Game Boy Advance Recommendations

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

Bule – I’ve played this one a lot before, so this was not that surprising of an experience. However, I believe that now I have the best view of this game’s pros and cons. This is a very good game. Graphics are ace, music is mostly brilliant, gameplay is responsive and addicting and there’s enough stuff to do. As far as GBA metroidvanias go, this is my favourite of them. Kuro was harsh on the story and the characters, but I thought they were okay, mostly since they are quite different than the series normally has. In short, the game is good stuff. However, from this playthrough I didn’t get that great of an experience as I’ve had before. Maybe it was the combination of playing on hard, which brings some welcome challenge but makes collecting souls annoying and generally amps up the frustration, playing this with little time since last playthrough, and trying to beat this on schedule. Some of the areas felt a bit boring as well and a deal of the weapons and souls were too weak to be interesting. It made me also realise that Symphony of the Night is better and I should replay that one. But for a portable console and for an original game, this is a damn good substitute for SotN. And as for portable metroidvanias, this game’s sequel made everything even better. (Well, everything but the character art, which took a real nosedive.)

Kuro – Lots of fun. Great mechanics, gives the player a lot of room to play how they want. Nice looking game. Overall the soundtrack is solid, a lot of the tunes are unremarkable but some are great. It’s a metroidvania so it’s hard to hold narrative faults against it, but the plot, characters and dialogue are downright stupid. Fortunately their minimal role make them just an irksome distraction rather than a serious fault, and they don’t detract from everything the game does right. Glad I played it.

DK: King of Swing

Christopherzilla – A short and sweet 2D platformer with very unique gameplay. You move through the stage by swinging from pegs, it can be difficult at first, but once you get the swing of it you’ll love it. I keep coming back to it every year for a quick play through. There’s really nothing else like it.

Fire Emblem (The Blazing Blade)

Refia – The game simply released as “Fire Emblem” in the west, and my first game I played in the series (I played all of them on release except the somewhat new Fire Emblem Echoes). Actually the seventh game in the franchise, but I guess they didn’t want us to know that, even though it directly connects with another game they never released here (The Binding Blade). I still have the most good memories of this game out of all of them and I go back to it sometimes, but honestly they’re all amazing. Great story here and one of my favorite GBA games. The permadeath system means you will have to be on top of your game or risk losing the people you care about. If you play without resetting the game is way more memorable in my opinion. Amazing stuff!!!

Gunstar Super Heroes

Apple – Treasure is one heck of a company! I’ve enjoyed plenty of their games, and Gunstar Heroes on the Genesis is one I grew up with! This sequel I’d say is not quite as good as the original. It lacks co-op and the weapons system isn’t as interesting. But HECK does it deliver on the bosses, especially Seven Force on higher difficulties. The game also likes to throw all sorts of different play styles at you and that kept the game very interesting. Shmup segments, a board game and even a flicky minigame. SAVE DEM CHICKS! I really enjoy this title and have always found it a fun playthrough.

gamma – it’s an impressive run n gun game with shmup elements and also a board game part on the fourth stage that ruins the game a lot because of tedious checkpoint system of the olden days but the rest of the game and stages were so fun that it’s still an 81. stage 2 has surprise 3d overhead helicopter shump part then ANOTHER one on stage 5 where you can play from a million angles play it yourself to see more it’s great for a 2005 gba game. and a lot of boss rushes like even though stage 4 has an annoying board game part the actual areas to play when you land on the board are MOSTLY good boss fights and bonus stuff too. then at the end you fight even more bosses like 5 in a row then the final boss. it’s a perfect way to end and again very fun stages throughout. but not an easy game at all it’s difficult but one of my favorites on gba now for sure. recommended

Metroid: Zero Mission

Kuro – Lots of fun. Great atmosphere and smooth controls, shinesparking aside. The lack of Maridia keeps MZM from matching the atmosphere of Super Metroid, but the stealth sequence is interesting enough. A game that’s easy to enjoy.

Yoshi – This was the first Metroid game I’ve ever gone through and I definitely enjoyed it. The second half of the game was very challenging for me, almost frustratingly so. The puzzles itself were much harder for me than any bosses I came across. Backtracking was actually a fun process in this game, which I know can be a pretty hard thing to pull off. Great sound of course, and I’m already itching to play another Metroid game after this.

Mother 3

Barbaloot – Same ol’ Earthbound charm in this sequel, but a touch more story driven. While I enjoy the pure wackiness of Earthbound more, Mother 3 made me cry. A lot.

Pokémon Emerald

Refia – Pokemon Emerald is a great game but I beat it already so I thought I’d make it interesting with a randomizer run. Shit was really weird and I didn’t think one slightly overleveled pokemon could take out the elite four and champion but for the most part it worked. I really rushed at the end, so my party’s levels were really low except for one pokemon who was basically on par with where I should have been across the board if I took my time. I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t get to level everyone up to have my whole party have good movesets but everybody did their job. I like the newer gens better mostly because of the lack of a bag limit, which really bothered me this time, but it was alright.

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