Has the Game Boy Really Advanced?
Review by: Tiger (tiger@sm128c.com)

Editorial Posted: April 14, 2001

Everytime I open up a browser and hit a Game Boy oriented website, I read about the ferocity and greatness of the Game Boy Advance. All of this excitement that ran around the GBA even got to me. I am still yearning to get my hands on the exculsive imported milky blue (a la Glacier) GBA. Or possibly even the rare iridescent silvery blue Japanese Pokemon Centre Suikun GBA. As I flip through my wallet..I wonder. Time and time again you hear the same rant. Graphics are not up to par with the Playstation. Hey, isn't it 32bit like PS? The sound sucks. Where are the X and Y buttons? What's with the D-pad? Of course, I do agree with some of these notions. But we do have to remember the father of them all. The DMG Game Boy. The BrickBoy, PhatBoy, POS. You ridicule it a lot, but you have to admit this fact. Without it, there would be no GBA. Oh sure, you might say that some other company would have made something similar to a GBA. Game Gear, Nomad anyone?

As I repeat the topic, has the Game Boy really advanced? And I proudly say yes. You whine, complain, rant, about GBA's faults. But compare it to the original Game Boy, and you know automatically who will win. Nintendo was one of the only Gaming Companies to stand up to the handheld market, and it was won. No, we dont talk about superior systems. Games. But Nintendo itself.

I own a Neo Geo Pocket Color. By far, it is much better than a GBC. But it died, a painful death. In my opinion, and many others, agreed. The system was better. The games. Yet it still could not stand up to the GBC. And now that GBA is coming out, even if SNK did not fall apart still supporting the NGPC, it would still fall. I am an avid fan and supporters of handhelds. And I can surely tell that GBA will rule the handheld market, and I am sure most of you agree with me. The Game Boy has advanced, and with great strides recently.

The GBA is now a powerful system, and with games showing some of it's true colors. People complain about the lack of 3D support. But do you really suspect a pocket PS? Maybe. But remember, the GBA was just given birth to the public recently. The best games usually come a few years later. Imagine the potential. Perhaps 3D can come out somehow. Sound? Much better than a GBC. We talk about old bleeps and bloops, but GBA certainly does not fit that category. X and Y buttons? Of course. I too wanted X, Y buttons. But do you really want to cram it in there? This is only a handheld system, and X, Y buttons are not always needed, but it surely impedes fighting games like Street Fighter that needs these extra buttons. Select? The select button is stil present, but tell me when you have used it many times in many GB games. But at least we now have nifty L, R buttons. Those are an incentive.

Now for the D-pad matter. Being a NGPC owner, I really wanted a joystick like the NGPC. But I look at it this way. The SNES worked fine with a D-pad, so it will probably suffice. Heck, the GBA will suffice. Microsoft talked about a handheld, but do you really think it will survive GBA? Of course not.

After all, it is Game Boy ADVANCE, the next gen portable.

-- Tiger (tiger@sm128c.com)