Sega and Nintendo had been rivals, but Sonic was finally coming to Nintendo hardware with the debut of Sonic Advance for the Game Boy Advance, which was released alongside Sonic Adventure 2 Battle on the GameCube.
If you were a hardcore Sega fan up until the release of Sonic Advance, you might have felt conflicted about this release.
But there’s a good chance your ambivalent feelings disappeared when you realized how awesome this game is.
After radical changes in the Sonic formula with the Sonic Adventure series, the blue hedgehog was finally returning to the realm of two dimensions, where he was arguably at his best.
Even though it had been eight long years since a full-fledged 2D sonic game was released, the development team knew the Sega Genesis Sonic games were great, which is why they replicated Genesis Sonic’s physics engine for Sonic Advance.
Sonic Advance had everything that was beloved about the original Genesis games, so it was destined to be a great game right off the bat.
The levels in Sonic Advance were also inspired by the classic games, even if they didn’t seen as fun and diverse as the classics.
But this GBA reboot is more than just a classic-style game — it merged the gameplay of the classic games with modern features and designs.
In Sonic Advance, you can play as four characters; Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy. Each character’s design is based off their Sonic Adventure look. Instead of a shorter, stout Sonic, the GBA series features the lankier modern design.
If you’re a retro purist, you might be a bit apprehensive about modern Sonic’s design in a 2D game, but the character designs actually work well with the overall art direction of the game.
The developers also added a few new tricks. For example, you could know do a small dash forward in the air.
And let’s not forget the Tiny Chao Garden minigame! The rings that you obtain throughout the game can be used to buy treats for your Chao in the Tiny Chao Garden. You could also link up to a Sonic Adventure game on the GameCube to transfer your Chao.
Overall, Sonic Advance is the perfect mixture between the classic and modern games, and it’s still one of the best 2D games in the franchise.