Top positive review
22 people found this helpful
Very nearly essential
on 19 June 2003
All games systems should be judged not just on the technical specifications of the console itself but also by the quality of the games available for it. In both areas the Game Boy Advance SP (which stands for Special Project apparently) is excellent.
It's a very nice looking unit and the flip top lid is both stylish and functional - protecting the all important screen from dust and scratches while closed, and making the whole thing truly pocket sized. It feels great too; the button layout is fine, with the standard A/B/Start/Select buttons along with two shoulder buttons all feeling nice in the hand. The screen is the same as a standard GBA screen, but with one important addition...
A backlight, turned on or off via a switch beneath the screen. This feature is what makes the GBA SP far superior to its predecessor, as the backlight allows you to play games with no other sources of light around. The backlight brightens up the gaming screen considerably, making all games much much easier to play, without you having to strain your eyes or constantly shift around to get a decent bit of light on the screen. Although it drains more battery power this way, the Lithium Ion battery is rechargeable so midnight gaming sessions are at last possible!
The only minor gripe with this new Gameboy is the lack of a headphone socket. So, while the sound is perfect coming out of the GBA SP's speaker other people around you may not appreciate it, so you'll have to turn the volume down and stop enjoying those tunes or invest in a headphone adaptor.
The GBA SP's game library is huge. It's backwards compatible with all the older versions of the Gameboy (although the old games stick out a bit due to the bigger cartridges!), so it can replace any other Gameboy's you may have. Also, it has some fantastic new games (e.g. Advance Wars) and ports of old classic SNES games available, which has left me spoilt for choice as to what to buy next.
The only bad things about the GBA SP are that there is no headphone socket and some of the games can be expensive, so if you buy one you'll need to have the cash to supplement your gaming desires.
Aside from that, it's absolutely top class.