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volume 1, issue 39

Today in loonygames:

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Pad Happy:
Gameboy for President

By Nick Ferguson

 

What has been especially gratifying for a crusty old gamer like me is that people on the gaming newsgroups really seem to be responding to this new wave of Gameboy titles. Some posters are obviously just experiencing a wave of nostalgia, but a large number of people are playing these games for the first time – and loving them! Innovations such as the rumbling cart for Pokemon Pinball and the GB-N64 link-up options (for Pokemon Snap and - gasp! - Perfect Dark, among others) show the type of imagination and infectious sense of fun that has been missing from the console market for some time. Sony’s marketing is certainly sharp and effective, but aren’t you getting tired of the "PlayStation games are cool" message? I’m really looking forward to Sega’s return to the Western gaming market – it needs a shake-up, don’t you think?

So, it’s official - Gameboy Color is great for retro-fiends like myself. With Spy Hunter in the works, Defender and Joust out now in a compilation package, and a host of classic old games to come, there really is no excuse (especially with that extensive Gameboy back-catalogue – mmmm, Metroid 2). Even better, many of these games have been spruced up and sprinkled with a host of extras. Mario DX also comes with the "Lost Levels" (from Mario All-Stars on SNES), and you can bet future DX titles will be as expertly prepared (R-Type, anyone)? It’s like getting a Special Edition of your favorite games!

Fear not, though – even if you couldn’t give a crud about retro-titles, a tidal wave of new games are scheduled for Gameboy Color as revitalized interest in the market leads to a boom in development. Rare are working on a number of games (including the Conker game and "Disney racing" licences), Capcom are releasing Resident Evil very soon, and an intriguing strategy-oriented version of Rainbow Six was shown at E3 (see loony’s main feature). The long-term future of the Gameboy Color seems assured - even Sega will be making games for it!

Rumors suggest that an upgraded version of Gameboy Color is in the works for a Christmas release in Japan (the main improvement being a back-lit screen), to be followed within a couple of years by a new, "next-generation" handheld system that will NOT be backwards-compatible. It remains to be seen how powerful this new handheld will be, but it is likely that Gameboy 2 will enjoy a similar relationship with ‘Project Dolphin’ to the one Gameboy Color has with the N64. But hey, all that’s a while off…

Aaah, wouldn’t it be great if everyone owned a Color Gameboy? You could trade Pokemon with strangers on a long train ride, or challenge them to a duel on Tetris! Still not found that elusive gold-egg laying chicken in Harvest Moon? Try and buy it from a friend! Throw the GB-N64 connectability into the mix and you have even more potential – hey, who got the best pics of Pikachu in Pokemon Snap? Maybe if Gameboy Color ownership was compulsory, the world would be a better place - there wouldn’t be so much crime, hatred and mistrust in the world…

I’m only half kidding here - if you haven’t got a Gameboy Color yet, get out there and buy one (immediately). You’ll thank me for it, I promise you.

- Nick is travelling round the US this month with his Gameboy Color. World peace can’t be far off.

Credits: Pad Happy logo illustrated and is © 1999 Dan Zalkus. Pad Happy is © 1999 Nick Ferguson. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't try it, or you'll get some real force feedback.