Tuesday 17 July 2018

Thank you Game Boy, for giving me Pokémon

James Tennent

Whether you started out with black and white pixels, or, like me, pestered your dad to get you a Colour in duty free because everyone else was playing Pokémon (seriously, dad, everyone has it), Game Boy memories last forever.

The excitement of the first colour games and the terror of playing the SP under the covers, amazed that someone had thought of putting in a backlight (it was so simple!) mean that this generation, blighted by low pay and unemployment, can still remember the childhood glee ‎that came with playing endless hours on Nintendo's most iconic handheld.

The Game Boy was released on July 31, 1989 in America, three months after its release in Japan, and Europe had to wait another two long months. In the video below we get watch kids react to the Game Boy as if it's new and recreate the wonder and joy we had when first seeing that big grey brick, or, it might just leave you thinking how spoilt kids are these days...

A week ago a friend I’ve known since primary school (since the day someone stole my Pokémon Gold and we contrived in the playground to discover who it could have been) changed his profile picture to a print-out from the Game Boy printer.

It had pictures that looked like a cheap Polaroid, surrounded by the Game Boy logo, all in heavily pixilated black and white and yet we all wanted one. Mine own jealousy of this friend’s printer still leaves scars. If only parents could have seen how important it was that we aimlessly printed pictures of our faces that you couldn’t really make out.

Though I’m sure everyone has a different game or a different series for which Game Boy was the only platform, for me, since the very beginning, it was Pokémon. That first copy of Blue, my stolen copy of Gold, Sapphire on the Advance and Black on the DS, something about that quest-collect gameplay, however much people complain that it’s the same thing over and over, sucks me straight back in.

I’ll tell people I want to get a 3DS for proper reasons, I’ll tell them it’s because I’m a serious games journalist, I should be up to date with platforms, but secretly, in the depths of my heart, I know that it’s only because there’s a Pokémon game I haven’t played yet.

Independent News Service

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment