Sonic Team and Sega brought Sonic the Hedgehog and friends back to the Game Boy Advance in 2002's Sonic Advance 2. The game builds on the play mechanics and visuals from Sonic Advance plus it adds new options, new levels, a new character, and a grand scope that puts the game on a level with the Sega Genesis game Sonic 3 and Knuckles.

The game begins like most every other Sonic game: Dr. Robotnik has stolen the Chaos Emeralds again, and although Sonic doesn't know what the mad doctor is up to, chances are it's nothing good. Furthermore, Knuckles the Echidna has been tricked by the scientist once again, leading to his capture. Tails goes off on his own to rescue him, but is also abducted. Adding to all the madness is a new character, Cream the Rabbit, whose mother was also kidnapped by Dr. Robotnik. Unfortunately she was also snatched away. With his allies held prisoner, Sonic sets off to rescue them and stop Dr. Robotnik from pulling off his latest evil plan... whatever it is.

Just like in Sonic Advance players can choose which character they want to control. The catch is that Sonic is the only character available at the start of the game. Cream, Tails, and Knuckles have all been kidnapped and are being held prisoner by various bosses. Defeating these bosses will free them, and once they are freed they are selectable for play. Amy Rose is hiding somewhere as well, and if you complete the game and get the best ending she just might become a playable character as well.

Each playable character is capable of pulling off the familiar spin dash and spin jump maneuvers plus they each have their own set of unique secondary attacks.

  • Sonic can perform a wicked sliding kick and flip as well as a secondary vertical boost and tornado attack.
  • Tails can fly for brief periods as well as slash the badniks with his twin tails.
  • Knuckles can glide, punch, and knock sense into baddies with a fierce uppercut.
  • Cream can fly for brief periods with her ears plus her companion Chao, Cheese, can zoom around the screen to attack badniks.
  • Amy Rose is armed with her mighty mallet which she can spin, swing, and smack.
Just as in past Sonic games there are a series of Chaos Emeralds for our heros to collect. The emeralds are hidden away in bonus rounds (that are familiar to the 3D rounds from Sonic CD) and entry to these rounds are accessed by collecting the seven special tokens in each level without being defeated. However, unlike past games each character must collect their own set of seven emeralds, making a total of 35(!) total Chaos Emeralds that must be collected to totally complete the game.

Sonic and friends will traverse the following zones on their quest. Each one is divided into two levels followed by a boss round.

  • Leaf Forest
  • Hot Crater
  • Music Plant
  • Ice Paradise
  • Sky Canyon
  • Techno Base
  • Egg Utopia
  • XX
  • True Area 53 (only accessible if Sonic has obtained all seven Chaos Emeralds and the other playable characters have finished the game)

As if all of this weren't enough, the game also includes a Time Attack mode where the goal is to finish each level as fast as possible. The game records your best three times for each character and once the game is completed a Boss Attack mode will open up, allowing you to try and defeat each boss in minimum time. Another goodie that opens up late in the game is the Tiny Chao Garden, a scaled-down version of the Chao Garden from Sonic Advance that can be connected to Sonic Adventure 2 Battle for more Chao fun.

Sonic Advance 2 was released in Japan in December 2002 and March 2003 in the USA and Europe. The game has a multi-language option allowing you to set the language to Japanese, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, making this game is friendly to importers.

Playing parts of the game