i found a post on another forum (apparently they still exist) called "the original game boy was a bad device with bad games" and i want your reactions to it:
Let's face it: the only reason that we look back on the gameboy fondly is because it was the first real video game handheld device that let us play games on the go, and it was made by Nintendo, who made Nintendo-licensed games on it. For some kids, it was a magical thing. "Gaming on the go! I can play in the car when my parents take me on a long car ride to grandma or auntie!" I did use the gameboy that way, I'll admit. It made some of the 6- or 9-hour drives way more tolerable. For that, I thank it. But let's be real.Hardware
The Gameboy was garbage. And most of its games were garbage.
First off, its screen is absolutely terrible, and there is no defence for it. Tiny resolution, and we can't even have true black-and-white games: everything was vomit green. Secondly, the hardware was extremely weak, which hampered the games. The Game Gear came out a little over a year later and felt like an entire generation ahead of it. Now, don't mistake me: the game gear was a misfire. The thing needed six batteries for like 3 hours of play time. But! There could have been a middle ground here. Nintendo could have offered something a little more beefy so that the devs had more to work with. It didn't even need a color screen! Just a little more ram and processing power, I dunno. Of course, the thing as-is sold like 120 million units, so Nintendo knew what they were doing from a pure business PoV. But that ain't the heartbeat of this convo. The end result was a weak-ass machine that produced weak-ass games.Software
The hardware part doesn't matter much in the grand scheme of things, because games are what make or break a platform. And the truth is that the gameboy only had a handful of truly good games. Games that have stood the test of time. But it ain't just about the test of time. Lord, a lot of these games were bad even back then!
Super Mario Land 1? Absolutely terrible game. It's bad now, and it was absolutely bad back then. I remember playing this game for the first time at my cousin's. I must have been around 7 or 8. I was very familiar with Nintendo games at that age. I had already played to death Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, 3 and World. I loved them dearly. So I put my hands on Land at my cousin's, and was like "...this feels bad. Like a bad imitation of a Mario game; like a knock-off." I could rant about how it looks bad graphically, or how the music is very uninspired, but I don't even need to. Because the crux of the issue with that game is that it just feels bad to play. Mechanically. The two things you do in that game, running and jumping, do not feel good at all. That makes your game dead on arrival to me.
I would later go on to play various gameboy games at some of my friends' houses. One of them had Donkey Kong Land. That was after Donkey Kong Country had been released. I owned DKC. I had played it to death. Fucking amazing game. Donkey Kong Land, on the other hand, again, felt like a cheap knock-off. Another platformer whose running and jumping mechanics both feel bad. What the hell. My reaction to playing these games was "can we just go play the Super Nintendo instead?"
Around a decade later, early to mid 2000s, I would have access to emulators. I played a bunch of random gameboy games. It was the same story: "this just feels horrible. What a terrible handheld library."
Now. There were some good games on the device. I played some. Well. One. I played one. I know there were more though! The Pokémon games on the original game boy seemed good. I saw some friends play them and thought it looked very interesting. Didn't play it though (I would play Pokémon for the first time on the GBA with FireRed). There was also Tetris. I might have played it, actually. Unsure. I know I played it on the NES though; that might be what I remember. But it was on the Gameboy. So 1 point for the Game Boy.
The one good game that I played and owned was this one:
[image of Donkey Kong]
It was one of two games that I owned for the gameboy, the other being Donkey Kong Land 2. This game game rules hard. It ruled hard then and it still rules hard now. Seriously, I played it again over this past Christmas break. Beat the first world. It's fantastic. More specificaly, it feels great. The mechanics of the game are just so satisfying. You can do so many acrobatics with Mario and oh lord does it feel good. It's a goddamn crime that Nintendo didn't follow it up. They made those Mario vs Donkey Kong games, but it wasn't the same.
So yeah, there you have it. The game boy was a bad device with mostly bad games.