Game Boy Advance (GBA) fighters revolutionized the handheld gaming experience as for the first time portable fighters resemble their console counterparts or at least closer to it as compared to the previous Game Boy hardware incarnations. The better screen made a difference especially for the genre that has sprite animations as its main visual appeal. Here are seven of the best fighting games on the portable handheld.
Best game boy advance fighting games
7. Dual Blades
Dual Blades proved to be a delightful surprise for Game Boy Advance owners, successfully bringing a weapons-based fighter to the portable platform. Despite initial doubts surrounding fighting games on the GBA, Dual Blades managed to deliver an enjoyable experience that stands out in the genre. The story, while somewhat familiar, sets the stage for an exciting tournament where skilled fighters from different eras come together to compete for the chance to face an immortal opponent wielding the powerful Dual Blades.
Dual Blades slashes with its jaw-dropping graphics, featuring large and vibrant character designs, along with fluid movements. The comic-like art direction is also charming. Dual Blades truly shines in the gameplay department, making all these aesthetics merely nice-to-haves.
This fighting game caters to players of varying skill levels due to its adjustable difficulty settings. The roster of 8 diverse fighters from different eras gives any style a chance to shine. Controls are highly responsive, making it easy for players to execute moves.
Additionally, the game offers various modes, including a training feature, time attack, and survival, providing extra challenges and replay value. Despite minor concerns of potential repetition, Dual Blades remains a refreshing and entertaining addition to the GBA library, making it a must-have for fighting game enthusiasts on the go.
6. The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy turned out to be a surprisingly engaging game for the Game Boy Advance given the marred reputation of licensed games, especially those in the fighting game genre. The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy for the Game Boy Advance defies the typical reputation of licensed games by delivering an engaging experience. Combining platform and beat'em up elements, the game successfully captures the best aspects of both genres. The game's story followed the show's theme faithfully. The story mode, while short and easy, felt like a tack-on addition to this otherwise great fighting game.
It is in the Mission Mode where things get incredible due to the various missions resembling events in Super Smash Bros., the gameplay offered diverse challenges and objectives. There are balance issues here and there but nothing sort of hairpulling. The graphics accurately represented the show's style, and the music and voice samples added to the atmospheric and campy feel of the game.
The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy is a decent game that stayed faithful to the show's narrative tone and art style. Fans of the show will have this game as a mandatory purchase. The same goes for the fighting game fans.
5. Sonic Battle
Sonic Battle for the Game Boy Advance stands out as one of the most well-developed and engaging storylines in the Sonic gaming series. Departing from the usual formula, the game introduces a refreshing narrative that revolves around Sonic's discovery of Emerl, a golden robot with the ability to mimic fighting techniques. The story takes unexpected twists and turns, involving familiar characters like Knuckles, Rouge, and Shadow, each with their own motives.
The graphics in Sonic Battle is praiseworthy, with well-rendered square arenas for battles and an isometric overhead view for navigating through worlds. The use of audio snippets for characters adds a nice touch to the game's audio, complemented by fitting music for each arena.
Gameplay remains the game's strong suit as is every fighting game included in this ranking, with battles divided into chapters for different characters. Players have three attack choices (Shot, Power, and Set) for ground and air combat, with each character boasting character-specific moves and combos. The addition of special attacks triggered by the R button adds strategic depth. The Ichi-Koro gauge system further enhances battles, rewarding successful play with powerful instant KO moves.
Sonic Battle offers various modes like KO, Survival, and Time battles, both solo and in teams. The inclusion of multiplayer mode, supporting up to four players, makes for endless fun with friends. Players can edit Emerl's skills using skill points earned from battles, giving a sense of progression and customization. Replayability is another strong point, as players will be enticed to unlock every skill and explore special character combo skills with passwords. The game's diverse offerings, combined with its engaging story and enjoyable gameplay, make it a must-play for fans of the Sonic series and fighting games in general.
4. Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors
The history of games based on other media, TV or movie, usually ends up being a horrible adaptation, but Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors breaks the trend. This fighting game successfully translates popular anime into a video game without compromising on quality.
The game's story takes a unique approach, blending elements of the Dragon Ball Z storyline with original "What If?" scenarios. This creativity allows players to explore new narratives, even for short-lived characters, making the game more interesting for both hardcore and casual fans.
The gameplay of Supersonic Warriors sets it apart from other Dragon Ball Z games. Most of the fighting takes place in the air, offering a departure from the ground-based combat of previous titles. The addition of a power-charging move balances the use of Ki and adds strategic depth.
Physical fighting feels authentic to the TV show, featuring high-flying punches and kicks that require precise timing rather than button mashing. The ability to dodge every attack and the inclusion of tag team battles further enhance the gameplay experience.
In terms of replayability, the challenge mode, various storylines, and unlockable characters offer hours of engaging content, making Supersonic Warriors, not just a great fighting game but also a fantastic fanservice experience.
3. Tekken Advance
Tekken Advance is a fantastic fighting game given the bombastic graphics its console counterpart delivers. Despite its 2D format, it incorporates a small 3D element with sidestepping that adds depth to the battles. With ten diverse characters to choose from, each boasting unique moves and combos, the game provides an enjoyable and easy-to-learn combat system. The special moves are fun to execute and fit seamlessly into the gameplay.
The game offers a variety of modes: Arcade, Time Attack, Survivor and Battle modes. Team Battle and Tag Battle modes introduce strategic elements, allowing players to select a team of characters and face off against other teams. Also, the two-player mode, accessible with a link cable, adds competitive fun for friends.
Tekken Advance is colorful and detailed, with each character having distinct sprites and multiple costume options. While the graphics might not be the sharpest on the Game Boy Advance, players still could make out who’s who. The sound is well executed, providing clear sound effects and a variety of music that complements the gameplay.
2. Super Street Fighter Alpha 3
Super Street Fighter Alpha 3 for the Game Boy Advance provides a challenging one-player experience with its advanced Kineto-Reactive AI, which counters various moves and presents unpredictable challenges. The game's appeal truly lies in its excellent one-player gameplay, offering a variety of moves, combo attacks, and strategies to defeat opponents in one-on-one matches.
The gameplay is highly enjoyable for experienced Street Fighter veterans, but it may be too difficult for beginners due to the AI's increased difficulty and advanced tactics. The controls are adjusted for the GBA's four-button layout, requiring some practice to execute certain chain attacks effectively.
The animation frames and graphics are acceptable, though some character-specific backgrounds have been cut due to memory limitations. The sound and voices have been adapted for the GBA, but some voices were cut, and the overall sound is not as detailed as in other versions.
Despite the graphical and sound cuts, Super Street Fighter Alpha 3 remains a challenge-laden and fun game, providing a challenging experience for seasoned players who appreciate the portability of the GBA. The game's difficulty and button configuration may take time to adjust to, but it offers a rewarding experience for those who enjoy playing alone or seeking challenges against formidable AI opponents.
1. Super Street Fighter II Turbo: Revival
Another Street Fighter on this ranking should not surprise all Street Fighter fans and fighting game enthusiasts in general. Super Street Fighter II Turbo: Revival for the Game Boy Advance is a welcome improvement over its predecessor, Street Fighter II on the original Game Boy. The game offers a lot of new content for Street Fighter veterans, making it a satisfying experience. However, the game's value might be divided between old-school and new-school players of the series.
The game's story centers around Ryu and Ken, as usual, but this time they are joined by several new fighters with the common goal of taking down the mastermind behind the terrorist group Shadoloo, Vega. Super Street Fighter II X Revival introduces four new challengers, Cammy, T. Hawk, Fei Long, and Dee Jay, adding variety to the roster.
The graphics on the GBA screen are surprisingly good, with smooth character movement and well-rendered backgrounds. Capcom retains the original penciled style of the SF2 series, and the addition of new backgrounds and graphical touches enhances the overall visual experience.
The sound effects and music are largely unchanged from previous versions, maintaining the familiar Street Fighter ambiance. While some sound effects might not be as appealing, they still sound good on both GBA stereo and headphones.
The control layout utilizes a new system, where L and R buttons serve as strong attacks and weak and medium attacks are varied by the A and B buttons. The system is innovative and easy to learn, but tapping the A and B buttons lightly can be challenging. For players who prefer simplicity, a more straightforward control layout for special moves is available. The addition of a meter for super moves adds strategy to battles. However, some characters may feel unbalanced, leading to potential frustration for players.
Repackaging one of the gaming icons should be an easy way to sway this ranking. The foundations of the game stood the test of time. However, it is the seamless integration of compatible and well-crafted additions that elevate the game beyond its landmark status.