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Magmavision2000

Gameboy Collecting

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I want to get into Gameboy collecting as I've never really appreciated the system and I'd like to change that. But I do have some questions about it.

 

How expensive is it nowadays? (I remember seeing Gameboy Pockets for $20 on eBay last year, but I'm sure that's changed)

 

What are the first games I should get? (Kind of a stupid question, but I'm still asking since I don't wanna be stuck with 3 bad games for a couple of months)

 

Should I also consider GBC games? (There seems to be a divide on how the GBC should be categorized. Some say it is it's own system, while others say it should be considered an "enhanced" Gameboy)

 

How should I store them? (This one kind of speaks for itself)

 

 

 

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Game Boy and Game Boy Color are different systems. I suppose that you could perhaps compare their relationship to that of the PC Engine and SuperGrafx, from what I understand. Anyway, they are different.

 

I have not looked at prices recently, but I can probably guarantee that Japanese carts are going to be cheaper since they are almost junk-tier in terms of value here. US prices for games will probably be higher. Get a GBA SP if you can, unless you REALLY want the green screen and don't mind feeding it batteries. Analogue Pocket should be the best option, if you can get one when they start accepting preorders again/already did get one.

 

I got a second GBA SP in an obviously used but still great condition for 8000 yen a few years ago since I left my US one in the USA. The screen on the original brick tends to go bad from what I understand, so I'd avoid that unless you really want the green screen experience. Still, I do recommend that you try it at least once just to say you've tried it.

 

As for games, looking back at it now, I'm really kind of having difficulty making recommendations, as I can't really seem to remember what made the damn thing so popular in terms of software aside from the obvious Pokemon, which are enjoyable for what they are. That said, there are a few non-Pokemon games that I can easily think of that are worth your time:

 

Castlevania The Adventure (people seem to not like this one because of its slowness, but it's not actually a bad game aside from that)

 

Castlevania II Belmont's Revenge

 

Any game with Wario in it

 

Super Mario Land is enjoyable, but short and easy. Shouldn't be too expensive, though. I have heard its sequel is very good, but I have not played it and will likely fix that problem soon.

 

Metal Gear Ghost Babel

 

Metroid II. I don't care what anyone says; this game is BETTER than its terrible 3DS remake. Not as good as its other remake on PC, but still enjoyable.

 

All Zelda games, including the 2 GBC games, if you like that sort of thing, I guess. Take the GBC version of Link's Awakening over the GB version if you have a choice, but from what I remember both are essentially identical aside from a single optional dungeon and its rewards for finishing that dungeon.

 

I have heard Shantae is good, but lol that price! Good thing LRG has an official reprint for sale RIGHT NOW, so if you want it, don't wait or you'll end up paying $600+ for just a cart if you want the original release.

 

For storage... I just threw mine all in a giant box together because I was a dumb kid. Not the best way to do it, but I guess it works.

Edited by Steven Pendleton
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I didn't get the chance to play a lot of GBC games, but I can make some recommendations for the old GB:

 

The Mega Man games on Game Boy are excellent, except for Mega Man II which kinda sucks compared to the others in the series (but it's not extremely bad).

 

I consider Bionic Commando on GB to be slightly better than the NES version, despite the lack of color. The controls seem more precise to me.

 

Operation C is an excellent entry in the Contra series, again despite the lack of color.

 

Nemesis and Gradius - The Interstellar Assault (a.k.a. Gradius II) are excellent games, if you're into shoot-em-ups.

 

I would also recommend the very first Batman game that Sunsoft released on the Game Boy. The music is fantastic in that game.

 

Gargoyle's Quest is a classic on the Game Boy, but the controls takes some getting used to. Once you've mastered the controls, you'll find it hard to stop playing, and you'll probably end up saying that the game is too short once you've finished it. (I still don't get why Capcom hasn't done a proper remake of this game series on the Switch.)

 

If you're into JRPGs, the Final Fantasy Legend series is pretty good. There are three games in that series.

 

DuckTales and DuckTales 2 are worth tracking down.

 

Kirby's Dream Land is way too easy, but I can recommend Kirby's Dream Land 2. The second entry has a little more meat to it.

 

Super Mario Land 2 is really good. In fact, anything with "Mario Land" or "Wario Land" in it is worth tracking down.

 

Metroid II, Legend of Zelda - Link's Awakening and Donkey Kong (generally referred to as Donkey Kong '94) are excellent.

 

Don't miss the Donkey Kong Land series. All three games of that series are great.

 

The Castlevania Adventure is pretty good, but slow-moving. Castlevania - Belmont's Revenge is way more recommendable.

 

If you're into puzzle games, the best ones I could recommend are Boxxle and Boxxle 2, although there are a lot of good puzzle games on the Game Boy.

 

I never got into the Pokémon craze, but I'm sure they can provide hours of fun, if you're into that kind of game.

 

I could make a lot of honorable mentions (like Double Dragon, Bonk's Revenge, Revenge of the Gator, etc.) so what I think you should do is check out the list of Game Boy games on Wikipedia are then examine YouTube footage of the games that seem interesting to you.

 

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For the difference between GBC and BG games, there are 2 things to consider (and those might explain why you saw that some people think they are the same).

The GBC is more than "a Game Boy in color" it's a Game Boy with a CPU twice the speed, twice the RAM, and supporting thousand of shades of color (4096? Going by memory, though it's not very important for my explanation) as opposed to the 4 shades of gray of the Game Boy.

It would be more clear if Nintendo had called it the Super Game Boy 😛

Now why does many people thing they are the same, save for the fact that most GBC games looks like Game Boy games?

Well it's because there are two types of Game Boy Color games : The Game Boy Color "compatible" games, and the "true" Game Boy color games.

GAme Boy Color compatible games are game that will run on the Game Boy, but when inserted into a Game Boy color, will reveal an adapted color palette.

Those games are recognised with their "black Game Boy" shell :

939px-Nintendo-Game-Boy-Cartridge-Black.

 

True Game Boy Color games won't work at all in a Game Boy. They use the translucent shell which lack the "corner notch" that physically prevent the Game Boy from powering on with a GBC game inserted.

939px-Nintendo-Game-Boy-Color-Cartridge.

 

Ideally, you could have an original or Pocket Game Boy for Game Boy games, and a Color system for GBC games.

Note that since the GBC was released in 1998 and the whole Game Boy lien terminated in 2001, there aren't so many great GBC-only games. Thoguh there are some gems amongt them, like Shantae, which is mind-blowingly so detailed it looks like an early GBA game.

 

If you really get n love with the Game Boy, I can only recommand you to get a GB Boy Colour : it's cheap usually, it has a color backligth screen and very economical on batteries.

Sure it's not original, but it's more useable unless you mod your original game boy for backlight, and if you break or lose it... not a big deal.

maxresdefault.jpg

 

The Everdrive GB is also recommanded; given the price of most GB games, the 100 or so Euros needed for the carts isn't so much considered that many big GB titles sells for 20€ each...

 

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As far as consoles go, if you want to go all-out I recommend retromodding.com. They specialize in custom Game Boys & sell a plethora of custom cases, buttons, backlit screens & other upgrades. While they don't appear to be taking orders now, they do offer build-to-order systems where you pick the parts & they build it for you. I've got a GBA from them, it's lovely!

 

As for which system to buy... the GBA is the easy choice since even stock units have backlit options, and you can run the full gamut of the Gameboy line. GBC's screens have aged better than most original Gameboys, which are prone to nasty ghosting (& generally hard to find in good condition for a decent price anyway.) They certainly all feel different though, so it's up to you to decide what matters most (or if you want more than one.)

 

For games- if you like puzzle games I recommend Pyramids of Ra. It's a pathfinding puzzler and it's MASSIVE- back in the day the publisher sent certificates to anyone who proved they beat it. Donkey Kong for GB has a bunch of new levels, it's one of the better versions of DK to get.

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How expensive is it nowadays? (I remember seeing Gameboy Pockets for $20 on eBay last year, but I'm sure that's changed)

Maybe lucky for $20 but it will be beat up so bad to make it even comfortable to use would cost you some.  Garage sales, local people who don't care aside, budget $40 on the 8bit era (GB/P/Color)

 

What are the first games I should get?

Subjective, sorry, but it is and you're not in your post exactly talking about what you like.  For starters quite a few NES era 8bit games got franchise sequels and spinoffs, if you liked those on the NES odds are the handheld versions will please you so start there.  Beyond that, my very strong suggestion at least for the few first years of GB, Jeremy Parrish has GB Works on youtube, he goes over each game as they were released from 1989 forward covers them widely from history, mechanics, etc, it's not just some lame-o review.  Beyond him though as time only goes so far on those still, ask around more, also look into gamefaqs review sections and youtube longplays (w/out idiots rambling through it.)  That'll be a great metric.

 

Should I also consider GBC games? (There seems to be a divide on how the GBC should be categorized. Some say it is it's own system, while others say it should be considered an "enhanced" Gameboy)

Definitely, but keep aware of this, GBC came in both a black cart(hybrid working on GB too) and smoke translucent plastic coloring that ONLY works on GBC and those games really do aside from quite a number of lazy kids/licensed garbage releases do push the system in ways you'll be surprised so don't ignore it.  Also as a side, there are SuperGB games too, uses the device on SNES to add borders, colors, digital audio samples etc.  Nintendo considered the GBC its own system despite the fact it really wasn't because at the core it's got 2x the cpu, 4x the memory, and added DMA to it and obviously color, but the core is original GB entirely.  Nintendo historically since has done this too as they considered the DSi and New 2/3DS systems new ones too even if they're not.

 

How should I store them?

Whatever you would consider 'safe' really.  I wouldn't throw them into a box loose the corners and rubbing can jack up the stickers or chip them if hard on them enough.  ANything from original plastic cases, long thin drawers to stuff them in A-Z, or even using baseball card sheets in a binder work.  Also some get artsy and use carved out DS cases or 80s tape cassette cases to store them on a shelve with some nice printed art.

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Just to toss this out there, My Life in Gaming released a video about GB screen mods if you want to get into that thing.

 

 

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On 9/15/2020 at 9:53 AM, Pixelboy said:

I didn't get the chance to play a lot of GBC games, but I can make some recommendations for the old GB:

 

The Mega Man games on Game Boy are excellent, except for Mega Man II which kinda sucks compared to the others in the series (but it's not extremely bad).

 

 

You might want to replay it. it's pretty bad and the music will have you running out screaming. I can only think of the Game Gear game being a worse official release (unless the early PC games were official releases, those were bad, but they may still be more playable than the Game Gear one.)

 

It's still good for collecting though, overall I would say Mega Man 4 and 5 for gameboy are musts, with 1 being decent and 3 being good. 

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^Got good taste in Pokemon Mini carts.  If I could just get my hands on a complete Zany Cards I'd have the little US set nailed down (along with Shock Tetris and that breeder one.)

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I have at least one variant of every Pokemon Mini title (yes, even Togepi's). I even have a Ditto flashcart to test mine and other programs people write. It's a unique, fun little console.

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Gameboy prices have gotten kind of stupid in recent months,  unfortunately.  

IMO,  the best system to get is the GBA SP, model 101. It has the better back-lit screen and the GBA plays all previous models games. The 101 is pricey though  If you're ok with soldering,  you can pretty easily add a nice looking, back lit screen to a regular GBA for about 40 bucks. 

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Japanese copies of gameboy games are usually a lot cheaper. Plus, there are over 400 Japanese exclusives.

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And the Game Boy has no region lockout, if memory serves, so you can play games from any region w/o modding the system. (Tho you might want a modded version w/a backlight, your choice. I've never had too much trouble with the non-lighted versions.)

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If you're willing to mod, a screen modded GBA is the best Gameboy. If you're not, you can get an SP(AGS-101 is best, but AGS-001 is fine too.) but they're quite pricey these days.

The GBC is it's own system. It has its own proprietary games that aren't compatible with older Gameboy games but is backwards compatible with older Gameboys. These are useless, really. A Gameboy Advance is better in every way.

If you are on a budget Gameboy Pockets are very affordable. You should be able to find a working one(not in the best shape though) for under $40. But I think an extra dozen or so bucks should get you a GBA, and they're well worth the investment.

The Pokemon games should provide you with many days of fun. I've been playing through Pokemon Silver for a while now and I've wasted countless hours playing it. It's really fun.

Link's Awakening is also pretty good, but I realize that it's not everyone's favorite.

If you have a GBC or better, the Oracle of Seasons/Ages games are on your to-play list as well. I believe these are a bit pricey these days as well.

And although I haven't played Super Mario Land, I can't imagine it being a terrible game. I mean, it's a 2D Mario platformer. How bad can it get?

And of course, there's always good ole' Tetris. The most addicting video game in the history of video games.

 

 

Oh, also, I forgot. The Minish Cap for the GBA is excellent. There are a lot of really good GBA games you should check out as well. Keep in mind that GBAs are compatible with all Gameboy games in existence.

Edited by bluejay

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If you have a SNES, a Super Gameboy add on is quite affordable and a nice way to enjoy your GB games.

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Bluejay -- hmmm no.  GBC is not useless.  You happily skate into modding territory to talk up the GBA then ignore the GBC eh?  Those TFT (or even IPS) latest model drop in screens made for the GBC are something to be really seen and used.  They're as nice if not better than your stock GBA/SP 001/101 panels and require minimal (no solder) effort to get them up and running and turn the GBC into the perfect 8bit Gameboy for all occasions.  I can't recommend that job higher than anything else with Gameboy.  Sure the GBA can run GB/GBC stuff but there are select games where it fails to properly execute a few games, a few more so which have minor to more severe audio issues too.  For the best experience with 100% compatibility and a crystal clear bright screen with the drop in screen replacement GBC is tops for 8bit play.

 

This is the best kit you can get, use it myself and totally recommend it to any GBC owner.

https://handheldlegend.com/collections/game-boy-color-gbc/products/game-boy-color-backlit-display

 

Also its battery consumption is minor, least of any mod on the market currently and doesn't draw much more than the original unlit screen does which is great for battery life.

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I've never had too much trouble with the unlit screen; I usually just play next to a lamp. 

 

The Game Boy does have a good mix of arcade style & NES-adventure style games. Qix, Tetris, Super Mario Land, Pokémon, etc.

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It should be noted that while the original GBA and GBASP can play GBC/GB games, the GBA Micro cannot.

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11 hours ago, Tanooki said:

Bluejay -- hmmm no.  GBC is not useless.  You happily skate into modding territory to talk up the GBA then ignore the GBC eh?  Those TFT (or even IPS) latest model drop in screens made for the GBC are something to be really seen and used.  They're as nice if not better than your stock GBA/SP 001/101 panels and require minimal (no solder) effort to get them up and running and turn the GBC into the perfect 8bit Gameboy for all occasions.  I can't recommend that job higher than anything else with Gameboy.  Sure the GBA can run GB/GBC stuff but there are select games where it fails to properly execute a few games, a few more so which have minor to more severe audio issues too.  For the best experience with 100% compatibility and a crystal clear bright screen with the drop in screen replacement GBC is tops for 8bit play.

 

This is the best kit you can get, use it myself and totally recommend it to any GBC owner.

https://handheldlegend.com/collections/game-boy-color-gbc/products/game-boy-color-backlit-display

 

Also its battery consumption is minor, least of any mod on the market currently and doesn't draw much more than the original unlit screen does which is great for battery life.

The thing is, if you have a proper GBA, then a GBC is useless. If you have to have ONE Gameboy, you'd get an Advance. The Advance may fail to run some GB/GBC games, but they still can run the vast majority, along with the equally huge GBA library. The Gameboy Color is a great console, and I (somewhat) love mine, but a GBA is just better. I haven't done mods to my Gameboys; are GBA mods particularly difficult?

Also if you're going to get a Gameboy Color, if you don't mind getting an off-brand one, you might as well get one of those GB Boy Colours. They're cheap, backlit, and it's a Gameboy Color.

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We'll just agree on not agreeing as I'm right in the camp of saying you're wrong, at least with a GBC with a new TFT put into it.

 

GBA mods are not difficult at all really, kind of depends what you're up to I guess.  I've had a GB Boy Color, they're not good, has a few games more that wont work or has problems that the GBA will have, a lot of titles just end up having sound problems.  Also quite a few of them have an on board defect that'll drain your batteries with the system turned off over a period of weeks.  I would never want someone to buy that unit and hope they got one that worked without the vampiristic characteristics. :P  The one thing I thank that for, learning of the true sequel to Kid Niki, game is fantastic.

 

 

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Modding the GBA isn't difficult and can be done without soldering,  if you can live without the adjustable brightness. The back-lit screens that are available for it are inexpensive and look great. Here's the swap I just did on mine. 

 

I have to agree with Bluejay. If you're going to buy one system,  get the GBA. There may be a few select GB games that aren't compatible,  but you're gaining an entire library of great GBA games.

20200924_141009.jpg

20200924_163324.jpg

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