So, I love handheld gaming. I play my Nintendo Switch entirely as a portable unit. I have a PlayStation Vita on my desk and two Nintendo 3DS units nearby (I’m regularly playing my 3DS). With reviews of the Analogue Pocket out in the wild, and with new pre-orders available to secure from December 14, 2021, I decided I just had to get my hands on one. While I managed to reserve one (update: I got confirmation that I should expect mine sometime in Q4 of 2022), I quickly realized I have almost nothing to play on it.
Trying to find older games
I re-bought a Game Boy Advance about 4-5 years ago, but I only have two games for it: Super Mario Advance 4 (Super Mario 3) and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. I wanted to get more games but just never got around to it. Back in the day, I used to have a Game Boy Color and Advance games but over time, I either sold, traded or gave them away.
Since I have the Analogue Pocket coming (eventually), I need to see how I can expand my library so that my $300 CDN investment is worthwhile. Over the years, most of the Game Boy and Game Boy Color games I would want to play, I already bought via the Virtual Console on my Nintendo 3DS (if they were made available). Considering the lower price-point, it just made sense to buy them digitally instead of trying to find physical copies on eBay or at a local retro gaming store.
However, outside of the Game Boy Advance games that were given to 3DS Ambassadors (those who bought the N3DS during its first year on the market), they were only ever released on the Wii U Virtual Console. So, there is some incentive in trying to buy those, if the prices are reasonable.
Prices for Game Boy games will only go up
Retro video game collecting of any kind has always been a challenge in recent years, but it’s only getting harder and more expensive. I remember buying Sega Dreamcast games a few years ago and those prices have jumped a lot. I know the prices of Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games are only going to increase, especially if the demand for the Analogue Pocket is as high as I think it is.
The worst part is that the best games, the ones I’d most want to get, are already high in price. I took a quick look at some of the older Pokémon games and most are around $100 CDN. Even a high-profile Game Boy Color game like The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons is hovering around $75 dollars on eBay. I recently bought that via the 3DS Virtual Console for 6 dollars.
If I can find the time this week, I’d love to drive around the Lower Mainland (Vancouver) and visit a few retro game shops. I’m not expecting a large selection, but perhaps I might find some deals before settling on buying stuff from eBay.
The Games I’m interested in getting
Looking back and the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance, there are actually a lot of games I’d love to get my hands on. Most are Nintendo first-party titles but there are a few notable third-party ones. I’m certain this list could grow, but these were the first that came to mind.
- Advance Wars 1 and/or 2
- Castlevania – specifically the GBA versions, I have fond memories and wouldn’t mind playing them again.
- Final Fantasy Remakes – I’ve heard good things about the GBA versions
- Golden Sun 1 and/or 2
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past – I know I should just get the Virtual Console version and I have this via the Nintendo Switch Online, I just think it would be cool to play the GBA version. Minish Cap and both Oracle games are just too expensive and I have all three via Virtual Console.
- Mario Golf and/or Mario Tennis – the Game Boy Color versions where so fun and I’d love to play those again. I never played the GBA versions, but if those are easier to get, I’d be fine with them.
- Metal Gear Solid – such a great game that I loved so much. But this one is so hard to get, there is no way I’m willing to spend the $300-500 people are asking for
- Metroid: Zero Mission – I have the other portable Metroid games, this is the only one I don’t have
- Pokemon – since the Red/Blue/Yellow and Gold/Silver/Crystal are available via the 3DS Virtual Console, I’d probably try to find something from the GBA generation. But as I already mentioned, the asking prices are too high and I’m worried about counterfit versions.
- Super Mario Advance 1,2, and/or 3 – Super Mario Advance 2 is Super Mario World, one of my absolute favorite games, while SMA 3 I have via Virtual Console
- Wario Land II – Another fantastic game that I spend so many hours playing – specifically the GBC version. I’d also consider Wario Land 3 if possible.
When I eventually get my hands on the Analogue Pocket
I placed my pre-order for the Analogue Pocket as soon as I could. I’m hoping that I managed to get in their Group A fulfillment group (update: nope, I landed in Group B). If that’s the case, I’d get my hands on a unit some time in early 2022. I don’t think they’ll announce anything about shipping for a few days. They are giving people the opportunity to pre-order for at least a few more days, so if you’ve been thinking about getting it, this is probably your best chance to do so.
Once I do get mine, I’d be foolish not to write about it here.