Last time we took a look at the Retro Gen adapter by Retrobit, a Genesis clone built into a Super NES Game Pak. This week we look at the Game Boy Advance version of this clone in a cartridge. Is it as good as the Genesis one?
PROS: You can play GBA games on your TV!
CONS: Not without some inconvenience.
REPLACEMENT: For your GBA? In some instances yes.
The Super Retro Advance, like the Retro Gen is a clone system in a cartridge. This time around Retrobit made a GBA clone. It has the one major issue the Retro Gen has, and that is it requires its own AV cables. It uses the same one set the Retro Gen includes. So if you own both, you can leave the same cable plugged into the TV. Then plug it into the either cartridge as you need to. Otherwise if you’re out of ports on the TV or your switch box, you’ll have to hot swap the cables with the Super NES cables.
Other than that inconvenience, it’s a pretty cool system. Once again, the system uses the Super NES as a power source. The game performance is pretty good here. Colors are bright, and things look pretty crisp. In most games. The thing to remember is that these games were designed to run at the Game Boy Advance’s screen resolution of 240 x 160. Playing on your TV is going to stretch that out a bit. The system displays the games at the proper aspect ratio, but it doesn’t re-render the games at a higher resolution.
Now before you balk, note that you’ll see a similar thing happens when you buy GBA games on your Wii U. It doesn’t look terrible, but you’re going to notice the pixels a bit more since they’re being up scaled rather than completely re rendered. If you can’t get past that, then you’ll want to stick to an actual GBA, GBA SP, or DS. The other option is the Game Boy Player for the Gamecube, but finding one with a working disc these days can be difficult at times. If you do, they’re often fairly expensive.
When factoring that all in, the Super Retro Advance becomes an attractive option for those who want to play their GBA collection on a TV set legitimately. I threw several games at mine, and they all ran perfectly fine. Performance was pretty good here. I didn’t run into any unexpected slowdown, and nothing crashed. The games stayed in the system nice, and snuggly. Sound was almost identical to what I experienced on the Game Boy Advance. The system also has a GBA link cable port on it. So if you want to run games that support multiple GBA multiplayer you can do so.
If you ever ended up passing on some portable games in the past because you had problems looking at the small screen you might like this. It opens up an entire library of games for you to check out using your Super NES for power. The GBA library is indeed stuffed with many children’s games, and it has its share of shovelware. But, it also has a multitude of wonderful Nintendo games, and a lot of great games that rarely showed up in other places. Stuff like Ninja Five-O, and Iridion II. So if you haven’t played them because you never got into the handhelds, this might be something you want to look into.
In the end it’s a short review this time, but it’s worth checking out the Super Retro Advance. It isn’t going to do it for the purists out there. Sadly, if you just have to have the 1:1 experience on your TV you’ll need to invest in a Game Boy Player with a working disc. But for the rest of us, this is a great option even if you do have a cable swap. If you’ve decided to get yourself a new 3DS, but you want to keep on playing your GBA games, the Super Retro Advance might be your ticket.
Final Score: 8 out of 10