Without nostalgia tinted specs which GBA games are still worth playing

Discussion in 'GBA - Console and Game Discussions, Help and Tips' started by xist, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. xist
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    Member xist ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ

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    For the past couple of months i've been playing a lot of GBA games, making the most of my most recent console purchase (an AGS-101 with it's amazing screen!) and the EZIV. However, after the amount of love slavered on some of the GBA's catalogue i've been left distinctly unimpressed with some of the essential games i've played. Golden Sun was, let's face it, pretty tedious, so much so there's ZERO way i'll be embarking on more of the same with The Lost Age. It added nothing to the pot of charming RPG's of yesteryear, and whilst it's USP of Psynergy was OK it didn't make up for everything else. Chain Of Memories was actually mostly OK, and whilst i'm relatively pleased i've played it it still felt like some massive let down given the broken mechanics of the game (yes i finished both stories....) Something i did enjoy was Minish Cap which i've just finished...however, that's actually why i'm asking this question as i was eyeing up A Link to the Past and Mother 3 next. I actually started LTTP and lost my save a couple of hours in (the Desert Palace) but as far as i can see it seems like relatively shallow and repetitive gameplay with little of the charm and magic reviews suggest. I appreciate the limitations of the hardware, but having played Minish Cap it seems the earlier Zelda is essentially an expanded bomb cracks, push pots, spin attack fest, which without much narrative doesn't hold up in today's gaming realm. Now i'm well familiar with gaming of bygone days and have fond places in my heart for lots of older games, but do they stand up as fun today? Only marginally.

    I suppose what i'm getting at is which of the GBA classics actually hold their gameplay fun given the advancements we've seen in the intervening years. It seems to me that the 2D Zelda games are essentially the same thing, albeit with differing gimmicks (and i'm a Sega kid so the DS was my first foray into Zelda and my recent Minish Cap play was the second game in the series i've played following Phantom Hourglass). Having played Minish Cap is LTTP really different or compelling enough to play? With as little bias as possible it seems that whilst it's something i'd have loved 15 years ago today it's slightly plodding. How about Mother 3, or any of the other GBA library of "essentials"? Which essentials have actually retained their fun, because as far as essential lists and reviews go, finding recent opinions on older classics without bias is tough.

    (Yes i know this borders on "What are you expecting!" but having played some fun GBA games (Ninja 5-0, Chain of Memories counts in this category as it was unique) i feel slightly jaded about plodding through rose tinted memories of other people)
     


  2. Midna

    Banned Midna Banned

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    Are you actually making a thread to ask if A Link to the Past, the quintessential 2D Zelda game, is worth playing?

    Yeah, it is. It's everything Zelda has ever been about, and pulled off in the best way possible. Of course, it is an SNES game, so the pacing might seem a bit off to a modern gamer. But just get into it.

    I'd recommend playing on an actual SNES, but the GBA version is no worse.

    Jesus Christ those boss battles were insane

    Edit: All right, you're asking how much alike it is to Minish Cap. The answer is, not much. Zelda 3 is way before Nintendo started with "gimmicks" as you put it. This is the game that set all the standards for further games to deviate from with these "gimmicks". This is straight Zelda. Fighting and dungeon crawling, with lesser focus on side quests than later games (though the side quests do exist).
     
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  3. leathco

    Newcomer leathco Member

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    Metroid Fusion is a must if you like the ends metroid.
     
  4. Midna

    Banned Midna Banned

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    The other GBA classics are also worth a go. SMB3, Yoshi's Island in particular.

    The difficulty on Super Mario World is nerfed a bit, so that's better played on the SNES.

    And of course there's Pokemon.

    Edit: I beat Mother 3 back when the translation came out. It's worth a shot. If you like trippy, off the wall RPGs with odd endings.
     
  5. xist
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    Member xist ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ

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    It's just from what i played LTTP seems bereft of story and simply "a repeat the same mechanic addendum in various different locales" type game. I know that many games do this, but when it lacks character and any deep plot what is the actual reason for playing if you're just doing the same things over and over. Which GBA games have real unique charm?
     
  6. shadowmanwkp

    Member shadowmanwkp Your roms are on another rom site

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    Got to think a lot, because I had a lot of fond memories with my gba, and I am therefore somewhat biased with the games I played. Alas, I got my recommendations on games that could still be worth playing:

    Summon night swordcraft story
    Game series that consist of three games, the last being the only one not being released in English. Summon night swordcraft story is a game that plays like the tales of series (like the one on the gba) you see your character from the sides, and you can only go left and right, or jump in a limited area. The interesting thing here is that you can make your own weapons. You have 5 types of weapons that you can make all for different play styles, the knuckles for example, make you very fast, but hit very light, while the axe makes you much slower, but hit very hard. Out of the only two games that are released in the US, the second one is by far better. The story is a bit cliché, but the humor keeps it somewhat afloat. As far as graphics goes, this is as good as it can get on the gba, you got a bit spoiled with kingdom hearts, because it is the only game with good quality CGI cutscenes and a decently sounding song at the end. The first game aged much worse than the second, because it can be very tedious. The second game added skills to weapons and you don't have to fully destroy everything you have on you to make a bloody knife.

    - Megaman battle network series
    Contains 6 games, is an action games that also relies on some deck building and real time strategy. You have an 6*3 grid, of which 3x3 of the tiles are yours. You can freely move there and capcom did a great job in implementing a nice system. Story ain't really too much, but it is continuous throughout.
    The games that stand out the most in this series are number 3 and 6. The third game is regarded as the best by fans, and it has the most balanced gameplay. The sixth game is a more personal choice though, but I think it is a close second to the third game. It aged so well because the concept is very unique and you can customize your deck with any attack as you see fit.
    Note: This battle system is not like Kingdom hearts, you can't break attacks by simply using a more powerful counter-attack

    - Megaman zero series
    Balls to the wall action games, these games are hard. I know another megaman series, but this series is known for being action packed and having some really good level designs and game mechanics. The story is pretty good for an action game and it is not just an excuse to get some action going. Every game in the series has something unique, so it's definitely checking out other games if you like the first. There's also a compilation of all the games on the ds with an easy mode. I played the game on the ds and it hasn't dated much if you compare it to later games that are similar like the megaman zx games (annoyingly tedious switching and compulsory stuff, also difficulty can be a let-down)

    - Final fantasy V advance
    Personally I'd go for the translated snes game (version I played) but they're almost identical. The story is... Well pretty non-existant. World is being destroyed, cause is unknown, later seems to be caused by evil overlord. What truly makes this game great is the job system. You can change the class of any character and if they've mastered some skills, they can also use the abilities of other classes. For example, you can get a thief who can also use magic. The music score is fantastic and a personal favourite of mine. The game aged pretty well, because there is a lot of experimenting that can be done.

    So far these are the only games I can come up with... They're mostly RPG's but they can be very fun if you can get into it.
     
  7. mario5555

    mario5555 Newbie

    Yeah like Midna said, if you think LttP is "quaint" when I consider it a game that I used to play at least once a year because it was just that good. I dunno what to tell you, about what else you should choose. Legend of Starfy, Castlevania, Warioland, those are all quality titles, (just off of the top of my head) but if you can't (or won't) look past the antiquated gfx or quaint gameplay then I really don't know what to recommend to you other than don't really bother to go back and play any of these "classics" if you aren't open to playing them and enjoying them for what they are and not comparing them to the kind of games made today. I don't mean to sound harsh, but really when approaching things the way you're doing it, it sounds like you don't really care for the older games and don't care to play them either, so I'm at a loss.

    But that's just it, LttP is your Link, go save Zelda from Gannon, what else did you expect?

    If you want plot may I suggest a book then, no 8-16 bit games (save RPG's) had any big plots, only plot hooks but more importantly they had great gameplay (something today's games could learn a thing or two from) so I dunno if you're looking at things from the right perspective in terms of what is good and whatnot.

    Just for my curiosity, you said you were a Sega gamer, but circa which generation? (Genesis, Saturn, DC, Current?) And what games are your favorite on that system then (the one you named)?
     
  8. xist
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    Member xist ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ

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    You're mistaken, i love quality older games, but LTTP seems a lesson is paper thin story telling and rinse repeat gameplay (bearing in mind i've played a couple of hours). I know i'd have loved it back in the day but today it doesn't hold up as it lacks any real gaming imperative....why am i just doing the same things over and over in different dungeons?

    When i was younger i was bought the Sega MasterSystem when it was first released (having moved up from the ZX Spectrum and before that the Atari 2600) If we're just talking Mastersystem two games i particularly loved were Wonderboy III the Dragons Trap (and it's predecessor Monster Land) and Ys the Vanished Omens. On the 48k ZX spectrum i still play Knight Tyme on occasion and Ultima Underwurlde. (the Atari doesn't hold up so well....)

    I suppose it comes down to hype. Reading around the games, aside from scale and very marginally different mechanics the 2D Zelda's all seem to be pretty much nearly identical.
     
  9. Windaga

    Member Windaga GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    The three Fire Emblem titles are worth looking into. They vary in difficulty, but they're all good, relatively light tactical romps. Advance Wars is a longer title, as is Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. If you want difficulty, go with Ygddra Union: We'll Never Fight Alone. That game is awesome, and it's no walk through the park. Also, Riveria: The Promised Land.

    Apart from those grid based tactics games, you've got the Pokemon Titles, Link to the Past, Ninja Five - O, Metroid Fusion, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Chain of Memories Yoshi's Island, FFVI, and Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow off the top of my head.

    Out of all the titles I listed, other than LttP, I enjoyed Yggdra Union the most. If you have a PSP though, you can always get the remake.

    Edit
    Crap, the rest of your post just loaded on my screen. I really enjoyed LttP - I've beaten it...I think 6 times now throughout the years, and it's never gotten boring for me. But I digress - if you're looking for more unique challenges, again YU and Riveria. Other good deals include the Castlevania Double Pack, the two Crash Crossover titles (Spyro Orange and Crash Purple), the Sonic Advance titles, Aero the Acrobat!, uh.....the Bit Generation titles, the Donkey Kong Country titles, F-Zero, The Kirby titles (I loved Nightmare in Dreamland), Mario Golf/Tennis, The Battle Network titles and Mario Pinball Land, Metal Slug, Mr Driller, Oniumusha Tactics, R-Type III, Shining Soul, Tactics Ogre - Knights of Lodis, Warioware, Wario Land (4, specifically), and Zone of the Enders are the titles that I think would stand out. But some of those titles have PSP remakes, so you might be interested in those over the GBA ones - specifically Riviera, Yggdra, Tactics Ogre, and I think even R-Type.
     
  10. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    LttP is a port from the SNES and it's the third zelda game, back then it's story WAS considered grand. But yeah, Minish Cap's better.

    The Castlevania games are kinda' cool. Aria Of Sorrow's got a little story, Circle Of The Moon doesn't really.

    I don't know if you'd like the Megaman Battle Network games... their overarching stories can be a little repetitive and a lot of it is rehashing after the first and second, but you may enjoy playing one of them.

    Tried Mario And Luigi: Superstar Saga?

    And yeah Metroid Fusion's nice.

    Mother 3 goes without saying.

    Ever played Tales Of Phantasia?
     
  11. Midna

    Banned Midna Banned

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    All hope is lost for you. I can't do anything at this point.

    I bet you think Mario is just "jumping over and over again in various levels" and Megaman is "just shooting things over and over again in various locations". You're basically telling me you don't care about gameplay at all, and just want a story based game.

    Well, all I can suggest is books, movies, or visual novels.
     
  12. Nah3DS

    Member Nah3DS Madre de Dios! Es El POLLO DIABLO!!!

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    no... just no
     
  13. Midna

    Banned Midna Banned

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    I could put up with the disinterest in Golden Sun, as that game was a touch slow, and not everyone can put up with that.

    But at this point he's probably not going to like anything I do.

    As a final word, OP, maybe Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga?
     
  14. xist
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    Member xist ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ

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    The thing is you're seeing LTTP as a golden potato....i've played a bit of Oracle of Seasons and finished Minish Cap and the gameplay in LTTP is essentially identical. That's fine with a good narrative to drive it along so you feel as if you're doing things for a reason, but from what i gather plot and characterisation is somewhat lacking in the Zelda franchise, at least in the early stages. For what it's worth i'm trying again but is feels like repetition. It may be weird to say this but i really enjoyed Scurge Hive on the DS....it was simple but perhaps lacking that hype i was able to play without expecting to be blown away.

    I LOVE simple RPG's as long as they have some depth....Atelier Iris on the PS2 was one of the most simple RPG's you could find on the system but it's characters had life (although the plot was pretty bad). Golden Sun lacked compelling narrative (in fact it was tedious at times) and had dull characters with little flesh on their bones. If even 8Bit games can create worlds with life in them then i'm expecting more from an acclaimed GBA RPG....it looked nice though. And hell, i finished the thing, i just found myself massively underwhelmed and uncaring about the sequel.

    The Castlevania recommendations go without saying and had slipped my mind given my RPG/Adventure mood....they're great games because they mix things up...in fact i'm on an enforced rage break from them as i was about 60% through Aria of Sorrow when i randomly lost my save (no idea...) I couldn't face starting over from scratch right away having lost all my rare drops. And given that i enjoyed Ninja 5-0 i can't see how you can support your accusation about "just shooting things over and over again in various locations". Megaman was never that popular in Europe so i've actually never played a Megaman game (although the premise of powering yourself up with your enemies abilities sounds good)...as for Mario...there's just something about that Moustache that puts me off...i started Superstar Saga and it looked fun but i wasn't certain i could take the "Mario-ness" of the game....yes that's mental i know given i think it looks good, so fingers crossed i'll get over my plumber nausea. Tales games also IRK me....no idea why, especially as i paid £80 to import Tales of the Abyss (convert that to USD at your peril)....i end up wanting to smash their little skit faces in after a while....

    Had a quick blast on Fire Emblem (again never played this series before) and it looks fun (and for the record i put hours and hours and hours into Tactics Advance.....30 or so...and it was downright awful and i hate myself for wasting that time...), Metroid Fusion also looks good. I'll be sure to try some of the above recs...and much appreciated shadowmanwkp for the detailed lowdown....the FF games go without saying! Even i have nostalgia about those...although i emulated/played on the PSX rather than the source consoles.

    What i seem to find is that ESSENTIALS are insanely biased and suffer from hype to the max. Perhaps if i'd gone into LTTP prior to MC and without expecting the GREATEST 2D ZELDA EVER! LIFE DEFINING GAMEPLAY! (everyone raves about it...) i'd have been more satisfied. But when it's counted as one of the greatest games of all time it's hard to see how and extended fetch quest (albeit with exploration and hidden Woot! events which admittedly do add a little to it's character) can be regarded so highly. Like i said i'm positive i'd have loved it at the time, but given that MC and LTTP are both on the GBA i kind of feel that LTTP doesn't really offer me anything.

    And NahuelDS, "No" doesn't make Golden Sun a good game. It's really not that great.

    How's Lunar Legend? I suppose given the PSP remake it's not worth playing but i just took a look at it and it seemed ok. Actually on that topic, which games which have sequels on the DS (so for example Megaman and Pokemon) are worth playing in their GBA form?
     
  15. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Pokemon isn't too bad on the system. Haters gonna hate but it's still the same old Pokemon. I was forced to play FireRed during the last power outage and it's still pretty fun.

    GBA stuff hasn't aged terribly, there's no reason a game you enjoyed in your childhood (provided it was a quality game) shouldn't have turned sour by this time. The console is basically only last gen (I say we're still on a DS-3DS transition period currently) and most of the games are still pretty fun.
     
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  16. leathco

    Newcomer leathco Member

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    Also the Mega man zero games are all well done. As far as rpg games numerous final fantasy games were ported to the system. Surprised at the dislike of golden sun, it was great for a handheld RPG. If you have an original gba or an sp you can get dragon warrior parts 1 2 and 3 for original gb, those are good.
     
  17. mario5555

    mario5555 Newbie

    See below...

    I was going to type literally the exact same thing, it seems like we've been gaming for about the same length of time, approx. 30 years, but I don't know what to tell you, maybe your tastes have matured to a point where you can't enjoy a more simple experience without having all of the things we've come to expect from today's games without them being considered trite. I know my 14 year old nephew cannot enjoy anything that isn't a FPS, has blood in it and isn't over 6 years old, he has no patience for them, and I feel bad for him for seeing things through such a distorted viewpoint that he can't appreciate what has come before and enjoy it for what it is. Same applies here I guess. =/

    All I can say is good luck and have fun (the important part).
     
  18. Ammako

    Member Ammako GBAtemp Guru

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    ALttP?

    It's so good that I've set up a custom build of Snes9x AND hacked the rom to make it look like I had a standalone PC version of ALttP.
    You know, it's like that in pretty much every game.
     
  19. Midna

    Banned Midna Banned

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    I'm seeing A Link to the Past as an extremely well done, challenging action adventure game, a gem from the 16 bit era.

    You're thinking of it as "Why do I have to hit things with my sword and solve puzzles repeatedly? Where are the compelling characters and cutscenes that are the only thing that keep me playing video games any more?"

    My bias is minimal. Your explanation of why you didn't enjoy it doesn't make an ounce of sense. You say you're just taking the basic gameplay and applying it in different situations? Yeah, that's called a video game.

    Otherwise, the two Kirby games, the Castlevanias, Mother 3, Mario & Luigi, the Metroids, the Advance Wars,
     
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  20. Skelletonike

    Member Skelletonike ♂ ♥ Gallant Pervert ♥ ♀

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    Like it was mentioned before, one series wich is pretty awesome is the Megaman BN. I myself played replayed the entire series last month. xp
     

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