thaddius' Console Roast 2014 Edition - Round 6

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by thaddius, Mar 20, 2014.

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Round 6 - Worst Handheld of the Fifth Generation

Poll closed Mar 27, 2014.
  1. The Tiger R-Zone

    196 vote(s)
    42.2%
  2. The Sega Nomad

    20 vote(s)
    4.3%
  3. The Nintendo Virtual Boy

    93 vote(s)
    20.0%
  4. The Tiger Game.com

    108 vote(s)
    23.2%
  5. The Nintendo Game Boy Color

    16 vote(s)
    3.4%
  6. The SNK Neo Geo Pocket

    3 vote(s)
    0.6%
  7. The Bandai WonderSwan

    29 vote(s)
    6.2%
  1. thaddius
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    thaddius Charmander is not pleased.

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    Welcome back to thaddius’ Console Roast 2014 Edition. For those of you who are not aware this is a poll where you, the GBATemp user, get to vote on what GBATemp thinks is the worst console ever is. For more information check out the Rules section below.

    Recap:

    The Fourth Generation of consoles was, to no one’s surprise, a complete and utter defeat for:
    [​IMG]
    The Phillips CD-i! Congratulations Phillips! You will be venerated in the only way GBATemp knows how: useless polls. It’s no wonder with its poor, rushed-into-market quality and its terrible excuse for licensed Nintendo games. Despite some minor intimations to the contrary, the Phillips CD-i was clearly the stand-out this generation and deserved this ‘win’.

    Some deranged individuals actually voted for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis/Megadrive on this one. I’m going to chalk that up to them having never played them, which is an absolute shame. ~90% of pollers knew what was what though and voted for the only console that it made sense to call the ‘worst of the fourth generation’.


    If you’d like to know more about how the voting went check out last week’s thread here.

    Intro:

    I saw the best handhelds of the Fifth Generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical. Another week, another poll. And this week we bring you the very bloated Fifth Generation of Handhelds. Here we have a transition period who’s contributions span a large part of the 90s. We will see Nintendo’s first large video game failure and some new Nintendo competitors, some of whom fared surprisingly well, others who failed just as badly as the Virtual Boy.

    A little bit of an explanation though: I’m leaving a lot of things out in this poll. We’re not going to focus too much on the Game Boy Pocket, the Game Boy Light, the Neo Geo Pocket Color, or the WonderSwan Color. For the Game Boys they are either not much of an upgrade or obscure, and the rest already have another iteration of the system in this poll. Normally none of this would stop me, but it's bad enough that we have 7 options already and it would get VERY confusing if we had 10. Bear with me though - I’ve tried to focus on a good concentration of systems. Hopefully people actually read this… I’m sure it will still be controversial.

    Anyway, I predict that Nintendo will both win and lose this poll with their two contributions this week, even if there are more deserving candidates. *COUGHTIGERCOUGH*


    But before we get into that, let’s recap the rules no one ever reads, shall we?

    Rules:

    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    Enough of that crap, time to get started!

    This Week's Challengers:

    The Tiger R-Zone
    [​IMG]
    I strongly considered removing this one as it doesn't seem that notable in a bloated poll. But reason lost out as I just want to see how this one fares.

    Tiger Electronics, known mostly for their one-off LCD handhelds, decided it was time to break out into the wonderful world of carriage based handhelds!

    In their infinite wisdom they opted for a headset as the primary console in an effort to capitalize on Nintendo’s new system: the ill fated Virtual Boy. They would go on to release two more major designs, and an ‘organizer’ styled one (I believe), but none of them sold well at all.

    The games were of the quality seen in the one-off LCD games of yore which did not bode well for the console. And the headset design was just dumb. I know that no one could predict that Nintendo’s newest hardware would flop so I don’t blame them for trying to copy it, but if the Virtual Boy was bad the R-Zone was worse for copying it. :P

    I don't really know what kind of scope Tiger was looking for - if they were deluded enough to think it could even compete with the Game Boy et al - but I have yet to meet anyone who owns one.

    The R-Zone quickly faded into obscurity to little complaint.

    The Sega Nomad
    [​IMG]
    Sega had already released a product called the Sega Mega Jet that was a portable Genesis/Mega Drive made for use on planes. Sega decided one day to adapt the Mega Jet for a larger market and released it as the Nomad.

    The Nomad, just like the Game Gear, was simply a portable version of their current console. This time though it actually played the home consoles cartridges out-of-the-box.

    It made a lot of sense: a portable Genesis. Who wouldn't want to play their favourite games on the go?

    Sega obviously didn’t learn much else from the Game Gear though because the Nomad was just as bad on batteries (6AA batteries for 3-5 hours of gameplay). And it is said that compatibility was not as good as it also suffered a similar problem to the TurboExpress in that it had some trouble displaying readable text. And it was obviously not so compatible with the 32X and Sega/Mega CD add-ons.

    The Nintendo Virtual Boy
    [​IMG]
    Ugh. Where does this thing belong? It’s not really a console, not really a handheld - someone will complain no matter where I put this thing. But because it was a system that didn’t hook up to a TV, was mostly only battery operated, and was capable of being taken on road trips (I’ve at least done so) I’m tossing it in with the ‘handhelds’.

    In order to keep the price low Nintendo opted for a monochromatic screen with red on black in hopes that the contrast would be less of a strain on eyes. Despite these considerations the system would immediately be branded as a headache inducing nightmare that burned the colour red so deeply into your retinas that you would long for the sweet embrace of death to save you from the horror of it all.

    In addition to those complaints the Virtual Boy was difficult to use as playing it in unrecommended ways could give you neck strain.

    While the first party games released for the system were rather high quality (Virtual Boy Wario Land is still considered by some to be the best in the series) its rapid abandonment by the market and Nintendo themselves would leave the system with a pitiful library of 19 games in Japan and only 14 in North America. The internet isn’t even certain if it was even released in Europe as there are some reports it had a (very limited) release in the UK. The Virtual Boy, a pet project of Gunpei Yokoi and a wet dream for the living legend that is Shigeru Miyamoto, would be the first indication that the Japanese monolith was capable of doing wrong.

    To spell it out for you folks: The Virtual Boy was released in July of 95 in Japan and August of 95 in North America. It would be discontinued by December of the very same year in Japan and in March of 96 in North America. That’s five months in Japan and seven in North America. How does the company that made the Super Nintendo make that kind of an error?

    The Tiger Game.com
    [​IMG]
    After surviving the R-Zone debacle somehow Tiger went on to make a handheld that sounded really promising: Touch screen controls, dual cartridge slots, PDA capabilities, internet connectivity… too bad it sucked.

    Pronounced 'GameCom', this system's screen refresh rate was about as bad as the original Game Boy’s, even though there were released almost 10 years apart, the touch screen was spotty, the second cartridge slot is a strange idea, the PDA functionally was lame (just like actual PDAs), and while you could upload highscores to online leaderboards there wasn’t much else you could do and the external modem for the system was a bulky and expensive add-on.

    Tiger had a history of attracting some major names for their one-off LCD games, like Batman and Sonic, and just like the R-Zone the Game.com had games licensed by companies like Sega and Capcom. But they sucked. Sonic Jam was very difficult to play with the horrendous refresh rate of the screen combined with the fast paced action. And Resident Evil 2, a 2D implementation of Capcom’s notoriously difficult-to-control classic, was atrocious.

    Tiger would later release a second model with single cartage slot and nicer form factor that was frontlit, and later a similar model in different colours with no light. Neither would sell well and Tiger would later abandon the product.

    The Nintendo Game Boy Color
    [​IMG]
    After releasing the barely-an-upgrade Game Boy Pocket and later the Japan-only Game Goy Light, Nintendo decided to finally release an entry to the Game Boy line that had colour (and not just the dumb 'Play It Loud' ploy for the GB that actually worked). To that end the Game Boy Color [sic] was released in 1998.

    It’s lifespan would be too short for your humble OP's liking. Lasting from its release to its discontinue date in 2003 would leave the GBC with a comparatively tiny library to the GB and GBA.

    The GBC's success could be attributed to a number of things, including the quality of games, the rather substantial back catalogue of GB games, but they all pale in comparison to one simple point: Pokemon. I wonder how things would have turned out for Nintendo if they didn't have Pokemon to lean on.

    We’re kind of babied by backlit screens these days, but the GBC didn’t have one and it made it difficult to play the system in most lighting conditions. It was, however, a step up from the GB and GB Pocket so people may not have noticed. Or they just went out and bought a worm light like everyone else.

    But just like the Super Nintendo there is nothing else I can say to bash the system. It took two AA batteries and they lasted forever, it played old GB games and attempted to overlay some colour onto them, and the form factor was a lot more agreeable than the original GB.

    The SNK Neo Geo Pocket
    [​IMG]
    The last time we heard from these guys they had made a ridiculously expensive console that let you play arcade games at home.

    As if somehow learning a very expensive lesson, SNK returned with the reasonably priced Neo Geo Pocket; a little handheld who’s strong first and third party support managed to keep it afloat a lot longer than people expected it would against Nintendo. The console is actually quite impressive, for what it's worth, and is apparently more powerful than the GBC (although we hear the words 'more powerful than Nintendo' all the time...).

    I still play Metal Slug 1st & 2nd Mission, Puzzle Bobble Mini, Dark Arms: Beast Busters, and others diligently on my Neo Geo Pocket.

    What absolutely astounds me about this console though, is the fact that it was forwards compatible. Unlike the original Game Boy with Game Boy Color cartridges, the Neo Geo Pocket was capable of playing the later released Neo Geo Pocket Color games. Games that required colour, like Puzzle Bobble Mini, would switch over to colour blind mode where the colours would be replaced with shapes to help you discern them. My only concern is that it would devalue the merits of the NGPC.

    Strangely it also had GBA-to-GC-like connectivity with Sega's Dreamcast, although it was with very few games and was considered kind of redundant in light of the Dreamcast's VMU.

    The console also came with rinky dink PDA-like functionality (what was the deal with people wanting PDA stuff?) that told you your horoscope and could act as an alarm. Also, possibly because it was Japanese, there was a inordinate number of Casino games for the system, the majority of which were slot machine games.

    I haven’t met too many people in North America who know about the system, but those who do know it remember it fondly.

    The Bandai WonderSwan
    [​IMG]
    After the monumental failure that was the Virtual Boy, disgraced creator of the Game & Watch, Game Boy, and Game Boy Pocket, Gunpei Yokoi left Nintendo to pursue his dreams elsewhere. Just prior to his untimely (and apparently controversial) death Yokoi created the Bandai Wonderswan; a system that is strikingly similar to the Game Boy in its use of ‘withered technology’ as it appeared to be a modern application of older tech. Bandai would later release a color version of the system, much in the same way Nintnedo and SNK did with their systems.

    Despite its ungainly name the WonderSwan sold quite well in Japan where it was released. Strong first and third party support with titles like Digimon and Final Fantasy helped push sales. It even had an impressive 30+ hours of gameplay on a single AA battery.

    What else can I say? It wasn’t a bad system, if not a little anachronistic. It’s only drawbacks were its Game Boy-like out-of-datedness (it was released in ’99), and the fact that its name sounds silly to us Western anglophones.

    Outro:


    And there you have it LadyGBAs and GentleTemps, the fifth generation of handhelds. Again, I predict Nintendo will win and lose this poll, while Tiger will get off scot free (prove me wrong!).

    Writing this week’s entry has reminded me of all the good games that came out of this era, including Pokemon which helped rejuvenate the Game Boy and make the link cable relevant again. For that reason I’m going to go play some NGPC and GBC games now. Don’t forget to vote! See you guys next week.

    Current Standings:

    Warning: Spoilers inside!
     
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  2. DinohScene

    DinohScene Dino May Fire

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    I'd nearly said Rzone but then I remember.
    Wonderswan.

    Double Dpad?
    How are you supposed to play that?
    With 3 hands?

    It's the the N64's controller in a handheld.
     
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  3. thaddius
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    thaddius Charmander is not pleased.

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    You could flip the system sideways for games that were played vertically (mostly puzzle games and shmups). I don't blame you for your choice though. :P
     
  4. DinohScene

    DinohScene Dino May Fire

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    Then I can see the double Dpad working.
    A bit...
     
  5. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    There can be only one choice here, really. The R-Zone was a shameless attempt at cashing in on the Virtual Boy "hype" and because of it, we had to "enjoy" PCP Stations ever since. It almost makes the poll redundant, really - if not for that piece of crap, the Virtual Boy would bite the bullet, no question about it. Oh, you narrowly dodged this one, Nintendo! The Virtual Boy may cause nausea and eye hemorrhaging, but at least it's playable, unlike the R-Zone. :rofl2:

    DinohScene Are you nuts? :rofl2:
     
  6. DinohScene

    DinohScene Dino May Fire

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    I like nuts :creep:

    Nah, I voted for the Wonderswan cause the double dpad is really irking me.
     
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  7. Attila13

    Attila13 Praise the Creep!

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    I actually am a bit surprised that between the Rzone and VB is such a small gap (as of this post). Yeah I know that it was a horrible "portable" console, but at least it had somewhat decent games that you actually CAN call by the name of games. Not the Tiger Electronics ones which were only some pre-drawn frames which showed up every time you pressed a specific button. And the background was a still image for the entire "game". Not to mention that the sound effects were absolutely horrible even for that time.
    I'd like to add that along the Rzone you could have added the obnoxious Tiger Electronics Game Watches and the other millions of different Tiger Direct Handheld Games or whatever were they called. The one positive thing that I can say about these handhelds is that they really had some nice art style on them.
     
  8. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    I forgot
    >Insert all of CGR's Tiger Game.Com's reviews here

    But it's hard for me to choose just one though. The Virtual Boy was craptastic, pretty much all of the Tiger consoles were junk, the Sega Nomad drained batteries hardcore like the Game Gear before it...they were all mostly bad this gen besides the GBC
     
  9. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    It wouldn't even cross my mind to vote for the Nomad - sure, it drained batteries like there was no tomorrow, but it was a portable Mega Drive/Genesis. I mean, c'mon... Portable Mega Drive/Genesis! What more do you want? :angry:
    We have to have some standards in regards to what a console is. I usually say that it's a "console" if it has support for some kind of storage to support more than the built-in software - otherwise it's a video game, but not really a console.
     
  10. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    I forgot
    More than 3 hours of play time, not having to spend tons of money on AA batteries...;O;
     
  11. Attila13

    Attila13 Praise the Creep!

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    Yes I agree. I didn't meant so that all of those games to be on the list. I meant the list it as Rzone + all the other TE junk. :P
     
  12. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    There, happy? Now you don't need to buy AA's. :)
     
  13. jacksprat1990

    jacksprat1990 GBAtemp Regular

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    The fact that there are actual human beings that voted for anything other than the R-Zone baffles me.
     
  14. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    I agree.

    Playing on the Virtual Boy can lead to violent vomiting, playing on the Game.Com can lead to terrible disappointments, but playing on the R-Zone can only lead to suicide - it's almost like legal theft.
     
  15. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    There's a cornucopia of stinkers here. How can you choose just one?
     
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  16. Maxternal

    Maxternal Peanut Gallery Spokesman

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    I'm sure I would have had to think about this a little bit more if it weren't for the inclusion of the R-Zone. For me it wasn't really a console with interchangeable game cartridges. It was a series of their typical Tiger handheld games with an interchangeable control and battery pack combo sold separately.


    As with the Game Gear, the saving factor for me on Sega's bulky handhelds is the existence of an AC adapter. It makes it a little less portable but at least it's not quite as bulky as a console and you don't have to truck a TV around with you.*

    *speaking of AC adapters (on a side note) am I the only one who noticed that the Virtual Boy AC adapter was the same as the SNES one?




    Yeah, I have too and ...
    ^this
     
  17. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Pretty much. If not for the R-Zone, this would be an exciting duel between the Game.Com and the Virtual Boy, which are both awful, each in their own special way. I'd be interested in seeing how that plays out.
     
  18. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    :mellow:

    I admit nothing. :mellow:

    It was a gift from a well-meaning but clueless aunt. :mellow:

    Okay, I may have wanted one at the time, the ads made it look less crappy.


    As for the target market, I don't think they ever meant to rival the big boys, but the R-Zone cost less than half the price of the serious handhelds of the time so it had that going for it. I think it was $30 at launch or something.

    That said it definitely doesn't belong on the list, since it's a glorified LCD game. Might as well put Game&Watch games on there.
     
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  19. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    ROFLMAO!!! :rofl2:

    Oh, man...at first I really thought this was going to be an easy vote for the virtual boy. After all...lousy 3D, headaches, ultrashort lifespan and that it was never even released in Europe to begin with? (okay, perhaps in the UK, but I honestly only heard of this years later).

    But with the comments in this thread, I just had to check it out. Was there really a company that managed to outsuck the virtual boy? :blink:

    The answer to that question is so embarrassingly bad that it's downright hilarious. I mean...check out this review, FFS. I'm crying tears over here...
    -gimmicky seventies-idea of "futuristic"
    -a C and a D button that were used in not a single game
    -barely a handful of games
    -every game is those LCD-lights flashing thingies that were outdated OVER A GENERATION EARLIER
    -that music...every single game & watch had better tunes...a decade earlier!
    -just watching someone play the game is freaky as hell (his eyes look as if they're going to implode)

    And most especially: if anyone ever starts crying that game developers nowadays cheat on the difference between PR material and the real game ("waaaah! It's 1080p in the commercial but only 792p in a later one!!!"), I'll shove them the r-zone commercial in their face. Not only do they blatantly use material that was a million miles ahead of their own tech and imply that theirs is better, those games didn't even appear on the R-zone at all!

    It's times like this that I'm glad you guys don't live around me. I honestely don't mean to troll, but the idea of their hopes of a gameboy color or a virtual boy being shattered because their dumb parents giving them THIS monstrosity is just tickling my laughing bones way too much to be healthy. At least...it would be if this was a real club, as I would have probably be beaten up by someone with such memories and me not being able to properly support them on their lost childhood innocence.



    BWAHAHAHAHA!!! :rofl2:


    (oh, Jezus...it's been way too long since I laughed this hard...especially when being sober)


    Pffff...on an attempt of seriousness: the virtual boy would still be my runner-up for the worst system in this poll. Flaws like that can't be overlooked. But it's a good point on the Wario land game, though (that IS a good game). Why the hell hasn't nintendo remade that one for the 3DS? They remade far less obscure games. :unsure:
     
  20. HtheB

    HtheB GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I think that most people doesn't know that R-Zone was just an stupid LCD game...