Friday Favorites: GameBoy Advance Games

Double Jump Kris MiiYay for Friday!
I hope everyone’s week went well! Today I’m sharing some of my favorite old games, ones that were for the GameBoy Advance system. That handheld console turned 15 years old this year!
5. Harvest Moon: (More) Friends of Mineral Town
This was my first foray into the Harvest Moon franchise, and I adored it. A friend gave me FoMT for Christmas, explaining that it was “much better than it sounded.” He and I had similar video game tastes, so I was happy with his recommendation (even if I was a little skeptical about the farming angle at first). Since then, I’ve played quite a few, but I tend to stick to the older ones for nostalgic purposes.
4. Sonic Battle
Before atrocities like Sonic Boom were a thought, there were some Sonic the Hedgehog games that I definitely enjoyed, and Sonic Battle was at the top of the list. With familiar characters and a new, adorable robot character, the levels consisted of duking it out with one another while the robot learned different fighting styles. As the robot Emerl, you could customize your moves however you wanted after mimicking the others. All sorts of customization could be had, and it had decent replay value for that feature alone.
3. The Legend of Zelda: the Minish Cap
Of course there’s a Zelda game on this list. There’s always a Zelda game on my favorites lists! This game was tons of fun, and Ezlo was amusing as a partner character. I have never actually fully beaten the game, unfortunately — I’ve been stuck on the final boss battle for years! Perhaps its high time to pick it up again…
2. Fire Emblem
The original Fire Emblem game, the first one brought over to North America, definitely earned a spot on this list. Although it wasn’t my first Fire Emblem game (that honor goes to Sacred Stones), it’s one of my favorite installments. I haven’t had the chance to finish it yet, though, considering the copy I have had never had a working save function. My parents were amazing enough to find a cartridge of the game, and I had gotten through Lyn’s story by always keeping my GameBoy Advance on the charger, but it’s been awhile since I was able to try again. I now have it on the Virtual Console, so it’s a game I need to get back to.
1. Pokemon Emerald
Why didn’t Emerald get a remake? It had been my favorite of the three Hoenn games, especially with the Battle Tents scattered throughout the region and the Rayquaza tie-in with the legendaries. Hoenn is home to some of my all-time favorite Pokemon, like Grovyle, Mightyena, Gardevoir, and Ninjask, and Emerald was a brilliant game to raise them in.
What are some of your favorite GameBoy Advance games?

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  1. I approve of your choices! I especially enjoy Harvest Moon: FoMT and consider it my favorite HM alongside HM64. I’ve played Sonic Battle, and while it wasn’t my favorite game, I appreciated how different it was and enjoyed training the robot. It had interesting isometric gameplay that I didn’t see that often either.
    Here are my top 5:
    5. Fire Emblem – I, like many others, were introduced to the FE series with this first western entry. I had played Advance Wars but couldn’t get into it. Once Fire Emblem introduced real characters going into battle and possibly dying forever, I was hooked into its intense strategic gameplay!
    4. Final Fantasy VI Advance – I know this is a port, but this was the first time I had ever played FFVI (FFIII). It’s now one of my favorite RPGs, and I have so many fond memories of the characters, story, and music from this game. Even though it had 12 playable characters, I got to love each one and enjoy their differing playstyles.
    3. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow – All 3 Metroidvania games for the GBA were amazing. Before this game, I was never interested in the series (didn’t play Symphony of the Night until later), but Castle of the Moon made me fall in love with the aspect of exploring a huge castle, getting upgrades to proceed further, and leveling up along the way. Aria of Sorrow perfected the formula, but all 3 (plus the next 3 on the DS) are all superb titles.
    2. Mega Man Battle Network 2 – I enjoyed the whole MMBN series, and 2 was the technical best from a gameplay perspective. It had a great action card-based RPG system that isn’t really that common anymore. The children in a modern tech-savvy world angle made me connect to its characters, particularly the main character Lan and MegaMan.exe. This had 6 entries (not including different version) on the GBA and a conclusive storyline. I always looked forward to the yearly release as a kid.
    1. Golden Sun – This was it. This was the amazing RPG with impressive graphics, music, and gameplay. I enjoyed both this and the sequel, but the first GS started it all. I’m disappointed that the DS game wasn’t as good, but Camelot really pushed the limits of the GBA with this entry. I’m not surprised it was hard to keep up in later entries. Definitely recommended!

    1. Yes, Panda-approved! You need a stamp or something for that, haha!
      I definitely enjoyed reading about your top favorites too! I remember borrowing Golden Sun from a friend way-back-when. I enjoyed the game, but hadn’t gotten very far before needing to give the game back. I remember being interested in it enough to get the DS game, but I haven’t picked that up in a while. Maybe I’ll give it another shot soon.
      As always, thanks for sharing! 🙂

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