Lufia: The Ruins of Lore, Game Boy Advance

Taito’s Lufia series has enjoyed moderate success over a number of platforms and releases over the decades, but this Game Boy Advance release (out in 2002 in Japan, and 2003 in North America – it never got an official European release) is the best game in the series, in my opinion.

What makes it so good? Its simplicity and variety, and the fact that it mixes the best elements of a lot of level-grinding adventures, including Pokemon-style capturing and mixing of monster sidekicks.

There’s also a neat, randomised dungeon to beat called “The Ancient Cave”, which is separate from the main storyline. Ultimately, though, Lufia: The Ruins of Lore avoids many of the features that make a lot of older level-grinders such a chore to play. The controls are intuitive and nothing in the game feels arcane or half-baked.

Lufia: The Ruins of Lore is a colourful, wholesome, engrossing and fantastic experience from start to finish, and completing the game is a challenge (although I managed it, so anyone can).

More: Lufia: The Ruins of Lore on Wikipedia

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