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Sonic Advance 2

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Quotation1 Dr. Eggman is up to his old tricks! Quotation2
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Sonic Advance 2 (ソニックアドバンス2 Sonikku Adobansu Tsu?) is a platforming game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, developed by Dimps for the Game Boy Advance in 2002. It was published by Sega in Japan, while THQ released the game in North America and Infogrames in PAL regions. The game is the sequel to Sonic Advance and is based on a modified version of said game's engine.

Sonic Advance 2 is more fast-paced compared to its predecessor, focusing more on linear, rapid gameplay with additional features, larger Zones and greater difficulty. The game also introduces Cream the Rabbit and her Chao friend, Cheese, who would become recurring characters in the series.

Plot

Sonic-Advance-2-Title-Screen

Title screen of Sonic Advance 2.

Taking place on an undefined island, Dr. Eggman has again begun kidnapping Animals and turning them into robots so he can build the Dr. Eggman Empire. This time however, he has kidnapped Tails and Knuckles too. Learning of his friends' kidnapping, Sonic rushes off to save them.[1] Along the way, Sonic saves a young rabbit named Cream and her Chao friend, Cheese, from Eggman after defeating his EggHammerTankII. Cream then joins Sonic on his adventure to find her missing mother, Vanilla.

Sonic soon rescues Tails from Eggman too, although Tails has no idea what Eggman is up to, and Tails joins Sonic on his mission. When Sonic finds Knuckles, the echidna has been tricked by Eggman into fighting Sonic. After being defeated and chided by Sonic, Knuckles comes with him to get back at Eggman. The heroes eventually track Eggman to his Egg Utopia space station, which they destroy, and Cream finds Vanilla in the aftermath, unharmed.

Sonic advance 2 ending artwork Sonic landing with Vanilla in his arms

Sonic brings Vanilla home.

If the player has not unlocked the final Zone for Sonic by then, he falls down to earth after destroying Egg Utopia, where he is greeted by his friends. If the player has however, the last story will unlocked. As Vanilla is by herself watching Flickies, she gets sucked into a cloaked mech piloted by Eggman, who then takes his mech into space. With Sonic and his allies arriving too late to save Vanilla, Cream begins crying, but Sonic transforms into Super Sonic and goes after Eggman. Destroying Eggman's mech, Super Sonic grabs the Capsule containing Vanilla. During atmospheric reentry though, the Capsule breaks apart, causing Sonic to revert back to normal. Sonic still catches Vanilla and lands safely though, and Cream shares a tearful reunion with her mother while Sonic is welcomed back by his friends. Amidst the celebration though, everyone notice Sonic is gone, having left for his next adventure.

Gameplay

Leaf-forest-profile

Sonic in Leaf Forest.

Sonic Advance 2 is a 2D side-scrolling platform game with five playable characters to choose from: Sonic the Hedgehog, Cream the Rabbit, Miles "Tails" Prower, Knuckles the Echidna and Amy Rose. Whereas Sonic is available from the beginning, the player can unlock Cream, Tails and Knuckles respectively by beating the game's first, third and fifth boss as Sonic in Single Player. Amy can be unlocked after completing the game and collecting all the Chaos Emeralds for each character. The basic goal in Single Player is to reach the end of each Act of a Zone (a level in the game) in ten minutes. After clearing the Acts, the player will face a boss, who is constantly moving forward, forcing the player to chase it. Each boss takes eight hits (six in Easy Mode) to defeat. After the third/fourth hit, the boss intensifies its assault. Like Sonic Advance, the game automatic saves the specific character's process, including the Chaos Emeralds each character has collected.

Advance2BoostCream

Cream in Boost Mode.

All characters use the basic Spin Jump, Spin Attack and Spin Dash maneuvers (only Amy cannot use the Spin Dash), as well as melee moves and special movement abilities unique to them each. Curiously, the characters' standard Look Up control has been replaced with a simple "appeal" animation. In addition, the characters' movesets have been expanded on from Sonic Advance. The Mid-Air Trick Actions enables the characters, when flung into midair, to change their directions for greater heights, attacking foes or to distance their leaps. The Boost Mode enables the characters to run at maximum speed and perform high-speed momentum-keeping attacks.

In Sonic Advance 2, many items from Sonic Advance reappears. The most prominent ones are the Rings which are found around the Zones. Collecting them protect the characters from taking damage, grant extra lives by collecting 100 of them, and reward with points in the end-of-Act score tally. Also, the more Rings the character has, the easier it will be to accelerate. When characters takes damage, they will drop all the Rings they carry, though some can be recollected before they disappear. Taking damage without any Rings will cost the player a try. A character will also lose a life if they spend too long underwater without replenishing their air supply (air underwater lasts for 18 seconds), fall into a bottomless pit, or run out of time. Passing Checkpoints saves the player's progress and they return to the latest one after losing a try. However, losing all lives gives a Game Over. Aside from Rings, Sonic Advance 2 also features Item Boxes that carry the same power-ups as in Sonic Advance.

Sonic Advance 2 22

Knuckles grinding in Music Plant.

The level design in Sonic Advance 2 is more extended and linear to enable fast-paced gameplay, with multiple pathways to choose from. Zones like Music Plant and Techno Base have ascetic varieties of recurring objects and gimmicks to fit their scenery. The game also debuts Launchers and Dash Circles from Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 on the handheld, and Grind Rails are more integrated into the Zones.

Beside the game's main goal, the player can also collect the seven Chaos Emeralds to unlock bonus features. Each Act has seven Special Rings scattered around them. Collecting them all within a single life and clearing the Act will take the players to the Special Stage, where they can get an Emerald. Collecting all seven Emeralds for Sonic will help unlock the final Zone and the game's good ending.

Sonic-Advance-2-Goal-Bar

The goal of Sonic Advance 2. Each sector rewards different points depending on where the player stops.

The Acts' goals are marked by a pair bars and three colored sectors of limited length behind them. The player gets 300-800 points based on how fast they pass the threshold. Behind it, the player can brake at any of the colored sectors to earn extra points by pressing in the opposite direction on Controlpadds; yellow sector grants 800 points, blue 500 points and red 100 points. If the character moves too slow when passing the threshold or decelerates without trying to stop, they will not receive points from the sectors. This also applies if the player gets all seven Special Rings.

Controls

Button formation Action
Controlpadds left and right Walking/Running
Controlpadds up Appeal animation
Controlpadds down Crouch down
START button Pauses the game

Character movesets

Sonic the Hedgehog
26
Cream the Rabbit
27
Miles "Tails" Prower
39
Knuckles the Echidna
40
Amy Rose
29
GameboyA: Jump
Controlpadds left/right + down: Spin
Controlpadds down + GameboyA: Spin Dash Controlpadds down + GameboyA:
Amy Dash
GameboyA x2: Double Spin Attack
GameboyA x2: Homing Attack
(Near an enemy)
Tapping GameboyA:
Flying
Tapping GameboyA:
Propeller Flying
GameboyA + GameboyA down: Mid-Air Glide GameboyA x2:
Super Hammer Attack
GameboyB: Skid Attack
GameboyA + GameboyB: Bound
GameboyB: Chao Attack
GameboyA + GameboyB:
Midair Chao Attack
GameboyB: Tail Attack Controlpadds up & down:
Wall Climb
Controlpadds down + GameboyB x2: Hammer Attack
GameboyA + Controlpadds tap left/right x2: Jump Dash GameboyA + Controlpadds down + GameboyB: Chao Rolling Attack N/A GameboyB: Double Punch
GameboyA + GameboyB:
Drill Claw
GameboyA + GameboyB: Mid-Air Hammer Swirl
GameboyB while in Boost Mode:
Super Skid
GameboyB while in Boost Mode:
Step Attack
GameboyB while in Boost Mode:
Super Tail Swipe
GameboyB while in Boost Mode:
Spiral Attack
GameboyB while in Boost Mode:
Head Sliding

Mid-Air Trick Actions

Button combination Sonic the Hedgehog Cream the Rabbit Miles "Tails" Prower Knuckles the Echidna Amy Rose
R Back Star Milky Turn Back Rotor Back Attack Back Star
R + Controlpadds up Hop Jump Petit Step Happy Spring Spiral Upper Hop Jump
R + Controlpadds left/right Humming Top Sweet Roll Window Jump Burning Straight Window Jump
R + Controlpadds down Bound Soft Bomber Propeller descent Drill Claw midair Spin Hammer

Other moves

  • Grinding: A technique where any of the characters automatically slide down a Grind Rail they stand on. The player has to land on the rail's starting point to grind on it and jump to get off it.
  • Boost Mode: A technique that enables the characters to run at maximum speed and perform high-speed momentum-keeping attacks. The player has to either run at top speed for a few seconds or use gimmicks like the Dash Panel or horizontal Springs to enter the Boost Mode.

Objects

Items

* Ring Bonuses with question marks grant randomly 1, 5, 10, 30, or 50 Rings.

Gimmicks and obstacles

Characters

Playable characters

Non-playable characters

Animals

Enemies

Bosses

Egghammer2

EggHammerTankII.

Zones

76558-sonic-advance-2-game-boy-advance-screenshot-world-maps

First half of the World Map depicting the Zones.

Sonic Advance 2 consists of nine Zones, most of which are split into two Acts. Any Act can be played or replayed from the "Select a Zone" screen. After the last Act, the player faces a boss in a separated Act. To enter the ninth Zone, True Area 53, the player must have cleared the game with Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Cream and have collected all seven Chaos Emeralds for Sonic. The Zones in their order are:

  1. Leaf Forest
  2. Hot Crater
  3. Music Plant
  4. Ice Paradise
  5. Sky Canyon
  6. Techno Base
  7. Egg Utopia
  8. XX
  9. True Area 53

Special Stages

Special Stage Advance 2

Sonic in a Special Stage.

Special Stages are extra levels where the players can collect the Chaos Emeralds. To access them, the player has to collect all seven Special Rings from an Act within a single try and then clear said Act.

In the Special Stage, the player moves around on a flat 3D arena filled with Rings and various gimmicks. Within here, the player's movement controls are switched to a 3D perspective and they can only jump. The objective is to obtain 300 Rings within two minutes and thereby earn a Chaos Emerald. Collecting Rings fast enough will create combos that multiply their value. Pursing the players is Guard Robo who will subtract Rings from them should it catch their character.

Unlike Sonic Advance, the Chaos Emeralds earned from the Special Stages are not shared between the characters, meaning each character has to collect their own seven Emeralds.

Other modes

Multiplayer

Multiplayer is the multiplayer component of Sonic Advance 2, allowing multiplayer gaming for four players in total. Like in Sonic Advance, the same playable character cannot be used by more than one player. To play, players has to connect up to four GBA systems with 1-4 Sonic Advance Game Paks using one or more Game Boy Advance Game Link Cables. From Multiplayer, the player can choose between two VS Modes. When selecting "Multi Game Pak Mode," use 2-4 Game Paks (one for each player in necessary). When selecting "Single Game Pak Mode," 1-4 Game Paks can be used.

Multi-Game Pak Mode

In Multi-Game Pak Mode, the goal is to reach the goal in the regular game Zones within ten minutes. The first player to reach the goal is the winner. Here, only the Zones that have been cleared by at least one player will be displayed.

Each player's location is marked for everyone by colored cursors. The progress of each player in relation to the goal are represented by the Player Icons at the bottom of the screen. If a player loses a try along the way, they must start from the beginning of the Act or from the last Checkpoint they reached. During 2 player races, the game ends when the first player reaches the goal. In races with three or more players, after the first player reaches the goal, the other players have sixty seconds to complete the Act or they will be disqualified from the race.

Along with traditional Ring Bonus, Maximum Speed and Invincibility items, Multi-Game Pak Mode also includes exclusive Item Box power-ups for affecting the opponents which include Confusion, Warp, Attack and Brake.

Single-Game Pak Mode

In Single-Game Pak Mode, the goal is to collect as many Rings as possible in the time allowed. The player with the most Rings at the end of the game wins. Here, characters are determined by which player is on the system. Player 1: Sonic, Player 2: Cream, Player 3: Tails, and Player 4: Knuckles. Also, the controls for all players are the same as for Sonic (which include the Spin Jump, Spin Attack and Spin Dash).

This mode takes place within a separate Leaf Forest Act, where each player's location is marked for everyone by colored cursors. The course is circular in design and has no start or goal posts, making the players end up in the same place no matter which direction they head in. At the start of the game, the timer begins counting down, and the players start collecting Rings. Players can attack their opponents to scatter ten of their Rings, which can then be stolen. The players can also break Item Boxes with question marks on them to get Ring Bonuses or Mosaics.

Time Attack

Time Attack allows players to replay previously cleared Zones and bosses with the goal of getting the fastest record possible. While Zones can be selected anytime, bosses can first be selected after clearing the Final Zone with three playable characters who have each collected the seven Chaos Emeralds. Also, only the characters available and the Zones that have been previously cleared in Single Player can be selected. The three best times are recorded in the game's data.

Options

Options is the settings menu for Sonic Advance 2 which holds the following options:

  • Player Data: Enter the name to be used in records or view the results of multiplayer mode games. Names can have up to six letters. The player can also look up records from Time Attack by choosing Time Record and top scores from Multiplayer modes from VS Record. Also, the name setting becomes the second option when the player starts the game for the first time.
  • Level: Changes the difficulty level of the game. There are two levels, "Normal" and "Easy" (Easy mode decreases the hitting points of bosses from eight to six).
  • Time Up: Select whether or not running out of time causes characters to lose a try.
  • Language: Change the language of the messages to be displayed between "English" and "Japanese." In Japanese version though, the Japanese language is the only option, while on PAL releases "French," "Spanish," and "German" are added to the option. Also, the language setting becomes the first option when the player starts the game for the first time.
  • Button Config: Change the functions of GameboyA and GameboyB. "Normal" is the default functions, and "Reversed" switches the function.
  • Sound Test: Listen to the various music tracks and sound effects used in the game. This mode is unlocked by clearing the Final Zone with two playable characters who have each collected the seven Chaos Emeralds. To unlock Sound Test tracks 58-63, the player must clear the Extra Zone.
  • Delete Game Data: Delete all game data (Note: The Tiny Chao Garden cannot be deleted).

Tiny Chao Garden

Main article: Tiny Chao Garden
Chao Bounce

Chao Bounce, a mini-game in the Tiny Chao Garden.

Tiny Chao Garden is a simulation minigame where players can raise Chao. While similar to the Chao Garden, this mode comes with several limitations: Chao do not age, can only interact with a finite number of items, and there can never be more than one Chao. Players can link the Tiny Chao Garden to the Chao Gardens in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut and Sonic Adventure 2: Battle to transfer Chao or items from the Tiny Chao Garden and to participate in races.

The Tiny Chao Garden is unlocked by clearing the Final Zone with one playable characters who has collected the seven Chaos Emeralds. The Tiny Chao Garden work much like in Sonic Advance, except that the Janken mini-game has been replaced by Chao Bounce. The revision of the Tiny Chao Garden in Sonic Advance 2 is Version 2, giving Chao the ability to Swim and Fly if they have high enough stats, and will emit Z's when sleeping.

Development

Sonic Advance 2 was first revealed at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2002, which also introduced the new character, Cream the Rabbit, who was available for play in-game.[2] According to Sega, Cream was designed as a playable character for beginner players.[3]

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 85.65%[4]
Metacritic 83/100[5]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com 8.5/10[6]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 85/100[5]
Eurogamer 9/10[7]
Famitsu 32/40[8]
Game Informer 75/100[5]
GameSpot 8.2/10[9]
GameSpy 79/100[5][10]
IGN 9/10[11]
Nintendo Power 82/100[5]

Sonic Advance 2 received generally positive reviews from critics during its release with Metacritic giving it an 83 out of 100 based on 23 reviews and GameRankings giving it 85.65% based on 37 reviews.[5][4] Craig Harris of IGN praised the game for its vibrant graphics, character animations, replay value and fun multiplayer challenges, while stating the only complain being the difficulty of finding Special Rings.[11] 1UP.com praised visuals, stages and music, while also commented the game as "probably one of the most challenging Sonic games ever due to both the Chaos Emeralds requirements and the now active boss battles" and concluding the review by calling the game an "outstanding addition to the Sonic library and is definitely up there as one of my favorites alongside Sonic 3&Knuckles and Sonic CD."[6]

Frank Provo of Gamespot calls Sonic Advance 2 "the toughest 2D Sonic game ever made" due to the boss battles and collecting Special Rings being difficult, but states that "even though most of the enhancements in Sonic Advance 2 make the game more difficult, they also make it much more interesting than previous Sonic games."[9] Tom Bramwell of Eurogamer praised Cream as a playable character and called Cheese "bloody useful in boss battles, without being advantageous enough to render the game too easy", as well as stating the game being "better and more original than 99 per cent of platformers on the GBA, and it's probably the best 2D Sonic since the days of 16-bit."[7]

Scott Alan Marriott of AllGame praised the game for its peppy sound, fast action, and crisp, colorful graphics, while noting that "what it doesn't have is originality or depth". He also criticized that "the number of blind jumps in the last three acts means players have to go through a trial-and-error approach to complete them."[12] Christian Nutt of GameSpy calls the game "a solid adventure with some niggling flaws", critizing the game's poor pacing and irritating boss battles.[10]

Since the release, Sonic Advance 2 sold approximately 175,000 copies in Japan,[13] 740,000 copies in the United States,[14] and 100,000 copies in the United Kingdom,[15] for a total of approximately 1,015,000 units sold.

Re-releases

On 24 February 2016, Sonic Advance 2 was re-released on the Wii U's Virtual Console in Japan at the price of ¥702.[16]

Trivia

  • This is one of the few 2D games in the Sonic the Hedgehog series not to have a water-themed Zone. Only few parts in Leaf Forest have small water sections and none of them has Air Bubbles. Characters like Tails and Cream cannot perform any movement abilities by tapping GameboyA button underwater, making it one of only games where Tails cannot swim.
  • This game marks the fifth game in the Sonic series, where Knuckles has been tricked into fighting Sonic by Eggman.
  • Cream replaced Amy from Sonic Advance in this game in many ways. For instance, she is the only female of the main four, and she is present at the Sound Test screen, holding a tambourine.
  • As the player progresses further in the Single Player mode, the music track in "Select a Zone" screen changes from regular track into two different variations.
  • This is the only 2D "Sonic" title where pressing up on Controlpadds does not make the camera scroll up. Also, part of Knuckles' appeal animation includes him punching the air in front of him; doing this close to a Badnik can in fact destroy it.
  • Almost all the bosses in game are reminiscent of the Mushroom Hill Zone boss fight from Sonic & Knuckles, where the player constantly has to keep up with the boss.

Videos

Sonic Advance 2 - Game Boy Advance - Retro Commercial - Trailer (2003 Sega of Japan)01:03

Sonic Advance 2 - Game Boy Advance - Retro Commercial - Trailer (2003 Sega of Japan)

Sonic Advance 2 Trailer from Sonic Mega Collection01:04

Sonic Advance 2 Trailer from Sonic Mega Collection

Sonic Advance 2 Japan Commercial00:16

Sonic Advance 2 Japan Commercial


References

  1. Sonic Advance 2 (Game Boy Advance) North American instruction manual pg. 2.
  2. Sklens, Mike (20 September, 2002). Brand new character in Sonic Advance 2. Nintendo World Report. Retrieved on 3 January 2016.
  3. ソニック アドバンス2 (Japanese). Sega of Japan. Archived from the original on 12 November 2005. Retrieved on 3 January 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sonic Advance 2. GameRankings. Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Sonic Advance 2. Metacritic. Retrieved on 4 January 2015.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sonic Advance 2 review. 1UP.com (13 October 2005). Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Bramwell, Tom (14 March 2003). "Sonic Advance 2". Eurogamer. Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  8. 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.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Provo, Frank (7 April 2003). Sonic Advance 2 Review. Gamespot. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Nut, Christian (11 March 2003). Sonic Advance 2 (GBA). GameSpy. Archived from the original on 5 Febuary 2005. Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Harris, Craig (14 March 2003). "Sonic Advance 2". IGN. Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  12. Marriott, Scott Alan (7 April 2003). Sonic Advance 2. Gamespot. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  13. Japanese total sales from 21 March 2001 to 30 December 2007. Famitsu. Archived from the original on July 10, 2008. Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  14. The Century's Top 50 Handheld Games. Next Generation Magazine (2 August 2006). Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  15. ELSPA Sales Awards: Silver. Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved on 5 January 2016.
  16. Sonic Advance 2 (GBA) heading to the Wii U VC in Japan on Feb 24th. The Sonic Stadium (17 February 2016). Retrieved on 21 May 2016.

External links

Sonic Advance 2

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