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If you grew up in the SNES Genesis era and are a fan of 2D games and you some how missed out GBA and DS go back and check those game libraries out

KAL2006

Banned
GBA and DS practically the successors of SNES and Genesis with a massive library of 2D games. Hell I'd even say in some ways the library is superior than SNES and Genesis. I've had alot of time to check out classic systems since I got my Switch hacked with Retroarch as well as my tablet. I have noticed alot of Genesis and SNES games still have remanants of the arcade era with no save system. While many GBA and DS games don't. I feel like the production value of the 2D games for those consoles are better than some current indie games. Even unknown licensed games are fun to play. You can literally pick a game at random and have a blast.

It's been nice to discover these games and they hold up well. I've never owned a GBA before, and when I owned a DS I only played the most popular games which many were 3D and touch generation games and ignored so many quality 2D DS games at the time
 
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Impotaku

Member
As someone who has a 400+ DS library of some of pretty much the best the system has to offer it's old news it has a absolutely insane library of quality. Even the GBA can't hold up to the level of quality titles of the DS my GBA library is about 80 games tops there are some amazing games but nowhere near the volume.
 

Kokoloko85

Member
Yeah, I'll never understand people that skipped GBA, DS and 3DS.

Exactly as you said, GBA is literally SNES 2. It's like everyone just kept making games like Chrono Trigger for an extra 10 years in a parallel universe.

For some people portable gaming just isnt comfortable. Ive played my Switch in handheld mode like twice and just can’t be bothered.
GBA was great, love Golden Sun
 

Deerock71

Member
Arrested Development Tobias GIF

I mean...that's a pretty small group of people.
 

ReBurn

Gold Member
GBA has some really good games. DS as well. Those systems are not the successors to the SNES and Genesi/Mega Drive. Spiritual successor to SNES, maybe, as it emulated a lot of the features of the SNES.
 

DrCheese

Member
GBA was fine, but the small viewport makes replaying a lot of the games not as fun as the older 16bity consoles. Everything just feels zoomed in.

I still to this day tho have no idea how the hell I ever played my original GBA. I dug it out recently but even sitting directly under an LED bulb the screen was almost impossible to see.
 
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Considering the prices a lot of these carts have these days, I'm thankful I got to play most of the ones I wanted to.

Digression, but speaking of 2D games, kinda wish I can hop in and out of a parallel world where Capcom kept making sprite-based fighters, on a CPS-III then higher engine. Gutted when MVC3 was polygons.

Sure, the Guilty Gears and Melty Bloods look awesome now it took us a while to get there (and wasn't really til KOFXII that something reminded me of the CPS-III style), but I'd still do unspeakable things to get another sprite-based Street Fighter.
 
Sorry, but I had a GBA back then (sold in 2015) and I always considered it a less interesting 2d machine (no doubt it performed better than the 16-bit machines from the late 80s).

The problem is that by the time the GBA/NDS came to be we already have had the PS1, Saturn, Dreamcast, etc. With enhanced 2D performance and plugged into our TVs for convenience.

If you wanted a portable machine, the PSP was the actual monster back then.
 

buenoblue

Member
I just installed the gba library on my phone. I have a cheap ipega red knight controller. GBA looks great on my OLED phone. Any recommendations as I missed the gba entirley. Also is it worth emulating ds on a phone. I do have a stylus for my phone somewhere but do the games work ok on a single screen phone layout?
 
I just installed the gba library on my phone. I have a cheap ipega red knight controller. GBA looks great on my OLED phone. Any recommendations as I missed the gba entirley. Also is it worth emulating ds on a phone. I do have a stylus for my phone somewhere but do the games work ok on a single screen phone layout?

I used Drastic a few years back for DS emulation, but it's been a few years. It's probably still the best DS emulator for Android, and it works almost flawlessly.

The Fire Emblem games on the GBA are great and the first one released in NA simply titled 'Fire Emblem' is an excellent starting point for a beginner in the series. The Advance Wars series is also great. Can't think of anything else, i never had that much of an interest in the GBA, or handhelds for that matter.
 
I just installed the gba library on my phone. I have a cheap ipega red knight controller. GBA looks great on my OLED phone. Any recommendations as I missed the gba entirley. Also is it worth emulating ds on a phone. I do have a stylus for my phone somewhere but do the games work ok on a single screen phone layout?
There are tons, you could try those:

Ninja Five-O
River City Ransom EX
Astro Boy
Castlevanias, specially Aria of Sorrow
Final Fantasy V, look for a patch on romhacking that removes the framedrops and adds the snes soundtrack
Dragon Ball Adventure
Mother 3
Mario & Luigi
Metroid games
 

buenoblue

Member
Cool cheers I'll check some of these out. I have a mame cab but GBA games stretched out to even a 20 inch screen doesn't look great. I feel on a phone screen is perfect for emulating older games. Megadrive and SNES look great at that size.
 

RAIDEN1

Member
I don't know really...I mean for a start Donkey Kong Country looked pretty washed out on the GBA....I was always curious was the GBA basically a 32-bit Super Nintendo?
 
Cool cheers I'll check some of these out. I have a mame cab but GBA games stretched out to even a 20 inch screen doesn't look great. I feel on a phone screen is perfect for emulating older games. Megadrive and SNES look great at that size.
Yeah, I tried emulating GBA on a CRT TV and it sucks, everything just looks too big nd streched out. Hope you have fun!
 

Krathoon

Member
The drawback to the GBA is the lesser sound chip, but the graphics are a step up from the SNES. It seems like the sprites are more detailed. The two Metroid games on it are a good example. You really see it running in an emulator with a bigger screen.
 
Don't worry, I plan to. Starting with picking back up (or well, restarting) Golden Sun. And while it's on neither of those, I aught to also start over on Riviera for PSP.
 

Krathoon

Member
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance really shows off a GBA.
It would be great if they did some more Switch ports of GBA games. You just have the Castlevania GBA ports.
 
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Naked Lunch

Member
I never got a chance to play DS.
DS emulators ive tried seemed so weird with the dual screen. Maybe one day ill track down the actual handheld console. I wonder why theres no flash carts for DS yet?
 
I used to have GB, I still own my DS, but, I prefer my gaming on a large tv with big sound. My DS was used regularly when I used to work night shift and a bunch of us were bored and all had a DS, so, we would play each other in Mortal Kombat. It was definitely fun, but, yeah, the gaming experience isn’t exactly the same for me. I like to be fully immersed in games, handheld just doesn’t do it for me.
 

Sophist

Member
The drawback to the GBA is the lesser sound chip, but the graphics are a step up from the SNES. It seems like the sprites are more detailed. The two Metroid games on it are a good example. You really see it running in an emulator with a bigger screen.

they had to design sprites specifically for the GBA screen. because of that, many games ported from snes/megadrive are uglier when played on a bigger screen.
here an example, top is Super Nes, bottom is GBA .

 

kunonabi

Member
I skipped out on the gba and I still don't have much interest in revisiting it. I pretty much tuned out of portables for a long stretch aside from the neogeo pocket color. It wasn't until Trace Memory that I got back into portable gaming.

I think my issue with the gba now is I didn't care for the metroid, Zelda, mega man, or Castlevania titles on it and so I'm just kind of soured on it.
 

Sub_Level

wants to fuck an Asian grill.
Yeah, I'll never understand people that skipped GBA, DS and 3DS.

GBA and 3DS sure.

But when it comes to DS, many of us at the time had a badass system called PSP instead. PS1 emulators, crazy graphics, could play music, could even play porn. DS might've had an amazing library but PSP was the first and only time Nintendo had legit worthy competition in that space.
 

Holammer

Member
I tried, the GBA's low resolution & janky colours look horrible. You need industrial strength nostalgia to deal with it.
Had more success on DS, but there the second screen and touch mechanics are often unnecessary & stupid. New Zealand Story Revolution is a good example how to ruin a perfectly good arcade game by shoehorning that crap in there. It could have been *the* ultimate version of the game.
 

NeoIkaruGAF

Gold Member
The GBA is where the port/remake trend really began. Nintendo was so eager to introduce a new generation to their old games, they even forgot to make a new Mario. The system launched with a port of goddamn SMB2, ffs. And it had tons of SNES ports, even a line of NES ports. I could never get past this, nor the horribly designed hardware. Every GBA iteration managed to take some steps back for every improvement. The library had some good games, and it’s the platform that launched Wario Ware and (in Japan) Ace Attorney, but there was too much bad stuff about the GBA for me to really love it.

DS, though? Amazing, amazing system. DS kept my love for gaming alive in the mid-2000s.
 

DGrayson

Mod Team and Bat Team
Staff Member
I never found the GBA to be the SNES 2 that some poeple said. it had a great library of 2D games dont get me wrong. But the graphics and sound just wernt as good as teh SNES in my opinion. Also the 2 face button controller was super limiting.

Loved the GBA but it wasnt as good as SNES
 

Kuranghi

Member
I really loved playing Metroid Fusion in 2020 but then I tried The Minish Cap and I found it a bit annoying, similar to the plodding nature of Skyward Sword. Gonna try some of the Castlevanias soon though.
 
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Trilobit

Member
I really loved playing Metroid Fusion in 2020 but then I tried The Minish Cap and I found it a bit annoying, similar to the plodding nature of Skyward Sword. Gonna try some of the Castlevanias soon though.

Minish Cap was gorgeous, but awful as a game.
 

TLZ

Gold Member
As someone who has a 400+ DS library of some of pretty much the best the system has to offer it's old news it has a absolutely insane library of quality. Even the GBA can't hold up to the level of quality titles of the DS my GBA library is about 80 games tops there are some amazing games but nowhere near the volume.
I think I only have 5.

Yeah, I'll never understand people that skipped GBA, DS and 3DS.

Exactly as you said, GBA is literally SNES 2. It's like everyone just kept making games like Chrono Trigger for an extra 10 years in a parallel universe.
This is why I wish Nintendo gave us full BC with these systems.

For some people portable gaming just isnt comfortable. Ive played my Switch in handheld mode like twice and just can’t be bothered.
GBA was great, love Golden Sun
My problem is vision. My eyes can't stay in focus on these small screens.

The 7 inch Switch is helping though. That 1 inch difference is actually making a difference for me.
 

Impotaku

Member
My problem is vision. My eyes can't stay in focus on these small screens.

The 7 inch Switch is helping though. That 1 inch difference is actually making a difference for me.

That's why i have one of these :) Can input either screen to my tv or both if i had 2 screens as it can output both screens separately.

 
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TLZ

Gold Member
That's why i have one of these :) Can input either screen to my tv or both if i had 2 screens as it can output both screens separately.

What the..? DS looks like it's on life support 😳

What is that? Video capture? Why so big?
 

Impotaku

Member
What the..? DS looks like it's on life support 😳

What is that? Video capture? Why so big?
It's a nitro capture unit made by intelligent systems, the blue box contains all the custom hardware for both DS & GBA the boards are huge in it the cards go into the top of the case instead of the DS, the DS is just a modified shell with no internals apart from the buttons & screen hence it needing to be linked to the main box with a cable. It basically allows you to play DS & GBA games on a tv the unit has 2 video out ports so you can choose if you like to make one large DS by using a tv for each part of the DS screen or you can choose to display them both on a single screen there's a bunch of dip switches around the back.

Not exactly something nintendo wanted ended up in consumer hands as it's dev hardware but tough titty lol
 
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Hoddi

Member
Yeah, I tried emulating GBA on a CRT TV and it sucks, everything just looks too big nd streched out. Hope you have fun!
GBA runs at a resolution of 240x160 which makes it impossible to get correct pixel mapping in fullscreen on a CRT TV. I think most emulator frontends (like Retroarch) support 1:1 pixel mapping in a smaller window and then allow you to use an overlay to cover the rest of the display area.

It's less than ideal but I think GBA games look absolutely fantastic on my own tube TV. The display window isn't really that small and it doesn't really bother me when playing GBA games. It's much better than playing on that small LCD in my opinion.
 
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