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Game Hardware Feature Review

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Info:

  • Platform: Game Boy Advance
  • Manufacturer: Nintendo
  • Description: The Nintendo E-Reader allows gamers to swipe playing cards to load games and information onto their Game Boy Advance
  • MSRP: $39.99

E-READER

Nintendo's E-READER brings on the nostalgia

By James Stevenson     September 30, 2002

Looking back at the history of video games, it's incredible to see how far we've come in such a short period of time. Only seventeen years ago, the NES was released in the United States. Back then, games were stored on a big bulky proprietary cartridge that held a small amount of data. Today, every Super Nintendo game can fit on six or seven CDs. And now, an old Nintendo game can fit on five playing cards.


The Nintendo E-READER focuses on this strategy. The E-READER is a device that you insert into your Game Boy Advance. After powering up, you can swipe collectible cards through the E-READER to load video games onto the Game Boy Advance. There are also other types of cards that will use the E-READER.


All of the old NES games are on five cards. After swiping each card twice (two sides), the game is loaded. One pack of cards comes with the E-READER either (DONKEY KONG JR. or PINBALL) and there are three others available for the price of $5: BALLOON FIGHT, EXCITEBIKE and TENNIS. Nintendo will also ship more cards over the next few months.


There are three other types of cards shown so far. The first

Nintendo E-READER

are ANIMAL CROSSING cards. By using the Game Boy Advance GameCube link cable and the E-READER, you can scan cards into the game. By doing this, mail will be delivered to your house with rare furniture and items.


The two other cards aren't nearly as notable. One revolves around the Pokemon Trading Card game. The cards now feature strips that you can scan in to get more information, tips, and strategies on your Game Boy Advance. This will now be legal at the sanctioned card tournaments. There are also mini-games unlockable by scanning three Pokemon that are in an evolutionary chain together.


The final aspect is GAME & WATCH. GAME & WATCH was a set of portable games that were fairly simple, and while easy to play, got increasingly more difficult. MANHOLE is bundled in, and a lot of fun to play.


Graphically, the games are still the same as they always were. One nice thing is how it is all presented. The packs come with the original NES

Pokemon TCG cards that work with the E-READER

logo and artwork. Each card has art on one side, and the readable strips and game instructions on the other. Overall, the presentation is fantastic, and very nostalgic. I've actually saved all the wrappers, and am seriously contemplating a binder with card pages for display purposes.


The E-READER is an excellent idea from Nintendo, and will allow the Big N to bring classic titles back for a fraction of the cost of a normal GBA game. Now we'll take a quick look at the best games of the batch.


PINBALL The NES original pinball game is pretty simple, but is still a lot of fun, and a decent buy for $5.


DONKEY KONG JR. The sequel, of sorts, to DONKEY KONG, this game has DK Jr. trying to rescue dad from Mario by swinging on vines and avoiding traps.


EXCITEBIKE One of the most fondly remembered NES games, EXCITEBIKE is a top-notch racer.


TENNIS While TENNIS hasn't kept its full appeal since the NES days, it's still a pretty good game to tide you over until the inevitable MARIO TENNIS GBA hits.


BALLOON FIGHT All those kids who have played SMASH BROS. will finally get their chance to play the inspiration for several of the trophies, BALLOON FIGHT. While it is a rip-off of JOUST, it's still a lot of fun.

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