Super Mario Rehash

Was the Game Boy Advance about more than just remakes?

By Aaron Roberts. Posted 09/28/2011 09:00 3 Comments     ShareThis

Super Mario Rehash masthead (Aaron Roberts)

You know, the Game Boy Advance was a fantastic system in a lot of ways.  I have not stated anything new or ground-breaking in the last sentence, and I fully realize that but let’s think about things for a minute.  If you look at some of the greatest Game Boy Advance games, you start to see a trend.  Don’t believe me?  Let’s look at some of the top titles:

Final Fantasy VI Advance
Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Metroid: Zero Mission
Pokemon: FireRed and LeafGreen
Super Mario Advance
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2
Yoshi’s Island:  Super Mario Advance 3

In case you hadn’t already figured it out, the truth is that every single one of the games listed above is a remake of another game that had, at some point, come out on an earlier system of some sort.  Now, this is by no means an all-inclusive list.  There are easily triple the amount of games not listed that also fit in that category on the GBA.  That’s not even including the straight ports like Breath of Fire II or the entire Classic NES/Famicom Mini series.

So, with all this recycled content, the Game Boy Advance was really just a port-heavy system that had no real signficance of its own, right? –Man, I’m sick of rhetorical questions, aren’t you? Never mind.  Rhetorical question.

Anyway, let us not forget that while there may have been more ports and remakes on the GBA than on any system previous, there were also tons of original games, or series games that made us see a current property in a whole new way.  Games like Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, which gave us a completely unique look on a Mario-themed RPG, or Mario vs. Donkey Kong, which showed a new take on an old series idea, and spawned a whole sub-series of Lemmings-like successors.

And there were games like WarioWare: MegaMicrogame$, which took an existing property and filled it so chock-full of new ideas, that it might has well have been a brand new property of its own.  The Game Boy Advance also hosted a fantastic 2D Zelda that was the developer Flagship’s last title, as well as Drill Dozer, an original gem and one of Game Freak’s few non-Pokemon games.  Not to mention hosting the best version of Mario Golf ever made.

So don’t doubt for a minute that the Game Boy Advance made its mark on the course of the game industry, with dozens upon dozens of titles not even mentioned here.  Despite the complete lack of a Slot-2 in 3DSes and DSis worldwide, there’s no question that this little system brought a big game.

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