I've got an original brick and an original GBA SP. The brick is comfortable to hold, but the screen is tough on the eyes in a world where I've become accustomed to bright, high-contrast displays on everything. I keep it mostly just as a nostalgia piece that maybe I'll show my daughter when she's old enough.
The SP is OK... screen looks nice enough for me, but I feel like it was designed with toddler-sized hands in mind. If I'm playing any game that requires rapid button pressing, it's useless because the screen shakes and I can't see what I'm doing.
Probably my biggest gripe with the SP is the fact it doesn't have a headphone jack. This is a completely ridiculous omission on a handheld gaming device. The only person who can even see the game is the person holding the device, so why would anybody else want/need to hear the noise? It boggles the mind...
For a long time I've been meaning to offload the SP and find an original GBA... this thread is motivating me to get on it.
If the SP is backlit (model number on the back has 101 in it) keep it. Original GBA has an even worse screen than the old brick of an original GB, but the 101 screen can be transplanted into it with a bit of work to give you the best screen and best form factor in one.
Quick rundown of the lighting mods available for Gameboys:
Gameboy - backlight mod available.
Gameboy Pocket - backlight mod available.
Gameboy Light - no backlight mod needed.
Gameboy Color - Frontlight and backlight mods available, backlight mod still clunky and hacky (I think you use an AGS-101 screen and have to cut up the case to make it fit.)
Gameboy Advance - Frontlight and backlight mods available (backlight involves retrofitting AGS-101 GBA SP screen.) Very popular to mod because they're cheap, plentiful, and many people prefer its form factor over the SP.
Gameboy Advance SP AGS-001 - the original frontlit version.
Gameboy Advance SP AGS-101 - "brighter" version with backlit screen. Mainly used as source for screens for GBA mod.
Gameboy Micro - totally cute and small but nobody mods them. Backlit but only plays GBA games.
Nintendo DS: Some people literally cut these in half and turn them into a "Gameboy Macro." I'm not kidding. Basically a second way to get a backlit GBA with the horizontal form factor. (But it won't do original GB games so it's getting away from what we want...)
GREAT game, even today. It's balanced perfectly; if you explore each floor, you'll typically be just strong enough to move onto the next floor. If you play carefully, you're never really in any danger of a party wipe. In contrast to its brutal reputation, It's pretty fair overall. The dungeon layouts are great... easy to remember with lots of shortcuts.
I've not yet suffered a full party wipe, but have had several close calls. You really do have to play it careful and know when and how to GTFO when the time is right. But that's part of the charm. It's so much based around the "expedition" as a metagame, something that later games have moved away from (with being able to rest/save at arbitrary times.) As a player of tabletop RPGs, the same has been true there - D&D of the 70's was heavy on mapping on resource management, while the modern iteration has made that aspect much less prevalent.
That's neither good nor bad - just different IMHO.
I guess my hopes had exceeded my expectations for the device- i was really hoping that games like Ridge Racer and Tekken wouldn't be 15% slower (or similar) because like Deepthaw said the ones that I'm interested in are like that.
That being said.. I've been poking around and seeing what the hacking/emulation scene is for this. If I can put isos on the device, those PAL version are gonna get whacked for their NTSC brethren, hehe.
Ridge Racer runs at the correct speed - it just doesn't run quite as well as on original hardware. Tekken 3 runs at 83.33% speed.
Sadly my TV, despite being cited as a low-lag model on several sites (which is a big part of why I purchased it!), seems to have 100ms minimum lag.
I can't imagine what it would be over analog inputs, but over HDMI it's very noticeable, and turning on "game mode" bizarrely seems to make it worse. It's a Vizio D series, for what it's worth (D50-D1). They recently pushed a firmware update, so maybe I should try again.
I think I have almost that exact model (D50u-D1 https://www.amazon.c...?ie=UTF8&psc=1)- the trick is that only one of the HDMI inputs has the excellent input lag. I'll see which port I'm plugged into when I get home...
again, apologies if this has been beaten to death, but say I'm 'average Joe gamer' (which most of the time, I qualify, lol) and I buy the Mini.
How does the Mini *play* in its current state? If I buy one, turn it on, launch up a game, would I be able to reasonably play the games as they are? Not looking for perfection, but do the games at least play OK?
I mean, yeah, I can watch the review vids on YouTube, but I can't separate the ones dogging it just because it's popular to dog it versus not.
The games are still playable. It just happens that the games I'd personally be interested in have performance problems that would kill my interest.
It's unacceptable to me that they'd sell us slowed down versions of games, but also probably true that most people won't actually notice.
That's kind of a meaningless metric though. People will buy just about anything at clearance. If I walked in and saw a Playstation Classic for twenty dollars, yeah, even I'd buy it. It's how I wound up with my Genesis Flashback HD... I got it at a steep discount. (Fortunately it got hacked pretty soon after that, making it more useful.)
Ah, so apart from the Merry Season, it's also Open Season on Sony. No surprises there.
I don't have a Classic, nor intend to buy one, but I'm 100% sure that it's nowhere near as bad as the predictable, hysterical Internet snowball hate-machine would have it.
The crux "argument" here seems to be "but it's not a Nintendo Mini!". That reasoning comes with all the strings attached, such as unability/refusal to acknowledge the problems with licensing or emulating 3D on necessarily-weak hardware. You know, the ones Nintendo did not have to deal with. In this narrative a really solid line-up becomes a Z-list abomination and the fact that millions of people have played PAL games before and lived to tell the tale is quickly forgotten.
No - the crux of my argument is that it's running PAL versions when nobody in this country played them which is selling an inaccurate product. I played the hell out of the Tekken series, and I can tell immediately if the game is at 83% speed or whatever. And millions of people did play PAL games, and a *lot* of them knew there was something wrong with them.
If you spent your childhood growing up on Sonic in the US, would you be happy if a Genesis classic suddenly had this:
No idea what platforms each of the games is available on, nor which platforms are the best to play the games on.
To expand on it:
Wizardry I - III are collectively referred to as the "Llylgamyn Saga" and are honestly nothing more than expansion packs to Wizardry I. They're identical gameplay wise, and even required you to import characters from the previous game to play on Apple II. The best way to play them is probably the Super Famicom port. Avoid the DOS version because it has a bug where your characters tend to lose attributes way more than they should when they level up, which makes the games even more difficult than intended.
Wizardry IV is stupidly brutally hard and obtuse and apparently nobody likes it. You play as the villain from the first game and collect monsters to fight for you - the enemies are based on characters that plays of I-III mailed to the developers. A tip as to how impenetrably difficult the game is: you can't even leave the starting area unless you get some priests to join you, and one of them casts the spell to reveal secret doors during combat, so you can find the door you need to leave.
Wizardry V is the last of the "classic" games and was apparently pretty badly dated at release. Best version depends on whether or not you want to experience the original keyword dialogue system. Super Famicom again is the best console port, but removes the need to type in keywords for interaction with NPCs.
Wizardry VI through VIII are what I consider the "next generation" of Wizardry and are honestly Wizardry games in name alone. D.W. Bradley took over at this point and the games got even weirder. Gameplay systems were overhauled and the graphics finally moved out of the late 70s/early 80s. PC version is the best for these probably. They have no story connection to the previous games and feature spaceships, aliens, computers and all kinds of other gonzo shit. You can transfer your party from game to game in this trilogy to tell a convoluted but technically cohesive story.
The Wizardry series is one I never played when I was younger. I got sucked into the Ultima games and played those, as well as other RPG-style games such as Alternate Reality on the Atari 8-bits. I remember watching a friend of mine playing Wizardry games on his Apple IIe. Would be fun to play those in order, and I know there are a ton of them. No idea what platforms each of the games is available on, nor which platforms are the best to play the games on. Would have to do some research.
From my reading, the best way to experience the original Wizardry trilogy is how I'm doing it - the Llylgamyn Saga version for Super Famicom. It already has options for English text, but there's a translation patch that changes what little Japanese remains into English. It's quite authentic to the original experience on Apple II, but with quality of life improvements and much upgraded and tasteful graphics and sound. What's neat is it has options to revert some of the stuff to how it originally was (wireframe dungeons, coordinates instead of automap for the Dumapic spell, etc.) Difficulty is still there though, which is important.
I wonder how many of the people this is targeted at won't even realize the system isn't very good?
The same people who know this thing sucks are the same people who already have myriad ways to play PS1 titles. Their target audience may be impulse buys from people who won't know better or put enough time in it to care.