels to be explored (and you’ll need to explore them to find the chaos emerald, as the special stages are well hidden).

For most of the game, the stages have many secondary routes, and at some point I was even wondering if there were even any bottomless pits as every time I fell, I landed on another path (or even just a hole with a spring to get back up). This makes exploration much more fun. Later levels do have bottomless pits, so it doesn’t last forever, but for the most part the levels in Sonic Advance are great.

Then there’s Egg Rocket Zone. The core idea for the level is great – you’re on a giant rocket, and have to reach the next section before separation happens and the previous part of the level is jettisoned. Unfortunately, the level is a confusing maze which seems to only have one “correct” path through it. There’s lots of routes, including some that look like the “faster, more difficult” routes, but these will cruelly send you back to previous parts of the level. It’s needlessly annoying.

On top of the original Game Boy Advance version, it was also ported to N-Gage (which is difficult to try and play), and also for Android, but only in Japan (and no longer available). The Android port is a great port, with a wider screen for better viewing distance. Although a few bits of music (which were from the Mega Drive games) have been replaced.

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