thaddius' Console Roast 2014 Edition - Round 8

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by thaddius, Apr 10, 2014.

?

Worst Handheld of the Sixth Generation

Poll closed Apr 17, 2014.
  1. The Neo Geo Pocket Color

    10 vote(s)
    2.5%
  2. The Bandai SwanCrystal

    23 vote(s)
    5.7%
  3. The Game Boy Advance

    15 vote(s)
    3.7%
  4. The GamePark GP32

    16 vote(s)
    3.9%
  5. The Tapwave Zodiac

    90 vote(s)
    22.2%
  6. The Nokia N-Gage

    252 vote(s)
    62.1%
  1. thaddius
    OP

    thaddius Charmander is not pleased.

    Member
    1,330
    264
    May 5, 2008
    Canada
    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:

    Another decisive poll last week. And the winner is:
    [​IMG]
    The Panasonic/Goldstar/Sanyo 3DO Interactive Multiplayer. Congratulations to Panasonic, Goldstar, and Sanyo! You’ve all been selected as having the worst console of the fifth generation. Maybe it was your horribly pixelated MPEG-1/VCD playback, or your bloated edutainment library, or even ‘games’ like Dennis Miller’s: It’s News To Me, but either way you sucked.

    For more details about how the voting went you can check out last week’s thread here.

    Intro:

    Thanks for bearing with me in my week-long hiatus. My trip to Toronto was a bit more disruptive than I anticipated. But having a week off would make you think I'd spent the rest of the week making this week's poll extra nice. You'd be wrong if you thought that though...

    Anyway, the sixth Generation of handhelds! Another Nintendo dominated generation. In fact, this is the generation that brought a bunch of us together to this very website. Our insatiable lust for GBA ROMs and what to do with them.

    But first: Rules!

    Rules:

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

    This Week's Challengers are:

    The Neo Geo Pocket Color
    [​IMG]
    Following the Japanese success of the Neo Geo Pocket, SNK released their slight upgrade, the Neo Geo Pocket Color [sic].

    This 16-bit handheld was heralded as being technically superior to the Game Boy Color as well as having a nice form factor. And that centering on the joystick? Superb!

    Just like the original, the NGPC took two AA batteries as well as a CR2032 battery for saves and internal clock. And just as the NGP was forwards compatible with NGPC games, the NGPC was backwards compatible with NGP games, and in some cases added convincing colour (I don’t think we would have had it any other way).

    It’s North American and European presence was stymied by the purchase of SNK by another company, but it was considered ‘successful’ in Japan in that it managed to sell units in the shadow of the Game Boy Advance launch.


    The Bandai SwanCrystal
    [​IMG]
    The WonderSwan was a rather impressive success in Japan. So much so that it warranted a revision in the form of a WonderSwan Color [sic] hot on it's heels. But the tech was getting a little sluggish and in hopes of competing with the Game Boy Advance Bandai released the SwanCrystal in 2002.

    Sadly by this time the SwanCrystal had lost it’s edge as it’s price point was much closer to the Game Boy Advance’s. Additionally their partnership with Square that had spurred sales initially meant nothing once Square started making games for the GBA.

    Once again the system enjoyed relative success in Japan, but this would be the last entry in the WonderSwan line.


    The Game Boy Advance
    [​IMG]
    A major problem with system releases is lack of quality games. This is especially difficult with modern Nintendo systems as their launch titles are primarily first party. Such was not the case for the Game Boy Advance though.

    Fantastic games aside, this system would be the beginning of Nintendo’s obsession with rapidly releasing different versions of the same console. The GBA, GBA SP, GB Micro, and the GBA SP2 (backlit) would all be released between 2001 and 2005. And Nintendo would get something wrong with each release. The original GBA had no built-in light (a common complaint) and required an auxiliary purchase to be able to use a plug-in adapter. The SP, while it boasted a rechargeable battery and front-lit screen, the front-light washed out colours, and somehow they forgot to include a headphone jack, which required another auxiliary purchase to have as a feature. The Micro was abandoned before we got any cool faceplates, the faceplate design meant you always had dust on the screen that couldn’t be wiped off without you worrying about damaging the screen, and (for form factor reasons) they dropped GB and GBC backwards compatibility - which not too many people were worried about. The SP2 did fix the screen issue of the original, but never addressed the lack headphone jack.

    The lifespan of the GBA was also a bit distressing. The Nintendo DS was released ~4 years after the GBA. And while Nintendo claimed that it would continue to support the GBA as a ‘third pillar’ alongside the DS and GameCube, the success of the DS soon killed off the GBA as developers flocked to the DS. It’s short lifespan would not prevent a flood of games from being released for the system though.

    The GBA would also see a marked increase in piracy. While piracy was nothing new to the industry, the rapid growth of the internet and increase of download speeds (combined with the small size of GBA games) meant that getting GBA ROMs was rather easy. And while flash carts and other technologies had existed before, there were a bunch of flash carts were released during the GBAs lifetime and were produced in such quantity that people are still buying and selling them successfully today.

    I can’t see why anyone would vote for this console this round, but even the best of a generation has to have some issues, right?

    The GamePark GP32
    [​IMG]
    A little South Korean company known as Game Park decided to release a 32bit handheld known as the GamePark32 (how original). Just like the GBA there were a bunch of different models all with their own problems (most of them revolving around the screen and the type of lighting therein).

    Being limited to a South Korean release, the Game Park was not able to have strong third party support, and it’s media of choice was Smart Media cards which some of you might remember as gigantic flat cards that held - at most - 128MB.

    So why did thaddius put this on the list? These guys would be completely forgettable if not for one difference: they didn’t just license games for the system. In addition to commercial games they encouraged people to program their own!

    On paper this seems like a great idea. They hoped programmers would wet themselves at the idea of an open platform, and a bunch of programmers took the bait. In practise however this meant that most if the software for this system was either emulators or ports of Linux.

    Due to it only being officially released in South Korea it quickly faded from the public consciousness elsewhere, but their initial success would not only spur other 'open' handhelds, but it would help them with future projects as well…


    The Tapwave Zodiac
    [​IMG]
    In the late-90s and early 2000s there was no such thing as a smart phone. Instead some people used Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) or PalmTop Computers. These were small touchscreen based computers that had organizers, calendars, memo programs, text reader/editors, etc.

    Tapwave, somehow not seeing that the PDA market was in decline, released the Zodiac to a cool reception. It was released just before the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable so most people decided to pass on the $300 no-name console.

    Due to poor sales is was taken from shelves in 2005 and the company sold all of it’s assets and no longer exists.

    Also, Tapwave? WTF.


    The Nokia N-Gage
    [​IMG]
    Maker of fine, completely indestructible phones, Nokia, decided to enter into the video game market with an all-in-one device of their own. It would combine the rugged durability and telecommunications capabilities of a Nokia phone with the crappiness that is non-Nintendo handheld gaming. And thus the Nokia N-Gage was born!

    In their infinite wisdom they decided to use MMC cards (predecessor to SD cards) to house their games, which made piracy a breeze. They also opted for a portrait orientation for the screen, which by today’s phone standards might be fine, but trying to play games like Splinter Cell and Tomb Raider on a tiny portrait screen was not seen as a plus.

    They did include an FM radio and Bluetooth capabilities, but removed them from it’s successor, the N-Gage QD.

    As far as phones go it was apparently nothing special (although people lampooned the ‘side-talking’ as well as the ‘taco’ shape of the phone). And while it did have online multiplayer for some games it was allegedly painfully slow. The games were also rather terrible and button presses were not as responsive as one would expect.

    Nokia would later turn the N-Gage name into their phones’ gaming platform, similar to Sony’s Playstation Mobile platform, and drop production on dedicated gaming phones altogether.


    Outro:


    And there you have it, folks. Another generation down, another generation closer to finding out who the worst is.

    It's too bad this generation has so many entries. I would have loved to talk about the Pokemon Mini and it's strange existence.

    Anywho, happy voting! See you in the comments!

    Current Standings:

    Warning: Spoilers inside!
     
    EZ-Megaman likes this.


  2. BlackWizzard17

    BlackWizzard17 Don't worry Captin we'll buff out those scratches.

    Member
    1,167
    426
    Dec 1, 2012
    United States
    E-Arth
    Every thing crept game boy,:yaysp:
     
  3. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Member
    10,254
    17,403
    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    In the words of Captain Jean Luc Picard, "N-Gage!"
     
    xwatchmanx and mightymuffy like this.
  4. calmwaters

    calmwaters Cat's best friend

    Member
    1,718
    375
    May 27, 2013
    United States
    happy land
    I don't know. All of these enjoyed success in Japan, where people love handhelds (Streetpass). I admit the best GameBoy Advance was the SP: flip screen, back light, built-in adapter. Plus one of the largest game libraries. I think I'll go for the GamePark; it sounds like it was the least successful. And I've also heard about the Pokemon Mini - the epitome of Pokemania. Seriously, guys?
     
  5. Attila13

    Attila13 Praise the Creep!

    Member
    1,063
    219
    Oct 11, 2010
    Romania
    Zalau,Romania
    Send all nuclear bombs on me, but I rather enjoyed the N-Gage and am a bit surprised that it's way ahead of the others, so you can kill me now. Call me what you want, but this is my opinion. :P

    For DinohScene
     
  6. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    23,558
    21,538
    Sep 13, 2009
    Poland
    Gaming Grotto
    I ain't got nothin' - all of those systems have huge good qualities to them:
    • Neo Geo Pocket Color is the exact same good 'ol SNK machine, except with a far superior display. The fantastic 8-way microswitch joypad is still there, the form factor remains unchanged and the library is sizable - good system.
    • Bandai WonderSwan Crystal is very much the same deal - it's the exact same handheld except in colour, and that's great.
    • GamePark32? Underrated. I remember this thing trying to seriously compete with the GBA, it had its own newspaper ads back in the day. It was the perfect marriage between a high-end game system with licenses for established developers and a homebrew machine for those passionate enough. It's a shame that it failed to meet the recognition it deserved.
    • GBA is legendary, there's just no question about it. A lot of people say that it's a "portable SNES", but it's so, so much more than that. The form factor of the original is brilliant too. I have only good memories connected with the system and if the original was backlit or at least frontlit, it'd probably be the best handheld of all time.
    • Tapwave Zodiac was... misunderstood. It's another one of those powerful machines that tried to be a marriage between a palmtop and a video game system, and I can only wish that it was met with more praise. It was pretty high-end for its time, it had a touch screen that actually worked as opposed to the Game.Com and it ran a PalmOS distro, so that's a lot of functionality out of the box right there.
    • The N-Gage was the f*cking bomb when it comes to smartphones at the time. Sure, it had no camera, but who cares about that when it had video game controls? Contrary to popular opinion, you didn't have to hold it like a taco to actually use it - holding it normally worked just fine. Like the GP32 and the Zodiac, this was a powerhouse when compared to the GBA and could rival the DS. That paired with online multiplayer? And a Symbian distribution? Sign me in! Its only downsides I can think of was a lack of shoulder buttons and the portrait screen, I have a lot of good memories with this one and I'll have to buy another some time - my old system was unfortunately stolen. :(
     
    xwatchmanx and EZ-Megaman like this.
  7. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

    Former Staff
    8,875
    16,917
    Apr 4, 2006
    Croatia
    Zagreb
    You must be thinking of the N-Gage QD, the revision. The original N-Gage you had to hold like a taco (or watermelon slice) because the speaker was on the side. And if you had the original N-Gage, there's no way you could have forgotten that in order to change the game, you had to open the phone and remove the battery. Yeah.
     
  8. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    23,558
    21,538
    Sep 13, 2009
    Poland
    Gaming Grotto
    I had the classic and held it normally. The speaker hole was on the side, yes, but you could still hold it normally and hear it. The MMC placement was stupid, but I had a 512MB one with all my games (:ninja:) so it never bothered me. The QD was meh - no native MP3 support and mono sound are not my cup of tea - taco master race.
     
    Sakitoshi and Attila13 like this.
  9. mightymuffy

    mightymuffy fatbaldpieeater

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    mightymuffy is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    1,341
    529
    Nov 6, 2002
    United Kingdom
    Wigan, land of the Pies
    I actually FOUND my N-Gage - handed it in to the police, but no one claimed so got it after a month... if that's not proof enough (whoever 'lost' it clearly had enough of the POS) of how bad it was, my continued attempts at getting into it were futile (hey, another [vague] Star Trek TNG ref!). And I LOVE handheld machines, but nah, sorry Foxi4 but it was a steaming owd load of shite! :P
     
  10. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    23,558
    21,538
    Sep 13, 2009
    Poland
    Gaming Grotto
    Sure - if you say so. In the meantime I will fondly remember Tomb Rider, System Rush, Warhammer 40K: Glory in Death, Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon, Pathway to Glory, Asphalt back when it was good, Call of Duty and other excellent official and unofficial games, most in 3D while the GBA crowd wallowed in 90'ies-level 2D. ;O; Actually, I remember emulating the GBA on the N-Gage, which only goes to show how much more advanced it was in comparison. :rofl2:
     
  11. DinohScene

    DinohScene Capture the Dino

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    DinohScene is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    16,089
    12,616
    Oct 11, 2011
    Antarctica
    В небо
    I used to have an Ngage.
    I fucking hated that thing yet I loved it.

    Seeing the games where incredibly bad, I chose you Ngage...
    The worst handheld ever.
     
    Attila13 likes this.
  12. Attila13

    Attila13 Praise the Creep!

    Member
    1,063
    219
    Oct 11, 2010
    Romania
    Zalau,Romania
    Son I'm disappoint ... Was waiting for another reply which I mentioned in my post earlier... :tpi:
     
  13. DinohScene

    DinohScene Capture the Dino

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    DinohScene is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    16,089
    12,616
    Oct 11, 2011
    Antarctica
    В небо
    The double Dpad indeed is off, but seeing I hated the Ngage so much and strangely, loved it so much that I just had to pick it.
     
    Attila13 likes this.
  14. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    23,558
    21,538
    Sep 13, 2009
    Poland
    Gaming Grotto
    Sometimes I feel like I played on a completely different system or had some godlike access to good games on it since the N-Gage is one of the many cases of hardware that I found great and everybody else invariably hates. I am compelled to educate the Temp about all the good gaems for it almost immediately, even though I don't like the whole "List Wars" game.

    Tomb Raider
    Splinter Cell Chaos Theory
    Red Faction
    System Rush
    Call of Duty
    Pathway to Glory
    Pathway to Glory Ikusa Islands
    SSX Out of Bounds
    Tony Hawk Pro Skater
    Worms World Party
    The Elder Scrolls Shadowkey
    ...and more. Now, I have to apologize for the quality of the videos above as apparently at the time Youtube dealt exclusively with potato-level quality, but c'mon - "you couldn't do this on Nintendo". I'll be the first one to admit that the system has f*ck-all official releases because it bombed big time, but certainly not as badly as some of the other contenders and to say that it has no good gaems in its library is blasphemy - anything that has Tomb Rider, Tony Hawk and Worms is a winner from the get-go in my book.
     
    Attila13 likes this.
  15. tbgtbg

    tbgtbg Shaking the ring ropes up in the sky

    Member
    1,951
    448
    Nov 27, 2006
    United States
    You bought an N-Gage, didn't you?

    (ps, there's no reason to put [sic] after "color")
     
  16. thaddius
    OP

    thaddius Charmander is not pleased.

    Member
    1,330
    264
    May 5, 2008
    Canada
    There is when you spell if colour normally. :P
     
    EZ-Megaman likes this.
  17. techboy

    techboy GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Member
    1,720
    21
    Mar 15, 2009
    United States
    Pennsylvania
    Interesting list this time.

    I'm surprised to see TapWave here. I know a lot of gamers, and all of them have never heard of it. I knew about it before this only because I'd seen the wikipedia page on it. It's a Palm PDA with extra sound and graphics hardware bolted on. It may have had potential, but the fact that it was made by a no-name company, its hardware was underwhelmingm and everything else was essentially a rehash of a Palm PDA makes you wonder what they were thinking, especially with the DS around the corner. On the upside, it was backwards compatible with most Palm OS apps.

    N-gage left a lot to be desired, from games to form-factor to just about everything else. Apparently there are people who still like this one though, so it wasn't a complete flop.

    SwanCrystal...I guess it's to a WonderSwan what a GBC is to a GB. Specs didn't exactly keep up with the times on it from what I understand, and the fact they never bothered to really market this or its predecessor outside Japan limited its fanbase.

    GBA...this was a success despite what some say. Yes the first one left a lot to be desired (no backlight, ate batteries, etc.) but the later SP version fixed most of them. It's still rather widely used and supported. That can't be said for the others in this list. Everyone complains about lack of games for it, but the first party titles alone gave hours upon hours of play, especially Pokemon. There were others that I spent a lot of time with too, like SA2 and a Yugi-Oh game.

    GamePark would probably have done better had it been marketed more widely, but then being an open platform also means that what happened to it is what would be expected...Linux ports and emulators so you don't need to buy games.

    No comments on the NGPC.

    Vote goes to N-gage for that horrible form-factor and terrible games.
     
  18. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

    Former Staff
    8,875
    16,917
    Apr 4, 2006
    Croatia
    Zagreb
    You can also hold earbuds at an arm's length and hear them, but that's just wrong. :ha:

    I concede on the memory card thing, if you kept all your games on one card instead of on the (official) individual game cards ( :ph34r: ) it wasn't as wildly impractical as how Nokia originally envisioned it. Yet another case where piracy digital downloads ( :mellow: ) beats legitimate ownership at ease of use.



    *cough*Vita*cough* ;O;


    :tpi:
     
    GameWinner and Foxi4 like this.
  19. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

    Member
    5,606
    1,644
    Dec 23, 2009
    Belgium
    Belgium
    I voted for the zodiac. Strange...if I do this by the numbers, it's not as hard as a vote as I first thought.

    The neo geo pocket, swan crystal and gameboy advance just seem like solid handhelds. They clearly built upon tried-and-true concepts, and that's good (though I've got to mention that not all neo geo pockets look as if they've spent some time on the bottom of the sea ;) ).
    The gamepark...am I wrong in saying it's the first open handheld? Of course emulators don't make up for a lack of games, but with innovation in this field, I can't really vote it the worst.

    And the n-gage...it honestly doesn't surprise me it's leading the poll. The user comments on that are almost legendary. But I want to stress out that mobile phones were on a steady rise in that time, and when compared to those things, it's pretty much beyond comparing (on other phones, you were lucky if the thing played snakes). It's hard to overlook the small screen or clunky controls, but damnit...it did what smartphones would be doing much later...as a by-product. Or in another way: I consider the N-Gage as the spiritual predecessor of my trusty xperia play. And that's why I can't vote for it.

    Besides...what's with the tapwave? By the sounds of it, it was bad technology (PDA's were never popular with gamers) with little to no games and released in a bad time (near the DS). I admit it looks slick...but that's about it.
     
  20. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    23,558
    21,538
    Sep 13, 2009
    Poland
    Gaming Grotto
    I find it pretty bizzare that the N-Gage which was a mainstream device leads the poll with so much overhead while the Tapwave which ironically failed to tap into any market whatsoever gets a free pass. Then again, maybe that's precisely the reason? Maybe the N-Gage's failure is magnified by the fact that Nokia was so huge at the time?

    I still haven't made my vote nor have I chosen the angle for the decision, but I'm beginning to think that it just might be the N-Gage, despite all the things it did so well. Hmph... Still stumped.
     
    HtheB likes this.