Author Topic: Was the Gameboy Advance an underrated handheld?  (Read 3247 times)

Meneer Jansen (OP)

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Was the Gameboy Advance an underrated handheld?
« on: January 14, 2011, 12:22:28 am »
As I am catching up on some ame platforms I missed out on it I find that the GBA games are really great! As a whole the collection of games is more "diverse" than the games for other ystems were. By that I mean that not every game is the same but w/ different graphics.

For instance, the SNES was a great system, but 90% of its games were left tto right side scrollers in which you could not even go up a screen. If you climbed up or went down you always "warped" to a different part of the level (i.e. all the Mario games). Not much freedom of movement. That's why I like the Megadrive (Genesis) more now a day's. Take games like 'The Lion King' or 'jungle Book' for instance: in each level you can "wonder around". You could climb up and down, back and forth looking for the end boss and fifgt baddies on the way.

'Super Mario World' for the SNES. Jump 'n' run from left to right.

Or the humble Atari 2600 (my childhood\adolescence sysem, yep: I'm that old ;)). It's graphics were so horribly bad that game developers could not steal the gameplay from another game and simply alter the graphics. Every game for the platform is had a creative new way of playing a game.

'Superman' for the Atari 2600. Arguably the worst graphics for an Atari game ever. But still gets a big laugh every time somebody sees it. Sill dunno what actually do in the game though.

I missed that creativity of finding something new in every game on Atari's successors. I didn't bother investing time or money in them. However, when the 3D games for the PC came I was hooked on gaming again.

But now I sort of rediscover the GBA because I'm searching for games for my Dingoo. And I'm surprised about how good and diverse the GBA games were. From classic Mario games and racing games (Mario Kart!) to 3D games like 'Asterix'. And 'Pirates of the Carribbean' is somewhat in between 3D and 2D. I even find its 'Prince of Persia The Sands of Time' way way way better than its big brother for PC and Gamecube. At the time I do not remember that much fuss about the GBA like about it's predecessor. That one was really over-hyped imho. But when I think of it now the GBA was a really good machine. Powerful enough to almost run real 3D games and small enough to really fit into your pocket. Hell, they even had a Schedule\Organizer cartridge for it! Some of my best Dingoo games are GBA games.

'Asterix' for the GBA

'Pirates of the Caribbean' for the GBA.

Today we have the N-DS and the PSP. Of those two I see the DS the most around here. And in my opinion most of its games are lame brain-trainers or kiddy Mario games which they might just as well have enjoyed on the GBA. And the PSP? A master of 3D power and widescreen beauty-ness, be it a bit big....

Do you too think that the GBA was a bit underrated? Was it realeased in a time that kids and grownups had grown tired of handhelds?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 01:29:36 pm by Meneer Jansen »
Finally got me a new Dingoo after I Kentucky ~~::fried::~~ the other one. Yippee! [edit] And lost it!


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Re: Was the Gameboy Advance an underrated handheld?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2011, 08:00:34 am »
I always felt that GBA was abandoned at its peak. Just as developers really got good at creating games for it, the DS was released, and then all of the bad GBA games got ported over as "interactive" touch games with gimmicky controls.

I've owned all of Nintendo's portables, and I have to say the GBA Micro is probably my favourite -- it's a great portable size, and the battery last for ages. So it might be a bit small with a cramped form factor, but you get used to that, and even with my large hands it's not a problem to play games on it.

Some of my favourite games for the GBA are:

Mario Kart Super Circuit
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Konami Krazy Racers
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The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
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Golden Sun
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Tetris Advance
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Puzzle League (Panel de Pon/Tetris Attack)
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Although these are just rehashes of games from SNES mostly, they all bring something new to the table. Minish Cap features my favourite art style of the 2D Zelda games and a great story, Konami Krazy Racers is like a quirky Mario Kart where you can play as the ninja from Metal Gear Solid. Tetris Advance is a great pick-up-and-play puzzle game.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 08:16:45 am by omgmog »


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Re: Was the Gameboy Advance an underrated handheld?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2011, 09:04:10 am »
I first bought a GBA sp on a gap year trip to China in 2005, Got it for abaout ?50 with Street Fighter Alpha 2, Tekken and Kirby (the one that's exactly like the nes version but with better graphics). At the time I really liked it and played Tekken and Street Fighter alot with my mates (it was fitting cause I was staying in a Kung Fu School in Henan), but when I came home I didn't really play it much and couldnt be asked to buy games.

Now that I've got my Dingoo, I'm beginning to rediscover the GBA. There are alot of great games and loads of variety. Were the native GBA emulator not so good I wouldve probably never got interested in GBA games.

I still mainly play SNES and NES games on my Dingoo, for the nostalgia factor more than anything, but the GBA also comes in handy for SNES games that don't run well on DINGUX, like Star Fox (Star X) and Mario Kart.

Thinking about it, when I was a kid everyone had a gameboy or a gameboy colour but don't think anyone I knew had a GBA, seems strange as the GBA in my opinion really is a suitable console for taking the games you love playing at home with you out on the go (although the Dingoo's better obviously).

So yeah, GBA is cool! Wish I got into it more back in the day, then I would have more 'nostalgia games' to play now.


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Re: Was the Gameboy Advance an underrated handheld?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2011, 03:46:54 pm »
I consider it to be the best handheld ever released, my favourite version being the SP as it was comfortable to hold yet folded down to a very small size - also had a nice illuminated screen for once!
I did afterburner mod my original GBA but the SP was miles better.

There's some truly great games for the system, it got fantastic ports of 3D games like Need For Speed (1 and 2 are ace), VRally 3, Killswitch and Doom 1&2. It also had some top Snes games brought back such as the Mario and Zelda games, also numerous RPG remakes and great original RPGs like Golden Sun.

For me it was a great fusion of old and new, the Metroid and Castlevania series (AOS is one of my AT favourites) got updates as did countless other franchises like Mario Golf/Tennis, even Bubble Bobble got a make over!

One of the best things for me was the GB/GBC support so i could retire my old school grey GB and save a fortune on AA batteries! I still have a large collection of GB/GBC/GBA carts stored in my spare room.

Yeah the PSP and DS can do better graphics but there's a distinctly poor ratio of quality games on those consoles and the PSP seems to have totally failed to grasp the point of handheld gaming altogether (long load times totally spoiled it for me). Besides the GBA had some stunning games - Aria of Sorrow, VRally 3, Iridion 2, Golden Sun, Doom - there's loads more i can't remember.
GPD Win, GPD XD 64gb, PlayGo, RS-90, 3DS XL, DSi XL, GBA SP, GBBC Clone, Gameboy Pocket c/w screen mod, PSP Go
Medion Erazer, Toshiba Z20t, Dell Mini 9, Psion 5MX
Tons of other old laptops and tablets.....