Official Gameboy Advance Software Thread of Micro Pleasures for Great Pocket Justice

Arturo

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Nov 4, 2007
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Finally, inspired by the great DS and PSP games threads, this is the GBA games love thread GAF was asking for :)

Enjoy! :)

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ACTION

Astro Boy: Omega Factor



• Developer: Treasure
• Publisher: Sega
• Release: US 2004 | EU 2005
• Description:
Treasure worked on a few games for the GBA..We're talking Tiny Toons all the way up to Gunstar Heroes. Astro Boy on the GBA was by far better than the Playstation 2 version. If you're a Treasure fan you owe it to yourself to pick this game up.

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Gunstar Future Heroes | Gunstar Super Heroes



• Developer: Treasure
• Publisher: SEGA
• Release: US & EU 2005
• Description:
This is old-school run/jump/blasting action, but with a high level of energy thanks to the development team's bells-and-whistles presentation. This is a GBA game that pulls off every sprite trick in the book to wow the gamer, pushing the handheld hardware every which way possible. But even though a lot of the focus was put on graphic techniques, gameplay doesn't sit on the sideline -- Gunstar Super Heroes is enormously fun with a game structure that throws a whole lot of variety at the gamer. This game is a huge blast to play.

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Megaman Zero



• Developer: Capcom Production Studio 2
• Publisher: Capcom
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
Outstanding 2D sidescroller, even with the Mega Man-esque gameplay limitations. There's lots of challenge here. It's hard but not overly so. Beautiful handdrawn backgrounds and stunning pixel animation for the character sprites. But the game can't really keep up with the action, with all that slowdown. Great digitized sound effects of explosions and other anime-style effects, but the music is routine and forgettable.

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Megaman Zero 2



• Developer: Capcom / Inti Creates
• Publisher: Capcom
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
If you're looking to get your ass kicked, this sequel's for you. If you loved the original Mega Man Zero there is absolutely no reason why you won't love this sequel...unless, of course, you're looking for a brand new gaming experience. What it lacks in new elements it makes up for it in tighter design and more ass-kicking level designs...don't think for a second that this game is going to be a simple trek through. If anything, it's an excuse to see just how much patience you have, and just how much gaming skill oozes from your fingertips. The game still looks great with excellent pixel animation.

• Screenshots:




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Megaman Zero 3



• Developer: Capcom / Inti Creates
• Publisher: Capcom
• Release: US & EU 2004
• Description:
It's fun, challenging, and even with the old GBA engine, the game looks great. If you haven't played the other two it might be tough to figure out what the heck's going on, but it shouldn't stop you from picking up the version with the best balance. 16 levels and you're through. But it's not an overnight game experience… it'll take you a while. Wonderful sprite and handdrawn art used throughout the game. He's still a looker after all these years.

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Megaman Zero 4



• Developer: Capcom / Inti Creates
• Publisher: Capcom
• Release: US & EU 2005
• Description:
This is a continuation of what's already been established in Mega Man Zero, Zero 2, and Zero 3. But even with that noted, it also has to be mentioned that even with the dèjà vu all over again the game still works, especially if you haven't picked up any of the previous three games. To comment on the visuals and sound of Mega Man Zero 4 would be picking at the previous three games as well; this sequel simply reuses the same solid and impressive engine of Mega Man Zero 1, 2, and 3, adding new background and sprite elements, and changing up the cutscene artwork to fit the new scenario. Luckily, this scenario moves Zero out of the same base that's been used in the past sequels, so at the very least there's fresh blood in the location where this storyline takes place.

• Screenshots:




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River City Ransom EX



• Developer: Million Co.
• Publisher: Atlus
• Release: US 2004 | EU Not released
• Description:
River City Ransom EX is not the visually-stunning redux that could have been possible on GBA, and is also not the full-out sequel that some still dare to dream about, but it is an improved version of the game many of you fell in love with. And despite being a sparse as far as modern features and presentation, Atlus allowed the developers to explore to their heart's desire the founding basis of this great game: the gameplay.

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Ninja Five-O [US] | Ninja Cop [EU]



• Developer: Hudson Soft
• Publisher: Konami
• Release: US 2003 | EU Not released
• Description:
Ninja Five-O is a surprisingly great game that almost came out of nowhere; Konami released this game as quiet as can be, with relatively no previous hype. The game harkens back to the days of Ninja arcade games, and even though it borrows its gameplay elements from previous designs, it's not a me-too Game boy Advance game. A really fun action game with a lot of technique to master. The controls are really tight with excellent collision detection between the ninja and enemies.

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Super Ghouls'n Ghosts



• Developer: Capcom
• Publisher: Capcom
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
This game is the most difficult game ever made :) But what's interesting is that as frustrating as it is, the game is still fun to play. The game should lighten up on gamers, at least in the first level, because there are some places that are just way too unfair to those just starting out. But even with the difficulty breaking the "expert" scale, this is a keeper...and it'll take you quite a few times through to see everything. Thankfully the game offers that necessary cartridge save. This game is definitely recommended...but take some stress pills before you boot up the cartridge.

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Double Dragon Advance



• Developer: Million Co.
• Publisher: Atlus
• Release: US 2003 | JP 2004
• Description:
The classic brawler returns in a slight update on the GBA. Enjoyable, but short. It's great that the game retains an old-school feel in an updated version on the Game Boy Advance, and as excellent fun as this brawler is on the GBA. It still looks classic Double Dragon even with updated character models and new frames of animation. It's a classic brawler, and the game's fun for the short time it lasts...especially when you learn all the new moves at the character's disposal. It’s still no 30-hour marathon, but Atlus has added a whole lot to an already-excellent beat ‘em up. If you need some classic thug-punching gameplay in your GBA then look no further than this little gem.

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Advance Guardian Heroes



• Developer: Treasure
• Publisher: Ubisoft
• Release: US & JP 2004 | EU 2005
• Description:
Advance Guardian Heroes is a scrolling fighter videogame featuring over 20 controllable characters, more than 160 powerful moves to master, and many incredible multiplayer scenarios. Gamers play as one of three brand-new characters in an action-packed story of courage and sacrifice, upgrading and improving their powers as they progress. The graphics and Mode 7 effects are stunning, the music is epic and superb, and there are tons of options to choose from, including over 20 fighters to unlock and 160 attacks to master! The gameplay is solid action, not quite a fighting game, not quite an RPG, and always an action filled beat ‘em up. It has its warts - mediocre extra modes, laughable text localization, occasional slowdown, a Story Mode that's over much too soon - but it also has fun and addictive gameplay with a lot of interesting features.

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ADVENTURE / ACTION ADVENTURE

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap



• Developer: Flagship & Capcom Production Studio 1
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2004
• Description:
The Minish Cap is certainly worthy to sit among the best of the Zelda best. The main focus of The Minish Cap is the new ability to get small… barely a couple of pixel's tall when the process is complete. Much of the time spent in mouse-sized form happens in the normal camera perspective since players will need to find the special Minish routes laid out in the normal-sized world.

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past w/ the Four Swords



• Developer: Nintendo R&D2 / Capcom Production Studio 1
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
The Game Boy Advance game is a 100% accurate port of the Super NES game, right down to the pixel. The GBA game uses all of the original art assets from the game released in 1993 for its graphics, which admittedly look a bit dated to today's standards and what the GBA can actually pull off. But it remains extremely faithful to the original, which will definitely please videogame purists; any slight alteration of the original game and you could definitely hear all the fanboy comparisons to the original SNES version.

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Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow



• Developer: Konami TYO
• Publisher: Konami
• Release: US & EU 2003
• Description:
Though it's a short quest if you accomplish only the bare minimum, it'll take a while to beat to get 100%. The game is as good, maybe a little better, than Harmony of Dissonance in terms of graphic effects. Lots of stuff going on. A definite improvement over the previous game in the series. There are still some forgettable pieces, but overall the soundtrack is great. It may not have a Belmont in the lead, but this is true Castlevania. The soul collecting element is an excellent addition that's handled extremely well.

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Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance



• Developer: KCE Tokyo
• Publisher: Konami
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
It's almost a no-brainer to learn that a new 2D Castlevania ends up being one of the best games on the system, but hey, it has to be said: Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance is really great. The gameplay techniques, the graphics, the length of the quest, all top-notch. Outstanding use of the Game Boy Advance's sprite and background effects make it look almost as good, maybe better than Symphony of the Night.

• Screenshots:




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Castlevania: Circle of the Moon



• Developer: KCE Kobe
• Publisher: Konami
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
Circle of the Moon is all about the gameplay -- and it's here where the game really shines. This is one of the best playing Castlevania games released. The world is huge, the boss creatures are massive in size and challenging to defeat. And the overall quest is extremely fulfilling, as the game will take several hours to complete in its entirety.

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Metroid Fusion



• Developer: Nintendo R&D1
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
The extensive plot in Metroid Fusion is excellent and engaging, even though it eventually takes the form of a familiar science fiction film in its surprises. But where the game really shines is in its overall gameplay. The developers take what's been established in Super Metroid for the SNES, Metroid for the NES, and Metroid II for the Game Boy, and follow that formula for Metroid Fusion's level design.

• Screenshots:




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Metroid Zero Mission



• Developer: Nintendo R&D1
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2004
• Description:
Metroid: Zero Mission is not a remake of the original Metroid released on the Nintendo Entertainment System nearly 20 years ago. Instead, team members have taken situations, locations, and enemies from the 8-bit NES adventure, and reformulated an entirely new game design.

• Screenshots:


 

Arturo

Member
Nov 4, 2007
253
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Tenerife, Spain
Boktai



• Developer: Konami JPN (KCEJ)
• Publisher: Konami
• Release: US & EU 2003
• Description:
What makes Boktai so special is the little plastic-covered device built into every cartridge: a sunlight sensor. This sensor can detect varying amounts of sunlight directed onto it, which is visually represented by a meter in the corner of the screen. The stronger the sunlight hitting the sensor, the more powerful the sun is in the game. And it's this element that drives many of the gameplay ideas within Boktai.

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Boktai 2



• Developer: Konami JPN (KCEJ)
• Publisher: Konami
• Release: US & EU 2003
• Description:
Boktai 2 only really requires playing in the sun in specific instances. Most of the gameplay offers sun-like substitutes that give players the energy needed to perform specific tasks so that players can keep playing without the sun blazing overhead. But as in the original Boktai, there are areas where it's absolutely necessary to have sun shining down on the player. And where it was relegated to finishing off bosses in the original Boktai, there are far more locations in the sequel where sunlight is crucial.

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Scurge: Hive



• Developer: Orbital Media
• Publisher: SouthPeak Interactive
• Release: US & EU 2006
• Description:
Scurge: Hive is an original IP, following the adventures of Jenosa Arma, a female bounty hunter. While investigating a distress signal from a lab, Jenosa's ship is attacked and she's forced to escape to the lab itself. The entire planet is ridden with an alien species known as the Scurge, who have the nasty ability to take over practically anything. Addictive, fast paced, and mildly panic inducing, but in a good way. Lots of action the whole way through, even during the puzzles. Scurge is one of the nicest looking games on the GBA.

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Shaman King: Master of Spirits



• Developer: Konami
• Publisher: Konami
• Release: US 2004 | EU 2005 | JP 2002
• Description:
Shaman King is fairly straightforward and derivative, but it actually works more than it doesn't under those conditions. The spirit assigning is actually fun and fairly deep, but the refreshing adventure feel is undermined by a ridiculously sloppy map setup. Shaman King is still a surprise hit, and those of you who are starting to run out of Game Boy Advance games to play should go ahead and pick it up. Essentially "Castlevania" with added character interaction and more environments.

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Shaman King: Master of Spirits 2



• Developer: Konami
• Publisher: Konami
• Release: US 2005 | EU 2006
• Description:
If you know Castlevania, you know Master of Spirits 2. It's not quite as tightly designed, but it shares so many similarities it's hard not to see the inspiration. Because of the Castlevania engine, Master of Spirits 2 enjoys a lot of luxury for a secondary GBA release. The game looks, sounds, and plays great simply because the engine allows the game to be that way. Believe it or not, the game's tough as nails, and a decent length for an adventure game on the GBA. Good replayability to find the multiple routes as well.

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Juka and the Monophonic Menace



• Developer: Orbital Media
• Publisher: SouthPeak Interactive
• Release: US& EU 2006
• Description:
It's been a long time coming for Juka and the Monophonic Menace, and the wait was worth it. Orbital Media has given everyone a really solid adventure game that uses some rather interesting techniques for battle. The game is geared towards a younger audience, so older players probably won't find it too challenging but then again, that never hurt a game like Pokemon, and it doesn't hurt Juka either. The game starts off kind of slow, but picks up fairly quickly. Same basic principle for most of the battles, but with added stipulations to keep the gameplay varied.

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Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars



• Developer: Revolution Software Ltd.
• Publisher: BAM! Entertainment
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
BAM and Revolution Software have managed to pull off an engrossing story with Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars. While the genre won't likely be resurrected by this title, it will at least get a solid bang before it possibly disappears for good. While there's no replay value, the game does require some solid hours and is absolutely worth the time you put into it.

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FIGHTING

Final Fight One



• Developer: Capcom Production Studio 3
• Publisher: Capcom
• Release: US & EU 2001
• Description:
It's hard not to like Final Fight One on the Game Boy Advance. The game is a classic with challenging gameplay and a real energetic feel throughout the adventure. It's not an entirely deep game, but it's very satisfying from start to finish...and the addition of the battery means that if, by some odd twist of gaming taste you grow tired of the repetitive nature, you can just switch it off to take a break, knowing full well that you'll pop right back at the start of the level you left. This is a great example of a SNES conversion done right on the system...and it helps that the original game is a good one, too.

• Screenshots:




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Street Fighter Alpha 3



• Developer: Crawfish Interactive
• Publisher: Capcom
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
Street Fighter Alpha 3 is an amazingly fun fighter simply because it subtly branches out the tried and true Street Fighter II-style gameplay with elements that keep the pace intense and energetic. There are more than 30 different fighters in this game, which is actually an amazing feat for a Game Boy Advance game considering the limited cartridge space and the incredible amount of animation frames per individual character.

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Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival



• Developer: Capcom Production Studio 3
• Publisher: Capcom
• Release: US & EU 2001
• Description:
Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival is definitely a good game for the GBA, and it's a no-brainer as a purchase if you're itching to get a little one-on-one action in on the handheld...especially if you dig the Street Fighter II series as a whole. The port went over smoothly in most all areas except controls, as the four button configuration and layout just doesn't cut it 100%. But give it time...it's not a perfect compromise for the hands, but your fingers will definitely find the zone after a few rounds. Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival is definitely a good game for the GBA, and it's a no-brainer as a purchase if you're itching to get a little one-on-one action in on the handheld...especially if you dig the Street Fighter II series as a whole. The port went over smoothly in most all areas except controls, as the four button configuration and layout just doesn't cut it 100%. But give it time...it's not a perfect compromise for the hands, but your fingers will definitely find the zone after a few rounds.

• Screenshots:




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Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors



• Developer: Cavia / Banpresto
• Publisher: Atari
• Release: US & EU 2004
• Description:
The fighting mechanics aren't quite as ironed out as expected and don't quite match up with the energetic front end, but overall Atari has brought out a decent game that better captures the Dragon Ball Z flavor than previous titles in the series have on the GBA handheld.

• Screenshots:




Tekken Advance



• Developer: Namco
• Publisher: Namco
• Release: US 2002 | EU 2002
• Description:
Tekken Advance combines great controls, all your favorite characters and impressive gameplay. With plenty of game modes and characters to choose from, awesome graphics and top-notch fighting action, how can you go wrong? If you are looking for a new fighting game, this might be what you're looking for.

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PLATFORM

Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3



• Developer: Nintendo R&D2
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US 2001 | EU 2002
• Description:
Super Mario Bros. 3 is one of those titles other videogame developers have attempted to mimic during the days on the NES and Super NES (and to a lesser extent, the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance), but it's Nintendo's attention to gameplay and innovation in level design that makes Super Mario Bros. 3 hard to beat. In every sense of the word.

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Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island



• Developer: Nintendo EAD / Nintendo R&D2
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
The variety in what Yoshi can do and the diversity in level designs, not to mention the wonderful use of scaling and rotation for the level structures and the incorporation of a half-dozen clever mini-games makes Yoshi's Island the best damn platformer ever.

• Screenshots:




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Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World



• Developer: Nintendo EAD / Nintendo R&D2
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
There's a reason why this game is considered one of the best Mario platformers ever designed. Its level designs and gameplay elements are outstanding. The GBA game uses all the same graphic assets from the Super NES...which is a first-generation SNES game. It still looks good to today's standards.

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Super Mario Advance



• Developer: Nintendo EAD / Nintendo R&D2
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2001
• Description:
Some say tossing turnips doesn't suit Mario, and yet this is still one of the most cleverly designed and memorable games Nintendo has done. Four-player downloadable link play in Mario Bros is awesome! And even with its faults, You won't get enough of Super Mario 2.

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Wario Land 4



• Developer: Nintendo R&D1
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2001
• Description:
Wario rocks -- there's a lot of variety in the game design and is more challenging than the usual side-scrolling fare due to its focus on making players figure out how to get to certain locations in the level. It's slightly similar to Klonoa in that respect, but Wario Land 4 puts a lot more emphasis on action.

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Mario vs. Donkey Kong



• Developer: NST
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2004
• Description:
The game design takes solid, tried-and-true Mario-style platforming elements and constructs levels that challenge the player's ability to maneuver Mario from location to location in order to collect the lost packages scattered in strategic locations. Each level is segmented into at least two parts: one where players must snag a package and carry a key from its original location to a locked door that leads to the level's Part Two: two more packages and a lost Mini Mario.

• Screenshots:




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Arturo

Member
Nov 4, 2007
253
0
845
Tenerife, Spain
Drill Dozer



• Developer: Game Freak
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US 2006 | EU Not released
• Description:
Drill Dozer combines a fresh play mechanic with a dose of good old fashioned platforming. The gameplay itself is what makes Drill Dozer truly unique. Everything is done with the drill, be it double jumping, attacking, defending, and puzzle solving. Though there is the potential to overuse an idea, Drill Dozer keeps the adventure interesting by offering tons of ways to interact in the environment. It seems that every level adds a new way to use the drill, keeping the gameplay fresh and inspired.

• Screenshots:




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Klonoa: Empire of Dreams



• Developer: Klonoa Works (Namco)
• Publisher: Namco
• Release: US 2001 | EU 2002
• Description:
Klonoa: Empire of Dreams may be "yet another platformer," but you really have to appreciate all the thought that went into the each of the level designs in this extensive game. You don't just wander from left to right collecting tokens to get to the very end...serious thinking is required to advance through all of the game's stages.

• Screenshots:




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The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night



• Developer: Amaze
• Publisher: Sierra Entertainment
• Release: US 2007 | EU 2008
• Description:
The legend continues in the second installment of The Legend of Spyro trilogy with the Ape King arriving at the Temple of Souls in an effort to usher in a new age of darkness. As Spyro, players must unlock the secrets behind a series of strange visions that he is having and find the power to defeat this terrifying new force.

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Kirby Nightmare in Dream Land



• Developer: HAL Laboratory / Flagship (JP)
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US 2002 | EU 2003
• Description:
It's definitely one great looking GBA platformer. It's not a hugely challenging game, and don't be surprised if you blow through the game to the end in a sitting or two. But keep in mind that there's a lot of discovery and, yes, a little strategy in order to complete the game 100%, and you'll want to do that to get the "extra" something. The level designs aren't exactly taxing, but they do hide some of the hidden exits pretty well. That's where the challenge lies. Excellent pixel-art animation of all the Kirby morphs and enemies, with wonderful painting background elements that utilize the GBA's color capabilities.

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RPG & ACTION RPG

Golden Sun



• Developer: Camelot Software
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US 2001 | EU 2002
• Description:
Golden Sun is a testament to just how awesome a game can be, if the development team is given a comfortable development cycle to get the job done. Though it's very similar in design to other Japanese RPGs such as Final Fantasy, the team has built an outstanding adventure on the tried-and-true overhead-wandering, random-battle gameplay that looks absolutely sweet on the Game Boy Advance small screen.

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Golden Sun 2: The Lost Age



• Developer: Camelot Software
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2003
• Description:
Even with its already established dialogue and battle quirks, Golden Sun: The Lost Age is still a impressive GBA game, even with its first-generation GBA technology. Camelot made the Golden Sun engine one that would last through the rising expectations as the Game Boy Advance moves on in years, and other RPG designers on the handheld have yet to topple Camelot's original game. The sequel won't offer an entirely new experience on the handheld for players that have already made it through the first game in the series, but its extended storyline and slight additions to the gameplay are more than enough make it an extremely enjoyable (and lengthy) adventure on the Game Boy Advance.

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Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories



• Developer: Jupiter & Square Enix PDD1
• Publisher: Square Enix
• Release: US & EU 2004
• Description:
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is by far one of the most elaborately designed adventures ever created on the Game Boy Advance. The production value alone is worth the price of admission, and even with repeat scenarios, a strategic combat system that turns into a button-masher, and surprisingly linear quest, this game has an engrossing storyline that actually changes up after the adventure comes to an end. So once it's over, it's not over, and that's adds a lot of value to an original quest that takes more than a dozen hours to complete.

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Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga



• Developer: AlphaDream
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2003
• Description:
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga the unofficial follow-up to Paper Mario. Mario & Luigi is an excellent adventure with as much focus on RPG elements as Paper Mario had on the Game Boy Advance. It's an incredibly weird and original gaming experience that never takes itself seriously, and it's something that definitely shouldn't be missed on the handheld.

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Pokemon Leaf Green / Fire Red



• Developer: Game Freak
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2004
• Description:
From the big things to the little things like Move Tutors, new moves, and the ability to mix and match through literally hundreds of creatures, makes creating teams an endless task. Whether you're new to the series or been there from the beginning, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen will surely not disappoint.

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Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town



• Developer: Marvelous Interactive
• Publisher: Natsume
• Release: US & JP 2003 | EU 2004
• Description:
It's an economics simulator, sure, but it's such a well done design with so much to do. A deceptively engrossing game. One that will cause real days to disappear, and true chores to be neglected in favor of a lengthy farming session. It's brilliant in its simplicity, but yet as the days go on there are so many layers that peel away and reveal themselves. It won’t let you down with respect to gameplay hours, and you’ll soon find yourself addicted to waking up every morning then watering your crops and milking your cows. An immensely enjoyable game that will consume your day, if you're not careful.

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Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town



• Developer: Marvelous Interactive
• Publisher: Natsume
• Release: JP 2003 | US 2005 | EU Not Released
• Description:
Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town isn't as "more" as the title leads you to believe. It would have been better aptly titled "Friends of Mineral Town Again" because it is, essentially, a repeat of the original game with certain elements swapped around. Even so, it's still a great and highly recommended experience that will last you a very, very, long time on the GBA -- but only if you're new to the series on the handheld. Those already familiar with the original game don't need a replay.

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Riviera: The Promised Land



• Developer: Sting
• Publisher: Atlus / Sting
• Release: US 2005 | EU Not released
• Description:
Riviera: The Promised Land from Atlus strays from the formula with a decidedly different approach on the game genre. It still contains the usual RPG offerings in the form of turn-based battles and wide-eyed anime-style character design, but the way it's been put together is something decidedly different. It's uniqueness both works for and against the production, but overall it's a really nice surprise and an enjoyable experience.

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Yggdra Union: We'll Never Fight Alone



• Developer: Sting
• Publisher: Atlus / Sting
• Release: US & EU 2006
• Description:
Yggdra Union is an amazing accomplishment, but it's a game that I probably admired more than I enjoyed. There's no denying that this is one of the most beautiful and visually-complicated games ever released on the GBA. The gameplay is unique and inventive, but it's not always intuitive and won't be everyone's cup of tea. Real time strategy addicts looking for something new will find it here, but casual gamers would do better to start with something like Advance Wars. Great art and energetic animations. This game is a feast for the eyes. Backgrounds are a little dull by comparison.

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Summon Knight: Swordcraft Story



• Developer: Banpresto
• Publisher: Atlus
• Release: US 2006 | EU Not released
• Description:
Even despite the aged look and simplistic nature of the game, Summon Night: Swordcraft Story is still an awesome addition to any hardcore gamer’s collection. The game allows for a ton of replay value with the amount of weapon forging and magic to learn, and even offers eight initial paths to set out on in the first few minutes of the game. Anyone looking for a classic RPG with a huge focus on entertaining battles should be sure to grab a copy of this one before it leaves shelves, though the concept of random battles and hours of leveling up may be too much for casual gamers.

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Summon Knight: Swordcraft Story 2



• Developer: Flight-Plan
• Publisher: Atlus
• Release: US 2006 | EU Not released
• Description:
Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2 is that rare example of taking an already enjoyable game and directly addressing almost every issue with it. The game is prettier, funnier and easier to control than the first game. It's easy enough that anyone can get into it, although it might lack the depth to appeal to hardcore RPG fanatics. All things considered this is one of the best RPGs, and one of the best games, ever released on the Game Boy Advance.

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Sword of Mana



• Developer: Brownie Brown
• Publisher: Square
• Release: US 2003 | EU 2004
• Description:
A beautiful, fast-paced, fun game that can be recommended to all fans of role-playing games. It may not be the best RPG on Game Boy Advance, but it is certainly in the upper echelon of the genre.

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Tales of Phantasia



• Developer: Namco Tales Studio
• Publisher: Namco
• Release: US & EU 2003
• Description:
Any gamer who enjoyed Sword of Mana despite clunky control, owns Riviera even though it’s slow and tough, or loves Sigma Star Saga despite the random battles should be assured that Tales of Phantasia is right for you. The team managed to take a lost classic, bring the original design to America for the first time, as well as include new quests and depth to assure fans their money’s worth. For those who can love Tales of Phantasia for what it is and where it came from, a true classic awaits. Be forewarned, however: Tales of Phantasia is not for everyone.

• Screenshots:




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Breath of Fire



• Developer: Capcom
• Publisher: Capcom
• Release: US, JP & EU 2001
• Description:
Breath of Fire will take you back to a time when fighting and believing in the story was all you needed. One of the finest RPGs to appear on any format. Though bettered by latter incarnations of the series, the original remains both innovative and a pure joy to play. You got GBA? You dig RPGs? Breath of Fire is your hook-up.

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Arturo

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Breath of Fire II



• Developer: Capcom
• Publisher: Capcom
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
Though it looks and plays a lot like the original, this GBA RPG is much better the second time around. The storyline and characters make Breath of Fire II a much better game than the first adventure in the series...even though the game hasn't changed a whole lot. Oh, sure, there have been a few tweaks here and there to move the game along...but if you're learned with the way Breath of Fire worked on the GBA, you'll be in familiar territory with the sequel. With a much more involving storyline to boot. Like the first game in the series, Breath of Fire II is a long quest that'll last more well more than 25 hours. You're in for a good, long haul.

• Screenshots:




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Final Fantasy VI Advance



• Developer: Tose Software / Square Enix
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US 2006 | EU 2007
• Description:
Character customization and battle options from the heavens that still competes with anything on the market today. Every character is completely unique in how they play. The art style is superb and the visuals are incredibly varied. Uematsu created one of the greatest soundtracks ever heard in Final Fantasy VI, and it's still that good more than a decade later. It's only downfall is the forced downgrade of its technical quality.

• Screenshots:




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Final Fantasy V Advance



• Developer: Tose Software
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US 2006 | EU 2007
• Description:
The job-changing system is terrific. More than 25 different classes to choose from, a ton of combinations, cool boss fights, and plenty of battlefields make this one fun. Thanks to a new coat of paint, this 14 year-old holds up well. The colorful and diverse environments do their job and the attention to detail is solid. Expect occasional slowdown, however. While it doesn't have the best plot in the series, its characters are interesting and the ride is familiar yet fun. The bestiary, music player, and better translation are appreciated too.

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Final Fantasy IV Advance



• Developer: Tose Software
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2005
• Description:
Based on the original Final Fantasy IV "Hard" version released for the Super Famicom in Japan, Final Fantasy IV Advance is one of the most polished GBA ports around. The script has an absolutely terrific translation and is much, much closer to its original intention than before. Simple and straightforward, there is little that FF4 does wrong. It's balancing is spot-on, its system is easy to learn, and the new harder difficulty setting is a welcome improvement.

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Final Fantasy I & 2: Dawn of Souls



• Developer: Tose Software
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2004
• Description:
Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls still maintains the most important element needed towards becoming an awesome videogame: it's fun plain and simple. It's truly a testament to the quality of Final Fantasy I & II that both games still play brilliantly even after all these years. Though neither one of them are groundbreaking by today's standards, they're still fun, still addictive, and still worth the price of admission -- especially for budding Final Fantasy freaks that never had the chance to play them the first time.

• Screenshots:




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Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II



• Developer: Webfoot Technologies
• Publisher: Infogrames
• Release: US & EU 2003
• Description:
It is easily one of the best Action RPGs on the Game Boy Advance and one of the best licensed titles available for the handheld console. The graphics are bright and colorful, the gameplay is simple but addictive, and the quest is long and full of things to do. A testament to just how thoroughly a game can be improved in its second coming.

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MINI GAMES, PUZZLE & MUSIC

Rhythm Tengoku



• Developer: J.P. Room
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: JP 2006 | US & EU Not released
• Description:
From the creators of Wario Ware comes something equally weird and original. This simple but adorable rhythm game requires that players time button presses with in-game music. The game is designed to be very strict about timing, as at the end of a song, you're told how much rhythm sense you have!

• Screenshots:




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WarioWare Twisted!



• Developer: Nintendo R&D1
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US 2005 | EU Not released
• Description:
WarioWare Twisted is not only incredibly innovative, it's an insanely successful design that really shows off the potential of the Game Boy Advance platform. A game like this just wouldn't work on the console format. A must-have for the GBA? Absolutely. It's far more creative, much deeper, and a heck of a lot more fun than previous games in the series, including the Nintendo DS system's WarioWare Touched.

• Screenshots:




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WarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgames



• Developer: Nintendo R&D1
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2003
• Description:
The game is nothing more than a rapid-paced succession of the most basic of gaming challenges, but it's Wario Ware's idea to string these several dozen games together that makes this GBA title so original and accessible to both casual and die-hard gamers alike.

• Screenshots:




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Game & Watch Gallery Advance



• Developer: TOSE software
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
Game & Watch Gallery 4 starts out as a compilation of six games that were originally released as one-off LCD titles in the early 80s. Each of the six games (Fire, Boxing, Rainshower, Mario's Cement Factory, Donkey Kong Jr. and Donkey Kong 3) are accurately represented in their original form on the Game Boy Advance, right down to the clever representation of the old-school stencil layout peeking through the glass.

• Screenshots:




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Kuru Kuru Kururin



• Developer: Eighting/Raizing
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: EU & JP 2001 | USA Not released
• Description:
Absurdly addictive abstract puzzle action game on Game Boy Advance. KuruKuru Kururin is one of a rare breed of modern games which manages to transport players back to when videogaming was about pure gameplay. There's nothing fancy about Kururin, it's just pure Japanese lunacy, and incredibly addictive with it. It's a fantastic example of quick fix gaming at its finest, and you'll undoubtably keep coming back to it. As one of the distinguished launch titles for the GBA, it shouldn't be ignored by anyone and particularly not first time buyers. This is an essential purchase.

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Chu Chu Rocket



• Developer: Sonic Team
• Publisher: SEGA
• Release: US & EU 2001
• Description:
Once you learn the techniques, there's nothing that'll make you smile more than sending a fat cat to an opponent's rocket launch pad. With over 2500 puzzles that'll have you hitting your head against your GBA as well as the awesome downloadable link multi-player feature, you'll be spending a lot of time playing cat and mouse. Very minor gripes don't detract from the overall look of the game. The GBA version is up to the task of keeping with the insane pace and speed demonstrated in this title.

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Polarium Advance



• Developer: Mitchell Corporation
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2006
• Description:
Polarium Advance is designed to be played every day. Not just "for as long as it's fun"; every day. The idea is to stick it in your GBA cartridge slot and turn it on every so often. Every day is filled with dead time; Polarium Advance's goal is to fill it. It's the Times crossword. It's a Sudoku puzzle. It's picking at the flap of your shoe. It's concentration and deduction rather than instinct, persistence or digital agility. In addition to the new looks, new puzzles, and new controls, Polarium Advance offers three ways to play: Daily Polarium Mode, which offers a new puzzle set for every day of the year; Time Attack Mode; and Edit Mode for creating custom puzzles.

• Screenshots:




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It's Mr. Pants



• Developer: Rare
• Publisher: THQ
• Release: US 2004
• Description:
Its Mr. Pants offers its own take on the whole "rotating tile" puzzle genre popularized by Tetris with a design that feels decidedly "non-Tetris" as a result. The concept is simple: place colored tiles on a playing field and attempt to form squares or rectangles of at two by three bricks big...removing them from play in the process.

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RACING

Racing Gears Advance



• Developer: Orbital Media
• Publisher: Orbital Media
• Release: US & EU 2005
• Description:
Orbital Media's take on the arcade racing genre is pretty straightforward, but it's pulled off in style. Racing Gears Advance is a eight-challenger affair where players zip their choice of twelve real-world, licensed vehicles through several different competitions of five races each. Though a skillful hand on the wheel is certainly required, this game's not simply about balls-out racing since it also pushes the offensive element by allowing for weaponry during competition.

• Screenshots:




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Mario Kart Super Circuit



• Developer: NDCube
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2001
• Description:
This title is an awesome Game Boy Advance game that shows off everything the system's capable of, from the single and multiple cartridge, four player link, to the digitized audio, to the hardware's pseudo-3D capabilities. It's a GBA game with very few flaws. The controls are a little hard to grasp, especially on the Game Boy Advance's cramped configuration, but with a few spins around the course you'll catch on.

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F-Zero: Maximum Velocity



• Developer: NDCube
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2001
• Description:
It's a straight-forward racer with some good items to earn if you're good enough. Very fast and very smooth 3D-esque engine, with more realistic colors than the original SNES game. Very tight controls and fast action compliment the tried-and-true SNES design. The later levels are near impossible to complete -- you'll definitely get your money's worth trying to finish the game.

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V-Rally 3



• Developer: Velez & Dubail
• Publisher: Infogrames
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
A technically impressive racing game for the GBA, but even more impressive is that underneath the pretty images sits a racing game that would be great on any platform. The game attempts to be a rally simulator, but ends up being more of an arcade-style racer because there's little technique necessary in getting through the locations' challenges. But if you're looking to see what your GBA is able to do graphically, V-Rally 3 will definitely wow you with its visuals.

• Screenshots:




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Colin McRae Rally 2.0



• Developer: Spellbound
• Publisher: Ubisoft
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
Yes, the graphics on the surface are a bit on the low-quality side, but you just have to see it in action to appreciate everything that's going on in the game. The pros (gameplay modes, physics model, single cartridge multiplayer) definitely outweight the cons (bad menu, low-res textures), and to sneer at the game because of some low-quality screenshots would be doing an injustice to both the game itself, and your potential (and inevitable) enjoyment.

• Screenshots:




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Arturo

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Top Gear Rally



• Developer: Velez & Dubail
• Publisher: Infogrames
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
While it's not the best rally racer on the Game Boy Advance, Top Gear Rally is a very enjoyable racer that might be a little light in customization, but it makes up for it in all the tracks and challenges that you have to race through. There's an excellent amount of racing to be had here. It's a very solid and well-designed arcade racer. It's not as technical as it appears to be, but it's fast and furious especially in the deeper challenges.

• Screenshots:




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Karnaaj Rally



• Developer: Paragon 5 / Infinite Dreams
• Publisher: Jaleco
• Release: US 2002 | EU Not released
• Description:
Apart from the lame character presentation (which ultimately affects the box art direction) and poor choice of title that's just as difficult to read as it is to spell, Karnaaj Rally is an excellent racing game that's a bit slow-going at the start. Give it a few trips around the track, though, because the challenge definitely increases as time goes on. The faster the cars, the more difficult it is to complete the circuit. The game's graphics are downright gorgeous, with a super ambitious combination of 2D and 3D elements used to great effect on the Game Boy Advance system.

• Screenshots:




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Rock 'n Roll Racing



• Developer: Mass Media
• Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
• Release: US & EU 2003
• Description:
Even though this console racer is many years old, its design is still a classic. Mass Media kept in everything about the Super NES and recreated it on the GBA, sans password save. The game looks, sounds and plays almost exactly like the racer did on the SNES, and in most cases that's what we like. The game is incredibly fun and challenging, but if only the GBA team went one step further and recorded the best times on each track… The game is pulled off extremely well in this design, with a really good balance of racing and weapon combat.

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SHOOTER

Medal of Honor: Infiltrator



• Developer: Netherock Ltd.
• Publisher: EA
• Release: US & EU 2003
• Description:
EA took back the series and produced one hell of an action game. Infiltrator is an excellent revisit to old-school action gaming, with tweaks added to the style to make it feel like a contemporary game design. Medal of Honor: Infiltrator is so fun, challenging, and well produced that the only hard complaint we have about the game is that the single player mode is just a bit too short.

• Screenshots:




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Metal Slug Advance



• Developer: Noise Factory
• Publisher: SNK NeoGeo
• Release: US & JP 2004
• Description:
The most exciting aspect of Metal Slug Advance is just how well the game design works on the GBA platform. NeoGeo arcade games have never been about "depth" because they're, well, arcade games that are more for instant gratification than extensive gaming sessions. And the appearance of one of the most favorite of the NeoGeo franchises invites the possibility of other games in the NeoGeo arcade line-up to find a place in the GBA's library.

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Iridion II



• Developer: Shin'en
• Publisher: Majesco
• Release: US & EU 2003
• Description:
There’s not a great deal that can be done to improve the 2D shooter’s basic premise, but Iridion II raises the bar by including superior audio, very decent graphics, and a good variety of both new (auto-upgrade) as well as classic (super-shot and smart bombs) gameplay features. Drop-dead gorgeous visuals and an old-school shooter soundtrack, coupled with an intelligent shooting system and interface, beautifully rendered enemies, arcade and story play modes and even a gallery with a doorway of special effects.

• Screenshots:




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Max Payne



• Developer: Mobius Entertainment
• Publisher: Rockstar Games
• Release: US & EU 2003
• Description:
Max Payne is a surprisingly awesome conversion that almost came out of nowhere. The Game Boy Advance isn't exactly a powerhouse of a gaming system, but Mobius' versatile technology allows for as much Max Payne gameplay as the isometric perspective allows. The isometric engine allows for several 3D characters on-screen, destructible items, and lots of gore. Absolutely satisfying shooter with a unique feel on the Game Boy Advance. There's a few instances of too much off-screen shooting, but overall it's a fantastic experience.

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Doom



• Developer: David A. Palmer Productions
• Publisher: Activision
• Release: US & EU 2001
• Description:
Yep, Doom on the Game Boy Advance turned out extremely well. It's definitely thrilling to see such a small system push a game only the big boys have been able to push -- Doom on the Game Boy Advance is excellent fun that's hurt only by its unestablished multiplayer mode and its overall been-there-done-that feeling. The game does have some holes that needed filling during development, but even so, it's an absolute keeper for your GBA library.

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SPORTS

Mario Power Tennis / Mario Tennis Power Tour



• Developer: Camelot Software
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2005
• Description:
Mario Power Tennis is the best representation of the sport on the handheld, and it offers up the same amount of depth and playability. It's not just about playing the sport in the handheld version, it's more about living it. So, while you're definitely going to get a full-fledged Mario Tennis experience on the Game Boy Advance, this game is focused on the role-playing aspect of becoming the best of the tennis best.

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Mario Golf Advance Tour



• Developer: Camelot Software
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2004
• Description:
GBA installment in the Mario-themed golf series. Three-dimensional graphics are used for the stages, but you can switch to a 2D map view at any time inrder to plan your attacks. Select either Neal or Ella and enter the Marion Club Learning Center in order to become a pro. You raise both yourself and your partner, learning under the counsel of Kid and attempting to one-up your rivals, Helen and Bazu. This mode has an RPG-like feel, with new courses opening up as you progress and members of the club sharing golf knowledge with you when you speak to them.

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Wade Hixton's Counter Punch



• Developer: Inferno Games / Engine Software
• Publisher: Destination Software, Inc. (DSI)
• Release: US & EU 2004
• Description:
Inferno Games and Destination Software recognized just how great the Punch-Out! design really is, and pay tribute to it in Wade Hixton's Counter Punch. The core gameplay of Counter Punch is absolutely, one hundred percent inspired by Nintendo's game, but tweaked ever so slightly with its own graphic style to make it at least feel like an original design. The result is a great arcade boxing experience on the handheld, even if it's lacking just a bit in variety.

• Screenshots:




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Tony Hawk's Underground



• Developer: Vicarious Visions
• Publisher: Activision
• Release: US & EU 2003
• Description:
The developers of the Game Boy Advance version, Vicarious Visions, have plugged along with its hybrid engine of modeling the levels in a scrolling bitmap, but rendering the character as a 3D object with texture-mapped polygons. The result is, and has always been, a game that feels like Tony Hawk on the go. And that's an incredible thing.

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STRATEGY & STRATEGY RPG

Advance Wars



• Developer: Intelligent Systems
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US 2001 | EU 2002
• Description:
Advance Wars is an incredibly deep and addictive turn-based strategy game, where you assume command of an army that's out to reclaim a world that's been broken up by warring factions. The battle map is essentially a grid, and moving units is like moving chess pieces on a board.

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Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising



• Developer: Intelligent Systems
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US 2003 | EU 2003
• Description:
The Advance Wars design is incredibly fun and addictive, and the sequel proves that the game design still works even if you've played the original to death. But you'll just have to keep in mind that the game is made for players looking for more of the same, not for players looking for "more." Advance Wars 2 is still one of the finest games to hit the Game Boy Advance, and it's the version to get if you haven't been introduced to the stunning game design.

• Screenshots:




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Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis



• Developer: Quest (Japan)
• Publisher: Atlus
• Release: US & EU 2002
• Description:
Tactics Ogre brings unprecedented strategy gameplay to a handheld system. Even though developer Quest simplified certain elements over the SNES predecessor, Tactics Ogre remains the most complex strategy game to hit the GBA. The pretty field graphics never fail to impress and the battle animations get the job done nicely. Tactics Ogre is due for an overhaul as moving units can take quite a long time. But the slower pace is easily offset by the addictive gameplay, the deep class system, and the multi-path storyline.

• Screenshots:




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Final Fantasy Tactics Advance



• Developer: Square Enix PDD4
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2003
• Description:
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is not a true Final Fantasy game in the RPG series sense, nor is it a sequel or remake of Final Fantasy Tactics released on the PlayStation system several years ago. It's actually a new development that advances the game design of Final Fantasy Tactics, offering brand new gameplay elements in the turn-based strategy design with a completely new tale written specifically for Game Boy Advance gamers.

• Screenshots:




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Fire Emblem



• Developer: Intelligent Systems
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US 2003 | EU 2004
• Description:
The game, a turn-based strategy game designed by the same group of folks that brought the Advance Wars franchise to the GBA system, is an excellent mixture of RPG and adventure elements in a wonderfully told fantasy tale, and it's decidedly different from the past two strategy games already available from the developer. It's definitely one of, if not the most elaborate game developments on the handheld.

• Screenshots:




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Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones



• Developer: Intelligent Systems
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US & EU 2005
• Description:
It's still a great strategy experience, but because the game has already wowed us in the original release it's lost some of its luster. Even with that said, the storyline and gameplay still hold true to the series and offer up a gaming experience that fits the GBA like a glove. It offers as much as the original Fire Emblem did more than a year ago, with a new and original tale and brand new characters. The art style and engine returns in this sequel; sprite and tile-based graphics for in-game, but well-rendered characters for dialogue, and stunning animations during the battle sequences.

• Screenshots:




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Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon



• Developer: Amusement Vision
• Publisher: Atlus / SEGA
• Release: US & EU 2004
• Description:
The game is an updated version of Shining Force: The Legacy of Great Intention which is remembered fondly as being one of the first console games to fall into the now popular "turn based strategy" category. The core gameplay and story line are intact, but Atlus was kind enough to make some minor updates and additions. For some gamers, the novelty of playing an old favorite will be enough to give this game an instant 10. However, a lot has changed since the Shining Force series first appeared in the early 90s. Especially in the field of turn-based strategy. Features three cartridge saves, new card battle system, new art and updated graphics.

• Screenshots:


 

Arturo

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Rebelstar Tactical Command



• Developer: CODO Games
• Publisher: Namco
• Release: US 2005 | EU 2006
• Description:
While Advance Wars and Fire Emblem are better than Rebelstar, it's nice to have another strategy choice on the GBA. Rebelstar Tactical Command doesn't live up to either of the aforementioned titles, or to the legacy of the original X-Com, but it's a good GBA game that will appeal to more sophisticated gamers, and it's certainly addictive enough to eat up a lot of time on a plane or road trip. Intricate, challenging and definitely not one for the young-uns. A smart title that will keep adults busy. A worthy entry into the lacking GBA strategy library.

• Screenshots:




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OTHER

Another World GBA



• Developer: Foxysofts
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: US, EU & JP 2005
• Genre: Adventure
• Description:
A port of the classic adventure game by Delphine Software, this GBA version was programmed by GBA programmer Cyril Cogordan. Although an official version of the game is not available in cartridge form, the rights to the original game were acquired for this GBA version from original creator Eric Chahi, and is available for free on the programmer's website: http://www.foxysofts.com.

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The Tower SP



• Developer: Vivarium
• Publisher: SEGA/Nintendo
• Release: US 2006 | EU Not released
• Genre: Simulation
• Description:
While it seems a bit dated, The Tower SP offers some solid gameplay for fans of micromanagement. The Tower manages to work surprisingly well as a handheld. The options are laid out in menus that are easily accessed by a press of the right shoulder button. Navigating through the building is simple, and the pause feature allows you to see the satisfaction level of the various offices and businesses. Addictive like only simulations can be. The game is a bit too easy and really offers up no challenge, but it¿s a lot of fun watching the building grow.

• Screenshots:




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JP IMPORT

Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting



• Developer: Treasure
• Publisher: ESP
• Release: JP 2002
• Genre: Sports|Boxing
• Description:
The game makes a very well rounded package. There's extended options that will keep you coming back for a long time, mid-game save which makes it a good short-play (important for a handheld), and most importantly the fighting is fast, stylish, and loads of fun. It's probably better than Punch-out and it has Ippo in it.

• Screenshots:




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Guru Logic Champ



• Developer: Compile
• Publisher: Compile
• Release: JP 2001
• Genre: Puzzle
• Description:
The game's story mode sees the Champs, small yellow bird-like creatures who attempt to help free inhabitants of their neighbourhood. To do so, they must complete a series of logic puzzles. Each stage requires the player to complete an image by placing and removing blocks on the board.

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Elevator Action: Old & New



• Developer: Taito
• Publisher: Media Kite
• Release: JP 2002
• Genre: Other
• Description:
For those who don't know the series, Elevator Action puts players in the role of a super secret spy who must make his way through a series of buildings, grabbing all the top secret documents hidden in doorways. Elevators and escalators must be utilized to get up and down the building, and after collecting all the goodies that the place has to offer, players have to make their way to the bottom of the structure and get away...all without getting shot by enemies that wander each of the floors. The Game Boy Advance game, like the title reveals, offers both the original arcade game released in 1983, as well as a completely new design that's based on the original's gameplay.

• Screenshots:




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EMULATION

Goomba Color | Gameboy Color emulator



• Developer: Dan Weiss
• Website: dwedit.org
• Description:
Goomba Color is a GBC emulator written for the GBA. Even though the GBA usually natively plays GBC games, Goomba Color provides the convenience to run multiple games from a flash cartridge, and also runs on the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Micro.

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Pocket NES | NES emulator



• Developer: Loopy and Flubba
• Website: pocketnes.org
• Description:
PocketNES is a NES emulator for Gameboy Advance. In other words, it lets you play Nintendo 8-bit games on a Gameboy Advance. Is it good? It's bloody marvellous. And, yes, PocketNES does emulate NES games on the GBA in full speed, as incredible as it sounds. It can actually do quite a few games at twice the normal speed in accelerated mode.

• Screenshots:




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BIT GENERATIONS



Bit Generations is a collection of "style vs. substance" games that are simple in look, simple in concept, and surprisingly addictive. These are clearly pet projects from Nintendo designers who have been given free reign to design their own simple game. They're also budget priced at a few hundred yen cheaper than the less expensive Game Boy Advance game, which makes sense considering what you'd get for the same buck in a full-fledged product.

Official Homepage with gameplay videos

Dotstream



• Developer: Skip Ltd.
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: JP 2006 | US & EU Not released
• Genre: Racing
• Description:
Simple look, but surprisingly deep in gameplay. Your "vehicle" moves at a steady pace, but will increase its top speed if you "slipstream" close to an opponent's drawn line. You'll slow down if you stray from a straight line, so you'll want to move up and down as conservatively as you can.

• Screenshots:




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Dialhex



• Developer: Skip Ltd.
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: JP 2006 | US & EU Not released
• Genre: Puzzle
• Description:
The title says exactly what it is: it's a puzzle game where you rotate colored triangle tiles to form a six-sized hexagon, which will disappear and cause the other pieces to settle into place. This mechanic is tough to grasp and you'll find yourself hunting and pecking aimlessly trying to fit the pieces into place. But once you figure out the mechanic, you'll be lost in its mesmerizing gameplay. Hours can be lost in this unique puzzle game, which can be compared to the Xbox 360 freebie Hexic…but it's far, far more enjoyable because of its simplicity.

• Screenshots:




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Boundish



• Developer: Skip Ltd.
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: JP 2006 | US & EU Not released
• Genre: Pong
• Description:
These Pong-inspired designs are outstanding in competition. All of these games are brilliantly simple and addictive, with a basic art style that screams "programmer art." Simple as it looks, it works. It supports the GBA's wireless adapter and only requires one cartridge for two-player competition - and it's here where the product really comes alive.

• Screenshots:




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Coloris



• Developer: Skip Ltd.
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: JP 2006 | US & EU Not released
• Genre: Puzzle
• Description:
Coloris gets its namesake from two words: Color, and Tetris. Its gameplay isn't anything like Tetris, but it's just as addictive as we've spent hours swapping and removing tiles in the many different puzzle challenges. Each puzzle has its own color spectrum, and players must change the on-screen tiles by lightening or darkening the tile's color to the higher or lower of the color spectrum.

• Screenshots:




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Orbital



• Developer: Skip Ltd.
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: JP 2006 | US & EU Not released
• Genre: Puzzle
• Description:
This game is different. But in a good way. It's very similar in concept to the "bigger fish eat little fish to grow" design, but instead of swimming around in an ocean, you're floating around in space as a planet scooping up smaller planets to grow. This game uses the A and B buttons exclusively: A to "attract," B to "repel." What you have to do is use other planet's gravity to slingshot around each universe and scoop up littler planetoids.

• Screenshots:




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Digidrive



• Developer: Q Games
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: JP 2006 | US & EU Not released
• Genre: Puzzle
• Description:
Digidrive is probably the most complex of the second batch of four games. The idea is to direct the traffic of these various icons into the four different alleyways of the cross by pushing up, down, left or right on the D-pad. Stacking up like-icons together will build up the points, and if you manage to keep multiple channels filled up, a crazy multiplier mode will sprout up in some quick-paced traffic-shuffling maniacal session.

• Screenshots:




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Soundvoyager



• Developer: Skip Ltd.
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: JP 2006 | US & EU Not released
• Genre: Puzzle
• Description:
The theme is very exciting: sound-based gameplay. This design uses the stereo capabilities of the Game Boy Advance system to produce some odd game challenges, which means it's in your best interest to grab some headphones before you get started. There are various different game styles in Soundvoyager, but they ultimately boil down to "find the center channel."

• Screenshots:




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Screenshots, information, texts from: gamefaqs, gamespot, ign, etc.
 

Arturo

Member
Nov 4, 2007
253
0
845
Tenerife, Spain
CT Special Forces



• Developer: Light and Shadow Productions
• Publisher: Hip Interactive
• Release: US 2004 | EU 2002
• Description:
CT Special Forces is a side scrolling platform shooter that has a superficial similarity to the games of the Metal Slug series. The player controls an operative of a counter-terrorist force on a mission around the globe to stop terrorist activity and arrest its leaders.

• Screenshots:




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US: CT Special Forces 2: Back in the trenches EU: CT Special Forces 2: Back to hell



• Developer: Light and Shadow Productions
• Publisher: Hip Interactive
• Release: US 2004 | EU 2003
• Description:
This solid, arcade-inspired shoot-'em-up improves upon its predecessor in every way. CT Special Forces 2 is both a very good side-scrolling shoot-'em-up and a spectacular follow-up to the original game.

• Screenshots:




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US: CT Special Forces 3: Navy Ops EU: CT Special Forces 3: BioTerror



• Developer: Light and Shadow Productions
• Publisher: Hip Interactive
• Release: US & EU 2004
• Description:
CT Special Forces 3 is not a massive step forward of the series nor is it much better than previous games. Never the less, it is the best in the series so far and has enough new features to be a worthy purchase for fans of previous games. Fans of sideways scrolling shooters in general should also seriously consider this game.

• Screenshots:


 

sixteen-bit

Member
Aug 16, 2006
169,320
19
0
DRILL DOZER (Screw Breaker)
• Developer: GameFreak
• Publisher: Nintendo
• Release: Japan 2005, North America 2006
• Genre: Platformer (with light action and RPG elements)
• Description:
A phenomenal Game Freak platformer. Feels like Mischief Makers meets Pulseman.
Screens:
 

john tv

Member
Jun 6, 2004
7,998
0
0
Yukumo Village
www.8-4.jp
So many awesome GBA games. I would say Rhythm Tengoku, the Fire Emblems, the Castlevanias and the Metroids were my favorites, but so many others kicked ass too. Nintendo needs to get GBA up on the Virtual Console ASAP.
 
Aug 5, 2004
9,881
0
0
well, okay


but only because you put so much work into it


also, WarioWare Twisted is the best of the series by a lot of people's opinions
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
3
0
Great start. Looking at my collection and wishlist, here's what I've got or want that isn't on the list (I know some of these aren't super well loved, like Sword of Mana and River City Ransom EX):

Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, Chu Chu Rocket, Donkey Kong King of Swing, Drill Dozer, Final Fantasy IV Advance, Final Fantasy V Advance, Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Golden Sun: The Lost Age, Kirby and The Amazing Mirror, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Pokemon Fire Red / Leaf Green Version, Rebelstar: Tactical Command, Sigma Star Saga, Super Dodge Ball Advance, Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Super Monkey Ball Jr, Sword of Mana, Wario Land 4, WarioWare: Twisted!, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, The Tower SP, River City Ransom EX, Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand, Boktai 2 Solar Boy Django, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, Fire Emblem The Sacred Stones, Kirby Nightmare in Dream Land, Klonoa: Empire of Dreams, Riviera: The Promised Land, Shining Soul 2, Summon Night Swordcraft Story, Summon Night Swordcraft Story 2, Super Mario Advance, Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance, Tactics Ogre, Yggdra Union, Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars, Ninja Five-Oh, TMNT, Kuru Kuru Kururin, Pokemon RuSa
 

Shig

Strap on your hooker ...
Sep 30, 2004
15,086
0
0
Georgia
baconmcshig.tumblr.com
Looking good so far. I'm sure you've got a lot more in the works so I'll spare you the obvious "where's _____?" queries and just put a few of the more overlooked ones out there for your consideration: Pinball of the Dead, Polarium Advance, and Kururin Paradise.
 

EvilMario

Will QA for food.
Aug 24, 2007
18,852
0
0
Great thread, we just need a little more Tactics Ogre. And Wario Land 4.
And maybe a little FFTA.

Gameboy Advance has too many good titles. ^_^
 

Jazzem

Member
Aug 17, 2007
2,790
0
885
Great thread :) The only additions I can think of that haven't been suggested are Breath of Fire I/II (Though some may not deem them good enough for the thread, but I personally had a blast with them), Mario Golf: Advance Tour, Final Fight One and Super Street Fighter II' Turbo Revival.

Also I hear there's a King of Fighters GBA game, what's that supposed to be like?
 

Jamesfrom818

Banned
Mar 1, 2007
19,837
0
0
818
Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper only leaves my Micro when I feel like playing Super Puzzle Fighter. I love those two games.
 

RaidenZR

Member
Jul 14, 2004
4,353
0
0
Austin TX
Can I make a suggestion? Maybe this thread should be an organized list of Tiers, similar to how HD Media sites have tier lists for Picture Quality and Audio Quality on Blu-Ray and HD-DVD and such. I'm not saying we split it up in terms of visuals/audio like that, but more like "classic" or "must-own/play" status. So Tier 0 would be the hands-down unanimously chosen GBA games for anyone's library. Then less and less so as the tiers increment.
 

Shiggy

Member
Jun 10, 2004
26,711
1
1,495
Great list, but please change the developer of the bit Generation games to "Skip Ltd." ;)
 

jon bones

hot hot hanuman-on-man action
Jan 9, 2007
33,918
0
1,210
Thanks a lot, buddy... you just destroyed my wallet :(

Seriously, though thanks! This thread is amazing :D
 
Stumpokapow said:
Great start. Looking at my collection and wishlist, here's what I've got or want that isn't on the list (I know some of these aren't super well loved, like Sword of Mana and River City Ransom EX):

Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, Chu Chu Rocket, Donkey Kong King of Swing, Drill Dozer, Final Fantasy IV Advance, Final Fantasy V Advance, Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Golden Sun: The Lost Age, Kirby and The Amazing Mirror, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Pokemon Fire Red / Leaf Green Version, Rebelstar: Tactical Command, Sigma Star Saga, Super Dodge Ball Advance, Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Super Monkey Ball Jr, Sword of Mana, Wario Land 4, WarioWare: Twisted!, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, The Tower SP, River City Ransom EX, Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand, Boktai 2 Solar Boy Django, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, Fire Emblem The Sacred Stones, Kirby Nightmare in Dream Land, Klonoa: Empire of Dreams, Riviera: The Promised Land, Shining Soul 2, Summon Night Swordcraft Story, Summon Night Swordcraft Story 2, Super Mario Advance, Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance, Tactics Ogre, Yggdra Union, Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars, Ninja Five-Oh, TMNT, Kuru Kuru Kururin, Pokemon RuSa
definitely,
that game was better than FFTA
 

Soneet

Member
May 2, 2006
5,471
0
0
www.soneet.com
I don't know who made the list but that person has freakin' excellent taste!! All the nice gems I was thinking of ("it better be on the list!") are in there ^-^