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Game Boy Advance in General (GBA)
Member Name: D1A1
Game Boy Advance in General (GBA)
Date: 23/06/01, updated on 04/07/01 (333 review reads)
Advantages: It's for everyone, it's light, compact and exremely addictive, Great sound, more expensive than a PlayStation and better too. (IF the PS was portable, it'd have the £100 screen add on, so the GBA is better), It's new, new, new!
Disadvantages: Light source behind you is a must, No more gripes, none!
I never bothered with the original handheld superstar console, although it seems as though well over 120million of you did! Home to thousands of games the GB and Game Boy Colour showed us that you don’t need millions of polygons to make superb games. Many a time I would pick up a friend Game Boy with Tetris in and stay contented for a good few hours, possibly days. The fact that the least complicated games sold so well shows that they’re nearly always the greatest, perhaps. The Pokemon rainbow of titles sold hysterically well, as did the classics of Mario and Tetris and alike. Anyway, Nintendo decided to change things, and so 8bit became 32.
As I sit here writing this, drinking an ice cool glass of lemonade I know that life is good. And the GBA can only enrich your gaming delights, make you realise that you don’t need a £200 graphics card to experience the forefront of technology. In this mini world you will find many magical moments, let me tell you more. At around £90, despite Nintendo’s SRP of around £80, the latest gaming device to hit our merry shore isn’t as cheap as in Japan (£58) or as in the USA (£75) but in my view it’s worth every penny. Why should you get a Game Boy Advance?
Because! No that isn’t the reason, although you really shouldn’t waste your time reading this – you cannot afford to wait! Go get one now! Actually, you should read.
The GBA is Nintendo’s little spoiled baby. The Game Boy has dominated the handheld market after fighting off the battery thirsty Game Gear from Sega and the excellent Neo Geo Pocket Colour, which out surpassed the Game Boy in everyway except sales, and so fell to the ground and
sunk. Loads of people own one, and now they’re all likely to be considering the advance in gaming.
At just 144mm wide, 82mm in height and 25mm in depth (as just measured) the GBA is roughly the same size as the Game Boy, only on its side and the screen is 50% larger on the GBA. It’s a wide screen! Probably the cheapest and smallest wide-screen you can get – 43mm by 63mm. Anyway, its large enough in my belief. Us Europeans get the same model as the Japanese and so it will seem smaller to us, as the Japanese people are generally smaller than us with smaller hands, with the exception of Sumo wrestlers. It’s easy to hold though, brilliantly designed with 2 shoulder buttons (L and R), an A and B, D-pad (not analogue – very relieving) and a start, select and power button. It is a lot smaller than I depicted, but that’s not a bad thing, in fact it makes Nintendo seem even more impressive for such compactness – all that technology!
IT’S IN COLOUR! Well obviously, but you can get the GBA in four different colours – the shell/body colour. Select from “Arctic”: a pure white (not a good idea for grubby fingered people), “Glacier”: a light blue see through colour, my personal favourite and so this is what I have, “Indigo”: a solid purple colour, probably the most popular at the moment, and finally “Clear Red” which looks more pink than red, but it’s the other see through machine. So make you choice wisely, this’ll be with you for a good ten years hopefully. As for the screen, well it’s not backlit, but then if it was you’d be forever recharging the batteries, so the only way you’re going to be able to see what you’re playing is by sitting or standing where a strong light source (i.e. near a window in daylight) is behind you.
Graphically? It’s so much better than the Game Boy and weR
17;ve now got special 3D effects and isometric 3D gaming, ala Tony Hawk’s 2. I have just the one game at the moment with Super Mario Advance set to join the empty box of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 on my shelves (the cartridge is in the GBA), and I’m extremely impressed. I keep reading people’s thoughts that the GBA is basically a portable SNES, with old technology, 2D games and nothing new about it, but how could that be a bad thing! A portable Super Nintendo the size of a Casio Calculator. Superb. Ah, but the GBA can perform full 3D gaming, although there is absolutely nothing wrong with 2D games. The simpler the better in my view! Just pick one up – test one, it’s fantastically fast and will give you quite a surprise. Be sceptical by all means, you’ll just be even more amazed. Vibrant, colourful and fluid! The launch line up was particularly good but you should expect visuals to improve immensely over the next few years.
Sound wise! As I say I have only Tony Hawk’s 2 at the moment, but already it’s clear to tell that the sound has evolved from simple beeps and dings of the original GB. Turn it on without the game and you’ll be treated to a relatively simple start up as the words ‘Game’ and ‘Boy’ bounce onto the screen along with lively sound! Tony Hawk’s music differs to the Dreamcast and PS versions, but you still get that Papa Roach style of rhythm and sound, but there’re no actual words (i.e. song lyrics), but it’s still something. Very clear – one front mounted speaker just below the A and B buttons. Good, good!
Ah so the games, here’s a list of what you could be getting in the next few weeks. No delays, no supply problems, well done Nintendo!
The magic list (launch titles):
Army Men Advance.
Chu Chu Rocket!
F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
Kuru Kurur Kururin
Super Mario Advance
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
Top Gear GT
· Pretty impressive! ChuChu Rocket is the first game to make use of the link up play – up to four of you can connect and partake in one of the best puzzle games around -mouse mania!
· I’ve never played any of the Army Men games, nor do I want to, so I’d stay away from that if I were you. Although it might be good, stranger things have happened.
· F-Zero is supposedly one of the best games around I’ll have to get it! It’s meant to be one of the fastest racing games available on any format. Futuristic and fun!
· GT advance looks to be the better of the two car racers here, but don’t quote me.
· I have no idea what Iridion 3D is, but hey it’s got three-dimensional graphics!
· Kuru Kuru Kururin is a suitably named Japanese insane puzzler of some sort, check the screen shots, read the individual reviews and make you mind up. One special feature of the game is that you can play a 2player game, using the link up cable and only one of you needs the cartridge.
· Rayman Advance takes a 2D stance in an attempt to be the better of the two ‘adventure’ style games, of itself and Mario. Worldwide acclaim for the Dreamcast, PlayStation and PlayStation 2 versions, this is bound to be good.
· Ready 2 Rumble 2 should be funny. Secrets to unlock, hilarious characters and easy to get into. Not overly serious.
· Super Mario Advance! This’ll arrive Monday hopefully, so expect a review soon. It’s Mario! If it’s anything like the NES and SNES versions I’ll be delighted. Welcome back Mario!
· Tony Hawk’s 2. An essential purchase. One of the best selling extreme sports games, Tony Hawk and friends make it onto the tiniest 32bit machine available in style. Brilliant!
Sites for more information: Nintendo only: www.Nintendo.com
So, with future titles including Super Mario Kart Advance, Sonic The Hedgehog, Silent Hill, Bomberman, Castlevania and many, many more (check the Nintendo homepage) the future is luminous for everything Nintendo! I imagine over 2million GBA consoles will have been sold worldwide by the end of the week. Expect the Tomb Raider, Fifa, Resident Evil and Tekken franchises to jump on board within the not too distant future. Games cost around £30, so they are slightly more than Game Boy games, but they’re worth more. Just make your decisions carefully.
You can get a wide range of quirky and innovative accessories too, and the GBA will even be able to act as a control pad for the Game Cube – Nintendo’s future console, so get one now! Right, you can get mains adaptors, worm lights, link cables, carry-cases and so forth. There’ll be 3rd party and official, so have a look around.
Advice? Keep the screen clean! Fingerprints will always be a pain, so have a tissue or duster nearby at all times. Batteries will not last forever, so it is advisable to get a pair of rechargeable ones, the GBA does come with 2AA Panasonics, but they aren’t rechargeable.
So what about the box? (Who cares about the box!?)
Only teasing. It’s a nice box, you get instructions but I won’t bore you with a 300word description of the box.
That’s it for the moment! Look after it, enjoy Game Boy Advance 24:7.
Oh yeah - you can play all of your old GB games on it! Not bad! If the PS2 was a handheld, it'd get flattened ;)
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