Review by tgoldberg
I think Sonic Advance actually works better as an N-Gage game.
Sonic Advance was one of the GBA's loudest, proudest launch titles back in 2001. It was the first major 2D Sonic release in seven years, as well as the first one to be on a Nintendo platform. It was well received, garnering both good critic scores and high sales. Two years later it was released on the N-Gage, also as a launch game. This time, it was not nearly so successful. Critics criticized its matted widescreen display, framerate issues, and the fact that they had to play it on a screen smaller than a Walmart price tag. Gamers were indifferent, mainly because Sega had chosen to re-release an old game rather than create a new one.
If you ask me, though, SonicN is a great game. I don't care if the screen is small, since I always hold my handhelds very close to my face, and the framerate and aspect ratio don't really bother me either. In fact, and this is just speaking as a QD owner, I think the screen presents an advantage. The only GBA that can display an image this bright and sharp is the elusive SP-101. Plus, the clicky buttons and excellent d-pad make control a little smoother.
If you want to know about the actual game, it's a lot like any other 2D Sonic game. You run through each stage, collecting rings, shredding robots, and trying to get the chaos emeralds while you're at it. You can play as either Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, or Amy, each with their own advantages. Sonic can do some aerobic moves, Tails can fly, Knuckles can punch, glide, and climb, and Amy can use her hammer to do almost anything. The only notable difference between this and previous games is the way you get emeralds. Rather than collecting 50 rings at some point or jumping into secret rings scattered throughout the stage, you must find a single red spring hidden in each zone. Collect all six emeralds, and you can play the final zone and see the true ending.
Basically, it's the exact same game as the GBA version. The only difference here is that it actually seems to work better as a cell phone game. Like Pac-Man, I would rather be able to jump in and out of it instantly than have to go through a process to play it. All these things I've mentioned are why I've actually given this a higher score than the GBA version. If you are tasteful enough to own an N-Gage, SonicN is definitely worth picking up, especially considering its low price point.
Product Release: SonicN (US, 10/06/03)
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