Should I buy a Game Boy Micro?
November 4, 2005 9:03 PM   Subscribe

Should I buy a Game Boy Micro?

I’m trying to decide between buying a Game Boy Micro, a Game Boy DS, and a Sony PSP. The Micro is in the lead at the moment simply because I am far from an avid gamer anymore, and the DS and the PSP seem like over-kill. Really, I would just like to be able to play some of the Final Fantasy re-makes SquareSoft has been puting out recently. I am a fan of the Micro’s very small form factor. I already own the original Gameboy Advance (the one with the pitch black screen).

Everytime I go to buy a Micro however, I stop myself because I have this nagging feeling I should be buying one of the newer consoles. Is the Micro worth getting? Lumines is addictive, should I get the PSP? Animal Crossing is coming out for the DS, perhaps that is worth a second look.

Opinions please!
posted by chunking express to Shopping (25 answers total)
I think the new mario game alone warrants buying a DS. It looks awesome!!!

Joystick Article

I saw a video that was great, but can't find it. Can someone help?
posted by meta87 at 9:17 PM on November 4, 2005

I'd say Micro, or better yet, one of the new GBA SPs with the backlit (instead of front-lit) screen, which will also play the old Gameboy games. The flip-top SPs are also nice in that they don't need a case or anything to protect from scratching - just throw in your pocket.

The DS is large and unwieldy, IMO, for playing GBA games on, so I'd stay away unless you intend to play games released for it. The DS is aiming to be the casual gamer's platform, though, so do take a careful look at the library before you write off the DS-specific releases. If there's stuff in there that interests you, by all means, go DS.

The PSP is a nice piece of hardware, but it's really the hardcore gamer's handheld. It has some incredible PS2 ports, but it's big to carry around, easy to scratch or drop and break, and expensive like crazy. Also, from experience, the battery life is about half that of a GBA SP (4-6 h vs 8-12) - I'm not sure how it compares to the Micro. Probably not your first choice unless you're looking for the PS2 experience in a portable console.
posted by pocams at 9:20 PM on November 4, 2005

If you like the smallness of the Gameboy Micro, how could you handle the largeness of the other two?

(And I personally prefer the GBA SP (even used), but that's because I'd rather be able to throw it carelessly in a bag than carry it on me. But different strokes...)
posted by smackfu at 9:25 PM on November 4, 2005

I second the GBA SP suggestion.
posted by jimmy at 9:26 PM on November 4, 2005

Pocams said a lot of it best.

Basically, the Micro's largest downfall is a painfully hard to see screen. If that's not a factor for you, it's a sleek and fun system. The DS has a lot of interesting games to check out though, especially since Nintendo is really pushing some of their old creativity. Games that are easy to learn, difficult to master, and just fun to play for a few minutes or for hours.

Steer clear of the PSP at any cost. It's pricey, fragile, and designed for those who drool at technology. It's pretty much everything the N-gage wanted to be, only not a cellphone.
posted by Saydur at 9:29 PM on November 4, 2005

By the way, I saw that Walmart will be selling the Gameboy Advanced SP for $50 on black friday. Of course it will be insane, so whether or not it's worth it I don't know

Walmart Black Friday Ad
posted by meta87 at 9:29 PM on November 4, 2005

The DS is totally not overkill (the PSP on the other hand is). The games for that platform are incredibly creative and intuitive. The perfect games for the non-avid gamers IMHO.
posted by panoptican at 10:03 PM on November 4, 2005

Best answer: I have all of them, and the Micro is probably the most simple fun for a non-gamer. Highly recommended.
posted by anildash at 10:05 PM on November 4, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for all the replies so far.

(smackfu, I own the first generation GBA, which is about the same size as a DS or PSP, so I wouldn't mind the bigger machines if I felt there was a compelling reason to get them.)
posted by chunking express at 10:17 PM on November 4, 2005

I love my GBA SP, and it's quickly becoming indispensible. Hardy, more than enough games for my picky, girly-gamer ass, and it's a good size - decent screen and controls, but it folds down all nice and compact.
posted by kalimac at 10:23 PM on November 4, 2005

Response by poster: Before I head to bed, one more question. For those of you who own, or know someone, with a Game Boy Micro, how is the screen? All the reviews are quite favourable, but since no stores seem to have them on display, I haven't had a chance to see one working in real life.
posted by chunking express at 10:26 PM on November 4, 2005

If you have a GBA, why would you need a micro? That thing looks like it would give me carpal tunnel faster than the treo that I just replaced would.

I think the GBA SP (back-lit) looks like the best choice, to be honest. I'm thinking about picking one up, myself.
posted by angry modem at 10:29 PM on November 4, 2005

have you considered the GP2X?
if youre into emulation at all i think its a good choice, though its a bit more expensive than a micro or a ds. it also has all the mulimedia functions of the psp.
posted by harrigton at 11:27 PM on November 4, 2005

I'm looking at the micro too. Has anyone any feedback on how the old NES emulator performs on it (with a GBA linker cartridge)? Or is suppose experience with any of the other emulators that run on the Gameboy advance platform?
posted by bystander at 12:59 AM on November 5, 2005

Best answer: I have a GBA, DS, and PSP, and the DS is where I spend my time.
posted by aubilenon at 1:12 AM on November 5, 2005

there's a final fantasy 3 remake bound for the DS, some screenshots.
posted by juv3nal at 1:39 AM on November 5, 2005

I have a GBA SP and a DS.

The GBA SP underwent a hardware revision that hit stores a few weeks ago, which has a brighter screen but apparently also has a modified D-pad construction. Some purchasers are reporting that the new D-pad is poorly designed, and that some games are broken as a result. See this thread for info. That said, I have the older SP and I'm quite happy with it.

However, given the choice between an SP and a DS, I'd take the DS--its battery life is shorter, but in exchange you get a headphone jack, an instant sleep mode that activated when you shut the case, backward compatibility with the GBA, and the ability to play some very, very good games. Developers are already making good use of the touch screen and larger memory capacity that the DS affords.

Advance Wars: Dual Strike was worth the price of the hardware for me, and within the next year Pocket PC Studios promises ports of Europa Universalis II, Disciples II, and Jagged Alliance: Gold Pack. There's also the excellent list of first party titles in development--New Super Mario Bros., Super Princess Peach, Metroid Prime: Hunters, and two or three new Pokemon games if you're into that.
posted by Prospero at 7:01 AM on November 5, 2005

I popped in here to recommend the GP2X (different link) but saw harrington had beaten me to it. I had a play around with an early developer version last month and was very impressed: if you've already got a dedicated games machine, why not get one which has mp3, video and emulation built-in?
posted by blag at 7:27 AM on November 5, 2005

I'm going to be getting a DS sometime within the next month, mainly for Animal Crossing.
posted by Guy Smiley at 8:09 AM on November 5, 2005

Response by poster: I missed this similar question from a little while back: PSP? GBA? Nintendo DS?
posted by chunking express at 10:19 AM on November 5, 2005

I think the Micro's size can be a real benefit. There's no way you're going to fit a DS, SP, or PSP in your pocket. But if you treat the Micro like a keychain, and always have it with you, you have instant entertainment when you're stuck in line, waiting for a movie, etc.

I've seen one in action, and I was surprised at how clear the screen is. It's small, but bright, and very detailed.
posted by Sibrax at 1:07 PM on November 5, 2005

It's a PITA to play GBA games on the DS, because there are now 4 buttons instead of 2 (x-y-a-b on the DS) and they're smaller. I'm forever hitting the wrong ones. So if you're going to play a lot of GBA games, go for an SP... otherwise the DS is pretty neat.

/owner of a GBA SP Classic NES Edition and a DS

Sibrax - I can fit my SP in my pocket.
posted by IndigoRain at 6:54 PM on November 5, 2005

I've had every incarnation of the GBA, and the Micro is my favorite (by far) - I think the D Pad's the best of the three, and the screen keeps every detail despite its size. The thing goes with me in my suit jacket pocket quite nicely, better than a DS would (fo sho), and the black velveteen pouch is cute.

As IndigoRain says, just cause you can play GBA games on the DS doesn't mean that you'd want to. I say go Micro for now and get a DS next year.
posted by sachinag at 8:43 PM on November 5, 2005

Wow, I was totaly wondering this myself, and even thinking about posting an ask-me thread.

I'll probably get an SP, and save $20, since I'm mostly going to be playing on airplanes, and a bigger screen would be nice. I don't need much portability right now.
posted by delmoi at 10:19 PM on November 5, 2005

Best answer: Thanks for all the replies. I especially appreciate the comments from anil, aubilenon, and sachinag, who owned several of the systems I was interested in. Between this thread, the thread I started at Say-So, and reading about upcoming games at 1UP, I'm pretty much set on buying the Nintendo DS. Here is why.

I can play my GBA games still, and the screen will be better than the pitch black screen I play with right now. IndigoRain pointed out that the extra buttons can be problematic, but since I don't play too many fast paced games, I don't think the multi-button problem will be an issue.

Animal Crossing, the new Mario, MarioKart, Children of Mana, and the Xenosaga remakes are all going to be on the DS. (Here is a pretty good list of all the upcoming titles for the DS: The Ultimate DS preview. I imagine in the near future there will be a zelda game or two as well.

Most everyone seems to be disappointed with the PSP, and I would have to say the games coming out in the next little while aren't all to appealing. I love lumines, but not enough to spend that much money on the system. Also, my brother owns a PSP, and it feels too decadent if both of us have one.

Nintendo's WiFi offering looks very interesting, and very promising. Plus, it's free.

The DS is about $30 Canadian more than the micro. I love the Micro's form factor, but I think there is enough cool stuff coming out for the DS in the next little while it'd be foolish to get a legacy system that isn't much cheaper.

So, hope that helps the next person trying to decide what to buy. I was very very close to getting the Micro. The trailer for Animal Crossing changed my mind. (So, that should tell you what sort of gamer I am, and whether my purchasing choice is right for you.)
posted by chunking express at 1:03 PM on November 9, 2005

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