|Sonic Advance 2|
Yuji Naka & Hiroshi Matsumoto (Producer)
Single player, multiplayer
Sonic Advance 2 (ソニックアドバンス 2 Sonikku Adobansu 2?) is a side-scrolling platform game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, developed by Dimps and published by THQ for the Game Boy Advance. The game was released in Japan on 19 December 2002, in North America on 9 March 2003 and in Europe on 18 March 2003. It is based on a modified version of Sonic Advance's game engine. It is also the game to introduce Cream the Rabbit.
Dr. Eggman is capturing all the furry forest animals and turning them into robot minions. He has also kidnapped Sonic's friend Tails and tricked Knuckles (again). As such, Sonic rushes off to stop Dr. Eggman, rescue his friends and collect the Chaos Emeralds once again.
|Sonic the Hedgehog- Sonic is the main hero of the game, and naturally the fastest of the bunch. At the get-go, he's your only choice, but you unlock other characters as you play as him. His B button move is the Skid Attack. His midair A button move is the Insta-Shield from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic Advance. Also, if an enemy is nearby, he will perform a homing attack.|
|Cream the Rabbit- A polite rabbit child who Sonic rescues at the end of the first zone. She resolves to save her mother from Eggman with her Chao friend, Cheese. Her B button move is her Chao attack, in which she'll send Cheese out to attack nearby enemies. Her A button midair move is flight, largely the same as Tails' ability, except she uses her large ears instead of her tail, and it only lasts 4 seconds instead of 8. Cream is unlocked when you finish Leaf Forest as Sonic.|
|Miles "Tails" Prower- Sonic's sidekick and best friend. His B button move is a tail swipe, and his midair A button move is his ability to fly for 8 seconds - continually flying will allow the player to gain altitude until Tails gets tired and falls back to the ground. Tails is unlocked by clearing Music Plant as Sonic.|
|Knuckles the Echidna, Sonic's rival and friend, His B button move is a double punch. His midair A button move is his signature glide, and gliding into solid walls once again allows Knuckles to climb the surface's available space. Knuckles becomes playable after getting through Sky Canyon with Sonic.|
|Amy Rose- Amy is unlocked in a different way than Cream, Tails or Knuckles. She is instead unlocked after the four other characters collect the seven Chaos Emeralds and complete the game. Unlike the first Sonic Advance, Amy is able to use the Spin Attack and Spin Dash.|
The zones in order are as follows:
- Leaf Forest is a hidden paradise of green grass and towering emerald green formations, complete with a small lake.
- Hot Crater is a bustling volcanic mine, with lava and machinery at every turn.
- Music Plant is a place where you can unlock the inner child in you. With gigantic xylophones and a "bouncy" carnival like feel, you are bound to want to spend a large amount of your time in this zone.
- Ice Paradise is a frozen city, filled with chilly caverns and icy Badniks.
- Sky Canyon is a floating island, similar to Angel Island, that is complete with crags, labyrinths, and windmills. In the first time around, you fight Knuckles as the boss.
- Techno Base is a gigantic computer-like area filled with neon lights and digital rails for you to grind on.
- Egg Utopia is a large Death Egg-like base floating about in the sky. It is similar to Egg Rocket/Cosmic Angel from the previous game.
- XX is the final stage for all characters except Sonic. All the bosses from throughout the game are fought once again, although easier to destroy. The last boss is a giant Eggman robot, similar to Sonic the Hedgehog 2, being the only non-side scrolling boss in-game.
- True Area 53 is a Doomsday Zone-type Super Sonic level, set in deep space.
The bosses are similar to the boss of Mushroom Hill Zone from Sonic & Knuckles in that they're constantly scrolling right, with the only exception being the background of the final boss in the XX Zone (they are all moving right, and the character sprites are moving). Rings appear quickly from the right side of the screen in mid-air groups of three, but are finite in their total amount. Each Boss is a new attachment to the Egg Mobile and are all driven by Dr. Eggman except for the Egg Saucer in Sky Canyon which is piloted by Knuckles if you play as Sonic. After you beat Knuckles once, Eggman pilots the Egg Saucer from there on no matter which character you select.
This time, instead of finding a relatively easy Special Spring, the player must track down the seven Special Rings in each act. This can be extremely difficult, as the rings can be found anywhere on the stage. To make matters worse, they must be found in one go, meaning that death will cause collections to disappear. In the Special Stage, the player moves in a full 3D space and collects rings while dodging the robot ZERO. The environment accessed depends on both the zone and character played at the time. The reward is a Chaos Emerald. Getting all seven as Sonic unlocks True Area 53, while with any character unlocks Tiny Chao Garden an repeating this with the other three characters unlocks Amy as a playable character.
Tiny Chao Garden
To unlock the Tiny Chao Garden, the player must collect the 7 Chaos Emeralds as any character. The Tiny Chao Garden is basically the same as it was in the original Sonic Advance, except the rock-paper-scissors game has been replaced by a Breakout-esque game where the player collects rings as Cheese, while Cream bounces him on a spring.
- This game introduces "Boost Mode", which is a new technique each character possesses where after running for a decent amount of time, they will shatter the sound barrier and run at incredibly fast speeds. It is marked by a line of the character's shadows trailing behind them. In this game each character enters boost mode at a different rate. Sonic enters boost mode the quickest, followed by Amy, then Tails, then Cream and lastly Knuckles. Additionally, unique to this game is a dash attack that can be performed while in Boost Mode. It allows them to plow though any enemies obstructing their way without losing speed. This technique is either utilized or modified in every subsequent main series handheld game.
- A number of Badniks in this game were taken from Sonic Adventure, most likely as a tie in with Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut which was set to be released the same year as this game.
- Cream's artwork from this game appears on a sign in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.
- Knuckles was tricked into fighting Sonic by Dr. Robotnik in this game, just like in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles and Sonic Adventure.
- Cream replaced Amy from Sonic Advance in this game in many ways. For instance, she is the only female in the main four, and she is present at the Sound Test screen, holding a tambourine.
- This is possibly the only 2D Sonic title where pressing Up does not make the camera scroll up. Instead, each character does what would normally be an idle animation. Part of Knuckles' animation shows him punching the air in front of him, and if a badnik runs into his fists, it will be destroyed, likely the reason why this strange feature was implemented.