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Old 06-06-2019, 06:36 AM   #1
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The Game Boy memories thread

Before the DS/3DS, the PSP/Vita, the Switch, the mobile gaming crazy, the tablets, etc. there were the Game Boys. EVERYONE had a Game Boy back in the 90s and early 2000s. My brother and I had:

- The original grey brick one, which my brother lost outside and thus pissed off our mum. "If you want a new Game Boy from now on you'll have to save and buy it yourself!"
- A green Game Boy Pocket, which we no longer have.
- A clear Game Boy Color.
- A purple Game Boy Advance.

The Game Boy was a lot simpler than the devices I mentioned above, but it also provided us a lot of classics. Who didn't grow up playing Tetris or Pokémon on a Game Boy? And then the Color version came out and a lot of new games plus remakes of NES and SNES titles came out for it, and for the GBA even more! Playing such games on the go was awesome back then.

The GBA was a very impressive machine for its time. And it had a wide variety of games. From NES/SNES remakes of older Mario and Zelda games, to brand anew and original games such as F-Zero Maximum Velocity, Mario Kart Super Circuit, Golden Sun, Mario & Luigi Superstar Sage, Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald ofc, Advance Wars, yet.

Some of my fondest memories with the Game Boy:

- Playing Tetris on it and seeing other kids at my school playing it as well
- Watching my classmates playing Pirate games in cartridges that had dozens of games all in one cartridge. They were sold by Indian or Chinese stores, I forgot which one.
- Playing Pokémon on it ofc
- Super Mario Bros. Deluxe
- Wario Land 2. COUNTLESS hours did I spend on that game as a kid
- Taking my Game Boy on holidays. Sadly I couldn't play them during a flight, but I did at the airports and hotels!
- Playing F-Zero Maximum Velocity on it.
- Never had extra accessories such as the camera and the printer but some of my classmates did and it was fun watching them experiment with such devices;
- Playing Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga on the GBA, which was bought 2 days before I started 10th grade back in 2005. And then, about 11 years later, in early September... I bought the 3DS remake of that game
- Having to find good lighting in order to be able to see the screen.
- Replaying Pokémon Red every summer from like 1999 to 2009. This used to be my yearly summer tradition when I was a kid/teen. I **** you not. I must have played that game about 15-20 times. And in this decade I've played Yellow a couple of times as well.
- Crunching over during recess to watch other kids play Pokémon. It's like, 5-6 kids would gather around another one to watch him play Pokémon on such a tiny screen
- Playing the ports/remakes of NES and SNES Mario games. Super Mario bros. Deluxe maaaan.

Sadly, I can't imagine myself nowadays playing games on an Game Boy anymore. I've played a few on the 3DS, but on an actual Game Boy? I can't imagine buying batteries and playing on a Game Boy anymore. And if I want to play a good game I missed then I'll play the digital version of it on my 3DS or something.

What about you? What are your memories of the various Game Boy systems?
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:35 AM   #2
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Poke'mon Red and Blue were the first time I really got a sense of what handheld gaming could be.

I had to wait awhile after that. Some of the Zelda games like Oracle and Awakening were awesome, but before long I gave up console gaming almost entirely. I think the last one I owned was the Wii.

Now I just do 3DS all the way.
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:55 AM   #3
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Poke'mon Red and Blue were the first time I really got a sense of what handheld gaming could be.

I had to wait awhile after that. Some of the Zelda games like Oracle and Awakening were awesome, but before long I gave up console gaming almost entirely. I think the last one I owned was the Wii.

Now I just do 3DS all the way.
I agree. What games were there on the Game Boy before Pokemon? Super Mario Land and Tetris?

I feel like Mario never stood out particularly on Game Boy handhelds. Clearly Pokémon was the king there. And I think of Tetris and Wario Land/Warioware before thinking of Mario when it comes to handhelds as well. Mario's mainline games didn't seem to stand out much on portables until New Super Mario Bros. came along. The Super Mario Land games are rather different and the other Mario Game Boy games were RPGs, Mario Tennis, Mario Golf and ports of the NES/SNES Mario games .Nintendo clearly focused on home consoles when it came to the mainline Mario games.

Link's Awakening is also a bit different from your average Zelda game.
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:02 AM   #4
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I received my uncle’s Game Boy and Pokemon Red as a gift. Two days later the battery acid began leaking through.
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:48 AM   #5
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I received my uncle’s Game Boy and Pokemon Red as a gift. Two days later the battery acid began leaking through.
Wow. Talk about bad luck.

I bet the first couple of days were awesome, though. I'll never forget my first experience with Pokémon Red ever.
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Old 06-06-2019, 12:02 PM   #6
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Keep in mind, this was in 2010, so I had already played Gen 4. I was more or less disappointed at the lack of a backlight and inability to cross trade like the GBA/DS games.

The Gen. 1 games are pretty terrible compared to everything that came afterwards.
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Old 06-06-2019, 02:12 PM   #7
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I've got a lot of fond and fun memories with my GBC, me and my bff would have Pokémon battles with our corrupted games after we beat missigno, duplicated Rare Candy and bumped our Pokémon beyond level 100.

Had my game boy with my to church (mandatory Xmas school sermon/mass). First time it was too dark to see the screen since the Color don't have a built-in light like the OG game boy, so I fell asleep. Second time I had a plug-in light.... and got caught by a teacher, game taken away and I fell asleep.

And I would have my kid brothers on my lap while playing TMNT 2, and I always had to have the right color combination so the Turtles' sprites would be green instead of pink, lol
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Old 06-06-2019, 02:24 PM   #8
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Keep in mind, this was in 2010, so I had already played Gen 4. I was more or less disappointed at the lack of a backlight and inability to cross trade like the GBA/DS games.

The Gen. 1 games are pretty terrible compared to everything that came afterwards.
Well I dunno. I didn't really like X/Y. Something about it just didn't click with me. I felt like I had to force myself to play it.
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Old 06-06-2019, 02:32 PM   #9
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I played most games already mentioned back in the day along with Harvest Moon,
Wario Blast and James Bond 007.

I also had the camera and it was fun taking photos. Camera was ahead of its time imo.

I played Broken Sword gba port and most Yugioh games for the gba as well.
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Old 06-06-2019, 02:47 PM   #10
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When my brothers and I first got Pokemon games (mom snagged us a few gameboy colors and Red/Blue/Yellow as a set off eBay), we kept resetting each others games because we couldn't quite wrap our heads around there being only one save file.

It didn't go on for very long, though.


And for Christmas for a good several years, we'd get a huge pack of AA batteries on account of how much we played the damn things lol. I'm pretty sure I got a GBA with the attachable light for one of those Christmases.
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Old 06-06-2019, 03:47 PM   #11
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Well I dunno. I didn't really like X/Y. Something about it just didn't click with me. I felt like I had to force myself to play it.
Oh yeah, anything beyond Gen 5 is garbage, but Gens 3-5 are the best Pokemon games available.
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Old 06-06-2019, 04:48 PM   #12
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I remember how in the beginning, before Game Gear came out, it seemed as though there wasn't a day that went by where I didn't see anyone with a Game Boy. I myself got one around Christmas in 1990. I asked a friend of the family for it, even though I figured it was a long shot. I asked for either that, or Duck Tales for the NES. Thankfully, I actually got the Game Boy, and I still enjoyed it throughout the years even though it wasn't in color.

That year, before I got one, I was at an airport going to Florida. I saw a man in a three-piece suit playing a Game Boy. He seemed to be in his 50s. He was probably playing Tetris. It was kind of cool since it was very rare, at least to me, seeing an adult playing video games. I myself at the time, was 11.

The most memorable game in my collection might be The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. I got that in the summer of 1993, and was playing it up until I finished it, which was in my second month of my freshman year of high school. Some years back though, I found out I could have gotten it a bit earlier than I did. It would have been the best game to keep me occupied when I was going to Florida that summer. Instead, I went for Kirby's Dream Land, which didn't provide nearly as much longevity on my vacation as Link's Awakening would have. The summer after that, I chose Kirby's Pinball Land to take with me for when I was visiting relatives in Tennessee, and then going to Georgia afterwards. The game sucked, and when I got back to New York, I was actually able to return the game and went with Donkey Kong '94 instead. That would have been a much better choice.

Later on, I'd get myself an atomic purple Game Boy Color model. After that, I never touched the regular Game Boy again, although I do still have it. I believe the Game Boy Color came out on the same day as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the N64. If that's true, I'd have liked to have gotten both at the same time when they came out. I was in my second year of college and had no job, and didn't have enough money left from the summer job I had that year. However, I'd get the GBC with money I got for my birthday the following year.

I packed up the GBC when I got the first GBA model in glacier. Then I packed that up when I got the GBA SP in cobalt. Now that, I'll still play if I might want to play regular Game Boy games on the go. I might even play GBA games on it, and sometimes I might even play those on my DS lite.
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:27 PM   #13
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Tmnt 3 - Radical rescue is still one of my favorite GB games.
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:53 PM   #14
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The Game Boy family proved that two primary buttons were enough to do a whole lot.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:34 PM   #15
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I agree. What games were there on the Game Boy before Pokemon? Super Mario Land and Tetris?
For some perspective, the Game Boy was first released in 1989, and I'm pretty sure both SML and Tetris were launch games.

Pokemon Red/Blue came out in 1998.

I know I never really liked playing SML because it was really hard to adjust to the blur you would get while scrolling with the pretty terrible green screen. I did enjoy the TMNT games for what they were (Turtles, basically), but they were nothing outstanding as games. I think no one took the platform seriously as something people would sit down and spend a lot of time playing. It was something you took to play in the car or while at Grandma's house.

Pokemon really put life into a system that people were losing interest in. The release of Game Boy Color helped to extend the life of the system, and then when we finally got the Game Boy Advance, games were able to go for a bigger and deeper gameplay experience. And Pokemon still rules everything.
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:12 PM   #16
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The Gameboy was my first video game console and it was all because of a mistake made by my father. My sister had to sell tickets for a raffle at school and my father forgot to sell any of them which meant he had all of them and had to pay for them. Luckily because of that a few items including the Gameboy were won at the school raffle and we were now the owners of a brand new Game Boy. I'm unsure when this happened but could've been around 1990 or so and this mistake of my father may have been the reason I loved video games since I was a small child.

My family excited bought a bunch of stuff for our brand new system including a carrying case (which looking back was ridiculously big), the AC Adapter and some games including Solar Striker, Super Mario Land, Qix to keep us occupied with our prize. This was the original brick game boy and no fancy Play it Loud! Colors either. We would take it on road trips all the time and even played at home To me all the games were difficult but I liked playing them all,e specially Super Mario Land. My mother mostly loved playing Tetris and my sister I'm not really sure but she'd game from time to time as well.

I loved playing Bt time" or "morning" by decreasing or increasing the contrast of the LCD. The music of all those games mentioned became ingrained into my memory and are extremely nostalgic to me and remind me of being in a car driving through the dessert. I never beat any of those games as a kid but I did beat Super Mario Land and Solar Striker as an adult and became quite good at the other games Tetris, Qix since there's no real ending in those.

Besides that first initial wave of games that we had we never really got new games for the Gameboy, opting first to buy NES or SNES games instead so the Gameboy just felt like an old system and slowly lost interest of it overtime playing it only when we would go on vacation and home consoles whenever we weren't. It did get some more life when I started borrowing games from friends and I got to play Spider-Man and Bart and the Beanstalk. And loved playing other games like Super Mario Land 2, Super Mario Land 3 among others but never really bought those games.

The Game Boy felt like a very unique system with its grey color and purple buttons but that also made it feel antiquated just a few years later. The box of the original game boy felt so futuristic with the digital hand that it truly felt like something special. Those demo kiosks at the stores were always horrible to play game boy games on. During this time the games I most wanted besides Mario Land 2 and 3 were the Final Fantasy GB games, they felt so magical at the Toys R Us window shelves.

When the play it loud! color Game Boy came out with different colors the only one I found super cool was the see through one. I also remember reading in a gaming magazine that when announced Nintendo said "We've been asked when we were going to release Color Game Boy, here it is.". I never got an of those or cared much for the Game Boy up to that point as I mentioned. I did play some other classic games from the original era but that was when the Game Boy Pocket came out.

I'll write about the GB Pocket, Color and Advance as well but I had already written an article on my site about the original Game Boy so it was easier to just copy and paste that here.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:22 AM   #17
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I remember how in the beginning, before Game Gear came out, it seemed as though there wasn't a day that went by where I didn't see anyone with a Game Boy. I myself got one around Christmas in 1990. I asked a friend of the family for it, even though I figured it was a long shot. I asked for either that, or Duck Tales for the NES. Thankfully, I actually got the Game Boy, and I still enjoyed it throughout the years even though it wasn't in color.

That year, before I got one, I was at an airport going to Florida. I saw a man in a three-piece suit playing a Game Boy. He seemed to be in his 50s. He was probably playing Tetris. It was kind of cool since it was very rare, at least to me, seeing an adult playing video games. I myself at the time, was 11.

The most memorable game in my collection might be The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. I got that in the summer of 1993, and was playing it up until I finished it, which was in my second month of my freshman year of high school. Some years back though, I found out I could have gotten it a bit earlier than I did. It would have been the best game to keep me occupied when I was going to Florida that summer. Instead, I went for Kirby's Dream Land, which didn't provide nearly as much longevity on my vacation as Link's Awakening would have. The summer after that, I chose Kirby's Pinball Land to take with me for when I was visiting relatives in Tennessee, and then going to Georgia afterwards. The game sucked, and when I got back to New York, I was actually able to return the game and went with Donkey Kong '94 instead. That would have been a much better choice.

Later on, I'd get myself an atomic purple Game Boy Color model. After that, I never touched the regular Game Boy again, although I do still have it. I believe the Game Boy Color came out on the same day as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the N64. If that's true, I'd have liked to have gotten both at the same time when they came out. I was in my second year of college and had no job, and didn't have enough money left from the summer job I had that year. However, I'd get the GBC with money I got for my birthday the following year.

I packed up the GBC when I got the first GBA model in glacier. Then I packed that up when I got the GBA SP in cobalt. Now that, I'll still play if I might want to play regular Game Boy games on the go. I might even play GBA games on it, and sometimes I might even play those on my DS lite.
The Game Gear sucked. While it was incredible for having colour at the time, it needed 6 batteries and its library was nothing home to write about. I had a Sonic game and a Shinobi game for the GG when I was a kid. The Shinobi game was HARD AS HELL. And I barely remember the Sonic one, but it didn't hold a candle to the Genesis games, obviously.

As Rose said, the original GB's library wasn't particularly impressive either until Pokémon came along, but at least Tetris was fun and everyone had a GB to play that game in the school yard. Did the Game Gear even have a game that took the world by storm?
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:27 PM   #18
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Before the DS/3DS, the PSP/Vita, the Switch, the mobile gaming crazy, the tablets, etc. there were the Game Boys. EVERYONE had a Game Boy back in the 90s and early 2000s.
Looking back, hand held consoles were just so much more popular back then.
I mean, the 3DS was still a big seller in an era where mobile gaming had taken over (I believe its being discontinued now?) but it really can't compete with how insanely popular the various Gameboy systems and original DS were.

Many families I knew back in the day either couldn't afford a tv console or didn't like the idea of having one, so they bought their kids a Gameboy instead.

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- The original grey brick one, which my brother lost outside and thus pissed off our mum. "If you want a new Game Boy from now on you'll have to save and buy it yourself!"
- A green Game Boy Pocket, which we no longer have.
- A clear Game Boy Color.
- A purple Game Boy Advance.
So did your mum also pay for the other Gameboy systems or did you actually save?

I lost my own Gameboy Advance SP under somewhat similar circumstances (I was playing it on the bed, and my younger sister was bouncing around and then landed straight on the system at full force, completely smashing it).

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The Game Boy was a lot simpler than the devices I mentioned above, but it also provided us a lot of classics. Who didn't grow up playing Tetris or Pokémon on a Game Boy? And then the Color version came out and a lot of new games plus remakes of NES and SNES titles came out for it, and for the GBA even more! Playing such games on the go was awesome back then.
I know that most people remember the offical remakes of NES games, but does anyone remember playing actual NES games on the Gameboy Advance?
When I had the system, and before I knew what an NES was, I used to have a cartridge called "99 games in one", and were basically just NES games emulated on the system (looking back, it was obviously a pirated cartridge, having a mix of bootleg games with offical stuff and not incorporating Game Boy link compatibility for any of the NES games).
I remember playing the original Mario, Mach Rider, Bomberman and some other weird stuff on that cartridge.

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- Replaying Pokémon Red every summer from like 1999 to 2009. This used to be my yearly summer tradition when I was a kid/teen. I **** you not. I must have played that game about 15-20 times. And in this decade I've played Yellow a couple of times as well.
While I replayed the Pokemon games alot, they weren't the generation 1 games since I wasn't able to find them at any store (this was like 2006-2008.
Rather, my most commonly replayed game was Pokemon Fire Red, but unfortunately not for the reason you would expect.
While I did enjoy my playthroughs, I always wished that my save files actually last more than a few months.
I would reach the Elite four and Bam!
My save file would be erased all of a sudden (probably since the game was on a pirated and low quality cartridge, the originals were hard to come by).
This happened like 4-5 times to the game (even getting a new cartridge didn't help), but the absolute worst was when I lost my best save file in which I had caught about 120 Pokemon, caught a shiny Articuno, and had trained Charizard and Mewtwo to Level 100.
I was training Zapdos at Cerulean Cave to Level 100.
I was at level 85 and decided to save and call it a day, when the game suddenly froze on the "saving, do not turn off the power" message.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:53 AM   #19
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Looking back, hand held consoles were just so much more popular back then.
I mean, the 3DS was still a big seller in an era where mobile gaming had taken over (I believe its being discontinued now?) but it really can't compete with how insanely popular the various Gameboy systems and original DS were.

Many families I knew back in the day either couldn't afford a tv console or didn't like the idea of having one, so they bought their kids a Gameboy instead.



So did your mum also pay for the other Gameboy systems or did you actually save?

I lost my own Gameboy Advance SP under somewhat similar circumstances (I was playing it on the bed, and my younger sister was bouncing around and then landed straight on the system at full force, completely smashing it).



I know that most people remember the offical remakes of NES games, but does anyone remember playing actual NES games on the Gameboy Advance?
When I had the system, and before I knew what an NES was, I used to have a cartridge called "99 games in one", and were basically just NES games emulated on the system (looking back, it was obviously a pirated cartridge, having a mix of bootleg games with offical stuff and not incorporating Game Boy link compatibility for any of the NES games).
I remember playing the original Mario, Mach Rider, Bomberman and some other weird stuff on that cartridge.



While I replayed the Pokemon games alot, they weren't the generation 1 games since I wasn't able to find them at any store (this was like 2006-2008.
Rather, my most commonly replayed game was Pokemon Fire Red, but unfortunately not for the reason you would expect.
While I did enjoy my playthroughs, I always wished that my save files actually last more than a few months.
I would reach the Elite four and Bam!
My save file would be erased all of a sudden (probably since the game was on a pirated and low quality cartridge, the originals were hard to come by).
This happened like 4-5 times to the game (even getting a new cartridge didn't help), but the absolute worst was when I lost my best save file in which I had caught about 120 Pokemon, caught a shiny Articuno, and had trained Charizard and Mewtwo to Level 100.
I was training Zapdos at Cerulean Cave to Level 100.
I was at level 85 and decided to save and call it a day, when the game suddenly froze on the "saving, do not turn off the power" message.
The 3DS still sold pretty well. Jus less 4-5 million units than the GBA, but compared to the original DS and the original Game Boy and the GBC that's peanuts, ofc. The 3DS is the 11th highest-selling system as of today while the GB/GBC and the DS are only beaten by the PS2. If wikipedia is anything to go by, the original DS was only 2M units sold away from beating the PS2 O_o

That wasn't me who lost the Gmae Boy. It was my brother. He bought his other ones. My brother is 7-8 years older than me. I assume the Game Boy Pocket he bought was with allowance money he saved, I dunno. The GBC and the GBA he already bought with his own money. He was already 18-19 years old when he got a GBA, pretty sure.

Those 99 games in one cartridges were big here too. They were sold at Indian or Chinese owned shops. It was a great way for parents to save money. I've never had one of those games but always wondered how they fit so many in one measly cartridge.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:29 AM   #20
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My first Game Boy was bought for me while my family and I were on abroad on holiday. When we returned home I noticed that my game boy was different to everyone else's. It had strange writing on it that I knew wasn't Japanese but had no idea what it was and below the Nintendo Game Boy logo it had the words "Com Boy".

It wasn't until the magic of the Internet years later that I found out that during the 90s Japanese products were unofficially banned in Korea thus Nintendo distributed their consoles via Hyundai under the name "Com Boy" up until the N64. What I had was a Korean Com Boy Mini. How it ended up being sold in an electronic store is Spain I have no idea.

Since the first few days all I had was Tertris it became quite an addiction. My grandparents were nonchalant about me playing video games and didn't buy into scare stories that they warped brains but I remember them being genuinely concerned about how much time I was playing the game. Even more concerned when out of nowhere I threw up and blamed it on the the game. Took a while to convince them that I'd probably eaten too much iced cream.

My second game was Super Mario Land which despite it's flaws like it's differing physics from regular Mario games at the time I'll always have a soft spot for it. Sarasaland themed on real world places was interesting to me. It's enemies, especially the bosses stood out amongst Mario's usual reptile and amphibian enemies and vehicular levels are something I still would love to see return in 2D Mario games.

I'd echo that The TMNT games apart from Radical Rescue were nothing to write home about but the graphics of the second away blew me away at the time. The intro was epic and I loved how accurately Konami recreated the title cards from the show for the pause and Stage intro screens. Also since Turtles On Trial is one of my favourite episodes of the 80s show I love that you fight Krang in that military robot.

I remember one day a friend of mine was upset that his parents had bought him a "dumb game for babies" that he didn't even bother playing. When hearing the name Kirby's Dream Land I knew from Nintendo Magazine System (the UK's main Nintendo magazine) this was a good title do instantly offered to trade a Spider-Man game for it. I got the better end of the deal. I sometimes wonder if he realised what he'd given up.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is probably the best game on the original game boy. It still amazes me how much they packed in to the system. It was the first time the game boy seemed like a great machine in it's own right as opposed to something a little fun to take on the road. That game had a lot if influence on Ocarina of Time that sadly never gets acknowledged.

The Super Game Boy was cool, got a lot of play out of a Donkey Kong which also strangely influenced Mario 64. I remember being slightly disappointed with the
Game Colour and thinking this ain't really what I thought until I started getting the exclusive games for it. I loved the original Wario Land so it's sequels were a must buy and I'd still take another Wario game in the same vein. I'm not hugely into Pokemon but I enjoy the first two eras a lot.

The Game Boy Advance kinda dragged me back into gaming. I had pretty much moved on from gaming at the time until I happened to see someone playing Super Mario World on their SP, it impressed me that you could play a SNES game on such a small device and went out and got one for myself. Sod's law that the next thing I know they are announcing the DS, I held off getting one for awhile thinking I'd stick with the SP plus it could play original Game Boy games. If I ever go back and play Game Boy games it's on the SP. The puke green screen and no backlight didn't bother me as a kid but once you have the definitive way to play these games you can't really go back.
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