My brother has purchased a GBA to give me for my upcoming 35th birthday (what a nice guy), but he is so displeased with the screen darkness/reflectivity that he is returning the one he bought for himself. He says that it is intolerable, "Particularly if you're old like us and get tired of squinting at tiny dim screens."
On the other hand, the similarly-aged brother of a friend thinks that he can solve the problem with a good light (but hasn't found said light yet).
So, any other old farts have an opinion on this? My brother offered to buy me something else, so should I skip the GBA and go with a new drive or something instead?
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 07:29 pm:
Well, again I'm not old enough to be writing here I guess, but I've tried both the Worm Light and the Light Shield Advance. After some research, that seems to be the lighting solution people are most happy with. I have to agree that it seems to be the best so far, even if there is some room for improvement.
Yes, the screen is pretty darn dark. Especially if you play the best GBA game out there, Castlevania. Strap on a good light and it's certainly playable without much eye strain.
I'd gladly pay $50 more and give up 2/3 of my battery life for a good interally side-lit or backlit version.
Here's a link to the light shield I have, so you know what to look for. It's from Pelican Accessories.
By Bub (Bub) on Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 03:15 pm:
The lighting issue is major and whomever solves this problem better than the Worm/Shark/Bantha or whatever lights, or the Lightboy/Pelican etc., style of lights is going to be hero to millions who can't see the "night" tracks in GT Advance or the "night" everything in Castlevania. (Hmmm... Bad light problem? Let us make darkend levels for the games too!)
Nintendo had to make the screen mirror reflective?
Now, since nobody has a light that truly solves the problem I think you should consider where you'll play it. Outside is no good, too much light. Subway and Airplanes are good, those overhead lights are just about perfectly placed. Overhead home light is close to perfect.
In my front room we have these antique twenties-era sconces that are quite ambient but not GBA friendly in the slightest. In the bedrooms and my office we have soft globe lighting, thirties antique (old house) and that lighting is...
Man, I've got a neat house!
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 01:19 am:
I'll agree with Bub about planes. I played my import GBA on the plane all the way to E3 (playing the new Zelda for GBC, by the way, so it didn't even fill the screen). That overhead plane light is the best lighting I've ever seen for my GBA.
By Alan Dunkin on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 02:24 am:
Apparently there's a "cheat" around too where you can bump the contrast screw on the back of the GBA but void the warranty in the process (and might shorten the screen life of your GBA as well) since you have to cut away at the "do not remove" tape strip.
By Bub (Bub) on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 03:16 am:
More info on this Alan?
A link maybe? I'd be willing to take the risk I think.
By Supertanker on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 05:22 am:
Nintendo says it is the voltage regulator for the screen, and messing around with it might damage your GBA. Here is the link on IGN where they desperately distance themselves from their previous story.
By Supertanker on Saturday, June 30, 2001 - 08:56 pm:
I guess he wasn't kidding as now my brother put his GBA on Ebay. I'll wait for the GBA+ or whatever they will call it if they choose to build a model with a backlit screen.