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October 2, 2012
From the creators of Street Fighter and the makers of Street Fighter 4 and Street Fighter X Tekken comes...Sonic Advance! Sonic makes his debut on the Game Boy Advance (though this is not Dimps's first Sonic project--that would be Sonic Pocket Adventure for the Neo-Geo Pocket Color), and you will be watching this through the Game Boy Player. Anyone remember that? This means, of course, that this is being played through a Gamecube, as you can't connect a Game Boy Player through a Wii.
During the era of Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2, fan outcry for a classic-feeling 2-D sidescrolling Sonic game was already strong. SEGA heard these fans and had Dimps make Sonic Advance, which was far more ambitious than Sonic Pocket Adventure and definitely on a more popular system. When I first played Sonic Advance, it felt very much like Sonic 2's 16-bit version. The Sonic fandom being what it is, Sonic Advance never really caught on and the fans continued to complain about a lack of existence of a 2-D sidescrolling Sonic, though this game did still manage to sell over a million copies. (This is why Sonic 4 was so big among the gaming landscape: Not a lot remember the Sonic Advance or Sonic Rush games, and many mistakenly thought Sonic 4 was the first pure sidescroller since the 16-bit days.)
The story here is about as simple as it gets: Dr. Eggman wants to conquer the world, and it's up to Sonic to gather the Chaos Emeralds and make scrap of his machines once again. Since this is much further along in the history of Sonic, however, the gameplay itself is considerably more complicated than in Sonic 2 (or arguably Sonic Adventure, which this game borrows heavily from). You still have the running, end-of-stage signposts, Eggman machines for enemies and bosses, Spin Attacks, and Spin Dashes, the classic Monitor scheme, and character-specific abilities, but added are grind rails, Magnetic Shields, and Amy Rose as a playable character, all of which were taken from Sonic Adventure. Each of the playable characters also has a whole sheet of moves, though except with Amy, you won't be using most of them (more on that when I get to Amy gameplay). I suppose this is a remnant of Dimps's roots of SNK and Capcom's fighting game divisions.
Since there are four playable characters to use, I'll be using different characters for different stages:
Neo Green Hill Zone - Sonic
Secret Base Zone - Tails
Casino Paradise Zone - Knuckles
Ice Mountain Zone - Amy
Angel Island Zone - Tails
Egg Rocket Zone/Cosmic Angel Zone - Amy
X Zone - Knuckles
Moon Zone - Sonic (Super)
By the way, you access Special Stages by locating a giant red spring. There are seven of them scattered throughout the game. Whenever I reach a stage that has one of these springs, I'll go to the spring and clear the Special Stage. The Sonic Advance games are kind of infamous for having unusually difficult conditions to reach these Special Stages, so I might as well show how to get to these springs.
Also, while the footage for Sonic Advance is pretty much finalized as of when I write this descripion, the footage for the other two is not. I'll be open for suggestions on who to use in which Zone for Sonic Advance 2 (the lineup is Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Cream, and Amy) and Sonic Advance 3 (same lineup, but you now choose two characters to use together). However, I'll always pick in such a way that each character gets at least one Zone. If you need more information, the Zones in Sonic Advance 2 are Leaf Forest, Hot Crater, Music Plant, Ice Paradise, Sky Canyon, Techno Base, Egg Utopia, XX (boss rush), and True Area 53 (Super Sonic boss fight). The Zones in Sonic Advance 3 are Route 99, Sunset Hill, Ocean Base, Toy Kingdom, Twinkle Snow, Cyber Track, Chaos Angel, Altar Emerald (final normal boss fight), and Nonaggression (Super Sonic boss fight).
With that out of the way, we'll begin this game with Neo Green Hill Zone in our next video.