August 13, 2020

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The Simplest Video games For The Game Boy Advance

The Simplest Video games For The Game Boy Advance

Illustration: Kotaku (Photo: Evan Amos)If you played games in the early 2000s, you probably did so on a Game Boy Advance. First introduced in 2001 as a purple, vaguely hexagonal brick, the hardware boost alone over the Game Boy Color’s archaic tech ushered in an era of lush pixelated gameplay. Then came the ultra-stylish Game…

Illustration for article titled The Simplest Video games For The Game Boy Advance

Illustration: Kotaku (Photograph: Evan Amos)

Whenever you happen to played games in the early 2000s, you most likely did so on a Game Boy Advance. First presented in 2001 as a crimson, vaguely hexagonal brick, the hardware enhance on my own over the Game Boy Colour’s worn tech ushered in an generation of lush pixelated gameplay. Then came the extremely-classy Game Boy Advance SP. Complete with flip-phone-fancy performance and a mild-weight-up masks, one thing was certain: Game Boy Advance was the handheld of the generation. By the end of its impressive creep, ample astonishing games came out to acquire the Library of Alexandria. Right here, as determined by the writers and editors of Kotaku, are the cream of the nick.


Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen (2004)

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Screenshot: MobyGames

Pokémon was on the peak of its powers in Generation III. The form of Pokémon ballooned to a gigantic yet level-headed manageable 386. Double battles made their first look, which developed the game from glorified rock-paper-scissors into a superior approach game. And the coaching process bought a total overhaul—one which exists to in the intervening time—with the introduction of Pokémon natures and abilities. Even supposing new entries Ruby and Sapphire are terrific games, it’s FireRed and LeafGreen—ostensible remakes of Red and Blue—that deserve the head honors. For basically the most portion, they had been devoted recreations of these 1996 favorites: the identical build beats, nonetheless with modernized mechanics and snazzier graphics. Then you beat the Elite Four, and a total unusual house called the Sevii Islands spread out—with its acquire storyline and unparalleled topography. What might maybe additionally’ve been a easy remake became a surely improved reimagining.


Closing Fantasy Ways Advance (2003)

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Ever wanted to mix considered one of basically the most productive tactical position-taking part in games with the meta-storytelling whimsy of The NeverEnding Yarn? That’s Closing Fantasy Ways Advance in a nutshell. A magic guide teleports some college childhood into a delusion realm the build they then prefer to fight flip-basically based mostly battles on a sq. grid while armored judges search their every switch to extinguish obvious that they don’t destroy quirky rulesets governing every come across. Whereas no longer quite as actual as its namesake, it remained a deep, number-crunching approach game in its acquire actual, with a complicated progression method that resulted in interesting birthday party compositions. Even amongst the remainder of the handheld’s superbly pixelated games, Closing Fantasy Ways Advance’s vivid artwork popped, and its soundtrack, level-headed by one-half of the unusual duo dumb Closing Fantasy Ways, was a two-hour tour de power befitting the sprawling campaign it accompanied.


Ninja Five-O (2003)

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A potent mix of Shinobi, Rolling Mumble, and Bionic Commando, the bizarrely titled Ninja Five-O enable you play as a ninja whose rapidly motion, aggressive jumps, and laser-steady sword in point of fact made him in point of fact feel fancy one. A wild grappling hook supplied inconceivable mobility via tightly designed phases, yet remained miraculously easy to manipulate. Ninja Five-O was that rarest of rarities: a moveable action game that played no longer actual as neatly as its arcade and console inspirations, nonetheless better.


Closing Fantasy VI Advance (2007)

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There’s no definitive English-language model of Squaresoft’s sixteen-bit masterpiece, nonetheless that it’s likely you’ll perhaps additionally argue that the Game Boy Advance model gets closest. The basic flip-basically based mostly story of Terra, Mog, Kefka, and lots of alternative other other folks took a minute of bit of a graphical resolution and sound quality hit in the Game Boy port, nonetheless made up for it with a in point of fact redone translation, some bonus endgame dispute, and other minute upgrades. Either manner, it’s a heck of lots better than no topic that thing on Steam is.


Metroid: Zero Mission (2004)

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After Metroid Fusion’s surprisingly tough swerve, Metroid: Zero Mission looked a welcoming fan pleaser. Nintendo created Zero Mission as a reimagining and elaboration upon Samus Aran’s first shuffle—1986’s unusual NES hit Metroid—blessed with a whopping 18 years’ worth of technological and quality-of-life enhancements. Tightened controls proved a pleasure and expanded storytelling extra probed Samus’ origins. Whereas the NES unusual remained unforgettable, Zero Mission’s in point of fact profitable streamlining made it basically the most chuffed manner for many gamers to ride Samus’ first, momentous crawl via Zebes.


Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (2003)

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By the end of the aughts we’d be drowning in so-called Igavanias, nonetheless Castlevania’s 1/3 and last GBA outing, 2003’s Aria of Sorrow, was the foremost that prolong shut to replicating the easy-nonetheless-addictive formula of 1997’s fashion-defining PlayStation basic Symphony of the Night. Newcomer protag Soma Cruz lent a new face to a new vitality-up method by which you captured foes’ souls to realize their particular abilities. Whereas easy as ever, Aria’s responsive action, twilit ambiance, and addictive earn-a-thon proved moveable Igavanias had found their footing.


Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (2001)

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There were more Tony Hawk games on the Game Boy Advance than you will almost definitely be in a position to shake a broken Birdhouse deck at. None, however, rose out of the halfpipe quite as high as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. Released on the identical time as the GBA, this handheld model of Pro Skater 2 traded 3D graphics for a timeless isometric viewpoint. Obvious, the visuals had been a minute more pixelated, nonetheless that it’s likely you’ll perhaps additionally level-headed knock out a frontside 50-50 into a double kickflip. Which that you can perhaps additionally crush a sick manner 540. Which that you can perhaps additionally e book, nollie, fakie, handplant, no comply, lipside, and all manner of extremely technical tricks simplest seasoned skateboarders might maybe additionally dream of pulling off IRL. Oh, and who can neglect the GBA-ized model of the game’s iconic soundtrack?


WarioWare: Crooked! (2005)

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2003’s unusual WarioWare was basic Nintendo: deeply unparalleled, played monumental, and fancy nothing anybody had played ahead of. It presented the conception that of “microgames”—short challenges to jump, dodge, or perhaps recall nose hairs in actual a few split seconds—and machine-gunned them on the participant, ensuing in a triumph of interactive comedy. WarioWare was monumental, nonetheless then Nintendo outdid itself. WarioWare: Crooked! delivered a unusual slew of rapidly-fire microgames nonetheless paired them with inconceivable motion controls that made the Game Boy Advance aim a minute fancy a guidance wheel. The sport’s cartridge contained a bulbous rotational sensor that will additionally click with every expressionless motion, making a bizarre and tactile gaming ride. The end result was an unparalleled offering of runt games that had been even funnier to play. They included sword-swinging, dish-washing, and even a model of Easy Mario Bros. 1-1 that’s rolled into a circle. Even better and more bizarre had been the absurd unlockables, which included a perhaps-political bit of interactivity by which you floor down an SUV with a large cheese grater.


The Story of Zelda: The Minish Cap (2005)

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Some Story of Zelda games innovate. Others iterate. Minish Cap did both with aplomb. Constructed on the basics that made the franchise this kind of powerhouse—navigate dungeons, earn unusual items, beat up bosses—with the identical charming comely of Wind Waker, this GBA hallmark presented a mind-bending unusual mechanic. At various aspects in the game, Link might maybe additionally shrink to “Minish dimension.” Mere limitations became total dungeons; tainted-and-file enemies became powerhouse bosses. And simplest of all, fans of the crowd-stunning Four Swords duology bought a prequel that shed light on Vaati’s backstory.


Advance Wars 2: Gloomy Gap Rising (2003)

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The core gameplay loop of the military-themed ways game Advance Wars 2 didn’t switch things up a lot from its predecessor. (Why fix what doesn’t need fixing?) But the game did what basically the most productive be conscious-u.s.to actual games continuously assemble: provide more. That intended more terrain kinds, more commanding officers, more unit kinds (or, neatly, yet any other unit form), and, obviously, spruced-up graphics. Advance Wars 2 additionally featured a nonlinear campaign, which was as welcome then as it’s now.


Rhythm Heaven (2006)

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You doubtlessly know the Rhythm Heaven sequence, a assortment of bonkers musical mini-games by the WarioWare team, nonetheless assemble you perceive it started off on the Game Boy Advance? Don’t let the indisputable truth that this free up was Japan-simplest end you from monitoring it down, because it featured some of the sequence’ simplest work, including the unparalleled Bon Odori. Some, nonetheless no longer all, of its games seem in the 3DS game Rhythm Heaven Megamix. So whenever you happen to need the total ride, you’ll prefer to import.


Mother 3 (2006)

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The sequel to Nintendo’s cherished basic RPG EarthBound is most notorious for the indisputable truth that Nintendo below no instances introduced it out of Japan. That’s a shame, because it’s going to additionally level-headed be known for the indisputable truth that it’s considered one of many Game Boy Advance’s simplest exclusives. A wise battle method that mixes flip-basically based mostly justify inputs with rhythm game-fashion beat-matching and a touching, beautiful story extinguish Mother 3 a timeless basic. Play the astonishing fan translation and discover what you’ve been missing.


Mario & Luigi: Vast title Saga (2003)

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There are Mario position-taking part in games, after which there’s Mario & Luigi: Vast title Saga. The foremost entry in the Mario & Luigi franchise gave gamers a rare learn about (for the time) at life open air the Mushroom Kingdom by sending Mario and his since-deceased brother to the Beanbean Kingdom. It was a charming, delightful, in point of fact silly game featuring tough RPG parts and flip-basically based mostly wrestle that wasn’t completely flip-basically based mostly. Snappy-time occasions accompanied every attack; time things correctly, and you’d lower how a lot injury you took, or enhance how a lot you dealt. The end result’s a game that’s a minute more disturbing—and thrilling—than your frequent flip-basically based mostly joint. Plus, it made fun of that jerk Bowser.


Astro Boy: Omega Component (2004)

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Astro Boy: Omega Component enjoyed an abundance of qualities most beat ‘em u.s.lack: complexity, diversity, and heart. Beyond actual dynamite punches, Cherish gave legendary animator Osamu Tezuka’s android wunderkind a fun invincible flee, long-vary lasers, and a strategic kick that sent enemies toppling fancy dominoes. Exploration and shmup parts augmented the impressed brawling, while acquainted Tezukaverse faces played out a thoughtful story that, fancy basically the most productive childhood’s lit, gave the affect unafraid to delve into darkness. Omega Component ended up being considered one of Cherish’s last surely impressed action games, and a beautiful tribute to Tezuka’s most enduring hero.


Golden Solar (2001)

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Screenshot: VGMuseum

Golden Solar is neither a remake of a basic RPG nor the continuation of a storied sequence on a unusual platform. The build other RPGs lived on the Game Boy Advance, Golden Solar was born to it. It was a charming, dramatic, repeatedly intense extinct flip-basically based mostly position-taking part in game. As you explored dark dungeons you’d release unusual kinds of elemental magic, ancient to cleverly clear up puzzles to enable for development. Unlike a port of a console game, Golden Solar made no compromises in presenting large shuffle on the GBA’s itsy-bitsy masks. We’d recommend the be conscious-up, 2003’s Golden Solar: The Misplaced Age, nonetheless we don’t prefer to. Whenever you happen to play the foremost Golden Solar, you obtained’t be in a position to end your self from taking part in the second.

Extra blasts from the past:


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