The month of the 8/16 bit handhelds has come to a close and I’m happy I chose to spend a month primarily playing video games in my bed. The Nintendo Gameboy is obviously the most iconic & popular of the three and even the late in the system’s lifespan Gameboy Color version had its merits. The Gameboy’s games were clearly the best of the bunch and the success of the system has more to do with it’s classic software titles more than the hardware itself, which clearly has limitations. The original gray Gameboy is the classic version that most gamers identify with but it’s greenish hue made playing games more difficult than it needed to be. The Gameboy Pocket had a much better black & white screen for playing games and used fewer batteries so this is the better of the two classic options for playing games today. The Gameboy Color offers games in full color (obviously), which the Lynx and Game Gear (not to mention the Turbo Express) had been offering for years, as well as allows the old B&W games a new, limited color palette. Good idea but probably could have been implemented a couple years earlier than they did.
The Atari Lynx had the impressive tech for 1989 but unfortunately the games I own were less impressive. With no popular licenses like Mario and Zelda and not even any iconic updates of classic Atari titles to capitalize on their former success, the Lynx was doomed to fail. With that said, I do enjoy some of the games I own for the system but a lot of them appear to be duds. The size of the Lynx makes it less portable than most gamers would have liked back in the day, especially when compared to the small framed Gameboy. The Sega Game Gear, on the other hand, also had impressive tech but it had 3 more years to develop. Like the Lynx, Game Gear games were also hit and miss but there are some very impressive titles on the system. I would say the short battery life thanks to the back lit color screen was a huge detriment in 1992 but today it’s not that relevant if you have an AC adapter and just play at home like I do. Sega had a better chance than Atari to succeed and challenge Nintendo in the handheld wars but ultimately failed due to lack of must own games.
As for new pickups for the month, I did manage to snag a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons with manual for the Gameboy Color as an accompaniment to my loose copy of Zelda: Oracle of Ages. I also picked up a refurbished Game Gear as I had mentioned in a previous post. Bonus for me is that there was a copy of PGA Tour Golf 2 in the system, which is a decent game that I didn’t already own!
Nintendo Gameboy/Gameboy Pocket/Gameboy Color – Overall Grade: B+
Atari Lynx – Overall Grade: C
Sega Game Gear – Overall Grade: B-