The GBA Col­lec­tor

Matt hen­zel on his love for Nin­tendo’s por­ta­ble

Games TM - - RETRO -

when did you start col­lect­ing GBA games?

that would have been June

2001, (when it was re­leased here in the Usa). i bought the orig­i­nal GBA along with the launch ti­tles: Su­per Mario Ad­vance, Castl­e­va­nia: Cir­cle Of The

Moon, F-zero: Max­i­mum Ve­loc­ity, Kon­ami Krazy Rac­ers, and Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2.

what is it that you like about the sys­tem?

it was one of the last mostly pure, 2d pixel art-based sys­tems to come out. i al­ways thought of it as a suc­ces­sor, of sorts, to the snes.

what’s the rarest game you own?

i’d say prob­a­bly Castl­e­va­nia: Aria Of Sor­row or Leg­end Of Zelda: The Min­ish Cap would be the rarest ones i own. i also have both of those fac­tory sealed as well since i ended up play­ing ex­tra loose copies.

what one game sums up the sys­tem and why?

Metroid: Zero Mis­sion. it was an amaz­ing port/re­mas­ter of the Nes orig­i­nal. it was a per­fect choice for the GBA with its many save Rooms. this al­lowed for more flex­i­ble play­time.

Are there any ti­tles you’re still look­ing for?

sure. i have a hand­ful of games that i’d still like to get some day. some of them, such as Ninja

5-0, or Pocky & Rocky W/becky, with their $300-ish CIB value, i’ll likely never get. the ones i am still look­ing to buy though are: Dou­ble Dragon Ad­vance, Fi­nal Fight One, Pin­ball Of The Dead, River City Ran­som EX and Con­tra Ad­vance.

why do you think the sys­tem re­mains so pop­u­lar?

i believe it’s due to the GBA hav­ing a solid cat­a­logue of games, as well as many of the games be­ing of the hand-drawn pixel va­ri­ety. it’s time­less, and that style just ages so much bet­ter than poly­gons, at least in my opin­ion. the fact that Nin­tendo also gave the ds and ds Lite sys­tems full back­wards GBA com­pat­i­bil­ity also helped it find an­other gen­er­a­tion of gamers.

what’s your favourite ver­sion of the GBA?

i pre­fer the er­gonomics of the orig­i­nal launch model, but un­less you are play­ing un­der di­rect sun­light it can be very hard to see. the back-lit sp ags-101 model is so much nicer. so my an­swer would be an orig­i­nal 2001 model GBA retro­fit­ted with an ags-101 LCD screen. i also didn’t care for how Nin­tendo re­moved the 3.5mm head­phone jack on the sp. the fact that the orig­i­nal GBA uses two aa bat­ter­ies also fu­ture proofs it a bit as well.

what ad­vice would you give to any­one start­ing their own col­lec­tion?

if they don’t al­ready have a GBA sys­tem i would highly sug­gest the orig­i­nal model mod­i­fied with an ags-101 screen. this would cover the full line of Game Boy games (GB-GBC-GBA). it might also be a good idea to stick to col­lect­ing loose GBA car­tridges. the CIB ver­sions of many are get­ting quite pricey lately.

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