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Handheld collectors - recommend Gameboy SP??


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I would recommend getting an AGS-101 gba sp because it’s backlit and much brighter than a normal AGS-001 gba sp. the other option would be to get a DS or DS lite since they can play gba games. Of thos

The best option for the full range of the Game Boy family from original to GBA would be to buy a modded GBA with an IPS screen from a modder. Likely on Etsy. This will give you the best picture and ar

A "standard" GBA SP is serviceable, although the front-lit screen is going to make playing outside or in brightly-lit rooms difficult. The alternative is to get the AGS-101 model, as Makar suggests. T

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I would recommend getting an AGS-101 gba sp because it’s backlit and much brighter than a normal AGS-001 gba sp. the other option would be to get a DS or DS lite since they can play gba games. Of those I’d recommend a DS phat (the original ds) as it’s much more durable than a DS lite even though the DS lite does have a brighter screen and is more sleek. I do not recommend a gameboy or regular gameboy advance. Too bulky and no light. A DS cannot play regular gameboy games. Only a gba or gba sp can. 

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The best option for the full range of the Game Boy family from original to GBA would be to buy a modded GBA with an IPS screen from a modder. Likely on Etsy. This will give you the best picture and are often fitted with other small QOL improvements. This will be more expensive but will be the top tier option. With this option you can choose between a modded original GBA or a modded GBA SP.

Next you could go with an AGS-101 as mentioned above, although this will cost similar to a modded unit and some sellers are convinced they’ve got gold on their hands and will ask far above Pricecharting going rates for one that is dirty and has scratches on the screen. An AGS-001 will be cheaper and easier to find, it’ll just have a frontlight instead of a backlight and thus will still be lit up but just a tad less bright. You can still play this in the dark (it’s how I eventually played all of my games growing up).

And as mentioned above there is also the option of a Nintendo DS or DS Lite to play GBA games. However they cannot play GBC or original Game Boy games.

If you want the cheapest route available and to show them how we did it back in the day, a non-lit up original GBA is an option although I doubt kids today would be very fond of it. 

PS if you go the modded route, my suggestion is a modded original GBA over a modded Game Boy SP. It has a nicer form factor and actually has a headphone jack. Why god oh why did they remove the headphone jack???

Edited by The Strangest
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A "standard" GBA SP is serviceable, although the front-lit screen is going to make playing outside or in brightly-lit rooms difficult. The alternative is to get the AGS-101 model, as Makar suggests. The trade-off is price-point, of course. I haven't been in the market for GBA's for a while but it seems like a standard SP will run you $30-$50, while an AGS-101 model will run more like $75-$100 or more.

I'll also echo Makar on the DS/DS Lite recommendation, except that getting one of those would mean no backwards compatibility with the GB games.

I think your best bet is a standard SP, unless you can find a reasonable deal on an SP 101 model, which could be tough.

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@Makarmentioned that DS plays GBA games? Im pretty certain he has a DS. Maybe it would be good to start him on a GBA pokemon game. He may decide that's primitive enough at 16 years old. Then if he wants to keep going and get the originals, he can spend the cash on an AGS-101 or something modded

Edit: if he were to go that route, whats the one gba pokemon game that is a must play? 

Edited by NESfiend
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3 minutes ago, NESfiend said:

Edit: if he were to go that route, whats the one gba pokemon game that is a must play? 

Most people my age have their hearts chained to Emerald. It’s the “third version” of that generation’s original games Ruby and Sapphire. Really though all three of these will have a similar story, etc.

Then there’s LeafGreen and FireRed. These are remakes of the original Game Boy games. They’re pretty good and both titles will play the same as the other. Although if he’s played Let’s Go Pikachu or Eevee on Switch then essentially he’s played these games.

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7 minutes ago, NESfiend said:

@Makarmentioned that DS plays GBA games? Im pretty certain he has a DS. Maybe it would be good to start him on a GBA pokemon game. He may decide that's primitive enough at 16 years old. Then if he wants to keep going and get the originals, he can spend the cash on an AGS-101 or something modded

Edit: if he were to go that route, whats the one gba pokemon game that is a must play? 

Yes the original ds and ds lite can play gba games but not gameboy games. If he has a dsi or dsi xl, those can’t play gba games. I think that’s a good idea. See if he’s into gba games first then work your way back. 
 

I would say Pokémon firered or leafgreen. They’re remakes of red and blue and excellent. If he already has red or blue, then get emerald. 

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Just now, Makar said:

Meet me outside at noon o’clock in the parking lot. We’re going to have to have a Pokémon battle to settle this. 

I bring nothing but a single Charizard card. It has the highest number on it, so instant win! 

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Get him a DS lite. They are much cheaper and easier to find/replace. All the Pokemon games (,plus spin-offs) for the game boy and game boy color have all been remade for either GBA or DS, so he wouldn't be missing out on those. Plus he also gets Diamond/Pearl and Black/White 1 and 2. If he plays a lot of GBA and becomes more interested in old game boy and game boy color games, you can always get him an r4 card.

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36 minutes ago, The Strangest said:

The best option for the full range of the Game Boy family from original to GBA would be to buy a modded GBA with an IPS screen from a modder. Likely on Etsy. This will give you the best picture and are often fitted with other small QOL improvements. This will be more expensive but will be the top tier option. With this option you can choose between a modded original GBA or a modded GBA SP.

I agree. My hands are way too big for the GBA SP. I recently did an IPS V2 mod on a GBA and it's perfect. If big hands isn't an issue, he would be just fine with an AGS-101 GBA SP. Plus, he'd be able to recharge it.

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46 minutes ago, NESfiend said:

Now that I understand that you dont need pokemon red/blue because of firered, Im going to recommend something that just plays GBA because its just for pokemon games. So whats the better way to play GBA pokemon games - ds lite, gba, other?

Go with a DS Lite. It should be fairly cheap and easy to find one and has a great screen.

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2 hours ago, NESfiend said:

My nephew wants to play old pokemon games for gba and gameboy. Hes looking at getting an SP and asked my opinion. Know nothing about handheld stuff. For people that collect it, would you recommend an SP or anything else that plays gba and original gameboy?

As someone who as a side hobby likes to take beaters of many model of Gameboy and make them like new or better than new when I either keep or sell them to others my advice to you would be stick to one that can do everything you need.  Like if you knew you didn't need GBA I'd suggest an upgraded GBColor, but since you did say GBA, I'd suggest a cleaned up and refurbished GBA SP 101 as it has the nicer cleaner DSLite style quality panel in it.

I'd go with one that has been redone, get a nice non painted custom shell that'll take a bit more wear before looking bad as the stock ones have poor quality paint that rubs and scratches off overly easy which sucks.

I did recently.  The top two I found original quality original color shells to match the originals as they were beat up, and I kept them.  The flame red, that was a european model nightmare I got locally.  Blue battery door, kind of reddish frame on half, the other was a mostly entirely rubbed off gold paint so it was a frankenGBA mess.  So I gave it a nice flame red body, intended to keep it, did for about 6mo, but recently sold it as I got another 101 (I found like 6 of them in 2020 mostly locally which is weird) and reshelled one to match the NES limited model 001 which I kept instead.  They take a little work, dangerous careful with those nasty hinge pins that aren't fun to remove too, but it's worth it.

gbasp101a.thumb.jpg.71219cd5f30c6c8b782f37e8d960f958.jpg

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I don't like to double post, but I saw the comments since I got around to slowly writing that while doing other stuff.

I would go with FireRed/LeafGreen for gen 1 entirely, but don't forget there's Pokemon Gold, Silver, and especially CRYSTAL.  While I'd say perhaps ignore G&S, to ignore Crystal would be utter stupidity.  Sure it has the entire Gen1 roster but unlike G/S it has also the entire Kanto region (gen1) with all its pokemon, trainers, gymleaders+badges too so it's like a two in one and being GBC exclusive it has a solid boost in quality with color and a bit with audio too over the older ones.

 

If you are entirely hands off with the 8bit GB though and you're 100% certain of this.  I'd still suggest the same handheld the SP, unless your kids have a DS interest, then the DSLite is the #1 choice entirely.

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