Metroid: Zero Mission (Game Boy Advance)

Metroid_--_Zero_Mission_(box_art)Metroid has been around for almost 27 years.  The original game was released in Japan in 1986, and it got a North American release around the same time the next year.

The original game features a space bounty hunter in a high powered suit named Samus Aran.  Samus has come to the planet Zebes to stop a group of Space Pirates from exploiting an alien species, Metroids, in a bid to rule the galaxy.  The game was incredibly successful, influential and ground breaking.  It’s exploratory gameplay was among the first of its kind.  An incredibly eerie atmosphere, created by fantastic music, level and creature design marks it–arguably–as the invention of the Survival Horror genre of video games.  It’s practically like playing a video game of Alien.  And, of course, Samus Aran is the world’s first (recognized by Guinness Book of World Records) Playable Female Protagonist in a mainstream title, what’s more, is that the discovery of Samus’ gender comes as a surprise ending (Unless you know Justin Bailey…)

So, what happens almost 20 years later when you’ve created one of the most successful franchises of all time?  That’s right, kids… it’s time for a remake/reboot combo.  Enter:  Zero Mission.

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Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (Game Boy Advance)

FFTA GBA CoverSomewhere in the real world, 4 bullied kids with low self-esteem are brought together after school.  Mewt is the runt of the class and too smart for his own good.  Doned is a poor unfortunate soul in a wheelchair.  Ritz has the displeasure of being a young girl with white hair.   Doned’s older brother Marche catches flack for being “The New Guy”.   After losing a snowball fight with the school bullies, the kids gather together in a lonely room and pick up a copy of The Never Ending Story Final Fantasy: The Book and get sucked into a fantastic world known as Ivalice.

His friends lost to him, protagonist Marche has trouble adjusting to the fact that he’s not in Kansas anymore.  In Ivalice, bands of adventurers known as clans cross the country side looking for bounties, treasures and… well… adventure.  Clans often compete against one another and/or monsters in battles known as “Engagements”.  Each engagement is presided over by a Judge, the law enforcing class of the governing body of Ivalice.  Marche joins a clan, figuring that they’re his best hope to finding his friends, and a way back home.  Over the course of the game, Marche discovers that his friends aren’t as eager as he is to return home, and that convincing them–and himself–to go back home is going to be difficult work.

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