Super Monkey Ball Jr.

After all, Monkey Ball has never been a series that’s relied upon its looks – sure, everything apart from the mazes are flat 2D cutouts, but that doesn’t detract much from your enjoyment. But that’s the one sad thing about the game – when it was released it was held up as a mini technical marvel, much like other 3D titles on the GBA (Star X anyone?), and therefore may have been treated better by reviewers as a result.

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Dark Arena

Perhaps the most forgotten of the whole flock of GBA FPS – apart from perhaps the too late for the party Ice Nine – this is was actually the first FPS announced for the handheld. It’s also the only GBA FPS that isn’t a port or continuation of an existing shooter series, or without any conceivable tie to a movie (Ice Nine was based on the film The Recruit but the licensing fell through). This fact probably didn’t help Dark Arena reach a wider audience, but it’s hard to feel too sorry for it, due to the fact it’s a rather turgid effort all round.

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Xevious

The graphics have no retro wow factor either – patches of grass look like they were sketched by a five-year old in a more restrictive version of Mario Paint – it makes you wish for a simple but effective black space background. I’ve not managed to get very far in the game (the screenshot above is of a level that I will probably never get the chance to play through) but I still think most of these criticisms still stand. So don’t bother with Xevious. Just let it quietly pass away, and hopefully the game’s developers will do the same.

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Ode to the Evil Twin

Dark Samus (Metroid Prime): Poison has always been a substance that plagued any living organism but it remained passive and indifferent. It was only used for killing in the hands of its user. In Metroid Prime, the poison Phazon is not only deadly but also sentient. Responsible for the death of two planets, this entity looked to spread its plague further and melded the DNA of Samus Aran and her foe, Metroid Prime to create Dark Samus. To see your greatest foes taking your form as their avatar would fill any hero with rage. Our heroine managed to disintegrate Dark Samus into particles in the Agon Wastes and then once again by breaching the monstrosity’s Phazon Shield with a charge beam. Though defeated, Dark Samus has the potential to return in the future through the game’s savior by a Mark of Corruption left upon her. Only time will tell if we will ever see this enemy rise again.

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Gyruss

I’ve been playing Gyruss since the early 80s and I visit it often when I’m in a retro arcade/c64 gaming mood. The mix of the music, retro sounds, non-stop gameplay keeps me having fun even though it’s been many years that I’ve been playing this gem. It’s hard for me to get tired of the gameplay. Replayability get a score of 9 out of 10.

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