Yeah, some GBA games are quite fussy about the behavior of unaligned reads and writes, so AO inherited that fussiness.
I keep reading about how the ARM was intended to be the simplest of all RISC chips, sort of a RISC 6502. I call "fail" on that - MIPS and SH both are easier to work with at the assembly level, at least vs. ARM mode. Thumb mode behaves a fair amount like an SH-2 with funny mnemonics and is far less painful, so I do applaud that some of ARM's newer chips are Thumb only.