Gameboy

Simpler Times

Every now and then I get into this weird mood where I feel like I own too much crap and wish I hadn’t bought half the things I own today. Most of this is related to my consoles/games/collectibles. I always feel like I’m buying stuff that I don’t use/play and I tend to buy things on impulse, thus making me accumulate a bit of a collection of things.

Today I’ve been having one of these moods and it’s even made worse by the nagging feeling that things used to be “simpler”. You see when I was a kid I wasn’t heavily spoiled. I couldn’t ask my parents for everything and there were a lot of things that I wanted but never owned. I’m fine with that. It taught me how to appreciate the things that I did have and there wasn’t a toy that I got that did not see a certain amount of playtime.
The same went for my games. When I was 6 years old I remember my dad getting me my first console. It was a Sega Genesis, my dad found the games to look prettier on that compared to the Nintendo systems, and it came with the original Sonic game. The console was in the living room and even though it was connected to my own little TV I was monitored and didn’t spend too much time gaming on it. I didn’t know it at the time but my dad frequently bought me games for the console that would then mysteriously appear, netting me a total of about 20 games in the end. And I played all of them to some degree. Most of them were Disney games but I also own a few sports games, a Jurassic Park game and ofcourse the various Sonic games that were available at the time.

A few years later I got my very own dark blue Gameboy Pocket. We travelled a lot for birthdays and it gave me something to do during the car rides that took up over an hour. When we visited my dad’s side of the family it also gave me something to do over there because there were no kids my age to play with. So I had my Gameboy and the games they gave me for Christmas and my Birthday and I was happy. I played all the games, finished most of them, and never felt like I wanted or needed more.

I still have my old console and my old Gameboy and every now and then I turn them on for the nostalgia. The games may not look as good as I thought they did and some cartridges require a few good blows before they work. But they remind me of a simpler time when I was a kid who only had what she was given and who was happy to have just that. And right now I would give up everything I own just to recapture that feeling again. Sitting with my Gameboy in the back of my parents’ car, glued to a game and hoping we weren’t there yet so I could keep playing…

The Backlog part 3.1: Oldschool Handhelds

A few weeks ago I did a backlog post of my current games on my current generation consoles/handhelds and PC. In the first post I promised I’d also do a backlog of all my older games, to show you all the collection I built up over the years and to sketch how my gaming habits and ownership has changed over the years. Seeing as my oldschool backlog is quite big I’m splitting it up into two or three separate posts, the first of which will be today and will cover my gaming career on handhelds.
So without further ado, let’s start with the first 10 years of my life in gaming which was dominatied mostly by Nintendo and their Gameboys.
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As you can see I have a reasonable collection of Gameboy games. I tried to divide them up by placing them under the type of Gameboy that was needed to play them, hence the “weird” row placements. I started out with a Gameboy Pocket and Pokémon Blue when I was about eight or nine years old. Pokémon was all the rage at the time and a lot of my friends were playing with Gameboys. Add up the fact that we would travel to birthdays and family a lot during the weekends, and those drives would take 1-2 hours every time, my parents decided to get me a Gameboy to keep me busy in the car and at some family events where I would be the only kid. I can’t even begin to describe how many hours I played on that thing and of all the games you see in the left row there’s literally three I haven’t 100% completed. These are Super Mario Land 1, Kirby’s Dream World and Bugs Bunny. I’m pretty sure you couldn’t really complete the Bugs Bunny game though, it was kind of like pacman where levels just got gradually harder untill you died. Super Mario Land didn’t have a save option so although I’ve played it a lot I could never get to the endboss of the game in one go. Kirby is actually a game I picked up way later and played for a bit, but never completed. I think I spent the most time on my Pokémon games. As you can see I own a lot of them (the only Gameboy game I actually lack is Pokémon Leafgreen, which I did own but gave to an ex-boyfriend as birthday present). Unfortunately Silver and Gold no longer work due to empty battery, but I don’t want to know how many hours I’ve sunk into all of those games.
The Gameboy Color generation was next and there I’ve only not completed Hamtaro (I remember being quite far in though) and Animorphs. Animorphs I didn’t really understand, but I’m willing to pick it up again. The Tetris game was more one for my mom to play with and I believe she still has the high score on that particular cassette so I don’t really want to touch it.
I got my Gameboy Advance SP after my mom passed away. I’ve played with this for about 5 years untill I bought my DS Lite. Unfortunately I’m missing two games on this picture which I think I left at my ex’s place and thus will never see again. I managed to rebuy Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories but I’m still looking for the original Sonic Advance to complete my collection. I’m also considering getting Pokémon Leafgreen again just so I have all the old Gameboy generations complete. I have completed less of those games than on previous generations. I gamed less during highschool and only got introduced to WoW when I was 17 and that took up so much time that I didn’t really look at my handhelds anymore. I did complete quite a few games, most notably the Pokémon games and the Crash Bandicoot games. I do intend to go back and play through the rest, starting with my recently re-obtained Kingdom Hearts game.

On to the next generation!

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When I was about 18 I bought my first Nintendo DS with my own money. Although I never really acquired that many games for it, I think I had enough to keep me busy for a while. I bought it when it was out for quite a bit already and the bundle came with Need for Speed Most wanted (which I completed) and Fifa 06 (which I honestly didn’t touch at all). Again I have  quite a few Pokémon games and I have completed all of them except Diamond, which I didn’t acquire untill much later. Children of Mana was a game which I played a whole lot aswell, it was very grindy and hard but fun to play. I don’t think I’ve defeated the last boss so technically not completed, but boy the amount of hours I sunk into that. Zoo Tycoon was very much a nostalgia buy and I played around with it for a bit. Nintendogs was just plain cute and I did unlock a lot of puppies, but eventually my enthusiasm for the game died down. Sonic Rush was a gift from my ex and Bleach I had to buy as fangirl, neither games I have completed though.
Kawasaki’s More Braintraining was very hip at the time so I obviously had to have it, and I did use it a lot. As far as Final Fantasy III goes. I do remember playing a bit of it, but I never finished that one either. The only thing on this picture that I really regret buying is the Nintendo DS Browser. Before the smartphone area Nintendo offered a way to use the internet on your DS. I bought it and used it a bit but in hindsight it was a real waste of money. Oh well, you can’t buy awesome things all the time right?

I hope you guys liked looking at my “oldschool” handheld collection. I have actually completed a lot of these games, especially the Gameboy and Pokémon ones. I think it’s due to being a kid and not having that much money to spend on yourself. I would only get new games when I had saved up enough pocket money to buy one or when it was my birthday or a special occassion. I guess lack of choice makes you appreciate more what you have and actually play it fully before moving on to another game. Now that I have more money to spend, and I like getting my hands on new shinies, I get new games almost every month, which distracts me from the game I was currently playing. This buying habit, combined to looking back at my old games and the amount I actually completed has more or less woken me up and strengthened my resolve not to buy that many games anymore and focus on completing the ones I already have.

In my next and (hopefully) last backlog post I’ll take a look at my two old consoles: The Playstation 2 and the Sega Genesis. Stay tuned!