Game Boy Advance SP

March 5, 2006

Better late then never I say! I owned a few original (and used) Gameboy Advances over the years, but I never really owned a new GBA, or GBA SP. Finally, November 2005, one year after the DS has been released, I got a brand new and awesome crimson GBA Sp. How is it?

The SP is the first full redesign of the GBA. I never really liked how the original looked and it didn’t have a backlight (I know, I am spoiled) so I decided not to get a new one, just used. Years passed and BAM! The new clam shell GBA was out with *gasp* a backlight screen. It was amazing, and it still is.

The top half is the screen, and on the bottom are the A and buttons, as well as the D-pad, start and select buttons. If you want to, you can turn your light on and off. On the shoulder of the clam, is the L and R buttons. But wait, how can I play a game without two analog stick, X, Y, C, D, E and all the other buttons in the alphabet buttons? Well, dear reader, the answer is simple. You won’t need sixty eight different buttons to play a game, these 4 buttons plus D-pads will give you just as much satisfaction and fun gaming as with a bunch of other buttons.

The graphics are old-school, don’t expect anything near the PSP or even the DS. But in my humble opinion, they are just fine. The games don’t require the amazing graphics, since they are about the game play, not about wow! There are sixty polygons in that dude, yo! People can get nostalgic, since the graphics are NES/SNES like, hence the insane amount of ports and rehashes (what a politically incorrect term to use).

The GBA has a lot of excellent titles on it. [i]Pokemon[/i], [i]Final Fantasy[/i], [i]Zelda[/i], [i]Mario[/i] and so on. The games are fairly cheap so you can afford it. Hell, nowadays you could get a brand new system and a game for the price of the Gameboy Micro.

This brings me to my next point: the GBA SP is a much better purchase than the Micro. Why? A) The SP is cheaper (about 30 bucks). B) The Micro is way small, and a lot of people will find it uncomfortable. C) The SP is bigger (but still fits in your pocket no problem), and you won’t lose it as easily and D) the SP’s screen is really hard to scratch, thanks to the clam shell. If you want to play a Nintendo handheld, you are on a budget or just don’t feel like getting a $100+ handheld system, then the GBA SP is the way to go.

Score: 5/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.