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Sonic the Hedgehog Advance

Preview By: Chris Lee

Developer:   Dimps
Publisher:   Sega
Genre:   Platformer
Est. Release:   November 2001
Posted:   8-1-01

Well, what can you say? Sega making the transition to a software only company was a pretty huge step to say the least. I'm still getting used to that but THEN, of all things they start making games for NINTENDO! Not only that but this is the 10th anniversary/birthday of Sonic himself. All I can say is wow. Good times people, good times. So here we are with Sega's first title for a Nintendo system, Sonic the Hedgehog Advance for, of course, Game Boy Advance.

The first thing I thought when I heard the title and saw some screens is that it would just be a reworked version of the very first Sonic game on the Genesis, with maybe a few added bonuses. But like they say, what's in a name? Upon further inspection I noticed that many of the mechanics of the later Sonic titles were in the game, such as those pinball.....thingies that pop you in the air , running around spiral walls, insane loop-the-loops and other as yet unnamed features. However, the most significant feature of all is being able to play as four separate characters. There's of course Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, and from the recent Sonic Adventure 2 Amy. As most veteran Sonic players know, each character has his/her own talents and abilities that you have to master in order to progress through the game. Unlike some other titles, the variations with all of the characters is slanted more towards being fun than gimmicky. Mainly because the additional characters have real personality, it adds a lot of variety to the game.

Fortunately for all of us GBA owners, we have a system that is showing more pop and power than even the SNES or Genesis (and most assuredly more than the 32x. Ugh.). So this Sonic title should be up for consideration as potentially the best of the 2-D series. The colors are lush and beautiful, the animations are top notch and luckily the music has a real Sonic Adventure style to it.  It has a lot of attitude so you can jam with. They've also added a few multi-player modes of enjoyment. Chaos Emerald Hunt and various Battle modes will surely propel this title higher than previous efforts.

The great thing about this is that you're not getting some rehashed port, you're getting a whole new adventure. In my own opinion, Sonic in 2-D is far superior to any of the 3-D efforts simply because the second dimension is where Sonic belongs. I played and loved every Sonic title ever released and I can honestly say I had more fun with the side scrolling versions than any of the free roaming ones. I'm a huge Sonic fan and I can't wait for this game, with all we've come to expect from Sonic Team and more, this one is one to watch out for.

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