Nintendo is finally making Game Boy Advance games playable on the Nintendo Switch. Here are some games I hope they add down the road!
With the surprise reveal of Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games being added to the Nintendo Switch Online service, gamers have plenty to be excited about. The GBA was easily one of Nintendo’s best handhelds and featured an insane amount of great games.
The first batch of titles have already hit the Switch Online + Expansion Pack service and is already impressive. Minish Cap is one of my favorite Zelda titles and I’m thrilled more people now get the chance to dive into it. Even as I look forward to playing it once again, there are some other Game Boy Advance titles I hope to see added to the service down the road.
The Legacy of Goku Series
So I’m already kind of cheating with this one, as this consists of more than a single game. Even so, I’ve been dying for a modern way to (officially) play these Dragon Ball Z games for a long time. They’re just an insane amount of fun and manage to put the long lore of the DBZ anime into a unique new format for players.
Instead of being a simple fighter game, like so many DBZ titles, it plays out as a top down action-RPG (almost like the Zelda games of the time). It’s very story focused, and allows for some fun exploration of the world, along with sidequests that let players dive into some of the movie story elements as well.
Consisting of three games (Legacy of Goku I, Legacy of Goku II, and Buu’s Fury), it deftly covers the entire series while delivering addictive gameplay the whole time. It’s a hoot and despite their age are still among my favorite DBZ games of all time. It’s way past time for others to get the chance to enjoy them.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
My love of turn-based strategy games is fairly well documented. Much of my love for the genre, however, stems from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. I didn’t have a PlayStation when it first launched and largely missed most of the Final Fantasy games in general. At the urging of a friend though (who knew I loved strategy games in general), I picked up FFTA. I fell in love almost instantly.
Between the story and gameplay, Tactics Advance is an impressive addition to the franchise overall. Even when I finally got around to playing the original FF Tactics game (in the PSP remake), I found myself marveling at how much the developers were able to do with Tactics Advance.
Even with hardware limitations, the gameplay pulls no punches and still manages to deliver some impressive story cutscenes. While I’m still holding out hope for an overall Final Fantasy Tactics remaster for the whole franchise, it would be awesome to have this as an option on the Switch just by itself.
Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire
Just a few months ago, I was talking about this game and how Pokémon Pinball needed some sort of comeback. Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire was a fantastic sequel to the original Pokémon Pinball game that vastly improved on the overall gameplay and experience. Despite that, however, these spin-off titles just stopped right there.
Even with all the other handhelds released over the years, the company never came back to these fun spin-offs. It’s a shame really as they’re pretty damn fun, with a unique twist on the monster catching series we all love. Because Pokémon Pinball was essentially abandoned after the GBA release, however, there are generations of Pokémon fans who’ve never had the chance to experience it.
Adding this to the Switch Online GBA section would allow older gamers the chance to experience something from their childhood, while cluing in newer gamers to the fun to be had. Who knows, maybe some revived interest could spark an all new entry down the road…
Nintendo is quickly running out of reasons to not give players an official port/translation of Mother 3. The sequel to Earthbound was only released in Japan on the Game Boy Advance, and the only way for fans to play, were through fan-made translation ROMS…That’s it.
Considering the cult following of Earthbound over the past couple decades (itself being ported multiple times on Nintendo consoles), and even getting an official release of Mother 1, which was also only released in Japan…it’s odd how Mother 3 is continually left behind. With the Switch now having a dedicated GBA section in their online service, it feels like a no-brainer to finally give us this title in an official format.
Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars
Hideo Kojima’s other iconic franchise might not be as popular as Metal Gear, but they were still pretty damn great. The mech combat action hit the right spot and managed that cinematic storytelling that set them apart. ZoE and it’s sequel, The Second Runner, achieved critical acclaim, but struggled to really find an audience.
The two main games in the franchise were given HD remasters for the PS3 and Xbox 360 with Second Runner even getting a VR port just a few years ago. And yet, even among its smaller core fanbase, the Game Boy Advance game is largely forgotten. Seriously, go tell someone there were actually three Zone of the Enders games and they’ll look at you like you sprouted two heads.
The title launched in 2001, between the release of the two main games on PlayStation 2. The Fist of Mars changes the gameplay up a bit from the core franchise, instead using a more turn-based tactical approach (with SOME real-time action elements). As such, it’s quite a bit slower paced than the other games, which turned some of the players away. Even so it features some stellar writing that makes for a worthy expansion of the franchise’s lore. Putting it on the Switch Online service would allow fans to see what they’ve been missing out on.
Honorable Mention: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. This port had no reason to be as great as it was. While the hardware limitations took away the 3D aspect, the developers still managed to ensure a fantastic all around skating experience that manages to capture the Tony Hawk vibe.
There’s obviously tons more great GBA games to pull from, but these are some of my favorites that I rarely see brought up in regards to getting modern ports. Which Game Boy Advance titles are you hoping to see added to the Switch Online + Expansion Pack service?