GBA and GP32


Grotesque Peasant
May 9, 2003
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Now, I love my GP32 as I am a big fan of 8 bit systems, but my GP32 broke for a while so I had to go back to using my GBA until a friend of mine got around to fixing it for me.

The GBA is good. Needless to say, a lot of the official software is better than any of the GP32 official software (and as some of it is old SNES stuff, that means your GP32 SNES emulation can't compete at the moment), but the homebrew stuff is high quality as well.

The GP32 has, as I understand it, much higher specs than the GBA yet the NES, Master System, and Gameboy emulator are a little bit better than the GP32, and the Spectrum emulation is a lot better. There are also some excellent homebrew games and a perfect version of Elite - A New Kind, the best version of Elite I have seen.The downside with the GBA is that the save system is a pain on the flash cards compared to SMC on GP32.

So how is it that the under powered GBA can out perform the GP32? I am not saying it always does but when you consider the hype (if you can call it that) saying "The most powerful handheld in the world", it really isn't that much better than a GBA, and is sometimes worse. It is easier to handle saves using an SMC and that is the main advantage of the GP32 as far as I can see.
DivX and MP3 on the GP32 is good.

Also, pretty much *every* SNES game (or 90%) is completely playable without sound at 150Mhz now...
It's a shame, isn't it? Potentially, the GP32 should be able to knock spots off the GBA. Maybe it will happen eventually. The Dreamcast homebrew and emulation scene is still very strong and getting better all time, so maybe the GP32 will carry on in the same way.
DivX and MP3 on the GP32 is good.

Also, pretty much *every* SNES game (or 90%) is completely playable without sound at 150Mhz now...
Agreed, these are excellent, especially MP3 support. But I bought my GP32 for emulation of old machines, not multi media (I don't use the Div X, and I use a CD walkman for music).

I think it is a bit generous to say that 90% of SNES gamea are playable without sound though. Mario Karts is slow on GP32 and will eventually crash mid way through a race. If you want to play Mario Karts on a handheld, you are better off sticking to Mario Kart Super Circuit on the GBA. If you want to play Zelda or Metroid, you are better off with GBA also.
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i find that GP32 plays emus (NES, SMS) much better than GBA.

Ok, maybe GBA still has more a couple more mappers, but GP32 plays the emu's fullscreen (GBA emu's are squished, which isn't THAT bad but let's face it, looks much better without distortion!). Also you can more easily pack a SMC full of roms than that #!@#*!(@ flashcard - much easier to get new games on there or switch out some old ones. Plus you don't have to spend megabucks on a SMC to get a LOT of roms on there at once (GBA flashcards are much mroe expensive and hold much less)

don't forget the excellent GPEngine, which is much more powerful than PCEAdvance. (the day I saw pics of it running, I knew I would buy a GP32)

Not to knock GBA - it's a great system, if you're into "emu lite" and want great commercial titles (and ports of great SNES games) then I definitely support it. But let's face it, GP32 definitely has the edge in the emu dep't overall. SNES is getting better (than I ever figured it would!), fGen looks fantastic so far, you got c64 and Atari 2600 (ok, it's limited) - Atari 800 emu (excellent!), Colecovision and of course castaway!!

And when Mame finally rears it's ugly head, in whatever form, I think that's just gonna be "the day" -- even if it's just early and mid-eighties games, that will be very satisfying.
I agree that GPEngine (along with GPDoom) is probably the most impressive thing on the GP32, but the lack of saving detracts hugely from it. I haven't yet tried PCEAdvance on the GBA. GPDoom is also far better than the GBA official release equivalent.
However, I still think it is a 2 horse race as far as SMS is concerned and the GBA wins when it comes to NES and GB (and technically, GBC if you have the original cart). ANd the GBA leads by a mile on the Spectrum.

MSX is great on the GP32 though (better than on the Dreamcast) and GPFrodo is great too.
how could you like PocketNES better than Little John??

As for saving states in GPEngine - yeah kind of stinks, but not that bad. I mean - many of those games were not designed with save states in mind in the first place.. regardless, Rlyeh has fPCE32 on his list so surely he'll have states in there, when it finaly comes around, on par with his other emu WIPs. Sadly, it looks liek we'll not see another release of GPEngine (not that I know this for a fact, but it's been nearly a year and not a peep from that guy.. still, he did put together an excellent emulator!)
how could you like PocketNES better than Little John??
You are probably right, as I am not a huge NES fan myself, but the few games I like (1943, Galaga, Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros and Bubble Bobble) are better on the GBA. However, Elite is unplayable on the GBA but works great on LittleJohn (although 'Elite - A New Kind' is better than the NES Elite on GP32),
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Says you - if it had been released under any other name you would have called it a Super Metroid rip-off - the point being that I have now played a few Metroid games and they are much as a muchness.
Says you - if it had been released under any other name you would have called it a Super Metroid rip-off - the point being that I have now played a few Metroid games and they are much as a muchness.
Super Metroid is one of the top 5 platformers of all time.

That's like saying all Mario games are much as a muchness.
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personally, i think emulation on GP32 is mostly better.

if you have a look at NES: NES runs full speed on GBA and GP32. The GP32 has the advantage of not squeezing the screen. Its the same with GB (mono), you can play those games full speed on GBA and GP32, but again, GP32 scores with its fullscreen feature, allthough i think the palletes of Goomba are much better. SMS and GG run great on both machines (allthough SMS/GG games always run at 150%speed on my GP32, dunno why), but (as you can guess :D ) the screen stretching feature is much better on GP32. Now to the point of PC-engine Emulation: PCE is the fastest machine, that the GBA emulates, and its not capable to run it full speed with its 16Mhz. The GBA emus have the great advantage, that they are totaly written in assembly and are written from scratch (yep, no ports), so they run very fast. If we could get FluBBa or Reesy or Hive or anyone of the good coders to write for the GP, we would get some very impressive Emus for our GP32. But that will never happen ( :( ). Finaly i want to say: im not saying the emus available for GBA are bad or something (thay are great and VERY impressing), but emulation looks better on GP32.
Metroid fusion. Same difference.
No, Metroid Fusion is a completely new game for the GBA.
You are correct :D

Fusion is a different game, different story, and different shit.
ONLY Thing that Fusion has with Super Metroid is it is made by the same makers, which is the makers of all 2d Metroid games

Do you call Metroid, Metroid 2 the same thing? no
Why call super metroid and metroid fusion the same? it has the same difference between them as Metroid and Metroid 2 *for gameplay, metroid 2 was black and white*GB**
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The GBA has a dedicated sound processor, but the GP32 doesn't. I'm not saying that the GBA is better than the GP32 solely because of this, but it does help take some strain off the processor. If you want to do a good comparison of the speeds of both consoles, take a look at Doom. Doom for the GBA is a washed down version that's really chunky and ugly to look at. I still did enjoy playing the game but it was hard at some points because the game would lag so bad, and I would have to turn off dynamic lighting. Doom for the GP32 is the PC version, not washed-down at all and running at full speed. That should be a fairly accurate comparison of the two system's processing capabilities. However, because the GP32 doesn't have professional developers (Capcom, Squaresoft, etc...), it's hard for the console to get some fairly good commercial games, and most of the console's prestige is known for its emulation capabilities. Unfortunately, because emulators can only emulate the architecture of another system, it severely limits what the GP32 is capable of doing. What I'd like to see is more commercial games developed for the GP32 that pushes the system to its processing limits. We can probably get games near PSOne quality if that were the case.
it's been said hundreds of times before and it'll be said a hundred more, commercial development of the GP32 - not gonna happen. If you want commercial titles, go for GBA (or PSP when it comes out, or to a much lesser extreme maybe Zodiac). It's a shame 'cause those screenshots we've seen of those Korean GP32 games, some look quite impressive, but what it comes down to is wasted potential. But that's ok, I think most of us bought GP32 solely for it's emu-box capabilities: anything beyond that is icing on the cake.