- GBA Super Memory Stick
4th January 2004)
Currently, the only way you can backup, restore and
share your GBA save games is with some form of Flash
Card and Linker kit. Even then, the process is tedious
since it requires a PC and knowledge on how to set-up
and use the
Now, however, a new type of portable memory
stick especially for the GBA has been released which
doesn't require a PC or even batteries to use. Based
on rewriteable Flash memory technology, the GBA Super
Memory Stick (SMS), as it is called, needs only to be
plugged into the GBA EXT. port for almost immediate
backup and restoration of saved games.
Features Of The GBA Super
- Compact thumb size for portability and easy
storage. Comes in 4Mb or 8Mb sizes.
- Uses fast Flash memory for almost unlimited write/erase
sessions and speedy read/write operations. No batteries
- Dynamic memory management supports all types
of GBA cartridge types e.g. 4Kb/64Kb EEPROM, 256Kb
SRAM, 512Kb/1Mb Flash, etc.
- Supports easy sharing of data between 2 or
- Works on all versions GBA, GBA-SP and GameCube
What's In The Box
The SMS comes in a blister pack. There are two sizes
available, 8Mb and 4Mb. In case you want to do the math,
1MB equals to 8Mb, which in non-technical terms simply
means a whole lot of storage space for your saved games.
The SMS itself looks really cool and well designed.
It's no bigger than a thumb and has a cap on one end
which is pulled off to reveal the connector. The other
end has a hole for either attaching to a hand-strap
or key-chain. The SMS actually already comes with a
nice hand-strap so you can use that if you want.
SMS and hand-strap.
GBA Super Memory Stick
With the GBA switched off, plug the
SMS into the Ext. port and insert the game cartridge
that you want to backup the save game from into the
Next, hold down both the 'Start' and
'Select' button on the GBA and then power on the GBA.
Do not release the buttons until you see the start up
screen. You will then hear a short initial "dingding"
sound followed by a longer "brrring" sound
at which point the GameBoy logo will magically disappear
and the SMS menu will appear.
main SMS menu.
As seen on the picture above, the SMS
menu has 5 options. You can choose the option you want
by using the 'up' and 'down' keys on the direction pad
and pressing the 'A' button to activate it. The menu
system is very simple and all the information you need
is displayed on the screen according to each option
you choose. To manage your save games, choose option
number 1 which is the File Manager.
When you first enter the File Manager
menu there will be no games saved. At the bottom of
the screen, you will see all the options that you can
choose in this menu. So, to backup the current save
game data and add it to the SMS memory, simply press
the 'Start' button on the GBA.
As soon as you press the 'Start' button,
the SMS program will automatically display the current
cartridge information and save game data and ask if
you want to add it to the SMS memory. Press the 'A'
button to continue and the SMS program will then take
a short few seconds to process the save data and back
it up. It will then return to the main File Manager
menu as shown in the picture below.
You will now see the save game data
recorded on the SMS memory as item number 01. You will
also see the number of save slots used as well as the
amount of memory available in the SMS. If you want to
backup other save games, turn off the GBA and insert
your other cartridges and activate the SMS program as
described earlier on.
Restoring a save game is also very easy.
All you have to do is access the File Manager menu,
choose the save game you want and press the 'A' button
on the GBA. After asking you to confirm, the SMS program
will then overwrite the save game in your cartridge.
You can then start your game by choosing the 'Run Game
In Cartridge' option in the main menu.
the file to restore.
Since all the other options in the main
menu are self-explanatory and easy to understand, I
will briefly describe what each one does. Note, however,
that you cannot access the SMS program while playing
Option 2 - SMS-SMS Copy - Use this option
to copy data from one SMS to another SMS.
Option 3 - Cartridge Auto Detect - This
option will automatically detect the current cartridge
and give you the game name, type and size of memory
and the amount of memory that it will use in the SMS.
Option 4 - Format SMS - This option
will format the SMS and totally erase everything in
it. Be very careful with this option.
Option 5 - Run Game In Cartridge - This
option will shut down the SMS menu and run the current
game in the GBA.
What I Liked
About The GBA Super Memory Stick
I liked everything about the SMS. I
liked it's small form factor and I liked it's simple
and intuitive interface. Aside from knowing how to start
the SMS program, all the commands are on-screen and
you'll never have to keep referring to the manual.
For me, save games are more important
than life itself, and I especially liked the fact that
the program doesn't assume to know what you want and
will ask for confirmation each time you backup or delete
data. This is important, because accidents can happen
when you're not paying attention. It's also very fast
and most importantly, it worked each and every time
I backed up or restored a save game.
Another big plus point is that you can
also easily transfer data between 2 SMS, in case you've
filled up one, or just want to share a save game with
a friend who also has a SMS.
What I Disliked
About The GBA Super Memory Stick
There is nothing I disliked about the
SMS. One thing I would have liked to see though is some
form of password protection to access the menu, not
that I'm paranoid or anything, but as a safety measure
against a really dumb kid brother or sister who might
accidentally or purposely delete everything. Arrgh!!!
The GBA SMS is for me, not only an outstanding
product but also a godsend. I play lots of RPGs and
save games are very important and so it's absolutely
orgasmic to have something like the SMS in my pocket
to do an immediate backup whenever and wherever I happen
to be playing.
I really can't recommend this product
enough. It's small, sexy, easy to use and for a few
weeks now, has been working without a hitch. I'd like
to make love to it, but since I can't, I'm giving it
5 stars instead for being such an innovative product.