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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, '14, 6:18 pm 
Basically what it says in the subject line. We recently acquired a GBA SP and it came with a dozen games, but only a few of them interest me. Most of the games aren't really anything that have retro value, titles like Madden '04 and Ratatouille. Yeah, no thanks. I didn't own a Gameboy growing up, and I had limited access to the device, so I'm not really up to speed with the best titles. I had a GBA for a little less than a year before parenthood became priority one and I stopped gaming for several years, so I don't know many GBA titles beyond Super Monkey Ball Jr.

I'm mostly interested in non-platformer games, as my kids have plenty of those already (the Super Mario Land games, Kirby, etc.), but if you know of an overlooked title, let me know! I'm also not interested in ports* unless they're far superior to the original games.

*Really, anything that's available through Xbox Live, PSN or the Virtual Console. Don't need those.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, '14, 6:53 pm 
The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap is my favorite. First and to date the only Zelda game I played completely.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, '14, 11:38 pm 
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
It's Super Mario Bros. 3, I should not have to explain to anybody why you need to buy this game.

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
Easily my favorite of the three Game Boy Advance Castlevania games, despite there not being an in-game shop so you have to go equipment-grinding. (Also, good thing you have the SP model, Tanith, because I bought the original Game Boy Advance new back in 2001, along with this game and Super Mario Advance. This game was a huge pain to see on that screen.)

(there is a momentary pause here as I actually go and look through my stacks of GBA cartridges)

Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls
Uber-enhanced remakes of the first two Final Fantasy games with better translations (much better, in FF1's case, and it actually uses Garland's iconic line the PlayStation version omitted because the translator was a dunderhead they forgot.), Vancian magic replaced with an MP system in FF1, quality-of-life issues fixed in FF2, and bonus dungeons added for both games! (NOTE: Final Fantasy II is the one with Firion, not the one with Cecil. That's Final Fantasy IV you're thinking of.)

Final Fantasy V Advance and Final Fantasy VI Advance
Two of the best Final Fantasy games, with better translations (God help you if you remember the PlayStation version of Final Fantasy V, with such enemies as Y Burn, Carl Boss, and Soccer.), bonus content (awesomely difficult in FF5A, really bad and slightly buggy in FF6A, seriously, how hard was it to make the Longinus Lance actually count as a spear?) and portable, too! (FF6A is on here because my friend threatened to kill my favorite D&D character tomorrow if I didn't put it here.)

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
The eighth game in the Fire Emblem strategy RPG series, and one of the easiest. Don't let that discourage you, though-- the game still has plenty of challenge.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong
It's a sidescroller! It's a puzzle game! It's Mario having more audible dialogue than he has in the core Mario Bros. games! Plus Mario can handstand-walk! How awesome is that!? (Very!)

Phantasy Star Collection
You know, I have absolutely no idea why I'm recommending this game. None at all. No siree Bob, this collection of the first three still-good Phantasy Star games (or if you're cynical about it, the first two-still good games plus Phantasy Star III) is on this list for some strange reason that just completely baffles the Palman human mind. (it is a mystery) Just watch out for the save bug in Phantasy Star I and you'll be fine.

Capcom Collection: Mini Mix
I forgot I owned this until I looked through the stacks. Anyway, it's got the NES versions of Strider, Bionic Commando, and Mighty Final Fight... which... is actually a pretty strange selection there. I guess Capcom needed money.

Gradius Galaxies
You know the routine-- fly the Vic Viper, shoot Bacterion forces, collect powerup capsules, [Speed Up][Double][Missile][Laser][Option][?][!], Destroy the Core!!, level full of Moai heads, end guy just sits there waiting for you to kill him, the same stuff you know and love from every Gradius game since and hence.

Iridion II
A very beautiful overhead(-ish?) shooter with an awesome soundtrack and selection of subweapons. Is a sequel to the launch title Iridion 3D, only Iridion 3D wasn't really that great. So it is a much better sequel.

Not Recommended For Any Reason At All: Snorb's Game Boy Advance Hall of Shame, or the Games So Bad Even eBay Refused

Tales of Phantasia
A slowed-down port of the SNES classic, Tales of Phantasia Advance is as cliche as its voice acting is terrible, the vocal song that played during the SNES version's intro (yes. That's right. An actual song. With singing. In a Super Famicom game in 1995.) was replaced with a badly-done instrumental version of the world map theme, poor translation, fixed-width font in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Five so you can't tell what an item's full name is, and washed-out graphics make you wish you were playing a better version (like the PlayStation version which had a full translation patch recently.)

But what the hell. At least the in-game economy isn't screwed up and the save points actually work, unlike a certain iOS version that required you to pay real money to fix the XP/Gald drops and the save points and was quickly dumped from the iPhone store after a month.

Wolfenstein 3D
How the hell do you screw up an iconic first person shooter (nay, a milestone in video gaming history!) where you break out of a German castle prison in the middle of World War II, machine gun a couple thousand of Hitler's goons into blood pulp, and then give der Fuhrer a premature and well-deserved one-way ticket to Hell? You give it overly-sensitive turning controls, reduce the view window to a fraction of the Game Boy Advance's screen so even close up everything is blurry, and you cut out the music! (The bonus level in Episode 3 is screwed up as well, but at least that was for legal reasons.)

Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis
Sega just didn't care. They took the graphics from the original Sonic the Hedgehog and crammed them into the Sonic Advance engine. The result is a choppy, buggy, slow(!) mess of a game that was crapped out just to have a 15th Anniversary milestone. The Android version is infinitely better, and it was developed by ONE PERSON.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, '14, 1:54 am 
Thank you for the suggestions so far!
Snorb wrote:(Also, good thing you have the SP model, Tanith, because I bought the original Game Boy Advance new back in 2001, along with this game and Super Mario Advance. This game was a huge pain to see on that screen.)
What I remember most about owning a GBA is that I couldn't see ANYTHING. We were thinking of buying an SP as a replacement, but life got in the way, and by the time I was interested in gaming again, the DS, PSP and N-Gage (bwahahaha) were out.

We own Mario vs. Donkey Kong, and I've passed it up because meh, more Mario just ain't my thing. Now that I know better, I'll give it a try.


Last edited by Tanith on Wed Dec 17, '14, 1:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, '14, 2:10 am 
PS Collection for GBA is a terrible port with terribl-er audio. Just saying. Stick to emulators.

GBA = Metroid Zero Mission and Metroid Fusion. Everything else is optional.

Parma Ham wrote:it's not quite as obnoxious as its predecessor.

Bow your head in shame, little man. One does not insult perfection. You just made my 2014 naughty list. BAD.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, '14, 2:54 am 
Parma Ham wrote:(Pardon me if anything I recommend is available for digital download. I have never used Xbox Live, PSN, VC, Steam, or any other digital download service, so I have no idea what they offer.)
Oh, no worries. I shouldn't have been such a snob about ports in the first place. Really, I'll take all recommendations.

One game that came with game bundle we got with the SP was Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Part 1, and it's surprisingly good. I can pass that along as my own recommendation. You can find the game super cheap on Amazon, too.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, '14, 4:45 am 
...Well. That was rather anticlimactic, but, uh... I actually had a GBA game finally refuse to run in an emulator.

Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II
It's an action RPG, kinda like the Legend of Zelda games, only instead of Link, you get to be (Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Trunks, Piccolo) and you punch enemies instead of swording them. Link has magic, the Z Squad has energy blasts, the Kamehameha, the Special Beam CannonDevil's Screw Cannon, Masenko-Ha, the Big Bang Attack, and the Spirit Bomb.

...At least, that's what I looked up online. I'm too lazy to put the actual cartridge into my DS (I might want to play Final Fantasy V sometime!!) and, like I said, Visual Boy Advance let me progress up until I tried to access the world map, where it gave me a "This game cannot run on the hardware found." message and dumped me back into the opening. So... probationary recommend because I distinctly remember liking the game when it was new (ELEVEN YEARS AGO!?!?)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, '14, 6:48 am 
Any Dragon Warrior games for the Game Boy Color get a place in a must-have list.

Dragon Warrior I+II and Dragon Warrior III are upgrades of the original games, with better interfaces and new (good) things thrown in.

Dragon Warrior Monsters and DWM 2 (Cobi version and Tara version) are excellent RPGs if you like monster collecting. Teams of 3 monsters, with a nice breeding system, lots of techniques, great music. :yes:

And they all look good in the Advance. :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 5, '15, 1:31 am 
I like Sonic Advance 1 a lot, even though 2 and 3 aren't very good.

Pokemon Crystal is awesome.

Metroid Zero Mission is pretty sweet. Don't care for Fusion nearly as much though.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, '15, 9:49 am 
Golden Sun was a good RPG for the GBA. The second game in the series was okay too. They're fairly typical JRPGs with a graphic style somewhat reminiscent of the Shining Force games from the Sega Genesis.

Aside from that, I'll third Metroid Zero Mission. Fusion was alright and worth getting, but not as good as Zero Mission.


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