Hungry Goriya Used Acquire: Game Boy Advance

This is the sixteenth post in a series called “Hungry Goriya Used Acquire” that serves to highlight the contents of a large game collection I procured from an old high school friend of mine, Joe.  Read here for the backstory.

By now, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to know that I missed out entirely on the Game Boy Advance in its prime.  In general, the concept of handheld systems is my least favourite — I get stress headaches a lot from neck muscle tension, and it really seems to flare up while I’m staring down at a tiny screen.  Did I mention my near vision is starting to go?  Getting older sucks.

Joe’s collection had quite a few games for the console, and most of them came with their boxes and manuals.  There are some excellent games to be shown in due time, but for now I will start out in my usual way with the consoles themselves.

We received two GBAs here, one normal and one modified.  Modified to do what you might be asking?  Your guess is as good as mine.  It looks like the port installed on the back of the white one was meant to allow for an alternative power source of sorts.  Before this I didn’t actually own an original GBA and had been playing some games for the system using the Game Boy Player attachment for the GameCube, so it’s definitely nice to have the real deal for the first time.

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The games that we received were diverse and plentiful.  These are the games in the bunch that I probably know the least about, but it was great to see F-Zero and R-Type in there.  Those are born from solid franchises, so hopefully these games will be good as well.

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The next set of games we got I would broadly classify as a mix of arcade and puzzle games.  As a fan of older systems like the Atari/Intellivision/Colecovision, etc., things like Millipede and Super Breakout excite me to no end.  I’ve also heard that Zoocube is a lot of fun!  You can’t go wrong with ports of classics most of the time.

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In addition to these, we received a solid set of Castlevania games for the system.  I’ve only played a tiny little bit of any Castlevania game (it was Dracula’s Curse for the NES and I died over and over again in the Clock Tower level… ugh), but I can get behind the idea of new iterations of the foundational gothic platformer series.  I’ve heard that not all of these games are equal in quality, so I’ll be interested to be able to compare them whenever I get the chance to play through them.  I just hope that their soundtracks are as amazing as the other games in the series.

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There is nothing quite like the Nintendo staples to really round out a collection of games.  I recently bought Metroid for the NES after being inspired by LightningEllen‘s  last-minute run through the game at the end of last year, so I always find it funny when I end up with doubles, or in this case, a remake of the classic so soon after buying it up.  In that same vein, I think the Zelda II here is the third iteration I have (the others being the original on NES, and the port to the GameCube on the Collector’s Edition), but nonetheless, it gives me some options when I finally do get around to playing through it again.  Obviously the Super Mario Advance is a nice thing to have as well since SMB2 is my favourite of the original trilogy, and the Game & Watch Gallery games are also a good time.  I think the original receipt was still in the box for that one, and it was something like $51 with taxes in from the mid 2000s.  Crazy!

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No acquisition would be complete without a few letdowns, and unfortunately these boxes with their manuals came to me with no games in them.  Luckily I had three of the four games loose in my collection already, with the exception being Metroid Fusion.  That one is a bit expensive even loose, so it might be a while before I can track it down.  Either way, it was nice to upgrade those games to complete status.

Though I didn’t take a photo of it, an exciting thing here was the set of e-Reader cards that came with the Super Mario Advance 4 game.  They open up new levels for the game, and I can’t personally say I’ve had a chance to try them yet.  It’s so much fun to have new life breathed into a game I can beat in my sleep!  Okay, well not really.  I can make it through the original game as long as I use the cloud on the Dark World dungeon…

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I didn’t know that there were so many offshoots of the Megaman franchise.  The Mega Man Battle Network games, from what I understand, are RPG/action hybrids.  This is right up my alley, as usual.  Bomberman Tournament also looks like a ton of fun, and at first I didn’t realize it had a lot of . I never knew that Bomberman could visit towns and dungeons and get into battles!!  If I had known a game like this existed, I would’ve likely tracked it down a very, very long time ago.  So excited!

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There was even more action-y fun to be had with these other games including more Mega Man.  Earthworm Jim was great on the Genesis/Sega CD, so I’m curious to know if this is another direct port of that game or if there are any significant differences to levels/gameplay.  I haven’t played any Zone of the Enders games at all, but this is the third game I now own (the others are for PS2 I believe).  I have heard a lot of praise for Dragonball Z games in general but have very little experience with the show.  Can anyone say if the games are still enjoyable if the player doesn’t have a thorough understanding of the story beforehand?

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As usual, last but not least comes from the RPGs in the bunch.  Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was a game I already had in this exact condition, so it’s going to make a nice trade.  I was pretty pumped to see Kingdom Hearts.  It has literally been a decade since I’ve played the original on the Playstation 2, but it’ll likely be a great time since what little gameplay I’ve seen of the game is vastly different from the original.  Sword of Mana was also an awesome discovery.  I have the original Final Fantasy Adventure game on the Game Boy, so I’m likely to take a trip through that one first before trying out this remake.

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I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep this for this post or for one of the last posts in this series to follow, but I got a ton of stuff for the e-Reader!  Some of it is for the GBA, but some of it is also for the GameCube (Animal Crossing cards).  I honestly couldn’t believe how many cards I got here, including some sealed ones!  I’ve never tried out the e-Reader before, so it’s definitely something I’m looking forward to sauntering through at some point in the near future.

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I think I have about three more posts planned for this series before it’ll wrap up for good, so stay tuned for those.  I’m also sorry for not posting more regularly — I’ve just been assigned a huge project for work which is eating up a lot of my evening and weekend time until I can get it all under control, but hopefully I’ll be back to a more frequent posting schedule soon.  I suppose that also depends on the thrifting gods smiling down upon my lovely head…

Hope you’re all enjoying what’s left of your weekend!

Thanks for reading!

-GG

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22 Responses to Hungry Goriya Used Acquire: Game Boy Advance

  1. thedeviot says:

    Some really great finds in there! The GBA has a lot of great stuff for cheap. Of course the original model didn’t have the best screen. Generally I run my GBA games using my Super NES as a pass through for power. I picked up a Super Retro Advance awhile ago, and while the cabling can be cumbersome, it works well. I reviewed it, and the Retro Gen when I got them. They’re pretty cool devices that are basically entire clones of the GBA, and Sega Genesis respectively, in a Super NES Game Pak casing. But they run the games nearly 1:1. The Gamecube adapter is nicer, but you don’t have to worry about scratching a disk, and making it unusable. Anyway, I mention it due to your issues with the GBA screen. Also I highly recommend Ninja Five-0 if you can find it for less than a bajillion dollars.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hungrygoriya says:

      If only I had a bajillion dollars to spend… I’d be all over that in a heartbeat 😦 I’ll have to go back and find your Super Retro Advance article and take a look. I always love to see alternative hardware setups!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Red Metal says:

    I’d say the Game Boy Advance was when Nintendo truly knew that handheld games didn’t have to settle for being mere watered-down versions of classic console games, but fully realized titles in their own right. There was a bit of that in the Game Boy Color years, but it went full swing starting with this console generation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Geddy says:

      Well said! I didn’t have a lot of games for the GBA but I agree that it was the first handheld where the games stood alone without being a counterpart to something on a “proper” console. This of course carried on to the DS with the absurd library of high-quality games. They really hit their stride with the handhelds!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Red Metal says:

        Thanks. It’s one of those things I realized when replaying Super Mario Land. Back then, there weren’t many alternatives in the handheld market, so I could see why it would seem impressive in 1989, but now it’s just a less impressive version of Super Mario Bros. (which, to add insult to injury, you can also download on the 3DS Virtual Console).

        Liked by 1 person

      • hungrygoriya says:

        Super Mario Land is a weird little game that I love going back to once in a while. I love most Mario games though, so for me it’s just more of what I already really love. I see your point though. I’m glad Nintendo took some great steps towards developing fresh and new games!

        Liked by 1 person

      • hungrygoriya says:

        Man, it looks like I’ve been missing out for a long time here. I’ve snubbed the DS for a long time, but the next post I have planned will cover what I got in this purchase for it. Hopefully you guys will have some suggestions for other things to look for because I’m now a little stoked. I can get over my neck pains for good gaming, I suppose.

        Like

    • hungrygoriya says:

      You’re absolutely right. I don’t think I ever gave the GBA a second look when I was younger because a) I didn’t have the internet to understand the differences between it and all the other Game Boys, and b) from what little I knew of the library, it looked like more remakes! Thank goodness I’ve smartened up. It looks like there’s going to be a lot to enjoy here.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Geddy says:

    Great great finds! Super jealous of this one because I really missed the boat with this one. I was still in highschool at the time of release and so, like most highschool kids, didn’t have a whole lot of money for gaming. Well, maybe I made some coin, but Magic: The Gathering was the type of gaming I was more into at the time! Looking at your awesome collection, it makes me realize just how many great games I missed out on.

    I’m hoping that a lot of these will find their way onto the Switch Virtual Console at some point. Although I’d like to start collecting for GBA as the prices aren’t too bad, the unfortunate part is that you run into tons of fake copies on ebay, and buying from a reputable store, or trusted friend with a collection (as was your case if memory serves) are the only solid options. Unfortunately, I have neither!

    Congrats again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • hungrygoriya says:

      Hey thanks! I’m pretty pumped to know I got some great stuff here. I think we must be similar in age because I certainly didn’t even blink at most of this stuff when it was fresh and new. I always had a part time job in my teens, but I was dedicated to saving up to move out and didn’t buy much in terms of gaming for many, many years with the exception of the occasional used game for the NES, Genesis or SNES. I’m still playing catch up today, obviously.

      I’m terrified of ending up with a fake cartridge from eBay. I scrutinize the often 2 bad photos of games people have posted on their ads and very rarely take the plunge on rarer titles. I’d be heartbroken if I spent a lot of money on a fake. I really hope that one of these days you’ll find a great resource to be able to play some of these. I hope that Nintendo does do some GBA releases for the Switch, or eventually pulls a Sega and releases all of their old library (yeah right, but a girl can dream!)

      Like

  4. Kuribo says:

    I have a few of these games with box and manual but to get so many is awe inspiring and envy inducing! If you like 2D games, you should have a great time exploring the GBA library.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hungrygoriya says:

      Thank you 🙂 I’m still holding out to see that collection of yours someday.

      I don’t think there’s a type of game I love more than 2D games. I’m just sad it’s taken me so long to look into the system. I’ve done a smidgen of collecting for it already (Zelda games, Tales of Phantasia, Golden Sun games, etc.) but there’s always so much more to be had that I’m late to the party for. Better late than never!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kuribo says:

        Haha, I know, I’m accidentally being a tease about my collection! I will definitely have to dig out what I have at my Dad’s house one of these days.

        The Game Boy Advance is one of the best Nintendo handhelds and while I think the system didn’t last a really long time compared to others, the games that were released are quite good. I have played my GBA as much as any “retro” console I own because it is so easy to fire up and play.

        Liked by 1 person

      • hungrygoriya says:

        You’re only a bit of a tease… I can wait! I am patient!

        I’m slowly being awakened to the awesomeness of the GBA. I’m so excited to see what other great games I can unearth in my research.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Sega Dude says:

    I love the Game Boy Advance. What a great handheld system! I didn’t get into it until the Game Boy Advance SP hardware came out. And even though I never had a chance to use the first version GBA much I really feel the SP the best way to experience the games.

    And games you have! You have some great titles. Right out of the gate you’ve got all the Castlevania’s for GBA. Metroid, Sword of Mana and Final Fantasy Tactics are also top shelf games.

    I have a very healthy GBA collection myself but I don’t have any of the NES Classic series and I’m pretty jealous of that Metroid and Link 🙂

    I’m really glad I got into the GBA when I did. I was buying complete games used for about $10-$20 CAD each back then.

    Great score!

    Liked by 1 person

    • hungrygoriya says:

      Thanks for your enthusiasm about the GBA! It makes me glad to know that there are some great games here, especially from someone who has been in the collecting game for a long while. I’m sad I missed out on so much when things were cheap, but better late than never I suppose!

      I would love to see some of your GBA collection in a post sometime. I get all excited seeing other people’s stuff!

      I remember seeing the Classic NES version of the first Zelda game in a local hock shop here, and they wanted $99 for it a few years ago. The guy said that some collectors would buy it up, and when I told him I was a collector and wouldn’t pay that price he just scoffed at me. I think it might still be there if I’m not mistaken. If I think of it next time I’m there, I might take a photo or something.

      Like

  6. I hear ya! Getting older really does suck, haha. Thank you very much for the shout out, and I’m really enjoying your posts about this epic score 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mr. Panda says:

    Drool. This post is everything that was great about the GBA! I’m so excited for you and your haul. I love so many of these games including the Mega Man Battle Network series (awesome that you got a Japanese copy), Castlevania, Sword of Mana, FFTA, Kingdom Hearts, and Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town. So awesome that you got e-Reader stuff too! It’s a shame Nintendo didn’t support it much. I would recommend the Mario Party e-Reader game if you ever get a chance to find it.

    Like

    • hungrygoriya says:

      Hooray! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. There are so many games on my list to play, and I’m looking forward to all the ones you’ve mentioned here! I think I have the Mario Party e-Reader game you’re talking about. It’s a card game, right? And you use the e-Reader to play minigames? It looks like a lot of fun!

      Liked by 1 person

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