Category Archives: Gameboy

Gameboy Advance SP NES Edition – Video Game Consoles as Art

The NES special edition of the Gameboy Advance SP

The iconic design of the classic Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), aka the Famicom in the US, has been applied to everything from belt buckles to iPhone cases, such is it’s lasting appeal to the gaming public.  It was therefore only a matter of time before Nintendo applied this design to another console – the Gameboy Advance SP, as a special edition.

Only in Japan could you come up with a product called the “Gameboy Advance SP Nintendo Entertainment System Edition”

Classic NES Clamshell Design

The colours and graphics mirror the design of the original NES console and its seminal “D Pad” controller with a simple A / B button layout and “select” and “start” options.

GBA SP NES / Famicom Special Edition

As a handheld that had already been released in many colours and designs, there was no default configuration for the Gameboy Advance SP, but the NES colour scheme held fond memories for gamers, it was an instant hit on release.

I have several Nintendo Gameboy handhelds in my collection but this is by far my favourite design, almost begging to be picked up and played.  I can think of nothing better than firing up this console with a copy of Legend of Zelda:Links Awakening DX for an authentic retro gaming experience.

Buying A Gameboy Advance SP NES Edition – how much?

The classic NES edition remains a highly desirable version for collectors today, along with the Mario Red and Zelda Gold editions that were released towards the end of the console’s life.

There was however a large production run of this GBA SP model, and they can readily be found on auction sites for as little as £20 / $40 at the time of writing. Buyers however need to take into account the wear and tear on these items, where the paint in the clamshell is prone to crutches and general damage, as is the control panel, so make sure you pick the right one.

This is the latest in a series of pictures I have taken of my own retro gaming collection, spurred on by the need to have some quality photos to accompany my retro reviews.  I used a Nikon D60 digital SLR for these pictures, which I hope make a welcome change from stock product photos found on the internet.

Legend of Zelda : Links Awakening DX

The Best Handheld Zelda Game Ever?

I’m very fond of the original Gameboy, which was a classic Nintendo product, using existing technology in a novel way, and focusing on addictive gameplay rather than flashy hardware. The software for the Gameboy could however be a bit hit and miss, with many games being rushed onto the market, and not translating particularly well to the format.

Legend of Zelda : Link's AwakeningNintendo already had a great series in the Zelda games, starting on the NES and continued on the SNES, and a huge fanbase. It was only a matter of time before a Zelda game was released on the Gameboy, and when the first game was announced, there was a massive level of interest.

In 1993, The Legend of Zelda : Links Awakening was released to an expectant public. I bought this game at the airport on the way to Tenerife, with a view to playing on the, or the odd moment between beers by the pool. I had heard about the Zelda series, but having never played any of the games (something I have since addressed) I was not sure what to expect.

[amazon asin=B004JHY3Z8&template=iframe image]Slotting the small grey cartridge into the small grey handheld, you were immediately immersed into the world of Link, and I’m not sure I actually put the Gameboy down for 2 weeks.

As hero link, waking up on a desert island, you have to find 8 magical instruments to wake the mysterious windfish and escape.  The game itself was an overhead scrolling action-RPG, and many of the classic Zelda features are there, including puzzles, dungeons, bosses, weapons and gadgets, bombs, chests, rupees, secret tunnels and side quests.  It also had great music and effects for such a limited handheld console.

More than anything it had that magical ingredient that made you want to keep playing, to battle through the puzzles in each dungeon to the Boss level, and to unlock the next special power or piece of equipment, that would allow you to enter previously inaccessible areas.

Legend of Zelda : Link's Awakening DX5 years later, and having long ago put away my original Gameboy, Ninteno introduced an updated version of the game for it’s current platform the Gameboy Colour.  Taking the original game, Nintendo used the colours available to introduce new puzzles, and also the ability to take screenshots for printing on the new Gameboy Printer.  Playing this game again brought it all back to me, just hearing the music at the start of the game and I was back in Tenerife.

My son is now the biggest Zelda fan in the house, and he has the latest 3DS, and is looking forward to getting hold of the Occarina of Time.  I’m not sure about all the 3D effects, but I know I shall be giving this a try when he has gone to bed to see if the magic is still there.