411 Games Top 5 5.24.14: Top 5 Gameboy Advance Games
Posted by Sean Garmer on 05.24.2014
From Metroid Fusion and Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap to Fire Emblem, Advance Wars and more, the 411 staff counts down their top 5 Gameboy Advance games!
Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there. Let's celebrate the Gameboy Advance.
In our on and off series looking at the best from retro systems, it is time to honor the Gameboy Advance
Robert Cooper (Music Zone Reviewer, Writer of Metal Hammer Doom News Report, Regular Contributor to The Official 411 Games Zone Podcast "Cooperative Multiplayer," 411 Podcast Contributor )
5. Fire Emblem: Here's a game I picked up really cheap recently and have been wanting to revisit. This game is one of those that throw you into the experience and you are left to sometimes suffer because of your past failures.
Because in this game, once one of your party members dies, they're gone for good. Which can surely be a huge pain in the ass when you need their skills. Still a damming good game, though.
4. Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance: I love talking about Castlevania, is that too obvious? This I probably the weakest of the three games on the system, though that only means of that it's not as amazing as the other two. This game was surprisingly easy, for the most part. While there is sure to be a few bosses that are a pain in the ass, the overall game isn't that hard. Plus, the two castle system is actually useless in this game, as the two castles have the exact same layout with different enemies in each. Made it more tedious then fun to traverse the game, but that's only a slight blemish.
3. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon: One of the first games out on the system happens to be one of the best. This game is actually a side story to the main continuity of Castlevania and actually features someone other than Dracula as the main antagonist, which is good. This game is also hard as shit, which is welcome for all the fans of the also hard as shit classic games. It's a lot easier to find than the other two Castlevania entries so if you can fin it, buy it.
2. Pokemon Emerald: Of course Pokemon would be here! This was the third entry in the trio of gem named Pokemon games, and was the best out of the three. It offered all of the legendaries from the other two games, as well as some other goodies, like the Battle Tower! While this gen doesn't seem to get the same love as its predecessors, I think that is more because they were a tough act to follow and with the two main games being remade this fall, we can all relive Gen 3 all over again!
1. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow: This was another list where I knew number 1 from seeing the title. This is my second favorite Castlevania game of all time, and with good reason. It featured an addicting soul capture system as well as a great story with an amazing twist, and memorable characters. It also has a great second mode with Julius mode. Much like Richter mode in SOTN, this game is merciless with damage output, Julius takes a lot of damage from simple hits and doesn't deal much out in comparison to Soma. This makes the game a lot harder, but also makes it to where you have to play with skill, and beating Graham is an incredibly hard feat. Though Julius does get a special (yet familiar) ending, so it's worth the trouble. Overall, the game is a classic and everyone with a Wii U (all 8 of you) should go pick this game up when it's released on the Virtual Console.
Daniel Anderson (Games Fact or Fiction Organizer, Regular Contributor to The Official 411 Games Zone Podcast "Cooperative Multiplayer")
5. Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World: I know this is kind of a cop out since the game was originally released on the SNES, but I bought this game for the GBA and played it all the time. It was a fun way to kill time here and there, and the portable aspect made it even better than the original. It was just a port, but I played it all the time (and want to play it some more just thinking about it).
4. Metroid Fusion: I never got to play the original Metroid growing up, but I loved this game. It released the same time as the Gamecube FPS version of Metroid and gave fans of the older Metroid something to enjoy. It kept the same feel and gameplay as the original, but improved the graphics and provided a fun alternative to the console version of Metroid.
3. Golden Sun: This game, along with the two following on the list, were the first games I bought for my Gameboy Advance. I enjoyed the gameplay and puzzle-solving aspects of Golden Sun. The turn based battles were also very well done. Overall, there was not one bad aspect of this game that I can think of. The only reason it is #3 on my list is because I tend to enjoy strategy games better.
2. Fire Emblem: This is one of my favorite turn based stategy game of all time. I love everything about this game. The story was great, the gameplay was amazing, the weapon system was simple, but well thought out, and the ways to recruit new members to your party was fun. The game gave you hints in the story before a battle to select certain members of your party to either recruit new party members or which characters will be effective. Only reason this game is not higher on my list, is that the next game had more endgame options.
1. Advance Wars: This game edged out Fire Emblem just because of one feature: the create a map feature was great. I loved making maps and playing the computer on random maps. After beating the campaign, I could always go back and play the game just for fun and create more maps. That isn't to say the single player campaign was not fun either. I played this game a lot during my college years and it would always keep me entertained on my lunch hours or between classes. A great game that has spawned many good sequels.
John Cash (Reader Voice, Occasional Contributor to Four Player Co-op)
5. Mario Kart: Super Circuit: Mario Kart is probably my favorite arcade style racing series of all time, and I imagine it is for a lot of people as well. It was nice to finally have Mario Kart on the go, because its the kind of game where you can just pull out your GBA while sitting in a waiting room and play a race or two and then when your name is called its no big deal to just turn the system off. Probably my second most played GBA game behind Pokemon R/S/E.
4. Golden Sun: I said previously in the somewhat maligned Top 5 Turn-Based Combat lists that Golden Sun was the game that made me love RPGs, so it had to show up on my GBA list. To me it feels like another series that Nintendo just doesn't really care that much about supporting, which is really sad. I loved the camaraderie between your party in this game, and it had a mostly coherent plot to it (which is a plus in a 30+ hour game). Of course, the main event is the awesome Djinn attacks that take up the whole screen! Hopefully the upcoming release of this game on the Wii U Virtual Console will drum up some interest for more in the series, or at least maybe an HD collection of some kind.
3. Super Mario Advance: Super Mario Bros 2: I didn't realize how many remakes were released on the GBA until looking up the official title of this game. Nintendo was doing HD remakes before HD was a thing in the American lexicon, and SMA:SMB2 is by far my favorite. From the update sprites and textures, to the out-of-left-field voice acting showing up, this was not only a great remake but a worthwhile one as well. I'll go ahead and play with fire by saying all Peach runs are for babies.
2. Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald: HOENN CONFIRMED! I probably would have been wishy-washy about what my favorite generation of Pokemon was if you'd asked me two months ago, but after hearing about Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, there was something inside of me that was overwhelmingly excited about it. I never even bothered to play Soul Silver or Heart Gold, when it was announced it felt like a total cash-in; well, now Nintendo is cashing in again, only this time it's my turn to be the sucker. I liked that they started branching out on things to do in the pokemon games here, like with the Contests and the Poffin making/berries, it added more depth to the game world so that it didn't feel like all you did was fight.
1. Mario & Luigi: SuperStar Saga: Another example of "Well, actually there are Mario games with plot," SuperStar Saga is yet another Mario RPG that people seem to forget all the time. I like the idea of other kingdoms being at play in the Mario universe, instead of everything being about the Mushroom Kingdom (RIP Sarasaland.) Once you get used to the controls, this game is fun, challenging, rewarding, and pretty humorous as well, and is probably the best "light RPG" made this millennium. Also coincidentally it's now available on the Wii U Virtual Console!
Sean Garmer (Games Zone Reviewer, Games Top 5 Organizer, Interim Host of The Official 411 Games Zone Podcast "Cooperative Multiplayer," WWE Special Event Roundtable Organizer)
5. Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald: While I was upset at first you couldn't bring over your pokemon from Gold & Silver, I got over it once I began playing Ruby & Sapphire. I really liked the introduction of double battles and how much more fun Pokemon became when these battles occurred. The story and catching Pokemon aspect might be the same, but this game added a lot of things that are still in Pokemon today like the abilities that introduced immunities to moves and the natures too.
4. Golden Sun 1 & 2: The original Golden Sun kept me hooked on my GBA for months. I loved the story in the game, the battle system was great, especially the use of the Djinn. The puzzle aspects of the game gave it a lot more depth and I remember really enjoying once you got to use the boat to move around the map. Golden Sun 2 added even more better enhancements to the series and continued the great story that the first one had.
3. Advance Wars 1 & 2: Final Fantasy Tactics might have been the game that got me into Strategy Games, but Advance Wars got me hooked. The tutorial was so deep that by the time you got to the first real mission you'd know so much about the game it was insane. Everything from the cutscenes to the freedom of controlling the units made it fun to go through each mission. I had tons of fun with this and it was a wonderful portable experience I loved taking with me anywhere.
2. Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap This is Link's best portable game and what do you know it was made by Capcom. The minish cap added a different dimension to the gameplay I really enjoyed. Being able to shrink and explore the land was fun. I really liked that I could go somewhere and play this for 15 minutes at a time and have fun through every minute of it.
1. Metroid Fusion: This game was just awesome. I picked this up on the recommendation of a Gamestop employee and I was so glad I listened to him. I loved the fact that they added the feature to have Samus absorb parasites and get new abilities that way. I have fond memories of this game and wish Nintendo could make another 2D Metroid like it.
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