Beneath its innocuous air of a pocket console, the Game Boy Advance rivals in power with certain home machines.
Its 32-bit processor allows it to display graphics of remarkable finesse, which its active matrix screen highlights by its large size (about 50% larger than the GBC screen).
We can regret once again that the latter is not backlit to allow play in places with little clarity, but it seems that this choice was made for the sake of economy for the user, the presence of lighting causing a sharp increase in energy consumption and thereby a significant reduction in autonomy.
The other differences with the Game Boy Color are at the audio level, with sound now in stereo and, at the level of the grip, by holding the machine horizontally and the presence of two additional buttons on the upper edge. Beyond these technical data, the GBA has extraordinary potential in terms of graphics and animation.
Because if the games of the Game Boy Color resembled those of the previous generation just enhanced by a few slightly colored shades, those of the Game Boy Advance are much more ambitious: the 240x160 pixel resolution of the screen allows very detailed, with different planes and a multitude of sprites.
On the color side, here too the GBC takes a nice slap with hundreds of shades that can be displayed simultaneously from a palette of 32,000 (compared to 56 for the GBC). It is true that, unlike home machines, it does not know how to calculate polygonal 3D images, so it compensates for this lack by perfect management of 2D graphics. And, to circumvent the problem, it is able to use multiple scrolling, zooming and rotation effects in order to recreate the illusion of 3D depth or, quite simply, to resort to the artifice of false 3D as on Super Nintendo with the Donkey Kong Country series.
In terms of games, the software library is already well supplied with a striking diversity of genres (action, reflection, combat, sport, etc.); and in addition to the many original titles or adaptations specific to the console, we must add the entire Game Boy and Game Boy Color catalogs with which it is fully backwards compatible, i.e. nearly 1200 titles!
Last asset and not the least, it wants to be oriented towards multiplayer and offers on the majority of games the possibility of having several participants compete against each other (from 2 to 4 depending on the title) using the optional link cable. She has everything a big one!