Jeremy Parish's Game Boy Works #118: In Your Face / Koro Dice retrospective

A portable gaming first—the first-ever handheld basketball game cartridge. Sadly, In Your Face is not precisely the game to lead the charge; it's more of a technical foul than anything else. Happily, the backup entry for this episode, Japan-only puzzler Koro Dice, is a pleasant diversion that makes up for it. Was I complaining about Game Boy puzzlers recently? Sorry, I don't know what I was thinking.

Concept artist for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker says a set piece for Babu Frik was inspired by the Game Boy

Babu loves portable power

Concept artist Matthew Savage did some work for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker , including a bit of set piece design for the character Babu Frik. Savage took to Instagram to show off some of the design docs he had for Frik's workshop, and it includes an interesting tidbit for Nintendo fans.

According to Savage, one of the computer pieces designed drew inspiration from none other than the Game Boy. In the Instagram post above, you can see a wide-shot of Frik's workshop setup, which features the Game Boy-style device on the left-hand side of the piece. If you click over to the next picture, you get an even better look at the computer tech, which makes it much easier to see its Game Boy origins.

While you might not make the Game Boy connection at first glance, hearing the story from Savage makes the inspiration a lot easier to see.

Jeremy Parish's Game Boy Works #117: RoboCop & Play Action Football

Two more Game Boy classics revisited

Nintendo publishes a football game, and an arcade hit comes to Game Boy after being filtered through the soupy green monochrome of the Amstrad CPC. They're not great! This is not fulfilling video game content! Let's hurry through and get along to the next. OK, thank you, please drive through.

Capcom is gearing up to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Mega Man Battle Network

Merch, events, and more

Ready to feel extremely old? The 20th anniversary of the Mega Man Battle Network series is going to take place in 2021. Millions of fans remember the series quite fondly from their childhood, and it seems Capcom is eager to pay its respects to the franchise.

Capcom is currently looking for partners to help them celebrate the 20th anniversary with some special products. Capcom is aiming to release toys, action figures, apparel, and other consumer goods. They're also looking for partners to help out with special events.

Of course, this celebration of the 20th anniversary has fans wondering if there's going to be something game-related as well. Could there be a new installment in the works, or perhaps a compilation? We'll just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best. We won't know until 2021 gets here, so we've got plenty of time for some wishful thinking!

Thanks to MegaJacobF and Dondom95 for the heads up!

David Wise and Grant Kirkhope look back on creating tunes for Nintendo's classic hardware

Two all-time greats

While David Wise and Grant Kirkhope may not be Nintendo employees, many fans would consider them honorary members. Both men are responsible for some of the greatest soundtracks in Nintendo's history, and certainly scored countless tunes for Nintendo's characters and RARE's IPs as well.

Both Wise and Kirkhope have a long history with Nintendo's platforms, and have been composing tunes for Nintendo fans since the NES/Game Boy days. In an interview with USGamer, both men talk about some of their work on classic RARE/Nintendo titles. Wise started by looking back on his SNES work with Donkey Kong Country, and how it was challenging to recreate that sound/vibe for his Tropical Freeze tributes.

Wise: "When we hear music today, we expect a certain level of production and polish. Although the architecture of the SNES only had eight voices and 64 KB of sample memory, it took a whole lot of processing and mixing to get the Tropical Freeze covers to sound reminiscent of the SNES sound chip."

Wise also talked a bit about composing for the N64. While the console couldn't reproduce Playstation-level quality, Wise said the system had one ace up its sleeve.

"With the N64 having MIDI, it meant that we could have dynamic responsive scores that react to the gameplay environments. Even though our competitors could use a CD, it was a fixed track and had limited scope for reactive music."

Kirkhope chimed in on his classic work as well, talking about how important it was to create strong melodies.

"You had to try your best to write a good melody and set of chords, as most of the time that was the best you could do. Rare were huge Nintendo fans, so I was constantly being reminded as to how good the Nintendo OSTs were."

There's a lot more in the full interview from both men, so make sure to give it a read here.

Jeremy Parish's Game Boy Works #116 - Battle Bull & Navy Blue 90 retrospective

They say you have to walk before you can run, and in Game Boy Works, we need to slog through some mediocrity before we get to the good stuff. Neither of these games is terrible by any means; Battle Bull feels like an update to Sega's Pengo or Irem's Kickle Cubicle, while Navy Blue 90 is, y'know, Battleship. However, both end up being let down by some questionable creative choices and frustrating technical issues. Neither lives up to its real potential.

Take a trip back through time with a gallery of Toys R' Us gaming displays from 1999/2000

It was a simpler time

Who doesn't love a good bit of nostalgia? If you were a kid in the late 90s/early 2000s, you'll likely feel a warm rush looking through the pictures in the tweet above.

As the Twitter user says, they purchased an album on eBay that was chock-full of pictures showcasing the gaming promotional displays at a Toys R' Us. You get a little bit of everything in that picture, including some SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, N64, and Playstation merch. It really does make you miss the days of Toys R' Us and retail being the only place to buy games!

The above pictures are just the start though, as there's a whole collection of photos from the album to sift through. You can find all the other pics here.

RUMOR: Pokemon Gen 2 source code leak reveals beta designs and more

The floodgates are open!

Boy, the Pokemon scene is sure getting hit hard lately. First we had the source code for Pokemon Red/Blue being picked apart, and now we have the source code for Pokemon Gold. As you might expect, all sorts of interesting tidbits are being discovered, including beta designs/details on numerous Pokemon. You can sift through the entire gallery of beta info and screens here.

GoNintendo Thought: Remembering the Game Boy on its 31st anniversary

Here's to you, Game Boy

Oh, the Game Boy. What an amazing system. So many great memories, many of which will never be topped. Let's take a moment to remember the Game Boy for its 31st anniversary. As always, thanks for reading.


On April 21st all the way back in 1989, Nintendo gave birth to the Game Boy. The Big N followed up its home console success with portable gaming above and beyond what anyone had seen up to that point. While Nintendo had had a successful portable gaming run with the Game & Watch series, the titles offered were a bit rudimentary. The Game Boy did its absolute best to bring a console-like experience that you could hold in the palm of your hands. It seemed like something unfathomable at the time, and still impresses to this day.

It's hard to explain the magic of playing the Game Boy for the first time. Those who were around when the Game Boy was brand-new were really flabbergasted by the portable, myself included. There were a few minor portable gaming systems up to that point, but nothing that ever broke through, or even made a ripple on a worldwide scale. It took Nintendo's might in the game industry and technical know-how to create something that found a place in the market, and managed to cram NES-like experiences into a pocket-sized platform.

Playing the Game Boy for the first time seemed...impossible. It was unbelievably exciting to take such a small piece of hardware, fire it up, and see some of the franchises you loved from your NES. It's honestly an experience that I don't think will ever be replicated. We all have pocket-sized devices that play games, and the console industry has been running even longer. There's just nothing that could happen to recapture that feeling of awe that came from the Game Boy. It really was the birth of something brand-new.

Going from the NES and its sizable cartridges to the Game Boy with its tiny carts and minuscule form factor seemed like some sort of black magic. I'll never forget seeing advertisements for the Game Boy. I would just stare at them in complete disbelief, having no idea how Nintendo managed to make something like this happen. It didn't matter that the screen wasn't backlit or that there weren't any colors. It was the technical wizardry of playing console-style games on a handheld device that outshined any of the platform's shortcomings.

Again, the best we had for portable gaming back in those days were the Tiger Electronic handhelds. The vast majority of those units had a single game installed on them, and were majorly pared-down from traditional gaming. Extremely limited in terms of frames of animation, gameplay that was almost non-existent in some cases, and sound that could barely squeak out something recognizable. There were a handful of Tiger Electronic releases that were enjoyable out of hundreds that were extremely lackluster, but anything released in that line was dwarfed by even the first wave of Game Boy games, which were light years beyond.

In all of my gaming memories, the time I received a Game Boy for a birthday present is definitely one of my fondest. It was a pool party and I was 8 years old at the time. I had a bunch of friends over and we were swimming for most of the day, and then we got out for a bit to have some cake and open presents. I ran through the great gifts that my friends got me, and then my parents surprised me with something. I honestly had no idea what was in the box, as I didn't ask for anything. I opened up the package in front of my friends, and we all let out a collective gasp. My parents squirreled away enough money to get me a Game Boy and some games.

I wanted so, sooooooooooooooooooo badly to rip that sucker open and play it right there, but I didn't want to be rude to those at the party. I put everything back in the box and went on with the rest of the party. Admittedly, I was going crazy on the inside. All I could think about was playing the Game Boy, and I could barely focus on anything else going on at the time. It was only made worse by friends asking me to open it up and play it! I held firm though, and made sure I kept the Game Boy excitement for when the part was over.

I sat outside on my parents' deck and cracked open the Game Boy. My parents got me Tetris, Super Mario Land, and Castlevania: The Adventure. I was in absolute heaven with that combination. I didn't know what to play first! I eventually decided to kick things off with Tetris, which we all know proved to be an early killer app for the platform. It was honestly hard to put that game down and move onto the others! After some time with Tetris, I gave Super Mario Land a go, and I was wowed once again. It was a brand-new Mario adventure in the palm of my hands! How in the world was it even possible?! Things got even better when I went to Castlevania: The Adventure, which looked even closer to its console counterparts than Super Mario Land did. It was such a mind-boggling experience, and I can still recall that excitement today.

As the weeks rolled on, my Mom and sister got in on the Game Boy as well. My Mom became absolutely addicted to Tetris, which was a problem...because my sister and I wanted to play it just as much! My sister also spent a lot of time with Super Mario Land. In a matter of weeks, we had three huge Game Boy fans in our household. We all had to share the one Game Boy, which was definitely a bit of a struggle. I can remember going to grab it from my dresser to find it missing, only to happen upon my Mom playing it in the living room. If it wasn't with here, I could usually find my sister hiding in her bedroom playing it under her covers. Sure, it might have been annoying to have to steal away time with the Game Boy back then, but now I look back on those memories fondly.

I've never had another gaming experience like the Game Boy. The amazement at what it was and what it could do just can't be matched. It was a product of the time, and I can't envision anything like that ever happening again. When I pick up my Game Boy today, I still feel all those memories. I also feel the same excitement, joy, and wonder as I did in my single-digit days. It's just such a wonderful time machine back to a simpler time for gaming, and an exciting age for the industry.

The Game Boy was just the start to a very long and super-successful run for Nintendo in the portable business. That success continues on today through the Switch. Portable gaming is a big part of Nintendo's DNA, and they see why fostering that market continues to pay dividends. I know their fascination with portable gaming devices will continue on for years to come, and I'm quite excited to see where it takes us. That said, due to my old age in the gaming world and the strong memories I have, I don't think anything will ever top the Game Boy.

I think I'm going to go fire mine up right now. Tetris anyone?

Jeopardy!'s "World of Video Games" category shows Nintendo some love

I think you'll know this one...

A recent episode of Jeopardy! featured a category all about video games. One of the answers was Nintendo-related. We're sure you'll know what the question is, so we'll just let you answer for yourself! Check out the Nintendo-specific spot at the 41 second mark.


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