GBA VS NDS: which one is the best ?

Discussion in 'NDS - Console and Game Discussions' started by Keylogger, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. Keylogger

    Keylogger GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    May 3, 2006
    Which one do you prefer?

    Please explain
  2. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    Mar 17, 2010
    NDS of course.
    Why? It can play GBA games. :P
    Kalker3 and BlackWizzard17 like this.
  3. banjojohn

    banjojohn Advanced Member

    Feb 17, 2007

    They can both run GBA games, so that's not a valid point. The better point is that it runs NDS games :P

    (Yes, I understand you were pointing out the same as me...)
  4. XDel

    XDel Author of the Alien Breed Odamex Projekt.

    Jul 25, 2012
    United States
    Both can run GBA games, the GBA didn't really become a good hand held till the clam shell design with back light, and the DS has a better library over all.

    I love the GBA, but the DS just seems like it's spiritual successor.
  5. GreatCrippler

    GreatCrippler Greatness Fallen

    Mar 27, 2010
    United States
    Grand Junction, Colorado
    Or ya know. Literal Successor. :-P
  6. Solid One

    Solid One Member

    Aug 6, 2013
    NDS is great, since it can play GBA games too, given you have a NDS phat or NDS lite.

    However, there's a lot of GBA games that have a awesome multiplayer that you can't play with your friends on a NDS, because they dropped link cable support. You can't play multiplayer games such as F-Zero, Moto Racer Advance, Racing Gears, Altered Beast and, last but not least, Zelda Four Swords.

    I know there's Zelda Four Swords for NDSi, but I heard it's only for "ambassators". I heard it's a pain in the *** to get, for most users at least.
  7. Clydefrosch

    Clydefrosch GBAtemp Psycho!

    Jan 2, 2009
    four swords was just a limited offer. its not exclusive to ambassadors or anything. but they only rarely give it out. and when they do it, they only do it in the us for the last zelda anniversary, but not in europe <<

    anyways, obviously the ds wins this because it can have two games loaded at any one time, all versions had backlights, long battery life, a controlpad that didnt break as easily and more. and losing multiplayer isnt that bad anyways, considering few people had multiplayer titles and link cables for anything other than pokemon. i mean, i had like 50 gba games, half of those had multiplayer, but I've never met anyone with any of those games (not even mario kart of fzero)
  8. migles

    migles All my gbatemp friends are now mods, except for me

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    Sep 19, 2013
    i will probably get a rock at me to say this but its fine:

    asking a "which is best" question without explaining the terms is really stupid... specially when its a successor vs predecessor, and double specially when the successor does have retro-compatibility...

    are you talking about the nds vs gba library? are you talking about the console design? other stuff i am not recalling?

    ho, and which gba? which NDS? come on...
  9. ferret7463

    ferret7463 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Sep 21, 2010
    United States
    I preferred the GBA SP. The reasons i will list....
    [1] The more compact size. It allowed me to play RPGs one handed when i would donate plasma. (it took me 2 hours twice a week.)
    [2] The buttons were better spaced for action games.
    [3] The durability, i dropped it a many of times from the bed to the concrete. The X-rom was damaged once but the SP only dented. I replaced the case on my daughter's NDS and NDS light waaay more.

    [4] Also NDS games would force you to play the game on the DS's bottom screen, in effect giving you a "Candy Bar" form factor which i don't like.

    of course to other tempers these are non-issues, but like beauty, it's in the eye of the beholder....;)
  10. pasc

    pasc GBATemps official GBA Freak

    Sep 9, 2006
    Gambia, The
    You tempt the GBAtemps gbafreak ?

    Here you go:

    GBA !

    Main reasons:
    - the developers gave a HUGE damn about the GBA.
    - Sh*tload of accessory for the lil gameboy
    - last gameboy (maybe forever ?)

    Max Payne with voice overs ? yeah !
    Driv3r ? yeah ! ( the game isn't that good, but the developers gave a damn)
    Payback for GBA ? Those graphics !
    Kingdom Hearts with frigging Videos ? Sure !

    Phoenix Wright (without the GBA it wouldn't exist)
    Wario ware on GBA (both entries are still the best ones in my opinion.
    All GBA RPGs (Golden sun, Fire Emblem, Advance Wars...)> the DS Successors
    Megaman Battlenetwork (EXE) > Megaman Starforce (Ryuusei no Rockman)
    Megaman Zero > Megaman ZX
    All GBA FPS 's > nearly no good DS ones (Metroid and COD... perhaps... but the GBA ones had an awesome appeal in multiplayer)
    Iridion II > Nanostray 1&2 (ok... this one is though.. Shin'en is too awesome to judge like this... it's more like a tie.)
    EA still gave a damn back then, the Sims games were amazing (at least compared to the later "ripoffs".

    There are so many IP's on the GBA that will never resurface ever again. I think it is a gem to behold of.

    I'll admit I'm biased... but I still love the lil gba way more.

    The games were and still ARE a blast.
    It has a special appeal and the games can be played over and over again (Retron 5 go!).

    The GBA was completly gameplay focused... the DS on the other hand had various "gimmicks".

    Time to play some GBA.

    I'll have to reenable my signature just because of this thread. in 3...2...1.

    BTW: if the GBA won't come out ontop on a poll regarding a site called "GBAtemp" then the apocalypse is near.
    SLiV3R likes this.
  11. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    I will have to pull up the relevant E3 presentation one of these days but at one point the DS was one of Nintendo's "three pillars" strategy (home console, GBA line and crazy experimental line with the DS).

    As others said the DS plays GBA and I am not especially bothered about the lack of a link cable.

    Game wise... there are a lot of things I like and will remember for a long time on the GBA, the DS probably has more. For homebrew I will say the DS but the GBA did not do badly. For hacking it can go either way for me -- the GBA has some simpler ways of doing things but the filesystem and file formats of the DS make all the difference. For Nintendo's own games then the GBA -- other than mario on the GBA mainly being a bunch of ports when looking back now at Nintendo's output for the DS it was lacklustre and a precursor to the utterly weak 3ds effort. Third party, the reason I ever got a GBA and DS and the reason I am not yet a 3ds owner, can go either way again -- in terms of pure games it has to be the GBA but the DS had some great stuff made after the idea of genres more or less collapsed.
  12. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

    Apr 29, 2011
    United States
    Dr. Wahwee's castle
    The DS, because I never owned a GBA SP and because it has a bigger screen (such as the DS lite and DSi XL)
  13. Isaac

    Isaac American

    Dec 8, 2012
    United States
    Here? Right here? What about, say... over there?
    I enjoy my DS more than I ever enjoyed my GBA. It has better games in my opinion, and the touch screen is great.

    The only problem I have with the DS is the Build quality of the DS lite. The shoulder buttons and hinge aren't very durable, and break quite easily. A problem I've never had with my GBA.

    Also, backlights.
  14. cdoty

    cdoty GBAtemp Fan

    Sep 14, 2009
    United States
    Does a modified NDS count?
    It's the advantage of the larger DS screen, combined with a layout closer to the original GBA.
  15. KooPako

    KooPako Advanced Member

    Apr 30, 2012
    United States
    I prefer the ds,
    gba was all based around the idea that it was a 32-bit portable so a lot of developers were trying to make it seem like a portable playstation
    so the gba library was plagued by pseudo 3D games ( mostly platformers ) with terrible gameplay...
    even with awesome games like the metroids, DK, and the kirbys, it wasn't anything special, the gb and gbc had more memorable games than the gba
    also there's those poor mario ports ( and zelda alttp ) with washed out colors and tweaked gameplay and level designs to make it easier for casual players, at the time they were with some stupid idea that portable games needed to be shorter and easier
    that idea even carried to the first few years of the ds, I remember around 2007 someone interviewed the guy responsible for ninja gaiden ds and he mentioned that he wanted to make the game 30+ hours long
    but the company pressed him to make it shorter telling him he "didn't understand" portable gaming

    not to mention the original gba screen was so bad you could barely see anything, and the first gba sp had a really crappy backlit screen, gba sp brighter was the only one with a decent screen

    and the DS, I don't like the touch screen concept ( I really don't like scratching the screen and having calibration issues ), but at least it got plenty of awesome games, a lot of them not using the touch gimmick
    the first 2 years or so were pretty awkward for it, with people trying to figure what to use the lower screen and the touch for. but things got pretty good after that
    we were even lucky enough to get all dragon quest games localized ( the gba had only 1 dragon quest game in japan, a so-so DQ7 spin-off )
    and a zelda game that even if it has lame touch controls it captured perfectly the whole feel of majora's mask ( of course i'm not talking about philler hourglass )

    for some reason nintendo was awkward the whole time with the gba, it's like they were ashamed of making games
    the commercials barely even showed the games at times, magazine ads were really random and weird
    they even wanted to change its name to City Boy and they made the gba micro so that "you won't be embarassed to carry it around and play it at parties" ( actual quote from a official nintendo magazine )

    I think most people that pick gba it will be out of nostalgia, and not because of the gba itself
  16. grossaffe

    grossaffe GBAtemp Addict

    May 5, 2013
    United States
    Nobody pointing out that GBA has backwards compatibility with GBC and DMG while DS only goes back to the GBA?
  17. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    Mar 17, 2010
    They still do that.

    Nothing that can't be solved with a GB/GBC emulator, which works pretty damn well on the NDS anyways.
  18. SLiV3R

    SLiV3R 3DS Friend Code: 0473-9069-2206

    Jan 9, 2006
    Good question!

    It is not as easy to answer though. We have to make categories to compare them.
    I will rate hardware (buttons, finish, battery life, screen size etc.) , original games & homebrew.

    GBA: 4 - Bad screen & dont like the buttons
    GBA SP: 9 - Perfect size, perfect buttons, only issue is the screen that is a little dark and some other small screen problems
    GBA SP 101: ? - havent tried it (will buy it soon)
    GBA Micro: 6 - Too small for my taste

    NDS: 4 - Bad screens & the design feels a bit rushed
    DS Lite: 6 - I dont like the buttons. Otherwise ok
    DSi: 7 - Very nice console!
    DSi XL: 10 - My favorite of them all =) everything is perfect!!

    Original games:
    GBA: 10 - Its a SNES in my pocket. 100+ games that are lovely =)

    DS: 7 - Only around 10+ games that i loved.. the second screen didnt make sense in most cases..

    GBA: 9 - It didnt have equally much homebrew as the DS but it did have mastercoders like FuBBa, Loopy & Dwedit that made Gameboy & Game Gear games run perfectly =)
    NDS: 10 - Massive support from the scene. Last Nintendo console with such nice and rich homebrew scene?

    I think the ultimate hardware from GBA generation is a GBA SP 101 with DSi 2000 mAh battery (3.5 times longer battery life than original GBAs 600 mAh)
    And the DSi XL is the best from the DS generation! I would rate those two consoles equally so I didnt vote for any of them! =)
  19. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    I would agree with the PSP and maybe a bit of the DS being "it's just like a PS1 but portable" as far as devs were concerned, the GBA seemed more like a portable SNES to me, right up to them porting loads of things from it. The only bad 3d stuff on the GBA seemed to come from people trying to do Doom clones -- handheld edition, the revengening, well that and however you might feel about Payback, and given that also kind of happened on the SNES, megadrive and similar vintage machines, to say nothing of the PS1 if we are allowing that to play.

    GB/GBC vs GBA.... during its lifetime perhaps (I liked the marios and zeldas and other Nintendo staples) and if we look more at the Nintendo first party and captive devs then sure. I might make an exception for advance wars/Game Boy Wars which I reckon hit its peak on the GBA, I liked the DS ones too but they went more in for cloning daisenryaku. Looking back now though I am not so sure.

    Moreover though I have never really been one to pay attention to crap in a console's library as much as general amount of good games or anything outstanding within it (not that I have ever really had a system seller game).
  20. Issac

    Issac I

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    Apr 10, 2004
    The NDS, not only because it plays GBA games as well... If I look at the NDS for NDS games and the GBA for the GBA games, and not thinking about the hardware (I loved the original design of the GBA, but it sure would've been nice with backlight etc).

    The games of the GBA were great, but the NDS games refined the same concepts. Graphically, gameplay (except the touch things obviously)...
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