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Looking for GBA recommendations

Started by granz, January 08, 2013, 05:50:22 PM

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SargeSmash

Oh yeah!  Good catch on Shining Soul, Dank.  I didn't really like the first one, but the second is definitely a great Diablo-esque game.  I still need to track it down at some point.

Also, which flash cart are you using, granz?  I've got an old FlashAdvance 256M Pro that I used, and I always had to trim 32K off the end of GBA games to get them to work.  There are also trimming tools out there, if I'm not mistaken, so you may be able to get the larger ones down to size.  (Mother 3, I believe, is one of those I had to trim.  The data doesn't look empty, but I had no problems from clipping the last 32K off.  Also, if you've got a DS, I'd highly recommend getting one of the EZFlash 3-in-1 Expansions, and use it in conjunction with a DS flash cart.  Amazingly simple compared to what I used to have to do.)

I.S.T. is right, the Castlevania games are great.  Even the sometimes-garish and definitely janky-sounding Harmony of Dissonance.  By the way, you may move slow, but that dash move more than makes up for it.  You can book it with that.  I was disappointed it was gone in the sequel.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  -- Mark 8:36

Lilinda

Aria of Sorrow didn't really need it, IMO, you moved fast enough. And the jumping speed is more what I was thinking of. No fix for that. =\ At least, not unless you're TASing the game, hehehe.
Retired moderator/staff member as of July 14th 2016

DankPanties

Quote from: SargeSmash on January 09, 2013, 01:41:50 PMAlso, if you've got a DS, I'd highly recommend getting one of the EZFlash 3-in-1 Expansions, and use it in conjunction with a DS flash cart.

I think the R4 Wood OS supports loading GBA games directly now (you still have to have the EZFlash 3-in-1 though).  So you don't have to use GBAExploader anymore.

My favorite GBA Castlevania is Circle Of The Moon mainly because it has the best atmosphere.  I think Harmony Of Dissonance is underrated personally, it's just way too easy is my only gripe.  These are good games for Granz because he likes to be a completist and there are plenty of optional collectables in these games, as well as level stats to grind up.

Well Granz I guess you've got way too much to choose from now!   :laugh:

Lilinda

Can't say I recommend level maxing in HoD... it's got EXP scaling, and after a while you just get 1 EXP per enemy. that's... painful. very painful.
Retired moderator/staff member as of July 14th 2016

SargeSmash

Quote from: I.S.T. on January 09, 2013, 01:51:49 PM
Aria of Sorrow didn't really need it, IMO, you moved fast enough. And the jumping speed is more what I was thinking of. No fix for that. =\ At least, not unless you're TASing the game, hehehe.
Oh yeah.  I forgot about that.  You could dash, and then you'd jump at your old, slow speed.  Goofy stuff.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  -- Mark 8:36

shadowmanwkp

QuoteJust in case you don't know about it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summon_Night:_Twin_Age

I do, it's an RTS game that plays totally different than the gba games. I don't really like it because all the interesting bits are gone. You can also easily break the game when you notice you are invincible WHILE CHARGING YOUR SPECIAL ATTACKS. This includes your unlockable charge "attack" for charging up SP, as if the game wasn't broken enough.

SargeSmash

Yeah, Twin Age is a whole different kettle o' fish.  I liked what I played of it, however.  But that's DS, not GBA, at any rate.

The two Summon Night games for GBA are...  well, they're probably best considered Tales-lite.  I haven't dumped a ton of time into either, though.  The first, if I remember right, has only one dungeon in it, the second feels like it's got a little more breadth to it.  Don't quote me on that, though, since once again, I didn't put a lot of time in, and my memory is likely failing me.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  -- Mark 8:36

KaioShin

Summon Night is boring. Extremely limited and boring. If you want to play RPGs on the GBA play Golden Sun or one of the myriad of remakes, but don't waste your time on that mediocre crap.
All my posts are merely personal opinions and not statements of fact, even if they are not explicitly prefixed by "In my opinion", "IMO", "I believe", or similar modifiers. By reading this disclaimer you agree to reply in spirit of these conditions.

granz

This is a lot to process! I'm still researching these games. PokeMon Mystery Dungeon looks good. I eat up anything with a roguelike feel.

As for Castlevania, I'm strictly a fan of the classics. I tried (and even beat) some of the GBA ones, but they always feel too redundant and don't have much lasting appeal. Once I get mid-way through the game, it feels like I've seen and done pretty much everything, and I'm just pushing on for the sake of finishing the story. Metroid isn't as bad since it takes only a couple of hours to complete, but GBA Castlevania games drag on.

I have played (and finished) Shining Soul. Maybe I should look into it again. I got discouraged on my second playthrough because the difficulty level had shifted too much. It was taking several minutes to defeat a single enemy, and the player is required to defeat hordes of foes before the next level will even open. It's possible my character build just wasn't good enough.

Quote from: SargeSmashAlso, which flash cart are you using

EZ-Flash IV. It's a white cart with a slot for a mini SD card. (mini, not micro... oddly enough) I'm sure the on-board RAM is limited to something around 24 MB, as I've tested it with various ROMs. Anything just above that won't load. It will give me an error message claiming that the ROM can't be fit into RAM.

I'm playing on a GBA SP. If I had a DS, I think the cart can load larger ROMs into the DS' internal memory or something. I'm not sure.

The only tool I have that trims ROMs works by removing things like intro screens. At best, it cuts a few kilobytes. This wouldn't help.
I'm no longer active on RHDN, but I keep coming back to troll, whee!

Garoth Moulinoski

Quote from: granz on January 09, 2013, 07:42:57 PM
This is a lot to process! I'm still researching these games. PokeMon Mystery Dungeon looks good. I eat up anything with a roguelike feel.

If you like it (which you will), you will love the second one. It will be surprising just how tearjerking Pokemon can be! ._. (And there's a 3DS one coming soon. I think I may actually hold off on Fire Emblem just to get this one!)
Who will quote me next?
Disclaimer: If it sounds wrong, I may have been posting while asleep.

Jorpho

#30
Quote from: granz on January 09, 2013, 07:42:57 PMEZ-Flash IV. It's a white cart with a slot for a mini SD card. (mini, not micro... oddly enough) I'm sure the on-board RAM is limited to something around 24 MB, as I've tested it with various ROMs. Anything just above that won't load. It will give me an error message claiming that the ROM can't be fit into RAM.
What?  No, no, I've run Mother 3 from my EZ Flash IV.

The thing is that it has 32 MB of NOR RAM.  NOR RAM takes much longer to write (like, a minute or two) to than the standard PS RAM, which is limited.  But once it is loaded, the game will load instantly from there on.

I can't quite recall exactly how you load something into NOR RAM; I think it's just a matter of pressing Select when loading the ROM.  I found this with a real quick Google.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2AtGlCIi-4

I'm quite happy with my EZ Flash IV, and I prefer it over the 3-in-1 I used to have.  However cumbersome it may be to put ROMs on a separate card, I think it's more convenient to keep things neatly segregated.  There's just two small problems.  First, I can't figure out where it stores SRAM data on the card.  And secondly, the GBA SP seems to be unusually sensitive to it.  I've had problems with the battery light flickering oddly while using it, and once or twice it has unexpectedly shut off completely.  I can't be sure if that's the cart, though; I've also read suggestions that the GBA SP's power switch is sort of twitchy in itself.
This signature is an illusion and is a trap devisut by Satan. Go ahead dauntlessly! Make rapid progres!

granz

D'oh. I just figured out what NOR is. I thought that had something to do with using the card on a DS.

Mine has 256 MB of NOR memory. I was able to flash a ROM to it, but it looks like it supports only one ROM at a time. Trying to flash subsequent ROMs just erases the NOR and starts over. Might there be a way to circumvent this? It's my only option for playing some titles. It takes several minutes to erase and rewrite all 256 MB each time I want to play a larger ROM.

The biggest GBA ROM I've ever seen was 32 MB. I'm guessing there must be some kind of work-around that would allow me to cram several into the NOR memory at once.
I'm no longer active on RHDN, but I keep coming back to troll, whee!

Gideon Zhi

There really isn't, I don't think. But the good news is that it'll keep whatever ROM you load resident in memory, as Jorpho says - so long as you keep loading the same game, it won't have to re-flash. You've plenty of options for games <=16MB; pick one larger game and stick with it 'til you're done with it, then flash a new one.

Jorpho

Quote from: granz on January 09, 2013, 08:35:59 PMMine has 256 MB of NOR memory.
I think you will find that is 256 megabits, not megabytes.  256 megabits = 32 MB, and as you've pointed out, that's as large as GBA ROMs get.
This signature is an illusion and is a trap devisut by Satan. Go ahead dauntlessly! Make rapid progres!

granz

It could very well be in megabits, but it misleadingly specifies MB instead of Mb.

I guess I'm happy that I can play at least one of these games. I'm debating between Spyro: Eternal Night and Riviera.
I'm no longer active on RHDN, but I keep coming back to troll, whee!

Jorpho

By the way, there are micro-SD to mini-SD adapters out there, if you're not aware.  (One thing I am a little concerned about is that things like the R4 and the EZ Flash IV are limited to standard capacity 2 GB cards, which aren't terribly easy to come across anymore.  Then again, one does not necessarily need that many.)
This signature is an illusion and is a trap devisut by Satan. Go ahead dauntlessly! Make rapid progres!

DarknessSavior

Most of the games I would recommend are already out here, but there is one that no one ever seems to recommend.

Yu-Gi-Oh: The Sacred Cards. I tried this game on a whim once, and found it surprisingly playable. In fact, I love the game. I've beaten it twice. The battle system is handled really, really well. The game doesn't do much to explain how it works, though. I guess that's because they assume if you have the game you're a fan of the card game or whatever.

~DS

Red Comet: :'( Poor DS. Nobody loves him like RC does. :'(
Sliver-X: LET ME INFRINGE UPON IT WITH MY MOUTH
DSRH - Currently working on: Demon's Blazon, Romancing SaGa, FFIV EasyType.
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ChronoMoogle

#37
Very nice suggestions so far! The Summon Night games are not all good, 1 really sucks, 2 is good and 3 is one of the best Tales of clones I know. Anyway, I have a few more games to add!

Games released in English
It's Mr. Pants - a hellish addicting puzzle game with a lot of weird british humour. One of the really unknown gems of Rareware.
Hamtaro Rainbow Rescue - plays a lot faster than volume 3 of the series (Ham Ham Heartbeak). Its a clever, cute and funny game and really recommended!
Klonoa Empire of Dreams & Dream Champ Tournament - very good and often overlooked puzzle platformers.
Mega Man Zero 3 & 4 - The Megaman Z games are my favorite of the wohle series,  but number 3 and 4 are the very best of them. Anyway, play them all, since they have a connected and good storyline.
Sabre Wulf - Another forgotten Rareware gem which really feels like a Donkey Kong Country with puzzle elements at some points.
Yggdra Union - The most awesome graphics you will ever see on the system plus a very good tactic system and a epic storyline. Kicks Advance Wars and Fire Emblems ass so much you wont believe it.

Okay, lets move on to the so far unnamed Japan-exclusives:
Densetsu No Stafi 1, 2 & 3:  It's one of the best platformer series on the system. The first 2D Jump N Run with fun water physics, if I recall right :D 1 is my favorite, because it got the biggest levels. 2 is the weakest one but still awesome.
Guru Guru Logic Champ: It's Picross meets Puzzle Bobble meets complete weirdness! It took me ages to find a copy but I couldnt put it down before I cleared almost every stage! Awesome game <3
Rhythm Tengoku: The first part of the series is still the best one. I suck at rhythm, but this game teached me at least a little. Cool game concept, extremely funny and simply hard to hate.
Slime Mori Mori - Next to Zelda the best Action-Adventure on the system. In every aspect. I mean it, seriously.
Tomato Adventures - The unknown gem of the same developers like Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga and the Hamtaro games. The fight-system has really cool action elements, the story and setting is crazy and its overall a very fun challenge. Recommended to everybody who likes Mother and other RPGs with funny themes and interesting features.



shadowmanwkp

#38
*shrugs*

I have had a lot of fun with the summon night games but I guess that's all about taste, good or bad. I might not agree with you guys, but I respect your opinions :).

Some other games I like a lot:
- Kidou Senshi Gundam Seed Destiny: 2D fighting game with not so much depth, but a pretty big character line-up for a gba game and a nice variety in fighters. Controls might take a little while to get used to, but I don't really mind them. Menu's are in English (except for the shop), so the game is pretty easy to understand.

- Chu Chu rocket: Played this game a lot as well. Don't know about the dreamcast game, but I expect the same features. The game is about leading your mice to the spaceship by placing panels on the floor, while avoiding the cats. Has two modes of play: challenge mode and puzzle mode. Difference between the two is that challenge mode is in real-time. Puzzle mode provides you panels beforehand and does not allow you to place them in real-time. Also features multi-player and puzzle creator.

I downloaded the android version of the game as well. As far as I can tell it has dreamcast graphics, but it seems to be a port of the gba game, without the multi-player or the puzzle creator.

- Lastly I recommend kingdom hearts: chain of memories. Not a general recommendation, because the fighting system is slow and does not revolve around crowd control like the other games (only one person can attack or use magic at any given time), but it can be enjoyable if you like the battle system. The system revolves about playing cards in order to use attacks or magic. They can be blocked with higher numbers, which can lead to frustrations if your stronger attacks are low numbered. Other general gripes are about world navigation, which can be slow due to using separate cards to progress and overall weak story.

Ugh ok nearly done posting, all megaman zero games are also bundled on the ds in the megaman zero collection. As an added bonus you can also unlock the effects of e-reader cards in mmz3.

Edit: @DS I don't know for sure anymore, but isn't that yu-gi-oh game the one where all the monsters have weaknesses based on their element (e.g. fire element defeats forest element)? I know of a YGO game that does that, but I don't know if it is this one. That mechanic is really annoying if you've played the card game.

DankPanties

The Mega Man Zero games are all awesome, I agree with that.  I was surprised at how much story and dialogue they had as well.  If you can get past some of the more brutal bosses, you'll have much fun.  It should be noted that only the first two games are hard, the third and fourth games are quite toned down in difficulty.