Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I <3 my Little Gameboy!! ^___^

After 20 years, and almost several consoles later, I’m still in-love with a Gameboy… that I actually bought one just recently. Yes I’m not kidding.
Probably alot of you guys are thinking, maybe I’m a guy who just can’t afford the “very best” in gaming. But you’re wrong. The truth is, I’m a guy who owns a Sony Playstation 3, Sony Playstation Portable Slim, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DS Lite, & previously owned a Sony Playstation 2. It’s just that, despite the cool advancements with gaming, and all those awesome game experiences I’ve had with my other consoles, the experience I get in owning and playing with a Gameboy is simply different. It’s on a different class of its own.
For those who wants a little background on Nintendo’s now-legendary Gameboy line can view IGN’s video tribute to the system. Just watch the video below:
So as you may have read earlier, I bought myself a brand spankin new Gameboy. But before I even got my unit, I had ALOT of problems getting one, because I didn’t just want any Gameboy, I wanted a very special one. I wanted to get a Gameboy Micro (which is already quite hard to find lately) and I wanted the 20th Anniversary Famicom Edition (which makes it even more harder to get).
But why would I even want to get a Gameboy in this day and age, you may ask. Most of my friends also told me the same thing. I mean I do have a PSP and a Nintendo DS. I can just get a gameboy advance emulator for the PSP or I can just slap a gameboy advance cart directly onto my Nintendo DS and it would work perfectly. Hell I don’t even need a console to play Gameboy games, I can just download one of those Gameboy emulators from the net and play it on my netbook. It is more economical and does seem more feasible from many different stand points. But to me, it still feels different. Very different.
I actually had very fond memories of the Gameboy brand ever since I was a kid. It was the only console I ever had and I literally grew up with it. I’ve had the pleasure to play so many great games on that system, and I still do enjoy playing those classics every now and then (on an emulator sadly, which still doesn’t feel the same).
gameboy copyThis was how my first Gameboy looked like. Simple, durable & reliable. Quite boring, yes, but it worked like a charm. I got this one as a gift from my mother who bought it from one of our neighbors, as a gift on my birthday. Man, aren’t mothers so awesome?
Ever since I got this baby, we never parted. I literally grew up with the Gameboy, bringing it almost everywhere I go. In church, in trips, in school, in camping, everywhere. And I loved it. I can play in almost any situation and in any place. All I needed were just 4 AA batteries and I’m good to go. Nintendo wasn’t kidding at all when they said they wanted “Gaming-on-the-go”.
But ofcourse, Gameboy wasn’t the only portable gaming device in the market back then. There was also the Sega GameGear.
Back then, if you own a Sega GameGear, you are the envy of all of your classmates. The Gameboy looked like crap compared to the awesome, fully colored, backlit screen of the Sega GameGear. If I were to equate the Gameboy & the GameGear in this generation; the Gameboy would probably be the Nintendo DS, while the GameGear would be the Sony PSP. Sega focused on delivering “cutting edge graphics” on the go, and looked way ahead of its time. While the Gameboy look outdated with its green and black monochrome screen that’s not even backlit. Just look at the screen comparison below:
But as much as the GameGear had the superior screens, colors, graphics, specs, etc. the Gameboy excels in what it’s design to do; to be a portable game device. The GameGear, while it may seem more better, sucks at being a portable gaming device. Here’s why:
  • It runs on 6 batteries, compared to 4 on the Gameboy.
  • It runs roughly 4 hours of gameplay, compared to 10 on the Gameboy.
  • It had few games that are actually worth playing, compared on the Gameboy which had TONS and TONS of games to choose from.
  • It’s very heavy and huge to carry around, while the Gameboy is much more compact and lighter compared to the GameGear.
  • The unit is also bit fragile, while the Gameboy can stand serious amounts of abuse and still be working perfectly. I personally have seen this in person with my unit.
In a way, I was happy I stuck with my Gameboy, despite being tempted on getting on the GameGear bandwagon. I’ve had alot of memorable gaming moments with my Gameboy, but since most of my friends know me as pretty much a huge Castlevania fan (having played almost all of the Castlevania games in existence), the best moment I had with my Gameboy was the pleasure of it being the system where I was able to play my VERY FIRST Castlevania game (yep, I played the Gameboy Castlevanias FIRST before the ones on the NES/Famicom). And it was this Castlevania game:
And since then, I’ve been a Castlevania fan since. Which would lead me to countless more adventures, timelines, and kicking Dracula’s ass for years to come. And speaking about years to come, my Gameboy lasted for a really long period of time. In fact, my Gameboy lasted me for 8 years and I was even able to play Pokemon on it when it first arrived!!
Since then, I used my experience with the Gameboy as a measuring stick to gauge new handheld consoles. For me, the Gameboy DEFINED what a handheld console should have or be:
  • It should have a long battery life (should have a minimum of atleast 4 hours battery life)
  • It should be compact and easy to carry along with you anywhere.
  • It should be durable and be able to withstand decent amount of abuse from traveling.
  • It should have ALOT of games to play.
Last year marked the 20th Anniversary of the Gameboy & that it was also recently inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. I was very honored and proud to have been part of Gameboy’s history when this was announced and I was lucky enough to have experienced it first hand.
Sadly, Nintendo also recently have pulled the plug from the Gameboy brand; effectively putting it into retirement along with the other classic game consoles in history. It was a very sad moment for me since that means, there will never be a Gameboy anymore for me to buy to my kids as their first console in the future. And after hearing this news, I immediately searched for a way to atleast keep a part of history with me by getting myself a gameboy unit to keep. That’s the reason why I chose getting a Gameboy Micro Famicom Edition, because not only is it the last Gameboy unit produced in its line, but it has the 20th anniversary logo on the unit itself marking 20 years of Gameboy history as shown below.
20 years 
At first I thought it would be easy to find one, considering that the DS & the PSP are all the rage now, but it was mistaken. In fact, the regular Gameboy Micro itself was quite rare to find, let alone a special edition Famicom version.
I posted and looked for it in TipidPC, in most gaming forums, and I even looked online at ebay, and man prices for the Famicom Edition are like crazy. I saw this one ad selling the unit for Php 5,549.44 ($119.99) and that’s almost close to the price of a brand new Nintendo DS Lite. I almost lost hope, had I not found one on the department store, in the appliance center in SM Makati. My GF was lucky enough to have found it for me and I’m so happy to have found one. It’s like I’m a kid all over again. XD
Here’s my official unboxing of my unit (thanks to my officemate Abby Reyes for taking the pics of my unit for me using her awesome DLSR camera):
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
I’m now one happy owner of a GBA Micro Famicom Edition. Belated Happy 20th Anniversary Gameboy!! XD

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

January 2010 Progress Report!! >___<

This blog entry is kinda late (distractions, distractions) but hey better late than never.

So in my quest to improve myself and to ensure that I have accomplished something this year, I started my goal list. So far so good, there HAS been progress. Here’s my updated “achievements list”:

laptop-2To have my own laptop.

(Achievement unlocked: April 14, 2009) I finally own one, its an ASUS 1000H netbook. It’s quite nice really and does the work I wanted it to do.

transformersGet a Transformer toy.

(Achievement unlocked: December 25, 2009) I finally own 2 transfomer toys; Bruticus (Decepticons) & Superion (Autobots). Superion was a gift to me by my GF last christmas, while I bought Bruticus using my money, since it was cheap (I got him for only P800).

laptop-2Giving my laptop a name.

(Achievement unlocked: January 13, 2010) I finally have a name for my laptop; I’ll just name it under my penname “DioBrando”. I think I’ll consider adding that to my laptop’s skin.

ps3-2Get a PS3.

(Achievement unlocked: January 20, 2010) Yep, I finally own one!! So I’m a PSWii owner now.

wacom-2Get a Wacom Tablet.

(Achievement Unlocked: January 27, 2010) I finally own a Wacom Tablet now, after like more than 5 years of dreaming to own one. Thank you Lord! XD

laptop-1Screenprotector for my laptop.

I’ll be scouting for one soon. I’d hate to see my laptop’s LCD screen suddenly scratched.

laptop-1Custom laptop skin.

Customize it’s look by buying a laptop skin. I think I’ll ask my friends to make me a custom decal for my lappie.

homeHave my own home

This may take awhile, but atleast I’m on my way to getting there, since now I have a regular job. I just need the money to pay off for it.

marriageGet married with the girl that I love.

This may also take awhile, considering I want to get my own home first before even thinking about marriage.

gamesMake atleast 5 games.

Of course I don’t just want 1 game under my name, but several. But I’ll definitely be creative in designing all of them.

facebookMake my first Facebook game.

You gotta start with one. It doesn’t matter what kind game, as long as it’s on facebook.

ryuMake a fighting game.

I have this concept for a fighting game that I’ve always wanted to do for the longest time. If given a chance, I’d love to develop it for a home console.

rpgMake a RPG game.

I also plan on making an RPG game. I guess I’ll start off with just baby steps, until I get the concept for an RPG I’ve wanted on a decent 3D engine. Also, like my fighting game concept, I’d love to develop it for a home console.

comicsMake a comicbook for Komikon.

I wanted to make a full pledged comicbook to be launched on Komikon.

comicsCreate 5 comicbooks/graphic novels.

And I just don’t want to make 1, but atleast 5 comicbooks/graphic novels.

moviesSee my works turned into a movie.

Of course, I would also want my works to be successful enough to be adapted into a movie. Being a movie buff that I am, I dream of seeing this one day.

printerGet myself that heat-transfer printer.

I wanted to also make my own t-shirt designs. Having shirts that have my own custom designs!! Coolness!!

hdtvGet an HDTV.

I wanted to own one because of the crisp clear pictures that will definitely be on this TV if I play games on it.

PCGet a desktop PC.

This would also be helpful in my work in making my graphic novel/comicbook.

spanishLearn Spanish.

I want to be able to be fluent in different languages and one of them would be to be fluent in Spanish. Spanish is alot closer to my native tongue so I believe I’d have an easier time to learn this one than other languages.

frenchLearn French.

I want to learn french is because I want to become like Col. SS. Landa (from the movie “Inglorious Basterds”) Besides french as they say is the language of love.

japanLearn Japanese.

I love anime, and I would love to watch anime in their native tongue, without reading subtitles. Nuff said.

bungeeTo do bungee jumping.

Hey, I’m a thrill seeking, andrenalin-junkie. So I’d definitely want to do this atleast once in my lifetime…

voltronGet a Voltron toy.

My ultimate dream ever since I was a kid. Growing up, I’ve always wanted to own a Voltron toy. I used to own one (the Jollibee kids meal version) but one of my nephews kid smashed it to bits when I wasn’t home one day. Lesson learned, get myself a safe cabinet to store and display my collection.

digicamGet a digital camera.

I gave my Polaroid Digital cam to my youngest sister on her birthday, since she needs it more than I do, so I’m gonna buy a new one for myself.

videocamGet a digital camcorder/videocam.

I want to be an amateur film director and atleast try to direct/make short films as a hobby and that’s why I want to invest on a modest videocam that will do just that.

gymLose weight and gain some muscle.

I want to be in shape to be able to cosplay atleast, and fit in nicely with new clothes I buy. I’d love to look good for my GF.

boxingLearn boxing/self-defense skills

If there’s anything I learned after being almost killed by a holdaper on my way home, is to atleast learn how to defend yourself when the situation calls for it. Thus I want to be able to learn atleast 1 self-defense skill.

bank A bank account with atleast Php50K.

This is for me to be able to have a sort of trust fund or safety fund that I can depend on when there’s things that suddenly didn’t go as planned.

creditGet a credit card.

This is for me to be able to start up in building a decent credit record, as well as for me to be able to get more things I want to buy easier.

carGet a car.

For me to be able to go places. I don’t mind what kind of a car I get, as long as it’s working, durable and reliable when I’m on the road.

iwataMeet Satoru Iwata of Nintendo.

I’d love to sit down and chat with this guy. I want to atleast get to know in person the man behind the success story of Nintendo.

IGAMeet Koji Igarashi of Konami.

Since I’m a Castlevania fan, it’s my dream to talk to this guy and atleast know what he’s upto. I would also share my thoughts on Castlevania and other stuff that I think he missed out on when he was still the director of the series.

miyamotoMeet Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo.

All who aspire to be videogame designers are in the industry because of this guy. He’s the main reason why the videogame industry is big as it is today, because of his game; Super Mario Bros.

kojimaMeet Hideo Kojima of Konami.

As the creator of the Metal Gear series, I would love to sit down and chat with the man. And to atleast tell him how much I appreciate his work and how it affected me as well as a game designer.

pacquiaoMeet Manny Pacquiao.

I have very high regards with this man, and his passion for boxing, as well as his humbleness in admitting that without God, he won’t be where he is today.

berlinMeet Berlin Manalaysay.

One of the reasons why I was inspired to make comics. I’m one of his avid fans back in the day when he was still releasing Combatron back in Funny Komiks. I grew up reading his work, and I would love to have the opportunity to thank him for giving me a hero to look up to when I was younger.

Not bad really, considering that the year has just started. I’m currently planning out my February and thinking what goals can I achieve this month. So far, I have been working on my first game that’s gonna be commercially released if ever, but that may take months before that one is done. So its good to set some short term goals that can easily be done within the month.

So far the only feasible goals that I think can be done within the year is learning a new language, get back to the gym and lose some pounds, or learning some self-defense skills like boxing or martial arts. I dunno. But definitely I’m determined to achieve atleast 1 goal for the month.

As for language, I’ve made up my mind to study Japanese. It’s way more useful to me currently than French and Spanish, since I always listen to J-Pop songs and watch anime. So I’ll definitely have alot of practice once I start learning the language. I think I’ll be lobbying around for a decent Japanese language school or ask my friend to atleast teach me the basics, so when I finally do enroll I’ll be studying advanced Japanese if ever. Hmmmm… not a bad idea.

Currently I’ve also noticed that I currently blog alot more this year than last year. I suppose that’s because of the fact of the neat program called Windows Live Writer (plugging FTW!! Microsoft better pay me for this!! LOL!!) which is very handy, since I can write my posts offline, and then upload them online when its finally done. That’s good for me since I’m pretty much a nomad nowadays just going from one place to another.

Oh and speakin of which, I just noticed that my February this year has been “extra special” so far. My GF just gave me one of the most romantic lines yet, and that everything this month just feels extra romantic for me specially when I’m with her. I’m really excited now what Valentines this year would be like. XD