Game Discussion: Sonic Advance

Remember the old Sonic Games? Or even the newer ones! Talk about these Sonic games here, whether you are stuck or just want to talk about your favourite game!
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Game Discussion: Sonic Advance

Post by Ivogoji » Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:56 am

The official topic for discussing the first installment in the GBA Sonic series, Sonic Advance.

As this was the first Sonic game I ever played, it has a special place in my heart. It was my introduction to both Sonic gameplay and Chao and I'll never forget how much fun it was when I was a kid. Of course, compared to a lot of other entries in the franchise, Sonic Advance is rather lackluster. It's not as huge Sonic 2 or S3&K, it's not as original as Sonic CD or most of the Game Gear titles, it's gameplay and level design aren't as polished as it's two sequels, etc. For a lot of fans it's one of the more forgetable games.

I still think it's a pretty solid take on classic Sonic conventions though. In general Sonic Advance is important since without it, we would not have any of the other modern Sonic handheld games, including Battle and Rush. While it essentially offers the same kind of playing experience as any other 2D Sonic, it does offer a few unique aspects. The soundtrack, while not especially outstanding, is very nostalgic for me and probably my favorite out of the GBA Sonics. The Tiny Chao Garden here is available from the get-go, and for most fans is probably their only exposure to the mini game. Sonic Advance also introduces a fully playable 2D Amy for the first time (and the fact that she also doesn't need to be unlocked is nice). This game also features the memorable boss fight with Mecha Knuckles in his only appearance in the series, which I always thought was an extremely cool addition.

So what are you guys' thoughts on Sonic Advance? Does have a significant place in the series' history? Is it the real Sonic 4? Or just a lazy rehash of older Sonic games?
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Re: Game Discussion: Sonic Advance

Post by Sable » Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:22 pm

imo it has a lot better and more interesting level design than advance 2, which was pretty much the 2D sonic equivalent of the boost games (even moreso than rush) but at the cost of sometimes being a PAIN to traverse and some of them overstay their welcome. also, it seems to lacks polish and it's kind of rough around the edges. i think that for the advance games each installment was an improvement over the last overall - it's not that advance is a bad game (it's a pretty solid 7/10) but more that its sequels do almost everything it does except better.

also i hate the special stages.

if you're buying it for the tiny chao garden though it's a better choice than advance 2 if you're uninterested in playing the maingame, though pinball party is better for ring grinding from what i've heard?
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Re: Game Discussion: Sonic Advance

Post by mintdrop » Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:36 pm

^i've always found pinball party terrible for ring grinding (my chao are always starving), but that's probably because i also suck at it.

sonic advance is a nice game. it was my first handheld sonic game and i loved the fact that you could play as amy; her playstyle is really unique and makes for a fun challenge. though the zones are mainly re-imaginings of genesis zones (except egg rocket zone, and secret base maybe), i find the graphics to be rather fresh and it makes them seem special and not like rehashes. for example, i adore sonic advance's angel island zone. i think the palette and music are super pretty. however i feel like a lot of the graphics weren't fleshed out until later in the series; some of the background objects in advance 1 don't seem to match the style of the characters.

the sonic advance series is also notoriously difficult to 100% complete (those special stages are awful), but that's not something i strive for anyway. otherwise i think they play nicely; it can get a little repetitive playing through the same stages as different characters though, and some of the level design can be very unforgiving (bottomless pits. everywhere)

overall i think sonic advance is a neat little game. sonic works well on the gameboy, i think.
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Re: Game Discussion: Sonic Advance

Post by Ivogoji » Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:16 pm

I have the Sonic Advance/Sonic Pinball Party two-in-one deal, but I always used just the one TCG. Just running through stages for rings is probably faster that Pinball Party's minigames.

Also I agree, the Angel Island Zone in this game is nice.

I never found Sonic Advance's special stages that hard myself? The other two Advance games have much tougher Emerald hunts.
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Re: Game Discussion: Sonic Advance

Post by Jeffery Mewtamer » Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:28 pm

I can't remember how well the Advance 1 Special Stages controlled, though I remember poor controls making the Advance 2/3 special stages a lot harder than they should've been. Advance 1's stages where a nice spin on the Halfpipe Special stage that has appeared in more Sonic games than I can remember.

I do think Advance 1 had my least favorite method of accessing special stages though. Sure, finding all the special rings in Advance 2 isn't easy at first, but the SP ring paths became the basis of my Time Attack paths, and I eventually got to the point I could access the special stage every time. As for Advance 3, once you found all the Lost Chao, getting another chance at the special stage was easy. The Special Springs in Advance 1, however, are hard to reach even with directions, require going out on one's way, and don't really get easier to find with practice.

Personally, the one thing Advance 1 has over it's siblings is that there's no ridiculous unlock requirements(advance 2 might be my favorite of the trilogy, but having to unlock the TCG and sound test was ridiculous, and the requirements for unlocking Boss Attack and Amy should've been much easier(sayBeat the game with ASonic to unlock Amy and beaat the game with everyone to unlock Boss Attack).
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Re: Game Discussion: Sonic Advance

Post by Rajikaru » Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:07 pm

All the games are really good and pretty underrated considering they're the truest next incarnations to the original Sonic games possible. I've only played SA 2 and 3, but both were really good and I really enjoyed playing both of them, and I also really liked how each character was unique in their own way, but they aren't so different that entirely new routes or levels are required to make them worth using, something the console Sonic Team could take a few notes from. I really liked how fast-paced Sonic 2 was compared to Sonic 3, but Sonic 3 had much better level design, mostly because Sonic 2 is ****** pitfall city in just about every level besides the first.
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Re: Game Discussion: Sonic Advance

Post by Ivogoji » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:11 am

I agree that the Advance series is pretty underrated. It would be nice it they were better respected by fans. I mean I've heard people talk about 2D Sonic games and skip them all together.

I've always wondered why there are so few ROM hacks of the Advance trilogy- especially compared to the classic era games. Seems like there would be as many possibilities.
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Re: Game Discussion: Sonic Advance

Post by Jeffery Mewtamer » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:54 pm

In all fairness, none of the Handheld Sonics have gotten much attention from the Sonic hacking community, and in general, the only GBA games I've heard of rom hacks for are the G3 Pokemon games. To my knowledge, TALES(The Tails's Adventures Level Editing Suite) is the only hacking tool in existence specifically for a handheld Sonic and it's first public release was only earlier this year.

The larger rom sizes of most GBA games compared to Genesis/Megadrive games probably doesn't help either. I've never attempted a disassembly, but I would assume the 128 megabits of Advance 2 translates to a lot more data and assembly language to organize than the 34 megabits of S3K. Plus, ARM ASM is likely a very different beast from the 68k ASM used by elite Genesis Hackers, and while ARM is relevant outside of hacking retro games, modern ARM processors have enough power that ASM optimizations aren't needed as often as they are on a 68k, leaving younger programmers with less incentive to learn ASM.

Still, I can think of many ideas for Advance Trilogy hacks:
-Adding Cream to Advance 1's roster.
-Making one of the games play like one of the others(i.e. Adv1 with Adv3's Partner system or Adv3 with Adv2's solo characters)
-Combining them into one rom and giving the player the option to marathon all 3 without interruption.
-Adding Ring and Score Attack to the games.
-A TCG with all the mini-games and multiple save slots so you can carry more than one Chao per game.

And that's before we get into any serious alterations of artwork, music, or level design.

Sadly, my hacking skills probably wouldn't even be up to the task of taking a text dump of one of the downloadable TCGs.
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Re: Game Discussion: Sonic Advance

Post by retrolinkx » Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:22 am

Sonic Advance was the only GBA Sonic game I owned, and honestly it's my favourite because of that, but I also felt that Sonic Advance 2 and 3 were just not fun, and had odd things about them I disliked.

Sonic Advance to me had a better soundtrack, better levels, an actual chao garden which IIRC the others didn't which really annoyed me and less BS bosses. I remember playing a lot of 2 on an emulator about 5 years ago, and finding it frustrating to play in a lot of sections for no real reason, especially when using a controller it just felt badly designed, and the bosses felt like a real chore to fight.

I get that 2 and 3 had more than Advance did, but I've just never liked them, and never had a chance to play them as a kid either where my opinion would've been swayed with a lot of playtime. Not blaming my own parent's incompetence for not buying it for me but more or less just a luck thing.

I did enjoy the fact you could have a partner in 3, not sure if it was in 2. It seemed really cool for them to be able to carry you round or for you to fly on them. Would've added a lot to levels.

But yeah, overall I enjoyed the first game the most. Looking back I should attempt Sonic Advance 2 and 3 sometime in my life. I enjoyed the 2D games a lot more than the current 3D games (and Sonic Mania's looking amazing) so I should get some practice with those two games.
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