By Adam Pugh
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday March 27, 2003
New Game Boy touts all the bells, whistles
Since I was a little kid, Nintendo has ruled my free time. From the beginning, Mario and Co. have held my attention ¸ until recent years when the company went through a slump trying to compete with Sony Playstation. It seems like every new idea that the company has can always be improved upon in some way or another. And now it has finally reinvented a classic that has me back into games more than ever.
The new Game Boy Advance SP has made possible for the first time a system that is front-lit, so you can play it in the dark, in or outside. Back in the day on the old Game Boy, you had to squint to play Tetris and tilt the screen to just the right angle to even see the shapes. So from then on, companies have tried to remedy the problem by making attachments that sucked up more battery power than the system itself so people could see the game. This has finally been solved by the new lighting system, which provides the perfect amount of visibility in and outdoors.
Another problem that the older systems had was the endless amounts of money people had to spend on batteries. But the SP has a rechargeable lithium battery, which does not take too long to recharge ¸ and it lasts up to 18 hours.
The feature I like most about this system is the fact that like no other Nintendo system (besides the regular Game Boy Advance), this one is backward compatible, which means you can play virtually any game ever made for the system. A fun feature I found when I was messing around with mine was that on old games you can stretch them into wide-screen mode for a larger picture. Since this system is 16-bit, it is like having a mini-Super Nintendo that you can take anywhere you want. A lot of the games released are the same from about 10 years ago ¸ but hopefully Nintendo will get their act together and come up with some new ideas in the near future.
What is so fun about this system is that it is so small; it is almost lighter than my wallet, and I can carry it in my pocket with no problem. The best time I have found to use the SP is when I have those long breaks between classes ¸ and of course during those irrelevant communication lectures I find myself nodding off in so often.
Now that I have started the new Zelda, the SP will be even more helpful because if you link it up to the GameCube it unlocks a mountain of hints to help guide you through the game. But just the system by itself is leaps and bounds better than any other handheld game Nintendo has ever produced and well worth the $100 price tag.