The first film I saw without any parental supervision was Pokémon: The First Movie. At the time, there wasn't a 5th grader around who didn't know who Pikachu was or what Pokémon was all about. The franchise was one of the most popular video games of all time, right after Mario.
While handheld gaming devices like the Game Boy Advance have lost their appeal, the games themselves are as popular as ever. Thankfully, there is a way to conveniently play these classics right on the Samsung Galaxy S3, or pretty much any other Android phone, using an emulator.
Today, I'm going to cover playing your favorite Game Boy Advance games on your GS3 using an GBA emulator, which fellow softModder Nelson showed me on his Galaxy Note 2.
Step 1: Download a GBA Emulator
In order to get our Pokémon fix, we will need to install My Boy! Free - GBA Emulator from the Google Play Store. There are other free emulators available, but My Boy! Free is one of the better ones, in my opinion.
Step 2: Finding Your Game ROM
Now, in order to play games on My Boy! Free, you'll need to find some GBA game ROMS, and finding one is actually pretty easy. Just do a quick search on Google for "GBA ROM" or "Pokémon FireRed ROM" (my favorite game) and you'll find a bunch of download options.
The ROM files will most likely be zipped, so make sure you have an extractor on your GS3. Once downloaded, you can move the game to your SD or another easily accessible location. You can also download your ROMs onto your computer and move them to your SD card.
Legality of Downloading ROMs
ROMs are basically games in pure data form, so unless you already own Pokémon (I've still got all my old Pokémon games) or any other title you want to download, I can't advise you to download it. It's kind of a gray area, since most of these games live on extinct consoles with no other way to play them besides emulators. Technically, anyone can download a ROM, but just make sure you know that it may or may not be okay.
Step 3: Loading Your GBA Games
Once you've downloaded a few games, you're now ready to play them on your GS3. Open up My Boy! Free and you should be taken to a Load game screen. You will need to locate your ROM and load it.
Once loaded, your game should begin to play.
Playing Games on My Boy! Free
Holding the device vertically gives you that classic Game Boy Advance feel, but the screen is very tiny and the games are just better when played horizontally.
Well, that's pretty much it. You can now enjoy a plethora of GBA games right on your Samsung Galaxy S3.
Free vs. Paid Versions
Now, I've just been using My Boy! Free, which is perfectly fine if you just want to play a few games every now and then for nostalgia's sake, but saving game data will only use the game's built-in save capability. If you want more features, including saving game data to the emulator (for continuing at any time), fast forward, tilt sensors, etc., then check out the full version (currently $4.99).
What is your favorite GBA game? What games work best with My Boy! Free? Let us know in the comments section. And for more old-school gaming options on your GS3, check out our other softModder guides.
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Where do you save the games on your sd card? I have it open in windows explorer and I just dumped it directly in the main thing.
The best thing to do would be to create a folder and title it "Games." That way whenever you download a ROM you know exactly where to put it. Otherwise you can add it to the default Downloads folder.
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