gbadev
Game Boy Advance homebrew development forum
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According to Wikipedia, there were 1,538 officially-licensed games released for the GBA over the course of its life. On top of that, there's quite a lot of homebrew!

So, which games are your favorite? Which ones are your least favorite? Which ones aged the best, or the worst? Which do you find super fascinating? Which ones stand out to you? Here's your general discussion thread for the console's library.

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I'll go ahead and start with a game that I find super fascinating, and which never gets talked about:

Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge

This game got a really poor reception when it came out, which was understandable as it was a big departure from the rest of the Mega Man Battle Network series, and also just very weird. But I think this game really stands on its own, especially now that a lot of time has passed.

What's unique about it is that the gameplay is really, really distilled. It sort of takes the formula from Battle Network and isolates it down to just the battles, but then it goes even further to where the battles sort of play themselves out. It's closer to an incremental game in a way. But it's tough to describe, I've never actually played anything else like it. It makes a lot of weird design decisions that I don't see elsewhere, for better or worse.

I think it would have gotten a much better reception had it released 10 years later. The sort of "distilled gameplay" is something that sees a lot of success nowadays (Downwell, Vampire Survivors, Loop Hero just to name a few examples) but at the time it felt out of place. For me personally, I loved it when it came out, and I still return to it occasionally.

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I have to play it!

I don't like Battle Network series because of world exploration, so if Battle Chip Challenge doesn't have much of that it must be great :)

One of my favourites:

Most GBA games are "too modern" compared to the SNES and Mega Drive era, but Ninja Five-O would fit very well in the 90s.

Awesome music, gfx, action and the time wasted on story is as short as possible :D

Great stuff.

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Cool! I played battle network a lot when I was younger, but haven’t tried chip challenge yet.
Last year I played kuru kuru kururin for the first time, lots of fun, although late in the game it gets more frustrating than fun and I didn’t finish it. Recommended though.
I also started playing Mother 3 and was amazed by the attention to detail and quality of the animations, the writing is also well done. The battle system holds the game back a bit, but still a good experience overall.
I tried Minish Cap a couple months ago but couldn’t really get into it. Something about the color palette and map design bugged me. The colors are hyper saturated and have no cohesion, the animations are a bit too silly, the game feels like it just lacks soul compared to Link's Awakening or Wind Waker. Just my opinion, a lot of people would disagree.
I guess I’d say my favorite is Advance Wars 2

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My favorites are Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, and Wario Ware.

I was always impressed with the 3D characters in the Tony Hawk series. The levels were a lot of fun to explore and find secrets in too.

Wario Ware is just silly and I love it. The stories are ridiculous and the minigames are fun.


- Sean aka velipso // Inky and the Alien Aquarium

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Sonic Advance 2 and 3 are my absolute faves.

2 is a blast, just a really tight experience that you can play through in a couple of sittings, it never slows down, every boss is on wheels so you're literally running the whole time, it's so exhilarating! Well apart from that stupid mech at the end which brings everything to a stop, oh well...

3 stands out for me as having the best areas and music. The last two zones are absolute perfection, Cyber Track is so catchy and full of hi-tech early 2000's vibes. Chaos Angel is awe-inspiring, you're running above the clouds through an ancient city, the moon lit up, the sky stained purple, with the most beautiful, intense, haunting melodies pushing you on.

I've never managed to get the true ending in either game though. Finding all the chao / special rings seems like a drag, and part of the fun of these games for me is that I don't know all the levels by heart, so that I still have to think on my feet when playing through them 😅︎

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I never had a GBA when it originally came out, so I'm missing any nostalgia for the games. Though I I did enjoy Yu-Gi-Oh! Dungeon Dice Monsters, and World Championship Tournament.
I played Pokemon Blue back on the DMG, and I really like the Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald monsters, but I've yet to put any serious time into playing them though.

Some of my favourites have actually come from the game jams like Toadally Awesome, Necropolis, and Skyland (to name a few)

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@exelotl
Cool! I never had sonic advance when I was younger, but looking at it now, the visuals are really clean. Like this city background with the hdma effect.
Image

Level has a nice yellow-orange/ultramarine theme going:
Img2

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My favourites are the Golden Sun games and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. They are super polished. Great graphics, music and story. I still remember exploring the world in Golden Sun 2 for hours trying to discover things. Another game I really liked is "The Urbz, Sims in the City". I've replayed the 4 games several times, specially the first 3. 😅︎

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SkyLyrac wrote:

Another game I really liked is "The Urbz, Sims in the City". I've replayed the 4 games several times, specially the first 3. 😅︎

The Sims games on the GBA are fascinating to me from a game-design standpoint. I know some videos have been done on them. I owned Bustin' Out as a kid and played it a lot. I would have loved to see a more sandbox-y Sims game on the system, but there's probably some reason I'm not considering as to why they didn't ever go that route.
...I wonder if that could be turned into a romhack. Like, just retrofitting one of those GBA Sims games to fall more in line with the sandbox format on PC. Hm...

evanbowman wrote:

I tried Minish Cap a couple months ago but couldn’t really get into it. Something about the color palette and map design bugged me. The colors are hyper saturated and have no cohesion, the animations are a bit too silly, the game feels like it just lacks soul compared to Link's Awakening or Wind Waker. Just my opinion, a lot of people would disagree.

No I get exactly what you mean. I tried getting into Minish Cap a while ago and felt the same way, it was just too silly. Part of Wind Waker's charm is the tone of the game. It's got a cartoon-y art style but it still takes itself seriously, and the scope of the world inspires a lot of wonder to the player. I didn't really feel that with Minish Cap.

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My favorites are Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, and Wario Ware.

Oh I loved the Tony Hawk GBA games, I played 2 3 and 4 all the way through a while ago, I think I 100%ed them. I felt that they did a phenomenal job in demaking those games while still preserving the fun and essence of the originals.