MacWha’s Top 5 GBA Games of All Time
Hello again all! I welcome all of you in the Non-Fiction Gaming Nation and beyond to continue reading my overly opinionated, devastatingly charming and possibly nail-biting list of my top games separated by console.
Now I remind you this list is for me, personally you shouldn’t even be reading it. But alas you are and here we stand. The rules to my lists are as follows…
1. It’ll have as many games on the list as I
feel inclined, why you ask? It’s my list suck it.
2. It’s a list of games that have meaning to me,
not the best games in the history of time.
3. In many cases I’ll state a franchise and then go
into the which was the beast of the bunch.
4. Sometimes I’ll list a game I disliked, felt was
overblown, or heck something I just have irrational hatred for.
5. If you disagree, post your list below. Hell if you
make a good enough argument, I might even add to the list.
Yup that’s it, no more to worry about. Today we get to talk about the ever fun GBA or Game Boy Advanced. The GBA was our first big update to hand-held gaming, sporting a much larger colour pallet as well as huge upgrade in graphics and sound.
Another very prominent feature of the GBA was it being one of the first consoles out there with backwards compatibility, it allowed you to play any Gameboy or Gameboy Color titles on your new GBA, amazing! Now for me I never actually had the original GBA, I had the far sleeker SP model.
What SP stood for I can’t for the life of me remember, and honestly I don’t care enough to wiki it. Alright enough of the glad handing, let’s get this dog and pony show going. First up…
5. Mario Golf: Advanced Tour
Ahhh the Mario sports franchises, what by all rights should be downright silly and awful ends up being various decently balanced sports games. Advanced Tour was my first foray into both Mario Sports and golf games as a whole, and what I found didn’t disappoint.
You get to pick a character for yourself out of Mario’s ever-expanding cadre of friends and ne’er do wells, for me it always Luigi, seriously I’ll flip the board if I don’t get to be Luigi… Big surprise the rest of the game involves playing golf!
You play through various Mario inspired courses, and you golf, you know putt, drive, chip… Really if you don’t know what golf is then video games are the least of your concerns, moving on…
4. Final Fantasy IV
Yup another Final Fantasy hits my list. Now while I know this title didn’t originally appear on this console, my play through did. I played the re-released version that popped up in the late 2000s.
The game’s story follows Cecil, a dark knight, as he tries to prevent the sorcerer Golbez from seizing powerful crystals and destroying the world. He then gets a whole bunch of friends and then SPOILERS kicks Golbez’s ass. FFIV introduced some major game mechanics that became staple of following games in the series as well as RPG as a genre.
The biggest and most influential change was the use of “Active Time Battles” or ATB’s. This was a large jump from previous titles where they used more of a turn based combat. ATB’s disregarded the previous “Pausing” of time while you picked through your options and forced you to think on the fly and act quickly. It’s a great game and greater series, I promise you will see it again in my lists.
3. Pokemon Ruby
I know, I know… Another Pokemon title? You mean something that was amazing on an old console could be equally amazing on a more advanced console, you lie! All joking aside, obviously Pokemon is great, if you read my earlier Gameboy article you would’ve seen the almost flagrant proposal of love I gave the series.
So why wouldn’t the GBA’s flagship version of the game hit my list? This generation of Pokemon brought us versions Ruby and Sapphire, why Ruby on the list? It’s the one I played stupid… So with this new generation of Pokemon we too see a new pile of gameplay mechanics. Most notable was the ability to use not one but two, count ’em two Pokemon!
This feature allowed for certain abilities to affect multiple Pokemon as well as added new strategic value to the existing fight gameplay. Really there isn’t much to say about this title to differentiate it from other generations of the series, it just awesome and warrants being on this list.
2. Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town
Harvest Moon is a guilty pleasure for me what can I say? The Harvest Moon titles are the most enjoyable farm simulation games out there, the GBA version being no exception. Let me clarify what “farm simulation” is, it simulates working on a farm… Dummy…
All joking aside, you have a small farm you have inherited and you need to get it going again; you weed your garden, milk your cows, and participate in a manner of day-to-day farm chores and drudgery. You do all this to build up your farm, increase relations with neighbors and other town folk, participate in festivals and really just be a farmer.
Eventually if you do enough woo you might even get one of the local girls to marry you. This was not actually my first playing of this series, I first played the PS1 version which assure is very prominent later. Overall for me this game was a great time sink with cute characters and settings.
1. Golden Sun
Golden Sun was and is an amazing RPG, yeah I doubt there are many arguments out there but it still needs to be said. Golden Sun was in many ways a run of the mill RPG series, borrowing many staples of the genre, without pushing too much on the core mechanics that make RPG’s what they are. That being said every aspect of those staples were done perfectly.
You have a great well balanced story, clean cut interfaces, beautiful sound, great graphics and top-notch gameplay. Golden Sun’s plot follows a cadre of magic-attuned “Adepts” whose sole purpose, as it is revealed early on, is to protect the world of Weyard from alchemy bum bum bum!!!! Alchemy is a potentially destructive power that was sealed away long ago.
During their quest, the Adepts gain new skills and abilities (called Psynergy), assist others, and learn more about why alchemy was sealed away. The story then continues on into its sequel The Lost Age, which follows the antagonists of the original title, but alas we aren’t talking about that game.
Well that it for me this week. Honestly I never played a ton of hand held games and as such the amount of games I actually played was pretty limited. If you have anything to add or just plain disagree with me, share you feelings below.
Shoot if you are impassioned enough I may even go back and play a ROM of one of the games you told me to. Boy that would be unexpected, I spend all this time going on and on and telling you to play games and you guys enlighten me to something that rocks my world. Makes you think…