Sonic Advance 2

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Sonic Advance 2
Sonic Advance 2 Coverart.png
North American cover
Developer(s) Dimps
Publisher(s)
Director(s) Akinori Nishiyama
Producer(s) Yuji Naka
Hiroshi Matsumoto
Artist(s) Yuji Uekawa
Composer(s) Tatsuyuki Maeda
Yutaka Minobe
Teruhiko Nakagawa
Series Sonic the Hedgehog
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance
Release
  • JP: December 19, 2002
  • NA: March 9, 2003
  • PAL: March 21, 2003
Genre(s) Platform, action
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer

Sonic Advance 2[a] is a 2002 side-scrolling, action-platform video game developed by Dimps and published by Sega and THQ for the Game Boy Advance. An installment in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, it is the direct sequel to Sonic Advance. The story follows Sonic as he sets out to save his friends and retrieve the Chaos Emeralds from Doctor Eggman. Gameplay consists of the player completing various levels as one of five characters, each with their own unique attributes. After each zone is completed, the player faces Doctor Eggman in a boss battle.

Development of Sonic Advance 2 began in February 2002 and lasted eight months. It was programmed using an updated version of the original's game engine, and the team aimed to make the game larger and faster-paced than the original. It was released to a positive reception; critics praised the improvements made over the original Advance and its improved replay value in comparison to past games. Some journalists, however, were polarized by its high difficulty level. The third entry in the Sonic Advance trilogy, Sonic Advance 3, was released in 2004.

Gameplay[edit]

Gameplay screenshot showing Sonic fighting Doctor Eggman

Sonic Advance 2 is a side-scrolling, action-platform game similar in gameplay and style to the original Sonic Advance. The player controls Sonic the Hedgehog, who can unlock Cream the Rabbit and her Chao named Cheese, Tails, and Knuckles the Echidna after defeating Doctor Eggman in specific boss battles.[1] A fifth character, Amy Rose, can be unlocked after completing the game with each character.[1] Each character has their own unique moves and abilities. Sonic can perform an "insta-shield" that protects him for a brief moment; Cream and Tails can fly; Knuckles can glide and climb; and Amy can swing a hammer throughout levels.[1]

In the tradition of Sonic games, gameplay consists of moving quickly through levels. Levels in the game are divided into seven "zones",[2] each consisting of two acts of normal gameplay then a boss battle, where the player fights Doctor Eggman[3] in order to stop Eggman from taking over the world.[4] The player collects rings as a form of health; when the player is attacked by an enemy, their rings bounce in all directions. If the player is hit by an enemy and has no rings, they lose a life.[5] The player can also collect seven "special rings" to access special stages,[5] where Chaos Emeralds are found. Special stages are on a 3D plane,[3] where the character tries to obtain a set number of rings before time runs out in order to collect a Chaos Emerald. After beating all zones and finding all seven Chaos Emeralds with Sonic, an alternate final act is unlocked.[2]

When all of the Chaos Emeralds are collected with the other characters, a sound test feature and a boss time-attack feature are unlocked, along with the Tiny Chao Garden, where toys for Cream's Chao, Cheese,[1] can be purchased with rings earned in-game.[5] Various mini-games can also be played in the Tiny Chao Garden.[6] Other game modes include a "time-attack" mode where the player tries to beat a specific act in the shortest amount of time,[7] and a multiplayer mode, where players can race each other through unlocked acts.[3]

Plot[edit]

While adventuring through grasslands, Sonic witnesses his nemesis Doctor Eggman kidnap Cream and her pet Chao, Cheese. After saving them, Sonic realizes that Eggman is up to his old tricks again: kidnapping the animal population of the land and trying to retrieve the Chaos Emeralds to aid him in his conquest for world domination. Sonic continues his pursuit of Eggman, rescuing his friends Tails and Knuckles along the way. Two endings exist, dependent upon whether the player collected all the Chaos Emeralds. In the bad ending, Eggman escapes; in the good ending, Sonic transforms into Super Sonic and fights him in space, defeating him.

Development and release[edit]

Sonic Advance 2 was developed by Dimps, with assistance from Sonic Team. According to producer Yuji Naka, the developers began designing the concept of the game immediately after the completion of the original Sonic Advance, and full development began in February 2002. The design team decided to increase the speed of the original greatly; thus, the levels were made six times larger. The main development period lasted eight months; it was programmed using an updated version of the original Sonic Advance engine. The developers also refined the graphics and sought to make the game feel more "mechanical".[8] The game also marks the first appearance of Cream the Rabbit in the Sonic series; the character was originally designed for 2003's Sonic Heroes,[9] though she was added to Advance 2 before the release of Heroes to help make the game easier for beginning players.[10]

The game's musical score was composed by Yutaka Minobe, Tatsuyuki Maeda and Teruhika Nakagawa.[11] Sonic Advance 2 was first announced by Sega on July 1, 2002,[12] and was showcased at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2002.[10] It was released in Japan on December 19, 2002, followed by a North American release on March 9, 2003,[13] and in Europe on March 21, 2003.[14] Sega published the game in all regions except North America, where THQ handled distribution.[13] The game was re-released in emulated form on the Wii U's Virtual Console in Japan on February 24, 2016.[15][16]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 83/100[17]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com 8.5/10[2]
AllGame 2.5/5 stars[3]
Famitsu 32/40[18]
GameSpot 8.2/10[5]
GameSpy 3/5 stars[19]
IGN 9/10[1]
Nintendo Power 8.2/10[17]

Sonic Advance 2 received generally positive reviews upon release, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[17] The game was also commercial successful, selling approximately 175,000 copies in Japan,[20] 740,000 copies in the United States,[21] and 100,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[22]

The visuals and presentation were one of the most praised aspects of the game.[13][3] GameSpot considered the game's graphics to be a major advance from the previous game, feeling that it took more advantage of the Game Boy Advance's capabilities and praised the improved character animations, favorably comparing them to that of a cartoon.[5] IGN offered similar praise, calling its visuals more vibrant, bright, and vivid, and also spoke positively of its "peppy" soundtrack.[1] This sentiment was echoed by AllGame.[3] Nintendo World Report called the music catchy and enjoyable, though they criticized the re-use of certain themes from the original Sonic Advance.[13] Reviewers commended the game's replay value and large level design in comparison to older titles.[5][1] IGN admired the "massive" designs and felt the levels were much more balanced compared to prior games. They also praised the "crafty" paths for encouraging multiple playthroughs.[1] GameSpot agreed, praising the method of collecting special rings to access special stages and unlock special features for being fun and rewarding.[5] 1UP.com considered this addition interesting and called it "not bad" for the technical limitations of the Game Boy Advance.[2] AllGame, however, felt that the main acts were unoriginal and too short.[3][2]

The game's difficulty polarized critics.[3][2] Nintendo World Report began their review by warning players of the difficulty, and felt it spoiled an otherwise-good game.[13] GameSpot described Sonic Advance 2 as the hardest game in the entire series, calling its auto-scrolling boss fights "positively cutthroat", though they did believe that the game's amount of playable characters helped reduce this difficulty.[5] The difficulty was cited as the game's only problem by IGN.[1] 1UP, however, considered it a positive aspect, calling it "a welcome breath of fresh difficulty in this modern age of gaming."[2] Regarding the game as a whole, GameSpot felt Sega's risks to deviate from past Sonic games in terms of difficulty and size paid off handsomely.[5] Nintendo Power stated that, while Sonic Advance 2 did not present significant advances beyond the first game, it was still a "solid action title".[17] Despite this, AllGame called it a boring, unoriginal retread, and "more subsonic than supersonic".[3]

Legacy[edit]

Cream the Rabbit, who was introduced in Sonic Advance 2, would feature predominantly in future Sonic games.[23] A direct sequel titled Sonic Advance 3 was released in 2004; it is the final entry in the Sonic Advance trilogy.[24]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sonic Advance 2 (ソニックアドバンス2, Sonikku Adobansu Tsū)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Craig James (March 14, 2003). "Sonic Advance 2". IGN. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Sonic Advance 2 review". 1UP.com. October 13, 2005. Archived from the original on 8 May 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Scott Alan Marriott. "Sonic Advance 2". Allgame. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  4. ^ Sonic Team (2003). Sonic Advance 2 Instruction Booklet. THQ. p. 2. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Frank Provo (April 7, 2003). "Sonic Advance 2 Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  6. ^ "THQ and SEGA Announce Sonic Advance 2 for Game Boy Advance". THQ. Yahoo! Finance. January 30, 2003. Archived from the original on April 10, 2003. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  7. ^ Tom Bramwell (April 4, 2003). "Sonic Advance 2 Review". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on February 15, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  8. ^ Mylonas, Eric (2003). Sonic Advance 2 (Prima's Official Strategy Guide). Prima Games. ISBN 978-0761540083. 
  9. ^ Sega Europe (30 January 2004). "Yuji Naka interview by Sega Europe (January 30, 2004)". Archived from the original on 2015-09-25. Retrieved 31 October 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Mike Sklens (September 20, 2002). "Brand new character in Sonic Advance 2". Nintendo World Report. Archived from the original on May 31, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ Dimps (December 19, 2002). Sonic Advance 2. Sega; THQ. Level/area: Credits. 
  12. ^ Harris, Craig (July 1, 2002). "Sonic Gets a Sequel". IGN. Archived from the original on 2016-03-24. Retrieved 31 October 2017. 
  13. ^ a b c d e Kosmina, Ben. "Sonic Advance 2 Review". Nintendo World Report. Archived from the original on 2016-08-26. Retrieved 31 October 2017. 
  14. ^ "Sonic Advance 2". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 2016-03-14. Retrieved 31 October 2017. 
  15. ^ "ソニック アドバンス 2 | Wii U | 任天堂" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2016-03-24. Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  16. ^ Cardoso, Jose. "Sonic Advance 2 will join Japan's Wii U Virtual Console next week". GameZone. Retrieved 31 October 2017. 
  17. ^ a b c d "Sonic Advance 2". Metacritic. Archived from the original on December 5, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  18. ^ ゲームボーイアドバンス - ソニックアドバンス 2. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.121. 30 June 2006.
  19. ^ Christian Nutt (March 31, 2003). "Sonic Advance 2". GameSpy. Archived from the original on February 15, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Japanese total sales from 21 March 2001 to 30 December 2007". Famitsu. Archived from the original on July 10, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  21. ^ "The Century's Top 50 Handheld Games". Next Generation Magazine. August 2, 2006. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  22. ^ "ELSPA Sales Awards: Silver". Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  23. ^ Sterling, Jim. "The 10 worst Sonic friends". GamesRadar. Retrieved 31 October 2017. 
  24. ^ Craig, Harris. "Sonic Advance 3". IGN. Retrieved 31 October 2017. 

External links[edit]