So I bought a Gameboy yesterday…

Posted by JohnnyAutoFire (353 posts) -

I finally have some time off with finals being over, and I think it’s just about time for me to try out the blog feature here on Giant Bomb.  Now, I could write some stupid little blurb just to fulfill the “Dear Diary” quest, but that would be pretty lame.   

 The Monochrome Wonder

As the title implies, I bought an original Gameboy yesterday afternoon.  Something about that puke green dot matrix screen powered by four AA batteries harkens back to my childhood memories of boring road trips.  For a lot of kids like me back in the early 90s, the Gameboy was the only thing to look forward to when your parents were fighting over a crumpled old map claiming that, “Disneyland is just right around the corner.”  When I was five years old my parents thought it would be a good idea to move from Bangor Maine to Phoenix Arizona, and we were doing it by car.  My Gameboy turned what could have been the most boring seven day long road trip into something that I have fun and nostalgic memories of.  So when I saw an old beat-up Gameboy in the display case of my local used game shop yesterday, a little piece of that kid moving to a strange (and hot) new place sprung up inside me.

The Gameboy that I found in the game shop is in pretty bad shape.  It came without the battery cover, and the piece of plastic that covers the screen keeps falling off.  I’ve ordered replacements for both of these problems on ebay, and they should be coming within the week.  I’ve been doing some research on modding Gameboys so that they have an LED backlit screen, and I might give it a shot.  I’ve even found some sites that offer kits for Gameboy backlighting.  If anyone knows anything about backlighting an old Gameboy screen I would love some suggestions and tips, as I’ve never tried to do this before.  I’m also looking for some suggestions for games to pick up for it.  There are so many games for the Gameboy that it’s hard for me to tell which are great, and which are garbage.  Obviously I need to find a copy of Tetris.  I also want to track down a copy of Kirby’s Dreamland.  It seems like nobody talks about the Gameboy anymore, not even sites dedicated to retro video game stuff.  Back in the day it was the little monochrome machine that could, and I think it deserves at least a little recognition.

#1 Edited by JohnnyAutoFire (353 posts) -

I finally have some time off with finals being over, and I think it’s just about time for me to try out the blog feature here on Giant Bomb.  Now, I could write some stupid little blurb just to fulfill the “Dear Diary” quest, but that would be pretty lame.   

 The Monochrome Wonder

As the title implies, I bought an original Gameboy yesterday afternoon.  Something about that puke green dot matrix screen powered by four AA batteries harkens back to my childhood memories of boring road trips.  For a lot of kids like me back in the early 90s, the Gameboy was the only thing to look forward to when your parents were fighting over a crumpled old map claiming that, “Disneyland is just right around the corner.”  When I was five years old my parents thought it would be a good idea to move from Bangor Maine to Phoenix Arizona, and we were doing it by car.  My Gameboy turned what could have been the most boring seven day long road trip into something that I have fun and nostalgic memories of.  So when I saw an old beat-up Gameboy in the display case of my local used game shop yesterday, a little piece of that kid moving to a strange (and hot) new place sprung up inside me.

The Gameboy that I found in the game shop is in pretty bad shape.  It came without the battery cover, and the piece of plastic that covers the screen keeps falling off.  I’ve ordered replacements for both of these problems on ebay, and they should be coming within the week.  I’ve been doing some research on modding Gameboys so that they have an LED backlit screen, and I might give it a shot.  I’ve even found some sites that offer kits for Gameboy backlighting.  If anyone knows anything about backlighting an old Gameboy screen I would love some suggestions and tips, as I’ve never tried to do this before.  I’m also looking for some suggestions for games to pick up for it.  There are so many games for the Gameboy that it’s hard for me to tell which are great, and which are garbage.  Obviously I need to find a copy of Tetris.  I also want to track down a copy of Kirby’s Dreamland.  It seems like nobody talks about the Gameboy anymore, not even sites dedicated to retro video game stuff.  Back in the day it was the little monochrome machine that could, and I think it deserves at least a little recognition.

#2 Posted by TheHBK (5474 posts) -

One of the best memories I have was coming home from school one day and my parents just giving me a gameboy out of nowhere.  It was the best surprise of all time.  I had a super nintendo but this little system gave me so much enjoyment.  But it all ended when my mom made me give it away to my cousin. Sure as hell didn't want to.  I had recently gotten a Game Gear though, she said I didn't need it anymore, I had a full color portable now.  God I wish I still had that Game Boy. 
Great find.  Wish I could get one in good condition myself.  I think I will keep my eye out now.
#3 Posted by TwoLines (2803 posts) -

Still have my gameboy.
Which is nothing short of amazing actualy.

#4 Posted by wolf_blitzer85 (5254 posts) -

Still have mine, unfortunately the screen decided to die. Lots and lots of memories sitting in the back seat with my head buried in that thing. AA batteries were more precious than oxygen. Those were wonderful times, thanks for bringing those memories back dude.

#5 Edited by CornBREDX (5110 posts) -

Ya I remember the game boy. Still have a couple original game boy games and I think my sister has the original gameboy now. Lotta great games on it and even more really bad ones. I havent forgotten it but I think people talk even less about the tiger handhelds of the past. Those were my first foray into hand held games (on road trips and stuff). It seems hand helds in general get overlooked though in the retrospect world. I am not sure why. 
 
Edit: In thought, I think it may be because most gameboy games I can remember were just watered down versions of console games. Just a thought.
#6 Posted by JohnnyAutoFire (353 posts) -
@CornBREDX: I used to have the old Tiger game for Sonic the Hedgehog 2: 

It was nothing like Sonic 2, but it was still a lot of fun.
#7 Posted by Aquaur (5 posts) -

My sister is actually using her old gameboy in her bathroom,... playing tetris is much better than magazine. But... well...I won't borrow it from now on.
#8 Posted by CornBREDX (5110 posts) -
@super_mario_john:
Ya the ones I can still remember (I had alot of tiger handhelds, god I wish I still had them now) were double dragon, a talking batman one, and a talking xmen one (just had wolverine from what I remember).  
 
Good times.
#9 Posted by Willy105 (4690 posts) -

Great find.
 
My oldest Game Boy is the Game Boy Color.

#10 Posted by OwnlyUzinWonHan (1480 posts) -

Last year I found a Game Boy at the door of my apartment complex's laundry room. Still works though I have the same two problems you're having.
I would suggest getting Metroid 2 if you can find it for cheap.

#11 Posted by sopranosfan (1935 posts) -

I had one when I was a kid.  I still remember playing TMNT, Tetris, and Batman.  Ahh, Good times, Good times.

#12 Posted by Jimbo (9800 posts) -

Still looks great to this day.  Iconic.
 
I remember having Super Mario Land, Tetris, Alleyway and Chase HQ, so it must have been at or around launch I guess.  I vaguely recall Bubble Bobble, but I think that was later.  Then I must have sold it, because I had to buy another one about 8 years later to get Pokemon (totally worth it).

#13 Posted by Vonocourt (2126 posts) -

I still got a Gameboy Pocket somewhere in my closet. 
 
Remember that commerical where it was a bunch of people on a assebly line and the robot hand would put the Gameboy in there back pocket. Awesome.

#14 Edited by SPACETURTLE (1622 posts) -

Ah, the Gameboy. Probably one of the best gaming devices ever made. I remember bustin' up cities and eating blondes in the first Rampage game for the boy.

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