Sonic Advance 2 - GBA

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Sonic Advance 2 (GBA)
Viewed: 2D Side-on, Scrolling Genre:
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Dimps Soft. Co.: SEGA
Publishers: Infogrames (GB)
Released: 28 Mar 2003 (GB)
Unknown (US)
Ratings: 3+
Connectivity: Link Cable, GC/GBA Link Cable


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It's been a year since the blue spiky hedgehog made his historically significant Nintendo debut. The fierce rivalry between he and Mario in the previous era's console war was peacefully brought to an end with the release of Sonic Advance for the Game Boy Advance. As the game proved to be a success, porting well to the host machine's 2D-proificient architecture, it was only to be expected that a sequel would come along. Unimaginatively titled Sonic Advance 2, this latest adventure for Sonic and friends centres on the same style of gameplay, whilst offering a faster and deeper platforming experience.

Apparently the evil Dr. Robotnik is up to no good again, having hatched another dastardly plot. He plans to build an Eggman empire by turning all the animals into robots and gathering all seven Chaos Emeralds to gain unimaginable power. So, Sonic has his work cut out for him yet again, being charged with the task of thwarting the Eggman's evil plans and rescuing his pals.

As in practically all Sonic games, the premise sees you speeding through each level, collecting rings and avoiding or defeating a vast array of enemies. Each of the levels is built up from an extensive variety of platforms, loops, tubes, rails, springs and benefits from some really impressive level design that helps maximise the spiky mammal's high-speed progression.

Taking a slightly different direction to previous Sonic outings, however, Advance 2 places more of an emphasis on exploration, providing seven special rings in each level that must be collected in order to gain access to the game's bonus rounds. The levels themselves are pretty large and exploration of them often requires more than Sonic's own abilities, so there's quite a bit of replaying required with each new character rescued and subsequently unlocked. Knuckles can climb, Tails can fly, Amy has a hammer and Cream - making her debut in this title - carries around a Chao named Cheese that she can throw at enemies.

To fully complete the game, there's quite a lot to do and a good number of hours worth of time to spend doing it, so Sonic Advance 2 is definitely a game worth adding to your collection. It also does exactly what a sequel should do - improves over the original in every way, offering more depth and longevity.