But take a moment to imagine a world where nothing ever became “handheld”. Couch Potatoes: Imagine that your television remote was as large as a coffee table! Retail Cashiers: There are no portable price scanners; enjoy typing the barcodes of all oversize items by hand! Bestiality Aficionados: Good luck grasping your favorite horse’s genitals! But thankfully the nightmare of “no handhelds” never came to pass.
We live a life of handhelds, and video game systems are no exception. What follows is a guide to all your favorite portable game consoles past and present. If you have any complaints, don’t forget you aren’t paying for any of this.
Released in 1989, the Nintendo Game Boy was the first handheld game console that wasn’t a complete piece of crap. It didn’t cost too much, it looked cool (1989 cool that is), and it had the name Nintendo attached to it.
But the best feature of the Game Boy had to be that when children were grounded from playing video games, they could hide the system so their parents wouldn’t be able to take it away. It could also be played under the covers at night, and although the bleeps and blips which emanated from its tiny speaker would do little to drown out the screams of emotionally abusive parents, headphones could be purchased separately.
It was also the precursor to the Game Boy COLOR, which (according to Wikipedia) was featured in the film The Truth about Jane. The story behind this film is certainly a mystery for the ages.
1. Mario Land (Series): Just like Mario for the home consoles. Well, except without the catchy soundtrack, colorful graphics, familiar characters, or ability to see what’s happening on-screen.
2. Eighteen Trillion Movie-Based Games: The Game Boy was the first handheld console to capitalize on the tendency of consumers to immediately purchase any item which bears the name of a popular film regardless of its quality.
3. Games Whose Titles Sound Like Pornographic Films:
- Barbie: Game Girl
- Booby Boys
- Head On
- Hammerin’ Harry
- In Your Face
- Jeopardy Teen Edition
- Lucky Luke
- Nail ‘n’ Scale
- Spanky’s Quest
- Super Chinese Land
Game Boy Camera/Printer: Friend, you haven’t lived until you’ve taken grainy 12X10 pixel black and white photographs of small household objects and then print them out onto tiny rolls of cash register tape.
Final Rating: 122/536
The Sega Game gear (released in 1991) was the next big contender in the handheld gaming arena. As with all Sega game systems it was originally to be named after a planet (mercury). But this was soon changed to Game Gear, as it was thought that the name Mercury was far too neat-sounding and would likely cause people to actually become interested in the system.
The console launched with a few titles, most notably G-Loc (a top-down shooter where in which you may or may not play as up-and-coming Filipino rapper Gloc-9), and Columns, which was a lot like Tetris except that it was not fun.
Fun Fact: The Game Gear’s Zilog Z80 CPU was named after its creator, famed goblin chip designer Zilog Zok
Actually managed to somehow be more blurry in motion than Game Boy. Playing sonic boiled down to watching blue smudge traveling quickly across larger green smudge.
Required 12 D batteries; had battery life of approximately 18 seconds (27 seconds if screen was turned off)
This allowed elitist gamers to play untranslated Japanese dating games featuring nonconsensual sex with blue-haired cat children & dwarf-baking sims.
Game Gear Tuner: Bored gamers desperately searching for something to do with their Game Gears may have wanted to purchase the TV Tuner attachment.
This accessory allowed people who almost surely already had a number of large-screen televisions in their homes to watch TV on a fuzzy 3-inch screen with poor reception and muffled sound instead.
Final Rating: 14/83.444444
NEO GEO POCKET COLOR
The Neo Geo Pocket Color was remarkable though, if only because somebody at that company had fooled themselves into thinking that a mediocre handheld console could compete with the Game Boy in the US. To that person I say: Nice one.
Uhhh, lots of fighting games I guess. What can I say, believe it or not, people actually used to play them. (Apologies in advance if I’ve offended either of the people who still play fighting games.)
Final Rating: 0.5/100
But seeing this is the type of name you’re going for, I’d like to take some time out to make some suggestions of what you might name your next console:
Cutie Pie Fairy Princess Plus
Kissin’ Grandma On The Porch Swing
I Love Unicorns!
Hey, did any of you guys see m–*PUNCHED*
Precious Pink Baby Love
Love Note From Mommy In My Lunch
Compatible with Original Wonderswan Games
Originally, the system only cost 6800 yen. I think that’s about 3 dollars.
Let’s See…What Else…
Obviously not, but many Japanese people seem content to play slightly different versions of the exact same thing for their entire lives, and a lot of American nerds love to pretend they’re Japanese, so there’s your explanation.
Final Rating: Six Ampersand Dollar Sign
The N-Gage was launched in 1993. It came with 3 games: Pokemon Pummel, Rats Ahoy!, and Chinese Person Simulator. Upon launch, the N-Gage sold out within the first 10 minutes. This was not due to high demand for the system, but rather because Nokia ate a bunch of strange mushrooms they found in the woods and were too out of it to manufacture any systems until the last second. When asked about this, a spokesperson from Nokia was quoted as saying “…we were at that time…set upon by an army of small balled twine men. Wait! They’re all around…all around…I hear horrible dark chittering and screeching and they are scrabbling down the walls and shingles and oh god they’ve come they’ve come EEEEEAAAAAAa-”
Sensationalized System Specs
Its main CPU contained a miniature warhead (ARM4T architecture running at a quadrillion MHz per sizzlebyte) which would explode if the user tapped a series of 3 commonly-used buttons in any order or attempted to make any type of phone call.
Final Rating: Fourteen Panthers out of Twenty-Eight Panthers
Hey, look everyone, it’s a Palm Pilot with different buttons.
In case you, you know, need to graph something.
They say you’ve never actually heard Beethoven’s 5th until you’ve listened to the breathtaking Polyphonic Cellphone Ringer Arrangement.
The only difference is that for twenty dollars you don’t get 1000, you get one. So if you really, really, like games with –tris, zap, and extreme in their titles, go buy a Zodiac now. Also you should probably pick up a shawl and some canned beet paste, because it is likely that you are also someone’s elderly aunt.
Vaya con Dios.