Sonic Advance 3 gets co-op mode

No, no, NO! You're not allowed to make games that use the link cable effectively! It's against regs!

We may have seen more screenshots of Sonic Advance 3 in the past few weeks than for most of everything else, but it wasn't until yesterday evening whilst probing my list of recently launched official game websites that I stumbled across details of what you can actually do in this one.

Amusingly though, Altavista's best efforts to obscure the facts with talk of "playing where your friends are hot" proved entirely superfluous, as I subsequently stumbled across roughly the same details in proper English on THQ's UK press site. Doh! Still, we haven't written anything about it already, so you can just sit there and put up with it, okay? (Shut the f**k up Donnie, etc.)

As it turns out, the plot this time concerns... waaaait a second! You don't care about the plot! (Chaos Emeralds. Collect. Etc.) You just want to know what sort of things you can do in this one that you couldn't do in the rather brilliant Sonic Advance 2. Well, here are some of them:

The biggest change this time is a new "partner system", which will add a two-player co-operative element to the traditional side-scrolling run-and-jump gameplay. And before any of you argue it's just the same as Sonic The Hedgehog 2, no it isn't! This is no mere greyed out secondary character, it's a proper co-op system with either an AI sidekick or, clearly more interestingly, a second human player. I may have to drag Martin out of retirement for this one... although whether I'll need to drag a couple of carts along or just the one seems to be up in the air right now.

Although neither the Japanese nor THQ paint a particularly vivid picture of how it all works, we understand the system allows characters to assist one another and combine abilities to aid with special attacks. And, since you ask, you'll be able to select any of five characters - meaning plenty of combinations to try out. Those five are of course Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Cream (with pet sidekick Cheese - ugh). We couldn't tell you if the level design will alter at all to accommodate different choices, but we're guessing not a great deal - if Sega's exploits in the console Sonic Heroes titles are anything to go by, anyway.

Another interesting factoid about Sonic Advance 3 is that although it has the traditional seven Zones approach, each with multiple Acts, you'll actually be able to tackle Acts in an order of your choice. Oh, and it'll have a four-player battle race mode so that your little friends won't feel left out - hopefully less of an afterthought than it sounds...

THQ has Sonic Advance 3 down for a Q2 release this year in Europe, which isn't too long after (or, um, possibly before) the Japanese release date of June 17th. We also hear word from the States that the original Sonic Advance titles will subsequently be discounted over there, so watch out for that if you've been holding off buying the original pairing.

We'll have more on Sonic Advance 3... when we hear more about Sonic Advance 3, obviously. Expect more screenshots by the time I've finished writing this sentence. (Or not.)

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Tom Bramwell

Tom Bramwell

Contributor  |  tombramwell

Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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