My Gameboy Advance

I love my Gameboy. I've never played with any other platform a tenth as much as I've played on the Gameboy. 12 years ago I bought my first Gameboy in college and it was quickly named "No-friend-o" instead of Nintendo because it was always being borrowed by the guys in my dorm, who would quickly become addicted to Tetris, inducing apathy to anything else and inciting fights from those waiting for the next game. (Ironically, I actually owe a lot of buddies I made that first year to my Gameboy.)

I really don't like any other gaming platform. I like Doom/Quake, etc. on the PC, but only in the same room as the others I'm deathmatching, never as a stand alone game. I did buy a Dreamcast in 1999, but quickly sold it because I never used it. Though I did really like Tekken, but again, only if I was playing against someone else.

My Gameboy, however, always is there. I pick it up daily. From Tetris to Mario to Golf, I'm addicted. I leave it in the bathroom, generally, because the light is best and I'm usually in there for 15-20 minutes a day. But also I take it on long trips and for relaxing while I'm at places which are otherwise "off-line" (like my in-laws here in Spain).

I got my GBA last year and I love it. The screen is dark as hell, which can sometimes suck, but the power of the platform is amazing. I've only got a few games for it, though, because they're so freakin' expensive. It amazes me that Nintendo can charge $50 a game for the Gameboy, which is the same as for games for the PS2 - and I'm sure that Nintendo takes more of the cut since the GBA basically has a monopoly on the portable game market. It's a pretty good deal for Nintendo - a big factor why they're still around probably (that and Pokemon. ;-) ).

Did you know that the GBA has an ARM processor and a dedicated graphics chip? It's a pretty kick-ass little machine. There's even some open-source development kits for it already so you can learn how to develop for it.

Anyways, I finally just got a new game. I've been playing with Konami's International Superstar Soccer for the past year, but I just won the tournament on the highest settings, so it was time for another game. After downloading a few pirated roms and trying them out with the VisualBoy Advance emulator, I finally decided on Yoshi's Island. It's pretty sweet, though I'm already flying through the levels, so I wish it was a little more difficult. I'm not the obsessed type of gamer - the ones that need to clear all the levels with all the coins or whatnot - I'm more of an explorer. I can't wait to see what's next, even if that means rushing through the levels. I finished the original Super Mario World Advance last year and now I'm supposed to go back through and get all the Yoshi Eggs that are hidden on each level, and I find that pretty damn boring.

I was at one point thinking about getting a blank ROM and the linker so I could just grab pirated games off of, but I probably won't since that site's becoming less and less useful in terms of finding ROMs. It's a shame because for the price of 3 games, I can buy a 256 meg cartridge pack, which would hold a BUNCH of games AND allow me to start hacking on the platform. But I just can't justify the cash right now. Damn!

The other reason, by the way, I got the new cartridge was because of my international flight next week. I'm flying from Madrid to Amsterdam to Seattle to Bend, Oregon. It's going to be a nightmare and I wanted something to keep me occupied (the Ritalin child that I am). With this new game I should be thumb-sore and half-blind by the time we land, but it'll be great.

My next games will probably be Advance Wars, which I've also downloaded and tried which is really addictive, as well as FIFA 2003 - another soccer game, but this one seems to have a bit better controls and smoother gameplay. Maybe Doom II... maybe I'll be more into going solo on the GBA.

Anyone else out there into their Gameboy?


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