Review by Turbo Speed

"So much potential going to waste."

I remember when I looked in magazines and spotted information on something new from Nintendo: the e-Reader. It looked like an amazing, innovative idea and I eagerly waited for it to come out. Eventually, I somehow forgot all about it when it had been released, but my cousin already had one. He was nice enough to let me try it out. Eventually, I was disappointed with what Nintendo did, and was glad I hadn't bought an e-Reader yet.

Before I continue, I have to say that the e-Reader is merely an add-on; not a system. It's an add-on to a system, and most video game add-ons fail quickly, such as the Sega CD, Sega 32X, Nintendo 64 DD, Turbo CD, and Atari Jaguar CD (okay, we knew that one was going to fail anyway).

The design is a neat concept. It's a cool card scanner that connects to the front of your Game Boy Advance (back if you are using a Game Boy Advance SP, Nintendo DS, or Nintendo DS Lite) and lets you scan cards through it to play games on it or scan cards to unlock features in other games, such as Animal Crossing (Gamecube version, of course, but to unlock things), Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, and more. The only problem about this was that it's for the Game Boy Advance, which was revered for its portability and quality. But if you have seen an e-Reader, you know how bulky it looks. It might barely fit in your pocket if you have those big pocket jeans like I do. For something on a portable and compact system like the Game Boy Advance, the e-Reader was neither of these two things! Sorry, Nintendo, but you should have thought ahead on something like that.

The sound quality from the system is average. Sadly, this might be the best thing about the e-Reader. The sound effects are well done, but not very loud to hear. The other sounds when you play this are NES quality just like all their games that don't have to do with Mario Party, Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, or Animal Crossing.

The features department is sadly lacking. If you know how the e-Reader can save games and data that you scan through it, you should also know that it only can save one at a time! That's it; only one game can be saved on it. If you want to scan Animal Crossing cards through it, you have to delete the last game you scanned through it.

You may stop and think that it doesn't sound too inconvenient, and that you don't mind scanning the cards again to play other NES games. Did I mention the NES games are made from a deck of eight cards that you must scan one at a time in proper order, and you have to scan them slowly or the e-Reader may miss them? If you scan the card just a little too quickly, you'll have to scan it again.

Here's the aspect of a system that can make or break a game system. Nintendo was only nice enough to give us two decent games like Balloon Fight and Excitebike, but that was all they were nice enough to give us. The rest of the games were pieces of junk such as Ice Climber, Mario Bros.(remade so many times it was too stale), and Tennis. Come on, Nintendo! You already remade these game thousands of times and you remade them all over again with the Classic NES Game Boy Advance Games series. The worst part of this is that Nintendo is still denying us better NES titles that the e-Reader is perfectly capable of playing, such as Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda.

In the long run, you should only buy the e-Reader if you are a fanatic of Mario Party, Animal Crossing or Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire version and plan to use the cards to unlock the features you're looking for. Otherwise, avoid this add-on unless you find it at a very low price, then it may be worth your money.


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 05/16/04, Updated 01/02/07


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