GBA Versus N-Gage

January 18, 2004

--Posted by Stray Dog @ 17:19 PST.

Today I would like to introduce to you my assistant. His name is Feral Cat. I found him at a swap meet where I was looking for the elusive Atari Jaguar and found that he was breathing and therefore almost overqualified for the position. Feral Cat will be my intern, my gopher and whatever else I can think for him to be. He will mostly be contributing articles about handhelds and bad games (of which there are many). His first assignment is to prove himself by writing a hand held follow up to my last article comparing home consoles. The two that have been chosen are the Nintendo Game Boy Advance and the newly christened Nokia N-Gage. I have given him the same criteria that I used to make his first effort a little easier. He's a little . . . Off, if you know what I mean, but that never stopped anyone from writing an article for LU. So, with out further ado, I give you
FERAL CAT!!! I'm going to go take a nap now.

HOW TO BLOW THAT HOLIDAY COINAGE, A LITTLE AT A TIME
By Feral Cat

HELLO!! Good people. This is me, the Cat. Hand-held systems are my favorite. I hope you too like them good. AAAAAAH!!! Okay. I think my pills just kicked in. Let's dive into this article before they wear off again.

Nintendo has long been the king of the portable system market, CRUSHING ALL WHO OPPOSE THEM IN A FLAMING BALL OF GLORY!!! OH, THE HUMANITY!!! Ahem. After destroying the Sega Game Gear, the Atari Lynx, the SNK Neo Geo Pocket, the NEC Turbo Duo (and a couple of other TOO PATHETIC TO MENTION) Nokia comes along hoping to find its place in that market. So far, not so good. The N-Gage sold only 5,000 units nation wide in its first two weeks (compared to the GBA's 540,000 at its debut) and only 500 units in all of Europe. I MAY NOT BE A GENIUS, but things aren't looking good. Maybe Sony will do better.

HARDWARE

Price
1. GBA: At about $80 for a new SP you can't really get much more for your money, hand held wise. This is one powerful little machine
2. N-G: $300 DOLLARS?! THAT BETTER BE THE BEST GAMING SYSTEM EVER CREATED!! Nope.

Power
1. GBA: Faster, Better, MORE POWER!!! AH HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAA!!!!
2. N-G: No slouch but no comparison either. Nothing I've seen so far makes me think this system is stronger except maybe in pushing polygons. But even that is a little sketchy.

Graphics
1. GBA: though both are 32 bit systems, the GBA's graphics are crisper and in most cases prettier that the N-Gages
2. N-G: the only place the N-Gage can hold anything over the GBA graphics wise is the 3-D realm and the graphics bring to mind PS1 games (which most of them are) that are, admittedly, PRETTY UGLY NOWADAYS.

Features
1. N-G: With an MP3 player, phone capability and radio, the N-Gage is a multi-tasker.
2. GBA: it has NOTHING!!!!! IT JUST PLAYS GAMES!!! THAT'S IT!!!!

Accessories
1. GBA: with the E-reader, GC connectivity, a camera, an MP3 player, and, in Japan, the ability to take on a video phone, this system can be modified to do quite a few things.
2. N-G: you can get a lanyard for it. Oh! And a headset so you don't look like a moron holding that Taco-like system up to you ear while you talk with your homies.

Design
1. GBA: if you don't like how one of them feels, there is another you can try. Regular or SP, the GBA makes sense.
2. N-G: you have to take out the battery to put in a game and to talk, it sticks off the side of your face. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!! Really!!! I have no idea.

SOFTWARE

1st Party Support
1. GBA: this is a Nintendo system. Of course it wins.
2. N-G: I don't think Nokia has actually made any games for this system. If so, they are totally over shadowed (I use the term loosely) by the 3rd party titles.

3rd Party Support
1. GBA: just about every developer out there (except Microsoft) has published a GBA game. They are pretty much the only game on the market.
2. N-G: Sega and EA. That just about sums it up.

Library
1. GBA: it's backwards compatible with GB and GBC games and even if it wasn't, with all that support for other developers, there would be a lot of games. And there are.
2. N-G: this is forgivable since the system is so new, but it has less than 20 games.

Good Games

GBA
Metroid Fusion ($30-20): Hailed by some as the best Metroid game ever.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance ($35-25): Follow up to the PS1 original from SquareEnix. A less confusing plot with the same great tactical gameplay.

Mario Kart: Super Circuit ($25-20): The best racer for the GBA includes the tracks from the SNES original

Super Street Fighter II: Puzzle Fighter ($30): Best Puzzle game ever. And the characters are so darn cute!

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past ($30-20): Worth a purchase without Four Swords. With it, undeniable.

N-G
Tomb Raider ($35): This is the same Tomb Raider you beat in '96 with a time trial added.

Tony Hawk Pro Skater ($35): It's the original Tony Hawk! Now why did I play this for hours on the PS1?

Pandemonium ($35): remember this one on the PS1? You won't remember it on N-Gage either.

Sonic N ($30): The same as the GBA version but with a vertical screen making it tough to jump.

Red Faction ($35): hasn't come out yet, but looks like a promising FPS.

As you can see, the N-Gage has a long way to go. The final score assuming one point for every first place: GBA: 8 N-Gage: 1. it's Nintendo BY A LANDSLIDE!!!. I'm sure you're all very surprised. Maybe the N-Gage II will be better. Until then, and wishing good luck to Nokia, this is FERAL $%#@* CAT.