Poll

Which of these GBA games would you recommend?

Car Battler Joe
Contra Advance
F-Zero: GP Legend
F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
Final Fight One
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Gotta Play Them All
All of These Games Suck
Klonoa: Empire of Dreams
DK: King of Swing
Drill Dozer
Golden Sun
Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament
Advance Wars
Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town
Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town
Fire Emblem
Game & Watch Gallery 4
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land

Author Topic: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)  (Read 63129 times)

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Offline Mr. Bungle

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Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« on: February 14, 2021, 02:21:10 PM »
Background
The Wii U eShop will only be open for a limited time so it is worth looking at the games there while there is still time to buy them. In the past few months we looked at all the available eShop games, but we omitted the Virtual Console releases, until now! Nintendo introduced the Virtual Console (VC) with Wii as a way to sell games from previous systems a la carte. That same service continued with Wii U and 3DS before being replaced with a Netflix style service bundled with the Nintendo Switch's Online membership.

The Game Boy Advance Virtual Console
The Game Boy Advance (GBA) sold about 81.5 million units and had quite a few exclusive games from well known franchises. However there have not been many attempts to re-release those games. There was no GBA virtual console for Wii and with 3DS it was limited to the ten titles included with the Ambassador Program (Link to NWR article). There are a few games that managed to get re-released on other systems, but by and large most seem locked on either the original hardware or the Wii U eShop. The Wii U eShop has 74 titles ranging in cost from $6.99 to $7.99 (USD) and we will deal with them in three parts, sorted alphabetically. I mean, what better way to increase views and comments on this fledgling series of posts than to stretch it out even more :D.

In this first third we see the following 24 titles with information in the following order
Game Title (Release year, developer/publisher, current cartridge cost*, @ indicates part of the 3DS Ambassador Program)
* Loose cartridge only, USD, source: https://www.pricecharting.com/
  • Advance Wars  (2001, Intelligent Systems/Nintendo, $35)
  • Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising  (2003, Intelligent Systems/Nintendo, $25)
  • Car Battler Joe (2002, Ancient/Natsume, $94)
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (2003, Konami, $82)
  • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (2001, Konami, $18)
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (2002, Konami, $55)
  • Contra Advance (2002, Konami, $28)
  • DK: King of Swing (2005, Nintendo, $9)
  • Drill Dozer (2006, Game Freak/Nintendo, $66)
  • F-Zero: GP Legend (2004, Suzak/Nintendo, $17)
  • F-Zero: Maximum Velocity (2001, Nintendo, $17, @)
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (2003, Square Enix, $17.5)
  • Final Fight One (2001, Capcom, $21)
  • Fire Emblem  (2003, Intelligent Systems/Nintendo, $48)
  • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones  (2005, Intelligent Systems/Nintendo, $34, @)
  • Game & Watch Gallery 4  (2002, Nintendo, $12)
  • Golden Sun  (2001, Camelot/Nintendo, $22)
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age  (2003, Camelot/Nintendo, $23)
  • Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town  (2003, Natsume, $21)
  • Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town  (2005, Natsume, $16)
  • Kirby & The Amazing Mirror  (2004, HAL Laboratory/Nintendo, $28, @)
  • Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land  (2002, HAL Laboratory/Nintendo, $21)
  • Klonoa: Empire of Dreams  (2001, Bandai Namco, $27)
  • Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament  (2005, Bandai Namco, $33)

The Highlights
There are three Ambassador games in this first third. The Nintendo developed F-Zero game, Fire Emblem (AKA Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade), and the good GBA Kirby game.

As you can see, the cost of loose carts varies quite a bit but most are more than the $7 US cost of the eShop download. The most valuable title in this lot is Car Battler Joe, which goes for about $240 new!

It is also worth noting that Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is the only game from Square Enix on the GBA VC.

Comments
I welcome any corrections to the information I found when compiling the list. The price information here is for the US so let me know about differences in other regions. Not sure what to comment, consider questions like:
  • Were you in the 3DS Ambassador program?
  • Will Konami release another Castlevania collection including these GBA titles?
  • Should Camelot make another Golden Sun game?
  • Is there a lazier sequel title than Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town?

Next Round
Join me next week as we tackle the second third of the GBA VC in our exhaustive review of the Wii U Virtual Console.

Offline pokepal148

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2021, 03:01:03 PM »
Amazing Mirror is an excellent game that's well worth checking out. It was actually a retroactive game at one point as well on RFN.

Offline Lemonade

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2021, 03:29:39 PM »
The only game on that list I have played is F-Zero: Maximum Velocity. Im not sure if I would recommend it.

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2021, 07:07:48 PM »
Of those Fire Emblem games, The Sacred Stones is more elaborate, with a world map and opportunities to replay maps to grind for XP. It also gives you the option to promote character into different classes rather than following a fixed upgrade path.
So in theory it ought to be the better game, but I also found the story and characters exceedingly dull. So I'd recommend the former over it, that story is still predictable standard fare, but told with more enthusiasm. Both games are decent though.

Also chucked some votes at Klonoa, although to be honest I'm not sure if they hold up. Those games are cheerful  platformers, and you usually need to use enemies to progress - like grabbing flying ones to gain altitude. Not nearly as involved as the GBA WarioLand games though.
I just feel bad for this franchise - it has a similar trajectory like F-Zero... In the sense it somehow saw like 3 GBA releases in a short timespan, and then pretty much fizzled out. I suppose the PlayStation game was remade/ported to Wii, but outside of cameos Klonoa has been a dormant franchise for well over a decade.

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2021, 08:38:07 PM »
Some real standouts here. Both Advance Wars games are great. The DS ones are really good too but I think these are the best ones, at least out of those that have come to the west. Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town is probably my favorite game in that series, though it was recently remade for Switch and that version adds a lot of quality of life improvements.

A big one I want to point out, though, is DK: King of Swing. I really loved that game, which felt like it just came and went without getting any real attention. You control it with the shoulder buttons, which cause the big ape to grab onto things, and as the name implies, when you're only grabbing onto one thing you swing around it. You use these mechanics to navigate the environment, and it has a lot of neat ideas. It also got a sequel on DS called DK: Jungle Climber, which is pretty good too.
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Offline Mr. Bungle

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2021, 12:25:37 PM »
Here are the Metacritic ratings and NWR Reviews for the games listed above. The Wii U VC review was used when available.
Game Title (Metacritic score, NWR review score/Link to review)

The Highlights
The average review scores on these games speak for themselves. Out of the 24 games, 10 of them scores 9 or higher with NWR and four have a Metacritic rating higher than 90! The two best reviewed games on NWR are DK: King of Swing (as recommended by Insanolord) and Fire Emblem (as recommended by Discord.RSS), both of which scored a 9.5.


The game with the best Metacritic score is Advance Wars with a 92, making it the #3 best game on GBA.

It is interesting to note the discrepancy between review scores on F-Zero: GP Legend. One reviewer thought it was worthy of a 9 while another felt it was a 4.5. Check those reviews out to unravel the mystery.

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2021, 11:01:00 PM »
Of the games listed, I own the GBA copies of:

Advance Wars
Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising
DK: King of Swing
Drill Dozer
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land

I have these one in Ambassador form:

F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror


Of those games, I'd say, "Eh, if you've got the time, I guess give them a shot."

There's nothing here I'm really enthusiastic about.

I think Kirby Nightmare in Dream Land is better then the original NES version of Kirby's Adventure but it doesn't really change the game that much compared to Metroid Zero Mission but that will be coming up later. Played it and completed it and there was nothing that I found memorable or would want to experience again. It's kind of a basic and average Kirby game. Even with other games in that vein like Kirby's Dream Land 2, there's something about those titles that have some sort of charm and parts that gave me some pleasure. It's a game that just feels much longer than it needs to be and starts feeling like a chore to play after awhile.

Kirby and the Amazing Mirror is step up but it's definitely in the middle of the Kirby game-ography for me. It's like a more fleshed out or expanded version of The Great Cave Offensive and there's a lot more to have fun with as you explore the worlds with almost a Metroid-lite touch when it comes to figuring out the map system and how to get around and find links to the different worlds. However, despite playing it and completing it on the GBA and Ambassador program, it is not a game that would come right to mind when thinking of Kirby games or giving recommendations to somebody. If you want more Kirby to play then here you go but I'm not sure it is really a game that would turn someone into a Kirby fan or that someone would tell their friends they need to get a GBA to play this game. It's good but not great.

Drill Dozer I played a long time ago. Like 14 or 15 years depending on when it came out. I remember there was some excitement about the title as it was a rare new game from Game Freak that wasn't Pokemon. It even included a rumble feature in the cartridge to give your GBA some shaking action. Unfortunately, the rumble is weak and consists more of a making a buzzing noise with slight vibration. While some people were enthused about the game and maybe still are, the game never really took off to another level for me. It just didn't seem to have many ideas for its drilling concept and after awhile it just seemed to do a lot of the same things over and over. As such, I walked away from the title after completing it a bit disappointed in its modest and average design. Although some may blame it on being release late in the GBA's lifespan as the DS was now on the market but I'd say the fact that this game has sort of been forgotten by gamers and never returned to by Game Freak or Nintendo indicates that most people realize there's nothing that great or special about it. For me, this game's lasting memory may be as one of the select few titles where I bought into the hype around its marketing as it came out and walked away disappointed. Like Amazing Mirror, technically it plays fine and there's nothing wrong or broken with it. It won't anger or annoy someone playing it but I don't really think it will hook a player or fire them up. I could see someone saving their game partway through and then never coming back to it not because of disliking it but because they start playing something else which does grip them instead and they simply forget about the game.

DK: King of Swing I'll probably get to in the next couple years. I'm getting close to completing all the games that I own for the GBA and King of Swing is one of five games left that I haven't finished and it shouldn't be too lengthy like a Pokemon game or Advance Wars so I've been thinking of tackling it sooner. I played it a bit maybe back around 2006 or 2007. I was glad to see King K. Rool was still getting used by Nintendo as a villain after Jungle Beat and no DKC sequels in about a decade. I'm pretty sure I completed the first world too. But I found the game very boring from that short time playing. I'd play a level or two and just start drifting off. Maybe I was trying to play it at a time I was just very tired in life but the conceit of just using the L & R buttons seemed to make it too simple and lackluster. I can almost see the L & R concept as trying to do an imitation of the DK Bongos but Jungle Beat is a much better game and level design than I had found with King of Swing. Still, I've meant to give it a second chance someday and, of course, I bought the sequel Jungle Climber for the DS which I haven't touched so I guess I still have some hope it will engage me and make me a fan like Insanolord seems to be. But from my limited time with it, my current recommendation is to skip it.

Speaking of games I've focused on to complete my GBA library: Advance Wars! Unfortunately, it will have to wait as I've typed enough for now and have some other things I want to get done. I'll have to post more later.

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2021, 10:49:48 PM »
A big one I want to point out, though, is DK: King of Swing. I really loved that game, which felt like it just came and went without getting any real attention. You control it with the shoulder buttons, which cause the big ape to grab onto things, and as the name implies, when you're only grabbing onto one thing you swing around it. You use these mechanics to navigate the environment, and it has a lot of neat ideas. It also got a sequel on DS called DK: Jungle Climber, which is pretty good too.

Looked this one up based on your post, but I gotta say it doesn't look very appealing in video form. The movement (jumps especially) looks slow, and there's a flatness to the art style in that Mr. Driller way, but more towards the pastels spectrum. Much prefer the Mario vs. DK visuals.
Looking at the gameplay I'm kind of reminded of Clu Clu Land, of all things.
Is it just a game that looks a bit dull but is really fun to play? Is there a rhythm component to alternating button presses, like how Khush is saying? I'm curious what makes this one so good, since it doesn't really wow me at a glance.

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2021, 12:02:53 AM »
A big one I want to point out, though, is DK: King of Swing. I really loved that game, which felt like it just came and went without getting any real attention. You control it with the shoulder buttons, which cause the big ape to grab onto things, and as the name implies, when you're only grabbing onto one thing you swing around it. You use these mechanics to navigate the environment, and it has a lot of neat ideas. It also got a sequel on DS called DK: Jungle Climber, which is pretty good too.

Looked this one up based on your post, but I gotta say it doesn't look very appealing in video form. The movement (jumps especially) looks slow, and there's a flatness to the art style in that Mr. Driller way, but more towards the pastels spectrum. Much prefer the Mario vs. DK visuals.
Looking at the gameplay I'm kind of reminded of Clu Clu Land, of all things.
Is it just a game that looks a bit dull but is really fun to play? Is there a rhythm component to alternating button presses, like how Khush is saying? I'm curious what makes this one so good, since it doesn't really wow me at a glance.

I wasn't that big a fan of the art style, but I liked the game despite that. The Clu Clu Land comparison makes sense in that most of your inputs are just about grabbing with either or both hands. I don't think it feels that slow in motion, especially as it goes on and the game expects more of you in terms of complexity. I don't know what video you saw, but it may have been early on, where it probably is slower and more simple.
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Offline UncleBob

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2021, 04:23:08 AM »
I remember enjoying Drill Dozer, but literally cannot remember much of anything about the game.  Must have not been *that* great.

Game and Watch Gallery 4.... I mean, you know what you're getting into with one of these.  It's an amazing collection and includes Game and Watch Zelda, probably your only real way of playing it... However, it requires a significant commitment to unlock.  Don't pick this up thinking you're only going to play Zelda.  You're not.  Also, G&W Zelda isn't *that* amazing.  It is a Game and Watch game.  It's enjoyable, sure, but it's Zelda in theme only.
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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2021, 01:55:03 PM »
Looked this one up based on your post, but I gotta say it doesn't look very appealing in video form. The movement (jumps especially) looks slow, and there's a flatness to the art style in that Mr. Driller way, but more towards the pastels spectrum. Much prefer the Mario vs. DK visuals.
Looking at the gameplay I'm kind of reminded of Clu Clu Land, of all things.
Is it just a game that looks a bit dull but is really fun to play? Is there a rhythm component to alternating button presses, like how Khush is saying? I'm curious what makes this one so good, since it doesn't really wow me at a glance.

It's S-L-O-W alright. Thank you for reminding me. In my memory when recalling the game, I chalked up the problem to being too simple or not very challenging to move between swinging pegs. But once I saw your post about the speed of the game, it flashed back in my mind that it was dull pace which was mostly to blame for putting me to sleep as I played it. Now, I fully admit, I'm not the biggest expert on this game having only spent maybe a couple hours on it. So maybe the pace does pick up but I found the game a drag for that first world.

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2021, 03:17:34 PM »
Found a speedrun for DK, and Insano is right about it speeding up considerably towards the end. I'll put King of Swing and Drill Dozer on the maaaaaaybe list. It's a bummer we still don't have GBA titles included in the NSO subscription, there's a lot of things here I would like to sample, but not necessarily pay for.

One series we passed over completely in this round is Castlevania. I played Aria of Sorrow through virtual console a few years ago, and that one's pretty decent, but has rather dull level design. Most screens are honestly just corridors, or have maybe a platform or two within spitting distance of each other. It's hardly comparable to the GBA Metroids in that regard, but to compensate they focus more on combat.
Overall I liked the game, particularly the bosses, but after years of reading hype it was a tad disappointing. Aria feels fairly shallow, with just a few memorable moments. I rarely got lost and was mostly just filling in the map for completion's sake. Still decent, but not amazing.

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2021, 06:49:35 PM »
I left off on Advance Wars. I should do a Run the Series entry on it to post most of this and sprinkle it with useless detail but here's a quick cliff notes on it. First game I played in this series was the GC Battalion Wars spin-off. Almost beat it but had to return it to the video rental store after getting to the last campaign mission. Later bought it and wanted to finish it but lost the data when my memory was corrupted. Early in the DS lifespan, a friend had Advance Wars: Duel Strike and I played some multiplayer with him. Liked what I saw to want more plus on the forums there were a few people who were big fans of the series like S-U-P-E-R. At some point, I acquired AW 1, AW 2, and AW DS. I think my plan was to play it through from the beginning but it was actually Advance Wars: Days of Ruin that I delved into a game. I got it early on from its release at the time and even tried the online multiplayer. I got close to the end and think I was around 2 missions from completing the game but set it down for awhile because of the difficulty and then never got back to it. I've forgotten a lot about the game since then. I played Advance Wars GBA off and on for awhile but would drop it after it a failed mission and then come back to it years later. Last year, around March, I finally stuck with it and played it through to the end. That makes it the first Advance Wars game I actually beat after coming close to doing so in Battalion Wars and Days of Ruin but not finishing the job there.

There's still a lot to do in Advance Wars 1. Maps to unlock, bonus campaigns, higher mission rankings but none of it really interests. As a completionist, I'm slightly irked at having a game with so much still unfinished but then I think of actually playing it and I'm happy enough to stay away from it. I think there's a reason why Fire Emblem has had more entries and taken off and Advance Wars has stalled. I'm not sure what that is since I haven't played a Fire Emblem game but I have some ideas namely better stories, game characters in battle, possibly a better combat/battle system, and better music.

My main issues with Advance Wars 1 is that it is mostly just a collection of different battles/maps that you play. There is a story but it is so threadbare and flimsy. It's like the brainstorming session for a story was just used. With little narrative reason to move forward, it mainly falls on the player to hope they like just doing a bunch of different battles with increasing difficulty. And the battling aspect is alright but it's nothing that great. At first, its quite easy then it hits a brief period of being tricky but doable in a first try and then it becomes long battles and wars of attrition. That middle portion is great but, man, I hate that endgame stuff. The last mission in this game took awhile. I think it took 5 tries or so for me to get it done. A lot of learning and figuring out how to combat the AI. There was one time to where my GBA Micro died on me and thus I lost all my progress. (I've got to get that loosy-goosy power issue fixed one of these days.) But I hate spending a couple hours on something only to realize I've got to restart it again. Or the missions where one does win after a long time as both sides whittle down their forces and it becomes a game of slowly draining the one side of money and hope that you can start to get a few more units built before the AI to give you some kind of number advantage again.

I guess it doesn't help that I often think of playing the Civilization series when playing these games as that is not a good comparison for Advance Wars. I'd rather be playing Civ than AW's basic little maps and limited units. There's a lot more going on in those games to keep it interesting.

Advance Wars 2 - Supposedly better than the first but I've yet to play it. Just finishing the first one has been enough of an accomplishment.

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones - Never played it. I thought this might be the first Fire Emblem game I played as I was making an effort to get through my Ambassador games and then I hit a couple GBA games that stopped my momentum and never got around to it. I know the game wowed Mr. Grubdog at Pietriots when he played it directly after finishing Fire Emblem GBA. The possible 30 hour timeframe to play it also led to me putting it off then. Now I'm playing 100s of hours in Xenoblade games and BotW so maybe it's not that bad anymore after all.

F-Zero Maximum Velocity - Let's establish something off the bat. Do I consider myself an F-Zero fan? Yes. Have I played all the F-Zero games? No. Do I like all the F-Zero games? No. Why am I fan? Because of F-Zero GX. It's basically because of one game in the series and I think that is the case for the majority of people asking for a new F-Zero game. GX got me into the series. After loving it and playing a lot of it, I got a copy of the first game for SNES because it was so cheap. There's a reason for that. I'm sure F-Zero for SNES was kind of good for its time at the launch of the SNES but playing it now is probably like going from Mario Tennis Aces to Mario Tennis Wii U. (Zing!) It's missing so much of what made GX a standout game. Sure the difficulty is there but to me it is not that much different from trying to play an old NES racing game like Rad Racer. It's just racing a car on geometric tracks. I still spent some time with it and have even taken it for a spin on the SNES Switch App but I still lose interest in it pretty quickly. F-Zero X on N64 is closer to GX as it went into 3D gameplay and has more of the character and ideas found in GX. It's main problem is just being surpassed and a bit obsolete compared to GX. It's the same way I can still play Mario Kart 64 and prefer it over Mario Kart SNES but I'd rather be playing Double Dash or almost any Mario Kart past the 64's version. (Not you Super Circuit! Go back to the end of the line!) Unfortunately, F-Zero never got another 3D entry after GX and was sandwiched by two GBA games meaning there are more 2D F-Zero games than 3D and the 2D games are just nowhere near as good as the 3D games. Maximum Velocity is the first. I've only experience it from the Ambassador program. I've maybe played it for 11 minutes. It's pretty much the same game as F-Zero SNES and the world doesn't need another game of F-Zero SNES. It's a single player game with 4 racers to choose from going over geometric tracks that are rendered a little bit more sharper than the original. This is not what I'm hoping for when I'm hoping for more F-Zero. The only reason to buy this game would be to hopefully convince Nintendo there is a market to release an F-Zero sequel. Unfortunately, I still recommend that no one buys it because, first, you will play this game for an hour or less at most and, second, if a lot of people buy this game then Nintendo may interpret it as people wanting another 2D F-Zero game like the SNES original. I'm not a fan of Super Circuit but even that is better than Maximum Velocity. In fact, I'm sure there 100s of racing games bettern than Maximum Velocity. It's got no purpose and nothing to offer aside from more of that SNES experience.

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2021, 06:55:14 PM »
I've been told I'm not allowed to talk about Advance Wars anymore because dumbass 2012 me derailed an Advance Wars thread in an absolutely hilarious way because I guess I thought that there weren't enough weather effects in Advance Wars.

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2021, 05:30:58 PM »
Now, even though I've spent the last few posts sort of poo-pooing the GBA games I've played, there are some games I do like for the system and there are still some games I debate internally about purchasing. From the games listed here, I am curious about the following.


Fire Emblem
Game & Watch Gallery 4
Golden Sun
Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Klonoa: Empire of Dreams
Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament

At this point, I think I own every Fire Emblem game released in the west in some way aside from the first and the recent Switch special edition of the first game which was already remade and released on the DS of Shadow Dragon which I own. I guess I have high expectations of eventually getting into this series and liking it as many people seem to. Plus, it's just seemed smart to buy the Fire Emblem games before the price on them gets jacked up on as copies for it dry up. For this GBA game, the cheapest and best way to get it now is probably on the Wii U. So, its been on my Wishlist for years.

Golden Sun has been on my radar for the past 4 - 5 years as various Nintendo fans keep hoping and wishing for Isaac into Smash. Having the first two available on the Wii U VC makes it easy to jump into the series if I want to at a good price but I'm not sure if I want to. From looking into the game, it seems to be the older style of RPG and walking around on a map with battles randomly occurring. I'm more a fan of being able to see and avoid enemies and battles if I want to. Plus, the series ultimately fizzled out after it got a DS game so maybe it's nothing too special and just appeals to a certain fan / age that got into the series at the start of the 2000s. Having seen no recommendations about it in this thread so far just sort of adds to the evidence that games released since have surpassed or replaced what these games may have to offer or they just don't inspire people to talk about them anymore. Or maybe they just really are hidden gems that few people have gotten around to play and know about.

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2021, 05:51:54 PM »
As for Klonoa, I have the Wii game though I've never played it but it's always seemed to have a good reputation and even shows up on a Best of Wii list here and there so I hope to give it a whirl at some point. But I didn't realize there were other entries for Klonoa that were released on the GBA and continue the series. So, if I like the Wii game then maybe I'll want to come back to these. But should I buy them now while available or will the become available in the future on the Switch? It's the big question that holds me back from buying a lot of VC titles on 3DS and Wii U. I wish there was some kind of transparency from Nintendo or other companies as to whether they are going to start releasing these titles again on Switch or not.

As for Game & Watch 4, I know what I'd be getting with this game. The VC features make these games a bit easier and more forgiving to play but they're also games that I might play for a couple days and then not pick up again until 16 months later and then give them another whirl for awhile. It's a curio to go back and see what the Game & Watch titles were like and educate yourself on how they play but they just don't have a way to keep me compelled to keep playing them. Only time was when I had a GB pocket and was playing on a long car trip as a kid. They're great for that kind of way to hold your attention but I'm just not usually in that position anymore of needing something like Game & Watch to keep me occupied for a trip.

F-Zero GP Legend - I didn't list this one as one I'm curious about because I don't have high expectations for it. I sort of talked already about not liking 2D F-Zero so why would I consider getting GP Legend? Well, a couple reasons. First is that I have a copy of all the other F-Zero games in the series except for this one. Second is that unlike Maximum Velocity or the SNES game, this one has a story mode to it based off the F-Zero anime and has most of the characters included from the X and GX so it might have some of that fun, dumb, strange energy to it. And, based off Mr. Grubdog's review / write-up of the game maybe F-Zero finally pulled together a decent 2D racing game. But the screenshots suggest to me it would play the same as the other 2D games. It's definitely a game I'd like to demo to see if the gameplay is actually an improvement.

Offline Mr. Bungle

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2021, 06:19:44 PM »
Golden Sun has been on my radar for the past 4 - 5 years as various Nintendo fans keep hoping and wishing for Isaac into Smash. Having the first two available on the Wii U VC makes it easy to jump into the series if I want to at a good price but I'm not sure if I want to. From looking into the game, it seems to be the older style of RPG and walking around on a map with battles randomly occurring. I'm more a fan of being able to see and avoid enemies and battles if I want to. Plus, the series ultimately fizzled out after it got a DS game so maybe it's nothing too special and just appeals to a certain fan / age that got into the series at the start of the 2000s. Having seen no recommendations about it in this thread so far just sort of adds to the evidence that games released since have surpassed or replaced what these games may have to offer or they just don't inspire people to talk about them anymore. Or maybe they just really are hidden gems that few people have gotten around to play and know about.

I like to compare the original GBA review(s) with the more current re-review for the Wii U VC release in these situations. With Golden Sun there are three reviews on NWR:
9.5 from NWR in 2001
7 from NWR in 2002
7.5 from NWR in 2014

This is quite telling. Even in its heyday opinions was split at NWR with one review score at 9.5 and another at 7, supporting your theory that these games were for a "certain fan". The 2014 review score of 7.5 shows that the game probably does not hold up that well and perhaps is also for a certain "time".

But should I buy them now while available or will the become available in the future on the Switch?

A well stated admonition. I bought all the NES Mega Man games on VC only to have them re-released in a collection on 3DS and then Switch. Nintendo could very well add these first party games to Switch online in the future and third parties could release these as part of collections.

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2021, 07:29:47 PM »
the game probably does not hold up that well and perhaps is also for a certain "time".

And that certain time is the lost age. Wooooaaahhhhh!!!

Offline MASB

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2021, 01:08:56 AM »
I loved Advance Wars. It was sort of the first of its kind of strategy game I had ever really played. I got through almost the entire game before I hit a wall I just couldn't get past. I'd like to play it again some day, perhaps with a walkthrough for the last stages.

Fire Emblem was a big event for me. I had heard about the series for years and now it was finally coming out in English! When I started playing it for the very first time, it was probably the longest uninterrupted gameplaying session I've ever had. I played it for 8-9 hours. I've had many a 2-4 hour sessions in my life like many people who play games, but this was record-breaklingly noticable for me! I guess I got a taste of what it's like for MMORPG gamers. :P Lyn is still one of my favorite Fire Emblem characters.

I never finished Final Fantasy Tactics Advance but I enjoyed it since it was a Final Fantasy game (a rarity on Nintendo systems at that point!) and it had the gameplay style of Tactics Ogre, one of the Japan-only Super Famicom games I had wanted to play. How that game even came to be was wild. Square was so on board the Sony train, they had to create a seperate dev team made up of Quest people called Game Designer Studio. It was partly funded by Hiroshi Yamauchi's Q Fund, meant to invest in new studios (like Genius Sonority, ND Cube). And that studio was led by everyone's favorite Square developer, Akitoshi Kawazu!

Game & Watch Gallery 4 was a fun little collection of mini-games. Though I probably had more fun watching James Jones play it on Twitch. :P I wish Nintendo would make a Switch collection of all the Game & Watch games with updated graphics, historical info (like that SNK collection).

Drill Dozer is a gamer I only played briefly in a store demo. Everyone raves about it, so I should try to play the complete game. And I had never heard of Car Battler Joe before this topic so I need to check it out based on the title name alone!

I wasn't a 3DS Ambassador. I never got that (dubious?) distinction.

As far as Golden Sun and Camelot, I wonder how many people that made those games still work there. Is there a desire on their part to work on something besides sports games? Golden Sun: Dark Dawn for the DS felt like a game that wasn't quite ready from a concept/tech standpoint (3D polygons versus the old 2D sprites). Its commercial failure seems to have put the series in Nintendo's dog house and unless someone with power champions it, like F-Zero, it may be a cold day before we see anything new from the series.

Offline Order.RSS

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2021, 11:37:57 AM »
F-Zero Maximum Velocity - Let's establish something off the bat. Do I consider myself an F-Zero fan? Yes. Have I played all the F-Zero games? No. Do I like all the F-Zero games? No. Why am I fan? Because of F-Zero GX. It's basically because of one game in the series and I think that is the case for the majority of people asking for a new F-Zero game. GX got me into the series. After loving it and playing a lot of it, I got a copy of the first game for SNES because it was so cheap. There's a reason for that. I'm sure F-Zero for SNES was kind of good for its time at the launch of the SNES but playing it now is probably like going from Mario Tennis Aces to Mario Tennis Wii U. (Zing!) It's missing so much of what made GX a standout game.

Gotta co-sign this post. I'm another staunch F-Zero defender, but honestly only GX is a truly transcendent entry in the franchise, with everything else I've played hovering (heh) in the decent/good range.
I'm maybe a bit kinder to SNES F-Zero, because it still plays very smoothly. Put this next to the janky controls of SNES Mario Kart, or the eyebleeding framerates in OutRun, Super Hang-On, and Victory Run... and it's clear F-Zero aged much better than the rest. The music was also all there too.

But the franchise benefited so much from going into 3D: finally there's a real benefit for there to be hovercars, the jumps work better, removing traffic for competitors and adding combat elements makes every overtake a risk-reward wager between safely overtaking or removing a competitor from the race and tanking their championship points.
F-Zero X does a lot of cool things, particularly the X Cup which endlessly generates new tracks, but it's not until GX before the tracks graduate into having actual turns rather than smooth, slow bends.

I've definitely considered picking the GBA entries up on the VC, but it'd be more out of franchise loyalty than actual interest. The reality is just I'd much prefer an F-Zero NX in 3D, or even a GX remaster.
Not holding my breath for Nintendo to make that happen though, so I highly recommend anyone interested in another GX to pick up FAST Racing RMX. Yeah, it lacks some of the personality, the cars look too bulky, and I'm not convinced the polarity switching adds all that much other than testing your reflexes. But it comes pretty close at times, and looks really sharp. Sadly it can't hold a candle to the soundtracks of F-Zero or WipEout, but it's got a few decent tunes to get you in the zone. This is the new edge of your seat racing franchise on Nintendo systems, and they come closer to GX than I thought. Recommended.


Offline Mr. Bungle

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2021, 02:19:56 PM »
so I highly recommend anyone interested in another GX to pick up FAST Racing RMX.
I am not sure if they changed the name but it is currently called Fast RMX. Of course it is easy to conflate it with Fast Racing Neo, the Wii U version.

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2021, 04:52:46 PM »
so I highly recommend anyone interested in another GX to pick up FAST Racing RMX.
I am not sure if they changed the name but it is currently called Fast RMX. Of course it is easy to conflate it with Fast Racing Neo, the Wii U version.

Sorry, my bad. There are differences: FAST RMX contains all the tracks from FAST NEO, and its DLC, plus an additional 6 courses (some of which are remade tracks from the WiiWare game FAST Racing League). So RMX is the most complete, and has rebalanced difficulty to be less punishing.
It's $20 compared to NEO's $15, but the DLC for NEO was another $5, so even pricewise RMX is not a bad deal. Also goes on sale often, whereas Wii U sales are drying up. NEO is a good game, but it's somewhat obsolete to anyone who owns a Switch.

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2021, 06:13:16 PM »
I'm maybe a bit kinder to SNES F-Zero, because it still plays very smoothly. Put this next to the janky controls of SNES Mario Kart, or the eyebleeding framerates in OutRun, Super Hang-On, and Victory Run... and it's clear F-Zero aged much better than the rest. The music was also all there too.

While my earlier post probably seems more critical of F-Zero SNES then I intended, I do have a strange affinity for it. Perhaps it is as you say of it aging better. Maybe that's the reason why I've played F-Zero on the SNES app a few times but haven't even touched Super Mario Kart. It does seem to be easier to pick up and play after a long absence. And, yes, the music, while a bit muted, does add some appeal.

Quote
I've definitely considered picking the GBA entries up on the VC, but it'd be more out of franchise loyalty than actual interest.

Same. That's why I mentioned GP Legends. The last I need to "complete" the series.

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2021, 08:03:04 PM »
Part of the appeal of F-Zero: Maximum Velocity was just how impressive it was to see something similar to the SNES F-Zero on a handheld.  Playing it today as just a "regular" videogame, it doesn't seem remarkable.  But at the time it was possibly the greatest handheld racing game ever made.  But should you buy it now?  Nah.  Only if you really dig the SNES F-Zero and want more.

While F-Zero GX is the high water mark for the series, I think F-Zero X is still a brilliant game.  They compromised the graphics to hit 60 FPS so as a result the game doesn't feel old, it just looks it.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 04:47:25 PM by Ian Sane »

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 1)
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2021, 03:02:26 PM »
While F-Zero GX is the high water mark for the series, I think F-Zero X is still a brilliant game.  They compromised the graphics to hit 60 FPS so as a result the game doesn't feel old, it just looks it.

Yeah I didn't mean to pass over X so quickly, like you say it holds up really well thanks to the framerate and sense of speed it can achieve. I also always like how many cylinders they use on those tracks, so you can overtake people from above or figure out a spiral pattern to cut down every corner where possible. F-Zero X also has a very distinct art style in the menus, leaning very heavy into comic books, and the soundtrack was more rock influenced than GX, which covers a wide array of genres.

Looking back, F-Zero X might be my fave N64 game. Maybe it's Smash Bros. or Mario Kart, but both of those lots more, better entries. X has just the single sequel.