Last October, eShop data miners came across a treasure trove of unreleased Wii U Virtual Console games, a list that even leaked the existence of the then-forthcoming The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. The titles of several prolific Game Boy Advance games have surfaced from these scripts, and now, one of these is set to land on the Japanese eShop in a few short days.
Sonic Advance 3 will be available on the service on May 25th for ¥702, joining earlier releases of the original Sonic Advance and its sequel. The game stars Sonic and friends as they contend with a planet torn apart by the latest scheme of the nefarious Doctor Eggman and his familiar-looking robotic assistant Gemerl.
The situation is vague, however, concerning the possibility of Western eShop releases for the
Sonic Advance trilogy. While SEGA published Sonic’s Game Boy Advance outings within Japan during their initial run, all international releases—save for that of Sonic Pinball Party—were published by the now defunct THQ. The publisher filed for bankruptcy three years ago and lives on in name only through Nordic Games, with most of their assets and subsidiaries auctioned off to other companies.
It is unknown if those publication and distribution rights returned to SEGA upon THQ’s downfall when they acquired Relic Entertainment as a subsidiary (and subsequently gained
Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40,000 as franchises), or fell under Nordic Games’ ownership alongside the THQ trademark. It is also possible that these rights are trapped in some unfortunate legal limbo that will prevent the Sonic Advance games and Sonic Battle from ever seeing a re-release in North America and Europe. Whatever the case is regarding the future of the GBA Sonic games remains to be seen.
All of that said, was the
Sonic Advance trilogy part of your Game Boy Advance library? Which of the three was your favorite and why? Sound off in the comments below.