Getting back into hand held gaming

Many moons ago when I was a wee bit younger I owned a Nintendo Gameboy and I thought it was one of the best gaming experiences I’ve ever had. It was gaming on the go and back then I was always on the go; To work, to school, to the bathroom, and so forth. Sometime after that I picked up a Sega Game Gear and while I didn’t enjoy it as much as the Gameboy, it kept me company on the go but it didn’t have quite the library that the Gameboy has.  However ever since then I haven’t been involved in hand held gaming at all, at least not in the general sense.  

Sure I play games on the go but they’re either on my smartphone or tablet and while SOME are well done and have a decent production valve, most are crap and let’s be honest , between iOS and Android their gaming library may be vast but they miss tons of games that are only available on a hand held from Nintendo or Sony. I think perhaps however I’ve gotten out of touch with my hand held gaming roots, I’ve lost my way and I’m determined to find my way back.


Hey I got gaming on the go with a touch screen and physical controls

Sure my house hold has owned a Nintendo DS, a DS Lite and even a DSi but they we’re never mine. And since they didn’t belong to me I didn’t feel attached to them and as such I didn’t care to much, though it may sound silly. And I know I’ve missed out on tons of great games by passing those systems especially since they were within my reach. Sadly each and every one of those systems were neglected by both my children and wife which is odd especially in my wife’s case since she’s a pretty big casual gamer and I say that mainly due to the fact that every time I see her with some downtime she’s either playing freaking Candy Crush, Subway Surfers, Angry Birds Space or Temple Run 2 on either her Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 7 tablet that I got for her.

Even my children are absorbed by gaming on those magically devices but every now and then one of the Nintendo DS or DSi pop up and there’s always two questions that follow with that; Does anyone know where the power adapter is and does anyone know where the games are for either system. Of course the answer to both questions is “I don’t know where either is” and then all interest is lost and they go back to their smartphone, tablet, console of choice at the time or the PC. 

Now while I don’t care about their gaming habits, I’m happy that they are taking time out to even game and they are more than welcome to play on whatever they want but at the same time it nags me when a DS or DSi is located in the wild and those questions are asked. Why?  Well if they we’re interested then they would never ask where the stuff is for them and I believe that if the power adapter or games were available then more than likely they would pick up and play those systems as well. I decided to get my daughter a 3DS as she’s secretly wanted one for some time. Everytime I went to Gamestop or Bestbuy I’d find her over at the 3DS kiosk, I knew this was her way of telling me what she wanted though she never came out and asked for one directly. 


I have you now my pretty!

I must have checked about 4 different Target stories to find the Zelda themed 3DS XL and when I couldn’t find that I ended up acquiring a 3DS XL from Amazon’s Lightning offer and eventually also acquiring another 3DS, the Mario and Luigi: Dream Team 3DS XL bundle from Bestbuy that following Monday. So now we are the owners of 2 new 3DS systems and I even picked Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Animal Crossing and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon which will sit along side the pre-installed Mario and Luigi Dream Team. She’s going to love it, unless she reads this article first.

But something else happened, something I wasn’t totally prepared for at all. I ended up picking up a Sony Vita as well, I didn’t plan on it but when I saw the Amazon Exclusive Holiday Walking Dead Vita Bundle going for $179, it was pretty hard to ignore that deal. Compounded by several of my friends had mentioned that the Vita was finally had some worth while games such as Persona 4 Golden, Gravity Rush, Rainbow Moon and Soul Sacrifice available now and  games such as Ys: Memories of Celceta ( I loved Y’s growing up),  Trigger Happy Havoc and Demon Gaze releasing in the upcoming months. It also doesn’t hurt that i have a PSN subscription so those free Vita games via PSN+ is a nice addition. Honestly I’m looking forward to playing many of these games and i’m looking forward to incorporate hand held gaming into my hectic life.

So in the span of one weekend I ended up going from having no current hand held console to having three of them, one of which is a Christmas & Birthday gift to my daughter (Her Birthday is two days after Christmas, sucks for her) which puts me into a dilemma. With having one 3DS in the house hold, do I really need to own another 3DS on top of owning a Vita? Do I send the other 3DS back, do I sell it, do I keep it? Do I have enough interest in the house hold for two 3DS’s and a Vita? I guess only time will tell.

I’m definitely going to be playing either of the systems, especially come April when myself and wife will be attending our 3rd PAX East convention. Last year was fun gaming wise as we both gad our Nexus 7’s with us to keep us entertained and we managed picked up tons of games to play at the event but we felt left out when we were in lines waiting and we saw everyone else playing on a 3DS or Vita and not a single person on a tablet either Android or iOS. This time will be different as we’ll be armed with either a 3DS or Vita, perhaps both even I I decide to keep the extra 3DS I picked up.  I really can’t wait until my Vita gets here and I can’t believe how excited I am to get back into some true hand held gaming, it’s like being reunited with an old friend after not seeing them in over a decade. Hopefully I won’t be disappointed and Sony keeps an influx of games coming. As for the 3DS I already know what to expect and between the games I purchased and the games that were already released I’m sure that my daughter and I will be extremely happy.

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Available for podcasts upon request.