Should I buy an original Game Boy?

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goldenband
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Re: Should I buy an original Game Boy?

Postby goldenband » June 25th, 2019, 11:25 am

Many portable screens have degraded over time in subtle ways, so you may not even be getting an accurate representation of what playing a Game Boy was like in 1989. (My memory is that the display was annoying to deal with, but also crisper than what most units look like nowadays.)

On the other hand, a modded/replacement screen with backlight would make for a more enjoyable gameplay experience but a less authentic one.

One upside to an original unit is that a few Game Boy games have sound glitches on a Game Boy Advance, like Ren & Stimpy: Veediots! and Top Rank Tennis, in which PCM audio samples are partially replaced with strident beeping sounds when you play them on a GBA.

And a few games will even crash on any non-monochrome Game Boy (including the GBC and GBA), like Road Rash and Burai Fighter Deluxe. So I suppose that's another reason to have the original around.
Last edited by goldenband on June 25th, 2019, 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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pacman000
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Re: Should I buy an original Game Boy?

Postby pacman000 » June 25th, 2019, 12:20 pm

A handful of unlicensed games won't work on the GBA.

Buttermancan
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Re: Should I buy an original Game Boy?

Postby Buttermancan » June 25th, 2019, 1:53 pm

I recommend purchasing an original Gameboy. They are great and give you the genuine experience - which has it's flaws but is the real thing!
Personally I think it's worth noting the difference between how the image is displayed on the original gameboy vs the super gameboy and the Gameboy player on the GameCube. The original Gameboy developers published games to look as good as they could on the Gameboy display. It's simple graphics allow you to distinguish individual pixels. It's common for people to mention the systems graphics in the terms of black and white but in reality they were black pixels displayed on a green screen - "THIS" is the authentic Gameboy experience.

Many people enjoy these old games via 3DS or Switch emulation. They look good but outside of the real thing I personally prefer the emulation set-up that I have created. Using Retroarch I play my Gameboy and Gameboy Colour games through this Overlay I've created. It looks great, there's no lag ( I believe ) and delivers a great experience.
Super-Mario-Land-GB.jpg
Super-Mario-Land-GB.jpg (42.13 KiB) Viewed 282 times


Mario-Tennis.jpg
Mario-Tennis.jpg (47.82 KiB) Viewed 282 times


It doesn't look as good in these pictures as the low resolution cannot showcase the dotmatrix display!

goldenband
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Re: Should I buy an original Game Boy?

Postby goldenband » June 25th, 2019, 2:19 pm

There were also some flicker effects that supposedly look best on the monochrome Game Boy's slow-responding screen. Can't remember what games were cited, though.

CaptainCruch
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Re: Should I buy an original Game Boy?

Postby CaptainCruch » June 26th, 2019, 2:09 am

VideoGameCritic wrote:Should I buy an original Game Boy?


Yes and no.
No, because you get a better experience playing the games on superior hardware, such as the GBA SP or Game Boy Player that you mentioned.

Yes, because you a get better idea if a game actually was suitable for the original hardware. Take a game such as Donkey Kong Land for example. That game is pretty detailed for a Game Boy game. It looks pretty good on the GBA SP as well. But for the screen of the original 1989 Game Boy, it was way too detailed! You could hardly see what was going on. You'll appreciate a game as Super Mario Land 2 even more, because that has those clean graphics that are also very suitable for the original hardware.

MSR1701
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Re: Should I buy an original Game Boy?

Postby MSR1701 » June 26th, 2019, 1:46 pm

CaptainCruch wrote:
VideoGameCritic wrote:Should I buy an original Game Boy?


Yes and no.
No, because you get a better experience playing the games on superior hardware, such as the GBA SP or Game Boy Player that you mentioned.

Yes, because you a get better idea if a game actually was suitable for the original hardware. Take a game such as Donkey Kong Land for example. That game is pretty detailed for a Game Boy game. It looks pretty good on the GBA SP as well. But for the screen of the original 1989 Game Boy, it was way too detailed! You could hardly see what was going on. You'll appreciate a game as Super Mario Land 2 even more, because that has those clean graphics that are also very suitable for the original hardware.


I can agree that games like Donkey Kong Land (the first one specifically) suffer from severe blur that makes the game very frustrating to play with the detailed backgrounds. Games like Wario Land, Metroid II and Zelda all suffer from blur, but are perfectly playable despite that.

One aspect of the GBC/GBA "colorizing" of the classic Game Boy games that I never cared for is the colors that show any active sprites/details in the game. Suddenly a trap that would catch you off guard in Super Mario Land can be seen WAAAY before you would normally worry about it. While this may make it easier to play a game if you know a trap is coming up, to me it takes away some of the fun and tension of progressing through a game, watching out for potential threats or traps that may be in wait.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Should I buy an original Game Boy?

Postby VideoGameCritic » June 28th, 2019, 5:35 pm

Insightful feedback guys - thanks.

My nephew informed me that the reason a replacement screen is a good feature is because the screens of many old Game Boy are severely scratched up. That makes sense.

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Gentlegamer
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Re: Should I buy an original Game Boy?

Postby Gentlegamer » June 28th, 2019, 10:12 pm

I could never get into the original Gameboy when it was new because any motion on the screen was a blurry mess.

Maybe a refurbed Gameboy with better screen can correct this, though it wouldn't be 'authentic.'

Herschie
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Re: Should I buy an original Game Boy?

Postby Herschie » July 11th, 2019, 11:06 am

It might be akin to my obsession with CRTs. Whether I was drinking apple juice with my friends in first grade playing Super Mario Bros, or hitting the bong in high school to Mario Kart 64, I like to get the same exact experience. And those experiences were definitely on a CRT.

Herschie
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Re: Should I buy an original Game Boy?

Postby Herschie » July 12th, 2019, 3:30 pm

Another thing I just thought of is that on September 20th, the Link's Awakening remake comes out. It might be nice to be able to play the original on the original dot-matrix screen to compare to the remake. Might just grab an original Game Boy myself!


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