Monday, December 6, 2010

Gameboy Color--Because kids need to be able to carry their video games, damnit!

Gameboy/Gameboy Color

Now that the gaming industry has come so very far, I thought it was only fair to include a salute to the ‘big thing’ of our childhood—Gameboy and its later, more ‘advanced’ counterpart, Gameboy Color.

We were so excited to own these things, because come on, what kid doesn’t love hand-held video games? It was Super Nintendo that we could bring along with us to boring family gatherings, the doctor’s office, the bus stop, or wherever else we were forced to wait for long periods of time (or, of course, since we again loved making our teachers angry—school.)

Personally, I owned a Gameboy Color (released in 1998), and the ironic thing about it was that…it really didn’t have color for most of the games. Not true color, anyway. Apparently the Gameboy Color was capable of displaying up to 55 colors simulatenously, but I can tell you from my days of playing Pokemon Yellow, Super Mario Bros, Harry Potter, and Pinball Wizard that I got, if I was lucky, four colors: Red, green, yellow, and blue. And usually not all at once.

The most colorful part of the Gameboy Color was, in fact, the machine itself. It came in a wide variety of colors, the original five being Strawberry, Grape, Kiwi (someone was hungry…), Dandelion (…and has odd food choices…), and Teal. There was also the ‘Atomic Purple’ version, a purple-ish see-through version.

Many other variants were released, most of them having something to do with Pokemon (because really, Gameboy Color could just be called ‘Pokemon Games in Color’, as they were the main games released in this era), including a metallic gold/silver version, a Pikachu yellow version (in which Pikachu’s cheeks lit up, rather than the normal version), and pink Jigglypuff version, among many others. There were also a few more clear versions, that Nintendo assumed would appeal more to the boys who would like to see how the Gameboy actually worked (of course girls wouldn’t like that kind of thing, silly!).

But was Gameboy/Gameboy Color as good as we remember? Sure, for the technology available at the time, and because we didn’t have anything else to compare it to. Nowadays a kid would scoff at such an ancient model, but back in those days, we were just glad to have something to pass the time. There was a fairly wide variety of games available (sure, many of them had to do with Pokemon, but still!) and most impressively, in my opinion, Gameboy Color games could still be played on the next Gameboy generation, Gameboy Advance. It’s shocking that they weren’t made incompatible so that Nintendo could attempt to bleed us dry by making us rebuy all our favorite games.

So, in conclusion, while calling in ‘Gameboy Color’ was being more than kind in most cases, this really was one of my favorite toys as a child, and I’m not going to lie—I still sometimes break it out for a round of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

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