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Sonic Advance Appreciation Topic

#1 User is offline Sparks 

Posted 16 October 2010 - 07:34 PM

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3D Blast was worthy of one, why not the Advance trilogy? v.png appreciation

So, with the release of Sonic 4 recently, I've noticed a lot of looking back at Dimps' Game Boy Advance games. I'm kinda glad for this, as I have fond memories with Advance 1, so they seemed worthy of their own discussion.

Thoughts on Advance 1:
It wasn't the best 2D.5 game ever, but I have to rank it above Sonic 1. The Zones were really enjoyably, not "super duper fast," plenty of platforming, and to add, a very basic but fun cast of characters (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and Eggman). It even had a "Mecha Knuckles" fight, which was a nice touch IMO. Playing it again recently, I felt the engine was.. actually pretty solid. I give it a 9/10.

Thoughts on Advance 2:
This was a drastic leap from Advance 1, and pretty much began setting the stage for what we notoriously criticize Dimps for today. The whole game was about memorizing paths and making the right action (usually by button combo abilities) at the right time, which in later levels became almost annoyingly mandatory for some sections. Also littered with hold right to win (or left in rare cases). However, I found the boss fights unique, fun, and yet challenging at the same time. They, as well as the usual enjoyable soundtrack, to me save the game from a low rating, so I say 7/10. Close to 6 though.

Thoughts on Advance 3:
Advance 1 was classic. Advance 2 was a leap. Advance 3 is an oddball. Replayed this recently as well, and the level layouts in Route 99 heavily reminded me of Splash Hill Zone, right down to quarter ramps going down into wall springs semi-commonly (if that's a word). It also felt and played a lot like Advance 2, this time around though player abilities depended on what character combos you had. A neat feature as it could lead to a lot of shortcuts. To me the level design wasn't bad, but nothing special either. I never found myself dieing in this game a lot, thankfully. Some stupid cheap shots though. Once again boss fights and music were a good highlight. Advance 3 offers one of the longest exploits to getting the Chaos Emeralds though. I give it a 7/10. Almost a 6/10 simply because of the Twinkle Snow boss though. That thing was the Devil without Cream.. who you don't get til the Zone after. colbert.png

I think I missed out a lot of points, but this is definitely seems to be a topic gaining interest lately.
This post has been edited by Sparks: 16 October 2010 - 10:46 PM

#2 User is offline Shakidna 

Posted 16 October 2010 - 07:53 PM

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Contrary to Sonic 4, I felt Sonic Advance 3 had too much momentum. The physics were built for speed (despite the pace being a step down from the previous game), and always caused me to overshoot my jumps.

#3 User is offline Covarr 

Posted 16 October 2010 - 08:39 PM

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Thoughts on Advance 1:
It wasn't a 2D.5 game at all, but I have to rank it above Sonic 1. The Zones were enjoyable, except for the rail grinding. Playing it again recently, I felt the engine was.. actually pretty solid. I give it a 8/10.

Thoughts on Advance 2:
This was a drastic leap into a bottomless pit, and pretty much began setting the stage for what we notoriously criticize Dimps for today. The whole game was about making me wanna punt my GBA because of those damn pits. However, I also found the boss fights to be stupid and too similar to each other. They, as well as the usual crappy GBA soundtrack, cause me to give the game a low rating, so I say 4/10. Close to 3 though.

Thoughts on Advance 3:
Advance 1 was pretty good. Advance 2 was pretty bad. Advance 3 is pretty stupid. Knuckles can't glide, pretty much making up for anything they may have gotten right. To me the level design wasn't as bad as Advance 2, just regular-type bad. I never found myself finishing this game, thankfully. I give it a "DID NOT FINISH"/10 for messing up Knuckles.

I think I missed out a lot of points, but this definitely seems to be a topic gaining interest lately.



Am I doin' it rite?

#4 User is offline Brad 

Posted 16 October 2010 - 08:42 PM

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Sonic Advance 1 was the closest thing Dimps ever created which was a good modern 2D game.
This post has been edited by Zero-Boom: 16 October 2010 - 08:42 PM

#5 User is offline Solaris Paradox 

Posted 16 October 2010 - 08:42 PM

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I don't know how to "apperciate things," I'm a Grammar Nazi. specialed.png

Advance 1 had great physics, but unfortunately, a few of the levels strike me as bland. That and it being a handheld title kind of blunted my enjoyment somewhat, but it's a good game.

#6 User is offline Covarr 

Posted 16 October 2010 - 08:46 PM

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QUOTE (Solaris Paradox @ Oct 16 2010, 06:42 PM)
I don't know how to "apperciate things," I'm a Grammar Nazi. specialed.png

No, you're a spelling Nazi. And I guess I'm a vocabulary Nazi specialed.png specialed.png


QUOTE (Solaris Paradox @ Oct 16 2010, 06:42 PM)
Advance 1 had great physics, but unfortunately, a few of the levels strike me as bland. That and it being a handheld title kind of blunted my enjoyment somewhat, but it's a good game.


Even on the Game Boy Player, it just doesn't feel like the classic games. It's kind of the opposite of Sonic 4 in that regard. While Sonic 4 has the right vibe but piss-poor implementation, Sonic Advance does a good job with physics and art, but simply has a completely different style to it.

#7 User is offline Azukara 

Posted 16 October 2010 - 08:47 PM

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Sonic Advance 1 was basically what Sonic 4 could've been; especially since the same developers made it. It's physics were ace and definitely true to the classics, the music was insanely catchy, the level design was very good, the character setup had a great balance (Sonic = normal, Tails = easy, Knuckles = hard, Amy = weird), and the art style was actually pretty awesome. I would've definitely believed this to be Sonic the Hedgehog 4 if they just automatically renamed it to such, gave the title screen the retro banner, and made the graphics and music/sound effects much higher quality (for a console release). 9.5/10.

Sonic Advance 2 was much more linear and speed-speed-SPEED based compared to the other Sonic Advance titles. I find that funny because it seems that every 2nd game is more focused on speed than the last (Sonic 2, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Advance 2). The music was actually better than before in this one though, and while some parts of the game were significantly pretty (Music Plant), some parts of the game really weren't (Sonic's new top-speed running animation in this game and Sadv3). If this game had better level design I think it would've made a great game, but alas it feels so straight-forward that it's hard to enjoy after the first playthrough. I do have to mention though, if it weren't for this game then I don't think the series would've become such a speedfest with the Rush series and Unleashed-style gameplay. 7/10.

Sonic Advance 3 was awful. Like Sonic 3, it balanced the platforming and speed much more, but (unlike Sonic 3) it did it in a way that was unfair and made me want to throw the GBA against the wall millions of times. Teamplay is terrible, level design is filled with bottomless pits and really bad object placement, levels were really ugly, sprites became even uglier, and the music was horrendous. This game = do not want, ever again. 3/10.
This post has been edited by Azukara: 16 October 2010 - 08:51 PM

#8 User is offline Dark Sonic 

Posted 16 October 2010 - 08:50 PM

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QUOTE (Covarr @ Oct 16 2010, 05:39 PM)
Thoughts on Advance 3:
Advance 1 was pretty good. Advance 2 was pretty bad. Advance 3 is pretty stupid. Knuckles can't glide, pretty much making up for anything they may have gotten right. To me the level design wasn't as bad as Advance 2, just regular-type bad. I never found myself finishing this game, thankfully. I give it a "DID NOT FINISH"/10 for messing up Knuckles.

What are you talking about? Knuckles can glide... just not when Sonic is your partner. I'm not sure which character grants him his regular moveset though, I think it's Cream. Knuckles has a really good glide move when Tails is your partner though. Anyways:

Sonic Advance 1:
It's a solid playing game, and they get props for that. However some of the later levels have awful layouts, and I find the art direction for the game rather ugly due to the attempted realism they did with the level designs and enemies, while Sonic and friends had that strange advance shading going on. It didn't fit together nicely. I like the idea of the first game though, and there was some room for improvement. Also it seemed rather slow. I mean I know it's good not to have speed speed speed but it seemed slower than Sonic 2, and that's no good. Also the special stages suck. I'd give this a 7/10. Although instead of keeping what worked and improving on it, we got...

Sonic Advance 2:
It's Sonic Advance 1, only with the physics taken out, speed speed speed, and the addition of that god awful get into special stages technique (God damn you collecting medals D: ). Unlike the last game which felt too slow, this game is too fast. It had that awful sky canyon level with that boss that had the bitch slap of death. However one thing I did like about this game was the art. The art style was much more Sonic like and fit with the characters more though. Unfortunately the level designs were terrible. Therefore this game gets a 4/10

Sonic Advance 3:
I like this game. It may not play as accurately as the classics or Sonic Advance 1, but it's fun regardless. It puts much less emphasis on speed speed speed and you get some fun level layouts with generally pretty good level design. Maybe not as good as the first 4 levels of Sonic Advance but definitely not as bad as the last 2, or all of Advance 2's levels. They fixed a lot of what 2 got wrong and they added the neat character combination thing. I love the Knuckles + Tails combo due to Knuckles' awesome uppercut glide move. The art style is good too and I liked the soundtrack. I also liked the special stages. So contrary to seemingly everyone else's opinions, I think this is the best game in the Advance series, and it gets a 9 because of it.

#9 User is offline Overbound 

Posted 16 October 2010 - 08:56 PM

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QUOTE (Azukara @ Oct 17 2010, 01:47 AM)
Sonic Advance 2 was much more linear and speed-speed-SPEED based compared to the other Sonic Advance titles. I find that funny because it seems that every 2nd game is more focused on speed than the last (Sonic 2, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Advance 2). The music was actually better than before in this one though, and while some parts of the game were significantly pretty (Music Plant), some parts of the game really weren't (Sonic's new top-speed running animation in this game and Sadv3). If this game had better level design I think it would've made a great game, but alas it feels so straight-forward that it's hard to enjoy after the first playthrough. I do have to mention though, if it weren't for this game then I don't think the series would've become such a speedfest with the Rush series and Unleashed-style gameplay. 7/10.


Actually Sonic Advance 2 is loaded with multiple paths its just none of the paths feel that unique when you are flying at 100 miles an hour so it feels linear but its really not.


#10 User is offline corneliab 

Posted 16 October 2010 - 08:57 PM

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QUOTE (Covarr @ Oct 16 2010, 06:39 PM)
To me the level design wasn't as bad as Advance 2, just regular-type bad. I never found myself finishing this game, thankfully. I give it a "DID NOT FINISH"/10 for messing up Knuckles.
Am I doin' it rite?


Yeah, it's pretty fucking obvious that you didn't finish the game. Or play it more than a few zones for that matter. Knuckles CAN glide, though teaming up with Sonic gives him a headbutt move. Hell, teaming up with Amy will let you not only glide but also SPINDASH UP WALLS. That should be a Knuckles staple, seriously.

Regarding the Sonic Advance games, I really like them a lot. The first one in particular has a very nostalgic feel to it, and the stages and music are great. It is a rather short game though, and the special stages suffer from some weird collision that's difficult to get used to at first.

The second one, despite its reputation, was also very enjoyable. The game had great production values and had some top-notch visuals and music. It was more ambitious than the first in that it tried to carve out an experience that was more removed from the classic games, but the game ended up feeling like more of a diversion than a sequel as a result. Special stages were better than the first, though the entry method was absurd and completely impractical if you didn't use a guide.

Sonic Advance 3 is my favorite of the bunch. The level design was very complex and focused moreso on platforming than its predecessor, there's a ton of stages, and it sidestepped both of the series tropes regarding the beginning and final zones (with Chaos Angel being one of my favorite Sonic zones ever, honestly). The team system offered variety without compromising the core of the game (hello Heroes) and felt like a revised Chaotix in a sense, the music was some of the best in the series, and the game's scenario was unique in comparison to the rest of the Advance titles. I really, really liked the special stages in this one, and while the entry method really wasn't much better than in 2, at least you only had to collect the Chao once per zone. Excellent game overall- probably my 2nd favorite 2D Sonic game, with S3&K taking the #1 spot.
This post has been edited by corneliab: 16 October 2010 - 09:17 PM

#11 User is offline Dark Sonic 

Posted 16 October 2010 - 09:03 PM

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Actually now that I think about it the only unfortunate thing about Advance 3 plotwise was gemrel. Seriously that was a perfect opportunity for Metal Sonic. Why didn't they use him?

#12 User is offline corneliab 

Posted 16 October 2010 - 09:06 PM

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Metal Sonic had been in plenty of games already. I thought it was awesome how the game tied into Sonic Battle.

#13 User is offline W.A.C. 

Posted 16 October 2010 - 10:05 PM

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I posted the following on the Sonic 4 thread.

QUOTE (W.A.C. @ Oct 16 2010, 04:57 PM)
I just beat Sonic Advance 1 for the first time in about 6-7 years and damn, that game is a lot better than I remember. Extremely fun game with good physics. The enemy and spike placement is ass at times though. I cannot figure out why Dimps sucks at physics now. ._.

Some additional points I'd like to add is that about half of my deaths were from bottomless pits and the other half were thanks to the last two boss battles (excluding the Super Sonic boss). The first four zones were pretty easy but some annoying as fuck bottomless pit in the fifth zone cost me a couple of lives. D: Overall, I think it's a really great game and I'd probably give it an 8.5/10. Now I'm off to play Advance 2 which is a game I absolutely loved when I was younger. It'll be interesting to see how it has held up.
This post has been edited by W.A.C.: 16 October 2010 - 10:05 PM

#14 User is offline HarrisonJ 

Posted 16 October 2010 - 10:08 PM

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QUOTE (corneliab @ Oct 16 2010, 09:06 PM)
Metal Sonic had been in plenty of games already. I thought it was awesome how the game tied into Sonic Battle.


Battle also deserves appreciation. I had some good times with that game.

But still, Metal Sonic would've been cooler, even if that does seem a lot like the Heroes plot. But I'm still thankful he's showing up in Sonic 4 Episode 2.

#15 User is offline K2J 

Posted 16 October 2010 - 10:24 PM

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Advance 1 was my first Sonic game, IIRC. Playing as Amy wasn't as hard for me back then, because I hadn't gotten used to the whole "spinning when jumping" thing. Also, Egg Rocket is still one of the best Sonic levels I've ever played. It's very dynamic, exciting, and original.

I didn't really play Advance 2. I probably should sometime.

I wasn't a fan of Advance 3. Some of the level design was cluttered and somewhat unintuitive, and many times involved precision platforming where failing would take you far back in the level. The partner bit didn't really get in the way, though, and it was decent, if a bit unmemorable.

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