Micro Impressions

Two days ago I bought myself a Game Boy Micro. At first I was kinda regretting it because it cost so much and I didn’t get any new games to play on it. The teeny screen took some serious getting used to after being weaned on the twice-its-size DS screens. Not to mention the buttons were smaller than I expected.

After a while though, it started to click. The size and weight are just admirable. The look is incredible. It’s a great design choice and makes you want to play even your oldest of games on it (Metroid is truly timeless, I’ve found). Its speaker is a bit on the weak side but still satisfies. A nice little touch is when the cool clicking volume control mechanism on the side of the unit beeps specifically to let u know you’ve maxed out.

All the buttons are insanely comfy, the “a” and “b” are thankfully larger than the DS’s. The D-pad may be a bit hard to get used to in the beginning due to its size, but its range of motion is very nice; the lack of clicking on all the face controls (unlike GBA SP and DS) nostalgically hearkens back to the glory days of the NES and SNES pads. The cool-looking Start Select buttons aren’t hard to reach, but you may find yourself using your left thumb for them instead of your right as it is more convenient and ergonomic that way. L and R are no longer clicking triggers, but clicking buttons. Even though they curve down the sides of the Micro, you can only press them in the middle. They were uncomfortable for me until I started holding is like I would an SNES pad. To the left of the game slot is the power switch which causes no problems, even if it’s somewhat flimsy. Speaking of the game slot, its off-center location lends it a more “tech-y” and compact look. Dust gets under the face plates quite fast if you take long to replace them, but they are currently my second favorite part of the whole unit (next to the size) and I change them multiple times daily.

I’m quite pleased with this little machine and look forward to reinvigorating my portable lifestyle on the go. I know the price is steep for many and most people already have some forms of GBA– I have 3 myself, aside from the Micro– but if you are looking to buy a handheld and are into style, customization, extreme portability, and comfort, this is the clear way to go. Once Play-Yan is ultimately released, it will only sweeten the pot.

[by Rollin, pics courtesy of Flickr]