GameSpite Quarterly #1, part 9

The Quiet Years: Game Boy Toils in Obscurity
We move into the penultimate chapter of GameSpite Quarterly 1 with a brief intro to an equally brief section. There’s a reason for this brevity! You see, our retrospective has reached that odd span of Game Boy’s lifetime in which everyone was looking ahead and no one had any idea what a Pikachu was. Game Boy will resume its usual schedule of kicking butt and chewing bubblegum next update.
Sega Game Gear
Unlike Atari’s Lynx, Sega’s portable contender put in a fairly respectable showing for itself in the overwhelming odds thrown up by Game Boy’s towering success. No, it didn’t come close to toppling Nintendo’s juggernaut, even in this subdued era… but as Lumber Baron reveals, it did pretty OK for itself regardless.
Nintendo Virtual Boy
Virtual Boy might well be the biggest mistake Nintendo ever made, but I’ve done something strange and unusual in this look back at Game Boy’s would-be successor: I’ve actually analyzed what the system was designed to accomplish, and how it fits into the bigger picture of Gumpei Yokoi’s works. I wouldn’t call this a defense, per se… but I did at least try for “even-handed.”
Street Fighter II
Sure, we’ve all played Street Fighter II. It’s one of the most successful games of all time! It revitalized the arcade! It gave Super NES its first real advantage over Genesis! It made Sega move toward a six-button controller format! And it… was also on Game Boy? Lumber Baron again delves into the dark side of classic portable gaming for the full details.
Mario’s Picross
Picross is the most fun you will ever have with math. Sudoku is boring and stale, but Picross isn’t simply fun — it’s artsy, too! Well, if you consider mathematically drawing pictures of Mario icons “art.” (I do.) While you’re waiting eagerly for the release of Picross 3D, why not stay in practice with Loki’s retrospective-cum-activity page feature?

15 thoughts on “GameSpite Quarterly #1, part 9

  1. The Virtual Boy may have been Nintendo’s biggest mistake, but the biggest mistake I ever made was trading my Virtual Boy and VB Game collection (which included Jack Bros. mint) to a friend for his Sega Saturn and Saturn Game collection, especially since 4 months later my local Toys R’ Us had the Sega Saturn + 3 game pack for $50 :(

  2. Oh it’s a shape of some sort. Maybe even a picture of something. But just what it’s supposed to represent? I have no idea.

  3. Lumber Baron wrote:

    Imagine that: a pre-GBA handheld game that was tailored to the system’s strengths and used as the vanguard entry in a tentpole franchise.


    Okay, sorry for nitpicking. Really good read; I didn’t even know there was a port of Street Fighter 2 for the Game Boy!

  4. Hmm, I somehow confused the Game Boy port of MIDI Maze with the shockwave port. Correction made.

    @dtsund: Pokémon might fit the bill, but I don’t think Nintendo had any idea how big it would be. The use of the Capcom licence was clearly the best thing asset SNK had going for it in those lean years, and still put out the handheld version before the NEO●GEO/arcade version. Then again, it simply might have been easier to make, but still.

  5. Every disparaging thing I read about the Virtual Boy just makes me want one more. I have a sickness.

  6. You and me both Balrog. And I’ve had the (dis)pleasure of playing one at a friend’s place for hours too.

  7. Technically speaking, Sudoku is really logic- rather than math-based. Any set of nine symbols is interchangeable in the context of the puzzle. By comparison, the numbers themselves hold significance in Picross…but it still focuses heavily on logic as well.

  8. I was a Game Gear kid too. I was lucky enough to own Defenders of Oasis, thanks to EGM letting me know about it. I owned a Lynx later, but can’t remember any truly great games for it.

  9. Loki, I actually solved your picross puzzle. It looks a little like an owl to me (if you flip it upside down).

  10. Nice Picross puzzle. So I take it, based on the proportions, it’s suppose to be a Pocket as opposed to the regular? :D

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