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Seven Gameboy Advance RPG's That Deserve a Playthrough

Updated on September 15, 2017
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Alexis is a lifelong gamer. She enjoys a wide variety of video games, especially Role-playing games.

The Gameboy Advance and RPG's

Released in 2001, the Gameboy Advance would go on to boast an impressive library of 1021 games released in North America and 786 released games in Japan. There were plenty of great games released for it, but there were also plenty of games worth enough to be reviewed by the Angry Video Game Nerd, with everything in between.

Role Playing Games (RPG’s) have been my favorite genre for well over a decade now, with my start into the genre coming from Pokemon Red. Since then I’ve played a plethora of RPG games (primarily Japanese RPGs, though there are plenty of Western RPG’s I enjoy). The Gameboy Advance became my playground to learn new about the genre and what a playground it was! The Gameboy Advance has quite a few great RPG’s and I was lucky enough to get several. A minor disclaimer, there are games missing on here, because I haven't played them all the way through. These titles include;

  • Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones
  • Tale of Phantasia
  • Tactics Ogre
  • Breath of Fire I-II
  • Advance Wars


Let’s jump in, shall we?

Source

Pokemon Emerald

Your family has recently moved into the Honen region from Jhoto after your father gets a job as a gym leader. As you are exploring shortly after moving, you stumble across a man being attacked by a wild Pokemon. Stepping in, you grab a Pokeball and use the Pokemon inside to save him. Your actions set in motion your journey as a Pokemon trainer and someone soon to save the world from the clutches of Team Magma or Team Aqua..

There was more than one Pokemon game released for the Gameboy Advance, so I went with the game that took all the aspects of its predecessors Ruby and Sapphire, improved and added things. Emerald offered players a lot and thanks to battle frontier, there was more to do once the game ended. Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire stepped away from the Kanto and Jhoto regions entirely, giving fans something a bit different. A lot of new concepts were added (contests!) and of course, plenty of new Pokemon. While not my personal favorite, it is worth playing through if you’re a Pokemon fan. If you’ve never played a Pokemon game, I would recommend trying another game in the series first.

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Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

Taking place shortly after the events of Kingdom Hearts, Chain of Memories have players take the reigns of Sora, Goofy and Donald as they explore Castle Oblivion. Not everything is what it seems and they’ll find themselves running into several familiar faces who no longer recognize them.

Chain of Memories is a personal favorite and not just because Kingdom Hearts is one of my favorite game series’. The battle system revolves around a card based system which is fun and challenging. If you don’t plan ahead for certain battles, you will likely see the game over screen fairly quickly. Chain of Memories brings all the charms of the first game, but it does feel like less of an adventure and the emotion of the first game is largely lost. That aside, it doesn’t keep Kingdom Hearts from being a must-play for the Gameboy Advance.

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Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

The game opens with four children living in a small town called St. Ivalice. One of the children, Mewt, discovers a study old book and shares it with the others. Little does Mewt know that the book has magical properties and when they all wake up the next morning, they discover that their town has been transformed into a fantasy world. Players take control of Marche, a new child in town as he tries to restore order.

If you have any liking of strategy-tactic RPG’, this is the game for you. This game will win you over with the gameplay. Battles are fun and fast, the characters are diverse and everything about the gameplay is fun. Even the mission set-ups are fun as you have a mixture of ones that require you sending out a character or participating in battles. The graphics are colorful and fun and the story is fun to follow. It’s also the kind of game where you can ‘pick up and play for one mission/battle’ or ‘I’m going to spend all evening playing this’.

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Golden Sun

After a powerful artifact is stolen from the remote village of Vale, a powerful force threatens the world with total destruction. Issac, Mia, Garet and Ivan set out to stop the powerful forces, with the powers of the elements of water, fire, wind and earth at their disposal.

Golden Sun was a game I bought on the recommendation of a friend. It’s a title that brought a lot of new things to the table and stood out above the crowd. Magic spells were used to transverse obstacles, adding an extra element into the game. Gameplay in Golden Sun, from the interactions in villages, dungeons etc. were stellar and battles held the same acclaim, if not more. The graphics, even today are gorgeous and a beautiful and vibrant color pilate was used. The story, as you would expect, was stellar and the characters are memorable. The story does end in a cliffhanger, which made room for the sequel, Lost Age.

Final Fantasy IV

Cecil is a dark knight who is captain of the Red Wings, along with his best friend Kain. On a mission, they are ordered to destroy a town full of innocent civilians. Questioning what they have done, Cecil learns he has killed the mother of a young girl, Rydia. In her rage, she summons Titan, separating Cecil and Kain. Stripped of his rank, Cecil is about to learn that things in the world are not what he thought they were.

Fans often rank Final Fantasy IV high on their list of favorite Final Fantasy games and rightfully so. The gameplay is great and the music upholds the standard that Final Fantasy games are known for. While those are important, the story and characters are what makes Final Fantasy IV a stellar game. All the characters are memorable and the storyline is impressive. If you want an RPG with a little bit of everything done right, this is a must-play.

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Lunar Legend

A port of Lunar Star: Silver Story, Lunar Legend tells the story of a group of friends who venture around the world, following in the footsteps of a great Dragonmaster named Dyne. One of the characters, Alex, seeks out the Dragon trials in order to become a protector of the Goddess Althena.

Lunar Legend is a fun RPG and more light-hearted than some. It has a few twists and turns along the way, the gameplay is fun, the story solid and the characters are good. It’s a game that you remember as being a fun title, with nothing particularly frustrating. It just doesn’t break new ground, even though it does do everything right. It’s the perfect pick up and go RPG or a great entry game for someone wishing to try out games in the RPG genre.

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Final Fantasy VI

A port of Lunar Star: Silver Story, Lunar Legend tells the story of a group of friends who venture around the world, following in the footsteps of a great Dragonmaster named Dyne. One of the characters, Alex, seeks out the Dragon trials in order to become a protector of the Goddess Althena.

Lunar Legend is a fun RPG and more light-hearted than some. It has a few twists and turns along the way, the gameplay is fun, the story solid and the characters are good. It’s a game that you remember as being a fun title, with nothing particularly frustrating. It just doesn’t break new ground, even though it does do everything right. It’s the perfect pick up and go RPG or a great entry game for someone wishing to try out games in the RPG genre.

Honorable Mention: Mother 3

I can’t make this list without mentioning Mother 3. To the bane of fans outside of Japan, the Mother series has not been done justice when it comes to releases. This prompted fans to make fan translations of Mother and Mother 3, which were never localized (US), primarily due to poor sales of Mother 2 (Earthbound). Without going in depth, let me say that Mother 3 is a fantastic game and great final game in the Mother series. Maybe someday it’ll be localized. After all, Mother and Mother 2 have been rereleased on the virtual console.

Sources

Weichhart , E. (2016, July 5). How Many Games Were Released For Each Nintendo Platform. Retrieved September 05, 2017, from http://nintendoenthusiast.com/blog/2016/07/05/nintendos-consoles-total-retail-game-releases/

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© 2017 Alexis

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