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Monday, September 5, 2011

Which GBA Games Will We See In the Ambassador Program?

So we've yelled a little bit at Nintendo. Yes, we sound like whiny, entitled brats, but we're whiny entitled brats for a good reason. We've also said that Nintendo really couldn't give us a whole lot more than what they offered us.


The success of the Ambassador Program now rests at the feet of the Game Boy Advance games they're going to provide. We know five of these games, we can be pretty sure of two more, and we can take some stabs at the other three. First of all, the ones we know:
  • Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island
  • WarioWare, Inc.
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit
  • Metroid Fusion
  • Mario Vs. Donkey Kong
Those are pretty good choices. Super Circuit is OK, although one of the weaker Mario Kart entries. Mario Vs. Donkey Kong is pretty decent too, with a Metacritic rating of 81.

Nintendo accidentally leaked the names of two more games in an email to a customer, if we remember correctly. Here they are:
  • Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Kirby and the Amazing Mirror
These games seem to pass the sniff test. Advance 4 makes sense, since they didn't offer the NES version of Mario 3. Plus, if Nintendo is feeling really frisky we might see the E-Reader extensions for it. A man can dream. Also, Kirby is a minor star for Nintendo, so it makes sense to offer one of his games, although Amazing Mirror is his weakest game.

This leaves us with three more games that are up in the air. What could they be? Let's do a little spitballing.

Unlike the NES, Nintendo has a lot to pick from. They have Fire Emblem, Super Mario Advance 2, Advance Wars, F-Zero, Golden Sun, Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga, Wario Land 4, and so on. The only one that would make annoyed is Mario Pinball Land, which means they'll probably release it just to spite me.

We can be certain we won't see a Pokemon game, because they have too many options. Which one would they include? Pokemon Emerald? Ruby? Sapphire? FireRed? LeafGreen? Whichever one you pick, someone is bound to be annoyed somehow. Plus, trading is key to Pokemon. How would Nintendo handle that? There's no real way to do it that will please everyone, so it's better to just leave Pokemon out, frankly.

With those things in mind, here are a few games that make sense:
  1. Super Mario Advance - If they weren't planning on releasing this one, we would have been offered Mario 2 for the NES. Since we weren't, it seems like a given.
  2. Zelda: Minish Cap - Zelda is Nintendo's No. 2 franchise, so it wouldn't be inconcievable for them to give us Minish Cap.
  3. WarioWare Twisted - With the 3DS' built in gyroscope, it would be another that would make sense.
My ideal selection would be Mario Advance, Golden Sun and Mario & Luigi. Yours would probably be different. The point is, Nintendo has a lot more to work with on the GBA side of things than the NES side. After the GBA releases go through, we'll be able to better gauge the effectiveness of the Ambassador Program.

Until then, though, we have a right to be a little annoyed. The sudden price drop plus the lackluster games released so far add up to unhappy customers. I hope Nintendo releases their plans soon so we can stop giving them disapproving glares.