Tag Archives: classic

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 Special 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
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.

Pengo Arcade Game by Sega – Retro review

Pengo was an arcade game released by Sega in 1982. Kind of a cross between Pac Man and Space Panic, Pengo was a maze game with a twist. Rather than being constrained by the maze, you could use the blocks of the maze walls to flatten the chasing monsters. Your hero Pengo was pitted against the evil Sno-Bees in this game, strange blobby characters that would wobble around the maze in a hunt for Penguins.

Pengo ArcadeThe maze was made of ice blocks which could be pushed by Pengo, squashing any of the chasing Sno-Bees in the process, before smashing against the next ice block. The blocks would slide and collide in a very satisfying way, as you reformed the path of the maze on the fly.  This allowed for a large amount of strategy, as not only could you crush your enemies you could carve new routes through the game maze to avoid being caught.  The Sno-Bees could also destroy blocks by punching them, so you had to move fast to avoid being caught.

Crushing your enemies with ice blocks wasn’t the only way to defeat them however, you could also stun the sno-bees by pushing the outside walls of the maze, which would cause the wall to shake, and run over them whilst stunned. Some ice blocks contained diamonds, and bonuses were earned by lining up all the diamond blocks in a row.

Another similarity with Pac Man was the “between screen” show, which involved dancing penguins instead of ghosts. Early machines featured the popular synth tune “Popcorn”, which really got stuck in your head, but this was removed from later machines due to conflicts with the composer.

Pengo Home Conversions

The game made it onto some 80’s home computers including the classic Pengi clone for the BBC Micro, which was a reasonably faithful conversion. More recently, well in 1992, I found a cabinet entitled 3 Wonders, a multi-game which included a title called “Don’t Pull”. This was an updated version of Pengo, but with cute bunnies, that played almost identically to the arcade original.

A great game with some very good character animation, I spent a lot of money on this in my teens trying to get through all 16 rounds of the game.