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Showing posts with label Virtua Tennis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virtua Tennis. Show all posts

Dreamcast On The Go With Nintendo Game Boy Advance

We recently took a look at the PS Vita, and more specifically some of the titles that are available for Sony’s sleek yet neglected handheld which have their roots on the Dreamcast. While many of the games in that article feature alterations and improvements over their originators, they all keep the same basic gameplay and – most importantly – allow a whole new generation of gamers to experience the magic of the Dreamcast. It’s true that many of us in the Dreamcast community take it for granted that we were there the first time around and got to experience the Dreamcast when it was new and exciting, and in a way the re-release of certain Dreamcast titles on contemporary platforms allows younger gamers the opportunity to enjoy what we felt back then. Probably why there’s so much call for Shenmue remasters…but that’s a whole different topic for another day.
When I wrote about the PS Vita’s small but perfectly formed Dreamcast-derived library, I also mentioned my love for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance and here I will repeat what I iterated there: the Game Boy Advance SP is my favourite handheld of all time. While I do own a Game Boy Micro and an original Game Boy Advance, it is the SP (or more specifically the AGS 101 backlit model) which is my go-to handheld whenever I want a break from my Vita. For me, it is the greatest handheld ever crafted; there’s just something about that amazing screen, the pleasing form factor and the superlative library of ‘perfect for handheld’ first and third party games.

That said, the Game Boy Advance is also a console that offers a multitude of titles that could be seen as extensions of games that first appeared on the Dreamcast. When you consider that the console was released into the immediate power vacuum after the Dreamcast’s demise (with the PS2, Gamecube and Xbox all circling over the corpse) it was a smart move on Sega’s part to allow IPs that were still fresh in most peoples’ minds to receive ports and spin offs on Nintendo’s seminal handheld - even if the majority of them weren't actually developed or published by Sega. The most intriguing aspect of this glut of semi-sequels and supplemental releases, is that a lot of them were so technically ambitious and eschewed the familiar 'top down' or 'side scrolling' approach usually afforded to similar releases on the Game Boy Color, for example.
Developers embraced the limited 3D capabilities of the Game Boy Advance and let their imaginations flourish, heralding a whole new era in console-to-handheld ports...with mixed results. Some of the console to handheld ports are marvels of their time, with cunning workarounds and developer technical expertise laid bare; while others tried to capture the essence of their console brethren and lost something in the jump from the TV screen to the pocket (something that is no longer an issue thanks to the Switch). Anyway, let’s put the kibosh on the procrastination and take a look at some of the Dreamcast games that got a second shot at glory - for better or worse - on the Nintendo Game Boy Advance...