GBA Advance Classic NES Limited Edition: Review & Gratuitous Photo Shoot

Ed Steele June 5, 2004 13

Many of you are probably wondering (like I was) what the new, limited edition NES Game Boy looks like out of the box. What does the top look like? Is the bottom a different color? Is the power cord done up all retro style too? I considered skipping this special edition SP and putting my money towards a Nintendo DS, but then gadget madness took over and I traded in my old GBA and some overplayed games to get this little wonder.

What’s in the Box?

Standard stuff here, the GBA SP, AC adaptor, the manual, and some Nintendo inserts and warnings about flashing lights and epilepsy. (Videogames are bad, mmmmkay?)

What’s Good About It?

Just have a look at these views from the front, side, and rear. This handheld delight just screams retro cool styling with an updated SP smile. (Shift-click on the images for full size images in a new window)

Side Views


Rear Views


With the Kemco GBA Jukebox MP3 Player


With the original GBA SP


With S.E. Game Boy Pocket & Japanese GB Camera

There’s an intangible tastiness that comes with owning this special edition GBA. Yes, it turns on and off just like a regular SP, it has all the same buttons and controls, although the surface on the front has a nice “grippy” texture which is different. It’s an SP that plays games just like an SP, but it gives one that “I’m four years old and just got the greatest birthday present ever and you don’t have one” kind of feeling.

What’s Bad About It?

Only two gripes, and they are minor. Nintendo, if I’m going to shell out $100 for another Game Boy, then I expect the WHOLE THING to be special edition. I don’t expect the power cord to be the same blah blah black sheep generic AC adaptor that comes with a regular SP. The AC adaptor should be done up like a mini NES, and it isn’t. (That’s why Big N should hire me, I think about these things.) Secondly, as some have speculated the NES surface on the front of the unit is a very tough, high quality sticker. I’ve tried poking at the sides with my fingernail, and it’s on there supertight and isn’t likely to come off at all, ever. Just the same though, it’s a decal, and some people may be bothered by that. I’m not, I baby my handhelds; if this one isn’t in my hand, it’s in a protective case.
Am I recommending you go shell out another $100 for this GBA? Not sure, that’s up to you. I think that if I’d actually paid cash for mine instead of doing trade in, I’d be 25% less happy. If you already have an SP or just a plain GBA I would highly recommend you take your old gear to your local gamestore today and trade up to this special edition GBA. If you’ve never owned an SP before, this is your call to go buy one this moment. Sure, you could wait for the Nintendo DS, but all hell could break loose tomorrow, and New York could freeze over while the oceans wipe out major cities and vampires feast on the blood of humanity while zombies wander the streets delivering newspapers with the headline: “THE END IS HERE, AND YOU DIDN’T GET A SPECIAL EDITION GBA NES SP!”
THE END (of this review) IS HERE.

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  1. Zaphod's BigBlog(tm) June 7, 2004 at 5:16 pm -

    RE: Classic NES Game Boy Advance

  2. brendoman-dot-com June 7, 2004 at 6:44 pm -

    GBA Classic NES Special Edition

    GadgetMadness: GBA Advance Classic NES Limited Edition: Review & Gratuitous Photo Shoot The new Game Boy Advance SP looks so stinking cool. It looks like an old NES system, complete with red buttons. The box it comes in is even designed like the old NE…

  3. Masiar June 7, 2004 at 7:39 pm -

    Any info about this coming to Europe?

  4. lunacy8m June 7, 2004 at 8:06 pm -

    It’s coming to Europe “later this year,” but no firm date that I am aware of.

  5. brent June 8, 2004 at 1:36 am -

    Is the Japanese version compatible with American games, and vice versa? Is there a Japanese version?

  6. Iain K. MacLeod June 8, 2004 at 2:05 am -

    It looks like it will be released on June 7th in Canada through Futureshop.

  7. Jessica June 8, 2004 at 9:47 am -

    Brilliant! I just purchased my SP in December and if I had known then what I know now I would have waited the extra six months to get this super cool, lethargic version…ah the good days. I do agree that they should have made the accessories more true to its original form but this way Nintendo saves time and money.
    What is this I hear though about Nintendo DS?!

  8. lunacy8m June 8, 2004 at 12:29 pm -

    There are two Japanese versions, this one is ultra rare (only 1000 made, copy & paste the URL’s below):
    The other is commonly available:
    All American and Japanese GBA’s are “region free,” which means you can play Japanese games on your American GBA, and visa-versa.

  9. The Nougatmachine June 8, 2004 at 4:43 pm -

    Game Boy NES

    This is unbelievably sweet.

  10. Martin the Lost Sage June 10, 2004 at 4:13 am -

    I loves da Retro look! And guess what? I have one and you don’t! ~_^

  11. Jen June 12, 2004 at 2:14 pm -

    I personally like the Songpro GBA mp3 player better.

  12. Why June 18, 2004 at 10:10 pm -

    WHY? It’s just same unit with a different case! That is all Big N has been able to do since N64. My nephew and son were ready to buy it until I mentally slapped them back to reality. Now they wait for the PSP and the DS!

  13. ZC June 19, 2004 at 5:45 am -

    I have one of these. The front feels nifty- The texture is cool. The buttons seem different from those on a standard SP, as does the control cross. It’s a nice choice if you don’t already have an SP.