Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
Could be the perfect handheld game machine
on June 13, 2011
In a world where handheld consoles keep getting more powerful, they sure don't keep getting smaller. The original Nintendo DS was pretty huge, hardly pocket sized. And even the DSi which I also own will fill a pocket and create a large, blocky outline. Sony's PSP offering is thinner but also longer and has that large, easily-scratched screen. When considering a handheld gaming device, one has to consider portability almost at the top of the list. The Micro was designed to perfectly fit that task. Sure, the Gameboy Advance is essentially a dead console considering companies no longer make new games for it, but there's still a trove of gems out there to be bought, and often very cheap on the used market. That leaves the machine itself. It's tiny, but still perfectly handy. Your thumbs might cramp up if you hold it a certain way, but if you keep them straight over the face of the machine it's not an issue. The screen is small, but the colors are so crisp and the screen so bright (adjustable to be dimmer if playing in a dark room) that you hardly notice unless you play it right next to someone playing a GBA game on a DS.
The modular faceplate design is especially smart, because if you get more scratches on the screen than you'd like, simply remove the faceplate and put on another one. With this ability, your screen can stay essentially perfect indefinitely. It also lets you change the look of your machine. Perhaps: silver for dressy occasions, camouflage for outdoor activities and sports, red for playing at home... or just whichever color you like most.
The Micro has a headphone jack for headphones (unlike the GBA SP), which is advisable because the tiny speaker holes can be easily covered with your thumb, and the speaker is honestly not very powerful. The on-off switch is recessed well into the bottom of the machine so as to not be hit accidentally unlike some GBA/DS iterations (I'm looking at you, original DS...) but the volume/brightness control is button-based, rather than operated with a slider, so volume/brightness can't be changed with the unit off. As for negative aspects of the Micro, the shoulder tabs are operated by buttons hidden underneath that are located closer to the middle of the unit than the corners, so one has to place their index fingers farther over the tops of the corners to reliably actuate them, unlike in units like the DSi where simply tapping on the very corners will suffice. This will often not be a problem, but it's worth noting.
Overall the Gameboy Micro is an excellent choice for a handheld console, even in an age of technically superior ones. Finally a portable unit that I can actually take everywhere. If you plan on buying a handheld to be used primarily on-the-go, this might be the best option. If you almost always play handhelds at home anyway, you may as well go for a DS Lite, DSi XL (and in a few months when mroe games come out, the 3DS) or PSP.