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Sonic Advance

For: Mobile   Also on: Android

No need to feel blue

Product: Sonic Advance | Developer: Dimps | Publisher: Gameloft | Format: Mobile | Genre: Platform | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | Version: Europe
 
Sonic Advance Mobile, thumbnail 1
Thanks to recent successes such as Sonic The Hedgehog 4, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, and, in demo form at least, the forthcoming Sonic Generations, Sega's much maligned mascot is enjoying something of a renaissance at the moment.

So much so that it's not at all surprising to see Sonic Advance making a reappearance in an attempt to join the party.

Indeed, the only remotely shocking aspect of the game's resurrection on mobile is that it's now almost ten years since the offshoot first made a splash on Game Boy Advance.

Jump for joy

It's to Gameloft's great credit that the differences are hard to spot on first glance.

Though by no means in the original run's league when it comes to level design, Sonic Advance represents an honourable chapter in the series' history.

Controls are mapped to the keypad, '2' offering a standard jump, while holding down '6' and '4' sends Sonic running right and left respectively.

The levels themselves fit nicely on the handset's screen (this mobile version offering a slightly zoomed-out view compared to that of the original Game Boy Advance release) and, as a result, there's no falling to your death unexpected purely because you can't see what's coming up ahead.

Short and sweet?

For newcomers, the level of variety on offer in some of Sonic Advance's zones – the Secret Base and Casino Paradise stages in particular – offer as much depth and scale as Sonic The Hedgehog 4 recently delivered on iPhone.

In truth, it's one of the few post-Sonic releases in the last 15 or so years where simply running rightwards at pace (with the occasional jump thrown in for good measure) won't get you very far.

The only areas where the game is in danger fallling down a touch are in the slightly garish soundtrack and the fact that not all seven locations featured in the original release have made the cut.

No doubt owing to filesize restraints, Gameloft has chosen to cherrypick just four areas (Neo Green Hill, Secret Base, Angel Island, and Casino Paradise) spread across eight different stages.

This will be frustrating for hardcore fans, but for the rest of us it's an acceptable sacrifice.

And that's because Gameloft has been so thorough in its efforts in all other areas. Sonic Advance could never accurately be described as the best release in the franchise's history, platformers matching the quality of this game on mobile are few and far between.
 
Sonic Advance
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 19 July 2011
Offering a cut-down take on the original release, Sonic Advance remains faithful to the Game Boy Advance version in all other areas and is worthy of praise in spades as a result
 
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