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Portables (Games)

The Power of Portable Gaming 49

1up has up a piece on Handheld Heroes, portable games that have (despite their small size) make herculean changes in the face of gaming as a whole. From the article: "Tetris is, quite possibly, the most important portable game of all. While the drama surrounding its NES incarnation gets the most attention, the Game Boy version quietly sold millions and millions of handheld systems to people who were instantly addicted to its simple, intuitive, challenging gameplay. It's no exaggeration to say that Tetris single-handedly created the portable market, helped the Game Boy conquer its competition, and gave Nintendo an enduring source of income that's still going strong."
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The Power of Portable Gaming

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  • There was 'drama' with the NES version of tetris? Did I miss something?

    Well, I was probably 10 at the time anyway...
  • That's not right. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Eightyford ( 893696 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @02:02PM (#14580580) Homepage
    It's no exaggeration to say that Tetris single-handedly created the portable market...

    I think handheld football [handheldmuseum.com] deserves that honor.
  • First Game Boy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by heldlikesound ( 132717 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @02:04PM (#14580610) Homepage
    When I was 9 my dad reward my first ever all "A" report card with a Game Boy, this was about 16 years old. My first games were:
    • Tetris (came with the system)
    • Baseball
    • Castlevania
    • Cosmotank

    What amazes me is that, first of all, my old Game Still works, and secondly I still enjoy playing most of the games on my SP.
    As far as new games go, my favorites for the SP include: Harvest Moon, Advance Wars 1 &2, and the new Metroid games.
  • If you're bored at work, you may want to try Excel Tetris. [soft32.com]
  • by hattig ( 47930 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @02:08PM (#14580657) Journal
    That's why it succeeded.

    Also most people will improve with practice at this game.

    It doesn't rely on over complex controls. Nor pin-point accuracy. Not super-human controller skills. It's addictive because you know you messed up and can do better. And you can get it on $5 LCD games, never mind Gameboys now.

    However there aren't many concepts for games this simple.
  • The power? (Score:4, Funny)

    by thaerin ( 937575 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @02:21PM (#14580853)
    I'll tell you the best power of portable gaming, no more pausing for bathroom breaks.
  • No Microvision, no merit.

    And once again, the 1up bias is in full force.
    • No one knows what a Microvision is, much less cares. There's no bias, it's just irrelevant. Might as well complain that there's no Tiger Handheld games on the list.
      • The bias part refers to comments about certain modern portable systems.

        And the Microvision was the first cartridge based portable system. It is the granddaddy of them all. Lumines, for instance, has next to no bearing on the current portable game market. Microvision and it's games, on the other hand, were the most important advances in portable gaming maybe ever.
  • by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @03:07PM (#14581559) Journal
    "If only you knew the Power of Portable Gaming"

    Back on topic, I used to have a GBA, and Advance Wars & Golden Sun totally rocked! I wish I had one of those new PSP's though, they look pretty sweet.

    • If you have a Toys R Us closing near you [action-figure.com], you might find a PSP for $200. It took them a while before they started marking down video game hardware, 10% off at first, but the discount went to 20% yesterday. Games are getting to be slim pickings, though.
    • I've got a GB, GBC, GBA, two GBA SPs, a DS, and a PSP.

      I love the DS which I play all the time. But the PSP is really a very nice machine. I love it. It's so sleek and uh -- portable. It has a few okay games, I guess. I mean it dosen't have anything as good as Mario Kart DS, but it's still really sweet. I mean that screen is just so wide and pretty. And it almost doesn't feel cheap! The battery life doesn't completely suck either, as long as you aren't actually playing any games. That analog control
  • Is it just me, or have others also never even heard of some of the games listed as "essential"?
  • by bVork ( 772426 ) <rpantella+slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Friday January 27, 2006 @10:10PM (#14585587)
    I've always loved handhelds. Due to the whole idea that a handheld system is designed both for quick sessions (on a bus, for instance) and long playing periods (such as on a plane or in a hotel room), I think handhelds force developers to adhere to what I consider the ideals of video gaming: both instant playability and depth that inspires replay.

    Obviously, puzzle games are the perfect match for this. I don't quite agree with some of 1up's puzzle game highlights. Tetris and Klax are true classics, but I'm not convinced that Meteos and Lumines are of the same calibre. Meteos times every game mode except for one, tilting it far in favour of quick sessions. It just isn't that enjoyable for a long period. Lumines falls victim to the exact opposite - the time attack modes aren't much fun but the normal mode is very addictive. The only problem with normal mode is that a typical single session often lasts more than half an hour!

    Puzzle games aside, some of their choices and omissions are quite odd.

    Donkey Kong [nintendoland.com] on Game Boy is an expanded version of the arcade original, with 100 puzzle-heavy levels. It turns a classic arcade game into an even better home game. I think it's one of the finest games ever made. Mario vs Donkey Kong [mariovsdk.com] is a pseudo-sequel to the Game Boy one, but it doesn't quite live up to its predecessor. It's decent but far from being a true classic.

    Final Fantasy Adventure [fantasyanime.com], also on Game Boy, is Seiken Densetsu 1 renamed to cash in on the Final Fantasy name. Seiken Densetsu was also renamed for the western market, to Secret of Mana. Yes, Secret of Mana is a sequel to this Game Boy game. And this Game Boy game is the best action/rpg the system has to offer - edging out even The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening [zelda.com] (which is also a fantastic game and a must-own). Too bad the GBA remake, Sword of Mana [square-enix-usa.com], was awful.

    Besides Klax, the Atari Lynx had quite a few other arcade ports. Roadblasters [atariage.com] is a lot of fun. Robotron 2084 [ataritimes.com] isn't perfect (due to the Lynx lacking a way to duplicate the original dual-joystick control system) but is still decent. S.T.U.N. Runner [ataritimes.com] looks fantastic on the handheld and is the best home port of the game we ever received, even if it does use sprite scaling instead of polygons. Speaking of sprite scaling, Blue Lightning [ataritimes.com] is an Afterburner clone with better graphics than any of the pre-32X home ports of Afterburner. The gameplay measures up, too. Chip's Challenge [ataritimes.com], another original design for the system (though it was ported to plenty of other systems eventually) is a very fun action/puzzle game like The Adventures of Lolo [classicgaming.com]. It also has a geeky love story plot that I'm sure most Slashdotters will appreciate :)

    The Game Gear was perhaps the most lacking of all mainstream handhelds (ignoring utter shit like the Gamate [angrypixel.net] and Watara Supervision [silicium.org]), but even it had some very good games. Crystal Warriors [mobygames.com] and Shining Force II: The Sword of Hajya [shiningforcecentral.com] are an excellent pair of strategy-RPGs with amazing depth for 8-bit handheld games. Bubble Bobble had a great port on GG (not
  • If I want to develop and sell independent games for a handheld video game system, which platform should I target? Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, and the phones provided by many popular North American wireless carriers have lockouts.

    • How about PDAs?
      • It's hard to find a PDA nowadays that's not built into a mobile phone, and I don't want users to have to pay for the obligatory $720 voice service contract ($30/mo for 24 months). And do PDAs have decent game controls?

        • They're somewhat decent, as long as you rely on the touchscreen there shouldn't be any issues. The dpad is usually rather wobbly and the buttons placed pretty badly though it's enough for NES emulation. I'd stay away from 3d but a good RTS should find a market.
    • Id probably go for the DS because you can get a flash cart to run the code easy enough and I believe the software to do it is on usenet and the like.

      Not only that but the GBA homebrew scene is already thriving and will be easier to start with than either DS or PSP games.

      The PSP in contrast is harder to develop for as it is PS2 technology fairly notorious for its difficulties unless your experienced with it. Also last I checked it requires a PS2 dev kit. Im not even sure if you can get a hold of one of them
      • well, the core development of a game fit for resale is probably not the easiest. however, there is a thriving homebrew community that has been developing applications for the psp for many months now. other than having a psp that is capable of running homebrew, or able to downgrade... you dont need much more than that to start developing applications. to create something great, obviously you need a dev kit.
    • No question about it, get yourself a GP2X [gbax.com] ..

      Wonderful platform. I have 5 ... ;)
  • For those who are interested, there's a new Tetris coming out for the DS. It sports online gaming, and multiplayer gaming for up to 10 players. Revo-europe.com [revo-europe.com] has info and screenshots.

    Can hardly wait :-)

  • Nice to see the shoutout to Bionic Commando...it proved that the GB could do super-solid NES ports, and was to the NES what the GBA would later be to the SNES.

    It anime'd things up, took out the Hitler, added a few levels and took out the old school Commando, but it played great...much better than the buggy GBC version that came out a bit later. I also missed the prelude and postlude that the NES had, where you find out it was a story told by Super Joe, but still.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern