Wonderswan Color: Pros and Cons

I recently got my blue Wonderswan Color in the mail, and also bought four games to start my collection. After playing around with it for a couple of weeks, I’m going to breakdown my thoughts into pros and cons.

Pros

  • The battery life is rock solid! Using only a single AA battery, you can easily get over 40 hours of gameplay.
  • The system itself is a good size, slightly smaller than the Gameboy Color, weighing a little less as well, but it still feels kinda durable.Though, I’d imagine that after a couple of bad drops, you’d be online buying another one.
  • I definitely like how there are two D-Pads on the left side of the system so that I can be played it vertically with certain games. Those games are normally of the puzzle variety such as Gunpey, but it’s still a great innovation that no other handheld had till the original DS allowed some vertical gameplay.

Cons

  • The buttons, especially the D-Pads are just too small for my liking. Don’t be surprised if you accidentally hit the wrong button on a constant basis.
  • The volume that omits from the system is just too low. Unlike the Gameboy, which has a volume slider, there’s an actually volume button, with the options being no sound, a little sound, or max sound. To make matters worse, there is no headphone jack, so the only way to maximize the sound quality is to be in an extremely quiet room.
  • Being a system that never made it stateside, the entire game library, as unique as it is, is completely inJapanese. It’s not too much of a problem with fighting games, puzzle games, or sidescrollers, but there’s a decent amount of life sims and RPG’s in said library, meaning they’re essentially unplayable.
  • The screen is downright horrendous. Maybe it’s because I’m used to over a decade of backlit screens, but damn is it hard to see. You have to be in the PERFECT light just to enjoy whatever game you’re playing. There’s a contrast tint slider, but it doesn’t really help much. No doubt this is the biggest issue that plagues the Wonderswan Color. The Wonderswan Crystal actually fixed this problem, using an LED screen, but good luck finding one of those for less than $100

Verdict

Overall, I think the Wonderswan Color is a neat little system, and one that’s extremely affordable to collect for. It has its shortcomings, especially in comparison to the Gameboy Color, but it’s a unique piece of gaming history that many should give a chance. Don’t expect too much though, because it certainly doesn’t elicit a mind blowing experience, but for what it offers, the Wonderswan Color is not too shabby.

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