I'm really feeling it!
I'm really feeling it!
Illustration for article titled TAY! Weekend!!! Whatcha Playing?

Sonic Advancing

Happy Weekend TAY!

I hope everyone continues to remain healthy and safe.

My family are still holed up inside but now that school is back in session (online) for the kid, life has somewhat normalized for us.

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Winter also came back for an encore last week and we often have cold and snowy Aprils...staying inside is pretty normal for us this time of year.

Sonic Advance
Sonic Advance
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My kid and I started (and finished) Sonic Advance last week which I have purchased twice. Once for the Game Boy Advance and then again for the Nokia N-Gage...yes, I had an N-Gage (two in fact) and yes...I liked it a lot.

I never actually played either version of Sonic Advance (or SonicN as it was called on the N-Gage), but I always meant to go back and play them as they are well regarded for portable Sonic games.

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  Sonic Advance
Sonic Advance

Sonic Advance is surprisingly fun and works quite well for a Game Boy Advance title. It is a little sluggish compared to Sega’s original 16-bit masterpieces but as a unique (and portable) Sonic game from 2002, Sonic Advance is an impressive platform experience.

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Sonic Advance 2
Sonic Advance 2

Unfortunately, Sonic Advance 2 isn’t as much fun.

The dev (Dimps, who went on to make a good number of Sonic games) improved the physics and speed of their Sonic engine used for the first Advance title. Along with better animation for Sonic himself, Dimps ended up with a sequel that controls a lot more like its Genesis counterparts.

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Sonic Advance 2
Sonic Advance 2

However, Sonic Advance 2 has similar game design issues that were also found in the Sonic sections of Sonic Adventure 2.

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Lots of throwing you around on rails, bouncing off multiple springs, and shooting you through giant looping tubes...all without much input from the player. Sure it looks cool, but it just isn’t as fun to watch a Sonic game when you should be playing it.

Sonic Advance 2
Sonic Advance 2
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Also, Sonic Advance 2 is pretty mean-spirited. After bouncing you up several springs and through a looping tube, the game is likely to just hurl you into a badnik, one that you could never have seen or anticipated. It feels distinctly unsportsmanlike for a Sonic title. Sonic Advance 2 also has a boss with an insta-kill attack, even if you have rings, which is a cardinal Sonic-sin.

Sonic Advance 2
Sonic Advance 2
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It is a shame, mechanically Sonic Advance 2 is a much tighter controlling experience, pity it isn’t nearly as fun as the original.

My kid and I are going to have to take a break from Sonic before moving on to Sonic Advance 3. We are thinking of starting the Jak and Daxter Collection on the PS3 this weekend. My son has never played them and I don’t remember if I finished the third game on the PS2 or not. (frankly...my addled brain barely remembers the series at all).

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So, what are you playing this weekend?

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