Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy 15th anniversary, GameBoy Advance!

On Mar. 21, 2001, Nintendo released its second handheld game system--or third, if you count the GameBoy Color--in Japan.

The system in question, of course, was the GameBoy Advance.

North America, Europe and Australia didn't get the 32-bit console until three months later, in early and late June, respectively.

The GameBoy Advance garnered a lot of attention early on thanks to its 32-bit processor, its backward compatibility with the GameBoy and GameBoy Color and its impressively long list of launch-day titles--including Super Mario Advance, Kuru Kuru Kururin and ChuChu Rocket!

Speaking of Super Mario Advance, another feather in the GameBoy Advance's oddly shaped cap was the fact that it eventually housed a slew of Famicom and Super Famicom (or NES and SNES, depending on your perspective) ports.

Despite all of the above, I didn't join the GBA club until fairly late in the game. In fact, I waited until after the laptop-esque GameBoy Advance SP was released in 2003 to make that move.

Actually, I waited until sometime in 2005, as I remember buying both a black GBA SP and a copy of Pokémon Emerald at a local Toys R Us to keep me entertained during an upcoming work trip.

Although I was slow to warm up to this particular portable, I now consider myself to be a pretty big fan of it thanks to the number of must-play games that were made for it during its too-brief existence.

Some of my favorite GBA carts: Final Fantasy V Advance, Guru Logi Champ, Mother 3, Rhythm Tengoku, Slime Mori Mori Dragon Quest and Zooo (aka Zoo Keeper).

Of course, I've yet to experience a bunch of the system's most intriguing titles, like Magical Vacation, Screw Breaker (aka Drill Dozer), Sennen Kazoku and Tomato Adventure.

How about all of you? Do you have fond memories of the GBA and its impressive catalog of games? If so, please share them in the comments section that follows.

See also: 'Happy 4th anniversary, Vita!' 'Seven ways you can celebrate the 27th anniversary of the PC Engine's release' and '15 memories in honor of the Sega Dreamcast's 15th anniversary'

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