The original Nintendo Game Boy is over twenty years old. My copy of gameboy used to belong to my aunt until he stopped playing on it and assumed it was broken and went to the more advanced consoles. For many years after the console's prime time was over it was used as a piece of decoration. It laid on the cabinet like a trophy gathering dust. When I was a teenager I wanted to have a go on it, but my aunt said not to bother cause it didn't work. Eventually she gave in and let me have the old game boy.
It was when I finally moved out was when I discovered the problems of why the game boy wasn't working. The conclusion was that the batteries were old and loose. The back that protects the batteries had been long lost. There was nothing to fix: the gameboy had beein in working condition for the entire time.
Everything about my gameboy still works, but the console itself has been better days. It has discoloured and had a few scratches here and there due to age, but as long as it still works, it ticks my boxes. I'll admit that it's not the best console in the world but I still respect it for what it is. The gameboy inspired a generation of game consoles and it's pretty much the root of all the hand held consoles (especially the ones Nintendo did). Technology has come a long way and this may make people feel old looking and playing with this, but I still think there's a lot of nostalgia magic in it.
The battery life was strong and there's a great variety of games for this console. I'm thinking of some Legend Of Zelda Games, Tettris and the first pokemon games that breathed a whole new life into the games. They all had simple but effective graphics and the best games were very addicting. I think it's the simplicity of the original gameboy that makes it so appealing. I rarely see the original game boys nowadays, even in pawn shops and on the internet. I'm sure someone would try and sell it for a high price, but I don't think mine is worth a lot of money now, especially how it's not in the best conditions.
I must admit that the screen display isn't the best. To be honest I think it's quite poor, but it shows how far Nintendo have comes to game consoles. It's a heavy console and for today's standards it's very big. It only has a small square screen. The graphic display is mainly monochrome. Although the console does have good contrast control. It can be a bit hard to get the contrasting right, especially when you're in an area where the sunlight is glaring.
Because of this, I'm not constantly on it all the time compared to my DS, 3DS and gamecube. Although I do still play on it. I mainly go on it when I want to trade pokemon over to Blue and yellow. Sometimes I play on it just for the magical old fashioned experience.
I'm not sure what to say about the sound, but I can hear it well and haven't had much problems with it. Compared to other consoles it does sound a bit muffled though. So overall it's not the best console in the world but it's built a legacy in gaming and it will never be forgotten.
Like the Playstation One, the Gameboy was extremely simplistic yet was revolutionary when it first came out. Everyone wanted one, and after a while, everywhere you went you would see both children and adults playing on Gameboys. They were incredibly simple to get to grips with, as the only buttons were the A and B action buttons, Start and Select, and the directional pad, as well as the power switch on the top. This button system is remarkably similar to that used on most handheld game consoles such as the PSP and the Nintendo DS. There is a slot in the back for inserting game cartridges and a battery compartment in the back - the Gameboy takes 2 AA batteries. You could also purchase a lead to connect your Gameboy with another, so that you could play certain games with other people.
The picture and sound quality is fine for playing games, but compared to more recent gameboy models, much more basic. With a monochrome screen and sound which mainly consists of various bleeps, it brings back nostalgic memories, but is not exactly state of the art gameplay. The game it is perhaps most famous for is Tetris - who can forget that music - but it also helped popularise the Super Mario series amongst others. The Gameboy is very chunky, and not great for carrying around in your pocket, however a pocket Gameboy was released which was considerably smaller and looked nicer too. Another thing is that the battery life wasn't very long.
Technology has progressed considerably since then, however the Gameboy is still a great nostalgic memento from the 90's.
When I was younger my favourite handheld computer was most definitely the Nintendo Game Boy. From the time a friend of mine let me borrow his I really wanted one and although obviously technology has moved on tremendously you could probably still find one really cheaply on eBay or at a local car boot sale.
I loved everything about the Game Boy, it was quite chunky but easy to hold and use. I remember using the tiny slide switch on the top of the unit to turn the power on and the unforgettable sort of ping sound as the Nintendo logo flashed up on the screen. The game cartridges fitted
in to the top of the unit and were easy to put in and pull out.
The screen itself was fairly small and was only in green and black on the original Game Boys but as it was so portable, novel and modern at the time this lack of colour did not bother me one bit. The controls on the front of the unit were two crimson coloured buttons called A and B, two slimmer grey buttons for start and select and then the arrow keys to move up and down and from left to right. The style of these operation keys was really similar to the control pads you would use to operate a NES (a very early Nintendo console) and the follow up version, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
You could purchase all kinds of accessories to improve your Game Boy including a magnifying screen to improve the size and visibility of the game you were playing and other items like adaptors because otherwise you could be looking at using up a lot of batteries.
The two games I remember playing vividly were of course Tetris which is the really addictive game where you try and slot a number of different shapes together to try and score points and the game that features the characters that everyone associates with Nintendo, the Super Mario Brothers. I even loved the music for this platform game and can even remember watching cartoons on the television about Mario and Luigi. It is amazing how technology has progresses and modern day computer gaming blows this unit out of the water but if you get hold of one it a nice piece of retro nostalgic fun.
The Game Boy, successor to the "Game & Watch" handheld system, first hit European shelves in September 1990. It is under active development and support by Nintendo, though its older lines including the "classic" Game Boy, the colour variation, and the later "Advance" console do not receive new video game releases today. The console was recently inducted in the American Toy Hall Of Fame as a hallmark of its excellence and its impact on the video game world.
My first experience with the Game Boy came while visiting a cousin. He carelessly left the beige object discarded which I remember sneakily picking up and flicking the embedded power button. A simple "ding!" rung in my first handheld video game which, if my memory serves me correctly, was the popular F-1 Race. The lime green screen lit up with an abundance of black pixels that formed a simulated race course. My experience was short lived, however, as the giveaway "humming" of the engine noise alerted my cousin to the disallowed play and I was told off for doing so. That was the point which had me hooked, though; I knew I had to have it.
Years passed before I actually got my hands on the console. My mum insisted I would grow bored of it due to its lower technology after being exposed to far superior systems such as the Sega Megadrive. It was on my Christmas list most years but my letters to Father Christmas were only fruitful after the release of the Gameboy Color. At the time, "Pokemon" was all the rage so it seemed only suitable that the newly released console would be at the top of my list alongside the popular video game. Christmas morning came, and under our family tree was the present I had been yearning for so long. I hastily tore off the wrapping paper and was ecstatic when it revealed a small see-through purple console with the "Gameboy Color" branding on it. After all gifts had been exchanged I went off to my bedroom to finally satisfy my quench for Game Boy. Popping the small gray cartridge into the back of the system brought forth the memorable "ding!" and I was immediately forced into submission.
The console itself is based on a rectangular shape which contains an arrow based D-Pad and four action buttons; A, B, Start, and Select. The few buttons provide a very intuitive and easy to use interface though are also the key in the simplicity of Game Boy's video games. The unit is powered by AA batteries and, due to the basic appearance of the visuals and minimalistic yet haunting audio scores, I found battery life to be superb. In fact, I don't remember frequently changing my batteries in the lifetime of the console despite the vast library of game cartridges which were put through it. The console is light and its curved plastic design is very comfortable to hold. Even the older monochrome Game Boy quipped "the brick" is easy on the hands and doesn't leave me strained after extended sessions at the small screen.
As a testament to my mum's wisdom, she was ultimately right about the Game Boy. Due to its lowered technology I didn't often find myself playing it. Even at the height of its popularity it only received sporadic gaming sessions from me. That, however, didn't stop me from venturing out to nearby car boot sales and scouting all of the bargains that were had on game cartridges. I amassed a large collection of video games for both the monochrome and colour versions of the Game Boy which are still with me today, though were recently boxed up and placed in the depths of my wardrobe. I have often thought about selling but don't feel it would warrant enough of a return over my lifetime of want and fun childhood memories. There's certainly no price tag on that.
The Game Boy has fallen out of modern circulation though it is something which I will always remember and may dabble in from time to time. It is definitely a console worthy of a prospective purchase. If nothing else, it is an excellent glimpse into the humble beginnings of mass marketed handheld video games. Where the console could be found, however, isn't something I can answer. Internet auction sites and local car boot sales may prove themselves beneficial for bargains though there's no guarantee of a successful outing.
Technical specifications as reported by Wikipedia.com:
CPU: Custom 8-bit Sharp LR35902 core at 4.19 MHz which is similar to an Intel 8080 in that all of the registers introduced in the Z80 are not present. However, some of the Z80's instruction set enhancements over the stock 8080, particularly bit manipulation, are present. Still other instructions are unique to this particular flavor of Z80 CPU. The core also contains integrated sound generation
RAM: 8 kB internal S-RAM
Video RAM: 8 kB internal
ROM: On-CPU-Die 256-byte bootstrap; 256 kb, 512 kb, 1 Mb, 2 Mb, 4 Mb and 8 Mb cartridges
Sound: 2 square waves, 1 programmable 32-sample 4-bit PCM wave, 1 white noise, and one audio input from the cartridge. The unit only has one speaker, but headphones provide stereo sound
Display: Reflective LCD 160 × 144 pixels
Screen size: 66 mm (2.6 in) diagonal
Color Palette: 2-bit (4 shades of "grey" (green to (very) dark green))
Communication: Up to 2 Game Boys can be linked together via built-in serial ports, up to 4 with a DMG-07 4-player adapter. More than 4 players is possible by chaining adapters.
Power: 6 V, 0.7 W (4 AA batteries provide ~14-35 hours)
Dimensions: 90 mm (W) x 148 mm (H) x 32 mm (D) / 3.5" x 5.8" 1.3" (in)
Released in Europe in 1990, the Nintendo Gameboy is recognised in popular culture as the videogame system which brought handheld gaming to a mass market.
I remember first seeing the Gameboy in a local toy shop, mounted on a stand which allowed customers to have a go. As a ten-year-old-boy I was amazed, having only seen consoles in the form of the big and chunky boxes which were only playable when connected to the family telly. I knew I had to have one of these tiny wonders, and was lucky enough to receive a Gameboy as a Christmas present the following year.
The first Gameboy's were of a beige colour, and constructed from a plastic which could survive a few knocks. Although I was always careful with the one that I owned, a friend of mine accidentally dropped his Gameboy on a concrete floor. To my surprise it 'bounced' rather than smashed, proving its high production value and robust nature. The machine was comfortable to hold (if a little heavy), but compared to the handheld consoles of nowadays, the Gameboy was just like a brick - albeit a brick with a couple of red buttons and a dot matrix screen. In fact, muggers were always afraid to pinch Gameboy's due to the fact that the little beige devices could be used as a defensive weapons by their owners!
The Gameboy was supposed to be pocketable, but at 90 x 148 x 32 mm, it was certainly a tight squeeze (unless you were a professional clown). The front of the machine housed a directional pad (for controlling player movement), and two buttons which could be used for gameplay features such as 'fire' or 'jump'. Diagonally slanted 'Start' and 'Select' buttons could be found in the middle of the machine, whilst the side featured a volume control dial which was easy to use.
The screen, which was a of yellowy colour, measured 2.6 inches, and was fairly bright and easy to see. The Gameboy could only really do greeny-grey tones, which actually didn't hinder the playability of games in the slightest. Although it wasn't backlit, there were a selection of accessories available which slotted over the screen, allowing the user to play games in darkened environments. I had one of these devices which also magnified the screen area at the same time, resulting in the reduction of eye-strain during gaming sessions.
The underside of the Gameboy featured a socket which allowed the input of a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack, so you wouldn't annoy those around you whilst playing your favourite games. Actually, the sound from the headphones was far superior to that which came from the speaker on the front, and as such, I was usually enjoyed gaming whilst wired up to some 'phones.
Of course, the success of any console (be it handheld or otherwise) is dependent on the quality of the games available at the time of its release, and the Gameboy was lucky enough to have 'Tetris' up its sleeve. Tetris is now considered to be one of the greatest games of all times (in any genre), and went on to sell over thirty-million copies. Tetris was the first game I had for the Gameboy (it shipped with the device), and I spent many days nursing sore thumbs from all that fast-paced button bashing.
The Gameboy games came in cartridge form, sliding into the reverse of the unit and reassuringly slotting into place. Each of the cartridges were considerably chunkier than today's tiny offerings, yet at the time they looked incredibly small. I remember it said in the instruction manual that when not in use, cartridges should be left inside the machine in order to stop dust getting in tho the device - but I never knew anyone whose Gameboy was damaged by an excess of internal dust!
Graphically, Gameboy games were simple but effective, harnessing the 8-bit power of the Nintendo Entertainment System (which many of the games were ported over from), yet not quite matching the Sega MasterSystem's visual prowess. The Gameboy was in direct competition with the Atari Lynx, which was an altogether more powerful (16-bit) machine with a backlit colour display. However, the Lynx was generally considered a flop, and didn't have the amount of games to choose from as its Nintendo rival had. Similarly, it had a shocking battery life (often less than four hours) as a result of the energy needed to provide the light for the screen. When you consider the fact that the Gameboy allowed between 14 to 35 hours of gameplay from four AA batteries, you can understand why Lynx owners felt a little hard done by.
In later years it was Sega's 'Game Gear' which became Nintendo's main rival in the handheld market, and although enjoying much more commercial success than the Lynx, it was still the Gameboy which came out on top due to the massive amount of people who actually owned one. Later on, in an attempt to breathe new life into the device, Nintendo released the Gameboy in a range of colours, and there was even a version where you could see the internal circuitry - cool!
Overall, the Gameboy was a groundbreaking handheld device which changed the face of consoles by showing gamers that engrossing titles could be played whilst on the move. Although technically it wasn't the first handheld to be produced, it was the first one which made handheld gaming incredibly popular; and to this day it is considered a true icon - beautifully designed, accessible, and robust.
- - - - - - - - - -
CPU: Custom 8-bit Sharp LR35902
RAM: 8 kB internal S-RAM
Video RAM: 8 kB internal
Sound: 2 square waves, 1 programmable 32-sample 4-bit PCM wave, 1 white noise, and one audio input from the cartridge).
Display: 2.6" Reflective LCD 160 × 144 pixels
Color Palette: 2-bit (4 shades of "grey" (green to (very) dark green)
Power: 6 V, 0.7 W (4 AA batteries provide ~14 - 35 hours)
Dimensions: 90 mm (W) x 148 mm (H) x 32 mm (D) / 3.5" x 5.8" 1.3" (in)
The original nintendo game boy revolutionised gaming as we know it. It was the first hand held console of its type and children and adults everywhere had it on their christmas list. The standard game that it came with was tetris, which was great fun and to this day people are still playing more modern versions on all sorts of gaming consoles including PCs. There were various accessories available which could aid the gaming experience. You could get a magnifying screen to stick over the original screen if you had bad eyesight or didnt want to strain your eyes. You could also play two player games if you had another friend with a game boy (and you both have to have the same game). You could get a lead which connects between the two and would give you hours of competitive fun, so long as you didnt move to far from each other. The gameboy was a very expensive battery consumer though. It took AA batteries and used them up very quickly.
Obviously the tons of amazing advances made since mean that the only reason to buy this console would be for nostalga value, or for a collectors item, or incase it played a game that you just couldnt get on any other modern day console.
I had the game boy ages ago, with the screen magnifier and light and a load of games.
At the time is was worth quite a bit, but now not really worth much at all.
It was a great size, with quite a good screen, altho it being black and white, it looked quite good and the screen can be adjusted with the brightness, altho it looked more black and yellow.
My favourite game was Mario, with the coint and the little boxes you had to head-but and them little ant things that get you.
I had a other games, like: Garfield, Kirby, Donkey Kong and many more. The game were like cartridges of a fair size, which slotted into the back of the game boy.
The speaker was just the one monophonic in the corner, but you can also use headphone.
The gameboy required 4 AA batteries, or you could use an adapter that plugs into the side near the top.
Now Nintendo have the DS out, you can see how gaming has game along, from having: black and white, to colour; mono sound, to stereo; single game play, to wireless multi player; and much better graphics; but I still like a few of the old games like these.
Note this review covers only the black and white Gameboy, now superceded by the Gameboy Advance system, but I think you'll learn a lot about the Gameboy itself and why it became so popular in the 1990's. The Nintendo Gameboy originally came out several years before it's 1989 us debut and Japanese debut in the same year. There were many portable games and console before the gameboy. Sega of Japan (not the US Sega) actually released a couple of portable consoles before the game gear came out. Then later of course came, those cheap, but mildly entertaining Tiger games that cost like $10 at the supermarket. However, those consoles were mainly designed for 7yr olds not mature gamers who expect more from their games, than just a couple of dots on the screen. One of the great features of the Gameboy (which is also available on the Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance) is it's link feature which allows to play with or against a friend. This is very popular among the Pokemon games, where you choose among man characters. Nowadays, the multiplayer aspect of games is just as important as single player aspect as you can see. Also to contrary belief, there were different variations of the Gameboy sold. A couple of versions had a special light feature, which allowed to play games while in the dark. Other versions came with earphones (although the sound for most games weren't stereo quality). Furthermore, some versions of the Gameboy included The popular Tetris game (which has also seen many incarnations). However, other versions came with the popular game, like Dr. Mario for one. It used double A batteries, and optional battery pack. The console though wasn't designed with productivity in mind and so you had to buy batteries every 2 weeks or month to play your favorite games (what a nag). Control The control of the Console itself, did copy many Tiger games which used a diago
nal d pad to move around, along with 2 buttons and a start and select buttons. Graphic and Sound Capabilities Now here's the biggest con of the console, and even to this day, just looking at the console itself is embarrassing. You remember the first time that they were sold back in the 50s? Those old black and white sets ( Gasp what an ugly thought). The people who bought these sets, thought they were really cool....until color tv came in, and everyone who bought a black and tv sold it back, too embarrassed to keep it. The same philosophy applies to the Gameboy. It's basically like a monochrome display panel that is incapable of displaying color. There was very little graphics too use in most games and it made playing these games a bit of a bummer. It basically was a poor designed graphic model. Why Nintendo didn't spend good money to include True Color Graphics on this portable system is anyone's guess. The best excuse that Nintendo has it that they were still making games for the Nes system and it's upcoming SNES system (to steal the competition and profit from Sega) that they weren't really committed to it. I am pretty sure the executive who had the bright idea of having a black and white portable game console was fired. For the most part many games used more cartoon looking fat characters in order to make them easier on the eyes and to supplement the limited graphics. Sound The sound was ok. In some cases, just hearing the sound intro for some of these games was enough for gamers. However, no stereo or fm quality and you can forget about CD quality. Games -The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Depending on whether you had a US or Japanese gameboy system, meant all the difference between playing a sucky game or a good game. Also not knowing about the large varieties of games limited your gaming pleasure. Any good gamer will tell you that
a large majority of quality games are made in Japan or Asia (anyone who tells you differently is a liar). There were many ok games released in the US, however, their were even better games released in Japan. Unfortunately, the gameboy was incapable of playing import games. However, seeing as their are a couple of good games that were made for the gameboy, I shall list them. Tetris: One of the first games released for both the US and Japanese gameboy. Nintendo claims the credit for Tetris, but actually there were many like Tetris games before it became the household name on the Gameboy. A couple of the games, were made for a mature audience while others were made for kids. Tetris for those of you who haven't played ( I can't blame it's an old game) is a puzzle game where you have to put a bunch of blocks together. In Japan , Tetris was popular but it wasn't the sole success of the Gameboy as some people will tell you (those people don't do their homework). Super Mario Land series: The Nintendo, Snes and Playstation, Nintedo 64 are much better than the gameboy versions. However, I would recommend the gameboy versions as well. I also love those Warioland games, they are hysterically funny. Final Fantasy series: The original Final Fantasy series on the old gameboy featured the most ugly graphics I have ever seen. The characters look like midgets in the game, and the sound is utterly terrible. However it took a cartoon like quality that appealed to gamers so give it a look. In fact, if you played this game right now, you would have no idea that it's made by a great company (SquareSoft). In fact, you would make the guess that the company who made this series went out of business. Luckily SquareSoft, would literally remake the series on the Nes, Snes, Playstation and Playstation 2, with the Playstation versions being the best. Pokemon series: I have mixed emotion
s when it comes to Pokemon. Pokemon actually started out as a cartoon in Asia, before it made it's made it's US debut. Bad critics say that Pokemon is overrated, but it's not. In fact, copy cat games have been made that use elements of Pokemon (Digimon, YUGI-OH). The story behind Pokemon is really simple, yet this story has gathered the attention of many young gamers. Pokemon like Harry Potter is one of the hottest games around. New Characters have been introduced and added, so if you want to see how the whole thing started (gamewise) play this version. One last comment on Pokemon. There are many people who blast Pokemon for several reasons, yet those same idiotic critics are simply jealous of the success of it.The creators of it have literally laughed all the way to the bank with it. I myself have several Pokemon memorabilia that I have sold at a very good price to diehard fans. It has become one of the most popular role playing games around. It has a huge fan following. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Just like the Pokemon games, the creator of the Turtles has laughed all the way to the bank with this series. The TMNT series is one of a few series that has looked good across all platforms. From the Arcade, to the Nes, to the Genesis and SuperNes, and Gameboy versions, these games should give the kids plenty of hours of fun. Mega Man series -The Gameboy versions of MegaMan aint that bad definitely a collectible if your into the series. Zelda series - Like the Final Fantasy series the graphics for the Gameboy weren't that great but for nostalgic rpg purposes give it a look. The Bottom Line: Overall, the old Gameboy is not entirely out of date, there are some great games out there that bring back great memories.You can probably pick up a Gameboy from Ebay or an old used store for $10 way cheap considering the $90 price tag it had when it was first released. There are some decent games for i
t, and it led to the widely popular Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance system, so give it a try I think you might like the system and what it has to offer.
Ever since the Pokemon craze exploded, PokeFans flocked to the stores and ordered Game Boys in mad mobs. The Game Boy was extremely handy...the colored ones were more pocket-sized then the gigantic black and white ones, and the cool covers of different exotic colors attracted the eyes of children as well. But since the Game Boy Advances have popped into the market, sales for the Game Boys dropped...of course, there are always those few who buy stuff after a bigger thing explodes...cheaper. The Game Boy has its good games and bad games, like every system...it goes from the crappy Frogger to the hot-selling Pokemon games. Overall, I think the graphics on the Game Boy far outrate the Atari and SNES...Personally, I think the only reason that people went crazy for the SNES and the like was because it was on TV, and most of the time, the bigger the thing the more APPEALING it is. (think about this) I would recommend the Game Boy, but not as much since the Game Boy Advance came out. The music on the Game Boy is pretty good, although when you play, usually your right hand's palm accidentally covers the speaker, and that can get annoying. I think the music is better on the headphones, because of the mono speaker, and you can hear the different instruments.
I feel like a veritable dinosaur in writing about this product. After all, this isn't the Game Boy Advance, it's not the rather older Game Boy "Color" (now, wasn't that a rip-off? You needed a SNES as well!), it's not even the (in itself virtually pensionable) "Pocket Game Boy". No, what we have here is the machine that started it all - and, in many ways, blasted the entire handheld market from a niche sector for hardcore enthusiasts into the mainstream - ladies and gentlemen I give you the good old, 100-million-plus-selling, Nintendo Game Boy itself. Just let me drag myself away from playing with Alfred Chicken for a minute (no officer, it's nothing like that. Honestly. All you Dooyoo chickens out there, I assure you my intentions are entirely honourable) and I'll be right with you. At first glance, the Game Boy looks rather dull. At second glance, it looks even duller - it's really not much more than a chunky grey brick with an LCD screen a couple of inches square, an even tinier (and, indeed, tinnier) speaker... oh, and a few buttons dotted about. The most exciting feature the thing can muster is probably the legend above the screen, which informs you breathlessly, "Dot matrix with stereo sound" - I assume this is for those Japanese people who think anything in English is utterly thrilling; "purple sackcloth tyre governor" and the like. Possibly not, at first sight, the most promising base for world domination. But the Game Boy is the supreme embodiment of that oft-abused line (especially by ISPs that are trying to charge you more for a pathetic service, not that I'm bitter, you understand, BT) "content is king". The Game Boy may be less than beautiful; one might even call it ugly (I would, anyway. It's used to it by now; you won't hurt its feelings) - but it fully deserves its place in the console hall of fame. With a mass-market product such as this, it
was, of course, absolutely vital to make a big impression early on. Which means getting people talking about it (though not in a "anyone got the phone number for Watchdog?" type of way). Nintendo achieved this by selling many - in fact, probably most - early Game Boys bundled with a game. Not remotely original in itself, though it's always a good idea, as what's the point of a console with no games (except to show off with)?. What really made a success of Nintendo's sttategy was the identity of this bundled game - one of the very first games to hail from what was then still (just about) the Soviet Union. The author of said game was one Alexei Pajitnov; the name of the game... was... (oh come on then, all together now) Tetris! So, within what seemed like a matter of moments, there was a vast base of millions of Game Boy owners all around the world. But one game, no matter how addictive - and the staggering number of Tetris clones (95% of which make Vic 20 games look sophisticated, but that's not the point) bear witness to its awesome brainwashing power - couldn't last forever. Nintendo being Nintendo, though, there was little chance of them packing up and going home at this point. The Game Boy market expanded hugely as it devoured the technically more advanced colour handheld consoles from Atari (RIP, though it's been revived a couple of times in a sort of "badge engineering" way) and Sega (who have also been forced out of the market after the mediocre Saturn and unpopular Dreamcast), and games flooded onto the shelves from all quarters. Nintendo were strict about their "Seal of Quality" - it was very rare to see a game sold without one, though a few did slip through, especially in the console's dying years. Some might say that this stifled independent developers - and they'd have a point - but it does have to be said that you could be sure that you could buy a Game Boy cartridge, plug
it in, and *know* it would work perfectly first time, which at a time when setting up a PC game involved detailed knowledge of IRQ, DMA, EMS, TSR and quite probably TLA, was worth a lot. It's always been the case that, while PC developers tend to be lazy and assume that the required spec will be along before they release the game, console (and 8-bit micro) developers have had to work within fixed boundaries for some years, meaning that ingenuity and innovation can come to the fore. The supreme example of this in the 1980s was the Sinclair Spectrum, and in the 2000s it was (and, to an extent, still is) the PlayStation. In the 1990s, the console to stretch to its limits was the Game Boy. And before long developers were doing things with the little grey handheld which were miracles of programming. Games thought impossible to squeeze into such a small space were converted from other formats. Lemmings (I still have fond memories of first playing this, illicitly, on my school's Archimedes - remember Archimedes?) turned out to work brilliantly, the restricted dimensions of the screen bringing to life the confined spaces of the lemmings' caverns. (Shame about the appallingly annoying music, though!) One of the last black and white games before developers moved entirely to the colour platform was an astounding conversion of V-Rally. And, as many will recall, there was the fluorescent banana-yellow cartridge of Donkey Kong Land, which brought Game Boy graphical brilliance to new heights. And if, for some reason, you actually find fighting games interesting, there was - believe it or not - a conversion of Street Fighter 2 Alpha Turbo Plus Extra Ultra Multigrade Championship Ibble Obble Black Bobble Ibble Obble Out Special Edition with Pro-Vitamin B5 (well, you know what I mean). It wasn't all straight conversions, though - there were plenty of original titles as well. On the platform side, I have a particular soft spot for the ultra-
cute Kirby's Dreamland... mainly because, incompetent gamer that I am, it's the only platform game I've ever completed without cheating! (Except for QL Caverns, a quite wonderful arcade adventure that sadly doesn't work on QL emulators because of its tricky programming.) Nintendo's own Golf, although rather simplistic as far as graphics were concerned, and a little "far East" in the animations ("Fight! Fight!" - remember "Korea Team Fighting" in the World Cup?), worked very well because of thoughtful course design (though the US course was absolutely vicious). Monster Max brought 3D isometric games a la Knight Lore to the handheld - just by looking at it, you can tell immediately that it's the work of the great Jon Ritman, who was also responsible for that multi-platform (even, with music, on the Amstrad PCW!) 8-bit classic, Head Over Heels. Unfortunately Monster Max was criminally undervalued by its publishers, and release was delayed for months, ruining its chances of widespread popularity. One other game cannot pass unmentioned. Most platforms, whether they be computer or console, have one, perhaps two games that define them to future generations. For the BBC Micro, there is of course the legendary Elite, and also Geoff Crammond's (of Grand Prix 1/2/3/4 fame) first racing simulator, Revs; there are Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy for the Spectrum; MineStorm for the Vectrex (a vector-based console); and so on. The Game Boy has its superstar too (no, not Tetris), and it's so good that I even forgive it its unwieldy title. All rise please for The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. This (its successor, Zelda DX, is so similar that I'll lump them together) is, by common consent, the best of all the Zelda games released up to that point, on any format. An RPG set in a vast, superbly realised fantasy world, Zelda has it all - fighting, adventure, humour, irritating subgames ("The
Trendy Game" - I ask you... but woe betide you if you take out your anger on the shopkeeper!), and even a battery backup that - gasp! - actually works. There's so much freedom in this game that the PC game one thinks of when playing it is Black and White. Frankly, if you own a Game Boy and don't have Zelda, then one can only despair.... Well, now you know about some of the games. What of the console on which you play them? Well, as Nintendo clearly recognised judging by the later Pocket versions, it is a little bit bulky unless you have large hands - your thumbs are sure to feel the strain after a while (especially if you're playing that classic button-basher Track and Field!), and you do start to notice the weight before too long. The four AA batteries (the Pocket version downsized this to AAA, which does make a difference) are an unavoidable weight, but even so the console feels very old-fashioned in its bulkiness these days. Having said that, the buttons themselves are surprisingly comfortable, and have lasted me a decade without any trouble, and the sockets for mains adapter (remember to set it to 6V or you'll blow it up!) and link cable appear still to be intact (though as I haven't used the link for years I can't be certain of that one). The screen, of course, is the number one concern for most Game Boy owners, and it must be admitted that it's not the console's finest point. There's no getting away from it: it's too small, and too dim. A couple of inches in each direction ain't a great deal considering how cluttered some screens, especially on the platform games, can become. The best developers, of course, plan for this (Zelda, typically, is especially clear) but even so there are often problems with telling a moving foreground from a static background, or vice versa (insert some technogeek stuff about "parallax scrolling" [which was all the rage in SNES days, apparently] here). Va
rious magnifiers and lights appeared on the market over the years, and these do help somewhat, but you're unlikely to find them around now except in the small ads and on eBay, so you may have to make do with what you've got, in which case even with the contrast turned right up it can be a little hard on the eyes. When you think of the fact that the monochrome Game Boy first appeared no less than thirteen years ago, in 1989 - a year, let us remember, when the British market was still dominated by Spectrums, Commodores and Amstrads; a time when the Amiga and Atari ST were considered high-end machines - it's quite remarkable that it's held out (with, beneath the bells and whistles, very little change) for so long. Over a decade in production is quite an achievement in the computer industry (unless you count Windows, I suppose, whose longevity might not be considered an "achievement" by some), but one that the little handheld quite deserves. The decaying body of the monochrome marvel has probably now at last ceased twitching (after a final, unexpected second childhood thanks to the power of the Pokemon), but it remains one of the great landmarks in the gaming industry, and many of the conventions we now take for granted were born when those blocks began to fall.
Okay, I have only recently started this but I shall start my review with something completely irellivant to the subject in question (The GameBoy Of course.): Here is the moment you've all be waiting for ( waiting for in fear that is): Muddy trousers. Now on to my review. Firstly, this is a review about the ORIGINAL game boy and not that stupid Game Boy Colour thing ( I refuse to Say color and turn in to an american. DON'T GIVE IN TO THE URGE). Okay, so the GBC isn't so much of a bad thing but hey, I need material for these reviews. The gameboy, for all of you not-in-the-know is the worlds favourite handheld gaming console. I also has on of the largest selections of Games out ( the gameboyadvance has the most being able to play GB GBC and GBA games). The original was a grey rectangle with two buttons and a direction pad at the underneath the screen. The buttons were labbelled A and B. This gives the console a lot of limtations but good game designers can find ways to get round them. The Game Boy I first had basically changed my life. Well maybe not change my life but it had a little impact on it. For instance, If my dad hadn't of stolen it from god know where ( I hate my dad the f*cking kn*b) I would of been writing this review. I only had one game. Mario land or whatever it was called. Y'know that easy one with about 5 levels (I'll be honest with you. I'd didn't finished it til 2001 but still I loved it. They even brought a single out for it(I've got it underneath my bed). Any way I will get onto the reason for my title. Why did the Game Boy get big? It's main competetors all had colour (i.e. The game gear and the Atari Lynx) and this was in black and white. Well not white but that brownish colour that the screen was. The Game gear also had better games like that Sonic one. If I had choice between Mario and Sonic (I mean the games on the hand-held) i would of chosen sonic.
The graphics were WELL BETTER. Maybe the Game Boy had better games out at the time. Maybe the Game Gear cost to much. I just don't know. That is probably because I am only 13 and am too young to remember. On the whole though the game boy was one of the most successful consoles ever. I think it has sold something like 80,000,000 world wide. Maybe it was a different console I think that it was most probably the Psx but hey, I am doing this with no research and its all out of memory. SO BLEAH!
My mother In law bought my son (now 7 years old) a Gameboy colour when he was 5 years old. At the time I groaned inwardly thinking that it was not a 'good' toy for a 5 year old, albeit that he was already heavily into computers and was easily capable of playing with the games. I thought that it would do him no good whatsoever - but..... With the gameboy came pokemon blue - anyone that has played this game will realise that an integral part of the game is to read and remember the instructions on the screen. At 5 years, this was a problem for him as he couldn't read - the game didn't get played with - until 2 months later when he aquired a magazine that showed him how to play the game - I used this magazine to get him interested in reading - it is now completely dog-eared !!! Gameboy & pokemon are responsible for my son aquiring an interest in reading (he is now way ahead with his reading) Whilst on holiday he played his gameboy if we were relaxing in the restaurant/bar - because of this he discovered that he had a mutual interest with a number of other little boys - they quickly became friends and were arranging to meet night after night.Quite the opposite of the anti-social hobby that is normally portrayed!!! If you happen to walk past a playground - have a listen to the conversations - I will be very surprised if at least one of them doesn't revolve around what levels have been reached or what characters they are playing. Kids enjoy role playing and sharing experiences. So what are the downsides? I wouldn't recommend that kids are allowed to play one game (no matter what) to the exclusion of all others - but in moderation - where's the harm - I certainly haven't come across any - unless you count persuading them to switch the gameboy off when they need to get to that certain level...
Back 10 Years ============= When the Gameboy was first released it didn't really appeal to me because of my other consoles. I just saw it as a waste of £70 or however much it was. Most of my mates including my family bought a Gameboy so I did manage to tryout the experience. Even after I had tried it out I didn't have the urge to buy one. The screen was yellow, the Gameboy was bulky and in dark or bright light you couldn't even see the screen. Flaws ===== The Gameboy was highly successful and I just couldn't see what the big deal was about. Fine, you could play games on the move or in your car or on the toilet but that was it. The graphics weren't excellent (I admit, they wouldn't be for such a small machine but still, they are awful graphics). The screen was yellow and it was too big! That was until the Gameboy Pocket came out... But Then... =========== When the Gameboy Pocket was released and I saw the bigh improvement over the original Gameboy I felt the urge to go out and buy one. It was perfect, the small size meant it was easier to hold and you could actually fit it in your pocket (this really depends on pocket size :). The screen wasn't a sick yellow colour, it was black and white. Much better on the eyes and much better for the games graphics. It was easier to see it too although you still couldn't see the screen at all if you were in a very dark or very light place. If you wanted to play with your Gameboy in the dark then you would have to purchase the maginifier accessory. This basically fits onto the back of your Gameboy. It has two lights attached inside that provide the light you need to see the screen. It also acts as a magnifier increasing the screen size and making it easier to play the games. Accessories =========== Many accessories were made for the original Gameboy. Many that were just to take your cash but useful ones such as carry packs
and link cables to hook two Gameboys together for a two player game. Some fairly cool accessories came out when the Gameboy Pocket was launched. This included a camera that allowed you to take pictures and edit them on your Gameboy. But if you didn't buy the printer then you couldn't print out your designs to make stickers and stuff. Talk about a money making scam. Each of these one sold for a fair bit of cash. I can't remember exactly how much but I think each was over £45. Games ===== There are loads of games for the Gameboy and games that have been created for consoles such as the Nintendo 64 have been converted to the Gameboy. Of course, the graphics don't quite match that of the Nintendo 64 but still, the gameplay was great in most cases. Games such as Mario Golf and Marioland played excellently on the Gameboy Pocket and are just as addictive as most of those sold on todays more powerful consoles. SOMETIMES, graphics aren't everything. Oh, by the way, you can only play SOME Gameboy Colour games on the Gameboy Pocket. I think that there is something on the back of the game box that tells you if it is compatible with the Gameboy Pocket as well as the Gameboy Colour. You see, all Gameboy games now have colour written on the front of the box, so remember to CHECK FIRST! Why I Became Angry At Nintendo ============================== Right, so after not buying the first Gameboy and 8 - 9 years later buying the new Gameboy Pocket guess what nintendo decide to do??? Bring out another version! Except this one has colour. There wasn't much of a time period between the launch of the Gameboy Pocket and the launch of the Gameboy Colour compared to the original Gameboy and the Gameboy Pocket. I mean, couldn't Nintendo just have waited and launched the Gameboy Colour instead of launching both the Gameboy Pocket and Gameboy Colour? Did they have to rip off so many people? This tells me that th
ey care more about profits than about their customers. Well, I wasn't going to go along with their money making schemes. I did not buy the Gameboy colour and I suggest that you do not either. If you are going to buy any Gameboy then get the Gameboy Advanced. The Differences =============== The difference between the Gameboy Pocket and the Gameboy Colour is only that the Gameboy Colour has colour (amazing!). But I need to stress this next sentence again. Can you believe Nintendo did that to all those kids? They took their money and then brought out the next version, a version that was even better and that every Gameboy owner would want. Manchester United aren't as bad as that! (well, maybe they are ;) but the point is that kids don't have the money to buy another version. All of them would want it but they have just saved up for a year to get the Gameboy Pocket (or their parents bought it). Nintendo ripped off our kids! Gameboy Advanced ================ Nintendos newest version of their popular money making handheld computer console is amazing. It has the power of a SNES. Remember the SNES? It was the generation of console before the Playstation was released. 16 bit graphics, the addictive arcade style games. Well, now Nintendo have crammed it into a console not much bigger than the original Gameboy. Fairly cool huh? Yeh, I actually think it is but there are three problems I have with this new version: 1) Its made by Nintendo 2) The screen is too small for some games. Some games just don't play properly on a small screen. 3) The price is not right. You'd think they would have taken enough cash from us but no, no, they want to squeeze use of every penny. I'm nt sure of the price but I know its high. More expensive than any Gameboy before it. Some Great Advantages Though: 1) Nintendo are converting games from the SNES to put onto their new Gameboy Colour. This is awes
ome because it means that all the games I used to play on the SNES (yes, I hate Nintendo but I give them credit for the SNES) I could play again such as the classic Mario Kart. There will never be a racing game better than this. Its better than Colin Mcrae Rally, Its better than Ridge Racer 5, Its better than every single racing game ever made and all those that will be made. 2) You can carry it anywhere. A SNES in your hand. How convenient! 3) Multiplayer - you can connect up to four Gameboy Advanced together. 4) Battery power lasts up to 15 hours. Loads more than on the Gameboy before this where the batteries ran out after only a few hours. 5) You can even use the damn thing as a controller for the Nintendo Game Cube!!! Summary ======= OK, my final advice really... Don't buy the original Gameboy, don't buy the Gameboy Pocket, don't buy the Gameboy Colour. The only one you should buy (if you agree with Nintendo ripping off all the kids) is the Gameboy Advanced. It predecessors are no match for a SNES in your hand.
Nintendo's Colour Gameboy is the latest electronic mini games console. Redesigned for the begining of the 21st centuary, this machine is now available in various colours. Designed to be handheld and played on the move, the screen is large and easy to see, with the easily accessable joystick controls on the face. There is an infa red remote port for dual gaming, mains power jack, headphone jack, and link up port. Battery or mains operated,it costs £65.(Batteries included) My 9-year old has an old Gameboy that I remember playing as a teenager. It is bulky and cumbersome, but still works well. Although black and white, it has served the test of time and has many of the gadgets related to it, but it eats batteries and has quite a small screen in comparison. Previously the TV was taken up with the Playstation most of the time causing problems with the other children who wanted to watch the TV or videos. We felt that an upgrade was a great idea for her for christmas, as many of the new games seemed to be for the newer Gameboys. The choice was pretty easy, I haven't heard much about the Pocket Gameboy, and as this was an expensive present I was happier to go with what I know. It was easy to find, I could have bought it at just about every toy retailer or high street or electrical store. The price was pretty much the same accross the board too. In use it is a doddle, a very small child could easily load, switch on and operate this machine. The larger screen is a real improvement, with really quite good graphics. Lets be fair, it is a handheld game, you are not going to get amazing resolution on them, are you? Using only 2 AA batteries instead of the previous 4, this is not the battery muncher of the past. It is ergonomically designed, and fits nicely into your hands. As well as being comfortable to play and like the previous machines the controls are in
just the right place. The music is still quite plinky plinky, but the other improvements certainly make up for this. As for add ons, there are many on the market ranging from magnifiers, to powerpacks that fit directly into the battery compartment, and from snake magnifying lights to mains adaoptors and bum bags, the range is immense, and actually fairly priced. The camera and printer look good, but I have yet to see them in use. The games however are quite expensive, and at £25 a shot, my daughter has a lot of saving to do. Also the games do not come with little plastic sleeves, bad one Nintendo. A downside to the machine is that it doesn't actually come with any games at all, so instantly you have to buy a game to be able to play it.Nevertheless, that does not detract from the overall quality and playability of this machine. Personally I love the headphone jack myself (Hee Hee, peace!!) The link up cable(also available at an extra cost) enables two gameboys playing the same games to be linked allowing two player games to be enjoyed to the full. The infa red comm port does very similar, removing the need for the cable. My daughter handles the product well, and is more geared to it than anyone else in the family. However, she can become too engrosed in the game and it becomes quite an anti-social activity. In my house, it's a hit(in moderation!!!).
I bought my Gameboy Colour last year, and wish i hadnt waited so long! Its the perfect way to pass some time - i use mine when travelling, and the range of games means there is something for everyone. Im a bit of an oldtimer (34!), and generally prefer the puzzle and sports games. Battery life is excellent, and the unit is hardwearing and just the right size. The only drawback is lighting - you need a good light above your head to see the screen properly. The light attachment is probably a worthwhile purchase, but it does increase the overall cost. How did i cope before i had a Gameboy? I will probably upgrade to the Gameboy Advance when it comes out