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Home > Hardware Reviews > General Computing

Monday, December 17, 2001
GBA FlashLink

2. Gameboy Advance Mini Review

Flash Advance Linker and Card - Page 2

Gameboy Advance Mini Review

Gameboy Advance - History and Facts:
Before we begin testing the Flash Advance Card and Copier, it would be useful to say some things about the base platform that the product is intended for. And that is the Nintendo Gameboy Advance, or GBA in short.

The Gameboy Advance made its virgin appearance at the Space World 2000 exhibition which was held in Tokyo (24/8/2000). In Europe it was introduced during the European Computer Entertainment Show, on 1/9/2000. Its technical specifications seemed really great. Not only was it much better that its predecessor, the Gameboy Color, but it was also better than the aged Super Nintendo on many characteristics. Just keep reading and find out :

- The GBA CPU is a 32-bit ARM one. The old Gameboy was 8-bit and the Super NES was 16-bit.

- The GBA memory is 32KB + 96KB VRAM (inside the CPU) and 256KB WRAM (outside the CPU).

- 2.9" TFT screen, with no back lighting. Max resolution can be up to 240x160.
- The palette is up to 32768 colors. Maximum on screen colors can be up to 511 simultaneously, or 32768 in bitmap mode.
- Total weight 140 grams.

Now that we are done with the tech mumbo jumbo, let us talk about our impressions about the Gameboy Advance. The design is sleek and impressive. The console is rugged, handy and lightweight. The TFT display is indeed very large for a color handheld, and kinda reminds of a Palm Pilot. The extra L and R buttons will surely come in handy for menus, powerslides, and other kinds of special functions. Many gamers thought that the Gameboy Color should have more buttons, so now their prayers have been answered. Last but not least, the GBA is backwards compatible with the Gameboy Color, so it should play older cartridges with no problems.

Most of the games that have been released so far are either sequels to famous Gameboy titles (Mario Kart Advance, F-Zero X Maximum Velocity, Super Mario Advance), or conversions from big hits for other consoles (Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Ready 2 Rumble, Rayman, Castlevania). Each game we played has left us speechless with the marvellous graphics and smooth scrolling. It is obvious that Nintendo has packed a huge amount of processor power and potential inside this baby. Judging by these initial titles, it is certain that programmers will be able to create true masterpieces for the Gameboy Advance.

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