Review by The OgeeBoogie man

Reviewed: 12/28/01 | Updated: 12/28/01

Love the company, hate the inferior product. Definately my motto now.

Introducing the Gameboy Color, one of the very few steps foreword for Nintendo that hasn’t been worthwhile. And though Nintendo usually adds or makes worthwhile their rehashes (God bless them), this was a very minimal improvement to the Gameboy and Gameboy Pocket systems.

First off, I would like to talk about the size and convenience. The Gameboy Color picks up on the ability to be squeezed into your pocket, and it has a more narrow, sleek design. But while the Gameboy Pocket had an increased screen size, this one actually shrinks, meaning that the habit of squinting you dropped when you traded the bulky, old Gameboy for the Gameboy Pocket returns. The plastic looks smooth, though, and would certainly look pretty in the collection you’ll be storing this in when the Gameboy Advance comes out.

Now, let’s take a look at graphical capabilities. The traditional grainy Gameboy screen returns, this time with a slightly darker sheen. A real pity, since you aren’t able to change the contrast, which means you will need to be in just the right light, though that is hardly much of a big deal. The real disappointment comes when you realize that the color itself is also grainy, and very limited, making it barely a visual improvement. And that’s supposed to be the main reason you’re buying this machine, aside from the newer library of games. If it weren’t for that, it definitely wouldn’t be worth the smaller screen and the shelling out of 70$ for it. There are much better-looking handheld systems around, although I wouldn’t recommend getting them due to the severe lack of games with most.

Delving into the sound category, we see no real improvement at all over the beeps and whirrs present in the Gameboys of the past. Voices are barely audible, and music is still more of a ringing than anything else. It’s about time we hear something new.

Battery usage and durability are two very nice features of the Gameboy Color, with 2 double A’s lasting you up to 20-30 hours. You won’t need to go back to the store any time soon, once you’ve had the batteries replaced. And quite frankly, the Gameboy Color feels as if you could drop it out of a bus, have it bounce off 3 rocky surfaces at 20-feet intervals and into a lake before it having to undergo repairs.

Any recommended games? Well, Perfect Dark and Mario Bros. Deluxe are, in my opinion, worth the buy. Also, if you don’t already have its monochrome predecessor, The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening DX is a terrific RPG.

Prices? The hardware itself runs around 70$, and games are 20-30$ in price.

Finally, is it a good buy? Well, if you want the next wave of video games for this system, don’t bother-they’re not much better. Wait for the Gameboy Advance (already out now), and then buy this library when it’s cheap. There is really no reason to cash into this engineering rehash, since Gameboy Advance is backwards compatible with the Game Boy Color games.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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