In 2004, Nintendo released a special edition Game Boy Advance SP and 12 original NES games ported to GBA. Nintendo released these to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the NES and Famicom in Japan. The games were originally released for $19.99 and later reduced to $14.99. The GBA SP was released at $99 and later lowered. Although 12 games were released in the U.S., there were 30 games released in Japan including Japan’s version of Super Mario Bros. 2 which is much different than the U.S. Super Mario Bros. 2.
Limited Edition GBA SP
The special edition GBA SP looks similar to an NES control with similar colors and patterns. The colors of the GBA buttons are the same colors of the buttons on the original NES controller. Also, the colors of the handheld are gray and dark gray to match the NES. Of course it’s backwards-compatible and plays all Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games just like the other GBA SP’s. This GBA SP is NOT the newer backlit brighter SP+ but instead the original front-lit GBA SP.
GBA Classic NES Games
The games are almost the exact ports of the NES games. There are a few differences due to the screen proportions being different. Original NES games were played on the standard def 4:3 ratio, while GBASP is set in a widescreen format. Most of the games are from the mid-80’s which was more towards the beginning-middle of the NES lifespan. Some of the best games were left out of the Classic NES Series due to the fact that they were already released in GBA. For example, most of the Mario games were already released in 2004, remade with better graphics. In addition Kirby’s Adventure was already re-released at this time. The colors of the GBA cartridges are very similar to the original NES cartridges.
Being a huge fan of the NES, I was happy and excited to see Nintendo release these units and games. The Game Boy has a great feeling to it due to it’s color scheme. The games are all a trip down memory lane. I hope Nintendo doesn’t forget about it’s great past and continues to release things like this.
Released in North America on June 7, 2004.
- Donkey Kong
- Ice Climber
- The Legend of Zelda
- Super Mario Bros.
Released in North America on October 25, 2004.
- Dr. Mario
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link