Sonic Advance 3
|Sonic Advance 3|
|Series||Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer|
Sonic Advance 3 (ソニックアドバンス3 Sonikku Adobansu Surī ) is a 2004 platform game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, developed by Dimps, Sega and Sonic Team and published by THQ for the Game Boy Advance and the final installment of the Sonic Advance series. It was first released in North America on June 7, 2004, later in Japan on June 17, 2004 and then in Europe on June 18, 2004. The game uses elements from Sonic Advance and Sonic Advance 2, as well as allowing the player to choose an additional partner, who augments the player's actions. The Chao Garden mode from the previous Advance games has been removed, and the Chao Garden in this game serves to help the player view the Chaos Emeralds and chao they have collected.
Sometime before the events of the storyline, Dr. Eggman builds a robotic assistant based on and using parts from Emerl named Gemerl. Gemerl was designed to be a loyal, obedient copy of Emerl. As such, he can learn new attacks, and can meld himself seamlessly with any mechanical device. Eggman tears the Earth apart when an experiment using Chaos Control (a power that allows the user to control time and space) goes awry, and Sonic is separated from Knuckles, Amy, and Cream and is stranded with Tails. The two begin to search for their friends and the source of the trouble (which is the separation of the Chaos Emeralds). But like always, Eggman is making everything from doomsday devices to strange contraptions and is trying to vanquish Sonic once and for all.
Alternate Ending: (without all Chaos Emeralds) After defeating the final boss, Eggman and Gemerl are defeated and try to escape, with Eggman swearing revenge. The heroes, chase him down to the edge of the temple, knocking Eggman to a deadly situation. Gemerl stays and looks at the heroes, and shakes his head scornfully, then jumps off the edge to follow his master. Peace is finally restored to the world. Then the game ends with all the playable characters getting their photo taken by Omochao. (The end credits also leave a message to players to collect any remaining Chaos Emeralds)
True Ending: (with all 7 Chaos Emeralds) After defeating the final boss, Eggman and Gemerl are defeated and try to escape, with Eggman swearing revenge. However, Gemerl stops running & attacks Sonic, causing the Chaos Emeralds Sonic has to scatter. Upon seeing the 7 Chaos Emeralds, the bad code that caused Emerl to malfunction activates, and Gemerl uses the Chaos Emeralds to transform into a rogue, orb-shaped robot. Gemerl then grabs Dr. Eggman and throws him at Sonic before escaping into outer space. Using the power of the Emeralds as well, Sonic becomes Super Sonic and, with the help of Dr. Eggman, Super Sonic destroys the improved Gemerl. Eventually, Tails finds Gemerl's broken body on a beach and repairs the robot. The game ends with the new Gemerl playing with Cream the Rabbit at her mother Vanilla's house.
The basic gameplay combines the traditional platforming elements of Sonic Advance, and the speed-orientated gameplay of Sonic Advance 2, to provide an experience similar to the original games. Sonic Advance 3 also introduced a new game feature called "Tag Action". Tag Action is similar to Knuckles' Chaotix: the player picks two characters and controls one while the other will just follow along controlled by the computer (or player two in multiplayer mode). Additionally, in a feature first seen in Knuckles' Chaotix the character can pick up the teammate by holding R, and then release them to use special abilities. Certain pairings, such as pairing Sonic and Tails or Amy and Cream, give the player access to the trick moves from the previous game.
At the start of the game, only Sonic and Tails are playable. By completing certain levels with Sonic as the team leader, Knuckles, Cream and Amy become playable.
The games features seven main levels (Route 99, Sunset Hill, Ocean Base, Toy Kingdom, Twinkle Snow, Cyber Track and Chaos Angel), each with their own "Zone Map". These maps have three acts which can be played in any order, but all three must be played before the boss can be fought. These maps also contain two mini-games in which extra lives can be earned. The player can change between maps by entering the "Sonic Factory". Here, the player can also change characters and access the level's "Chao Playground", which contains all the Chao found in that level. The player needs to find 10 per level in order to access the Special Stage and earn Chaos Emeralds.
Two additional levels follow Chaos Angel - the final boss, "Altar Emerald" (The shrine of the Master Emerald) and the extra boss, "Nonaggression", which can only be accessed when playing as Sonic after all seven emeralds have been collected.
The game features a partner system, meaning the effects of one character will be affected by whom he's partnered with. For example, if Sonic is paired with Amy, Sonic can attack with a hammer, but has a jump instead of a Spin Attack. In contrast, if Amy has Sonic as her partner, she is able to use the spin attack.
- Sonic the Hedgehog is playable from the start. he can perform a spin slash in mid-air. His Tag Action is to give the main character a speed boost, and can Ball up by Pressing Down during the Tag Action.
- Miles "Tails" Prower is playable from the start. He can use his tails to fly for a short while. His Ground Tag Action shoots the leader up into the air, while his Air Tag Action allows him to fly in the air with the leader, in a manner very similar to that of Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
- Knuckles the Echidna can be unlocked by completing Sunset Hill (Zone 2), Act 3 with Sonic as team leader. He can glide across distances and climb on walls. Characters he partners with have more powerful attacks. His Ground Tag Action throws him at enemies or items, breaking some objects other characters normally can't. His Air Tag Action is to glide with the main character.
- Amy Rose can be unlocked by completing Toy Kingdom (Zone 4), Act 3 with Sonic as team leader. Her abilities focus around her Piko-Piko Hammer. She can't spin without Sonic, and characters partnered with her won't be able to either without you pressing B in midair. Her Tag Action has her whacking down her hammer, launching the player high into the air.
- Cream the Rabbit can be unlocked by completing Cyber Track (Zone 6), Act 3 with Sonic as team leader. She can launch a homing attack with her Chao, Cheese. She also has flying abilities, although she tires quicker than Tails. Her Ground Tag Action gives the player a personalized Chao that she can attack with for a short while. Cream's other tag action (Air) is to lift the leader character up a little bit and gives the leader Cheese for a while.
- Dr. Eggman is playable in multiplayer mode for 2P in the "Nonaggression" stage. He can perform a tag action with the R button, and fly freely around the stage just like Super Sonic can.
Gemerl (ジーメル Jiimeru , G-mel) A robot based on and made from the parts of Emerl's design, Gemerl is Dr. Eggman's henchman, until he betrays him in the final battle. He is later reprogrammed by Tails to be friends with Cream and her mother, in an allusion to Sonic Battle. Gemerl has the ability to "merge" with other machines, such as Eggman's boss vehicles. Unlike Emerl, Gemerl often uses his jetpack, either to fly or to tackle enemies. He can also teleport, fire barrages of missiles and create a red energy shield around himself. His fighting techniques are similar to that of Mecha Sonic. By the means of Emerl's Design, Gemerl can absorb Chaos Emeralds to become just as, or even more, powerful than the original Emerl. This makes him a force to be reckoned with. Yet unlike Emerl, Gemerl can't adopt techniques like Emerl could. The reason may be that Eggman did not posess all of Emerl's data, and he mainly designed him to merge with his vehicles.
Sonic Advance 3 has sold over 1.5 million copies since its release.
The game won the award of best handheld game of 2004 at the Golden Joystick Awards.
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