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Thread: Game Boy appreciation thread

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    Master of Shinobi Drixxel's Avatar
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    Default Game Boy appreciation thread

    The green-screened, toaster-like handheld that shambled onward against all reason. I'm sure many of us still love it, if not for the stellar invention of portable Tetris alone. It has of course been trounced by it's sleeker spawn, but the Game Boy was.. important.

    For me, the Game Boy marked my financial entry into gaming hardware ownership.. the innocent age when $100 seemed like an outlandish amount of money. I'd been obsessed with the Game Boy for quite a while previous to finally saving up the money to buy one, and it was Link's Awakening that really inspired me to put aside the allowance. That game just looked incredible.. and it really didn't disappoint. I have some very fond memories of frolicking about on Koholint Island.

    There are many other Game Boy games I absolutely love, and being able to play them on a handheld as fantastic as a GBA SP really is a pleasure.

    Just off the top of the ol' head..

    Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge ... hot damn, that's one slow Belmont trot, but what a fun game, and some of the best Game Boy music ever.
    Daedalian Opus ... I liked this game so much that in school I used to draw out my own little Daedalian Opus puzzles and try to solve them. Whoohoo...
    Donkey Kong ... there's so much game here it shocks me.
    Elevator Action ... not a classic, but I seriously dug NES Elevator Action back in the day, and with the extra weapons of Game Boy Elevator Action, life is indeed good.
    Final Fantasy Legend II ... one hell of an epic RPG quest. There's a lot of uniqueness to the character classes, and it's overall a finer package than the two other Legends.
    Gargoyle's Quest ... Firebrand's one cool dude, and while Gargoyle's Quest 2 and especially Demon's Crest vastly improved upon this one, Gargoyle's Quest is still a very fun, if admittedly short, action-adventre romp.
    Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening ... I really dig the feel of this game, not to mention how smoothly the Zelda experience was translated to the Game Boy.
    Metroid II: Return of Samus ... were this given the Zero Mission treatment, I think many more people would love it.
    Qix ... the portableness makes it tops.
    Quarth ... not the deepest of games, and in fact repetition and monotony will set in with extended game play, but as puzzle games go, it's unique.
    Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins ... a fantastic, fairly enormous platformer.
    Tetris ... obviously.

    So what does, or did, the Game Boy mean to you? What are some games among its library that stand out in memory, be they fabulous examples of what can be done on a handheld, or abyssmal reminders of the horrors born of hardware limitations?

  2. #2
    I DON'T LIKE POKEMON Hero of Algol j_factor's Avatar
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    I got a Game Boy in.. I think it was 1994, might have been '95. It was given to me by my uncle, who had owned it for a couple years and wasn't really playing it. It was my third portable system, my first having been Lynx and my second being Game Gear. When I got a Game Boy I was a fairly active Game Gear owner, and I was totally unimpressed by the GB. However, it did have a few unique games that I enjoyed anyway.

    During the Saturn days I lost interest in portables, and, despite getting a GBC, NGPC, and GBA, I only now have an interest in portable gaming with the DS. Game Boy doesn't have the library that Game Gear has and it doesn't hold a place in my heart like Lynx, but it does have some games that are special to me:

    Bad n' Rad - a skatboarding platformer that alternates between sidescrolling stages and forced-scroll vertical/top-down stages. Uh, what? Definitely unique, it's quite well designed and pretty damn fun.

    Final Fantasy Legend II - by far the Game Boy's best RPG. Great battle system, interesting world, decent plot.

    Gargoyle's Quest - I think this is way better than its sequel.

    Kirby's Dreamland 2 - Game Boy's best platformer. Not too frustrating, not too hard, not too samey. Lots of stuff in here and the different worlds are nice.

    Donkey Kong - absolutely brilliant way of updating the arcade classic.

    Kirby's Pinball Land - really great pinball game.

    Mario Picross - I dunno, I had a lot of fun with this one...

    Defender / Joust - for some reason I really really liked the updated version of Joust.

  3. #3
    Super Robot Raging in the Streets Obviously's Avatar
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    Squinting at the Game Boy is probably the reason I needed to get glasses... but it was worth it. These are the titles I spent most of my time with Metroid II, Tetris, and Dr. Mario.

    I also have fond memories of blitzing through Super Mario Land and go ahead and laugh but I still believe the original Pokemon was a great RPG for the Gameboy. I remember not being able to put it down when it was first released.

    I remember searching out all those damned shells in Zelda Link's Awakening which in my opinion it was nearly as good as the Super Nintendo Link to the Past was and every bit as fun. I'm still impressed with its graphics.

    The Gameboy also held Megaman V which is perhaps one of the finest Megaman titles ever created.

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    Wildside Expert Fang's Avatar
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    I remember saving up to buy a gameboy for a road trip and It came with Links Awakening with it. Now that is a good bundle. Link's Awakening is definitely one of the best games on the system. I also liked Batman The Animated Series, it had real good music just like the cartoon. I have Donkey Kong too and that game is a lot of fun. Metroid 2 is good also. I need to buy me some more games to play on the super game boy. Long live the gameboy.

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    Master of Shinobi GeckoYamori's Avatar
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    I've spent an unhealthy amount of time with Link's Awakening. Even discovered some glitch in the game. I think it took me to some type of debug room, which for instance allowed me to get the second power bracelet early. I can only recall it involved falling down the pit in the lair of the first boss, then immideately jumping when entering the following room.

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    Master of Shinobi Drixxel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor
    Game Boy doesn't have the library that Game Gear has and it doesn't hold a place in my heart like Lynx, but it does have some games that are special to me
    There's something so very cool about the Atari Lynx. The first model may have been a bulky mother, but it's always struck me as such a stylish design. I've only come across two of them in my travels through the physical realm, and only one of them was for sale (I would have bought that used model 2 if not for the fact that I was 10 at the time and probably had in my possession that many dollars). Still, I've played pretty much the entire Lynx library through emulation, and I'll definately pick one up at some point. There are a number of Lynx games I rather dig.. especially among those Battlewheels, Blue Lightning, California Games, Road Blasters, Rygar, Warbirds and Xenophobe.
    Do you have much of a Lynx collection, j_factor?

    ...and it's great to hear the abundance of Link's Awakening love. That one's a prime example of what really could be achieved with the Game Boy, and damn it's fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoYamori
    I've spent an unhealthy amount of time with Link's Awakening. Even discovered some glitch in the game. I think it took me to some type of debug room, which for instance allowed me to get the second power bracelet early. I can only recall it involved falling down the pit in the lair of the first boss, then immideately jumping when entering the following room.
    That's one random discovery. Have you ever been able to repeat it?

  7. #7
    I DON'T LIKE POKEMON Hero of Algol j_factor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drixxel
    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor
    Game Boy doesn't have the library that Game Gear has and it doesn't hold a place in my heart like Lynx, but it does have some games that are special to me
    There's something so very cool about the Atari Lynx. The first model may have been a bulky mother, but it's always struck me as such a stylish design. I've only come across two of them in my travels through the physical realm, and only one of them was for sale (I would have bought that used model 2 if not for the fact that I was 10 at the time and probably had in my possession that many dollars). Still, I've played pretty much the entire Lynx library through emulation, and I'll definately pick one up at some point. There are a number of Lynx games I rather dig.. especially among those Battlewheels, Blue Lightning, California Games, Road Blasters, Rygar, Warbirds and Xenophobe.
    Do you have much of a Lynx collection, j_factor?
    Regrettably, I do not currently own a Lynx. I sold my Lynx in early '93 to get a Game Gear in its place, mainly because Lynx releases had dried up but also because I really wanted a Game Gear for some of its games. I have yet to re-acquire it like I did most of my old systems... I'll probably get one this year.

    I think the Lynx game I played most back in the day was Klax (it was the 90s and all). While the other 95% of portable gamers were enthralled with either Tetris or Columns, I dug Klax to no end. If there hadn't been a Game Gear version of Klax, I may never have parted with my Lynx. (Although the Game Gear version wasn't nearly as nice).

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    Master of Shinobi ary incorparated's Avatar
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    I dont like lynx anymore,I got it some games looked great played fun and then it was over and i was searching for new games and ended up with fearly shitty games for the system,come on how ugly does Tod slime world looks.Gamegear looked better to me,overall best of the 3,when i played mortal combat 2 i was amazed also while playing lion king,sonic triple trouble,sonic drift.Ive never played master system before i played gamegear,And then i heard there also was a tv tuner for the console,pretty damn fine for its time,gamegear was the only handheld that was ahead of its time then,Tv tuner radio etc.Only the Batterie lastabillity was worse,Altough a buyed a accu pack and some kind of gamegear batteries that dure longer.Well the only gameboy that is inovative is the ds,Nintendo wasnt revolutioner while making gameboys,they just catched the hype,Atary lynx came out in 1989 Was color,Gamvoy monochrome.1 piont minus,Gamegear came out in 1991,also in 1997 there already was a 32 bit monochrome handheld,nintendo came up with a worse idea but since they got the hype they maked a more portable monochrome gameboy,Gamegear was still ahead of nintendo gamegear in quality,Also in 1998 neo geo pocket came out,portable monochrome catched a smaller audience but had 16 bit.okay 1998 gameboy color hmmm finally weve seen color on a gameboy,most of the kids saw this the first time,and some people didnt know of the gamegear its existance,because nintendo stealed the hype with monochrome but hey now its finally color,but gameboy color wasnt imppresive at all,showing the same stuff that weve already seen on nes and some looked a bit better,But still gamegear holds its own in the graphic and sound department and did the GBC had anything new,no only color and a gameboy camera that was monochrome.


    Then aggain gameboy advanced,showing some ugly 3d effects trying to be 32 bit in 2001, hey the first 32 bit console came out in 93 and nintendo doesnt know how to improve it in 2001,8 years after that.I dont like GBA that much also,some games are good.Ds is the first solid and super fine handheld.Gamegear was ahead of its time for shure,sega was trying to be ahead of it all the time but didnt succeed every time.Gamegear wins and gameboy sucks.a few titles intrest me for the gameboy but not more then that.

  9. #9
    Master of Shinobi Drixxel's Avatar
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    ^ Ehh, I'd say the Game Boy was definately an innovator in handhelds.. the Lynx and Game Gear clearly beat it in hardware strength, but the classic Game Boy further proved for damn near ten years that gameplay can exist without stellar graphics. It was also arguably the most portable of its competitors, with the best battery life and most convenient design. Sure, the original Game Boy is seen as bulky now, but compared to its contemporaries Lynx and Game Gear, it was rather svelte. It also carried a less-weighty price tag.

    The Game Boy introduced many people to affordable and convenient handheld gaming. It dominated the handheld market for a reason.. for what it set out to do (gaming on the go), its design was more accomodating than either the Game Gear or Lynx. Nintendo definately low-balled the hardware strength of the Game Boy compared to the approach Epyx and Sega took with their handhelds, but it turned out that people weren't particularly concerned with flashy graphics in a handheld. Nintendo recognized and capitalized on that, and saved themselves a shit load of money in production costs by doing so.

    For me, handheld gaming has never been about the graphics, at least compared to the current console generation. The two exist on different planes, and they should be judged with different standards. Functionality of design is far more important to a handheld than graphical strength, thus... the Game Boy's success.

  10. #10
    I DON'T LIKE POKEMON Hero of Algol j_factor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drixxel
    It dominated the handheld market for a reason.. for what it set out to do (gaming on the go), its design was more accomodating than either the Game Gear or Lynx.
    While that was certainly a factor, I think the bigger reason was Tetris. Its popularity, especially on Game Boy, is often understated or taken for granted these days.


    You just can't handle my jawusumness responces.

  11. #11
    Master of Shinobi Drixxel's Avatar
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    Yeah, Tetris was a big deal. I was yammering on in that other message about hardware design alone rather than software, but most definately Tetris on the Game Boy is the reason handheld gaming took off as a distinct pillar of gaming.

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    Vorty's Avatar
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    Squinting at your Gameboy, trying to actually see what was going on until your eyes burned out.

    Yup, that's why I still play my Game Gear.

  13. #13
    Master of Shinobi Drixxel's Avatar
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    Ehh, I could make an equally bitter statement about the disorienting qualities of heinous Game Gear motion blur.

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    Super Robot Raging in the Streets Obviously's Avatar
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    It's a true testament to the staying power of the Gameboy considering how many technically superior handhelds it crushed in its strangehold of the market.

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    Rebel scum Shining Hero MrMatthews's Avatar
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    BUMP!!!

    I've always been a big fan of the handheld systems, and there was a time when my Gameboy was my most prized possession. My dad bought it for me when it first came out and I kept it in immaculate condition until my senior year in high school. I'm sorry to say that I pawned my whole GB collection for $75, which I instantly blew on my girlfriend and cigarettes.

    Here are my favorite games for the system.

    Gargoyle's Quest
    Metroid II
    Mega Man III
    Mega Man IV
    Bionic Commando
    Super Mario Land
    TMNT: Fall of the Foot Clan
    Link's Awakening
    Tetris

    Honorable mentions: Faceball 2000; Gremlins 2; Bad 'n Rad; Kirby's in Dreamland

    Some afterthoughts:

    For some reason, I didn't care for Mega Man V at all. I thought the original bosses were lame and the music sucked.

    I thought Super Mario Land 2's controls were too floaty and it tried to hard to be Super Mario World, but fell short of virtually everything that made SMW awesome.

    I never even knew Donkey Kong existed on the Gameboy until a few years ago.

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