Poll

Which of these GBA games do you recommend?

Mega Man Zero
Mega Man Zero 2
Medabots: Metabee/Rokusho
Mega Man & Bass
Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge
Mega Man Battle Network 2
Mega Man Battle Network 4: Blue Moon/Red Sun
Mega Man Battle Network 5: Team Colonel/Team Protoman
Mega Man Battle Network 6: Cybeast Falzar/Cybeast Gregar
Gotta Play Them All
All of These Games Suck
Medabots AX: Metabee/Rokusho
Mega Man Battle Network
Kuru Kuru Kururin
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Mario Golf: Advance Tour
Mega Man Zero 3
Mega Man Zero 4
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Mario Tennis: Power Tour
Mario Party Advance
Mario Pinball Land
Mario vs. Donkey Kong
Mega Man Battle Network 3: Blue/White
Konami Krazy Racers

Author Topic: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 2)  (Read 528 times)

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Offline Mr. Bungle

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Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 2)
« on: February 21, 2021, 07:34:08 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; With the 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.

In this second third we see the following 23 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/
  • Konami Krazy Racers  (2001, Konami, $8.5)
  • Kuru Kuru Kururin  (2016, Eighting/Nintendo, N/A)
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (2003, Alpha Dream/Nintendo, $17)
  • Mario Golf: Advance Tour (2004, Camelot/Nintendo, $19)
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001, Nintendo, $11, @)
  • Mario Party Advance (2005, Nintendo, $10)
  • Mario Pinball Land (2004, Nintendo, $11)
  • Mario Tennis: Power Tour (2005, Camelot/Nintendo, $17)
  • Mario vs. Donkey Kong (2004, Nintendo, $13, @)
  • Medabots: Metabee/Rokusho (2002, Natsume, $50/$38)
  • Medabots AX: Metabee/Rokusho (2002, Natsume, $9/$9)
  • Mega Man & Bass (2003, Capcom, $19)
  • Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge (2004, Inti Creates/Capcom, $18)
  • Mega Man Battle Network  (2001, Capcom, $57)
  • Mega Man Battle Network 2  (2002, Capcom, $45)
  • Mega Man Battle Network 3: Blue/White  (2003, Capcom, $23/$23)
  • Mega Man Battle Network 4: Blue Moon/Red Sun  (2004, Capcom, $20/$22)
  • Mega Man Battle Network 5: Team Colonel/Team Protoman  (2005, Capcom, $19/$25)
  • Mega Man Battle Network 6: Cybeast Falzar/Cybeast Gregar  (2006, Capcom, $44/$37)
  • Mega Man Zero  (2002, Inti Creates/Capcom, $29)
  • Mega Man Zero 2  (2003, Inti Creates/Capcom, $16)
  • Mega Man Zero 3  (2004, Inti Creates/Capcom, $15)
  • Mega Man Zero 4  (2005, Inti Creates/Capcom, $19)

The Highlights
There are only two Ambassador games this week - Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Mario vs. Donkey Kong.

The loose carts are a little more affordable in this lot but they are all still above the Wii U eShop costs. Collectors should be on the lookout for the first game in the Mega Man Battle Network series as it currently sells for around $60!
Mega Man was very prolific on the GBA with 12 games released in six years. While the four Mega Man Zero titles are available in a DS collection and the more recent Mega Man Zero Legacy Collection, the Battle Network games were not released as a collection, yet. It is also worth noting that in 2002 we see the Inti Creates team start making Mega Man Games for Capcom.

The only other re-releases that I am aware of is Konami Karzy Racers getting ported to phones and the 3DS remake of Superstar Saga. While the GBA original represents Alpha Dream in their prime, the 3DS re-release signaled the beginning of their end.

As we have seen before, there can be games getting their first North American release in the Virtual Console. For the Game Boy Advance, that honor goes to Kuru Kuru Kururin. This Nintendo Published puzzler was released on the GBA everywhere but America and gained a bit of a cult following at NWR. In 2016, the Wii U VC release made the game officially available in the US, but did it live up to its legendary reputation?  (Link to NWR article)

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:
  • Which GBA games would you want included if Nintendo released a GBA classic?
  • Will Capcom release a Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection?
  • Does the new Mario Golf game for Switch make you nostalgic for Mario Golf: Advance Tour?
  • Were Natsume and Capcom successful with their attempts to pull off a Pokemon style dual version release?

Next Round
Join me next week as we wrap up the GBA VC in our unabridged survey of the Wii U Virtual Console.

Offline NWR_insanolord

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 2)
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2021, 08:48:36 PM »
Mario Golf: Advance Tour is my favorite game in that series. Mario Tennis: Power Tour gets all the attention around these parts because of Stan's infamous review, but I think the golf version is the better game. I really wish they'd bring back that RPG mode. Golf Story on Switch was fun, but it's not quite the same.
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Offline Order.RSS

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 2)
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2021, 03:27:02 PM »


EDIT: Ok will make a real post.
I've played very few of these but:
- Mario Pinball Land I remember really liking back in the day, but I've never heard a single positive word about it since, so maybe I was just an idiot.
- Kuru Kuru Kururin is one I tried a while ago, spurred by its elusive status. It's quite a cute game, you basically go around rescuing chickens by wrangling a rotating blade through tight hallways. Be warned this can get absolutely aggravating real quick. There's a cheap game on Switch which basically replicates this, but with squids rather than birds, called Octocopter.
- All these Medabots games sound identical, but they're actually quite different. The first two are remakes of the Japan-only MedaRot 2 on GBC, and they're turn-based RPGs not dissimilar to Pokémon, but battles are usually 3v3. I doubt any of these have wide appeal outside series fans, and it's stupid they went the 2 versions route like Pokémon, but interesting Natsume brought them to VC.
- Meanwhile those Medabots AX games are 2v2 platform fighters, like Digimon Spirits Battle (also on GBA). I played one of those AX games and it was decent. You slowly collect new robot limbs for your monster which have various effects: replacing your legs with wheels makes them faster, but reduces your jump. You can even use tracks which have higher defense. You can bolt guns or swords to their arms, or mix & match them, and there's some strategy in which of the opponent's limbs you target first. Hardly a long-lost classic, but you can make weird combinations like an octopus head on wheels with cat claws and a bazooka.

Mario Golf: Advance Tour is my favorite game in that series. Mario Tennis: Power Tour gets all the attention around these parts because of Stan's infamous review, but I think the golf version is the better game. I really wish they'd bring back that RPG mode. Golf Story on Switch was fun, but it's not quite the same.

Wonder how far the new one will lean in that direction, probably not to the degree seen in the handheld ones, but you might get your wish there.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 03:56:14 PM by Discord.RSS »

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 2)
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2021, 07:42:28 PM »
Yes, a whole new batch of GBA games for me.... to poop on!!

Well, I mainly say that because my comments in the previous GBA edition seem to be all about how average or below average I found the games I'd played while others were more positive on some titles. For this batch, I have the following:

GBA Cartridges

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Mario VS Donkey Kong

Ambassador Program

Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Mario VS Donkey Kong


I have played and fully completed Mario VS Donkey Kong on both the Ambassador program and GBA physical. I have beaten and completed Superstar Saga and I played a bit of Super Circuit. I was trying to get three star rankings on that game but walked away from it because I hated the controls and just couldn't figure out what the game needed to award top rankings.

I feel I've covered my thoughts on these games before and maybe I'll dig up some comments on them to just sum them up here again but, for now, I can easily rank them as such:

Superstar Saga - Worth a play through
Mario VS Donkey Kong - Just a tiny bit above average. A player considering it may want to demo it first
Super Circuit - Skip it


Offline UncleBob

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 2)
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2021, 12:58:55 AM »
The only one I wanna comment on is Mario is DK.  Instant buy if you like platform puzzlers.  DK '94 is the better game, but thus one was great.
Just some random guy on the internet who has a different opinion of games than you.

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 2)
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2021, 03:06:33 AM »
They've done so many of those Mini Mario games, I really wish they'd go back to that original Mario vs. DK formula at least one more time.
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Offline Mr. Bungle

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 2)
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2021, 12:28:44 PM »
Here are the Metacritic ratings and select NWR Reviews for the games in this set.
Game Title (Metacritic Rating, NWR review)

The Highlights
There average review scores here are certainly lower than last week with a couple of games getting less than a 6. There are still plenty of 9's from NWR but only two games hit 90 or higher on Metacritic. Arguably, the best reviewed game of this bunch is Mario Kart Super Circuit, which received a 10 as well as a 9 and 9.5 from NWR when released. It was not formally re-reviewed for the Wii U VC, but was "Recommended" when put on the 3DS ambassador program.

The other well received game in the group is Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. With a 90 on Metacritic and a 9.5 from Dr. Metts in 2003, this appears to be a great game. The 2014 re-review from Daan Koopman (linked above) suggests that it has aged a little since then.

The lowest reviewed game is probably Mario Party Advance which has a 54 on metacritic and a 4 from NWR. Could this be why Hudson Soft does not help make Mario Party games anymore?

For those trying to sort through the deluge of Mega Man games it appears that you can skip Battle Chip Challenge. If want platforming action then the four Mega Man Zero games seem to fair well so maybe pick up that collection on Switch. If however you want some Battle Network strategy then that side series peaked with the second and third titles.

Offline Mr. Bungle

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 2)
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2021, 03:04:04 PM »
oops, wrong topic  :-[

Offline MASB

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round D: GBA VC - Part 2)
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2021, 12:02:30 AM »
Mario Pinball Land was a fun, little game. I wish Fuse Games still made pinball games, but they were absorbed by Barnstorm Games which seems to mostly make licensed quiz games for smartphones.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong may be the best in the series (not counting DK '94). Kind of too bad since it's the first. :P The puzzles could be pretty tough to figure out as the game went on, but the gameplay and animation made it worth trying again. NCL should equip NOA to make more games. Yeah, some of their games can be uninspiring sequels, but I wonder if that is due to lack of talent/experience or being on too much of a leash from Kyoto.

Kuru Kuru Kuruin could be such a fun yet enraging game. The type you kept trying over and over again to get to the next stage.Certainly one that should appear on a future GBA Classic.

I can't remember which Mega Man Battle Network game I played. It was either 3 or 4. I remember having fun with it and it seemed like the story wasn't bad. Like a cartoon series, really. It seems like Capcom has forgtten the series. Like they have/had a tendency to do, they drive series into the ground with too little changes between games. Maybe they'd release them in a package for another Mega Man anniversary, but only after the re-release all the other Mega Man games yet again.

To Mr. Bungle: I don't know if you were joking or not, but it seems that Hudson stopped making the Mario Party games after Mario Party 8 on the Wii due to Konami buying out Hudson. Around that time, several key figures at Hudson were leaving/retiring and alot of the people that made the Mario Party games went to work with NDCube, who have made the series ever since. I didn't realize that they helped develop the Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp game.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2021, 12:11:35 AM by MASB »