Posted by Female Gamers on Jan 20, 2010
An N-Gaging Article One Gamers Views on Nokia N-Gage – Article

An N-Gaging Article One Gamers Views on Nokia N-Gage – Article

N-Gage QD Report / Review – When the original N-Gage was released I wasn’t the least bit excited about it, which is unusual because whenever a new games machine is released this girl gets excited (ok calm down). I then saw it in a pod at a toy store chain and it had Tomb Raider on it, then my interest was peaked. It was like seeing the original PS1 Tomb Raider title on an itty bitty screen, a screen way too expensive for my pocket, after all I was in there to buy a present for someone else… honest…..

Time went by and I needed a mobile phone for work, I’d read a lot of reviews of varying models and they weren’t kind to the N-Gage so I stayed away…. Well away. As time went on Nokia took a lot of flack for the N-Gage’s faults, people complained about the screen, but mostly they complained that you looked like a moog whilst you were talking on it… and no one wants to look like a moog do they, as you answer your loved ones with the phone side on to the side of your noggin giving you ‘elephant ear’.

Not even Angelina Jolie can make elephant ear look funky
Nokia then did something a lot of companies don’t… they listened, stranger still they then acted. You have to give them a high five for this effort alone, it’s not often the buyers complaints are heard and then the company in question goes back to the floor to take into account these complaints only to appear months later with a new machine, face it, we’d be playing smaller Xboxes, GameCubes that don’t resemble ladies handbags and a PS2 less industrial if things like this were a regular occurrence (and we’re not talking end of lifespan changes). And so the N-Gage QD was born… did people think, wow impressive? Of course not, we’re a fickle bunch, now it was time to find something else to pick on since the last lot of complaints were no longer there, let’s make up jokes about the name QD.. ooh I know “Queer Design”.

Is it Queer?
Well it’s certainly dressed better and more stylish, Carson Kressley would be impressed, so perhaps that QD abstraction isn’t far from the truth. When I was told I had to write this piece I wasn’t sure what to say because it seems so implausible that the N-Gage could be anything other than what the mass negative hype machine has made it… a big mobile phone with as much gaming potential as a digital watch.

Oh how wrong they are. I feel it is a crime that all the negative marketing has affected the N-Gage the way it has because a lot of gamers are really missing out, mostly because they’ve listened without actually looking. It’s like not going to see a movie because it scored a 1 in the local rag and your friends all said it was rubbish, then one night you can’t sleep, it’s 2am so you flick on the TV and a movie’s already started (it’s sky so there’s no adverts), you sit, you watch and you thoroughly enjoy it, only to be horrified when at the end of the credits you realize it’s the piece of tripe your pals warned you about, if only you’d not listened… if only you’d had a mind of your own… now count those SHEEP and go to sleep.

Size Matters…
What’s all this about it being huge… come on it’s small, I’m not a big girl and it’s small even to me. The screen is a good size considering the overall dimensions of it. Of course the irony here is that although folk complained the N-Gage was too big, now they’ve made it smaller (by approximately 15mm wide) people are bitching it’s harder to hold… oh come on!!

Changing games is a dog!
Well it was…. before Nokia listened and changed it…. now it couldn’t be simpler. Whereas you used to have to turn the unit off, remove the back cover, take out the battery and then insert the game (ok so that was a really dumb idea, I assume the spark who thought of that is now working in McDonalds), now all you have to do is open a little rubber door and slot the game in.

Technically speaking….
I’ll not bore you with a plethora of techno babble, I’ve read it all and my eyes are watering. In essence the QD is still pretty much the same animal as the original N-Gage with a few alterations. The phone is no longer tri-band, a stupid move in my opinion, but apparently this makes it work better for our American friends so I’ll forgive them that error. Visually speaking the screen is now sharper and brighter (LCD 4096 colors / 176 x 208 px). Audiophiles will be non impressed that the N-Gage QD is stripped of the MP3 and FM radio, this was apparently done to cut down the price (well you can’t have it all), and the argument goes it’s a games machine so these functions aren’t all that important. I personally find the sound fine, it has the usual wav / midi phone tones when in phone mode and the sound in games I find sharp and even surprising despite its overall technical negatives.

WAP me baby one more time….
Thought I’d quickly cover the other QD features briefly so your eyes don’t bleed. It’s got WAP, Bluetooth Multiplayer, GPRS and Internet, MMS and email (POP3, IMAP4, MIME2 and SMTP protocols) and access to N-Gage Arena which is essentially an online gaming arena allowing gamers to meet up, check out news, upload scores and lots of other cool things.

Play it Sista!
Okay let’s cut to the chase, this is NOT just a phone, it’s a games machine and that is what you’re here on Thumb Bandits for…. share a love of gaming and find out more about gaming. I can safely say I have been completely surprised by the quality of the N-Gage’s games. I’ve only played a couple, but I can honestly say they’ve been good, the sound especially I was pleasantly surprised by. Obviously I’m used to playing java games and there’s a world of difference between a java outing and an N-Gage game, but then you’re paying a lot more so there should be. The size of the actual games leads me to worry I may lose them, or a mouse may think it’s a chopping board and be off with it to chop his cheddar, but that little worry aside I’m a happy bunny!

Be Concise!
Okay I’ll cut to the chase and sum up for you. Negative press is NOT always right, even if it is most of the time, sometimes the woolly masses get it wrong and they baa up the wrong phone. I’ve nothing bad to say about the N-Gage and its appeal to the gamer should be apparent, you can take it with you AND it’s a phone. I know the old argument of “but I can buy a GBA and I have a phone”… ok so that’s two pocket spaces instead of one and should you make a fatal error and flip out your GBA SP and put it to your ear just as the girl or boy of your dreams walks by you’ll regret the day you didn’t buy an N-Gage QD.

I don’t see the Nokia N-Gage lasting and this is its main downfall. Sure it’s a brilliant little machine at the moment and it seems to be getting some big franchise game titles behind it. However with mobile phone technologies changing as rapidly as they presently are, it wont be long before some brightspark comes out with something that features a bigger, brighter screen and of course better sound and image. You might want to keep this in mind if you’re considering a purchase, sure its a cool machine, but it will be superseded a lot faster than the next Nintendo handheld, purely because it is a mobile phone.

Article by Angela.. she’s not available for comment.. she’s playing her N-Gage QD
Published July 2004.

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