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V.Smile

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V.Smile
Vtech Vsmile French version.JPG
Besides teaching motor skills, this thing doesn't teach kids anything!
Developer: VTech
Release Date: NA & EU: August 3, 2004
Predecessor: Socrates
Successor: V.Flash
Competitors: Leapster TV
Generation: Sixth generation


The V.Smile (marketed as the V.Smile TV Learning System) is a handheld and home edutainment console made for children ages 3 and up. It was released in August 2004 and discontinued in 2010, it was replaced by the InnoTV/Storio TV.

Why It Won't Give You A Smile

  1. If you don't have a game in the console, the startup loops endlessly. The startup sound can also be annoying.
  2. There is barely any reason for the cartridges to be named "Smartridges". There is nothing special or interesting about them to make them smart.
  3. There were few exclusives and some of the games could be found on other platforms.
  4. Despite being released in the 6th generation, the graphics are equal to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis, resulting in rude 16-bit graphics such as in The Wiggles: It's Wiggle Time!.
  5. It didn't sell well due to the fact that there were educational games for other platforms, such as the Wii.
  6. Due to weaker hardware, many of the game's music is made with MIDI, similar to the Nintendo 64.
  7. The games are often unplayable and can easily be considered shovelware. Many of them are either difficult due to their poor design and way too easy. They are also incredibly short and can be beaten in less than an hour.
  8. The games have very paper-thin, simplistic, and generic stories.
    • In Alphabet Park Adventure, Grandpa presses the wrong button on the power ring machine and all the power rings go loose. The kids must then get them back as Alphabet Park will shut down without them.
    • In Dora the Explorer: Dora's Fix-It Adventure, Dora and Boots go on a journey to find all the missing pieces of Tico's air-car-boat-mobile.
    • Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! Attack of the 50-Foot Fleegle has the exact same story as the episode of the show it is based on with no differences whatsoever.
    • In Go, Diego, Go! Save the Animal Families!, Diego must bring some animals back to their families after a storm separates them.
    • In Winnie the Pooh: The Honey Hunt, Pooh wants to organize a party for his friends but needs to collect some honey for the party.
    • The Wiggles receive an invitation to perform a concert in The Wiggles: It's Wiggle Time!, but their friends and instruments are missing and they must find them.
    • In Barney: The Land of Make Believe, Barney, BJ, and Baby Bop want to visit the Queen of the Land of Make-Believe. However, the book is taken by a bird and the three are prompted to go find it.
    • In Spider-Man and Friends: Secret Missions, Spider-Man, with the help of Spider-Girl and Wolverine, must go on various missions to save the city.
    • In Sesame Street: Bert & Ernie's Imagination Adventure, Ernie makes Bert lose everything he collected and the two go on various adventures to get them back.
  9. The Wiggles: It's Wiggle Time! reuses the Wiggles' designs from Space Dancing, which makes them look creepy and uncanny.
  10. The levels are very repetitive.
  11. Many bad games.
  12. Horrible and compressed audio quality due to weak hardware.
  13. One of their good games called Shrek: Dragon's Tale contains stolen music from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Making that game an asset thief.
  14. The console design is a rip-off of the Nintendo 64's design.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Despite this, the concept of edutainment gaming system is extremely appealing.
  2. Some of the console's features can make kids smarter.
  3. There are educational games that teach kids math and reading.
  4. There is a storage case that can hold six games.
  5. The mascot of V.Smile was very cute.
  6. Some of the games are decent or even good, like Shrek: Dragon's Tale and Spider-Man and Friends: Secret Missions.
  7. The controller's design looks very creative.
  8. The console does support voice clips, despite them being low-quality.
  9. The cartridges have a spring-loaded plastic sleeve that protects the connectors from being damaged when they are not inserted into the console. Since most little kids dont take very good care of things, this was a good design choice.

Models

There are five models; which include:

  • The original V.Smile console that was released in 2004. A revision was released in 2007.
  • The V.Smile Pocket, which was meant to compete with educational games released for the Game Boy Advance. It had a few problems, which included the screen being a passive matrix, which could cause ghosting, though it can connect to a TV. It was revised somewhere between 2007 and 2008, which replaced the analog nub with a D-pad.
  • The V.Smile Motion, which had a better-designed controller and Wii-inspired motion controls.
  • The V.Smile Cyber Pocket, which was meant to compete against educational games made for the Nintendo DS by including a digitizer below the screen. Aside from having the same screen as the V.Smile Pocket, both have the colored buttons below the screen, instead of having them on the right side of the system.
  • The V.Smile Baby, an infant-oriented edition of the console that was released in 2006, some of the 3-5 rated games were ported to the V.Smile Baby
  • The V.Flash, marketed towards children over 5 years old. The console can output 3D graphics comparable to the original PlayStation. The games come in UMD-style discs.

Videos

Trivia

  • This page was shown on PhantomStrider's "The 6 Bizarre Forgotten Spongebob Games" list in the 6:59 timestamp.

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