Picking a game to play for Extra Life has been somewhat interesting. I decided ahead of time that since my upstream bandwidth is tiny, streaming a random emulated Game Boy Advance game would be ideal, since it allows decent quality at double or triple the GBA’s resolution. Some restrictions came from this, as it would have to be a game I actually have (which rules out the Metroids) and would be interesting in a two-hour period (which rules out the first game I thought of playing like this, Shining Soul 2, or the Mega Man Battle Network series). In the end, there were two candidates for this particular stream. Maybe I’ll record myself playing some of the others later.
The Runner Up
This was the first actual metroidvania-style Castlevania game I played, although it’s the third that was released for the GBA. Statute of limitations is up on this 11-year-old game, so much like I don’t have to hide that Symphony of the Night has an inverted castle, I don’t feel like I have to hide that the playable character in Aria, Soma Cruz, is the reincarnation of Dracula, although it is the game’s biggest twist. There’s a direct sequel (Dawn of Sorrow) that doesn’t really try to hide it. Going along with this, you have the power of “dominance” over the enemies of the castle and can absorb their souls when you defeat them to use their abilities. (Maybe I like this game so much because it’s like Mega Man.) This would be a decent choice, but it’s been long enough since I played it and it’s a long enough game that I’m not sure I can take an interesting number of bosses in 2 hours.
I like Kirby games, but most of them are more traditional than this one. The first Kirby game on the GBA was Nightmare in Dream Land, which was a remake of Kirby’s Adventure. This one instead is a take on Kirby Super Star’s Great Cave Offensive but expanded into a full game. It’s nonlinear and requires traversing a large maze of rooms in order to find 8 mirror shards and beat the final boss. Most of the copy abilities are taken from Kirby’s Adventure, which means that updated ones like Suplex and Plasma from Super Star are missing. It’s my all-time favorite Kirby game, so I hope you tune in to see me give it a good shot.