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Retro Thrifting


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Remembering the Sega Game Gear

As far back as 1992, I used to be so envious of my older sister owning a Game Boy. Of course she only had three games, Tetris (which was bundled with the system), Super Mario Land and Kirby's Dream Land. The blurry movement of the screen took some time getting used to, but the games were so fun that the system was hard to put down, the problem was that my sister owned it so I had like maybe an hour of play time before she wanted it back.

A year later my parents chanced upon buying a preowned Sega Game Gear at a garage sale, they never told me the price but apparently it was good enough to pick up and even came with an adapter plug to charge it up, a pretty good sign since the thing took up a lot of batteries to play.

Much like the Nintendo Game Boy, this thing also felt like a brick in your hands.

What's funny is that I still remember my sis getting jealous because the Game Gear had color, as well as a backlit screen, while she had the Game Boy's blurry green screen and needing a light to see the games she was playing at night. I started out with owning two games which wasn't too bad, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Road Rash.

Sonic 2 on the Game Gear was far different than its console counterpart, however it's notoriously difficult. Even the first boss will give you a hard time!

Aside from having my NES and Sega Genesis, I still got some pretty good mileage out of the little system. Even though Sonic 2 was kicking me in the rear I still learned the ropes, and Road Rash was mad fun to take on the road. Sadly, a time came when one of my older brother's friends asked to trade Road Rash for a copy of Aladdin on the system. It wasn't a huge loss, the game had a Prince of Persia-like feel to it, though it was a bit on the short side (I could beat the game in about a half hour flat) but I had a feeling that I would have gotten more hours out of playing Road Rash.

A few years after I was given four last games before my Game Gear was gone off the shelf. Sonic in Triple Trouble, Sonic Drift 2, Donald Duck in Lucky Dime Caper, and (shudder....) Batman Forever. Both Triple Trouble and Batman Forever were given to me as a birthday gift around 1996, obviously Triple Trouble was the better game of the two, as Batman Forever on both console and handheld had terrible controls.

While it wasn't Sega's last Sonic game on the Game Gear, Sonic in Triple Trouble had a more balanced difficulty compared to Sonic 2 and introduced a short lived character, Nack the weasel (or Fang the Sniper, as he's known as in Japan)

Just before the year was over I got Donald Duck in Lucky Dime Caper and Sonic Drift 2 courtesy of my mom when she worked at a Phar-Mor pharmacy, which happened to have a handful of video games in their store from time to time. Sonic Drift 2 is just as it sounds, a Mario Kart clone but with Sonic characters and was a fairly challenging game. Lucky Dime Caper was also the standard Disney/Sega game fare, a charming platformer with a good balance in difficulty as you helped Donald rescue his nephews from the evil Magica De Spell.

Lucky Dime Caper was a surprisingly good Disney platformer from Sega as I would return to it time and time again. Like Aladdin it was also short but given the originality in story and level design, I found it to be the more fun of the two.

By 1998 it was time to give up my Game Gear as I was aiming to get a Game Boy Color for Pok'emon Yellow, among a few other GBC games. The downgrade of owning one was the lack of a backlit screen like the Game Gear had, but I eventually got used to it.

Did you hear about or own a Sega Game Gear growing up? Leave a comment and as always, see you next article!
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Benjanime Posted on Aug 16, 2019 at 10:31 PM

i always did want one of those, but they were so expensive at the time, if i recall they cost more than a game gear.

echidna64 Posted on Aug 16, 2019 at 07:34 PM

My brother bought a Sega Nomad a couple years ago and it is awesome because you can play regular Genesis games. It is a brick tho lol

Benjanime Posted on Aug 15, 2019 at 09:12 PM

without the power charger cable i think my parents would have been complaining left and right about constantly buying batteries lol, i enjoyed it more than the game boy myself!

Vaporman87 Posted on Aug 15, 2019 at 08:56 PM

I actually preferred the Game Gear over the Game Boy for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it seemed to have more advanced graphics.

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