Video Game Handheld Review (Posted on 08-15-2015)
A top-selling handheld with over 400 games in its library, created a pocket-sized variant of it and barely slid by with a backlight version of it. What's next? If all else fails, go COLOR
! Having been released in the same year as the Game Boy Light
, Nintendo immediately strikes again with a near-similar duplication of the Light
, but besides the color screen, some differences have been made.
The ON-OFF switch has now been moved to the right side of the unit; The Ext. Connection does not come with a cover; The contrast knob has been removed and the volume has gotten a tad bit faint, compared to the Game Boy Pocket
. Also, the screen has gotten much smaller and is not backlit. With no contrast adjustment leaves the player with a fixed screen image quality. However, the colors were quite sharp for its time and sported sleek gradients, depending on which game you play. Nintendo and many other third-party software developers have tried to catch on in producing games strictly for the Color
but wasn't as large and impressive compared to the original Game Boy library. Speaking of that, the Color
is backwards compatible! Since the original Game Boy games weren't programmed to give its color image, the Color
would give a generic, but less accurate, color implementation of it but leaving the player's imagination to complete off the impression that the entire game is fully colored. On the other hand, specific original Game Boy games were produced very early on to be compatible in bumping up the full, colored version of the game. An example of this would be Pokémon: Yellow
. Another would be Final Fantasy Legend II
but seemed like SQUARE went to reproduce a color version of the game, to which, according of video game reviewers, didn't show off much color. Nevertheless, developers seemed to be in-the-know about Nintendo's immediate release in marketing the Color
including being backwards compatible.
Like the Light
, the unit takes two AA batteries. The battery compartment area is a curved body which adds physical thickness, enabling the player to hold on tighter. I find this better than the ridges that the Light
had, and better than the flat back of the Pocket
. Even though the unit itself isn't at all "pocket sized," it was perfect for handheld gamers with small or big hands. In addition, again, like the Light
, the letters "A" and "B" are injected on the buttons while the D-pad and the "START" and "SELECT" buttons didn't undergo to much a change (not since the original Game Boy when the "START" and "SELECT" buttons were both slanted to the left). As for the volume, it was a little less loud than the Pocket
. Many would be disappointed by this which I understand, but I sort of see why the volume was lowered. If you or anyone you may know is a musician or and audio engineer, let alone a video production specialist or filmmaker, would know that one of the keys to good audio is being even-leveled—allowing the best possible volume without having the audio to peak. If it peaks, the audio distorts causing terrible quality, sometimes distorted and/or muffled, audio. Loud is nice, especially jamming to your favorite song(s), but it seems that Nintendo thought ahead and wanted to bring in the idea of not having your games' audio peak and distort. All that may not matter to you, but to someone who has been doing video production for over 14 years, believe me: nobody cares about audio until it's either missing or its quality is muffled and ear breaking.
Rewind several years back, and you'll find that handhelds like the Sega Game Gear
, NEC Turbo Express
, Sega Nomad
and the Atari Lynx (II)
were all in color but their sales were aching due to high prices. Because the Game Boy didn't go color until much later, people bought into this, despite the lower volume and smaller screen. If anything, I'd say that the Express
and the Nomad
had better video quality, but their reputations weren't fully developed, let alone their home consoles and library of games. Kick up a reputation for your top-selling item and people will come back for more, and this is what Nintendo did with the Game Boy. Pretty good, apparently.
Overall, I can't imagine anyone not seeing nor even touching the Game Boy Color. This was where Nintendo's mega-hit Pokémon
sky-rocketed faster than light-speed travel (still going strong today). I was only around 10, 11 years old when this was released, and of the friends/acquaintances I've made, I never ran into someone who thought the Color
was "overrated." That's because it wasn't.
Another unit symbolic of excellence from Nintendo.
I also don't think you should pass up getting $5 off orders over $50 at the Warner Bros Online Shop
© 2008-2019 written and reviewed personally by Kris Caballero.
Video Game Handheld Ratings