3DS Ambassador GBA Games

A few months ago I wrote a blog about the ten free 3DS Ambassador NES games. Now I’m going to do the same with the ten GBA ones. It’s a bit late, I know, but lots of stuff has been going on in the last few weeks! So let’s get started!

F-Zero: Maximum Velocity

Out of the ten free GBA games, I was only disappointed with two of them. And this is one of those. I was hoping this was going to be the more modern GBA F-Zero game that came out later, but that was actually called F-Zero: GP Legends (Hey, I can’t remember subtitles). GP Legends was much better than the first GBA F-Zero game. It had better control and tracks, and a cast of dozens like the more modern F-Zeroes. The artwork and storyline for each character was based on the F-Zero anime. Yup, did you know there was an F-Zero cartoon? It was even brought to Saturday morning TV in the US for a while. It wasn’t very good, but it was interesting at least.

Unfortunately, Maximum Velocity was a first generation GBA title, and it shows. Like the original SNES game, you only had four characters to race as (a couple more were unlockable, though), and a limited number of uninteresting tracks. And boy I don’t remember the play control being this slippy-slidey! I know I shouldn’t complain about free games, and I’m not, but I’d rather have GP Legends. Plus, GP had my favorite F-Zero characters: Super Arrow, Mrs. Arrow, and the fat samurai guy in the pink car! Who are your favorite F-Zero racers?

Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3

Yoshi’s Island on the SNES was a very special game to me. It was the game that got my roommate’s girlfriend (now wife) in college into video games, and I also enjoyed playing it with my little brothers when they were younger. Plus it’s one of the best 2-D platformers of all time. I hate to complain again, but while I do love getting ten free GBA games for being a 3DS early adopter, I almost wish we got ten free SNES games instead. The GBA port of this one is great, but it loses a lot because of the lower resolution of the GBA screen. But again, don’t want to complain, the port is still a fine one.

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

When Skyward Sword first came out, I wrote a tribute blog about Zelda’s 25th Anniversary, and listed my top five least favorite Zelda games. And Minish Cap was one of them. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a GREAT Zelda game. But it was way too short and easy, and paled in comparison to the great GB ones in the series. But I also said in my blog that I should give Minish Cap a second chance. And now that it’s on my 3DS, I have been replaying it. I’m almost done with it, too, and while it’s still not any better, I have to say that with the fairy tale themes, it’s great for younger players. And the lower difficulty and shorter quest make it a great introductory Zelda game for newcomers. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Still a great game and I’m glad I got it for free. Technically you can play five Zelda games on the 3DS now: Ocarina of Time, Link’s Awakening, NES Zelda, Four Swords, and now Minish Cap! Pretty neat, I say!

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

Aside from the F-Zero game, the Fire Emblem entry is the other GBA freebie that I was disappointed in. Not because it’s a bad game, in fact after playing it for a bit I could tell it was a quality title. But it’s just not my cup of tea. I’m not really big into strategy RPGs, and the characters and premise are a bit too serious and “Lord of the Rings-ish” for my tastes. But there are a few anime styled characters with pink and blue hair, so that’s kind of cool. If this game came out when I was in high school and really big on 16-bit RPGs, I probably would’ve liked this title more. But for a freebie, I would’ve rather had a GBA RPG like Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga instead.

Kirby & the Amazing Mirror

Hey you can’t go wrong with Kirby! The neat thing about this game is the Metroid style layout of the map. I wish they would do that with more games. Only bad thing is they treat Kirby’s copy abilities like the older Kirby games, meaning you can only do one thing with them instead of multiple moves. But that’s a minor complaint, really.

Mario Kart Super Circuit

When Mario Kart 7 came out I wrote a blog about my favorite Mario Kart games in the series, and Super Circuit was number two, due to the fact that it felt like a direct sequel to the SNES one, which was my favorite. So I’m really glad it made the list here. Since it includes ALL classic tracks from the SNES title, Super Circuit still has more tracks than any other Mario Kart.

Mario vs Donkey Kong

This was the sequel to the Game Boy Donkey Kong update. I loved the original Game Boy Donkey Kong. To this day I say it’s still one of the best arcade classic updates out there. You can download it on 3DS Virtual Console, and I highly recommend it. Mario vs. Donkey Kong is still fun, but not as good as the first game. Something about it feels a bit…off, and I’m not sure what it is. I liked the DS Mario vs. Donkey Kong games better, as they took a more Lemmings approach with the Mini-Marios, and it was a better series because of that.

Metroid Fusion

Other M and Fusion are my least favorite Metroids in the series, which makes sense because both games have a lot in common. A lot of the same characters and enemies, and gameplay was more story based and linear, which I didn’t like. But I remember still having lots of fun with Fusion anyway, so after I’m done playing Minish Cap, I’ll probably give Fusion a second chance, too. Although I would’ve much rather have had GBA Metroid: Zero Mission as a freebie. Or if they were doing SNES games instead: Super Metroid.

Wario Land 4

Even though I liked Wario Land 2 and 3 more, the GBA entry is still a fun 2-D platformer and one of the best looking and sounding GBA games to this day! WL4 is one of Nintendo’s most quirky platformers out there, and you can tell that the same team went on to make the WarioWare series. The reason why I liked WL2 and 3 more is because they emphasized more of Wario’s abilities to change form from hitting enemies, and the fact that you couldn’t die at all. Lots of creative puzzles with that aspect. Of course, WL4 has those, too. But no Captain Syrup. And last but not least, speaking of Wario…

WarioWare Inc: Mega Microgame$

I love the WarioWare games and consider them to be one of Nintendo’s best ‘new’ properties. Even the more mediocre ones in the series, I’ve enjoyed anyway. But this was the very first one, and it won my Game of the Year back in 2003. And then, when WarioWare D.I.Y. came out in 2010, that won my Game of the Year, too. It’s great to play the very first one again, although I don’t remember it being so short. But then, I know what all the mini-games are now, so that’s probably why. I love the WarioWare cast, too. They should make a cartoon out of them, although it would make no sense! My favorite characters are 9-Volt & 18-Volt, Mona, and Kat & Ana. Brother Jeff’s favorites are Dribble and Spitz. Who are YOUR favorites?


And those are all the free 3DS Ambassador GBA games. What do you think of them? What are your favorite GBA games that you’d rather see as freebies? Let me know in the comments section. Next time on my blog, you’re all invited to a special Zelda orchestra concert! And after that will be my long-awaited KOF blog! –Cary

One Response to “3DS Ambassador GBA Games”

  1. You forgot one in your list of 3DS Zelda games: Zelda 2. And technically, you can also play Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks (if you have the cartridge) 😀

    I’m sort of a fan of the series …

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