The arrival of the Nintendo DSi in North America, Europe and Australia brings about the first Nintendo handheld in nearly eight years that doesn't support Game Boy Advance games. Who wants to reflect?
MTV Multiplayer's Stephen Totilo does, lamenting the symbolic passing of the Game Boy Advance. He calls it "the first portable I cared about," a feeling I'd wholeheartedly echo. While I, like Totilo, had invested in a Game Boy Color—as well as an original Game Boy, Sega Game Gear, and Neo Geo Pocket Color—no portable system I'd played to that point felt as much like a unique, standalone piece of hardware capable of playing such deep, memorable software.
It felt less hampered by technical limitations, a generational shift on par with the NES to the Super Nintendo.
I no longer have my original Game Boy Advance, though I never invested in a GBA SP. My first GBA, purchased near launch with a copy of Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, is resting comfortably in a landfill somewhere. It, along with a copy of Sega's Phantasy Star Collection and a save file that sapped many hours of my free time, were left in a trash can as part of a poorly thought out "joke." Oops!
Like Totilo, one of the Game Boy Advance title's that resonated with me most was the original Advance Wars a game that thankfully didn't make it into the garbage. By the end of the GBA's lifespan, I'd logged over two hundred fifty hours across both Advance Wars releases. Nothing else on the system, even personal favourites like Metroid: Zero Mission, Astro Boy: Omega Factor, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and Wario Land 4, consumed as much of my time.
Not even Dotstream, another obsession of mine, came close to absorbing me as much as the Advance Wars series did.
Right now, my Game Boy Advance hardware of choice is the Game Boy micro, the handy, extremely portable limited release. Playing games on my old Nintendo DS—and certainly not on my faulty Nintendo DS Lite—feels somehow wrong. So I probably won't lament the removal of the GBA slot from the Nintendo DSi as much as others do.
I'll just make sure to keep a pocket free.
Any Game Boy Advance era waxing you feel like doing in the comments? Recommendations and hidden gems that you feel might need more attention are welcome. And don't miss MTV Multiplayer's post on the "passing" of the GBA.
Funeral For The Game Boy Advance [MTV Multiplayer]