April 3 marked the beginning of a luscious month of Game Boy Advance releases on the Wii U Virtual Console, starting with gems like Advance Wars, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and Metroid Fusion. There’s no doubt Nintendo has selected a fantastic starting lineup to kickoff the Game Boy Advance’s introduction to Virtual Console, but where do we go from there? There are several games that would be perfect on Japanese company’s struggling console, and a few franchises that could use another shot in the spotlight. Here’s the next five we want:
In the wake of Fire Emblem: Awakening‘s successful release on 3DS last year, many fans of the franchise are clamoring for the re-release of the Game Boy Advance epic that kicked off the series’ presence in the west. Fire Emblem is an extremely polished strategy RPG that is as addictive as it is challenging, and with fellow Intelligent Systems-developed strategy game Advance Wars already available on Wii U Virtual Console, Fire Emblem seems like the obvious next step.
Metroid: Zero Mision
The early 2000s were a great time to be a Metroid fan. The series gracefully made the jump to 3D with Metroid Prime on Gamecube while honoring its roots with classic 2D titles on Game Boy Advance. Nintendo has already given us Metroid Fusion to explore, but to many gamers the definitive handheld Metroid experience is found in Metroid: Zero Mission. As an enhanced remake of the original Metroid on NES, Zero Mission is a beautifully designed adventure full of hidden items, clever puzzles, and even some brand new areas. There’s little doubt we will be seeing more of Samus Aran in the near future, so Nintendo would do well to give old and new fans alike a chance to catch up on one of the best installments in the historic franchise.
It’s no secret that Sonic is most at home on Nintendo platforms these days. And while the Blue Blur has tripped up a few too many times in the last few years, his first appearance on a Nintendo handheld remains one of the hedgehog’s most polished and enjoyable adventures to date. The exploration, speed, platforming precision, and music the series is famous for are all wonderfully executed in Sonic Advance, a game that beautifully displays why millions fell in love with Sega’s iconic mascot in the first place.
We’re already being treated to one of the greatest handheld games ever created in WarioWare Inc., Mega Microgame$, but it’s sequel WarioWare: Twisted! would be absolutely perfect for the Wii U’s gamepad. Featuring minigames designed around the use of a gyro sensor, a device built into the gamepad, Twisted offers a unique gaming experience that was years ahead of its time. Wario’s most recent exploits haven’t hit the same high notes, but WarioWare: Twisted serves as a reminder of just how creative and innovative the series can be.
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Last year’s The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds reintroduced the world to top down Zelda, so there is no better time to shine the spotlight on one of the series’ most overlooked entries. Developed by Capcom and utilizing the once-controversial Wind Waker artstyle, Minish Cap introduces a shrinking ability that opens up the kingdom of Hyrule in previously unimaginable ways. It seems like an obvious Virtual Console release while we wait for the inevitable announcement of Nintendo’s next Zelda epic.
Hopefully, the first batch of Game Boy Advance games on Wii U Virtual Console will sell well enough to warrant the expansion of the digital library. The Game Boy Advance was home to some truly spectacular games that are just begging to be revisited. Of course, they might be more at home on another Nintendo platform…but that’s a debate for another day.