Anyone got any recommendation for GBA lighting devices?
Is there a light out there that doesn't put a glare on that INCREDIBLY REFLECTIVE screen cover? Jesus. Talk about adding insult to injury.
Great system though. In particular, the port of Tony Hawk 2 to the GBA is amazing. I can't recall anyone pulling off a more ambitious handheld port than this. It really does play identically to the "real" console and PC versions-- no mean feat.
I'm also having great fun with GT Advance, but whoever designed that password save system must be a closet sadist. C'mon, guys. A 16 character password including nearly the full goddamn ASCII character set? Christ on a stick. It's like they want to sabotage their own game. I heard the Japanese version has a memory save.. sigh.
Finally, side scrollers can bite me. I was sick and tired of them by 1993, and my opinion on this hasn't changed in the last 8 years. Any developer releasing a new side scroller better have something fucking brilliant up their sleeve.
Also-- DOOM is on the release schedule for the GBA! Woo hoo! There were also some pictures of a previously unannounced Duke Nukem 3D port I saw somewhere.. I wonder if it'll be the "textured walls and flat ceilings and floors" style. I know it's nitpicky, but those huge grey untextured areas at the top and bottom annoy me. It's very Jaguar-esque.
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Sunday, August 19, 2001 - 06:46 am:
Answering my own question...
The #1 problem as I see it is THE SCREEN IS A FRIGGIN MIRROR. Until we reduce the screen glare, adding lighting won't help.
I went ahead and ordered 5 of these from http://www.lik-sang.com/catalog/product_info.php?category=0&products_id=193&
Since there was a substantial 35% discount for 5 or more. If anyone wants to buy one from me (I do have 4 extra), the total was $38.15 or $7.63 each. I just specified standard air mail (I assume from hong kong?) so no telling when/if they'll show up..
WRT lighting this page is helpful. But he has the same glare problem as everyone else, rendering much of his work moot.
By Mark Asher on Sunday, August 19, 2001 - 12:56 pm:
Just post a message letting us know how it works. I don't have a GBA yet, but I plan on getting one.
By Jeff Green on Sunday, August 19, 2001 - 12:57 pm:
Whatever you do, *don't* buy the GBA worm light. That thing was great on the Game Boy Color, but it is near useless on the GBA--especially for dark games like Castlevania.
A coupla weeks ago I bought one o' them Pelican combo light/protective covers, and I'm actually pretty happy with that. Not perfect, but WAY better than the worm light and only $10.
BTW--Rayman Advance rules!
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Sunday, August 19, 2001 - 01:01 pm:
I did enjoy Rayman 2 (excellent recommendation from Tom), but I am leery of any sidescrollers. I'll tell you one sidescroller I loved circa 1994-- Pitfall, the Mayan Adventure. Dunno why but I couldn't stop playing that one.
Anyway, here's what I'm talkin' bout:
Aw, yeah. 9/26/2001.
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Sunday, August 19, 2001 - 01:02 pm:
Some screenshots. Looks like they are texturing everything. Does it have multiplayer? Heh!
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Sunday, August 19, 2001 - 01:05 pm:
By FAR the coolest thing about this handheld is that the developers can do 3D on it.
2D is the sucking! I mean, it's appropriate for certain kinds of games, but it's also extremely limiting.
By Bub (Bub) on Sunday, August 19, 2001 - 01:15 pm:
I'll second the Rayman Advance recommendation from Mr. Green. It's simply the most fun side scroller you can buy... and easily one of the best GBA games period. And I've reviewed most of them.
GT Advance is great, if you dig cars, but go with a Japanese import if possible. It has a battery, so you don't have to enter codes to continue your career (like the US version). Konami and, undoubtably, Mario Kart, are both a lot of fun too. Castlevania is great, but hard to recommend because it seriously needs adequate light.
For my money, NAMCO Museum is a great buy, but that's because I'm in love with Ms. Pac Man. The eating disorder doesn't bother me at all.
As for lighting, I've tried them all as well. Don't buy one yet. They all pretty much stink. The reflective screen ruins the good ones and the rest are just crappy products to begin with. Instead, find a nice overhead light and move it near a comfy chair for now. Note: airplane light is PERFECT. So maybe buy an airplane.
I can't wait to try Doom.
By Mark Asher on Sunday, August 19, 2001 - 03:49 pm:
Doom, that Tekken game, Ogre Tactics -- there are a number of games I'd like to get for GBA. The lighting problem does bother me, though.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Monday, August 20, 2001 - 05:10 pm:
Advance Wars looks pretty cool. I played it a bit at E3 and it was exactly what I wanted it to be: very very similar to Warsong on the Genesis. =)
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Monday, August 20, 2001 - 09:43 pm:
Wow. 3D is teh future!
By Alan Au (Itsatrap) on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 01:12 pm:
Battery life be damned, I want a back-lit screen!
By BobM on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 04:38 pm:
I don't have any issues with the lighting of my GBA.
Outdoors, say in a car or something, in the day time, everything is good.
Indoors you simply need to sit somewhere where the light is behind you.
In the dark, I like the wormlight. The key is to stretch it out pretty far and bring it around the bottom of the screen. Then position the glare so that it is in the center of the words Gameboy Advance at the bottom of the screen.
Also, Wumpus, do you have the GBA version of the wormlight? It's brighter than the GBC version.
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 05:49 pm:
"I don't have any issues with the lighting of my GBA."
I'm sorry, I can't read beyond this sentence, because you have clearly LOST YOUR FRIGGIN' MIND.
I'm waiting for my japanese anti-glare sheets. All lighting is moot until we get rid of the shaving mirror effect.
By BobM on Wednesday, August 22, 2001 - 10:16 am:
Maybe I'm vain and like staring at myself while I play.
By Christoph Nahr on Wednesday, August 22, 2001 - 04:23 pm:
Ultimate Solution for Gameboy Advance Display Problems:
1. Turn the GBA on its back.
2. Rip off the sticker with the serial number. WARNING: This will void your warranty, and Mario will hate you forever!
3. Find the minuscule screw inside the minuscule hole on the right side of where the sticker was.
4. Use a minuscule screwdriver to turn the minuscule screw in either direction.
5. Turn on the GBA and watch the contrast improve drastically! Even Castlevania is now playable at normal lighting conditions.
That's a tip from a friend, I tried it and found it very useful. By default the contrast screw is centered which translates to the absolutely darkest possible display. Nintendo probably just wanted to show what a bunch of arrogant bastards they are by making this position the default, then not making the contrast dial accessible, and THEN putting the warranty sticker over it.
Don't turn the screw all the way to one end or the other, just short of the end for the best possible display. Keep the GBA going while turning the screw so that you can see the effect. There are beautiful background graphics in Castlevania that I never even saw at the default contrast setting!
By BobM on Wednesday, August 22, 2001 - 06:52 pm:
"I'm waiting for my japanese anti-glare sheets. All lighting is moot until we get rid of the shaving mirror effect."
Wumpus, I'm predicting that you won't be happy with the anti-glare sheets. I've heard they darken the screen considerably.
"Ultimate Solution for Gameboy Advance Display Problems:"
Don't do this. This isn't a contrast control. Its a varible resistor that will either put too much or too little power to the LCD, and is bound to shorten its life.
By Bub (Bub) on Wednesday, August 22, 2001 - 07:37 pm:
Nahr, Bob's right, that screw has nothing to do with the contrast and your buddy fell for a common myth (yeth?) about the GBA. It may look good now, but already people who did it early are said to be replacing their handhelds now (or something).
I'm too busy to link to the large amount of proof about this, but it should be easy to find with a Google search.
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Wednesday, August 22, 2001 - 10:42 pm:
"Wumpus, I'm predicting that you won't be happy with the anti-glare sheets. I've heard they darken the screen considerably."
I hope that isn't true, but once the glare problem is solved, I plan to add a light. That should balance the scales.
GBA is a really kick-ass little portable. I wonder if more and more portables will go 3D? Of course, at the rate Nintendo is going we can expect to see GBA II sometime in, oh, 2010..
By Christoph Nahr on Thursday, August 23, 2001 - 04:15 am:
"Don't do this. This isn't a contrast control. Its a varible resistor that will either put too much or too little power to the LCD, and is bound to shorten its life."
Damn, and I was so happy that I could finally play Castlevania away from my desk! I think I'll just try how long it lasts with the changed resistor setting, maybe I get lucky...
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Sunday, August 26, 2001 - 12:01 am:
I got the NYKO worm light plus for $10 from babbages today. This is a neat light because it's actually a LED, just like the mod page above I referenced. Low power draw (no external batteries, link cable passthru) and quite bright.
Of course there's a HELLACIOUS glare on the screen now, but it is brighter. What genius at Nintendo decided the GBA screen should be as shiny as a mirror?
SAVE ME OH JAPANESE ANTI-GLARE FILTERS! SAVE ME!! Damn, those things can't get here via airmail soon enough.
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Friday, September 7, 2001 - 10:14 pm:
HEY! I got my Japanese anti-glare filters for the GBA.
THEY REALLY WORK! You can actually manipulate light sources to illuminate the screen without permanently scarring your retina in the process.
Be warned: this is not a panacea. Nothing short of proper built-in backlighting would be. However, it does improve things substantially.
I now have four of these. If anyone wants one I will sell them at cost. I paid $7.63 each including shipping, so if you send me eight bucks I will mail one to you first class postage.
email me: [email protected]
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Friday, September 7, 2001 - 11:03 pm:
The GBA Sunfilter is endorsed by Distinguished Japanese Scientist!!