These are the GBA games Destructoid most wants to see on Nintendo Switch Online


These are the GBA games Destructoid most wants to see on Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online GBA

Get that GBA on the NSO ASAP

If there’s one thing I’ll miss when the Wii U and 3DS eShops close for good, it’s being able to buy the old games I remember from my childhood from Virtual Console. Nintendo has the richest catalog of any developer in the industry today and it’s just a shame that in the future the only way we might experience some of these titles is with Nintendo Switch Online. Do not mistake yourself. I like the service and think the selection of NES and SNES titles is pretty solid. But given how much of Nintendo’s history has been tied to handheld devices that aren’t currently available on the subscription service, fans are missing out on some of the company’s legacy and… ‘industry.

That could change, however. Recently, reports have surfaced online that Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance emulator has leaked with a handful of notable titles alongside it. Whether this is legit or not remains to be seen, but if this is the next step for the Nintendo Switch Online service, consider me excited (definitely much more excited than I am for these N64 games, it’s slowly adding to the Expansion level pass). I wanted to share my excitement with the rest of the writers here at Destructoid, so I asked them to name the GBA title they’d most like to see appear on NSO if this leak turns out to be legit.

Ninja Five-O

Ninja Five-O

The number one GBA game I’d love to play on my Nintendo Switch will always be Ninja Five-O. Developed by Hudson Soft and published by Konami, the action platformer flew under the radar in 2003, releasing around the same time as Golden Sun: The Lost Age and Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. Reviews were great but sales were dismal. The game faded from the market as quietly as it came, only to regain popularity when people started writing articles about the best GBA games. Unfortunately, that increase was far too small to warrant a second printing of the game, and prices for original copies skyrocketed. I never played Ninja Five-Obut I’ve wanted it for many years because of all the love it got from the lucky few who managed to give the game a chance at the time.

Here’s the catch, though. Ninja Five-O is one of the titles listed in the GBA emulator leak, and that, along with a few others, makes me think that this leak might not be legit. Because it’s almost too perfect for an obscure but beloved GBA game that costs a fortune to buy these days to appear on the list of compatible games for this emulator. It’s entirely possible, I admit. After all, NSO saw some fairly obscure games before. But I just don’t think we’re that lucky or that this schedule is that generous. – CJ Andriessen

Mother 3

No one likes to be wrong, but I wish everything I’ve heard over the past 5 years about Mother 3The chances of being taken abroad turned out to be outdated information. If you’ve never heard of the game before, well, you’ve got a lot to catch up on. First released in Japan 16 years ago, Mother 3 is a comic and tragic story. With heartbreaking deaths, multiple gender-nonconforming characters, and anti-capitalism and anti-TV (!) messages, an unchanged version of Mother 3 on the Western Switch Online service would certainly make headlines. Fans who demanded it for years would go bananas. Others would demand Nintendo boycotts for being (gasp!) “too wide awake”.

It’s hard to imagine Nintendo wanting to deal with all this controversy, but again, I’d be wrong if that meant being able to play the best RPG of the GBA era on my Switch. –Jonathan Holmes

gameboy advance gunstar

Gunstar Super Hero

An often overlooked gem in the Treasure catalog, Gunstar Super Hero (also known as Gunstar’s Future Heroes) was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2005 and serves as a direct sequel to the beloved 1993 Sega classic Mega Drive. on a mission to prevent the resurrection of the terrifying overlord, Golden Silver.

Gunstar Super Hero takes the explosive, pixelated, run ‘n’ gun mayhem of its predecessor and scales it down to tiny handheld console form. While the vast arsenal of weapons, creative boss battles, and dynamic combat are all present and correct, Gunstar Super Hero includes awesome new maneuvers, fun new characters and bosses, and even a new gender for protagonist Red – now a gun-toting girl.

Although highly praised by critics, even winning “Best GBA Game” at E3 2005, Gunstar Super Hero did not, unfortunately, see sales success. And while not a five-star release, this pocket blaster, just like the set Gunstar Hero franchise, deserves better than languishing in the “Where Are They Now?” case. –Chris Moyse

How Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen set the bar for all video game remakes

Pokemon Leaf Green

It may be shocking to hear, but I just embarked on my Pokémon journey for the first time as an adult after being banned from playing one of the games as a kid. There’s been a lot of debate among my Pokemon-loving friends about which game I should start with, but we finally decided that Leaf Green was the best option – and I don’t think there could have been a better choice.

As I play it, I keep imagining myself at 10, embarking on this adventure for the first time, and it reigns. It may be a simple game, but it’s so well designed that I find its gameplay loop engaging, haunting even.

So with as much fun as I’ve had, the only downside is that because I’m playing it on a ROM on my friend’s computer, I can only play it when I go to his house. Having it on a portable console would not only be convenient, but I think it would also be another great way to emulate the original Leaf Green personal experience, even if I missed the boat fifteen years ago. I would definitely look forward to the other games on the leaked list that I haven’t played yet (of which there are many), but I think I would start with this one if it was included. – Noelle Warner

Screenshot of Cractus boss from Wario Land 4

Earth Wario 4

Give me a Nintendo Switch with Earth Wario 4 loaded on it, and I’m going to play it – all that. Just then. I’ll collect all the jewels and even do the baseball mini-game.

It ended up being the very first Game Boy Advance game I got to play, and it impressed me in person. It looked like a huge leap forward, visually. Heck, looking at random screenshots today, the crisp, colorful, gnarly pixel art holds up so well – Wario’s bosses and transformations, in particular. I wish more games looked like this!

Although I did not return to play all the previous wario games (and I probably never will, if I’m being honest), there’s something about Earth Wario 4 that resonates with me to this day. He’s got that “Wow, that’s immediately the “fun” factor, as well as the memorable art, animation, and music. Rushing through blocks and weirdos feels great. And even if the game is accessible to me on Wii U and 3DS, it also deserves a place on Switch. -Jordan Devore

Super Robot Taisen

Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation 1 and 2

The GBA has had many unforgettable games but of all (except maybe Final Fantasy Tactics Advance), I want to see Atlus ports Super Robot Wars OG and OG2. At the time, they were so unsure of its appeal in the West that they went through the untranslated Super Robot Taisen title, even! I love super robot warsbut even after the frankly miraculous overseas release of Super Robot Wars 30, my favorites are still the “Original Generation” titles, which use the various game-exclusive characters and designs as the stars of their own set. So rather than a great excuse to have Char de Gundam dating shinji evangelization and what have you, I always felt that the OG The series has operated under more pressure to stand on its own, with interesting arcs and fun characters that don’t rely on the extreme brand recognition that a classic mech gets you.

Of course, at this point the ideal situation would be for Bandai Namco to improve and carry over to the PS3 era. Super Robot Wars OGSbut if we’re talking about GBA games that exist that I would like to see more people playing, these are the ones. –Josh Tolentino

Astro Boy Omega Factor

Astro Boy: Omega Factor

Everything I’ve ever seen, watched or read about Astro Boy was extremely rambling and weird, making it a perfect fit for legendary developer Treasure (so amazing, they’ve made it to this list before with Gunstar Super Hero). Astro Boy: Omega Factor was an easy title to overlook in 2004, and the only reason I picked it out of the trash was its pedigree. It lives up to those papers by showing ridiculous attacks, over-the-top gameplay, and tight graphics. Frankly, I think Treasure’s library should always be, um, valuable, so it would be great to see this cult classic get another chance.

What are the chances of someone going through all the necessary licensing for this to happen? About as likely as someone making the effort to reissue McDonald’s Treasure Land AdventureIt should be done, but I’ll believe it when I see it. – Zoey Handley

Boktai: the sun is in your hands

There’s no shortage of excellent GBA games here, as the GBA is quite a fantastic little device. It has RPGs, platformers, and even some of its fighting games aren’t half bad. But if we’re doing a Switch Online dream lineup, I want to see swings for the fences. Let’s move on to the oft-forgotten Hideo Kojima portable classic Boktai: the sun is in your hands.

Boktai infamously used a detector to capture sunlight as part of its basic mechanism. Much like extremely dual-screen Nintendo DS games, this makes it a bit more of a port-forwarding conundrum. But Boktai is also an interesting part of the Game Boy Advance library; it’s an action RPG with cool mechanics and an intriguing setting. Sunlight is not only a gameplay feature, but also a lore. I’d like to see this persevere in an updated way to at least present the weird experiences in the GBA library. –Eric Van Allen


So many great games named above and so many more that didn’t make the cut, including Drilling bulldozer, golden sunand Kirby and the Incredible Mirror. But as Eric says, the GBA is a pretty fantastic device with a solid library of great games across multiple genres that I can’t wait to have rolled out very slowly to the Nintendo Switch Online service. This is our list. What are the games you most want to see appear?

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