The first SONIC ADVANCE released a little over a year ago and it was a key point in the history of video gaming because it was the first time Sega's mascot appeared on a Nintendo system. The game was met with huge success, so a sequel to the game was inevitable. So here we are, about a year later and SONIC ADVANCE 2 has just hit store shelves and looks to capitalize on the popularity of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Once again (as in all SONIC games), Dr. Robotnik (or Eggman, as it seems he is called as of late) is at his worst and it is up to Sonic, Knuckles and Tails, along with their new friend Cream the Bunny, to stop them by racing through more than a dozen levels.
Upon first turning the game on, players may feel a bit cheated by the graphics. After all, the engine has only been tweaked a bit from the previous title, and some gamers may feel that this is a rehash of a game with new levels. But, honestly, that would be wrong to think as the game is much faster now and the colors in the levels are more vibrant than before. Also, the character animations are more prevalent giving the game more of a classic touch from the days of the Genesis.
While the game plays like nearly any other side-scrolling SONIC game out there, the biggest difference between this game and its predecessor is the level design. The levels are huge now. While they were pretty big before, they were basically straight forward. Not anymore. You'll be going back and forth on different tracks, doing your best to dodge the dastardly objects Eggman has put out to stop you. And a lot of those annoying traps have been done away with. You know the ones I'm talking about - the ones that would be at the bottom of a jump that you were coming off of, going at super speed. There was no possible way for you to avoid them in the previous game, but thankfully they aren't placed as such in the sequel.
But for once, while the game is still about the speed and fun that SONIC games have always been about, SONIC ADVANCE 2 promotes exploration a bit more. While you can breeze through the game in a little over an hour or two, you would miss most of what makes the game great. There are now seven special Rings in each level, and you have to find all of them to be able to get to the bonus round to try to collect a chaos emerald. Of course, finding all of these rings while you're blazing through the level is a little tough, so you'll have to be on the lookout for them.
And of course, there is an added replay value to the game with the different multiplayer modes added, that now support up to four players.
SONIC ADVANCE 2 is a title worth of the SONIC name. Most of the problems that were in the previous game, as few as they were, have been removed and the game plays better than ever.