GBA is Here to Stay

Since the GameBoy Advance has long been discontinued, one might think that the interest in it would eventually die out. Well, I’ve been doing some research into Pokémon ROM hacks, and from what it appears, GBA isn’t going down any time soon.

On the contrary, a whole new generation of hacks has already begun. Now they are better, slicker and far more advanced. I met some wonderful people who are doing some wonderful things with the ROMs. Let me show you the difference.

Before

  • ROM hacking was possible only on Windows, and most of the tools available have been proprietary.
  • You could have only 386 Pokémon in your hack. While some people did boast the availability Gen IV or Gen V Pokémon in their hacks, it came at the cost of replacing some Pokémon from the older generations.
  • Adding new types and new moves was practically impossible.

Now

  • Some people are working on open source, cross-platform hacking tools, and claim that these will be more feature-packed and less buggy.
  • It is now possible to add new Pokémon, new types and new moves.
  • Just like the NDS games, it is possible to have a day/night cycle in GBA games as well. This means two things: the lighting can change throughout the day, and wild Pokémon can be made to appear at a specific time of the day.

Bottom line: The GBA hacker community is so big that I don’t think the interest is going to diminish any time soon.

PS: I occasionally play this hack called Pokémon Liquid Crystal, which features refreshed artwork, the day/night hack and real weather (e.g. it starts raining randomly, just like it does in the real world). I must say, Liquid Crystal is one of those few hacks that have no major glitches as such.

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