Journey to the world of GBA (A-C)
By Waterhouse 03-09-2009 11:03 PM
The GBA (or game boy advance) remains one of my favorite video game consoles, handheld or no. The DSi having no GBA compatibility seems a bit like a capstone on the life of this great system, so I thought this was as good a time as any to write something about it. To appease my right brain (and keep my rambling left side in check) I'll try doing this in list form, counting down the games I feel defined the system or at least were worth playing.
Advance Wars and Advance Wars 2:Black Hole Rising. Portable turn based military games become a nintendo franchise. The combination of war and insane mascoty cuteness as only the japanese could pull off. I loved the enemy general who inexplicably looks like an anime Santa Claus. The interface is easy to learn how to use and is relatively non complex, but could still get devilishly hard at later levels. The sequel was more of the same, but included a new unit and generals. Was begging for a touch screen interface which it eventually got in its successful DS sequels.
Astroboy: Omega Factor. A fun sidescrolling brawler that's remarkable in that it exceeds expectations for a cartoon tie in game. You control Astro boy, the famous Japanese robot with rockets for legs and atomic powered beams. Besides flying around and blowing other strangely designed robots to scrap, theres also an optional treasure hunt and a second quest after you finish the game once (with different dialog).
Boktai and Boktai 2:Solar Boy Django. One of the crazier games made for the GBA, and this is the system that launched the WarioWare games. So thing about Boktai is that a solar sensor is built into the cartridge. The game revolves around vampire hunting, and as popular culture has taught us sunlight is everything when you are hunting nosferatu. And their aint no stakes or garlic in this world. It's an interesting idea that is charmingly impractical as is it annoying. Considering you cant always get access to sunlight, and glare from the sun makes the GBA screen almost opaque. But anyway, its a fun well designed game with sneaky sneaky metal gear style elements, collecting mini games, and crazy ass boss battles with floating pulsating coffins. The GBA sequel didn't add much to the series and there is a DS sequel Lunar Knights which did away with the solar sensor altogether (but in some ways is even more random).
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. The GBA hosted a triad of Castlevania games, all of which owed their overall design and success to the playstation title Symphony of the Night. Which isn't a bad thing, considering how damn good that game was. Circle of the Moon was the first Castlevania for the GBA and its graphics aren't quite up to par with it's cousins. Doesn't keep it from being fun though. Like SOTN, your character levels up and you gain abilities and items (in this games case, collectible cards that the enemies drop) as the game progresses.
Castlevania: Hamony of Dissonance. Got to love those Castlevania titles. The graphics were pushed up another notch from Circle of the Moon and gameplay elements were also refined a bit. Seemed even more like Symphony of Night that Circle of the Moon as well. Much more collecting random stuff like furniture for your special little room in the castle (which I don't remember having anything to do with the actual game at all).
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. Again, the graphics and gameplay are brought up a few more notches. If anything, Aria of Sorrow brought more of an anime-ish sensibility to the castlevania universe, in both character design and story elements. Item collection is back in a big way, as well as collecting monster drops; in this game's case it is "monster souls" which will give your character abilities based on that monster. In summary of the Castlevania series, in might seem like I'm being a bit brusque but don't get me wrong, they are were all excellent additions to the GBA library and none of them were black spots on the castlevania legacy. Though I have to admit the individual plots have tended to blend together in my mind. And none of them quite invoked that sense of awesomeness I felt first playing Super Castlevania 4 on the snes and heard the deep bass notes of the soundtrack as I entered the castle. Or the time wasting exploratory fun of Symphony of the Night
|Comments (Total Comments: 5)|
|KingHippp0 - 03-09-2009, 11:08 PM|
|Waterhouse - 03-09-2009, 11:38 PM|
|Shadowboi - 03-09-2009, 11:47 PM|
|Kfoster1979 - 03-10-2009, 12:04 AM|
|adriley313 - 03-10-2009, 01:27 AM|
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