This post was originally made available on Gaming on Nintendo on July 7th, 2013: The premise for this article is that it could not be a huge movie success license, made by Nintendo (so no Mario/Wario/Kirby/Donkey Kong/Metroid) and it had to be a 2D side scroller that was pretty much ignored on the shelves. The only title on this list that really pushes that limit is Disney’s Lilo and Stitch but it was released with very little fanfare, little advertising and a good while after the movie hit. First up, the Rayman series.
1) Rayman (Advance, Hoodlum Havoc and Hoodlum’s Revenge)
Ubi Soft first showed off Rayman at the advent of the 32-Bit era on systems such as the Atari Jaguar (yes, that was the proposed first system to get this game) and eventually the Playstation and Sega Saturn. 3DO and N64 were left out of the Ubi love for some reason (3DO was doing better than Atari at the time so go figure).
Rayman on the GBA has had a run of three titles, grouped here collectively. Any one of the three would suit any gamer looking for some good old, 2D side scrolling action.
2) Disney’s Lilo and Stitch
Featuring gameplay that is VERY similar to SNK’s Metal Slug series of games, a popular Disney license and solid play mechanics just weren’t enough to push this into the higher echelons of sales.
3) Curious George
This is a serious kids license that has an awesome 2D platforming engine running it. Get over the license and enjoy the innovation here such as a throwback level similar to Dashin’ Depearadoes. Other than sales, I can’t think of why this wasn’t the first of several sequels.
4) Sabre Wulf
When companies that have a history in gaming decide to remake an earlier title on newer hardware, they are faced with HOW to do it. Sabre Wulf is a great mix of genres from overhead adventuring to 2D side scrolling chase/platforming. Check it out if you want a little more thinking in your action platforming.
5) Lady Sia
Anyone that remembers Popful Mail on Sega CD will feel right at home with Lady Sia. While not exactly the same game, Lady Sia certainly brings the feeling of PM to the GBA. Sprawling levels, amazing animation and great controls are all present here- and the story doesn’t suck.
6) Drill Dozer
This one was tough. Initially, I was going to simply put Ninja Five-O here but well, that game makes nearly EVERY underdog list for Game Boy Advance games. Drill Dozer doesn’t.
Created by the company that does Pokemon should have been a plus for this title, something that would resonate with fans and just maybe, spark a few sales. Nope. Didn’t help at all.
Jill, your character in Drill Dozer has the abiliity to “drill” through certain areas of the levels which helps open them up to a good extent. This lends a lot of exploration to the festivities and keeps the game from just being a “left to right scroller”.