What makes a game fun?

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What's up everybody? I'm Benji, or benjaminlibl, and this is my first blog post for DSDatabase! Woooo. I will be blogging about the randomest of things, but today we shall start off with a games-related post!

Recently, I've been reminiscing about the older consoles I used to own. I've also been wondering, what makes a game fun? This is a very subjective topic, of course, but some of you out there might say that a fun game consists of the following:

- Good graphics
- Multiplayer mode
- Mini-games
- Storyline

And so on. Supposedly, these are the key elements to a fun game. However, this can't be right. Before the NDS, there was the GBA. If you go back further, there is the GBC, and the classic Gameboy. Each console evolved into something bigger(metaphorically speaking), badder and..


About 10 years back, I got a GBC from my dad, as a reward for learning how to ride a bike. Along with it came a cartridge that had 50 mini-games on it, the "50-in-1." On it were games like Bomb Jack, Contra, Tetris, etc. At the time, I thought the GBC was too cool to be true. Each game was something new, something exciting, and above all, something fun. Which is funny, since each game was a mini-game in itself. For example, in Bomb Jack, you glided around and collected bombs. Most of these games probably originated from earlier consoles, but you get my meaning.

Along came the GBA.

More mind-blowing epicness. You had color now! REAL color, unlike the GBC, which looks pretty wack now. Here is a picture to refresh your memory:

Compared to this:

Real color.

The GBA didn't have a backlight then. Yes. I'm serious. I don't know if any of you went through what I did. In order to play under my blanket, I got an attachable light for my first-gen GBA. You wedged it onto your GBA and it ran on triple A batteries. Thinking back, it seems pretty ridiculous, but at that point in time it was the norm. There were now cables, to send data back and forth so you could play with your friends. Wow!

Now, remember Golden Sun? It was a RPG turn-based game on the GBA, and probably considered one of the best of all time. But looking at it now, the graphics aren't very impressive compared to what you would get on an NDS. Look at the Harvest Moon series. You can play it forever, and never get "anywhere". There isn't a storyline to speak of. You do the same things, over and over and over again. So what made these games fun? What makes ANY game fun?

What do you guys think? And what memories do you have of early consoles?

Please leave some comments and let me know what you think!
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  1. RisingDevil's Avatar
    Golden Sun's graphics were great for the GBA's cpu. The storyline and the music are more important than the graphics... (in my opinion)
  2. PharaohsVizier's Avatar
    I'm not sure I agree with that 100%. While graphics don't matter for some games that have decent graphics from that age, it really PAINS me to play some of the really old GBA games with extremely horrid graphics. I mean dated graphics are okay, but there were a few games that I literally couldn't play because they were so horrible to look at.
  3. benjaminlibl's Avatar
    RisingDevil, I did not say they were bad. I just said it's not great compared to what you have now. Storyline? I wouldn't say Tetris has a storyline. But that doesn't mean it's not fun.
  4. BoxShot's Avatar
    Graphics that don't kill my eyes. A story since I don't really like games without it. (if they don't have stories they usually make me go ugh what's the point of playing) Music is so-so. If the game has voices then voices that don't kill my ears. (one example Farleene from Star Ocean Till The End of Time)
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