Too Fast for the Naked Eye, or This Tiny Screen - Let’s Play Sonic Advance

Sonic the Hedgehog? On a Nintendo? I don’t know if this is blasphemy or heresy but it’s certainly unusual.

Dr. Eggman has once again obtained the seven Chaos Emeralds and, undeterred from his previous failures in console-based games, is attempting to create Robotnikland. But it also wouldn’t be one of Eggman’s plans if Sonic the Hedgehog didn’t rush in to ruin it. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy have set out to stop Eggman, and that’s about all there is to the story. Kinda simple considering the Adventure games just happened.

Sonic the Hedgehog is no stranger to handheld games, but Sonic Advance is a first for the series in a couple of other ways. For one, it’s the first Sonic game on a Nintendo console, (alongside Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, which was released on the same day in Japan and about a week later in the US.) It was also the first game made by Dimps, which would go on to make many of the other handheld Sonic games amongst other things. And for their first game, it’s mostly solid. Sonic Advance boasts some great visuals and music, and captures a decent amount of the level design style of the Genesis games. That said, the smaller and darker screen of the GBA was a big detriment, and quite of the few level design choices, especially ones closer to the end of the game, are punctuated in the worst way by the lack of screen real estate. While playing on emulator with some modern conveniences will at least let you play with plenty of light, nothing can stop the cheap tricks that give little time to react. It’s still a mostly good game, it was just designed partly out of spite.

Spoiler policy is… uh… well there’s really not much plot to spoil, but the area themes are pretty good so I guess don’t bring them up too early? Anything from Sonic 1-3&K is fair game to discuss in full, of course.

Episode List

Part 1: New Green Hill Zone XL

Part 2: Base Instinct

Part 3: Casi-No

Part 4: Ice Clamber

Part 5: Guardian’s Angel Island

Part 6: Rocket Eggman

Part 7: Eggman on the Moon

Part 2: Base Instinct

Tails finds Secret Base Zone!

… Well, I guess he is the genius of the group, but still. Normally it takes a little longer to find Eggman’s base. Maybe this is just one of those communal secret bases. It’s fair use, you just gotta pay a deposit in case an anthropomorphic animal comes in and wrecks the place.

Part 3: Casi-No

After getting routed from Secret Base, Eggman has set up shop in a theme park! Which is called Casino Paradise, but it doesn’t actually contain any casinos. Either way, it’s Knuckles’s turn to smash some robots, and perhaps pick up a Chaos Emerald while he’s at it.

Part 4: Ice Clamber

Welcome to Ice Mountain! Sega may not have the Ice Climbers, but it does still have a girl with a hammer. Amy Rose plays different from the rest of the characters; instead of being Sonic with some kind of flying ability, her gameplay revolves around good timing with her hammer.

Part 5: Guardian’s Angel Island

Knuckles returns to take on his home turf, Angel Island. Being an island in the sky, this is a stage with many pits. And spikes. And robots. Really, you’re bound to run face-first into something in this one. And waiting at the end is a foe that’s a bit different than what we’ve been fighting so far…

Part 6: Rocket Eggman

As it turns out, Eggman’s plan all along was to launch a rocket for… reasons. I guess the man likes space bases as much as he does theme parks. Regardless, Sonic isn’t going to let Eggman get his way, so he and Tails are up for this final stage of the game! … The up is literal, as the rocket launches seconds after the stage starts. Rule of cool, and all.

Part 7: Eggman on the Moon

Sonic has trounced just about everything in Cosmic Angel, and all that remains is to defeat Eggman himself. But the doctor refuses to give up, and will throw every machine he can against his foe. Including some older ones that seem to be held together by duct tape.