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


  1. nice gameboy micro shots! i also have/love this famicom edition micro! this is a gem for true blue gamers from the 80's/early 90's.. great review and retrospect

  2. @marktotie:
    Thanks! The shots were made by my former colleague using her DSLR camera! :D It's true, this baby is a real gem for gamers who grew up in the 80's/90's. Gives back so much nostalgia to me that I can't help but relive my childhood as i play games on this baby. :D

  3. It's 2016 and I'm still looking for this. You are so lucky to have found a brand new one especially here in the Philippines. I tried OLX, but there's not much in there, plus their prices are really high and they've beat up the console already. Maaaan, you are so lucky haha.