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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. anhminh

    anhminh Pirate since 2010

    Member
    8
    Sep 30, 2010
    Vietnam
    When I see the GamePark, I almost thought it was a Wii U game pad :lol:
     
  2. Hadrian

    Hadrian Everybofy knows badgers like MASH POTATOES!

    Former Staff
    12
    Oct 12, 2004
    United States
    Zodiac was total crap. Ngage was...well for me had some really good gems on it but the controls and screen ruined it. Still have mine now (QD version) for those gems and some of those great s60 games played well on this device. It was quite a capable device, while it debuted around the same time as GBA it played host to some nice PSX ports, I mean they played like crap with the controls but later on devs were able to work around them. Pathway is still awesome to play.

    These polls do tend to be voted mainly by those who haven't experienced some of the platforms so just seem to go for the bigger named flop.
     
  3. cdoty

    cdoty GBAtemp Fan

    Member
    3
    Sep 14, 2009
    United States
    These polls seem to be either "there's too many to choose from" or "if I really have to pick one" type scenarios.

    In this case it's the SwanCrystal, which was black and white at a time when everything else was color.

    What was so bad about the Zodiac?

    It was a super powerful system (200 mhz ARM9 vs GBA 16 mhz ARM7 or even the DS 66 mhz ARM9) with decent controls; it was the first PDA that got gaming right. And, it had the top PDA operating system of it's time. Pocket PC wasn't bad, but it didn't really fit the PDA market as well as Palm did.

    It was probably the first PDA that was powerful enough to run fairly high end emulators (Neo Geo and MAME).
     
  4. codezer0

    codezer0 Gaming keeps me sane

    Member
    8
    Jul 14, 2009
    United States
    The Magic School Bus
    I myself voted for the Zodiac in large part because it did so poorly, that it couldn't even get into the US market.

    But then, the N-gage did practically become an internet meme for how bad it was. About as bad as the legendary power glove tagline from The Wizard. :teach:
     
  5. Mariko

    Mariko GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    3
    Oct 13, 2009
    I know this is about the worst handheld devices, but even with that in mind, you could try getting your facts straight. Also, have you ever held or played the N-Gage?

    That's like saying CDs, DVDs, or any other type of optical media is a bad choice, because it makes piracy a breeze. There is no Nintendo console without a custom medium, yet, they've all been pirated. It's the type of protection, not the choice of medium that's important. N-Gage games are encrypted. You can't simply make a game image and copy it to another MMC card.

    N-Gage QD still had Bluetooth. In fact, since the USB port was removed, it was the only means of communication with Nokia's Connectivity Suite. Also, QD had mono sound.

    It was a highly capable Symbian smartphone. Side-talking and picking the phone apart to change games was remedied with the QD. Also, aside from all of the N-Gage titles, there were hundreds of Symbian games and applications which N-Gage could run, including emulators (GameBoy, MegaDrive, ScummVM and others). Due to its failure and rapid price drop, it was, hands down, the best smartphone you could get (as far as cost vs capability is concerned).

    It wasn't. In fact, N-Gage Arena was really decent, especially for its time. Not only could you play games, but there were trailers and demos, much like any online store or service of today. In many aspects, N-Gage was ahead of its time, and many things it did, it did really well.

    Oh? Which ones? Many of them were really good. In fact, people would sometimes be outright jealous when they saw how good some of the games look, while all they could play on their phones were crappy Java games, or low end Symbian games. Check it, hombre:

    Asphalt 2
    Tomb Raider
    Rayman 3
    Tony Hawk
    Colin McRae
    Glimmerati
    Pandemonium
    System Rush

    And to name a few good games that were made for Symbian and worked great on N-Gage:

    Skyforce Reloaded
    Super Miners
    K-Rally (Karnaaj Rally on GBA, infamous for its cover)

    There were tons of good Symbian games, though it's not easy looking up screens or videos today. Games by Fathammer and Infinite Dreams had quality written all over them. Aside from Symbian games (which were both N-Gage games, and regular SIS package games), N-Gage could run J2ME games. Quality of those was much lower, but there were more than a few half-decent titles, like Raiden.

    They were OK. They just had this clickyness to them. Anyway, N-Gage wasn't half as bad as people who never held it make it out to be.

    Don't you dare ...
     
    Sakitoshi and Taleweaver like this.
  6. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

    Former Staff
    18
    Apr 4, 2006
    Croatia
    Zagreb
    But it wasn't exactly a breeze. How much did GBA flashcards cost at the time?
     
  7. Mariko

    Mariko GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    3
    Oct 13, 2009
    That's beside the point. I only meant to point out that custom medium does not prevent piracy. Author of this thread implied, that using MMC cards for N-Gage games made pirating them extremely easy, and that's simply not true. Games had to be cracked, and there were no publicly available tools to automate the process. It's much like cracked Steam releases. It's "just" files, but it takes some skill and know-how to overcome the DRM protection. You could just as well say that companies that released Symbian games as SIS packages locked to a single IMEI number made piracy easy, because they didn't choose to release their games on some fancy-shmancy cartridge. Sure, most of those games got keygenned, but how many people can analyze Symbian crypto and write a PC program to duplicate the algorithm for all of the pirating dorks to use? Piracy is easy only when you're the one downloading cracked releases.
     
  8. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    Global Moderator
    27
    Sep 13, 2009
    Poland
    Gaming Grotto
    Another day passes and I still don't know what to vote for, partially because I literally want to own all of those devices. They all did something right, as I wrote on the first page... so it's really a matter of grading "which one failed the most" given the circumstances. It's not like my vote will change anything, but I still want to stay true to my own colours and be objective about this... I might end up not participating this time around. :rofl2:

    Okay, time to get real...

    The GP32 flopped big time, but it came from a no-name company from Hong Kong, it's their only handheld before they split into two separate ventures (the one that survived gave us the GP2X line, so hey!) and it's actually not that bad hardware-wise, not to mention homebrew right out of the box.

    The Tapwave Zodiac came from a slightly bigger company, but it was still niche as all hell. People often praise PalmOS, I'm personally more of a Windows Mobile/CE guy, but this was still a major advantage, plus the hardware was pretty good for the time.

    And then the N-Gage... it's definitely the biggest venture out of them all, it has a great mobile OS, it has specs good enough to keep it going and even though the library is rather small, it has some great games... shame that the controls on this thing are crap and the screen is portrait instead of landscape.

    Ehh... This continues to be a tough one for me.
     
  9. Mariko

    Mariko GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    3
    Oct 13, 2009
    Would whispering "Tapwave Zodiac" into your ear help with the decision? For all intents and purposes, this was the system that failed the most. Many aren't even aware of its existence, and that should tell you a thing or two. N-Gage was widely available and achieved at least some level of market penetration. To me, this is a no-brainer, really. Not that I have anything against the console itself.
     
  10. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    Global Moderator
    27
    Sep 13, 2009
    Poland
    Gaming Grotto
    Here's the thing - the N-Gage indeed saw a bigger market success, but at a bigger expense as well. Tapwave was a PalmOS no-name small company, it just wasn't from Hong Kong. I don't think games for this thing were available in Gamestop and I don't think it was widely marketed. The N-Gage on the other hand was marketed relatively well in my opinion and its games were in actual game stores... so the scene of abject failure is visible in both cases. You are correct though, the Zodiac failed much worse - I'm just cutting it some slack because it wasn't a big name system. Similarly in the last vote I voted against the Atari Jaguar not because it was necessarily because it was the worst out of the bunch, rather because Atari used to mean quality console gaming and the Jaguar failed irredeemably at that core objective. I'm still tilting my head between the N-Gage and the Zodiac now - one failed worse financially, but that's partially the fact because it was a no-name and one failed in the design department and came from one of the biggest companies in the industry at the time.
     
  11. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

    Former Staff
    18
    Apr 4, 2006
    Croatia
    Zagreb
    GBA games had to be dumped, you had to analyze ROMs for the latest AP measures, develop ways to patch around them, and it takes some skill too. Not to mention reverse engineering the GBA and the cartridges and designing the flashcard. But that's beside the point. Someone did that, just like someone cracked the encryption on Symbian games. What it comes down to is what's more complicated for the end user (i.e. pirating dork): setting up a GBA flashcard of the time (remember the ROM patching, flash linkers, extremely expensive flashcards, serial ports?) to play the ROM, or just dragging and dropping the game files onto a memory card?
     
  12. thaddius
    OP

    thaddius Charmander is not pleased.

    Member
    5
    May 5, 2008
    Canada
    You're talking about something I wasn't. As an N-Gage QD owner I can tell you that all I had to do was download games and put them on an MMC card that cost me $10 off eBay. I was arguing that that's a relatively easy process.

    It honestly hadn't occurred to me that people would think I was referring to the people who cracked the games. I guess we both made assumptions we shouldn't have.
    I'm actually glad you enjoyed 8 games from the N-Gage's library of 58 released titles. That's way more than I did. I liked Pocket Kingdom and Elder Scrolls Travels and after trying them out a year or so ago I realized they had not aged well at all. Sadly though, I'm not going to change my post because a one person liked 8 of their games. You should know that people don't really read my posts before (or even sometimes after) voting so the original post and this discussion probably won't sway anyone either way.
    Perhaps Antarctica had a better telecommunications service than the US at the time? That's the only thing that could explain my painfully slow experiences with it.

    And if you like the buttons and think that the N-Gage made better phone calls than any other phone on the market at the time, that's great. I don't necessarily agree/care.
     
  13. Mariko

    Mariko GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    3
    Oct 13, 2009
    I'm not arguing against your points. I'm arguing against the original statement, that Nokia's choice of medium made it extremely easy to pirate. N-Gage was, after all, a smartphone. MMC cards weren't supported for games' sake alone. You were supposed to be able to use that extended memory to install other Symbian applications. Edit - Well, looks like the author of this poll meant downloading games and putting them on his MMC card. The way his MMC remark was originally phrased could be interpreted either way, but hey, now we've cleared that up, so happy days.

    Did you want me to list all of the games I liked, both N-Gage and Symbian? I was trying to make a point that games for the N-Gage weren't universally terrible. In fact, the good ones tip the scales in N-Gage's favor. This is highly subjective, of course, so maybe I shouldn't have brought it up in the first place. Contrary to what you might think, I'm not trying to sway anyone. Still, I do think it's unfair that the N-Gage gets the votes, because you know as well as I do that most of them are caused by stereotyping and all of those top tens, in which N-Gage is often labeled as the worst handheld ever made.

    Anyway, you don't have to change your post because I liked some games, but QD does have Bluetooth, so you should at least correct that. I don't think the N-Gage made better calls than other comparable phones of the time, but were we even talking about this? Also, I didn't write my comment to argue with you or anyone else, so there's no need to be sarcastic. Lastly, I'm sorry that playing all those free games didn't do it for you. Whoops! There goes no sarcasm!
     
  14. thaddius
    OP

    thaddius Charmander is not pleased.

    Member
    5
    May 5, 2008
    Canada
    I'm never sarcastic.
     
  15. Sterling

    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

    Member
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    Jan 22, 2009
    United States
    Texas
    Foxi4: If you had to choose, I'd suggest the GamePark32. At the time, it was a great idea, something new and never before seen. An open console would never have taken off in the long run due to the hot button topic of piracy.

    The tapwave may have failed to reach its target market, but according to the articles, it actually had decent hardware and functionality. If it had been marketed as a PDA with games, it might have taken off.

    Of the two, they were both failures, but for different reasons. One was due improper advertising, the other because the idea was young and uncertain.
     
  16. Westside

    Westside Sogdiana

    Member
    4
    Dec 18, 2004
    Uzbekistan
    Guantanamo bay
    1. Come to a Nintendo fanboy forum.
    2. Vote GBA as the shittiest handheld.
    3. Massive Trolling.
    4. ???
    5. Profit.
     
  17. cracker

    cracker Nyah!

    Member
    8
    Aug 24, 2005
    United States
    I had to go for the N-Gage due to the crappy controls, crappy library, portrait screen, need of dismantling the unit to swap games, etc.

    The Zodiac has some interesting hardware. Despite it running on Palm OS, it is pretty capable for emulation needs.

    I just have to say shame on the people who picked the GP32. It is a classic emulationer's dream! Wish I had one -- or a GP2X! :P
     
  18. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    Global Moderator
    27
    Sep 13, 2009
    Poland
    Gaming Grotto
    If you look at the specs of each system and judge them by that and that alone, the GBA's standing is at best shaky.
     
  19. Westside

    Westside Sogdiana

    Member
    4
    Dec 18, 2004
    Uzbekistan
    Guantanamo bay
    If you are talking about the specs alone then yeah, but Nintendo manages to popularize their handheld through awesome games. I haven't touched my 3d function on the 3ds since I bought it, but I love the games on that system, that alone makes it worth it for me. Although I do feel extra $$$ was wasted for gimmicks.
     
  20. SmokeFox

    SmokeFox Jesus Christ is the Lord

    Member
    2
    Dec 27, 2010
    Brazil
    Brazil
    I guess that the original GBA was not so cool, it was really dark, but the games were cool, and kept coming. For me the worst ever is the N-cage, what is that suppose to mean??
     
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