Saturday, February 7, 2015

GameBoy in color! The Nintendo GameBoy Color

The Nintendo Game Boy Color
The Nintendo Game Boy Color

Another one of my childhood favorites, the Nintendo GameBoy Color. It is a pretty good gaming handheld with a faster 8-bit processor and more importantly, a color screen. I have to say, it’s a huge step up from the “pea green soup” graphics of the original GameBoy. It also had gotten an upgrade in its screen, from passive matrix LCD to a crisper active matrix LCD which gives the games a sharper look with none of the blurring seen in previous GameBoy machines.
Although the screen is still reflective and not backlit like the Sega Game Gear. That means you still have to play the GameBoy Color in bright lighting conditions. But, it does give the GameBoy Color a lot of battery life considering it runs with only two AA batteries. My longest playtime with it was roughly around 30 hours, which is pretty good.

A quick look at the specs:

  • Sharp processor LR35902 8-bit (based on Zilog Z80)
  • Processor speed of 4 or 8 Mhz (2 modes)
  • Screen resolution of 160 x 144 pixels 
  • 32,768 (15-bit) Palette colors that are available
  • Supports up to 10, 32, or 56 colors on screen
  • Sprite size of 8x8 or 8x16
  • Maximum sprites of 40
  • 8 MB (ROM maximum)
  • 2 wave channels audio
  • 32 KB RAM
  • 16 KB VRAM
  • 128 KB of cartridge RAM
  • Input: 4 buttons (A, B, Start, Select), 8 way direction pad, power switch
  • Serial I/O, Infra-red I/O, Cartridge I/O, ·  Volume potentiometer
  • Dimensions: 75 mm x 27 mm x 133 mm

The GameBoy Color games run perfectly and animates smoothly, especially the color only cartridges which doesn’t work with the older GameBoy handhelds. The old gameboy cartridges are backwards compatible though, giving them an updated look with the larger color palette. The 2d graphics for the GameBoy Color are rich and smooth. The colors are bright which give the player more enjoyment in playing. It certainly benefited from the better specs, which was a huge step up from the original GameBoy. The best GameBoy Color games are: Wario Land 2 & 3, the Zelda series, the Pokemon series, Super Mario Deluxe, Super Mario 3… Just to name a few.

Wario Land 3 gameplay
Wario Land 3 gameplay

Once you pop in that game cartridge, it’s very hard to stop playing. I can say that I have wasted a lot of AA batteries during those times. I really wished that there would be a rechargeable model back then, but it would only be realized with the later release of the GameBoy Advance SP... With a backlit widescreen to boot. But, oh well. I was happy with my GameBoy Color nonetheless. Ahh, the fun times playing with my favourite GameBoy Color! There’s just that feeling you get when playing these retro handheld consoles… The joy can’t be described. I don’t know about you guys but I don’t get that feeling when playing with those new Android, Iphone tablet and phone games… It’s just not as fun playing with these new phone and tablet games in my opinion. It’s just not the same as playing with a perfectly good handheld console.

If you want to buy GameBoy Color games and consoles, they are still available for sale brand new and used

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