While it does have some improvements in comparison to the original, such as a save system and being able to use the spin dash, the Game Boy Advance port is still considered one of the worst Sonic games, next to the Game.com version of Sonic Jam, Sonic 2006, and Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.
Why it Sucks
- The game was ported using the Sonic Advance engine, an engine that wasn't meant to run the Genesis Sonic games, rather than the game's original source code.
- Poor framerate and considerable lag.
- The save system does not save score or the Chaos Emeralds, unlike the later Xbox 360 port.
- Poorly remixed music from the original game.
- Numerous bugs and glitches that can make the game virtually unplayable.
- Glitchy physics.
- All of the boss fights (including the Star Light Zone one) can be easily beaten by bouncing on them, due to the aforementioned physics.
- A pointless level select screen, since you can only get the best ending by playing from the beginning.
- Terribly stretched screen resolution.
- By the time this game was out, a Sega Genesis compilation for PSP that included Sonic 1 came out, making this game pointless.
- The Nintendo DS was already out. Why make this for the Game Boy Advance?
- To rub salt into the wound, the same person behind the "Knuckles in Sonic 1" ROM Hack made a much superior proof-of-concept GBA port of the game, showing just how much Sega dropped the ball.
This game does let us see the Sega Genesis logo in a game on a Nintendo console. Like what was said before, we get to have a save system and have a spin dash.
The game was poorly received by many, with a Metacritic score of 33 percent; the chief complaints concerning its poor conversion to the Game Boy Advance (resulting in a slow frame rate), remixed chunky music, and poor preservation of the original gameplay.
Web reviewer, SomecallmeJohnny, considered this game as "The worst port I've ever seen in my life!"