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CREATED AUG.08.2003
UPDATED AUG.09.2003
CREDITS
TEXT WRITTEN BY
MARTIN NIELSEN
GAME THEORY ADMIRAL
FAMICOM HANDHELD, MANUFACTURED BY MYSTERY
Here's the first ever review of the Game Theory Admiral, a new Famicom handheld with the most odd name ever, but my advise is not to hold that against it just yet.

A couple of weeks ago I was browsing gamechoiceclub.com, not really planning to find anything I wanted really. Scrolling down over the news page, right there at the bottom of the screen was something called GTA, Game Theory Admiral, which looked like a Gameboy Advance ripoff and I actually thought at first that it was some sort of pirate Gameboy Advance, but to my surprise it turned out to be something much better, a new handheld Famicom!

So I of course had to get one of these and it arrived yesterday, along with a slap in the face from customs, fortunately the slap was just $5, hehe. First impression when opening the package was how small the box the system is packed in was, which means the system of course couldn't be larger than the box, yeah I'm clever I know.

When you order from gamechoiceclub.com you get a game along with the system, when I ordered only Super Mario Bros was available, but they've later added Super Mario Bros 3 and a few others. For those who doesn't want a ame along with the system, I've talked to Barry Chan of gamechoiceclub.com, who now also will be selling the system "loose" without a game included, but why not go for the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros 3, it's a bit different from the one we know and love.

Inside the box you'll find the system, duh, along with a small manual written in both chinese, i'm guessing, and english. However the english text written both on the box and in the manual is so bad it makes absolutely no sense, but is actually quite fun to read, like the back of the box has a "Relevant crazy warning", or how about "Relevant again and again labor the excessive warning", or "Announcements concerning battery with warn", or even better, take a look at this scan from the manual for a great laugh. ( check )

Included in the box is also an A/V cable, but one end has been made in true gameboy style with a plug exactly like the one used for the expansion port of any Nintendo Gameboy. I ordered a blue system, but it actually comes in both Blue and Pink colors. But the two systems actually are different, when the blue system is hooked up to a TV, it outputs the TV sigla in PAL format, while the pink one give an NTSC signal, meaning if you're American you shouldn't be buying the blue system if you are planning on hooking it up to your TV, if you could care less, well then you probably shouldn't even be buying a Game Theory Admiral, heh.

Also included was an orange thingy with a Famicom slot attached, used for playing Famicom games on the system, well actually it can't be used for anything else eventhough the slot on the system itself is GB size, and those wondering if the small cartridge included with the Dr. Boy ( check ), the answer is no. The cartridge slot in the GTA is slightly wider, so are the pins, than the one used in the Dr. Boy. I've tried connecting an adapter to play NES games on the system, but the connection gets very bad, causing the game to crash. It's said though that another adapter will be released later, allowing you to use NES carts. However it may get a bit too bulky with the NES carts, but the Famicom games doesn't look too bad when attached.

Now to the ultimate test though. We all know, and some even love, the GameAxe, but we also know how bad the screen was/is, but it managed to sell in high number anyway. The size is pretty much GameGear compared to the Gameboy Advance, but while the GameAxe hosts the cartridge, also only famicom, the Game Theory Admiral uses the slightly bulky adapter, but again it'll allow them to make a NES adapter later, which isn't bad at all considering using even another adapter with the Famicom one, makes a very bad connection and the cartridge slides from side to side.

While the GameAxe had a bad LCD screen, the GTA has a TFT. I actually didn't expect the picture to be as clear as it was, I actually expected it to be somewhere near the GameAxe eventhough being TFT. Unfortunately the GTA's screen is also much smaller, 3,8 x 4,8cm, compared to the GameAxe's 8,1 x 6,1cm and it also looks like the GTA screen cuts a slight portion off the left and right sides of the picture, but not enough to make any game unplayable.

I've made a screen shot of both the Game Theory Admiral and GameAxe screen to show how visible the difference is. But please do keep in mind that the pictures aren't showing the exact difference, but it gives a pretty good idea.

So the GTA is clearly much better when it comes to the visible, eventhough the screen is smaller than the GameAxe's screen. The battery consumpsion is also much less, while the GameAxe requires 6 AA batteries, which it will suck dry in an hour, the GTA only needs half, yes that's 3 AA batteries, but sucks them dry in the same ammount of time. Fortunately for the GameAxe you can connect a powersupply with a normal jack, you can use the Game Gear's powersupply. The GTA on the other hand uses a much smaller jack, you might want to try getting one of those powersupplys with more than one jack included, universal sort of thing, the tough part will be to find one that gives the right voltage (4.5V) and no more, cause then the unit won't work. You'll most likely end up destroying the unit, like I did! :)

Anyway before I managed to break the unit, I also got the chance to check out the TV output. While the blue version may output a PAL signal, true, the game still runs with the same ammount of scan lines as a NTSC output, meaning that games, like Beauty and the Beast, will not run correctly. I might also add that the plug for the TV cable, which is far too short, is placed in a position, at the top of the unit, which makes it almost impossible to insert or remove without having to remove the orange adapter first.

It's possible to attach 2 joypads to the GTA, unfortunately these also uses the same plug as the Gameboy extension port, meaning that no existing joypads can be used with the system.

But all in all a nice little and compact Famicom handheld, not too bulky even with the adapter attached. The screen is excellent compared to the GameAxe screen, though it might seem a little small. A good advise from someone who broke his Game Theory Admiral is not to mess with any form of powersupply, stick with batteries and hope for "Mystery" to release a powersupply later on, along with the NES adapter.

That's about it people, any questions then feel free to contact me. For those who will be mailing me asking where to buy the damn thing, go to gamechoiceclub.com. Oh did I forgot to tell you it's half the price of what the GameAxe used to sell for?

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