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xDragonWarrior

How powerful was the Game.com?

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**This thread was not inspired by Jackandsig's CreatiVision thread(I though of his after) but would not mine if he posted on this one :)**

Alot of people hate on the Game.com because "the only good games are the puzzle/trivia/board games" as the action games are slow and unplayable and although I like the system(out of all the Videogame consoles/handhelds ever made I only dislike the R-zone as I hate LCD games) I can agree.Now I have noticed that on the Game.com emulator(Gcom), the games are much better than on the actual console(not great but tolerable)as there is no slowdown or ghosting effect so that means that it's the Game.com's screen that makes it bad not the console's hardware.So I just wanted to know how powerful was the Game.com compared to the Gameboy color,was it much better or much worse as the unreleased Metal Gear Solid port looks better graphically than the Gameboy Color port.

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Edited by xDragonWarrior

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No, it's worse. :)

Yes, of course the blur is not there when you play via emulation. But that doesn't change the fact that when you play on an actual Game.com it makes even the original GameBoy's screen look like an OLED in comparison.

 

The games, while a bit more detailed thanks to the higher resolution are slow and choppy as hell. The sound is most comparable to that of the Atari 2600, save for the nice voice samples.

 

Granted, at least the gameplay may have been possible to do better than it actually turned out with better developers, and if they hadn't tried to make games on it that it clearly wasn't capable of doing justice. I believe Tiger explicitly wanted the games to at least look good on screenshots, no matter how horrible they were in motion. That's the difference to Metal Gear on the Game Boy Color too, I would guess: while the GBC was likely more powerful overall, they made the games in a way that they would still be playable, so MG got more simple graphics. The Game.com version may look impressive on the screenshot, but I bet it ran like shit in reality. Not that we will ever find out. But I won't be fooled by screenshots of Game.com games ever again after playing the games.

 

As it stands the Game.com absolutely deserves every bashing it gets, it's just so bad. The system was very cheap even when it was released, and it just shows. You can't offer decent hardware at 70$ launch price. The most expensive thing was probably the touch screen functionality.

 

I'd go as far as to say it may be THE single worst handheld ever created. And yes, I include the Gammate and Supervision in the list of superior handhelds. Sure, they were very weak, but at least they didn't pretend to be anything more and stuck with simple games that suited them.

Edited by 108 Stars

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The Game.Com may very well have been capable of providing some games that ran nice and smooth. I'm not 100% sure, but weren't the games contracted out to some no-name Asian company? Makes you wonder what may have been possible if a well-known industry veteran of some sort had developed for the platform. The only game on the system that came close to providing a decent playing experience was Batman & Robin, and even that is kind of slow and clunky. Not nearly as bad as the rest of the games on the system though.

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They should have scrapped the touch screen, multiple cart slots, modem functionality, and PDA functionality. Instead they should have directed those resources towards making a system with a screen you can actually see. It's a system that cannot decide what it wants to be, and as a result it doesn't do anything well at all.

 

If it had just been a cheap Game Boy competitor with a competent screen and some decent games it would have been a fine system.

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Stop slandering hamsters.

 

 

I'd go as far as to say it may be THE single worst handheld ever created.

 

It managed to be one of the few game systems I've actually literally thrown out, that's a pretty bad sign.. :D

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I thought the built-in Solitaire was actually a pretty good game.... icon_biggrin.gif

 

Best game on the system. Probably the only genre it could handle, too. I guess that puts the system about on par with handheld LCD poker games. Or maybe a Texas Instruments TI-8x series graphing calculator, if you're feeling generous.

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Best game on the system. Probably the only genre it could handle, too. I guess that puts the system about on par with handheld LCD poker games. Or maybe a Texas Instruments TI-8x series graphing calculator, if you're feeling generous.

Those calculators are way better than a game.com. You can run freaking Doom on those.

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Lol the Game.com is not as bad as people make it out to be IMO.

 

No really, honestly, it was junk. Maybe it would have been okay for 1988, but not 1998.

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The Game.Com may very well have been capable of providing some games that ran nice and smooth. I'm not 100% sure, but weren't the games contracted out to some no-name Asian company?

Maybe you're thinking of a different system? Brandon Cobb of Super Fighter Team interviewed a few people (Americans, I believe) involved with developing Game.com games here. And, I've talked to a couple of people either at or contracted by Handheld Games (now defunct), who developed at least two Game.com titles.

 

onmode-ky

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Maybe you're thinking of a different system? Brandon Cobb of Super Fighter Team interviewed a few people (Americans, I believe) involved with developing Game.com games here. And, I've talked to a couple of people either at or contracted by Handheld Games (now defunct), who developed at least two Game.com titles.

 

onmode-ky

 

That's interesting. It's a shame neither of those two developers interviewed could seem to remember much though. :(

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That's interesting. It's a shame neither of those two developers interviewed could seem to remember much though. :(

If you had been responsible for Game.com-games, you would block out the memories too. :P

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If you had been responsible for Game.com-games, you would block out the memories too. :P

 

Yeah, after I read the interviews I thought to myself, "Well, this obviously goes to show how exciting it must have been to develop for this thing," heh.

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The Game.Com may very well have been capable of providing some games that ran nice and smooth. I'm not 100% sure, but weren't the games contracted out to some no-name Asian company?

It is the case for the Watara Supervision, BitCorp Gamate, and Mega Duck (tho on the Mega Duck,all game seems to originate from Sachen.) And seeing Sachen games like Brick Wall on the MD, or Super Kong on the Supervision, it might have been way better to have Sachen games on the Game.com

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Wait, there's a Metal Gear Solid game ROM somewhere? I'd pay money if someone would put it on a cart for me!

Edited by atari2600land
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Wait, there's a Metal Gear Solid game ROM somewhere? I'd pay money if someone would put it on a cart for me!

There is no ROM, just an old screenshot.

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The tech specs are available on the system's Wiki page, although they're incomplete. The game.com uses an 8-bit Sharp SM8521 processor, and you'll find more information about that here:

 

http://doc.chipfind.ru/sharp/sm8521.htm

 

Evidently the SM8521 has 1K of RAM and 4K of ROM, which is a good sight lower than the GameBoy with its 8K of RAM. The game.com has three sound channels (two waveforms, one noise) versus the GameBoy's four sound channels (two waveforms, one PCM, and one noise), which can be played in stereo and augmented with cartridges. Where clock speed is concerned, the game.com's processor seems to run anywhere from 1 MHz to 10 MHz (I suspect it's stuck at 4 MHz for the sake of battery life), while the GameBoy holds steady at 4 MHz (twice that for the GameBoy Color). The game.com also has a higher resolution, 200 x 160 versus the GameBoy's 160 x 144. Color output is the same at four shades of grey.

 

So there's some give and take, but it looks like the GameBoy has an advantage in the places that count the most. And it's nearly a decade older than the game.com!

 

For what it's worth, I nominated the game.com as the worst game system of all time from a selection of 56 on my old web site. I literally cannot think of a game system that's worse, considering the time of its release and its capabilities. I've never owned one and I didn't spend much time playing it at a friend's house, but even the big name releases (ie Fighter's Megamix) were horrendous. They couldn't even make the games look good in the commercials, and that's just sad.

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**This thread was not inspired by Jackandsig's CreatiVision thread(I though of his after) but would not mine if he posted on this one :)**

Alot of people hate on the Game.com because "the only good games are the puzzle/trivia/board games" as the action games are slow and unplayable and although I like the system(out of all the Videogame consoles/handhelds ever made I only dislike the R-zone as I hate LCD games) I can agree.Now I have noticed that on the Game.com emulator(Gcom), the games are much better than on the actual console(not great but tolerable)as there is no slowdown or ghosting effect so that means that it's the Game.com's screen that makes it bad not the console's hardware.So I just wanted to know how powerful was the Game.com compared to the Gameboy color,was it much better or much worse as the unreleased Metal Gear Solid port looks better graphically than the Gameboy Color port.

 

Wait. If Game.com has better resolution than a gameboy color, why this screenshot is smaller than gbc?

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Wait. If Game.com has better resolution than a gameboy color, why this screenshot is smaller than gbc?

 

That GBC shot appears to be a magazine scan.

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On 12/21/2013 at 12:31 AM, 108 Stars said:

There is no ROM, just an old screenshot.

There is a rom I had it. 

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The games that didn't make demands that the screen be in motion fared better than "action" games. It has better sound in the few games that aren't programmed by the same poor bastid that programmed most of its library.

 

Personally I liked game.com take on duke nukem and resident evil.

 

The system I think wasn't to bad, but that screen, if you saw it in person, it was bad, in motion. If your only reference is youtube, it's even worse.

 

If I programmed, I'd love to try it, working around limitations is a lot of fun, but I doubt anybody will, for most people, it's more fun to blindly hate.

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Yeah filming make those old screen even worse. I also feel that many people that were alive BITD forgot how bad those screens are or are too used to wank about "60 fps lag-free games" (or people that mix up the refresh rate of their Tv and the actual game refresh).

I have both the Supervision and the Gamate and while their screens are nothing to be amazed with, it's not as some people suggest, a blurry unreadable mess. Though it's mostly because msot games are slow paced.

It's also possible that screen tech is in play, too. I bought a Game Boy Clone, the GB Boy. Unlike the related GB Boy Colour, the GB Boy come with a back and white screen.

My goodness, this is a crappy display! My best guess is that today B&W LCD screens are using in industrial or low-power applications where lag display is irrelevant. It's even worse than the original GB screen.

It could be the reason why the Game.Com screen get despised - using inadapted tech to save money.

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The emulator has been out for years. Why hasn't someone attempted making anything? Like even just a simple Hello World demo would be mind blowing.

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