Faceplate drama over – or is it?

I already wrote about my problems with GameBoy Micro faceplates. This time, I will show you the extent of the damage. The following pictures may be disturbing, viewer discretion is advised.

Old Warrior

So I thought I give it another try with a new faceplate. I’ve already ordered a set of 4 no-name faceplates (correction, the company is called “Logic3″) once but they were terrible. Don’t buy! They don’t fit properly and look ugly. This time, I’ve ordered one from BigBen Interactive. I was a bit skeptical because there were only two covers in the package and only one of them was of reasonable color. The result after the jump. The following pictures border on pornography, viewer discretion is advised.

GBA Micro with new faceplate

I love it. Looks very sexy, feels like the original one. Overall I’m very happy. In fact, I think the Micro is the BEST PORTABLE GAMING DEVICE EVA. Let me explain quickly: with both the PSP and the DS, portable gaming is a big hassle. The devices are small but they have their size. You can take them if you KNOW you will have the opportunity to play (long train ride) but you wouldn’t tuck it in you pocket if you weren’t sure. The Micro is smaller then an average cellphone so you CAN take it EVERY TIME. Even better, taking it out and playing is not such a big hassle as with PSP or DS. People won’t stare at you while you operate a sensitive, sophisticated entertainment device. It’s just a tiny, simple pad with a few buttons you can carelessly hack away on when you’re bored. The Micro crossed a hitherto unknown size and complexity barrier where gaming becomes something you don’t have to consciously think about and perform anymore.

At the same time, the GameBoy Micro was way ahead of its Time. Games haven’t penetrated that far into the mainstream yet. I believe there is no audience for this kind of lifestyle device. Appart from the impossibly elusive BitGenerations The GameBoy Advance platform does not offer any games which would fit to that kind of device / audience / lifestyle. What would the GameBoy Micro Hipster play on his way to the Progressive House Club?
Mario – too childish.
Pokémon – too childish (and too long).
Final Fantasy – too geeky (and too long).
Castlevania – too geeky.
Metroid – too geeky.
Advance Wars – too geeky and too childish at the same time.

Retro games like the old Tetris would be fine but then, the Micro is not backwards compatible. *sigh* It is an elegant gaming device for a more civilized age. An age yet to come.

Oh yeah, and the faceplate drama is not over yet. It seems like my faceplate has a small blemish. The paint has come off at one place. It might have come from my excessive cleaning. Why! Whyyyyyy!

New Faceplate - a small blemish

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

One response to “Faceplate drama over – or is it?”

  1. Anonymous

    I was going through the very same painful drama of finding GBM faceplate to buy. I was so desperate that I was prone to buy ANY replacement faceplate available on the market. I didn’t find any :( The 3rd party developers apparently stopped the production so I ended up buying it original from US Nintendo’s online-store. Unfortunately, they are shipping to US or Canada only so I had to use a service of some internet company which runs the business of re-shipping packages to EU :( Better do not ask what the total cost for two faceplates was, please :(
    Then I found your reference to german Amazon store. Too late :(



The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


follow Krystian on Twitter
follow Yu-Chung on Twitter
follow Daniel on Twitter