GBA Games Found to be Unoriginal, Sky Found to be Blue


In an article over at Curmudgeon Gamer they take a look at the current library of GBA games. They analyze things like sequels, licensed games and remakes to determine how many GBA games are actually original titles. The answer? 9.1%! Only 9 percent of games on the GBA are original and of that list I could only recognize Golden Sun and Advance Wars. Over 50% are licensed games as well, confirming my belief that the Mary Kate and Ashley games are multiplying on the shelf at Best Buy when I'm not looking.


Using the article's arguments, there are very few "original" games on any system....

The list would be Ico and Animal Crossing!

Guess what! We don't want original games! The best selling games for each platform are not original and that is because we like fun games not original games.


Actually, Ulairi, my favorite games are both fun and original.  Also, it's possible to have original games in the same universe as other games, so built off fundamentally sound franchises without being a rehash.  Two games recently that fit such would include KOTOR and Age of Mythology - both clearly built off sound foundations but undeniably original.  On top of that my time has been spent with Lionheart and Port Royale, both fun, and both original.  Not trying to be snippy here, but there is a desire for originality in games.  Even games built off existing foundations, for example Animal Crossing is basically a sims style game, but could anyone argue it unoriginal.  And Super Monkey Ball gets its roots from Marble Madness, but its originality of gameplay and presentation presses it ahead.  I know I'm getting outside the context of the article here a bit, but given the choice between a fun game, and a fun/original game, I'll take the latter. 

Those are not original games. They are taking established gameplay and expanding on what those game do well and adding things to them. That isn't exactly original. Original to me is something that hasn't been done before or very much. 

I really like KOTOR but I do not consider it original.

One more thing I was responding to the article in my first post.

I disagree, Ulairi.  Originality is not built without foundation.  One does not write a book, for example, by devising an entirely new language no matter how original.  Originality is crafting the existing, the tired in a new way.  It is possible to have an original story with original character creation founded on existing pretexts.  I'm not sure how you could say, for example, that Animal Crossing isn't original.  I realize, again, that I'm not precisely arguing the content of the article, but I do not think originality in games is quite so cut and dried.

By your definition there are very very few original games then.. I would hazzard less than 15?

My beef with the GBA is that there were too many snes re-hashes and way too many licensed crap games.. but I guess thats not so much Nintendo's fault as the entire industry.

By this argument the only original game was Spacewar.

Pong was Spacewar with paddles and a ball.

PacMan was Pong with a maze and eating pellets instead of hitting them, ect.

Originality is usually a pretty subjective thing. Someone may consider a game original and groundbreaking while someone else would consider it a rehash of random Atari game #87 because the main character of both games were green. It seems like you're trying to argue that originality is almost non existant, when the article was using it in a much more lenient context.

Also saying you don't want originality but fun is like saying you don't want a well built car you want it to be fast. If it is fast it is probably well built too.

The article's definition is actually pretty lenient. Even if your gameplay is derivitave and stale as long as it's not a sequel, remake or licensed game it is considered original.

We're talking about the GBA here, or as most people should call it, SNES jr. Almost every game on the system is either an SNES remake or some licensed platformer crap. The licenses are particularly popular because the development costs are pretty cheap. I would love to see this kind of chart pared up with XBox, PS2 or GC games. That would be a worthwhile metric, IMO, and it might become a little clearer on exactly what these numbers mean. They're not the end all be all determination of the worth of the system, just a little indicator that says "Hey, there isn't really much new on the GBA", which almost anyone will agree with anyway.

Animal Crossing is original on consoles but I think the Sims is what the game is based on. I think something original as something that I haven't experianced before and that comes from storyline, gameplay, etc. I thought ED was original because the story was new for console games.


My first post was a direct response to the article. Make sure you read the article and what his idea of original is.

I am offended that they didn't include Wario Ware in their list!

Also, ZooCube is quite original, I think. Puzzle game, but original.

They do mention Ninja FiveO, at least. A gem of a game.

But really, originality doesn't matter, in the end, it's fun all I care about. I know Iridion II isn't exactly original, but it's a decent shooter and I'll play it now and then to have a good time. Same with Golden Sun, Advance Wars, and the rest.

I posted it I hope I actually read the article

His idea of original is not sequel, licensed game or remake. You were using original in a much more stringent context. There are plenty of games out there that aren't licenses or sequels and plenty of fun, thats how sequels get started. If you were using his definition then it makes even less sense, you only want sequels? I don't understand what you're getting at here, why are original games bad?

Yeah that was my major problem with the article, it didn't count gameplay. If it had I think the results would've been the same, but it missed on some gems like Wario Ware and it sorta makes people go "What about that game? Why is it not original".