Sonic Advance (ソニックアドバンス, Sonikku Adobansu?) is a platform game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, developed by Dimps, published by Sega (in Japan), by THQ (in North America) and by Infogrames (in Europe and Australia) for Game Boy Advance. It was released in Japan on December 20, 2001, in North America on February 4, 2002 and finally in Europe on March 23, 2002. It is the first Sonic game to be released on a Nintendo console. Sonic Advance was also ported to Nokia’s N-Gage system on October 7, 2003, under the title Sonic N.
The player must play through 6 normal zones, followed by the X-Zone and the Moon Zone. Each of the normal zones contains two acts. Act 1 is finished by passing a signpost with the face of Dr. Eggman on it. Act 2 is finished by opening a capsule containing animals, which falls from the sky after defeating Dr. Eggman’s creations, such as the Egg Hammer Tank.
The game features four playable characters; Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy. Each character has the same moveset as they did in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic and Knuckles, with the addition of a melee attack. Each character has a special ability, such as Sonic‘s splice shield, Tails’ flight and Knuckles’ gliding and climbing abilities. In her playable 2D debut, Amy cannot perform a spin dash or automatically attack whilst jumping like the others, making her unique amongst the characters. Grind rails first introduced in Sonic Adventure 2 also make their first 2D appearance.
Special Springs can be found near the top of certain acts. Each normal zone contains one Special Spring, except for Ice Mountain Zone which contains two: one in each act. By jumping onto these springs, the player can reach a Special Stage – each spring goes to a certain special stage every time it is jumped on. The stages see players fall down a tube on snowboards whilst trying to earn enough rings to complete the target amount. By winning the stage, the player receives a Chaos Emerald, although there is only one emerald per stage, so the same stage cannot be repeated for multiple Emeralds. Unlike most other classic 2D Sonic games, the Emeralds are “shared” between all the characters. Once the player has collected all the Emeralds and completed the X-Zone with all four characters, they can access the Moon Zone by completing the X-Zone again with Sonic.
 Tiny Chao Garden
Sonic Advance, like Sonic Advance 2 and Sonic Pinball Party features an extra game called the Tiny Chao Garden. This is similar to the Chao Gardens found in Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2, and their GameCube counterparts. Players can transfer their Chao from any of the GBA games to the GameCube games and back by using a GBA to GameCube link cable. Unlike the Adventure games, the Tiny Chao Garden is a lot more limited. Chao will not age, can only use fruit and three toys which must be bought in the Tiny Chao Garden itself, and only one Chao can exist in the garden at once. An egg can be stored in the garden too, and will hatch as soon as there is no Chao in the garden. Chao can only leave the garden by being transferred to an Adventure game or by running away (which they will do if they hate the player; this happens very rarely however).
Fruit, toys and eggs must be bought with rings. Rings held by the player when they finish an Act will contribute towards the rings in the Tiny Chao Garden. Also, rings can be earned by playing two mini-games: a matching cards game, and a rock-paper-scissors game. Rings, fruit and eggs can be transferred to the Adventure games, but not from them, which many fans complain about as it is much easier to earn rings in the Adventure games.
The tiny chao garden does have a glitch, however: if the game data is deleted, rings obtained in the main game no longer contribute to the tiny chao Garden sum.
There are two ways to fix this. The first is to use a cheat device such as Gameshark. The second is to collect the same number of rings that had been collected before the game data was deleted.
|Developer(s)||Sonic Team, Dimps (Co-Developer)|
THQ (North America)
Infogrames (Europe and Australia)
|Designer(s)||Yuji Naka & Hiroshi Matsumoto (Producer)
Akinori Nishiyama (Director)
|Artist(s)||Yuji Uekawa (Art Director)|
|Composer(s)||Masato Nakamura (Music Composed & Arranger)
|Platform(s)||Game Boy Advance|
|Release date(s)||Game Boy Advance
|Rating(s)||CERO: All ages (全年齢, zennenrei?) (re-release)
ESRB : Everyone
OFLC : G
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