Review by Psycho Penguin
"It's on it's way to being as classic as the Game Boy, slowly.."
When news first hit about Nintendo's upcoming portable console released, I was stunned, yet excited at the same time. Do you blame me? Nintendo has always been known to release really solid portable consoles, despite the fact they only ever released one, then kept updating it over and over again. First it was the mega phenomenon known as the Game Boy, then they updated that by making a smaller version called the Game Boy Pocket, then they added color support and made the Game Boy Color.
Fans enjoyed the updates, but they were pining for something new. The Game Boy Color had really solid games, and the graphics were in color, which was always a plus, especially to those who were still playing the black and white Game Boys and Game Boy Pockets, but they felt like they needed something more. The rash of good games stopped flowing in for the most part (Oh wow, more Pokemon games!) and the graphics just looked outdated, especially when compared to the Neo Geo Pocket Color.
Enter the Game Boy Advance. It is the most powerful portable handheld ever, and pretty much destroyed any chances of the Neo Geo Pocket Color ever becoming a popular portable. This is simple an amazing handheld. The games being released for it are classic, the graphics and music are amazing, and most of all, it is a relatively solid price, at just 89.99 the last time I checked. It's just amazing how much bang you can get for your buck with this handheld.
The games that have already been released for it are classic, to say the least. Well, a lot of them are. Advance Wars is a classic strategy game, in the rein of a Shining Force or Panzer Dragoon game. It's truly awesome. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon remains the best portable game ever to me, and Super Mario Advance is a popular update to Super Mario Brothers 2 and Mario Bros. I don't really consider it to be good, but a lot of people did, so I guess it would be worth checking out for you.
A lot of popular SNES and current generation games also have been getting upgraded for the Game Boy Advance. F-Zero, Mario Kart, Klonoa, and NFL Blitz are just a few of the games that have already gotten sequels for the Game Boy Advance. F-Zero: Maximum Velocity is a fun game, Mario Kart: Super Circuit is a fun update to the Super Nintendo classic, and Klonoa is just a fun game no matter how you look at it. About the only game I was disappointed with out of the bunch was NFL Blitz 2002, but it's still the best portable football game out there.
With all the new games being released for the console, there is also a lot more being released, that should keep fans of the handheld waiting in anticipation. WWF: Road to Wrestlemania is coming out soon, for all the wrestling fans out there. I played the beta version of it, and it's not that great, but it's WWF on the GBA! Super Mario Advance 2 is basically a portable version of Super Mario World, but there's nothing wrong with that idea to begin with! Hopefully, Nintendo makes it better than Super Mario Advance. Breath of Fire is coming out soon for all the RPG fans, as is Dragon Warrior 4.
There are some nice features for the console. The graphical and sound capabilities are amazing, as most of the games look awesome, 16 bit like, and the sound is in full stereo and really awesome. The cartridges are a decent size, and are much smaller than the games released for Game Boy Color. They're in the shape of a Game Gear game. Another cool part about this console is the fact it's backwards compatible, so basically you can play any Game Boy or Game Boy Color game on it. Also, there's no import block chip, so you can play imports on it.
Overall, this is one of the greatest portables ever released, if not the greatest, and it is well worth a purchase. With a variety of games, backwards compatibility, a nice size, and amazing graphical and sound capabilities, this is such an awesome portable. I really enjoyed it, especially with the variety of the game library, and it is well worth a purchase.
Upcoming Games Worth Getting
-Super Mario Advance 2
-Dragon Warrior 4
-Breath of Fire
-WWF: Road to Wrestlemania
-Spyro: Season of Ice
-Street Fighter Alpha 3
Games Out Right Now Worth Getting
-Mega Man: Battle Network
-Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
-Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
-Fire Pro Wrestling
Avoid At All Costs, or Rentals at Best
-Super Mario Advance
-X-Men: Reign of Apocalypse
-Spider Man: Mysterio's Menace
I Rate This Console, Psycho Penguin Style!
Graphical Power - 9.8/10
Sound Capabilities - 9.6/10
Loading Speeds - 10/10
Current Game Library - 8.8/10
Upcoming Game Library - 7.3/10
Added Features - 10/10
Buy it? - Yes.
Overall - 8.9/10
Psycho Penguin Lays The Smackdown!
Console Released By Nintendo
The Bottom Line: It's going to be a classic, if it can get some more classic games released soon, as the upcoming game library, while being exciting, leaves a lot to be desired. That's the only thing that keeps this console from getting a higher score. It's well worth a purchase, however, especially if you were thinking about buying a Game Boy Color, as it's only 20 or 30 bucks more, anyways, and you can play Game Boy Color games on it.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/09/01, Updated 11/09/01
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