Review by Gauntlet Man 99

"The next generation of handheld gaming looks great!"

The Game Boy Advance just came out about a week ago, and it already has games that are better than most PSX and Dreamcast games. I went to great lengths to get this revolutionary system though. My friend who works at Babbages told me that their GBA reservation list was full, so I couldn’t pre-order one and I’d have to wait an extra week to be able to buy one. I was determined to get one as soon as possible, so I tried a number of different approaches: doing homework for him, getting him a girlfriend, and several other strategies. In the end, I offered him an extra 150 dollars so he “accidentally” put my name on the list in place of another guy. I know that’s unethical, but heck, who goes by ethics? So when GBA came out, I conveniently got one. Now that you know the dumb little story about how I got it, you can read on to hear about the portable wonder machine.

Graphics- 10 out of 10
Can you say “Portable SNES”? The graphics on Game Boy Advance easily compare to all of the Super Nintendo games, and most of them are ten times better too. The GBA boasts a 32 bit graphic processor, which is half of the Nintendo 64. On a system that isn’t supposed to be capable of achieving 3D graphics, GBA doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Most of the first generation games are 3D enough to be miniaturized N64 ones.

Sound- 10 out of 10
Game Boy Advance has games with sound quality better than most other games for _any_ system. It has a speaker the size of your thumb, but blasts out amazing tunes and sound effects. Everything sounds very realistic and has no errors whatsoever. One of the coolest things is the headphone jack on the bottom of the GBA, which allows you to plug in a set of headphones to give the games more of an “aural” feel to them.

Play Control- 9 out of 10
The play control for the new system is almost flawless. The GBA fits into your hands nicely and feels comfortable. One of the best things about it though are the two new buttons “R” and “L”. As I said before, the Game Boy Advance has one minor problem though. The little mistake is that on some Game Boy Color games that you need to press A and B repeatedly, such as Harvest Moon 2, its kind of hard to do it, because you can only use your right thumb. It takes a while to get used to, but after a while, anyone can do it with ease.

Design- 10 out of 10
The Game Boy Advance is probably the third best system there is as of right now. It’s a Game Boy, a Game Boy Color, and a Super Nintendo, all combined to make the ultimate portable gaming device. The GBA is backwards compatible, which means it plays all of the GB and GBC games perfectly, it has a screen that’s 40 percent larger than the GBC screen, and it can expand all of the old GB and GBC game’s screen to make them bigger, but basically all it does is spread out the pixels and make them a little bit bigger. But that still is cool. One of my personal favorite things about the new GBA is that Nintendo is making lots of remakes of old Super Nintendo games, with enhanced graphics and some nifty little extras.

Lasting Appeal- 10 out of 10
If you have a Game Boy Color and a computer, just think of getting a GBA like getting your GBC upgraded like a computer. Trust me, it’s definitely worth it. If you get one of the new Game Boy Advance games you’ll be playing it for days without getting the slightest bit bored. Even if you don’t have a new GBA game, you can still play your old games on a much bigger screen with better sound quality. Unless you think graphics make the game (which they don’t) then this is the system for you. Despite that, some games will satisfy even those people too.

Overall- 10 out of 10
Overall, the Game Boy Advance is a huge step up from the GBC, and that’s saying something because the GBC was one of the best systems on its own. So, if you have some extra cash (or even if you don’t) go out and buy a GBA. You won’t be sorry. If these are the first generation games, I can’t wait to see what we’ll playing in a year or two from now.

Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/20/01, Updated 01/18/02

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