Saturday, October 01, 2005

Gameboy Retrospective: The Golden Age

I purchased my first gameboy shorlty after it's release in the early 90's, I was about to graduate high school and my fever for videogames was well developed. To most observers it was just a toy, a bulky digital watch that played games. Soon after the Gameboy began sinking its toothy grip into the videogame world I would begin working at Electronic Arts, where a Gameboy was a necessary accessory and "gamer culture" was being born.

My early days with Gameboy were spent almost entirely with Tetris. Addictively, endlessly, Tetris. I was-- and to this day, still am-- wickedly adept at the quad-based puzzle game. It came to a point where I wouldn't even start a casual game on less than level 9, and if starting from the beginning could play a single game for an hour trying to best my own records. I find the original Gameboy version of Tetris to be one of the best ever, it's only close competition being Tetris Attacks for the Playstation. Coincidentally, I played a hand in a more recent version, Tetris Worlds (2001), for Gameboy Advance. The game's design and feel was hampered by a very un-Tetris like vision held by the license holders, but I can't really complain, I've been collecting royalties from its sales ever since. Me and Tetris got roots.

Other games that hold fond memories include Mario: Six Golden Coins, Spider-Man, Prince of Persia, Castlevania, and of course, Pokémon. The Gameboy ushered in the age of mobile gaming, and is in many ways responsible for my current career. I ended up selling my first Gameboy to a co-worker after getting myself a Gameboy Color, as I wanted a green Gameboy very, very badly. Still I remember it fondly, and the hours wiled away crafting me into the gamer I am today.

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