Sonic Advance 2
One of the quickest game characters of all time makes his return on the Game Boy Advance. Sonic Advance 2 sees the return of Sonic and his friends for more high speed, side scrolling action. It's still the same old routine, collect the rings, avoid the spikes and of course you have to exact your revenge on Dr. Eggman. Let's take a look and see how it shapes up.
The story behind the game is, well, as flimsy and as unoriginal as ever. Dr Eggman returns and plans to build a new evil empire and you can guess who is the only character who can stop him. It doesn't matter though as a good plot isn't required to enjoy a Sonic game. The game consists of 7 zones, each of which consist of two acts (levels) and a Boss fight. After completing the 7th zone you'll be taken to the Final Zone which has only one act. The levels are all typical Sonic and very enjoyable. The only problem is that you breeze through them in no time with only the Boss fights offering any kind of challenge.
Like Sonic Advance, playing through Sonic Advance 2 will only take a few short hours. If that was all there was to it, it would be a very poor effort indeed but thankfully there are incentives to play through time and time again with different characters. There are five playable characters in all and you get different bonuses for completing the game with each one. Completing the game with the first character will unlock the Tiny Chao Garden . Completing the game with the second character will unlock the sound test function, which is useless for deaf gamers. The third time you complete the game you'll gain access to the Boss Levels and the fourth time you'll be able to unlock Amy Rose as a playable character.
The Tiny Chao Garden mode allows you to nurture your little Chaos. You can import and export your Chaos to Sonic Adventure 2: Battle if you like. The Tiny Chao Garden also comes with two mini-games. Chao Super High-Jump let's you control Cream as she tries to bounce her Chao off the spring carriage in order to collect the rings. The memory game is where you have to turn over a matching pair of cards and you have to remember what card is where. These games are simple and younger gamers will definitely appreciate them more than older ones, like me.
It's not just about single player action as the game comes with a single and multi-game pak multiplayer action to enable you to enjoy the Sonic experience with friends. The multi-game pak mode allows you to race through the game levels to see who can do it the quickest. The single-game pak multiplayer mode sees you trying to collect the most rings in the time allowed. In fairness the multi-game pak mode is more entertaining but at least you can play a game with your friends/relatives even if they don't own the game.
Unbelievably Sonic Advance 2 looks even better than Sonic Advance. The graphics and animations have been wonderfully improved and the whole thing looks fantastic. The speed of the game is also noticeably quicker this time. I don't recall ever playing a Sonic game that moved quite this quick. At times it feels like you've got little control over Sonic because his acceleration is so quick. Sonic fans will be impressed by the effort that has gone into the game and it's probably the best looking 2D Sonic game.
There are no problems for deaf gamers with Sonic Advance 2. You get some conversations between the levels but it's all in text and you get plenty of time to read it. The manual, whilst short, explains all you need to know with the minimum of fuss. All the actions for Sonic, Cream, Knuckles, Tails and Amy Rose are described in the manual, which is pleasing to see as a lot of games expect you to work it out for yourself.
Fans of the Sonic series will undoubtedly love this offering. It's good to see a single pak multiplayer mode as this gives you a more realistic chance of getting to play it. After all how many of you have brothers, sisters or friends who buy the same games at the same time as you? The single player game is a bit short for my liking but the Time Trial and Tiny Chao Garden (and the mini-games you can find there) add to the value of the game.
Game Rating: 8.0/10