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NINTENDO GAME BOY

(Fall 1989-1999)
Millions of Game boy owners can't be wrong!
(GAMEBOY 1989-1998) Remember that big bulky white Gameboy with only 4 shades of black and white?  Remember the even thinner Gameboy Pocket?  How about the vastly improved Gameboy Color? Although Nintendo will no longer make these old Gameboys anymore, the Gameboy itself is easily the most successful system of all time with millions of units sold world wide. With big hits like Tetris, Zelda, and of course Pokemon (we can't forgot all those kids out there) it's no wonder all the systems sold like crazy. Here are just some of the Game boy through out gaming history:

The original Game boy was the brain child of famous Metroid producer Gunpei Yokoi when he had the idea was to capitalize on the growing portable market. Although Nintendo was making a lot cash from their home consoles, they also noticed the strong sales of all these portable stand alone games from toy companies like Tiger. The problem with these portable games (besides being really crappy) is that didn't usually support interchangeable cartridges. With the ability to play games on the go now and with Nintendo's already known for their great games, it was the perfect combination. The Game boy was the swift kick in the teeth the portable industry needed.

The system was originally released in 1989 with the launch games Solar Striker, Tennis, Super Mario Land, Alley Way, Baseball, plus lucky gamers even got the highly addictive Tetris as the pack in game. You need 4 AA batteries for it to work on the go and they last about a good 10 to 15 hours before you need to change them which was far better then the 4 hours of battery life of the rival Atari Lynx and Sega Game Gear.

Sadly the system also comes with one of the worst screens you could possibly imagine. Unless you get the perfect spot under the sun or under the right light you'll be seeing a ugly reflection of yourself instead (unless you ain't ugly though I don't know: all my readers are usually very good looking, eh?) of glorious game play. Since this is older unit there is no option for a backlit screen so can forget about playing this thing in the dark unlike the Nintendo DS.

To help keep the cost down on the GB only uses a basic 8-bit processor like the Nintendo Entertainment System, and it was only black and white (or black and green since the screen is green). This was real problem for Nintendo especially when the competition (Atari and Sega) had their portable systems in full colour instead. If it wasn't for a great list of strong games the Game boy would have been seen as a complete joke.

Although it wasn't the first ever popular gaming system with interchangeable carts (that honour goes to Jay Smith's Micro Vision), and it was the first really successful one with the original GB lasting nearly 8 long years. If you can one super cheap for 5 bucks or less then by all means pick one up because there is still a great list of games for it. However, the technology is just weak at best and you can easily play a lot of the titles of the newer models like the Gameboy Color or Gameboy Advance SP. You are better off getting the later upgrades if you can unless you like people pointing and making fun of you.

GAMEBOY POCKET 1996-1999

Sure, the original Gameboy was one of the most popular portable systems of all time but by the early 1990's the whole black and white only look just wasn't cutting it anymore. The Gameboy Pocket here is an updated version of the original black and white Gameboy released in 1996 to help sagging sales of the system. Surprisingly it worked!

One of the big selling points of the GBP is that it's actually 30% smaller than the bulky original. The system is now even more portable because of it. Not only that but it also has a much clearer screen that eliminates a lot of that nasty glare and overall green look from before but the problems are still there. The Game boy Pocket takes only two AAA batteries instead of the standard and much heavier 4 AA set.

The GBP is great but it still has its huge list of problems. The GBP is still just a boring black and white unit with only 4 shades of gray scale plus won't play any Gameboy Advance carts or any compatible GBC games in colour of course so even though the system is very light and durable you still have deal with older technology here. Still there are several hundred games for it (some of them are even good) so a lot of fun can be had here.

GAMEBOY COLOR
(November 23, 1998-2002)

Nintendo finally answers all the critics, angry e-mails, and pretty much everyone in the world about the overall suckyness of the original old black and white Gameboy's. In 1998 they finally released the revolutionary Gameboy Color to the market. Instead of the usual blurry black and white screen bullcrap we had to put up with all these years we now get to see several new Gameboy Color games in (get this) full colour! Is this worth picking up though especially in this day and age? The Gameboy Colour itself is just that; it's a old fashion Gameboy with the ability to play certain games in colour. It won't play any older black and white GB games in colour and it is just a mere 8-bit machine as well so don't expect anything too fancy. The GBC doesn't have any 3D polygons or even Mode 7 (sprites or backgrounds that zoom in or out for those of you with a life) effects plus a lot of the game's may have a lot of slowdowns and flickering if the action gets too hectic. Fortunately, a lot games focus more on game play then visual power anyway and there are a lot cool games for this tiny machine out there.

For example; like the original Gameboy, one of the launch titles for the Gameboy Color was the famous Russian puzzle game Tetris DX. The newer Tetris here not only had new colour effects to show off the power of the GBC but it also included new modes and save options to help make it more accessible for gamers on the go. Speaking of the system's portability the GBC is just slightly larger then the tiny Gameboy Pocket (it's about 3 pounds in weight) thanks to the new bump in the back (who doesn't mind a little extra junk in the truck, eh?) for the two AA batteries but it's very minor and it's still better then that huge white brick that was the original Gameboy.

Although a lot GBC games will still play on older Gameboy units (minus the colour of course), there are some GBC exclusive games will only work on the Gameboy Color (like Super Mario Bros. DX and Kirby Tilt and Tumble for example) here. Be sure you look on the game's box for the details before you buy because if you are super poor and only have the older black and white Gameboy's you may be screwed with a game you can't even play. Although the screen is fairly clear, you may have to get the real amount of light in the area to view it so it's far from perfect.

If you can find this little beauty for about 10 bucks and you don't have Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS, PSP, or even that crappy N-gage cell phone thing then by all means get it. The system may only be a anicent 8-bit unit with limited colours, low resolutions, no Wi-Fi support or any of that fancy new age junk but it does have a ton of interesting games out for it. Tetris, Donkey Kong Country, Pokemon, Pac Man, Dragon Warrior, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda and many more big names are all available here and those are just a few of the thousands you can find. Don't be ashamed you are playing a 1998 gaming system here because it sure beats playing with a Blackberry (but it's still not better then playing with yourself though).

Nintendo didn't stop there of course, we can't forget about Nintendo's new 32-bit Game boy called the Gameboy Advance and the Gameboy Advance SP and yes; they will still play most of those old Game boy games of yours too. Nintendo is also released Dual Screen system called the Nintendo DS but it won't play the older B&W and Color GB games. So feel free to get any Gameboy but don't get over broad and get more than one, that's going too far I think.

Rating: 31/100 Gameboy: you're better off getting the Game boy Advance so you can play the newer games as well.

Rating: 53/100 The Gameboy Pocket is a good upgrade to the original white brick.

Rating: 62/100 The Gameboy Color is a great upgrade to the original to the large gray hotel soap.


Rare scale: 0/10 It hard not to find one, only the limited Ice Blue GB pocket is rare... I guess.

Game Boy (White, multi-colour casing, black and white screen, 8-bit)
Game Boy Pocket (Silver, multi-colour casing, black and white, 8-bit)
Game Boy Color (Purple, multi-colour casing, with 56 colours, 8-bit)
Game Boy Advance June 2001-2005 (Multi-coloured casing, 32,000 colours, 32-bit)



Common GB games:
Alley Way
Pokemon
Super Mario Land
Tennis
Tetris

Rarest GB games:
Mega Man 4, and 5
Mario's Picross



Top Ten (Tetris beats out Pokemon, but Pokemon is still strong)
* These games can be played in Colour

#1 TETRIS DX *
The one of the best puzzle games for any game system is a must for Game boy owners!
2. MARIO PICROSS
3. SUPER MARIO BROS. DX *
4. MARIO GOLF *
5. ZELDA: Oracle of Seasons *
6. ZELDA: Link's Awakening *
7. POKEMON Red
8. SUPER MARIO LAND 2
9. METROID II: Return of Samus
10. BIONIC COMMANDO

Most Disappointing: MORTAL KOMBAT 4

Worst Game boy Game EVER: DOUBLE DRAGON 3 (See below)

Most Underrated: BIONIC COMMANDO

Surprisingly, some of the worse Game boy games are actually some of the most popular ones as well. Just because a game is great on another system doesn't always mean it's going to be great on Game boy.
StarSoldier's top five worse Game boy Games:
5. STREET FIGHTER II (Nintendo/Capcom, 1994)

With only two buttons on the Game boy itself, choppy animation, and only 9fighters, this is not really worth picking up. This is the worse version of Street Fighter II I can think of! I wish there was NES version instead of this awful fighter on Game boy.

4. PAC MAN (Namco, 1992)
It just does not feel the same in black & white despite sounding the same. I actually liked the Atari 2600 version better than this.

3. BLASTER MASTER BOY (Sunsoft, 1991)
Another bitter disappointment from this series. Plays like a hard to control game of Bomberman and not Blaster Master on NES which wouldn't be so bad if the game wasn't so slow. Not a fun game at all.

2. MORTAL KOMBAT 4 (Midway, 2000)
Some games just don't belong on an 8-bit system. The Mortal Kombat series is one of them. Don't expect any lightning fast arcade action here!

1. DOUBLE DRAGON 3 (Acclaim, 1993)
The enemies rule in this game, but you don't. The first time I played this the enemies just drop kick you all the time and there is little you can actually do about it, the game never did get any easier nor did it ever get fun to play. DD3 is an awful game with poor programming.

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