Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Gameboy Retrospective: Advancement

By the time Gameboy Advance came around, I was well into making games for Gameboy Color. My company, 3d6 Games, renewed its license with Nintendo and applied for a GBA development kit (at the time actually called AGB). As an artist, the floodgates were opened. It was even better than a Super Nintendo! Layered backgrounds, transparency, alpha belnding, scaling, rotation, 16 color sprites, 256 color objects. Hot damn!

I got to cut my teeth on GBA development with Disney's Atlantis, it was actually one of the first GBA games to be released and I still think it holds up today. It was a traditional platformer based on the animated movie, and we sure put damn near everything the GBA was capable of into that game. While Pokémon Advance (Ruby) took my passion for monster training to new heights, the GBA brought with it tons of great games, not to mention the games I was creating at work. The re-releases of Mario were welcome reminders of how great the historic games are, and rare RPG's like Golden Sun harkened back to the wondrous RPG offerings of the Super Famicom. Other highlights of the GBA include Advance Wars, Mario vs Donkey Kong, and Metroid Zero Mission.

The GBA form factor, in my opinion, was a bit clunky. I never really liked the case colors and as nice as the full color screen was the lack of backlighting failed to showcase the graphics. The games were really where it shined. Even with the subsequent introductions of the 3D based PSP and DS, for my tastes the Gameboy Advance will always be the platform of choice.

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