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Video Game Memoirs #3: The Sega Game Gear

Finally my family had relented (or saved up enough money!) to get me and my sister a video game console! A best of all we were getting one each! So we wouldn’t have to ever share! Also my parents had been clever and still maintained the rule about not ‘hogging’ the family TV with a games console, and got us both handheld consoles. I got a Sega Game Gear and my younger sister got a Nintendo Game Boy. This must have either been 1991 or 1992, as the Game Gear was only released the former year. At the time I assumed I got the better deal as my handheld, had colour and could play my favourite game: Sonic! I got a handful of games, including Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Ax Battler, whilst my sister got Tetris and Super Mario Land. Of course I was the one who was better off! My console had colour, had my favourite gaming mascot, whilst my sister had a puzzle game and a crappy version of Mario!

How wrong could I be. Compared to what I was used to on the Sega Mega Drive, Sonic on the Game Gear was painfully slow, didn’t look as good (my child brain couldn’t comprehend why there needed to be a reduction in quality!) and the battery life of the Game Gear was woefully short. Ax Battler wasn’t much better. It was a sort of RPG, and I was far to young to appreciate games like that and it wasn’t a particularly good one either if I remember correctly!

Not long after, when we finally did manage to share our consoles, I realised my sister had got the better deal. There were actual good games on the Game Boy and the batteries actually lasted more than an hour. What’s more my particular Game Gear broke within a few months and my parents had to buy me another one (somehow?). So not only did my family buy this crappy handheld once, but twice! I often took it to my grandparents house, where I would have to sit by the power socket with the machine plugged in to the mains, as once the batteries had died (6 AAs!), and we were away from home, I had no other choice!

Thankfully a few years later, after selling off the Game Gear, I got a Game Boy instead, and now me and my sister could have access to a shared library of games! It also meant, years later when Pokémon came around, we had two Game Boys to swap Pokémon back and forth. I still have my grey brick, and now and again I pop four AA batteries into it just to check it still works; it hasn’t failed me yet! The Game Gear, although being my first real console I owned, does not hold a particularly special place in my heart. Even to this day I don’t think I could name a game that is truly worth playing on it!

Currently playing:

  • Final Fantasy V (Nintendo Game Boy Advance)

  • Final Fantasy XV (Sony Playstation 4)

  • Nioh: Last Chance Demo (Sony Playstation 4)

About the author

Seb Bailey

"The Wii Guy" of

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