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1995-2000
GamesFirst! Magazine

Game Boy Advance Accessories Survey
July 18, 2001

 

Oh, we love a good system launch, and the Game Boy Advance has not disappointed. With enough great games to keep us playing for many, many hours, we were in dire need of all the best accessories to properly pamper up our experience. Sure, some of you may be 'hardcore' enough to rough it with the default setup, but anyone with eyes knows you need a light on that bad boy, and battery bills can be rough on the pocketbook. We were fortunate enough to check out a whole load of new GBA accessories from the three biggest names in console accessories:

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Nyko Nuby Pelican
Shock and Rock
6-Pak Care Case
Power Link Plus
Power Pack
Worm Light Plus
Cobra Power Plus
Cobra AC Adapter
Cobra Link 1 to 1
Cobra Light
Wacky Pak
Wet Suit
Ear Blasters
Light Shield Adv.
Power Grip Adv.
Cool Look Survival Kit
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We've battered and tested these bad boys beyond belief, and we've got some picks. Click on any of the linked accessories above, or on the name of your favorite accessory making company, and you can find more in-depth reviews of these products. But for those of you who like to cut to the chase, these are our top picks for GBA accessories:

Rechargeable Battery:
Cobra Power Plus Advance
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AC Adapter
Power Pak
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Cobra AC Adapter Advance
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Light
Light Shield Advance
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Carrying Case
Wacky Pak
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Link Cable
Power Link Plus
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Just Plain Fun
Shock and Rock
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Rechargeable Battery

Cobra Power Plus Advance
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SRP: $19.99
cobra_power_plus_adv_sma-01.jpg (4187 bytes)Nuby pulls another serpent from their Cobra line to make your GBA playing experience more enjoyable. The most important thing that needs to be said is that this monster lasts up to thirty hours when fully charged. Thirty hours is a phenomenal amount of time for a rechargeable battery, especially for a game system. A full charge would last over two weeks at playing for two hours each night. There is even a button on the underneath of the battery that illuminates the eyes on the Cobra to show how powerful the batteries' charge is. This eliminates the guessing how much playing time is left on the batteries. Click for more…

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AC Adapter

Power Pak
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SRP: $14.99
powerpak-01.jpg (3911 bytes)Nyko’s Power Pak is not a big, beefy monster to give you unlimited hours of gameplay on a rechargeable battery. Rather, they have created a nice, tidy battery pack that offers about seven hours of gameplay on a charge. That’s not tons of gameplay, but it is quite a bit. If you have to commute more than that in a day you need to move. And seven hours on the GBA is about all I can take at a time. However, if you’re a die-hard enthusiast, or if you just can’t put down Castlevania until you’re finished, have no fear: You can play this bad boy even while it’s charging. That’s right, the Power Pak doubles as an AC adapter for your GBA. This is definitely the battery to use if you’re travelling – the slim AC adapter and the battery compartment adapter will fit nicely into almost any carrying case or pocket. Think of this less as a rechargeable battery, and more as an AC adapter that includes a bonus battery charge of about seven hours. Way cool.

Cobra AC Adapter Advance
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SRP:
cba_ac.jpg (3668 bytes)Power is always an issue with the GBA. Sure, batteries last longer than in the GBC, but the cost of replacing them after you’ve become thoroughly addicted to THPS2 just keeps rising. Rechargeable batteries are great, but you do usually have to wait for them to charge at some point in time. That’s what makes a good AC adapter worth having. As some gamers have noticed, the GBA doesn’t come with a plug to accommodate an AC adapter, so any external power will involve replacing the battery cover. Nuby’s Cobra AC Adapter Advance comes with a wall plug and a battery cover adapter. The battery cover is embossed with the ultra-tough Cobra design, but is otherwise very low profile. The wall plug also sports a Cobra head, and connects to the jack on the battery cover adapter. Installation is a snap, and the power flows well. Get it!

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Light

Light Shield Advance
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SRP: $9.99
lightshield.jpg (22297 bytes)The GBA has a major weakness: the screen is dark. That’s not news to anybody who has picked up a unit and tried to play in low light. For some reason, Nintendo decided to opt out of the backlit screen. Such is life, and we must cope. The Light Shield Advance is not a bad way to do so. The light is designed to function as both a shield for your GBA screen and to illuminate your gameplay without causing reflection. Indeed, it folds very nicely over your GBA, making it by far the easiest light to store with your unit and protecting your GBA screen from grubby fingerprints or scratches. The lighting quality is a bit of a stickier issue. The Light Shield Advance works great in dark conditions. If you’re playing under the covers at night, or on the bus after dark, it makes the screen easily visible. However, if there is other ambient lighting, the Light Shield Advance doesn’t fill in very well. It’s almost as if you can’t tell the light is on when there is other light. That’s frustrating because I often find myself playing in a lighted room, but not quite being able to see the screen as well as I’d like to. Given the choice, I will turn out all the lights in the room and play with only the Light Shield Advance, rather than try to angle my unit just right under the closest lamp. I wish the Light Shield Advance did a better job filling in when playing with ambient light. Still, after checking out the cream of the crop lights for the GBA, the Light Shield Advance could be my favorite. The easy storage and shield function put it over the top, and you’ll find yourself fighting with the other lights out there, too. As with most of the GBA lights, the Light Shield Advance also features a pass-through port for multiplayer gaming and an on-off switch so you can conserve batteries in optimal conditions.

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Carrying Case

Wacky Pak
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SRP: $9.99
wackypak.jpg (18775 bytes)Pelican’s Wacky Pak is the best carrying case for the GBA we’ve seen from a third party manufacturer. The Wacky Pak is made of burly nylon that we haven’t been able to bust. It’s a lot like a miniature backpack. There is a main flap which sports a small pocket and the ubiquitous bungee-holder that is so popular on backpacks these days. The flap clips closed with a plastic clasp. Under the flap is the main compartment to hold your GBA. The pocket for the GBA unit is nice and roomy, so it will fit many bulky accessories, such as a light and charger. There is also a mesh pocket in front of the main storage compartment, which is the perfect place to keep your games. The Wacky Pak is finished out with some nice little extras. A keyring holder hangs from the mesh pocket inside, ready to keep all your most important items together. On the back of the carrying case is a belt clip and a hiking clip, useful for attaching the Wacky Pak either to your person or your backpack. So far our Wacky Pak has kept us nicely together. It should also be noted that this carrying case will work just fine with your GBC, although the colors won’t necessarily match.

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Link Cable

Power Link Plus
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SRP: $7.99
powerlink-01.jpg (3742 bytes)It’s a little bit more expensive than the regular link cables, but if you’re into multiplayer, then this is your best choice. The Power Link Plus is a four-pronged link cable. That’s right – no need to daisy chain four different cables together with this bad boy. We love the ease and clean gameplay we get from this cable. Plus, if you have one of these, then you don’t have to worry about not having enough cables so everybody can play. C’mon, you know you love being the sugar daddy in the game, and this will put you in that position. Get one now!

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Just Plain Fun

Shock and Rock
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SRP: $24.99
shockrockadvance-01.jpg (6453 bytes)Nyko brings us another excellent accessory, and one of the most creative available for the GBA, the Shock and Rock. If you remember the Shock and Rock from the Game Boy Color, then you pretty much know what’s in store. But if you haven’t experienced the contentment of the Shock and Rock, then now is the perfect time. Combining a rumble pack, rechargeable battery, enhanced grip, and better sound, this is an all-around good idea to go with your GBA. Click for more…

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Nyko Nuby Pelican
Shock and Rock
6-Pak Care Case
Power Link Plus
Power Pack
Worm Light Plus
Cobra Power Plus
Cobra AC Adapter
Cobra Link 1 to 1
Cobra Light
Wacky Pak
Wet Suit
Ear Blasters
Light Shield Adv.
Power Grip Adv.
Cool Look Survival Kit
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Shawn Rider

 

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